Friday, 28 February 2014

17th Legere - Peninsular War

The first battalion of the 17th Legere sees the completion of my penultimate Legere battalion for Oporto and provides a chance to illustrate a variation in the look of these units in the Peninsula. I have taken the Bucquoy plates as the inspiration for the look of this unit which suggests the wearing of white waistcoats under the habite.

17e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere 
Regimental History
1793: 17e bataillon de Chasseurs
1795: 17e demi-brigade d'Infanterie Legere (1st formation, formed from the following)
         17e bataillon de Chasseurs
         1er bataillon, Volontaires de la Legion des Alpes
         2e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Allier
         9e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Ain
1796: 17e demi-brigade d'Infanterie Legere (2nd formation, formed from the following)
         1er demi-brigade d'Infanterie Legere(1st formation)
         32e demi-brigade d'Infanterie Legere(1st formation)
1803: 17e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere

Regimental War Record (Battles and Combats)
1796: Montelegino, Montenotte, Dego, Mondovi, Fombio, Lodi, Borghetto, Lonato, Castiglione, Caliano, Rivoli, Lavis, Saint-Michel, Klausen, and Milbach
1799: Bussolengo, Magnano, Bresica, Cassano, Bassignano, Mondovi, San-Guiliano, Novi, and Fossano
1801: Tonai, Storo, and Trente
1805: Ulm, Hollabrunn, and Austerlitz 
1806: Saalfeld, Jena, Prentzlow, and Pultusk
1807: Eylau, Ostrolenka, and Friedland
1809: Vigo, Braga, and Oporto
1809: Essling and Wagram
1810: Biscarette and Busaco
1811: Sabugal
1812: Arapiles
1813: Pampelune, Bidassoa, and Bayonne
1813: Wachau, Leipzig, and Hanau
1814: Vauchamps, Bar-sur-Aube, Arcis-sur-Aube, and Saint-Dizier

Regimental History quoted from The Napoleon Series

Colonel George Bueret who led the regiment in 1809 was promoted General de Brigade and wounded in 1811.

My battalion is composed of figures from the Xan range with an AB colonel and the standard is GMB.


Next up, the 2nd battalion 17th Legere and then it is on to the Portuguese for the Oporto campaign.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

4th Legere - Peninsular War

With the completion of the 4th Legere, I just have two more Legere units to complete for Oporto. In the absence of any other data on the precise look of this unit, and I know that is creating a hostage to fortune here, I have chosen to have my 4th Legere looking rather flashy in full dress with chords on and bearskins for the elite companies.

4e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere          
Regimental History
1788: Created 4e bataillon de Chasseurs Corses(formed from)
2e bataillon Regiment Royal-Corse
1791: 4e Bataillon d'Infanterie Legere (4e bataillon de Chasseurs)
1794: 4e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere (1st formation, formed from the following)
4e batailllon de Chasseurs
1er bataillon, Volontaires de la Creuse
5e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Ain
1796: 4e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere (2nd formation, formed from the following)
8e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie Legere (1st formation)
2e bataillon, 52e Demi-Brigade d'Bataille
5e bataillon, Volontaires de l'Isere
1er bataillon, Volontaires de la Charente
Batailllon de Nyons
1803: 4e Regiment d'Infanterie Legere  

Regimental War Record (Battles and Combats)

1794: Kaiserlautern
1795: Mayence
1796: Montenotte, Dego, Mondovi, Borghetto, Lonato, Castiglione, Rivoli and Arcole
1798: Pyramides
1799: Mont-Tabor and Aboukir 
1800: Heliopolis, Canope, and Fort  Bard
1805: Ulm and Diernstein
1807: Straslund and Friedland
1808: Rio-Seco, Vimeiro, Burgos, and Torquemada
1809: Villafranca, Lugo and  Corogne, and Oporto
1810: Busaco
1811: Sabugal and Badajoz
1812: Arapiles
1813: Vitoria and Bayonne
1813: Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresde, Kulm, and Leipzig
1814: Orthez
1814: Champaubert, Montmirail, and Vauchamps
1815: Ligny and Waterloo 

Regimental History and Battle Honours from the Napoleon Series

As can be seen the 4th Legere got a lot of experience fighting the Anglo-Portuguese forces in the Peninsular War so these chaps will be on the table more often than not.

My unit is composed of AB figures except the Carabiniers which are Warmodelling. The standard is from GMB.

Hail Caesar - Coming Soon to JJ's

I have taken the plunge and initiated a journey into the world of spear chucking and shield humping that is Ancient Wargaming.

The rule set I have decided to work with

I should make my credentials clear right from the word go, and those who know me will know, that I have only ever dabbled in ancient/medieval wargames and it has always taken a back seat to WWII and Napoloeonics. That said I have owned 15mm Punics and a few 28mm Wars of the Roses, but haven't really got into any period. In addition I do enjoy the occasional sortie into painting figures from the ancient-medieval periods as the work I have done for friends with their collections will illustrate. There is a different palette of colours to work with and the variety needed to present the less uniformed appearance of units requires working up combinations from the colour wheel that are less familiar when working in horse and musket.

My start point for my Imperial Roman Collection

The other revolutionary change that is about to happen on JJ's Wargames is that I will be featuring 28mm figures in my collections, where I have spent the last few years consolidating my collections around 15/18mm to allow me to streamline my terrain around a common scale. So why go into 28mm now I hear you say? Well the answer is based on a lot of thought by yours truly in terms of having a collection that shows off the undoubted visual appeal of a larger figure scale with a period that will require a minimal amount of terrain inclusion. Lets face it most ancient battles were in open ground, so that means a few larger trees and the odd bit of 28mm river and road material. If I want to go for field works and the odd temple building later that might be something else to add in time, but other than that the terrain mat and underlying hill arrangements should suffice.

I wanted to paint some horses so a few Roman cavalry to start things rolling

Well that's all very interesting, but why now and why Imperial Romans?

Simple, I have two driving factors influencing this project, firstly my enjoyment in working my way through the Mike Duncan, History of Rome pod cast over the last 18 months which has been a real joy to listen to and has worked up the creative juices to start putting paint to models. Any wargamer understands the need to scratch an itch when it develops, and Mr Duncan has really fired up the imagination with his highly entertaining and often amusing recounting of the story of Rome. 

The pleasure has only heightened by discovering a like mind in my younger son Will who has carried on his Latin studies to A level and in the process developed a passion for classical history that in turn has inspired his old man to learn more. I  introduced Will to the delight of listening to Mr Duncan and we both take turns in chatting about the pros and cons of various Roman Emperors and the way the empire developed over time together with the military implications. This usually ends with a plea from Will, "you've got to do Romans Dad".

All the guidance for putting the first armies together - looking forward to the read

I am a passionate enthusiast for wargaming and think our hobby is a fantastic way for young people to get into history as well as art, reading, travel and learning about why the world is the way it is. As a parent I am keen to encourage my lads to think about the hobby as something they might want to do as a past time, if not now, certainly later when creative leisure time will become a bigger part of their lives. So as a big believer of don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today I have ordered the figures to start the new collection and kindle Will's love of the classics. In fact the last thing he said this morning on his way to work was "When are the Romans coming Dad?"

The first of my Enemies of Rome

Well it's not just the Romans, I've also included a few Dacians to start the Barbarian collection to stick it to the Roman invaders. As you can see I have taken the Warlord "Hail Caesar" figures and rules as the foundation for the collection, based on the fact that Will and I want to get going sooner rather than later. Unlike Napoleonics where my own ideas are clearly defined on what I want to do with that period, this collection has to be more "off the peg" and so I can produce units quickly from their great range of figures. In addition the ability to use a large amount of plastics and the cost savings that implies means that the collection should grow quicker than otherwise. The painted illustrations from their associated painters are also a great inspiration and I am looking forward to trying to match the styles on show. One other factor that influenced me towards the Hail Caesar rules is the preference towards not removing figures as casualties but instead maintaining the look of the game by keeping the units on table with casualty markers. This is a start point, I'm sure I will make changes as we proceed and I have my eye on a computer rules option as well.

So there we are, something new to go with my Peninsular War project for 2014. The Oporto/Talavera project takes precedence and I have discussed the terrain build with Will's older brother Tom for Oporto which should be our Easter project this year. Next up will be the 4th Legere with a correction coming later to my previous 2nd Legere unit as I missed an important distinction that I had the information for but overlooked - thanks Ray, good shout.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

First Battle of Freeman's Farm 1777 - Carnage & Glory AWI

The 9th Regiment, at the Battle of Freeman's Farm, September 19th 1777 by Brian Palmer 
Military Print Company

I spent a very pleasant afternoon with my eldest son Tom and my friends at the monthly meeting of the
Devon Wargames Group where I hosted an AWI game of the Battle of Freeman's Farm using my favourite horse & musket rules Carnage & Glory, this set being the Seven Years War/AWI module. I have posted a full report of the game with more pictures on the Devon blog.

Map of the battle British Battles.Com
This is only the second time that Tom and I have played the AWI module with more experience using the Napoleonic set. It requires a mind shift to move from skirmish screens and columns to pure linear warfare and once or twice Tom said to me that he thought he could rely on his skirmish screen to protect his redcoats only to remember that these were Burgoyne's redcoats not Wellington's.

General Fraser's Wing gets stuck in in our fight for Freeman's Farm yesterday at the Devon Wargames Group

One thing that I really like about the way Carnage & Glory attempts to capture the period being played is the attention to detail on the formations being used.

This period of horse and musket warfare is dominated by the armies being able to deploy and fight in line using column deployments to the left or right or on the head. Both sides found themselves having to manoeuvre around the battle field trying to firefight threatened areas. This entailed a lot of passage of lines wheeling, about face and column to line formation changes, not to mention the issues of negotiating the broken terrain.

The program neatly captures the requirement for units to change formation using the drills prescribed at the time and when selecting the different options on the computer a very handy little diagram of the selected formation change pops into view which proved very useful in making sure the players knew what they had to do, without having to leaf through the guide notes I handed out at the start.

The game really flowed seamlessly and produced a very nice simulation of the actual events. It was also very nice to field my snake rail fences which added to the overall look of the game. If you are interested in playing this scenario I have posted the relevant files and unit labels in "My Scenarios" in the right hand column.

There is more information about using Carnage & Glory rules at the G&G Yahoo Group Yahoo Group and the C&G Web Site

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Snake Rail Fence build - job done

So after methodically working my way through terrain-scaping the bases of my new fences, they are all done and ready for battle.
Snake Rail Fence build part 1

I bet you can't guess which era my mind is straying to with these close ups of the fences.

However they will be in action this weekend in an earlier war of British presence in North America with a run through of the Battle of First Freeman's Farm 1777.

Going back to a previous theme on stressing the importance of terrain. It's amazing that the same figures that have appeared in many Peninsular War clashes on this blog can be transported thousands of miles in the mind of the viewer simply by adding a particular piece of terrain. You've got to love our hobby.

Next up will be a report on my game at the Devon Wargames Group this weekend and back to painting Legere battalions for Oporto.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Snake Rail Fence build

This weekend I filled a glaring gap in my terrain collection and dived into the world that is laser cut mdf terrain when I bought some snake rail fences at PAW 2014. If nothing else, I love the smokey smell that pre cut mdf gives off and as someone who enjoys the modelling process really found putting these model fences together a pleasure. 

I have seen the 4Ground buildings used at club in other games and was impressed by the sturdiness and style of the kits. However it is only when you put these models together that you find out how good a design they are. I have to say I really like them. The instructions are very straight forward, and with my cocktail stick wood glue applicator and modelling knife in hand put together two packs of these fences on a Sunday afternoon and had started to terrain-scape the bases in the evening. Once you get into the flow of what pieces are needed you can quickly get into production line mode and the job gets done quite quickly.

I am running an AWI game at the club on Saturday and will aim to have these models done for then so will post a few pictures on completion so you can see the final effect.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

PAW 2014 - Plymouth

When you start doing things like blogs, you start to appreciate how time slips by and a year later has come around. Thus I spent today with my annual trip down to Plymouth in Devon to attend my first wargame show for 2014 with the Plymouth Association of Wargamers at PAW 2014

As with last year I have posted a few pictures of some games that caught my eye whilst wondering around and chatting and picking up a few things from the various traders.

In addition, I can mention some breaking news for us 15mm AWI fans and particular those of us who fell in love with Polly Oliver Figures, way back when, some of which you can see in my various AWI posts. They're back and they are being produced here in Devon at Ashburton by Mr Dave Cook and his son. I actually got to see some fresh out the molds, whilst chatting to the very helpful chaps at Colonel Bill's.

My old Polly Oliver figures at the Devon Wargames Group - much in need of a re-paint and basing job, but still lovely figures
The Polly Oliver range is being supplied in packs of 24 figures for infantry with standard bearers, drummer and officer included for £9.00 and the cavalry in packs of 12 figures for £12. The artillery are packs of 2 guns and 10 crew for £7. 

So in addition to looking at AWI figures, I got a couple of bargain books to add to the Napoleonic library, which are in near mint condition for £5 each. I love a good book and these two are both very useful additions.

In addition to books I also picked up some of 4 Ground's 15mm snake rail fences from Colonel Bill's, to go with my AWI collection and my future War of 1812.

Ok, so to the games on show. 

First up the Devon Wargames Group were represented by mates Jason & Nathan staging a beautiful Chain of Command Winter War game on purpose built terrain. Just looking at those Russians crossing the snow towards the Finns in their foxholes makes me shiver with the cold.

Next up was a lovely Cold War game recreating an exercise in 1986 "Crossed Swords", To quote

" The Cold War has gone hot. After two days of fighting the Warsaw Pact forces have been held 60km west of the River Wieser in the BAOR area of responsibility. To the south the Belgian ... Brigade have been reinforced by the .... Reserve Panzer Battalion to the east of Gyros Teller, however are preparing to withdraw to the west of the town of Gyros Teller. The 1 RS Battle Group and a forward HQ from .....UK Armoured Brigade have been tasked to establish a defensive line at Gyrios Teller and allow the Belgians and Germans to carry out a passage of lines to establish a defensive line west of Gyros Teller. Elements of 6th Air mobile Brigade have been tasked to hold crossings over the Ems Canal to thew west of Gyros Teller."

Staged by Nick Turner and the Somerset Wargamers, this was a true delight to the eye and an obvious labour of love. Really impressive and thanks to Nick and Richard for taking the time to chat about the game. I gather they were going to take the weekend to fight this one through to a conclusion.

I plan to post an update with a link to more pictures of this impressive game.

BAOR Battle Group in Gyros Teller

Belgians and Germans holding and falling back from the Soviet hordes

Air Support

In the rear
And finally, I love naval games, and Age of Sail and WWII are my particular favourites, so I couldn't help but take time to admire this lovely representation of Pearl Harbour and Battleship Row from a Japanese pilots view point. This table was staged by Roger Dawson in 1/1200th scale and was an excellent display of modelling.

So all in all, a very nice way to spend a Saturday and fresh inspiration gathered to press on with my own projects for 2014. Well done to the Plymouth guys for a very nice show and a pleasant start to the year.