Monday, 29 March 2010

War of the League of Augsurg

Yes, yet another digression from the original plan, (was there ever a plan?). There has been some figure exchanging going on lately. I have swopped a battalion of English foot and a unit of militia for a Dutch battalion and one of French. Now the dutch posed no problem, painted, based and with the correct flag they slotted into the Alliance forces without a hitch. The French posed more of a problem. They have had a chequered past, originally French they had been transferred to James' Irish army as Antrim's regiment and fought at the Boyne and Aughrim. They have since become surplus to requirements and therefore joined my French force. Unfortunately no regiment had their facings, so a minor paint job and a new flag were required. The choice settled on regiment Dampierre

The battle this week was the first installment of "The annexation of Chiraz", concerning the Electoral attempt to seize the Chiraz powder works. Events follwed those related by messers Grant & Olley, with the works captured, although casualties were sustained. The Electoral commander Major-General Karl Erfahren-Gemeinsam was in a particularly mellow mood following an excellent lunch at a wayside hostelry and allowed the vastly outnumbered Chiraz forces the honours of war as they relinquished the town and works. In the evening he walked by the river with his ADC and recounted his memories of visiting Petresville as a young man and the many happy hours he had passed rambling around the nearby mountains. At the time he dreamed of becoming a mining engineer, but fate intervened and he had to give up his studies under the eminent scholar Dr Strabismus, (whome God preserve), of Utrecht and find alternative employment.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Even more painting

Yes, as if to overturn my previous post on the lack of progress on the painting front, this week some figures have been completed. The project seems to have crystallised around the creation of some units to represent the forces contesting the occupation of the North West during the first phase of the English Civil War. Following my usual practice I hope to utilise some existing units and simply furnish them with a different flag. For the Royalists I hope to have foot regiments of Gerard, Molyneux and Tyldesley supported by a mixed bag of mounted troops. Parliament will have units raised in the towns in and around Manchester and East Lancashire. These units will also be serving (under different flags) as TYW Swedes and Imperialists, so I hope they don't succumb to having a crisis of identity.
Information on flags seems to be difficult to come by so I will probably be a little 'creative' with them, especially the ones for the cavalry units, which were often at the whim of their commander.

Gerard's Foot

Aspley's Foot

Our battle this week was set on the steppes. The distant lands of the Kingdom of Poland were being swept by Tartars, bent on recruiting the local peasants for the slave trade. Regional light cavalry units had been despatched to escort the populace to a place of safety and the Governor had ordered some regular Polish cavalry units to assist. As the game started the Cossack light cavalry, with two mobile guns in wagons were shepherding their motley collection of peasants towards a distant fort. A unit of Polish dragoons had also arrived to assist, just in time, as Tartar scouts appeared on their left flank. The Cossack commander moved his forces to present a flank to the Tartars and but time for the peasants to make their best speed towards the fort. He was aided considerably by the disorganised and fragmented arrival of the Tartar forces. The initial attack was stalled and this allowed time for the regular Polish cavalry to move forward.
A second, flanking attack was also held and for a time the Polish general thought that the day might be his. However, the constant probing by the Tartars began to create gaps in the Polish lines and once created these gaps proved impossible to close. In a short space of time all available reserves had been committed and still the Tartars probed for the breakthrough. An impetuous attack by the Pancerni and Hussars on the right created the gap that the Tartar Khan had been waiting for and within two moves 6 units of tartars were bearing down on the peasants with only two units to stop them. The artillery of the fort stopped one Tartar unit and the Haiduk foot inflicted casualties on another but enough got through to force the peasants into a tight huddle, ready for rounding up. Just as this was happening, on the far left, the gallant Cossacks and Dragoons were overwhelmed and yet more Tartars moved towards their prize. So the battle ended with the Polish regular cavalry having to hack their way clear of the whirling Tartar cavalry to seek the cover of the fort and leave the peasants to their fate.

Sunday, 14 March 2010


As a break from the sequence of battle reports I thought that this post could feature that other element of wargaming activity, painting. Now my progress on this front has not been too good of late; I did have plans to have three or four units finished by the end of February, but events intervened. There is also the constant threat of the dreaded "butterfly effect"; where progress on a unit is halted, sometimes never to resume, because of a new project which seizes the imagination. I must admit to a measure of this myself. At christmas I started some 15mm Austrian Napoleonics, then got sidetracked into ECW, because I discovered a bag of figures and purchased some more from a bring and buy. This then morphed into Grand Alliance, so I now have three lts of figures on my painting table. I sometimes wish I had the singlemindedness of some other bloggers (Will comes to mind), who can set out a programme for the year and seem to be able to stick to it. There is talk of a small scale SYW campaign, modeled on the recent Grant/Olley 'Raid on Chiraz' so no doubt my current admixture of figures will gain some new recruits. I will close with a recent proud moment. The first wargames figure painted by my grandson. He is only six, but shows great promise and seems to have begun to master the essential wargaming skill of rule debating!