Friday, 27 September 2013

It's all Black and White

Well I've finally succumbed and started on some Napoleonics. It has always been a period that I shied away from, mainly due to the uniforms, too fiddly for me. However after a few games at Neal's I finally decided to take the plunge, but which armies to do and what rules to use. I've currently got Black Powder and think I'll use that to start me off, though I may eventually gravitate to General de Brigade in the future. This means the basing has to be generic enough to cover a number of resets. I've gone for 25mm square bases for 4 figures. I will also round the figures required for units as I don't want any loose figures in the units.

So the Black. These will be the Brunswickers. Now as I am going for 1809 and still in Austrian service there are only approximately 2000 of them. I am working on a figure scale of 1 figure = 30 men. The Brunswickers had 3 battalion of infantry roughly 500 men each, this will equate to 16 figure units or small for Black Powder. The Hussar regiment will work out at 12 figures and the Sharpshooters at 8. A nice small contained force. So on to the first unit. This is the 3rd battalion. The figures are all from QRF and painted up rather nicely even though I found highlighting black uniforms rather troublesome. The flag is from Warflag and the bases are from my usual supplier Warbase.

3rd Battalion
3rd Battalion
And now for the White. The Austrians, I picked these up from Old Glory / Blue Moon at the Border Reiver show and must admit I have rather enjoyed paining these up, despite all that white. Size wise they are a nice match for the QRF figures and it wouldn't trouble me to mix the two in the same units. Due to the Blue Moon figures coming in bags you always end up with spares. In this case a full command and 4 infantry. To overcome this I put in a small order with Warmodelling for the necessary figures to finish off the unit. Checking other blogs and the Internet they should match in size wise.

The first unit I did was the 44th Infantry regiment Herzog Ferdinand von Wurtemburg. On a scale of 1 to 30 these come in at 32 figures or large units for Black Powder. To paint the white uniforms I decided to give them a wash with a brown ink and then re do all the raised areas, strapping etc. Rather pleased with how they came out.

44th Infantry regiment
44th Infantry regiment
The second regiment I have completed is that of the 15th, Graf d'Alton. I chose these as the red cuffs added a little brightness to the force.

15th Infantry regiment
15th Infantry regiment
Now where you have Black and White you are sure to get some grey. To back up my Austrians I have completed a unit of Landwehr from Lower Austria. These figures are from AB that I picked up from Colonel Bill's stand at the show. My only gripe with these figures is they are all the same pose and their was no standard bearer figure. Not to much of an issue as I don't envisage using these in alot of games once my forces grow.

Lower Austria Landwehr
Lower Austria Landwehr
On the painting table I have another battalion of Brunswickers, Brunswick Sharpshooters, Austrian Landwehr and Duke of the Brunswick and entourage. Apart from the extra Austrians I have already ordered I want to get the 3rd Brunswick battalion and Hussars. I will then concentrate on getting enough Austrians for a second brigade and some supporting cavalry, jaegers etc.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Battle of Flodden 1513

The Plaque at Flodden field
This Saturday I had the good fortune to be up at Micks for a re fight of the Battle of Flodden. Rather apt with it being the 500th anniversary of a battle in which the last British Monarch, James IV, was killed in battle.

To tell you plaine, twelve thousand were slaine,
that to the fight did stand;
And many prisoners tooke that day,
the best in all Scotland.
That day made many a fatherlesse childe,
and many a widow poore;
And many a Scottish gay Lady,
sate weeping in her bowre
Now before we got down to a re fight of the battle we decided to take a drive and follow the flank march the the English undertook to get themselves between the Scots and Scotland. I was always intrigued about why the Scots never seemed to react to this flank march. Now I can get an insight into why. When the English army left Millfield 2-3 days before the battle the direction they took would of had them heading toward Berwick Upon Tweed, now this is not an unrealistic proposition for the Scots to believe. However it was the 'Bastard' Heron who had informed Surrey of a way to get behind the Scots army and not have to attack them on Flodden hill. When you follow this route you quickly loose sight of Flodden Hill, right up to the point where the English begin to form up opposite Branxton Hill which the Scots had now positioned themselves upon.

This is rather a bold move by Surrey and Heron, they have a smaller army and to be caught on the march would have been devastating. But Heron and his men were locals, they new the terrain and were able to successfully get the English into position ready to give battle after a 14 mile march, quite a feat.

A view from half way up the slope of Branxton Hill, The English would have been positioned on the grassy ridge
Looking up towards what would have been the Scottish left wing.
And so to the re fight. I was given the command of the English while Dave and Neal took control of the Scots. We decided to set up in as near to the correct positions as possible as we wanted to test Micks rules for simulating the melee at the foot of Branxton hill where the Scots Pike became disordered and at the mercy of the English Bill. Also Mick did mention that in two previous re fights he did with others the Scots did not attack down the slope and had always won. I need to reverse that.

Stout men of England
At the foot of Branxton hill is a stream which on the actual day was quite boggy, it was this that did for the Scots pike. The Pike was a formidable weapon on good ground. To simulate the effects of the bog, the Scots Pike would become disordered trying to cross and loose the support of its rear ranks in any melee.

Scots left, Highlanders under Huntly
Scots centre with King James
Scots right flank
The game began with a quick artillery duel before the Highlanders on the Scots left quickly advance towards the English right flank. As on the actual day the Scots got the better of the English continually forcing them back before eventually overwhelming them despite the loss of the Lord Huntly.

In the centre the first Scottish Pike block advance down the slope, but were met by the English bill who forced them back. The second and then 3rd Pike blocks also dashed down the slope and again the English bill forced them back. Now the disordering effects of the terrain would effect the English if they tried to pres their advantage. This allowed the Scots Pike to reform.

Scots Pike struggle across the stream
Highlanders press their advantage
English attack
King James gets a lucky escape
It was at this point that things really started to go wrong for the English. Even though alot of damage had been inflicted on the Scots centre, it was still intact and back on the ridge. The right flank was capitulating under pressure from the Highlanders and now the rightmost Scots Pike block had crossed the stream and had managed to re order itself before Stanley, who was late to the battle could stop them. The Scots pressed their numerical advantage and soon Stanley was fleeing the field. The Scots now turned to deal with the English centre, an attritional battle that the English could not win due to lack of numbers. So a victory again for the Scots.

Stanley's flank disintegrates
After the battle we had a quick review and the only issue I had was that when the Scots pike crossed the stream and got disordered I attacked, as the results had the Scots recoil back up the hill. In the Scots turn they reordered, now why would they come back down the hill. The only solution I could come up with was if the Pike is in disorder with a linear obstacle they should not have recoiled, but instead taken extra damage. This reflecting the carnage that the English bill caused. This wouldn't have saved my flanks, but may have made the game a closer affair. All in all a great game.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The Gents at Old Glory

When I was at the Border Reiver show, I picked up some 15mm Blue moon Austrian Napoleonics off Andy on the Old Glory stand. Now it was my own fault (distracted by some resin buildings) that I didn't notice one of the packs were French and not Austrian. I did not realise my error until this weekend when I got them out the bag ready to do some prep work. So what to do, re order? my suggested just give them a ring and they might change them, if not stick em on EBay. So I took the plunge and gave them a ring. No problems said they, just send em back with details of the replacements that I wanted all will be sorted. Now that is what I call customer service, I cannot complain about that and can't wait for them to arrive. These gents will definitely be getting some more of my hard earned cash. Cheers Andy.

Now onto Ian at the 'Blog with No Name' is holding a giveaway after reaching the milestone of 500posts and his blogs' 2nd birthday. There are some excellent give aways so check it out. But don't go for the brushes or Leven buildings as I want those.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Crimean War part V

I've had these finished for a couple of weeks now but have only just got around to posting them. They are the completed Russian 17th Division under Kiriyakov at the Battle of Alma. The figures are all from Pendraken apart from Kiriyakov who is from Old Glory's 10mm Napoleonic range.

This Division includes the following regiments, Borodino, Moscow, Taroutin, 6th Rifles, Sailors and two pieces of Divisional artillery.

17th Division
Russian Columns
Russian Columns

For now I will be putting this project on a temporary hold. I still have another infantry division to complete as well as a couple of regiments of cavalry to finish them off. I want to try and finish off some of my Marlburian figures as well as some Napoleonics.