Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Light Brigade Complete

This post celebrates two things. The first is the completion of the Light Brigade for my Great Crimean War Project, but second, on a larger scale, this completes the British Army component of that project. I have no doubt that I will find the need to expand the army with the inclusion of the Heavy Brigade at some point, but for the great game scheduled for later this year, this force is what is required.
That said, the celebration of the completion of the Light Brigade is tinged with a bit of regret. I wanted to get a level of consistency with these armies and my plan from the outset it had been the plan to use Great War Miniatures for this project, with the exception of the Cossacks regiments (because I wanted to use them for both the Crimea and the Napoleonic armies, I chose the Perry Cossacks) and the Cossack artillery (because Great War don’t do any). The regret I have is that when, after I had completed the 17th Lancers and 11th Hussars, Great War withdrew the Light Brigade cavalry from production while the figures are redesigned. Since my deadline is well before any redesigned figures will hit the ground, I was compelled to choose another supplier, of which there were two; Warlord Games and Foundry. There lay a quandary…the Warlord figures are the most compatible for size, but they don’t make any light dragoons…Foundry does. So Foundry it was.
Don’t get me wrong, the Foundry figures are very nice and in my opinion stand the test of time (given that they were probably designed twenty-five years ago), but they are a bit smaller and 20% more expensive.

Above is an example of the difference in size of two stands of hussars, Great War on the left, Foundry on the right.
And now for the pictures of the brigade...

17th Lancers - Great War Miniatures

11th Hussars - Great War Miniatures 

8th Hussars - Foundry

4th Light Dragoons - Foundry

13th Light Dragoons - Foundry

And the whole brigade, in the formation of the Charge: front rank 17th Lancers on the left, Cardigan front and centre, the 13th Light Dragoons on the right; back row, the 8th Hussars on the left, 4th Light Dragoons in the centre and 13th Hussars on the right

One item that really did please me with this batch of figures was the completion of the Foundry Royal Horse Artillery. Adding this unit has a bit of personal connection for me because my great uncle served a driver in the RHA in the Great War in France and in Palestine. I can recall that my mother had a large photograph of him astride his horse in full dress uniform, which was a great inspiration for me as a child. Sadly that photograph is lost.

Meanwhile the Great Crimean Project continues and the lead mountain grows with the arrival today of 132 Russian infantry figures, 54 French infantry, six Russian Dragoons, plus two guns and eight crew. Another 90 Russian infantry and 18 cavalry are on the way. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Action in the Vendée

In 1989 we played a game based on the rebellion in the Vendée against the French Revolutionary Government. We reprised the game again in 2004 and today we played a variation of the same game.

The basic scenario is a seek and destroy game in which the Republican representative from Nantes, Jean-Baptiste Carrier, a particularly vile individual known for his wanton cruelty, has been sent to subdue the Vendean rebels. He has come into town with his guillotine, rounded up a number of locals, including a supposed distant relative of the recently executed King and prepared to execute them. To clear the area of the rebels, and in an attempt to capture the local leader François de Charette, he has called in eight battalions of infantry, a squadron of dragoons, another of hussars and a battery of guns from the nearby Revolutionary Army garrison.

We commenced the game with four rebel units hidden on the stunning looking terrain. Charette's objective was to free the King's relative and three units deployed south of the town and one to the north.

The Revolutionary forces approached from the west and marched to the town. They then swing north on Carrier's order to clear that end of the table, before they were to swing back south to clear the ground there. 

As the hussars scouted the woods north of the town, the first unit of Vendeans struck, driving the hussars away before they disappeared back in the woods. Then Charette gave the signal for those rebels to head south (the signals were given by the rotation of the windmill sails). By the skin of their teeth the Vendeans escaped and went to ground in the woods and bocage south of the town.

Meanwhile the Revolutionary forces turned south and began an advance that looked as though it would systematically sweep all in front of it.  The Vendeans surprised and broke a battalion of Revolutionary infantry, who decided they had had enough and dispersed to the wind. Again the Vendeans slipped back into the bocage.

Then when it seemed unlikely that the rebels would be successful, they were able to slip into town and occupy the church yard. Then when a unit of sans-culottes approached the rebels charged out, drove them off and occupied the barn in which the prisoner was held. After beating off an attack by the Revolutionary infantry, the rebels, with their now freed captive in tow, exited the town.

The rebels swiftly retreated south to the woods and then attempted to make their escape off the eastern table edge. The Republicans came up quickly and a charge by the dragoons destroyed two Rebel units and captured

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Carlist War Armies Expand!

While I await the arrival of the next batch of Crimean War figures, I have been working through the Carlist armies.


First up is the National Militia. This is the first of two units of militia. I have done these with pale blue trousers, matching the image in the Conrad Cairns book.

I also completed the command base for a second National Militia battalion.


Second are two of what will be four units of un-uniformed Carlist rebels. I have fleshed out the stands with four of the priests and monks that I painted a couple of weeks back. The remaining two monks from that set will be used in other units: One (reading from a bible) will added to a command base and the other one will be giving guidance to an artillery crew.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

American War of Independence Game

Last Sunday we fought an AWI game. Lots of fun was had by all. We played for six hours for a hard fought draw.

I am a bit short of time this week to write up an AAR, but here are a number of images taken on the day.