Monday 28 April 2014

Poles and Ottomans

Finally got around to taking some pictures of the latest figures off the painting table, namely some more Poles and some Ottomans. firstly for the Poles some extra medium cavalry, namely Pancerni. I already had 6 bases of these painted up as auxiliaries for my GNW Saxon troops. These figures are all from Essex miniatures, love the poses of their horses but hate the ridiculously small bases they are on.

Now to back up the cavalry I have also done some of the infantry. I've based these up with 3 figures a base instead of the 4 that I use for western troops. Again the figures are all from Essex and were given to me by Dave.

Now to make sure my ottomans keep pace I completed up 3 more units of Azabs in there later uniforms. Most of these figures are the ones I got from Friekorps with a few from Minifigs mixed in. The Friekorp figures are rather slender in comparison to the Essex i'm using for the Poles.

For the first unit I went for a Jade green colour with red which have come out better than I expected. this was because the handful of Minifigs I had were already started in this colour. The other 2 units have dark blue tunics with red trousers. Looking back I wish i had done the headgear in red and may go back to change it.

Next up I have a couple of bases of Cossacks to finish off, then I'll need to buy some cavalry bases from Warbase as I ran out for the next 3 bases of Pancerni. I'll then take a little break with some of my Austrian Napoleonics before coming back to the rest of the Polish infantry.

Monday 21 April 2014

New Project

Well it is that time again when I totally go off the rails and start a project that wasn't on the plans. This time I blame Mick, after the battle involving his Ottomans it got me thinking of a more suitable opponent for them as well as adapting the he rules to better reflect the war in Eastern Europe, which has a more fluid style as well as some exotic troop types.

So who are these opponents, well think Vienna, 1683, it's got to be the Poles. Winged Hussars, Cossacks and Pancerni. I can even use some of my Saxon Cuirassiers in buff coats for German mercenaries. Also I have the benefit of already owning some relevant figures. One of the older guys at the club who is poorly gave me a bundle of figures as he knew I was into the Great Northern War and he would never get around to painting. So on searching through the bundle there is a mix of Hussars, Cossacks and a load of infantry. A couple of the figures had already been painted and though not to my taste, I have no intention of re doing  his work.

So here they are the first off the production line. It had to be the Hussars. The first unit includes a couple of Hussars without wings that Dave painted added to the others.

The second unit is the iconic view of the Hussars, with 2 wings. These were a pain to glue together, yet surprisingly easy to paint, not as difficult as I always imagined they would be.

Now for writing rules I would need some opponents, so a dig around in the lead pile unearthed a handful of Ottoman figures, some were already painted and just required basing (need bases from Warbase) other were part painted so I decided to finish them off.

I'm not sure on the make of these figures but think they are from Mini-figs. To bulk these out I have made a small order to Friekorps as they were having a sale for some extra Janissary's and Azabs. If these figures are okay I'll be making future purchases from them.

Monday 14 April 2014

Ottomans vs Imperialists

Over the weekend I visited Mick up in the borders of Northumberland, to have a run through of the rules in readiness of the Ramillies re-fight in July. As I said I was taking up my Imperialist troops Mick decided to use his Ottomans as they were a historical match up. Mick even came up with a cracking scenario. I had to defend two river crossings, one on each flank. My units had to be marked on a map as due to the undulating terrain they would be out of sight of the advancing Ottomans. However the Ottomans had the choice of two roads to advance along and only needed to capture one bridge to win the game.

The quandary was, as the table is so large I couldn't cover all of the line between the two bridges. I decided to defend each crossing with a brigade of infantry, the other 4 brigades would be held in the centre and moved to whichever bridge was most in need. For the cavalry I made a judgement call and weighted my left flank as this had the most open terrain and would allow the Ottomans to advance with less chance of blundering into hidden troops. So with both Cuirassier brigades and the Hussars hidden behind the ridge I place the Dragoons on my right flank.

Ottomans advance.
Mick began by leading out a mix of light horse and the feared Sipahis, keeping to the right most road. They quickly began their advance towards the bridge on my left flank. With the light horse screening the advance, the Sipahis were followed on by the elite Janissary's, then Azabs and finally some rabble infantry of dubious quality.
Imperialist artillery come into view
The Ottoman light horse eventually revealed two Imperialist batteries which promptly gave fire sending the light cavalry scurrying back to their lines. But still more Ottoman troops began to arrive and still they slowly moved against my left flank and center, spotting my Hussars and the garrison in the town.

Ottoman infantry led by the Janissary's
Here they come
Ottoman battle line forms
It was at this point the rearmost division of Ottoman infantry swung to their left and began to advance towards the other bridge. At this point I moved my dragoons forward to threaten the Ottoman centres flank. Mick then countered this by detaching some of his Sipahis to face my dragoons.. I was beginning to realise that as the ottoman advance slowed that their real objective was the bridge on my right flank and the majority of my force was now out of position.

Imperialist dragoons
Two centers face off
With the pressure building my dragoons committed themselves against the Sipahis and wished they hadn't, only the Bayreuth dragoons overcame their opponents with the other threes regiments fleeing the field with their enemy in pursuit. Now with Janissary's getting into position they advanced towards the bridge to be met with stiff resistance from the Imperialist foot.

Dragoons prepare to charge
The ottomans attack
I then detached a brigade of infantry from the center to engage the Janissary's and was given a bloody nose with them all forced to fall back. Things were not looking good. Over on my left flank the Hussars did their best to harass the Ottoman horse slowly bring them forward. But with time starting to run out for my right flank I needed to throw the Ottomans off balance. Now I revealed my Cuirassiers who advance with infantry support towards the Sipahis. In the ensuing melee they got the better of their opponents routing many of them from the field. Now I began a general advance across my left and center to force back the Ottomans.

Imperialist Cuirassiers
Cuirassiers begin to drive back the Ottomans
At this point Mick began to slowly withdraw his right flank and center towards my right flank. It was now a race. back in the town my infantry awaited the assault. At first things did not go too well with 2 of the 5 battalions fleeing before the enemy. However the others began to put up some stiff resistance. By now my hussars had ridden across the battlefield and engaged the rear of the Janissary's routing one unit and relieving some of the pressure.
Battle for the bridge
Hussars to the rescue
But still the Janissary's attacked another battalion broke and fled. Mick ow sent another detachment of infantry over the river at a discovered ford to attack from the other side. Here the were met by the 2nd battalion of the Markgraf von Brandenberg regiment and a ferocious struggle began. Each time the Ottomans thought the were in the town the Imperialist rallied and repulsed them. Eventually a unit of Janissary's managed to force there way into the town routing the other remaining battalion. The 2nd were on their own, the Janissary's charged over the bridge to be met with cold steel and they like others before them were repulsed by the 2nd.

As the 2nd battalion held on the battle had swung on a revolving door with my Imperialist troops pressing the Ottomans looking for a weakness. At this point Mick committed his remaining fresh troops against my advancing lines. They burst through only to be met with solid musketry from a second line and put to flight.

View from the town of the advancing Imperialists.
With his infantry line shattered, Mick made one more attempt to take the town and once again the 2nd repulsed them, though they themselves were on the point of breaking. My hussars were then in amongst the broken infantry to cause carnage. At this point we called it a day. The assault on the bridge had been a brutal affair and casualties had been high on both sides. But still both bridges remained in Imperialist hands, well just.

We were both very pleased with how our revised rules for built up areas worked. Showing how difficult it was to defeat entrench infantry and the importance of such positions on a battlefield.

Friday 11 April 2014

Knights with no name

In between putting together more troops for the WSS and Napoleonics, I have been slowly going through lead mountain . This time I decided to finish off some fantasy figures that I have had lying around for too many years to count. Now these guys have been used in the days when I played WHFB 3rd edition and though it shames me now, yes I used unpainted figures. So now it was time for a little re painting on some and a first lick of paint for the majority. The figures are a mix of old GW, including pre-slotta bases, some Burgundian foot knights from Essex and a couple of figures from Front Rank.

Rather small host
Mounted Knights
These Knights were the multi part guys that GW brought out on the horrible plastic horses. Sometime in the past I upgraded them to armoured horses. I do have 3 more of these guys but their lances are broken and one is missing his legs. Will keep an eye on EBay.

Foot knights
It's not a very rounded force but back in the day before army list I had units of Dwarves and Ogres added as well as some Norman Knights in a proxy role. In the future I may purchase a box of the Perry WOTR range as they will fit in nicely, also help boost the archer unit and fill out the Billmen. Well back in the box these guys will go for now.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Yet more Napoleonic madness

Well my journey to madness is in full swing. After painting those French cavalry I turned my attention back to the Westphalians. I have 3 battalions required to finish the 2 infantry brigades that formed the division as part of X Corps in 1809. And so 1 down 2 to go. These are the first battalion of the 6th Regiment, the figures are all from Old Glory.

1st battalion 6th Regiment
Skirmishers deployed
So progress so far on these is 5 line battalions, Grenadiers and Jager Carabinier battalion. I have the last line battalion prepped awaiting an undercoat. I still need to purchase the figures for the Jager guard. After this there are 2 regiments of horse to be done to complete the division.

Completed 1st brigade
2nd brigade to finish
Westphalian division
Once these chaps are completed it will be on to the Austrians as I have 3 more infantry regiments to complete before starting on some Prussian. The my decent into madness will probably be complete.

Saturday 5 April 2014

Napoleonic Madness

Well I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last post. So just to confirm that I am still alive and though progress has slowed I'm still painting and gaming. On the painting table I have had a unit of French Chasseur a Cheval undercoated for at least a couple of months. I just couldn't face painting them. So much so I have been painting some very old medieval figures that I have had lying in a box for about 25 years.

Now one of the things that have always put me off Napoleonics is the over fancy uniforms, especially the French horse. They look great when painted well. So with madness creeping up on me I took the plunge, picked out a unit, the 1st Chasseurs and began painting. It has been slow hard work, normally it would only take me a couple of days to paint a WSS unit of the same size. These took over a week and that didn't include the basing. So here they are, not the greatest figures I've painted, but good enough for me. The figures are from Eureka.

1st Chasseurs
In column
Rear view
After painting these I realised that I hadn't posted an update on my Westphalians, namely the finished artillery battery. These are from Warrior Miniatures. As with the Austrian battery I have not stuck the gun to the base for ease when adding a limber.

Westphalian artillery
Westphalian artillery
While trying not to paint the Chasseurs I decided to use a piece of spare hardboard and made a field. I picked up the idea from one of the Wargames magazines (can't remember which). Using pieces of balsa to mark out the edge of the field I then covered the whole base with sand before sealing in with Floor varnish. Then on the raised edges of the field I simply added clump foliage for a hedgerow. Turned out pretty good.

Homemade field
Unit added for scale