Monday, April 30, 2018

Mounted Crossbowmen for the Italian Wars

A number of Wargames Foundry mounted crossbow units have passed across the painting desk and one more such unit musters off the workbench today.  Not nearly as impressive as Iain's Herculean effort of fielding 108 pikemen in a month but these three horsemen allow me to clean out some lingering figures in The Lead Pile
These figures are from the Late Medieval range and sculpted by the Perry brothers.  Fine sculpts but unfortunately the Late Medieval range is smaller than Foundry's Renaissance range.  The horses and riders are a fair bit smaller than the much larger knights siding astride huge horses found in the Landsknecht figures.  Despite this size differential, on the gaming differences are minimized.  

With my recent focus on painting 15/18mm figures, switching in a unit of 28mm figures is a welcome relief.  Expect more 28mm work in the coming weeks including more for the Italian Wars project as well as the Reconquista. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe: Capture of Fort Oswego

French assault Fort Oswego
Peter fought out the French assault against Fort Oswego (See: French Campaign Game #10).  The French under the command of Drucour took the fort but at a high cost.  One unit of French Regulars was lost in the battle against the destruction of the fort's militia.  At least this important outpost on the shores of Lake Ontario is back under French control.  If an objective is successfully taken, casualties suffered are quickly forgotten.

Loudoun, in the wilderness with his defeated Regulars, was forced to forage having been repulsed from Fort Stanwix.  In the mid-summer heat, two of his three regiments wilted and succumbed to deprivations.  Loudoun learns a painful lesson about warfare in the wilderness.  Failure to capture a supply base can be as costly as taking one.
August 1757
Needing to accomplish more than one task, the British opt to roll on the Command Table hoping for the best possible outcome.  The chance at the Command Table yields three Command Points.  With three CPs, Loudoun and his regiment of Regulars slip into the now lightly garrisoned Fort Stanwix and a regiment of Regulars beats the Illini to Fort Duquesne.  The Cayuga make their way towards Fort Presque Isle.  The Oneida ally with the British.
British maneuvers AUG 1757
In response to British maneuvers, the French also opt for a roll on the Command Table.  The French receive two Command Points.  With two activations, Contrecoeur marches with one regiment of Coeur d bois to Fort Presque Isle while Bougainville travels to Fort Niagara to take over command of the fort.
Bougainville and Contrecoeur swap places
September 1757
With winter approaching, the British launch one more offensive.  Although recently reinforced by Contrecoeur, Fort Presque Isle is the target of British aggression.  Braddock and two regiments of Regulars march out from Fort le Boeuf and attack the fort from the south while the native warbands of Cayuga and Oneida attack from the east.  
Attack on Fort Presque Isle
Battle of Fort Presque Isle
British: Braddock (A0D1), 2 x 5-6 Regulars, 2 x 3-8 Native Warbands
French: Contrecoeur (A2D2), 2 x 5-6 Regulars, 1 x 4-7 Irregulars

Can Braddock succeed in capturing the fort or will Contrecoeur successfully repulse the British attack?  Only Peter can provide that answer!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Switzerland: Chateau de Grandson

Charles the Bold's hat captured
 following Battle of Grandson
When we visited Switzerland in May 2017, one of our planned day trips from Lausanne was a visit to Chateau de Grandson on the banks of Lake Neuchatel.  The visit to Chateau de Grandson was prompted by a recommendation from Oli from Camisado blog.  A good tip it was too!  Since Grandson was within an hour of Lausanne and it was a drizzly morning, wandering around a chateau seemed a good way to spend half a day.

From Lausanne, we took a train to Yverdon les Bain and then a quick fifteen minute bus to the chateau, itself.  When we arrived it was still raining and cold.  A drizzle not uncommon to someone accustomed to rain in the Pacific Northwest.  The rain did not dampen our spirits...much.  After being dropped off in front of the Chateau, we showed our pass and entered the chateau.  Before entering the building, we took a quick stroll around the ramparts.

After entering the chateau, we wandered into the armory with its many displays.  Included in the displays was a wall of toy soldiers,
a large camp scene diorama,

and a diorama depicting the Battle of Grandson in 1476. 

After scrutinizing the dioramas, I moved on to the arms portion of the museum laid out on display along the walls of a Great Hall.  All manner of Medieval weapon was on display but the assortment of crossbows was most impressive.

The exhibit even included a more modern weapon: a Swiss cannon from the time of the Seven Years War.

In addition to case after case of arms lining the walls of the Great Hall, a fine display of armor was present as well. The armor display I will save for another installment of Swiss travels.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

SYW Russian Musketeer Battalion

Not unexpected.  Not unexpected at all.  Seeing all of Jake's great work on his Russian SYW project, I found myself thinking that I could field a battalion or two for the Zorndorf project.  Since my Prussian contributions for Zorndorf are virtually finished, why not give Russians a try myself?
With fortune in my camp, 19th Century Miniatures offered a big sale over the Christmas holidays.  Perfect time to sample some figures.  Having painted and fielded two rather large Prussian and Austrian SYW armies from Old Glory (before 19th Century Miniatures bought up the 15mm Old Glory ranges), I knew how good the SYW figures were.  It really is a shame I sold off those two armies.  Oh well, the Old Glory armies have been replaced with Prussians and Austrians from Eureka.
Back to the Old Glory Russians.  I ordered enough figures for a couple of battalions.  When they arrived I thought the figures looked brilliant.  These 22 Russian musketeers from Old Glory are led by a Eureka Russian colonel.  Splendid battalion.  Their flag will wait until they have seen battle.

It will be interesting to compare the Old Glory Russians against Jake's Blue Moon Russians.  I wager they will look fine together on the gaming table.  The Blue Moon Prussian figures I have match with the Eureka figures quite nicely.  Anyway, I like these figures a lot.  At 40% discount, they represented a real bargain.  In with the 19th Century order were also a few packs of Prussians and Austrians in addition to packs for other projects.  I also recruited some Russian musketeers from Lancashire Games as a trial too.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe: Win Some, Lose Some

French flank turned at Fort Carillon
from Grid Based Wargaming
While the British July offensive has run its course (see Peter's accounts of the Battle for Fort Stanwix and Battle for Fort Carillon), the French are not done for yet.  In the Battle for Fort Stanwix, the Loudoun led British are repulsed with the loss of one regiment of British Regulars.  Loudoun withdraws back into the woods to reconsider his options.  At Fort Carillon, the battle is a bloody affair as the British under Monckton outflank the French defensive works and capture the fort.  Each combatant loses one regiment of Regulars.  Dieskau withdraws into the woods. 
British July campaign results
Since the combat at Carillon involved at least four units each and a leader, the fall of Fort Carillon represented a Major Victory for the British.  With the Major Victory and the loss of Fort Carillon, the Political Track is shifted three spaces to the right in favor of the British. 
For the French July operations, more than one activation is needed pressuring the French to take a chance by rolling on the Command Table.  The result is two activations.  That is enough to take care of immediate needs.  To avoid having to forage in the wilderness, Dieskau, as expected, leads his defeated force back to the safety and food of Fort Isle aux Noix.

While Loudoun ponders his next move, Drucour takes the initiative and marches his force of two regiments of Regulars on an attack against the lightly garrisoned Fort Oswego.  Abandoning Fort Stanwix will likely lead to its recapture by the British.  For the French, eliminating British influence on the shores of Lake Ontario seemed a better gambit.  History will be the judge of Drucour's decision.
French maneuvers July 1757
The Illini are successfully recruited to the French cause and advance upon the ungarrisoned Fort Duquesne.

Battle of Fort Oswego
British: 1 x 3-5 Militia
French: Drucour (A0D1), 2 x 5-6 Regular regiments

Can Drucour wrest control of Oswego from the militia?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Scenario: Combat at Foz de Arouce, 15MAR1811

French drawn up to defend Foz de Arouce
Having recently finished work on a Spanish church and not having the 28mm Peninsular War collection out on the gaming table in a long while, this weekend will see an historical action in Portugal recreated on the gaming table.

Combat at Foz de Arounce
In Massena's retreat from Spain, the French Army of Portugal made a night march on the 14-15 March 1811 to place a flooding river between itself and the pursuing Anglo-Portuguese Army under Wellington.  Having safely crossed to the right bank of the flooding Ceira River, Massena allowed his troops to rest on the heights overlooking the small village of Foz de Arouce.

Ney, commanding the French rear guard, had been ordered to destroy the bridge at Foz de Aource after having passed his troops over to the right bank of the river.  With little regard for Massena, Ney disobeyed orders and kept three brigades on the left bank of the Ceira.
The battlefield
Held up by fog and the burning town of Miranda de Corvo, the 3rd and Light Divisions did not reach French positions near Foz de Arouce until four in the afternoon.  Thinking it too late in the day for the British to launch a successful attack, Ney remained on the left bank of the Ceira.  Hoping to surprise the French, Wellington launched his attack at 5:00pm. 

The stage is set!

Scenario Details:
Ney's rearguard is situated on the high ground south of the village with Mermet drawn up across the main road while Marchand has taken up positions in and around Poisao.
Initial deployments
Wellington has deployed Picton opposite Mermet while the Light Division advances upon the French right.

The combat begins at 5:00pm and ends at midnight.  From 7:00pm on, night rules are in effect.

Only the Anglo-Portuguese Army receives reinforcements in this scenario and no French having crossed over to the right bank of the Ceira River may re-cross.  The Ceira River, swollen by recent rains may only be crossed at either the bridge or the ford.  Only leaders and cavalry may use the ford for passage of the Ceira.  The Order of Battle for combatants is detailed below with each box represented one BMU (infantry battalion, cavalry regiment, or artillery battery):
Victory Conditions:
At the conclusion of the final turn, Victory Points are awarded as follows:
2 VPs each for control of Poisao, Foz de Arounce, left bank of the bridge, and left bank of the ford.
2 VPs each for each enemy infantry, cavalry, or artillery BMU destroyed.
1 VP per enemy BMU still on table and routing.
1 VP for each French BMU in good order on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end.
5 VPs if no French BMUs are on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end (Anglo-Portuguese only).
5 VPs for each Anglo-Portuguese BMU in good order on the right bank of the Ceira River at game end.
Victory Point Objectives
The player scoring at least 7 more points than opponent is victorious.  Otherwise, the battle is a draw.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Genova Heavy Horse in 1859

Off the painting desk today are four squadrons of the Genova Heavy Horse Regiment.  This dozen Sardinian lancers are from Mirliton miniatures from Italy.  I continue to believe these are some of the best cavalry in 15mm for the 1859 period.  Great figures.
With the current emphasis on churning out 15mm/18mm figures for at least part of 2018, expect more work on this project.  Looking into The Lead Pile, enough Sardinian cavalry can be found to field all of the horse regiments seen in 1859.  Well, if not, close!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spanish/Italian Church

For a change of pace, off the workbench is a bit of terrain today.  This rather large church is from Old Glory's Pirate range of buildings.  This piece was ordered near year-end and only now makes it into the painting queue.  

With a coat or two of paint and stain, the church now is ready for use.  A dramatic transformation from the before photo shown below:
A battalion of 28mm Elite Miniatures' 95th Rifles stands guard in front of the church.  The comparison between figures and church provides an indication of the church's footprint.  It is rather large.  This fine building will likely see service not only in Spain during Peninsular War battles but with be at home in Italy for Renaissance gaming.  A versatile piece!  I may return to Old Glory for addition buildings in this series.
With this fine church ready for the table, the pull to draft a Peninsular War battle is strong.  I better get busy before that sensation dissipates.