Thursday, December 16, 2010

Emerging like Venus from the surf, albeit rather uglier and better-dressed

Well, with the sale & despatch of the bulk of my 28mm armies, I've had the financial opportunity to build some 15mm(ish) armies, along with the time to paint some, what with having no toys to push around the table. So, one large order to Eureka, and one equally large to OG15s, has furnished me with a sufficient pile of lead to ensure my personal viability for another year or two*.

So far, I've managed to get painted up Eureka Prussians and Austrians, about half an army of each so far ... specifically:
The Dunkelblau now boast 2 brigades of musketeers, one of fusiliers, and one of grenadiers, along with 2 brigades of cuirassiers, and no less than 12 batteries of artillery (this may have been excessive!). Still languishing, undercoated but unpainted, are 3 more brigades of musketeers, one of grenadiers, one of fusiliers, and of course the Guards Brigade: plus 2 brigades of Dragoons and sundry commanders, limbers, wagons, and other riffraff.

Der Weiss now have 2 brigades of German foot, one of Hungarians, and 2 more of grenadiers, supported by a brigade of cuirassiers and another of dragoons, and 8 batteries of artillery, and a train of ammunition wagons (shock horror). Petitioning for redress is still another brigade of german foot, another of Hungarians, and a brigade of Netherlanders, with a contingent from the Empire of 2 more brigades, with another cuirassier and another dragoon brigade lurking there somewhere.

Then there are the French and Anglo-Hanoverian forces, almost as large.

Hopefully the festive break will yield enough time for a few photos of the painted portion of these forces, and perhaps sufficient for a small push-of-pike with them

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The point of Uniforms

According to the history books I read when I were a nipper, uniforms were introduced to help tell armies apart, so that you had fewer of those annoying friendly fire (and friendly swords in the guts presumably) incidents.

So, I pick up some tricorn-laden infantry, dressed in blue coats with red facings. Oh, they must be Prussians ... or Swedes ... or French Guards ... or Scots in French Service .. or Spanish ....

so, what was that idea again?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Alas, due to the ever increasing weight of meine guten soldaten and the declining state of my health and fitness, I have decided to downsize enormously.

Specifically, to give up 28mm and build up 15mm (well 18mm) armies instead, so there will be something of a hiatus here while I purchase and paint up replacement armies (and sell off the existing ones to fund this, of course)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Goedelesherbach, Finale, (Part III)

L'Observateur is pleased to announce that our intrepid reporter has returned, essentially unharmed by his battlefield observations, somewhat soiled and smelling faintly of Madame Fifi's perfumes. Nevertheless, herewith the remainder of his report:

 Beside Esher village, the Campbell Highlanders faltered and fled from the combined action of Bollingers Chevaux-legere and Taittinger's Brigade of foot, allowing Bollinger's sabres to fall on the McDonalds Highlanders and make a meal of them* - then plunge on into the supporting Thuringer foot and drive them back in bloody ruin.

Icenian Highlanders going under a wall of grey coats

Martell's Arvergniards and the Colonian foot of Pontiac kept storming the village house by house, but it was a grim business, as Brigadier Dewars kept rallying his men and shifting positions within the village.

a combat acharne!
General Studebaker, distractedly trying to cover the ford and both sides of the river, sent half his men to try and corral the Brunschutz Horse before they completed their swim (to no avail, Schimmelpfennig led his men in a spirited gallop for the village of Goedel and, not coincidentally, the Arvergniard paychest). However, Watney saw this weakness at the ford, and personally led the Silurian fusiliers in a mad dash across the ford, braving the sweeping musketry of the Algonquin Continentals, then rudely dispatching them at the first cross of bayonets.

The Silurian Fusiliers storm the ford

With the sun reaching the zenith, Generale Taittinger finally took possession of the west end of Esher village

Taittinger's triumph

Meanwhile, as Martell and Pontiac gradually wrested control of the eastern village from Brigadier Dewars, the Butcher of Bakersfield, standing on the banks of the Bach, directed the gathering weight of his reinforcements to intrude across the river behind them - first a brigade of Thuringian Grenadiers, their caps jaunty with sunlight, then the Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Coburg Guards in support, while Brigadier Walker, after a black look at his Prince, led the Icenian Guards across the river further upstream, to keep the Gens d'armes off the Thuringer flank.

The bitter melee over Esher, with the Thuringer intervention visible (top)

Over at the ford, with the Silurian Fusiliers deployed, the Icenian foot swarmed across, eager to get to grips with the rather shaken Colonian foot who turned to face them (nervously glancing over their shoulders at the cloud of dust showing the location of Schimmelpfennig's horse).

Watney's Brigade brushing aside the Colonial foot
 General Remy-Martin, leading the Gens d'armes Royaux, took a long look at the glittering bayonets of a whole brigade of Icenian foot (still trailing a few river weeds, admittedly), and decided that it was definitely time to retire to previously prepared positions, accompanied by a volley of jeers and Icenian cat-calls

Remy-Martin evincing that rarest of Arvergniard traits, caution
 With the Icenians pouring across his flank, M le Duc de Claret had little choice but to order his battered army to fall back to the west, hurriedly sending Bollinger's Chevaux leger to join the Gensdarmes and cover the retreat.

Bollinger hurrying to make a front against the flank attacks

Prinz Hedwig, thus left in control of the field, the shattered village of Esher, and - most importantly! - the viands and paychests of the Arvergniard host, ordered his men to camp on the field and hold a Te Deum in praise of the victory God Almighty delivered to his hands.

*I'm sorry, I simply couldn't resist

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goedelesherbach, Assault! (Pt II)

A further dispatch from our undaunted reporter as arrived at L'Observateur, still stained with pigeon-droppings:

Much furious action has erupted on the right of the field!  While the Transoceanic mounted hastened forward, seeking conclusions before the odds lengthened further, neither Tanqueray nor Schimmelpfennig were loth to meet them, and the clash of sabres resounded loud! Tanqueray's two small dragoon regiments faced the two larger Arvergnian units, with mixed results (each winning one melee), while Schimmelpfennigs brave Teutons had the luxury of both pouncing on the solitary regiment of Colonian dragoons. 

Colonel Ford attempted to enthuse his raw Colonian lads, but a quick passage of arms put the whole regiment out of action, and the Braunschweiger horse poured into the laboring Arvergnians, quickly setting the whole brigade to flight -  the Hamburger Horse regiment decided to pursue them far into the distance, eliminating themselves from the further struggle.

Fore, Hennessy's Dragoons struggle against the North Picts, while the Ibernian Dragoons rally, and the Braunschweiger Horse move to support. In the distance, Chryslers brigade of Colonian militia advance hesitantly off their hill.

General Claret scoured the battlefield across the river anxiously with his telescope, then elected, in a rash moment(1), to commit his reserves to support Clintons troops there, dispatching the Maison (Cuirassiers du Roi and Chevaliers de la Reine) to hasten across the Ford, and following up with Studebaker's veteran Colonian foot. 

While these formed up, the advancing Icenians of Watneys' brigade of foot were encompassing the doom of the valiant Colonian Militia. Chrysler, the Colonian brigadier, saw the approaching doom - 4 regiments of Icenians leading off, with the menace of 3 regiments of Guards marching down the road behind them, and the dust in the distance presaging even more reinforcement.

 (rear) Watney's brigade advancing on the Colonial militia

Menaced by the rallied Icenian horse on his flank, Colonel Chrysler attempted to form on two fronts, leaving the 2 battalions of the New Guernsey States Guard overwhelmed by the lethal musketry of the Silurian Fusiliers and 3 full regiments of other Icenian infantry. His remaining battalions manouevred desparately, to little avail, before being quickly torn asunder by steady volleys.

The Maison du Roi hasten across the river, while (rear) Chrysler's Brigade form up to try and fend off an apparently endless stream of Icenians.

While the foot were being cruelly torn apart, Brigadier Lafitte and his proud Maison were discovering the disadvantages of trying to deploy in the face of the enemy. The Cuirassiers du Roi barely managed to form a line atop the Doltberg hill, before the Icenian dragoon brigade, shouting strange Gaelic cries, charged straight up at them, while the rallied Braunschweig Horse fell upon their open flank.

The Chevaliers du Roi fleeing into the Goedel marshes, chastened by the pursuing Braunschweigers

The Chevaliers de la Reine were in turn caught forming up by the jubilant Icenians, and put to flight back across the ford in short order. Great will be the lamentations amongst the court in Trianon this summer, at the loss of their favorites.

The North Picts and Ibernians crushing the Chevaliers de la Reine

Colonel Chrysler managed to rally his foot briefly, but was then overwhelmed again by the oncoming flood of Icenian foot and horse.

Chrysler's last stand, with General Clinton slipping away to the rear

Meanwhile, on the left, Claret's assault on the village of Esher progressed much more smoothly. He had placed three brigades of foot each in 2 lines, Taittingers foot, then Martell's, then Pontiac's Colonian brigade. The far left was covered by the Chasseurs de Bouillebas, while Brigadier Bollinger held his 2 regiments of Chevau Leger in reserve.

The Chasseurs and Taittingers Brigade waded through a tall corn field, and in their initial skirmishing, the Chasseurs decisively out-shot the Caledons, and Campbells' regiment took to their heels, their ridiculous skirts flouncing behind them. 

(left) The Chasseurs Bouillabasse putting Campbell to flight
Next into action, Pontiac's brigade plunged into the assault on the village, with Greene's Continentals clearing the Pferdweiss inn in fine style, driving the 57th Foot back to sulk in the Schneiderhaus behind the inn. The sight of the Colonian colors fluttering atop the roof of the inn brought a sturdy cheer, and a similar fluttering in the heart of all patriotic Arvergniards!

Major Greene brandishing the Liberty Standard from the roof of the Pferdweiss gasthaus

The assault has progressed successfully, with Martell's brigade clearing the houses bordering the Inn, and exchanges of musketry now rocketing across the main street of Esher.

Martell, and the assembled artillery, pounding the middle of the village

 At the riverline, Studebaker's brigade of foot, and the Gens d'armes, are deployed in defense, while the Butcher of Bakersfield has ordered his Teuton horse to venture to swim the current, while his brigades of foot approach the ford and contemplate an opposed crossing.

 The Braunschweig Horse swimming across the Goedel

(1) I assigned a 3-6 roll for him to decide to defend the river bank, so naturally he rolled a 1.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Goedelesherbach, the opening

Our fearless reporter for  L'Observateur has sent in a hurried initial dispatch from the clash of arms:

With le Marquis de Rohan stricken and restricted to his clutching at passing sailors from his sickbed, his second, M le Marquis de Claret, has taken charge of the mighty forces of L'Armee de la Grohne, and in accordance with the instructions bellowed at him*, has sought action with the combined Icenian-Thuringian forces around Kleinschweinestallstadt

Icenian defenses at Esher

Le Marquis' initial attack is driving along the left bank of the mighty Goidel, and has encountered initial resistance esconced in the town of Esher, consisting of a brigade of Icenian foot and another of barbarous Caledons in their dreadful skirts (and worse music).

Arvergnian forces arrayed for the attack

However, seeing approaching dust clouds, he has thrust across the river with some of his many mounted forces, and a brigade of ragtag Colonian foot drawn from General Clinton's contribution to the Transoceanic Alliance. These are detailed to guard the Fords of Fools and  keep his flank secure.
Colonian forces and a brigade of Dragoons

Sure enough, the dust quickly consolidated into an approaching brigade of Icenians, accompanied by the barbarous Butcher of Bakersfield, Crown Prince Hedwig himself (Ready Eddie to his cronies), with his usual attendant butler and courtesan.

Dewars Brigade of Foot approaches

General Clinton, with his customary circumspection, has immediately thrown forward all his forces, directing the nervous Colonian  Horse to menace the approaching foot, while the Arvergnian Dragoons are directed to the right, to counter the approaching Thuringer horse brigade.

Clinton (foreground) directing traffic

However, disconcerting his plans, Brigadier Tanqueray and his Icenian Union brigade has also trotted onto the field to support the Thuringern, leaving the Arvergnard Dragoons ruefully counting the odds.

Foreground, Col Hennessy's Dragoon brigade adding up, and not liking the answer
Schimmelpfennig's brigade and Tanqueray's Union Brigade facing them.

All is now poised to see the clash of sabres!

*Audace, toujours l'audace!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Well, having won the siege of the Sewing Table, we turn lightly now to the long-anticipated struggle at Sadbach.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the candlelit tent, Prinz Heinrich cursed and called for another glass of genever, feverishly examining his map (and brushing off the crumbs*). Having ventured so deep into Skyrian territory, it looked like the evil Kirchwasser had trapped him, coming between him and his magazines, and eluding his carefully prepared position behind the mighty Vysehrad**. Well, nothing for it but to force a way the whitecoats, and lunge northeast for home and safety.

Brooding over the inkstained mess, he decided to stand to in front of the village of Sadbach, deploying his dragoons on the right, the cuirassiers, and securing his heavy batteries on the small hill in front of the village. If the Skyrians hang back, his superior mounted arm should be able to smash their cavalry, then expose their flanks.

The morning dawned bright and clear, and the Kruppfalz forces shrugged out into line. On the left, Von Semmel's brigade of cuirassiers hovered nervously, wih Bismarks' infantry covering the hill, Pirchs brigade of foot forming the right, and Lavoissier's Dragoon brigade in close columns covering the far right.

The Pride of Kruppfalz
Von Kirchwasser, however, was disposed to a less supine posture than usual, and was preparing his own attack, with his right wing formed of both his cavalry Brigades (von Riesling and von Traminer), posting his Muenchener allies on the far left under Sylvaner, then Kerensky's Kalugan brigade, with Tokay and Hoch's solid Skyrian brigades filling in between them and the cavalry

The Scowling Skyrian hordes, leering with positively Stollenian malevolence

Heisenberg's artillery company, uncertainly eyeing the village of Sadbach

Before the good Prince could even complete his deployment, the rude Skyrians launched themselves headlong at him. On his left, he saw the Riesling and Traminer cavalry brigades galloping headlong at his rather weaker wing of cavalry. Heinrich cursed vilely***, and dispatched a frantic galloper to transfer the Dragoon brigade behind his lines.

Von Semmel (off) bravely shouting encouragement to his men from the shelter of the infantry

The PAZ reporter narrowly avoiding the hastening Dragoon brigade

While the Dragoons hastened, the first clash of swords roared over the field, with von Riesling leading his brigade (von Kornburg's Kurasserie) in pushing back the Seelhorst regiment, while Seydlitz' Cuirassiers, ably assisted by their escorting horse battery, held the Kurfurst Kurasserie to a bloody draw.

the Kurfurst regiment riding into canister range (top)

In the centre and right, Pirch's infantry brigade thinned out to cover the enormous hole left by the departure of the Dragoons. Pirch somberly regarded the weight of opposition and extruded the Ostergotland regiment, both to cover the Jagers filtering through the woods, and - hopefully - to act as a salient into the flank of the looming masses.

After a brisk exchange, one of the Ostergotland battalions fell back in disorder, but their steady accuracy had severely punished the Jager, who took to their heels, never to recover.

The Ostergotland firefight with the Miskeny Jagern

Brigade Hoch advancing on the Kruppfalz artillery, with one battalion of the Rakoczy regiment repelled by the weight of fire

After a savage passage of swords, the cavalry duel resolved itself - the Seelhorst Cuirassiers fled the field, while the Kurfurst Kurasserie was destroyed by the Seydlitz Cuirassiers, who in turn were taken in flank and driven to headlong flight by Kornberg's Kurasserie and the O'Reilly Dragoons. With the arrival of Lavoissieur at the head of his Dragoon brigade, the situation stabilised somewhat, while the Kerensky and Hoch infantry brigades poised to assail the Kruppfalz lines.
The Skyrian horse, victorious but bloodied, poised to attack the open flank

While the valiant Kalugan regiments followed Kerensky's bravely pointed arm into the assault, the Skyrian horse renewed their attack, with somewhat unfortunate results - Kornberg's Kurasserie falling back from the flailing sabres of the Kalkreuth Dragoons, while the O'Reilly regiment found the canister fire from Fahrenheit's horse artillery too hot to charge into, and refused point blank.  Better success awaited Kerensky's men, however, putting one battalion of the Oldenburg regiment to flight immediately.

The desparate intervention of the Kalkreuth and Bayreuth dragoons (bottom)

The Ostergotland foot duelling with the Rakoczy regiment

On the Krupp right, Pirch had progressed from phlegmatic to sombre to depressed(*4), at the sight of 4 battalions of Skyrians (Tokay) and 4 battalions of Muencheners (Sylvaner) pressing forward undeterred. He glanced with some small tinge of satisfaction at the Ostergotland battalions, who were putting paid to the damn Magyari foot, but - time and distance, time and distance, he muttered - not in time to open a flank and save the rest of his men, he considered.

The Erprinz Regt and the Sobiesky Fusiliers putting up a brave fight against the masses of their opposition

On the left, while the O'Reilly Dragoons were stalled in front of the horse artillery, then shot to pieces, von Riesling put his hat on the point of his sword, and led the Kurasserie in a series of stunning charges, first driving back the Kalkreuth Dragoons in confusion, then smashing the 2nd line, the Bayreuth Dragoons, in their turn.

von Riesling leading Kornburg's Kurasserie in joyous pursuit of the scattered Dragoons

The remnants of Traminers cavalry brigade fleeing the field

The action by the hill became general, with the (Krupp) Oldenburg regiment being crushed fairly quickly, but the 2nd line, Livgarden, put up a stouter resistance to the Kalugan masses. To their right, the Butyrsky Fusiliers exchanged fairly desultory volleys with the advancing Deutschmeister Regiment.

von Riesling clashing with the rallied Dragoons (bottom) while the Krupp lines falter (above)

Over with Pirch's foot, the Erprinz regiment put up a stout resistance, holding off the Skyrians, but after a valiant struggle, numbers proved too much for the Sobiesky foot, and they took to their heels
Last stand of the Erprinz

With his right dissolving, his left shattered, and his centre failing, Heinrich had a final swig of genever, then turned his horse and headed for the bridge, his only consolation being the rallied Dragoons finally destroying the last of the Skyrian horse by attrition, leaving them to cover the rout.

*The food, not his brigadiers!
** A pun on Die Moldau, of course :)
*** His pet daschund , Vilely
*4 Indeed, he'd quite lost his phlegm!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Recruits 5

Well, having the wargames board tied up and unusable has certainly given more time for the painting board. Recruiting Sargeants have been travelling far and wide, with beneficial results.

First off, the Icenian Crown has added a couple of clans of rough Caledons to their ranks:

First, Campbell's Highlanders, and next, McDonald's Highlanders (abandoning their ancestral Golden Arch to bear the Union standard for once)

Next, the forces of Kruppfalz recruiting drive:
Third battalions for the Ostergotland, Garde zu Fuss, and Oldenburg regiments, plus a detachment of engineers (far right)

A brand new regiment of 3 battalions, Schaumberger-Lippe, with a new combined grenadier battalion, Die Krup Grenadiern. (this is designed to also fit into Charge size regiments, 3 line companies and a grenadier company, of 12 each)
Plus 2 garrison battalions, and a couple of stray companies to expand existing battalions

Next, a Brigade of Imperial Reich forces
From the Margravate of Glacier, Margrave Franz-Josef and the Regiment Franz-Josef
Plus, the Waldenstein and Kurmainz regiments

Next, the Colonians have drummed up some forces from the state of Lenape: 2 battalions of Lenape Continentals and one of States Guard

Finally, new forces for Skyria:

Three battalions of the Isenburg regiment
A battalion of Isenburg Grenadiers, wearing the old-style mitres rather than bearskins

And 3rd battalions for the Waldeck and Nederlander regiemtns, and a couple of companies of Deutschmeister Regiment to bulk them out.