Monday 29 April 2019

A Load of Bullocks! Sikh Wars Bengal Foot Artillery

The first three of my bullock train for primarily the Bengal Foot Artillery but I have enough teams to give the Sikhs three, I think. These castings are Empress Miniatures, with old Glory lascars , Warbases limbers and Studio Minis cannon.

Lastly I've managed to finish the remaining figures for HM 60th Rifles, bringing them up to full strength.

On the painting desk at the moment and almost done are three more Elephants with limbers, the Sikh Cinc on his Elephant and some random officers and ensigns to add to my Bengal Native Infantry.

Sunday 28 April 2019

The Battle of Lutzen 1632, in 1/72nd Scale

I was invited to the club in Durham to take part in a refight of the Battle of Lutzen on Saturday. Mike, the organiser, has two tremendous armies in 1/72nd scale plastic, mainly Revel I think with possibly some Zvezda and Hat figures as well. Six of us plus Mike took part in the battle. The commanders were allocated prior to the game, so I ended up being Gustavus, supported by Neil  and John H as Knyphausen and Bernard respectively. Conrad was Wallenstein with Richard as Holk and John the Red as Pappenheim.  The battle was fought in mist/fog so visibility was an issue as it could be misty one turn then clear the next. Frustrating but good as in the first couple of turns the weather prevented the Imperial cannon from hitting our advancing troops.

As usual the photos will tell the story of how the game unfolded.
The Swedish line of battle
The Imperialist grand battery. Thats an old Bellona 'Redan'

Imperial Croats in front of Lutzen.
The outnumbered Imperial forces on the right/rear.
Bird's eye view.
The Swedish Yellow brigade. The Blue brigade is on their left and the Swedish brigade on their right.
The man himself.
Above and below: The Swedish right wing led by Gustavus.

Our plan was to push forward rapidly with our left, the centre would advance but incline to the left to take the redoubt, while the right held back waiting for enemy troops facing them to be drawn into the centre. Great plan!
Our  cavalry attacked the Croats who could not evade so elected to charge the Swedes!. Unbelievably our cavalry were defeated, as was the supporting regiment! It was only turn 1 and the master plan was in tatters!
This Imperial Terico was to bear the brunt of the Swedish onslaught.
The Swedes/Germans in the centre advance rapidly but in retrospect they were off course and didn't drift enough to the left. Maybe....
Confusion on our left as the Croats run amok!
Facing me, the Imperial small battery.
The mist lifts and the Imperial battery opens fire, causing the Swedish Green brigade to retire.
The Swedes are closing fast on the thin Imperial front line.
We had planned for our artillery to deploy in the gap created by the leftwards drift of the infantry in the centre.

At a critical point one of my commanders is wounded, and the commanded shot fail to advance at a critical point.
The Green brigade has broken through the second line.

The fog descends again as the Swedish left finally destroy the Croats. Our left is however pretty much spent now, with only the commanded shot at full strength.
Pappenheim arrives behind Lutzen!

Above and below the Swedish and Imperial front lines clash.

Imperial cavalry advancing on our shattered left wing.
The Blue and Yellow brigades are victorious. Wallenstein is lightly wounded in the fighting.
Our artillery deployed and ready for when (if) the mist clears.

Fierce fighting in the centre continues as the Imperial troops refuse to give up the sunken lane.

The Imperialists are pushing forward against our left with Pappenheim's entire command and their right wing.
The Swedes are running out of steam in the centre against stubborn Imperial resistance.
Feeling the moment was right I advanced with my horse on the right wing. I had my eye on the small redoubt (its guns had run out of ammo). The Croats chose to retreat.
Gustavus leads his elite Småland regiment into the Imperialist centre.
Bird's eye view of the Swedish left. Our line was pushed right back at 90 degrees to the baseline. Neil had to use troops from our second line to cover the exposed flank which weakened our attack in the centre, fatally as it turned out.
My Swedish horse are charged by Arquebusiers and Cuirassiers. I miraculously hold, and the enemy arquebusiers the cuirassiers are forced to retreat. 
A moment of calm on our right. Our commanded shot and light cannon were routing out of the picture but did rally.

Over on the other flank John was holding on, but only just.
And in the centre the Blue brigade was still battling it out with another Imperial Tercio! Wallenstein was wounded again!
The battlefield looking down on the Swedish left. Knyphausen has just been killed in our centre.
Pappenheim's command roll steadily onwards.
The Swedish left the 2nd line from the centre were angled back, shooting into the Imperial horse.
In the centre Gustavus lead a charge into the Imperial infantry, forcing them back before destroying them the following round.
My German cavalry poised to take the redoubt.
Holk's command charged my weakened Swedish and German horse, ultimately breaking them, although Holk was killed leading the charge.

Gustavus leading the Småland Horse into the enemy infantry.

The Imperial commanded shot refuse to budge from the sunken lane, breaking yet another Swedish brigade.
After breaking the Tercio Gustavus and the Småland horse could wreak havoc on the enemy centre and rear.
In the final move I lost the initiative for the Swedes for the first time! We won it 7 out of 8 turns. This allowed the remains of the deceased Holk's command to charge my remaining cavalry before they could attack and occupy the redoubt.

The table at the end of turn 8. The Swedish army is shattered, but so too is the Imperial army. Sadly, the redoubts remained in Imperial hands and they inflicted slightly more damage on the Swedes than they received. That was despite the "Tercio Killer" battery seen in the background above that shattered two Tercio's that were caught too close.

That was the end of the game. It was highly enjoyable and entertaining too. I was worn out but the brunt of the fighting was in the centre (Neil) and poor John (Bernard) had been on the back foot since turn 1. We, the Swedes that is, let ourselves be drawn too much into the centre when we ought to have drifted further to the left to take the redoubt. Ah well, the fog of war and all that. Thanks to Mike for inviting me, John the Red for giving me a lift and everyone else for a perfect and well played Saturday game, playing the period and not the rules.

Mike's collection of 1/72nd figures is impressive. Awesome even. I look forward to another game soon so the Swedes can get their revenge.