Wednesday, 28 February 2018

"He who hesitates is lost!"

"Oh Saxe-Weimar where were you when I needed you most?"
Phil and I finally managed to coincide our schedules and finally return to the fields of 1815 Belgium to conclude our game of General D'Armee.    At the last report, the game was quite evenly poised with the Brunswick cavalry brigade holding on grimly against a brigade of veteran French Cuirassiers and the British brigades in the centre giving the French a bit of a spanking from some fire-fights.

For your information GdA was written by David Brown, he of General De Brigade fame amongst many systems, and they are an absolutely cracking set of Napoleonic rules!

The French in the centre await their fate.

Unformed but still on the field

The French wish to follow up however they roll a 1 and are Hesitant...

With all this awaiting them.

The French Brigade has a unit disperse and then fails the Falter test and retires, taking the guns with them. 

This Brunswick Artillery commander, perhaps Moll himself, decides that the guns facing the threatening
French heavies may be a prudent tactical decision.

However the Cuirassiers can only remain hesitant for so long...

...and the Brave Black Brunswick Hussars luck finally runs out.

However the French Heavy Cavalry Commander kept the pressure on and charged the Brunswick Uhlans.

Whilst the Brunswick Horse artillery keep the other regiment of French at bay.

The Uhlans prevail, forcing the Cuirassiers to retreat

In the centre the brigade of Pack is preparing to deliver a crushing blow to the French on the hill however they too are in trouble.  A series of two consecutive "Hesitant" results, despite ADC's being present for re-rolls prevents the
fresh rear line troops from replacing the worn troops in the front.  

Despite the Uhlan victory the routing unit of Brunswick Hussars force a falter test on the brigade. DISASTER - a
Sauve Qui Peut result forces major retirements. 

A massive hole in the allied left appears and the reserve Brunswick Brigade off table is nowhere to be seen.

A view showing the retirement of Packs brigade as well.  From a position of subtle strength, the Allies are
suddenly in trouble.  Even the British brigade centre of shot, who earlier forced the French to retire, is now
also hesitant in a series of disastrous command rolls for the good guys.
Next on the workbench will be some cotton wool screens to represent a unit losing fire discipline and
effectiveness on the field.  Those tissues look so, so wrong!

In case you were wondering, the Nassau Brigade, who remained hesitant for the majority of the first half of the
fighting last time are...well...consistent!

On the Allied right the Dutch-Belgian cavalry have gotten onto the front foot/hoof and charged their French
light cavalry opponents in a battle for the hill.

A differing view of the action.

Having less confidence than their Cavalry companions, the French form square with two battalions whilst
the French battery manhandles forward to take some shots at the now isolated brigade of Kempt.

Whilst back on the French right the Young Guard arrive...

...feeling pretty good about what they see before them.

So the situation has changed dramatically in a few short turns.  The allies have lost a brigade along with their valuable Aide De Camp.  The British of Pack are in retreat and the lads are somewhat isolated up front and the Brunswick light brigade of infantry are pinned down by cuirassiers and heavy artillery pounding upon their squares.

What will unfold?

Monday, 26 February 2018

"Here come the Prussians" as the 1805-07 project continues on the workbench

Prussian 1806 style musketeers and Grenadiers prepare to be mustered.  That's "Mustered" by the way, not
"Mustard" though I do like a bit of Dijon and those famous German Bratwursts! 

There was a slight lull upstairs as a few coats of paint were being meticulously added to the 2nd fusilier battalion of the Russian Fangoria regiment.  In recent months I have been making a conscious effort to try and keep the wargames room to a higher standard of order and function may have been allowed to drift to in the past.  I have gotten into the habit of pulling out figures that are fully painted and just awaiting basing, been distracted, and then simply put them on boards flat and placed them back on the shelves.  Not only a lazy and inefficient use of space but poor from an aesthetic point of view as well..

As such, I felt an urge to free up some space on my figure shelves and my 1806 Prussians were the first cab off the rank.

The Elite figures in this range are slightly smaller than the rest for some reason however this doesn't detract from the
figures at all.  In fact it gives them quite an elegance that befits the period and the army. 

These figures, well half of them, were purchased from friend Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia a few years ago.  They are all from designer Peter Moreby's excellent Early Prussian Elite range and are lovely figures.  I must confess to having a real affection for the period which originated from so many of the early Wargames Ilustrated magazine photo-shoots of his wonderful collection of 1805-07 figures that graced the pages in those days.

How can one not be inspired into wargaming as a young boy by that magnificent shot.

As I said, half were from Nathan and the other half were painted to match the style as closely as possible.  Not perfect but certainly acceptable.  Some GMB flags need to be ordered to replace
these ones and some mounted officers painted up to lead these fine Prussians into battle.

A few spares which will be added to an additional battalion with a quick change of facing.

Those Grenadiers look the part.  As you can see, the older style basing of the Colonel on his mount will still be the
case for these figures in the 1805-07 project.  You can see that the jutting piece of MDF is simply placed next
to the base and then fixed by simply mounting the horse with PVA white glue across the join.  Simple.

The plan is to have these lads, along with some Saxons that I have on the shelf, to support the Russians in some 1807 action and on occasion take on the French alone.  I will only look at build a maximum of two brigades of foot plus a brigade of cavalry and supporting artillery as that should be enough to add some variety to the table top for future games.

I will paint up a Prussian Fusilier battalion in the next month or so and then see how they look before deciding on the next unit.  All good fun and I am getting closer to having all these lads on the table soon for an early period GdA game before too long.

The Brigade Commander purchased painted and based by Nathan

Friday, 23 February 2018

Russian Fangoria Fusilers for 1805-07

Fresh off being sprayed lightly with some Dulcote these lads will do the job for the Tsar

Just to prove that despite all the work on casualty bases, ADC's and other items for my current General D'Armee game on the wargames table, the 1805-07 project continues unabated.  I have just managed to finish off a battalion of the Fangoria Regiment which fought in Langeron's Column at Austerlitz on that fateful day in December 1805. 

Once again for this period and with these Elite figures the command base will have the old Wargames Holiday Centre
command bases with the mounted Colonel just slightly ahead, leading the column on the base as shown.

The Fangoria Regiment consisted of two fusilier and one grenadier battalions and had a crisp and clean white facing to the uniform which shows up very well on the darker green coats of the Russian army.  Though the fusilier mitre, which was shorter than the traditional grenadier one, was meant to be phased out in late 1804 their are sources stating that it was still in use by some regiments up until 1807.  

Since Elite Miniatures and Peter Moreby make these wonderful figures in mitres it seemed a shame to not include them in the force.  They will also appear on the field of battle alongside troops in the newly introduced shako (not the sloped Kiwer of 1812 fame but an earlier version) as well as some regiments still in bicorne as was indeed the case during this early period of the campaign.

Another view of the battalion as well as my very messy paint rack!

A wonderful plate illustrating the types of head gear in place in the Russian army  during this particular
period.  You can clearly see the difference between the fusilier and grenadier mitre cap.

Another great depiction of headgear.  I especially like the Officers green overcoat.

Beautiful hand made and painted flags from that dapper artisan Mr Mark Allen.

These will be joined by a second battalion which I have just undercoated and hope to have finished by the Easter weekend.  I am still deciding whether the Grenadier battalion will be in the old style mitre or in the shako and am leaning towards the latter.  Lets see what the next few weeks leads to.

The second battalion undercoated and awaiting the issuing of uniforms
and equipment...well a few good coats of paint at least!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A new French ADC on the workbench

Its a cracking model.

I was looking through Face Book the other night whilst away on business and saw a wonderful painted model which really caught my eye.  It was of the very famous Chasseur a Cheval Officer of the Imperial Guard looking back on his steed whilst brandishing his sabre.  An evocative and truly inspiring piece of art.

The artwork of course is by Theodore Gericault "Officier de chasseurs à cheval de la garde impériale chargeant", which translates into  "Officer of the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard charging".  It is incredibly famous as I have said and first exhibited in Paris in that infamous year - 1812!

The work itself - truly delightful!

Wargames Foundry produced their version of the figure many years ago sculpted by the mega talented Perry brothers whilst still doing work for them.  As I looked at the FB post I remembered I had the very same model and decided that I would do my best to get it complete and turn it into another highly volatile and flamboyant French Aide De Camp for General D'Armee.

With suitable inspiration in an over-sized card print I purchased from Les Invalides in Paris
almost 32 years ago!  Bloody hell that's a long time.

I still need to finish a few bits and pieces, varnish and of course hide the metal supports for the front legs however I am very happy how its turned out so far.

I love that painting so much I have a large canvas version hung on one of the walls in my wargames room. Here
my erstwhile opponent Cookie looks on at the field whilst I admire my Gericault!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Young Guard skirmishers now complete

Ready to rumble

These guys are now ready for action.  All finished though I did notice a couple of small items that will need to be touched up.  No matter, they will be fit for purpose for when the Young Guard next arrive onto the tabletop.

I do really like the prone figures  as well as the chap sitting almost cross-legged shooting

As mentioned in previous posts, I am very happy I hung onto these castings for so long and that they finally have managed to make it not only to the painting table, but off it successfully!

The patient has done well!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

On the Workbench - Young Guard skirmishers

The workbench can get quite messy at times.

Quite a while ago I had the opportunity to purchase a vast horde of Wargames Foundry figures from The Tin Soldier in Sydney.  The Federal Government had just introduced the Goods and Services Tax into Australia and the local businesses were unsure how exactly they would manage this new imposition upon their everyday financial practices.

Gary at Tin Soldier had taken all the Foundry figures off the racks.  In those days you could still purchase the Wargames Foundry figures individually and he was going to be damned if he had to transact a 10% GST on 55 one figure transactions etc!!

His decision was my gain as I made him a "Job lot" offer on thousands of figures from the Napoleonic, Ancients, Medieval, Dark Ages and Franco-Prussian ranges at an absolute song.

I mean...a song!

The only bugger was you got what you got.  In other words there may be ten French Napoleonic Fusiliers figures marching in one pack and 24 Fusilier drummers and standard bearers in the other!

Fortunately that was the extreme however there were some eclectic figures that I scratched my head with and thought "What the heck am I going to do with them?" 

The younger wargamers reading this may think what teh fuss is about?  Surely skirmish games would want figures like these all the time.  However in my early days as a wargamer we desired our rank and file to be almost uniform in pose and stature.  How amazing now to think that we want variety, especially subtle variety in similar poses such as Elite Miniatures and Perry Miniatures do so well today.

Very useful figures for the General D'Armee rule system

These Young Guard figures lying down and sitting were just the ones who fitted that last statement perfectly.

So they sat in the WF box (that's Wargames Foundry box, not what you may have been thinking), for sixteen years.


General D'Armee appeared.  In case you haven't noticed I am very much a devotee of these excellent rules from Dave Brown.  They allow Brigade skirmisher screen to be formed by having each battalion provide a single base of three figures.  I have elected to place these on a distinctly different oval base from Warbases (excellent company by the way)..

As per my usual practise, I gloss varnish all these figures and then Dulcote once the base is dry brushed and flocked with static grass and tufts.  The extra protection, especially for skirmish style stands which do have a tendency to be knocked around and tipped over in the heat of battle, is invaluable.  I hate having to patch up scratches and chips!
In the old days of WRG etc. skirmishers were simply picked out of the back rang of you battalion and placed in front.  Invariably they had the same marching or "at porte" pose.  However in GdA you have some scope to be a bit more creative.

The lying figure has his shako by his foot.  I may need to scuff up the soles of his shoes a bit now that I think of it.

I thought, as I do have the Young Guard at Waterloo 1815 I would have some specific skirmisher bases for them.  I know their is some minor variation in the uniform depending on the year however these will do for covering 1813-15.

Once they are completed I will post them up to see how they look on the table.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Action at the Junction - Chain of Command

A wonderfully modelled Panzer Mk IV from the Troop of Shrewe

It had been absolute ages since my last game down at the Club so Marty and I thought it was high time to roll some dice with a half of lager in our hand and a fine Chain of Command action going on.  Martin devised the scenario which saw a British Infantry platoon tasked to defend a T-Junction from a Wehrmacht German platoon with supports.  No Airborne or Panzer Grenadiers here mate!

A German section looks to get the timing right to head across the open space and decide to double and go flat out.
This means three d6 - which I rolled and ended up with a 1. 1. and you guessed it...a 1.

A PIAT team makes its way up to the woods after being rallied.  They appeared out of nowhere and took a few shots at my
Panzer and I honestly thought I was done for.  However lady luck helped old "Hans" on this occasion.

I really like Martins British.  These are Crusader Miniatures and his clean style of painting helps them
come up a treat.  He is a wily one our old Marty with his constantly evolving collection.

This MG team on "Overwatch" played its part in clearing the central copse of trees.  In the background the rifle
team are preparing to be ordered to advance under protection of its withering fire.

Under fire the entire evening these lads managed to hang on throughout.

It was a great night of fun wargaming.  For those wanting to know, the Germans managed to push through and the Brits were forced to surrender the field and slip away to lick their wounds for the next action a few miles south.

It was great though to have a few laughs and reacquaint ourselves with an excellent set of rules and a lovely skirmish game at the NWS.