Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lancashire in the Raw

Lancashire Games has a 15% off sale until the end of this month (January); I took advantage of the sale and placed an order on January 9th; the first half of the order arrived 1/`19, and the seciond half yesterday; excellent turn around time. the sale applies to pretty much everything. With the discount, a pack of 4 28mm Infantry is $5.42, about $1.35 a figure. However, if you order them in battle Packs of 16 (includes command figures), a pack on sale is $20.84. about $1.30 a figure. But wait, there's more... if you order 4 or more Battle Packs the price (on sale)  drops even further  to $18.06 a pack or about $1.13 a figure. The bad news is the overseas shipping - at 40% that's a real OUCH, but the multiple discounts above keep the price within reason.

    You don't see much discussion of their ranges, and the pictures on their website are fairly poor, so I thought I'd post some pictures of the figures I received "in the raw" as it were, before they are even primed. There was a modest amount of flash on almost every figure, but that was easily removed. the size of the figures is similar to Old Glory 25's, I'd say, just a bit chunkier. All packs have a mix of poses. I ordered a total of six battle packs - 4 of Prussian Landwehr and two of  Prussian Grenadiers (wearing their tall plumes - yay, one of my motivations for ordering from this manufacturer in the first place!), plus 2 Prussian Generals and a few single packs to fit my organizational needs.

   Although the storm Tuesday was much less than expected here in Western CT, it still kept us in all day, so I put the time to use prepping the figures and getting them ready for priming. Now I just need it to warm up to at least 30 degrees so that I can prime them in my garage! If I do that after the cars have been out and returned, the engine heat warms the attached garage up into the 50'/s.

First up an 18 figure unit of Landwehr. I culled all the "Advancing" loses from the 4 BP's plus, so this outfit will have pretty uniform poses, with a few men lacking hats.

Another view. I glue my figures to tongue depressors before priming and painting. I reuse them (ick, not after examinations, but with multiple crops of figures) many times before discarding the old ones for new sticks. The green blotches of paint indicate that this will be a Westphalian Landwehr battalion, with green facings. 

Here's the second unit of Landwehr; this one has the men in a "firing" position. I know some swargamers don't like this position due to tabletop and storage issues, but I like some of my infantry in firing poses. I actually ordered my extra Landwehr figures in "Firing poses", which worked out well. 

Another view of the 2nd unit; the yellow splotches indicate this will be a Silesian outfit, with yellow facings. 

The third unit is again in a fairly uniform "advancing" pose. The standard bearer is cast open handed and will need a Florist's wire flagpole added before priming.

The light Blue splotches indicate an Elbe unit, with Light blue facings. The figures have nice details in the folds of the Litewkas and pants, which should make painting them easy. They also have a nice raised Landwehrkreuz at the front of their Schirmutze caps. 

Here's the final Landwehr unit; this one had dark red splotches (Madder or Crab Red), indicating a "Rhein" department unit.

This unit has a cacophony of poses... perhaps appropriate for a very raw unit. The Litewkas of these figures vary in length considerably, just as they did in real life. 

Now we move on to the Grenadiers. Without their plumes, it is almost impossible to tell tell the Grenaiders from the Prussian Line infantry. Lancashire is the only manufacturer I know of who currently makes 28MM Prussian Grenadiers with their tall plumes; thanks to my friend Steve in Australia for pointing them out to me a few years ago!

The orange-red splotches indicates these Grenadiers will be part of an East Prussian unit.

The second Grenadier unit has a bit more variety of poses. No splotyches indicates this will be a Pomeranian unit (white facings). 

The Grenadier Standard Bearers are cast with alloy flagpoles; I will probably cut them off and replace with wire. 

The final unit is in predominantly firing poses; the first 4 stands will form a smaller unit, and the extra command stand will be be used to bring an exiting (Minifigs) Grenadier  Battalion up to 4 stands.

The yellow splotches again indicate a Silesian outfit. 

A pair of Prussian Generals by Lancashire Games. The other objects are finials with cords for the standard bearers; once again these will probably work better with wire flagpoles. I may or may not use them.

"Mein lieber General, bestellen Sie einige Zinnfiguren heute, vor dem Verkauf endet!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snappy Nappy - Planning The Waterloo Campaign

    We of the Hartford Area Historical Gaming Society are working out the details for our upcoming "Campaign in a Day" to be held Sunday April 26, 2015, using the Snappy Nappy rules by Russ Lockwood. We had a great time with our prior events, the first based upon the events of April 1809, and the second based upon August 1813. This one will depict the events of June, 2015. See the flyer below for the details of the event, which is open to all interested parties. I highly recommend the unique "Fog of War" experience of these events! 

"Scotland Forever!" - Lady Butler's wonderfully romantic painting of the charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo

   The event will be held at The Portal gaming space in Manchester, Connecticut. The Portal is directly across the street from its parent store, The Time Machine. It is superb gaming space, and ideal for this project. There is excellent lighting and a large number of 4 x 6 foot gaming tables available, most of which will be in use for this project. It worked very well for our 1813 event!

    At present, the plan is to "Zoom in" one level, so that a stand of Infantry represents 1000 men, a stand of Cavalry represents 400 men, and a stand of Artillery represents 12 guns with crews. Infantry and cavalry units generally have 2 stands per unit, while Artillery ubnitys have one stand only. At that level, the game could easily handle up to 16 players. Alternatively, if turnout is light, the forces can easily  be cut in half, which would put it back at the base ratios for Snappy Nappy. 

French Army, Napoleon I

1st Corps, d'Erlon
16 Line Infantry,  2 Legere
2 Hussars, 2 Chevau-Leger Lanciers
3 6# Foot Artillery

2nd Corps, Reille
12 Line Infantry, 8 Legere,
2 Chasseurs, 2 Chevau-Leger Lanciers
3 6# Foot Artillery

3rd Corps Vandamme
12 Line Infantry, 1 Regt Etranger, 2 Legere
2 Chasseurs
3 6# Foot Artillery

4th Corps, Gerard
12 Line Infantry, 2 Legere
2 Hussars, 2 Dragoons
2 6# Foot Artillery

6th Corps, Lobau
8 Line Infantry, 2 Legere
3 6# Foot Artillery

1st Cavalry Corps, Pajol
4 Chevau-Leger Lanciers, 2 Hussars,
1 6# Horse Artillery

2nd Cavalry Corps, Exelmans
8 Dragoons
1  6# Horse Artillery

3rd Cavalry Corps, Kellerman
8 Cuirassier/Carabinier
1 6# Horse Artillery

4th Cavalry Corps, Milahud
8 Cuirassier
1 6# Horse Artillery

Imperial Guard, Mortier/Drouot
4 Old Guard, 4 Middle Guard, 4 Young Guard, 1 Sailors/Genie, 
5 Guard HC (2 Grenadiers a Cheval, 2 Empress Dragoons, 1 Gendarmes d' Elite)
6 Guard LC (2 Chasseurs, 4 Lancers)
6 12 # Old Guard FA, 2 6# Old Guard Horse Artillery, 2 Young Guard 6# FA, 1 Line 6# Horse Artillery

French Totals:    89 Infantry, 55 cavalry, 29 Artillery
60 Line Infantry
16 Legere
1 Etranger
4 Old Guard Infantry
4 Middle Guard Infantry
4 Young Guard Infantry
6 Hussar
8 Chevau-Leger Lancers
4 Chasseurs
10 Dragoons
16 Cuirasssiers.Carabiniers
5 Guard Heavy Cavalry
6 Guard Light Cavalry
16 Line/YG 6# Foot Artillery
5 6# Horse Artillery
6 Guard 12# Foot Artillery
2 Guard 6# Horse Artillery

Anglo-Allied Army, Viscount Wellington

1st Corps, Prince Willem of Orange 
4 British Guard Infantry, 2 British Line, 2 KGL Rifles, 2 Hanoverian Lts/Jager, 2 Hanoverian Line, 2 Dutch Jagers, 2 Dutch Line, 6 Dutch Militia, 4 Nassau Line
1 British 9# Foot Artillery, 1 KGL 9# Horse Artillery, 1 Dutch 6# Foot Artillery, 1 Dutch 6# Horse Artillery

2nd Corps Hill
2 British Highland LI, 2 British Fusiliers, 4 British Line, 2 KGL Line 2 British Rifle, 2 Hanoverian Line, 4 Hanoverian Landwehr,  2 Dutch Light, 4 Dutch Line, 2 Dutch Militia
1 6# RHA, 1 British 9# Foot Artillery, 1 6# Dutch Foot Artillery

Cavalry Corps Uxbridge
2 Horse Guards, 2 Life Guards, 2 Scott's Greys,  16 British/KGL Light Dragoons/Hussars, 4 Hanoverian Hussars, 4 Belgian Carabiniers (HC), 4 Dutch LC, 2 Brunswick LC
(We have lots of Brunswick Cavalry, so some may fill in for the Dutch and Hanoverian LC)
2 9# British RHA, 1 6# Dutch HA 

Reserves, Wellington
4 Highlander Infantry, 4 British Line,  6 Hanoverian Landwehr, 6 Brunswick Infantry, 4 Nassau Infantry
2 RHA 2 British Foot Artillery, 1 Brunswick 6# Foot Artillery

Anglo-Allied Totals  76 Infantry, 36 cavalry, 15 Artillery
10 British Line
2 British Fusiliers
2 British Light Infantry
4 Highlanders
4 British Guard Infantry
4 British/KGL Rifles
2 KGL Line
2 Hanoverian Light Infantry
4 Hanoverian Line
10 Hanoverian Landwehr
4 DB Light Infantry
6 DB Line
8 DB Militia
8 Nassau Line
6 Brunswick Infantry
4 Guard Cavalry
2 Scott's Greys Dragoons
16 British/KGL Light Dragoons/Hussars
4 Hanoverian Hussars
4 DB Heavy cavalry
4 DB Light cavalry
2 Brunswick LC
4 British FA
6 British/KGL HA
2 DB 6#Foot Artillery
2 DB 6# Horse Artillery
1 Brunswick 6# Foot Artillery

Prussian Army, Marshal Blucher

1st Corps Ziethen
8 Prussian Line, 8 Prussian Reserve, 10 Prussian Landwehr
2 Hussar, 2 Dragoon, 2 Uhlan, 4 Landwehr Cavalry
2 6# Horse Artillery, 2 12# Foot Artillery, 4 6# Foot Artillery

2nd Corps Pirch I
6 Prussian Line  10 Prussian Reserve, 10 Prussian Landwher 2 Ex Lutzow Freikorps
4 Prussian Dragoons, 4 Prussian Hussars, 4 Prussian Landwehr cavalry
1 12# Foot Artillery, 2 6# Horse Artillery, 4 6# Foot Artillery

3rd Corps Thielmann
4 Prussian Line, 4 Ex-Russo-German Legion, 12 Prussian Landwher
4 Prussian Uhlans, 2 Prussian Dragoons, 2 Landwehr Cavalry
2 6# Horse Artillery, 1 12# Foot Artillery, 1 6# Foot Artillery

4th Corps Von Bulow
4 Prussian Line, 4 Prussian Reserve, 10 Prussian Landwehr
2 Uhlans 4 Hussars 2 Dragoons, 6 Landwehr cavalry 
2 Prussian Horse Artillery, 2 Prussian 12# Foot Artillery, 4 Prussian 6# Batteries

Prussian Totals:  92 Infantry, 44 cavalry, 27 Artillery
22 Prussian Line
22 Prussian Reserve
42 Prussian Landwehr
6 Lutzow/RGL Infantry
10 Prussian Hussars
10 Prussian Dragoons
8 Prussian Uhlans
16 Landwehr Cavalry
6 12# Foot Artil;lery
8 6 # Horse Artillery
13 Prussian 4# Foot Artillery

257 (771 figs)
139 (278 figs)
71 (220 figs/71 G)

Main Source used for deriving the OOB in Snappy Nappy terms:

With additional help from the Cent Jours site:

Map of the Theater of War from the Block Game, Napoleon by Columbia Games

I hope to see some of you there!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 95th Rifles - Napoleonic Wars

    Although perhaps the most famous British unit of the Napoleonic Wars, the 95th was also one of the youngest. It derived form the Experimental Corps of Riflemen, formed in 1800, which became the 95th (Rifle) regiment of Foot in 1803. The 95th trained in light infantry tactics along with other two other new  Light Infantry regiments  in 1803. A second battalion was raised in 1805, and a third in 1809. All three battalions served in the Peninsula and elsewhere during the Napoleonic Wars. The 95th was renamed the Rifle Brigade in 1816.

The 95th (Rifle) regiment.  Picking off officers of French units on a tabletop near you!

Old Glory 28mm figures. A is often the case, the green is darker on the figures than it appears in the pictures. 

The Baker Rifle was said to be able to hit a man sized target at 200 years, and as far as 400 years in the hands of an expert marksman.

Many of the riflemen were taught to read and write, which may account for the unusually large number of memoirs penned by enlisted men of the Regiment. Those in turn may also partially explain some of the fame of the regiment as it pertains to the Napoleonic Wars!

Similarly, there are an unusually large number of re-enactor/living history units inspired by the 95th, including outfits in the UK, the USA, and Australia.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Hos Blethan Affair - Lord Kalvan Sequel #6

    Of the several new books acquired over the Holidays, I was most eager to read this one. It was finally published in November, almost a year late, as a result of a life threatening illness by the chief author, John Carr. This side tale, set in the Paratime world of  Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Aryan Transpacific, Styphon's Houie subsector), which has roughly 30 Years War level military technology, is unique in that Kalvan makes almost no appearance whatsoever in its pages, although he continues to have a strong direct and indirect influence on events.

    The novel is set after the events related in the Sequel, "Kalvan Kingmaker", and immediately before those of "The Siege of Tarr-Hostigos". It chronicles the events in the Kingdom of Bletha set in motion by King Kalvan of Hos-Hostigos sending his "Chief of Intelligence", the former horse thief Duke Skanga, and a promising but somewhat hot headed Colonel from the Royal Army, Democriphon, to Hos-Bletha to uinitiate a 5th column action designed to tie up the armed forces of Hos-Bletha so that the Kingdom will not be able to send its planned contribution to join the Grand Host of Styphon, being gathered to crush Kalvan once and for all. Starting with a small band of leaders and a few companies of soldiers, the activities of Kalvan's agents range from raids to con games to Robin Hood inspired woodland outlaws, to systematically plundering the corrupt temples of Styphon and using the gold gained to fund operations. Along the way some old secrets are uncovered that further destabilize the regime of  Great King Niclophon.

    I don't want to give away any of the many plot tuns in the book so I'll merely say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While it lacks much in the way of battles that one might want to bring to the tabletop, there is plenty of fighting. This book was blast to read, and perhaps the closest in tone and style to the original Lord Kalvan of any of the sequels. I tore through its 650+ pages in less than a week! Highly recommended.

    At present The Hos Blethan Affair is available only in the beautifully produced but expensive limited edition hardcover book form; all of John's other works are now available in reasonably priced kindle/epub forms, either direct from John or via Amazon. John's site even has the 1st edition version of Great King's War (the first sequel to the original Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper) available for free download.

Down Styphon!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

60th Infantry Regiment "Royal American", 5th battalion

    The origins of this regiment date back to 1756, when it was raised as the 62nd Regiment (Royal Americans) in four battalions from American colonists and officered largely by foreigners (mostly German) of Protestant faith - the first time a British regiment had non-British officers. The regiment was re-numbered as the 60th Regiment in 1757. It fought at Louisborg and Quebec.

    In 1797, a 5th battalion was raised on the Isles of Wight, primarily from Germans, and was equipped entirely with rifles - the first Rifle armed Regular battalion in the British army. It was also  the first Regular unit to wear a green uniform (with red facings). A 6th battalion was raised in 1799; The 5th battalion saw extensive service in the Peninsula. The Light companies of the Line battalions of the 60th were later armed with Rifles as well. A 7th Battalion, again rifle armed, was raised in 1813 for service in the Americas during the War of 1812.  Later in 1815 the Regiment's name was changed to the Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps, and then again in 18130 to The King's Royal Rifle Corps.

The 5th (Rifle) battalion of the regiment wore dark blue pants with red stripes down the outer seams - quite unique in the British infantry. 

Battle Honors awarded to the 5th battalion include "Rolica" "Vimiera" "Talavera" "Busaco" "Fuentes d'Onor" "Albuhera" "Ciudad Rodrigo" "Badajoz" "Salamanca" "Vittoria" "Pyrenees" "Nivelle" "Nive" "Orthes" "Toulouse" and "Peninsula"

The motto of the Regiment is Celer et Audax (Swift and Bold). It is said to have been conferred by  Major-General James Wolfe. Apparently, Wolfe was was greatly impressed with the alertness, intrepidity and spirited conduct of the grenadier companies of the 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the 60th Royal Americans before Quebec that he conferred it upon them. Curiously, it seems to have been forgotten later, and only officially restored to the Regiment in 1824!

The 5th Battalion fought mostly in 1-2 company detachments dispersed among the Peninsular army to bolster its skirmishing capabilities.   28mm Old Glory figures.

The 5th battalion, 60th Regiment was armed with the excellent Baker rifles. It had the green cords and short plumes of a Light unit. Another of the many detailed regimental histories of British regiments, that for the 60th (this including a number of uniform plates) can be found online at:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Napoleonic Sailing Ships - Dutch

Prior to the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Dutch navy had been a force to be reckoned with. The vast Dutch colonial and trade empire needed good ships and captains to protect their far flung possessions and its commercial shipping. Following the French Revolution, Dutch maritime fortunes declined, the Dutch Navy being famously captured by a regiment of French Hussars (the 8th) at Den Helder on the night of  January 23, 1795. The winter had been extremely cold, and the ships were literally frozen in place. The French suck across the ice and captured the ships while most of her crews were asleep... or so goes the standard version. It seems perhaps that the truth is more complicated, and the Dutch fleet reached an agreement with the French rather than actually being captured (Holland was in a state of civil war between the French backed Revolutionary faction and the Orangists supporting the Stadtholder [Dutch sovereign]).  Either way, the ships of the Dutch Republic - Batavian Republic - Kingdom of Holland make a nice force that can be deployed to aid the French or fight them on the tabletop.

A 20 gun Sloop. the Belgica, and a 36 gun Frigate, Utrecht

Another view of the sloop and frigate; I painted the strakes of the Dutch ships a bright red color, shading towards orange, as opposed to the dark red I used on the Spanish ships seen previously. 

Next is a trio of 74 gun Dutch "3rd rate" ships of the line. 

Dutch ships had relatively shallow drafts to allow them to navigate the relatively shallow waters of the Dutch coast and the associated estuaries.

These three 74-gun Ships of the Line are the Dordrecht, the Alexander, and the Washington.

A view of all 5 ships of the Dutch squadron.

Another view of the five Dutch ships in my collection. It looks like we'll get to try out the Close Action rules tomorrow!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Great Britain: 2nd (Coldstream) Guards

    The 2nd (Coldstream) Guards is the oldest regular regiment in continuous service in the British army, Its origins date back to the English Civil War. It was originally raised as a regiment in the New Model Army by General Monck in 1650. During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Regiment saw service in Egypt, fought at Copenhagen in 1807, and was sent to the Peninsula from 1809 on. There it participated in the battle of Talavera as well as the Sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Burgos and San Sebastian, the battles of Fuentes de Onoro, Salamanca, Vittoria, the Pyrenees, Bidassoa, Nive, Nivelle and the investment of Bayonne. The 2nd battalion of the regiment participated in the ill-fated Walcheren expedition in 1809.
During the 1815 campaign in the low countries, the regiment fought first at Quatre Bras, where unlike the 1st Foot Guards, it was not heavily engaged. . At Waterloo, the regiment was famously part of the defenders of the Hougoumont chateau. Its losses that day were 348 killed and countless more wounded - extremely heavy!

The 2nd (Coldstream) Guards - 28mm Old Glory Figures. I was uncertain as to whether all the companies should wear the white plumes of Grenadiers (as in the Fusilier regiments), but looking at this re-enactors website, it appears the usual company plume distinctions were preserved (verified); I will have to correct that. 

I have painted all the companies with shoulder wings, which I believe is correct*, and for the Guards, the wings are in their dark blue facing color, rather than the red used by the flank companies of Line regiments. * see comments below - further research shows that the wings were  indeed limited to the Flank companies, although the 8 center companies had broad dark blue shoulder straps piped white. 

I need to order some more GMB flags - the Foot Guards Colors were unique in that the design patterns of the King's and Regimental colors were reversed, with the Regimental colors having the overall Union flag design, and the King's colors being crimson. To make things much more complicated, there were three different versions of the King's colors for Guard regiments (Colonel's, Lt. Colonel's, and Major's), and often even duplicates of these patterns due to the wear and tear caused by the ceremonial duties of the Guards. The Regimental flags were even more abundant, one per company, each with different badges/emblems upon them. Despite this profusion of designs, only one Crimson and one Union pattern flag were carried by a battalion in the field at any one time... thank goodness!

I have chosen to paint the regiment with the white pants worn for dress occasions, as a way of making the Guards stand out more easily on the wargames tabletop. 

The motto of the Coldstream Guards is Nulli Secundus (Second to None) which is a play on the fact although that the regiment was numbered as the 2nd Foot Guards, its history of continuous service as is longer than that of the First regiment. 

With the addition of this unit, my British Napoleonic army is now up to almost 300 figures, and my total Napoleonic collection now exceeds 6,000 figures! It will probably top out at somewhat under 7,000 eventually.