Thursday 26 February 2015

Plancenoit Battle Report 23/2/15

It's been a good while since the blog seen a battle report so I'm glad to say that last Sunday my own gaming drought came to an end!

Young David and I headed over to Grangemouth after being given the heads up that a couple of Napoleonic battles would be on the go. Gary (Rudorff from GdB) and some of the other members from the Falkirk club were getting geared up for a Waterloo game planned for this summer by running through a couple of sections of the battle. YD and I popped along to watch and somehow ended up with a brigade of Prussians each!

I took the iPad on its 1st wargames outing and snapped a few pics of the action on both tables(pics of the other battle will follow soon). So we were on the Plancenoit table, Plunket (Robert) supplied the majority of the Prussians and a small number of my troops got a run out too (which was nice). So Gary handed a very rusty me and a "now mostly playing Black Powder at the Carluke club" young David the 1st 2 Prussian brigades on the table!

I was a bit hesitant at 1st and Billy (can't remember Billy's handle over on GdB, something French I would guess?) being an experienced naps player threw us a curve ball sending forward his tiny chasseur a cheval regiment on engage orders. Now if you know the GdB scenario, the battle etc you will no doubt know the whole point of the action is for the Prussians to get right in there, hammer away at the French and smash their way into the French controlled buildings and force the French to commit the guard. Well I'm sorry to say we didn't! (I'll just add that my brigade was instructed to support David's immobile reserve brigade so couldn't advance beyond their position thus clearing myself of any future court martial from marshal forwards!).

It was a very nice atmosphere at the club, good chat, meeting new folks etc so a very nice day. However that said David and I should have thrown caution to the wind and got stuck in, anyway Gary (Blucher on the day) was very understanding of our rustiness (I should point out that I was a lot rustier than David as he still games most weekends).

Anyway after a standoff with the only French cavalry unit on the table on our right flank we headed onwards. After the game Billy showed me the related strength of columns against a single small cavalry unit unsupported, as long as your lucky with dice you stand a good chance with column. It wouldn't have mattered to much if 1 or both our brigades had been duffed over in a melee with cavalry as there was a huge Prussian force still to enter the battle and any casualties caused on the cavalry would have ended their part in the battle.

Our Prussian reinforcements finally streamed onto the table, blucher gave them an order on arrival and they were placed onto tactical march and sent on their way. This was the 1st time I had used the tactical march so it was a good bit of learning for myself. I guess because we usually play on smaller tables and have less time that we have never really used it, even with the tactical march it still took a good deal of time to get our reinforcements up into the battle.

A pic of some of the French defenders controlled by Rod and Billy on the day. I've no idea who supplied the French?

So as the troops finally got close to Plancenoit they started to sort themselves out.

It was a busy old place outside old Plancenoit (just like outside the post office on pension day!). It was tricky to deploy troops, artillery to engage in a fire fight on such a short frontage and having all the brigades arrive there at once didn't help.

The French did what they had to do in the time we had and I'm sure with another few hours we would have crushed them but on the day the French won because they held the buildings with no trouble and no guard was committed. We never even managed to get all of our reserve troops on the table!

I eventually tried a pointless charge with a very weakened landwehr battalion and as expected got bounced. I just couldn't walk away without putting 1 charge in!

So at the end of the game our troops stood poised to assault Plancenoit. On our left our cavalry had moved to a threatening position at the rear of the buildings and on the right Gary had the bulk of the quality attacking force near the church complex and all the troops (2 battalions) within the church were low on ammo with double 1's being rolled for both by Billy. The lightly defended French right was not under much threat from myself or David's brigade due to my last ditch assault and exchanges of fire.

It dawned on me half way through the game that I had played the scenario before with JP a few years earlier over in his garage and I was the Prussians on the day, we were playing GdB pretty regularly and I remember getting the troops into engage orders and getting up pretty fast then slowly wearing down his troops in the buildings with alternate fire from artillery, line and jäger before assaulting with fresh reserve troops on assault orders. I remember on the day the 1st buildings that were cleared were the lighter defended left (French right) and eventually the church was assaulted from 2 sides. We played the game on a broader front allowing more room to deploy also the table although large was not as deep so the time factor was not such an issue however this also cuts down on the time the French have to get shots in on the advancing Prussians although I don't think to much damage was inflicted on our advancing troops in the battle above so this may not be a great factor?

So in the end it was a lovely days gaming, having a blether with guys who know a lot more about the Napoleonic period than myself so it was cool just to sit back and listen. I was a little embarrassed with our impact on the game but Gary and the guys didn't seem to mind and I get the feeling that the main aim was to find out what was required for the scenarios. It was also simply great to play a GdB game again, and as the guys know the rules inside out there were no grey areas so pretty much everything went smooth.

I have been able to keep my painting mojo going this last couple of months however I did get an extra boost seeing my buddy Roberts Prussians out on the table. I have now cleaned up 2 landwehr battalions to complete my 6th silesians and have pretty much painted half a battalion. I hope to get the 4 battalion brigade finished by the end of March (famous last words again!) we will see!!! I also finished painting my Von Lutzow fusilier battalion and I'm in the process of basing them up.

A big thank you to Gary, Billy, Rod and my nephew David for an enjoyable days gaming and it was nice to get some of my toys on a table again! Also I met a very nice chap called Allister (hope that's the right spelling?) who had visited my blog on occasion so that was cool and he is running the large Waterloo game this summer. Now that would be something special to see!

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Guard Chasseur a Cheval WIP

Well John will be glad to see these guys making a showing at long last!

A wee while back my good friend John (Von Blucher) over in the USA very generously sold off some of his fine AB Napoleonic collection to help out a family member (or family friend I can't quite remember?). I was lucky enough to pick up his guard chasseur a cheval regiment (as well as some commands that I posted earlier). Unfortunately the postal service decided to put the package through its paces and a lot of the riders were separated from their mounts as well as a few bruised and broken bones.

Anyway I had plans to enlarge the regiment to a 40 strong unit and to make a separate 3 man command base so I set about taking the remaining troopers off their mounts and cleaned plus painted extra troopers and horses. They are not 100% finished yet but I thought it was time to share the . . . 

So this is the 1st 24 of the regiment and the rest will follow soon. I have a flag to reduce and a few little areas to finish off on the remaining WIP figures then they can join the regiment and then there are also the Mamelukes to add in!!! Yes I know it looks as though I will have to many troops! I'm thinking when the Mamelukes are done I may  split them and making a second regiment of 24 for my brother David?

So with my own painted troopers and horses mixed in with John's I really could not tell you who painted what? John did the regiment with bright vibrant colour so I tried my best to match them and I feel it worked well. I changed the faces to my own style so they match my other troops but to be honest not that different from John's own painting. The uniforms are definitely a lot lighter in colour than the chasseur a cheval troopers I have painted for my Napoleon command base and I really like them. I'm just not that brave to go lighter without following someone's lead.

This is the full 40 strong regiment, 16 troopers still to finish and a flag to add. They are really very close to being finished and I'll aim to have them done for the Waterloo anniversary battles we will no doubt have!

And a little dark pic of what else I'm working on at the moment. 6 lieb hussars not quite finished but very, very close plus I have just varnished another 4 Von Lutzow freikorp troops tonight! 12 down, 20 to go and the rest have all been base coated and have a lot of 1st shades and details done.

So that's me for tonight.

Have a good week and happy wargaming!

Regards Paul

Wednesday 11 February 2015

David's Swiss 2

As I mentioned in a previous post my nephew David and I had a painting session to get his polish uhlans on the go, well David also brought down a couple of recently finished items for me to photograph.

This is David's 2nd Swiss battalion painted and they are excellent. David's been refining his painting style recently switching over to the foundry triad paints, buying a couple of napoleonic box sets tinkering here and there and he can really see the improvement.

David's moving away from letting the black show through as we used to do for speed and moving into a whole new area of painting.

You got to love the Swiss! When flicking through my uniforms of the Russian campaign god knows how many years ago I had wee day dreams of doing Swiss, Croats, Wurtemburgers etc . . . Well young David is actually ticking these boxes that I never did!

Plus David is adding to his French command bases a wee bit at a time to. . .

 Then David sent me a text with this attached, Stunning!!!! David's test figure for another of those "would love to own" units for Russia . . . Croats are on the march!

I'll share more as David puts his army together (and not to be undone my brother David has been working on Waterloo Brits! I'll post pics soon!)

Happy wargaming!

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Landwehr Cavalry Command

This is yet another little command base I started far to long ago, getting knocked to the side because the cavalry general ended up looking far to much like blucher! I cobbled the general together from a spare head and body from another conversion and added some areas with green stuff.

This is the brigade command for my Landwehr and East Prussian National Kavalry regiments from the Katzbach OOB so it tickets off a pretty small box.

The EPNK trumpeter was converted a good while ago and looking at him now his braid is far to thick still he has a passing resemblance to the uniform and there are no other figures available that I know if so he'll do fine. He was converted from an AB landwehr trumpeter with an AB Russian hussar head added and braid done with pro-create.

I'm glad to get this one finished as it was sitting looking at me from the WIP box for far to long.

Ok off to work
Happy WarGaming!

Craig's Italians

Today I'm glad to post a load of Italian troops from my friend Craig over in Oz, if I live long enough I plan to do Italians myself at some point (but only after my Russians and Prussians are built to a very good size) so these are great to see! Craig sent me his pics and txt long ago so Craig I'm sorry for not getting to them sooner (rubbish computer problems!). So I'll let Craig's text explain his Italian army . . .

Brigade Martelli
For something different, I have attached some photos of a different formation from my collection.  As described earlier, as opponents to my 1813 Prussians I have been developing a Franco-Allied Corps from the same period.  I chose the IV Corps under Bertrand from the same campaign, as they were historical opponents at the battle of Wartenburg, and elsewhere.  The second division in the Corps is the 15th (Italian) Division under GdD Fontanelli.  The first brigade is that under GdB Martelli, comprising 5 battalions of Italian line infantry, or Linea Infanteria Italia.  These were ostensibly French citizens recruited from French lands in the northern parts of the Italian peninsula.  I relied for information principally upon Osprey, and an informative website  I painted these in 2008-9, using a block style, with a water-based lacquer finish.  Around this time I started experimenting with washes, with somewhat mixed results.  The figures are predominantly AB, although you might spot a couple of stray Fantassin figures. 

During this period the Italian troops wore a French style habite, in white.  The cockade was red, white, green, and otherwise company distinctions were as per the French style.  Facing colours followed a model similar to the French 1807 white uniforms trialled and issued on a limited basis.  The first regiment had green collars and piping – cuffs and lapels were white, cuff flaps were red. The second regiment would be the same, save that it also had green cuffs, and the third again the same, save that all collars, cuffs, and lapels were faced green.  The 4-6th regiments followed the same model, but in red.  The 7th Regiment had combinations of red, green, and white.

The first units are the 3rd and 4th battalions of the 1st Infantry Regiment (PrimoRegimentLinea Infanteria Italia).  1st Italian had been raised in 1805 and served in the 1806/7 campaign in Prussia, then under Eugene in the 1809 campaign, and subsequently in Spain.  They were recalled to Saxony after the Russian campaign, and served throughout the 1813 campaigns, heading back to Italy after Leipzig.

Photo of III/1e Italian

For the III battalion I used a slightly roughened campaign look – a mix of trousers, and covered shakoes.  I was also lucky enough to pick up a few chaps in forage cap, which I have featured heavily in this unit.  As a 3rd battalion in 1813 I rate them as 2nd line.  Italian units followed the same organisational model as the French, so this unit is fielded as 6 companies of 6 figures each.  I’ve chosen to depict the units with Italian flags on the Imperial model, rather than the coloured banners the French used after 1812.  I could find no specific detail on this, and was keen to give them the Italian flags, rather than simple banners.

IV/1e Italian

For the IV battalion I used AB figures in greatcoat, to reflect the hasty recruiting and equipping of the class of 1813 – a mix of trousers, and covered shakoes.  You might even spot a Fantassin chap in a pokalem forage cap.  The eagle bearer does not really belong in a fourth battalion, but it was a nice figure, and I was looking for some variety in a greatcoat.  I rate this 24 figure unit as conscript.

1st regiment skirmishers

In the GdB rules skirmish elements are typically represented when deployed by duplicate skirmish bases.  One of the distinguishing features of GdB is that skirmish elements (either light companies of line regiments, third ranks, or companies of light infantry) are not deployed by battalion, but instead detached to form brigade skirmish screens, which are managed as a single unit until recalled.  We like this feature.  But for the purpose of display, I have just shown the skirmish elements from the battalions of the 1st Regiment.  I have done a mix of uniforms, allowing at least one figure in habaite to be present per base, in order to assist in unit identification.

II/4e Italian

The other three battalions of this brigade are from the 4e Italian Regiment.  Their facing (or highlight) colour is red.  For the II battalion I used a more regular appearance, although still allowing a bit of campaign latitude through the use of a variety of trousers and headgear.  I also gave them an eagle.  For these uniforms, I used ivory over a buff undercoat.  I then used off-white for the belts to make the leatherwork pop out a bit more from the pale background.

III/4e Italian

For this 3rd battalion I again used a slightly roughened campaign look – a mix of trousers, and shakoes with and without covers.  When planning this battalion I imagined the ability to have up to half the battalion in firing poses, with alternate companies in loading poses, to capture the volley firing by peleton, as was the practice.  This would also permit a second rank in loading or advancing poses behind it if required.  As mentioned earlier, this results in a formation with a 3 company frontage which is historically inaccurate.  I don’t think I would do this again.  I started experimenting with a pale wash over the white jackets and trousers with this unit.

IV/4e Italian

This is again a fourth battalion in greatcoats to reflect their lower morale status (conscript).  And by now I have given away my internal turmoil over eagles in only the first battalions.  After all, they are Italians.  At this point I am still highlighting faces with white, which in close ups gives them that sunscreened look.

4e regiment skirmishers

I also have skirmishers for the 4e Regiment.

General de Brigade Martelli

For the command element of this brigade I have created a small base which adheres to my standard two mounted/ two foot figures for brigade command bases. I’ve included a grenadier figure from the 1st Regiment, in bearskin on this base.  The central mounted figure was painted by my friend John Baxter, gifted to me in 2003.  It only took me a 5-6 years to figure out how to use it.  You might say this was the catalyst for me finding an excuse to do Italians.  Thanks John!

Complete Brigade

So that is my first Italian brigade.  The skirmish screen is in the foreground, in the centre of which you can see the voltigeur officer and hornist command base.  To their rear left is the pair of battalions from the 1stRegiment, and to the left and centre are the three from the 4th Regiment.  GdB Martelli is to the centre, behind the battalion deployed in line.  You can see one of the Italian batteries to the far right flank, but I’ll show that another day.

Excellent Italians Craig, a fine speed bump for your Prussians!

Monday 9 February 2015

Wargame Bloggers Quarterly Issue 3

Issue 3 of the Wargames Bloggers Quarterly is now available and I was very fortunate that PK very kindly added one of my blog posts into it, basic as it is compared to all the lovely eye candy inside. You can find the WBQ here WBQ

Also I would like to add that 2 winners of 3 New Year give away prizes have still to be located!
They are Warwick Louth and Paul O'G. If you know them please let them know and point them in my direction. My email is:

paulalba2004 (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk

I'll keep the prizes for them till the end of February then I'll get Mai to pick a new winner for each and get them out. I sent all the other prizes out so if you haven't received your by now let me know.

Have a nice day!


Wednesday 4 February 2015

Mameluke WIP

Ok so I said I would be hammering on with my Prussian hussars . . .  

 . . .Well if you follow the blog regularly you'll know that there is always a chance I may just jump off into something else in the blink of an eye! I'm not sure if this post will be much interest to most as it's mainly for my friend John over in the US (Von Blucher)?

Anyway as the story goes, John sold me his AB guard chasseur a cheval a wee while back and very kindly sent over a selection of Battle Honours and AB Mamelukes so as I could add them to the formers ranks. We had some discussions and I made plans and I went about rebasing and adding to the Chasseurs. I have managed to complete 24 to a finish and have 4 more bases 90% done and I'll post them up when they are fully finished.

There is one problem with the BH Mamelukes, they are all in the same (at rest) pose and although beautiful they would look a bit odd alongside a charging regiment of guard chasseurs so conversions are needed! Saturday as luck would have it an osprey Mameluke book popped through the door and later on that evening John and I had a chat and also discussed the Mamelukes and Chasseurs and I decided it was about time I got stuck into them.

Inspired by illustrations in the book and also what I found on line I 1st converted an officer (kirmann I believe). He still has a good way to go but with a new right arm and head repositioned he's beginning to take shape.

Next up the chap carrying a tug, the top of the tug was attached to the arm of another smaller Mameluke (AB I believe). I tried to cheat and use the other figures are however the top broke of so I decided it was best to slice off the right arm of the above figure, drill the socket and make a new arm from wire for shape as I did with the officer. Still a wee bit of work to do on him and I'll try and find better images of the tug but I like how he's coming together.

So I'm keeping 1 original pose and the last figure will be (hopefully) a trumpeter! ambitious I know. I would liked to have done 2 bases of them however I only have 7 to work with and I don't know where to get another? I may look around for a basic charging AB figure and do a full conversion?
So that's them for the moment.

Also young David and I had a painting session on Sunday. He already had 3 Vistula uhlans pretty much done and had prepared 9 more. I concentrated on horses and he concentrated on 3 shading the troopers. Not bad for 5 hours work.

We plan to do it again soon to crack on with the other 12.

That's all for the moment
Happy wargaming

Awe ra best