Friday, September 23, 2022

French Guard Voltigeurs

In Tuesday's post, I mentioned an upcoming Franco-Austrian battle and the discovery that the 1859 collection could muster no Guard Voltigeurs.  Well, 36 figures were pulled from The Lead Pile and pushed into the painting queue.  After three days of work, three battalions of the 1st Guard Voltigeurs will be present under arms for Monday's fight.  Figures are Old Glory 15s from 19th Century Miniatures.  Knowing that more guardsmen will be needed in future contests, an order from 19th Century Miniatures is hopefully winging its way to my mailbox soon.  No dispatch email yet so the custom order must still be in work.   
The shortage of guardsmen was not the only disovery when preparing for the upcoming game.  Having primarily focused on the Sardinians and smaller French involvement, I was woefully short on French commanders.  Luckily, French command figures are not in short supply in inventory.  Fifteen mounted officers were pulled out of The Lead Pile and shoved into the painting queue. Work still progresses on these officers.  These commanders should be ready for their debut by game day.     
Returning to Monday's upcoming game with the Rejects, the table has been set, troops deployed, and Battle Briefings distributed.  The battle will be fought on a hex grid using my version of Fields of Honor.  I hosted the Rejects back in May with a recreation of the Battle of San Martino.  Coming back for another go, we explore the fighting in the center of the Solferino battle.  With seven players, lots of figures, and not a lot of maneuver space for finesse this ought to be a real donnybrook.

To set the stage, the Battle of Solferino is a large battle.  It was the largest European battle since the Battle of Leipzig in 1813.  With the battle’s size and scope, fighting at the battalion level requires breaking the battle down into sectors. Monday's action will focus on the Center Sector.

The Austrians, having planned to advance against the French and Sardinians to the west were surprised when the Allies jumped into action and stole a march on the Austrian Army.  Having been caught off-balance, the Austrian 2nd Army primarily took up a defensive attitude around Solferino and San Cassiano.  The Austrian 1st Army, with more maneuver room on the Medole Plain attempted to take the offensive.  Even though the French were initially outnumbered on the plain, uncoordinated attacks by the Austrians allowed the French to fight the enemy to a standstill.

The primary avenue of attack for the French was along the spine of the Solferino Heights.  As the French 1st Corps attacked along the spine to the north (North Sector) and the French 4th Corp battled the Austrian 1st Army in the south (South Sector), MacMahon’s 2nd Corps remained idle, sandwiched between these to battles (Center Sector).  If he turned north to aid in the attack against Solferino, he risked being flanked by the Austrian 1st Army in the South Sector.  If he turned against the Austrian 1st Army to the south, he risked being attacked in the flank by the Austrian I Corps.

Finally, about noon, with reinforcements arriving on the battlefield, MacMahon and the French 2nd Corps began moving off to engage the enemy at San Cassiano and Cavriana.  MacMahon needed to engage the Austrians in the Center Sector so that I Corps could neither reinforce the battle raging on the Solferino Heights in the north nor the battle on the Medole Plain around Guidizzolo in the south.

The French goal in the Center Sector is to pin the Austrian I Corps and prevent it from reinforcing either North or South Sectors.  Defeating this Corps in detail will strengthen the odds of taking the difficult heights to the north.  Speed is of the essence!

The Austrian goal in the Center Sector is to hold the center while pinning the French 2nd Corps allowing the 1st Army in the south to overpower the French forces opposing it.  If successful, the French can be defeated in detail as the 1st Army defeats each weaker French Corps in sequence as it fights its way north.

With the Rejects requesting more fog of war in this battle, the photo of the battlefield below is all that I can provide at this time. 
Battle layout
Edit 23SEP2022:  Received email notification from 19th Centruy Miniatures saying the order mentioned above has shipped.  Hooray! 

38 comments:

  1. Wow, three Battalions in three days? Impressive output and no drop in quality of the brush work either. I'm happy if I can complete a Battalion in a day in 10mm!

    Great background detail to the game and nice and simple layout, which should make it easy for the players to amnouevre their troops. Certainly looking forward to the AAR. :)

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    1. That is correct! I did bring back a nasty bug on my flight home from Texas so short bursts of painting dominated by lots of rest is all that I could muster this week.

      My battlefields tend toward simplicity. Terrain does not get in the way of game play and I have not as much talent as your in terrain projects.

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  2. Impressive dedication to painting over the three days with no drop in your usual high standards. Good luck with hosting your remote game with 7 generals no less.

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    1. Thank you, Peter! I have more painting work to complete before Game Day.

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  3. Amazing output Jonathan to be added to what is going be a fine set to.

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  4. Back to the brushes with a vengeance Jonathan, nice work.

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    1. Indeed! This week has been either sleep or paint...

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  5. A speedy turnaround and they look great Jonathan. I'm looking forward to the AAR after the battle with the Rejects, who always seem to give it their all.

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    1. Thank you, Lawrence! It will be fun stage-managing the Rejects for a second time.

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  6. That’s efficient working!
    Chris/Nundanket

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  7. Nicely done Jon and quick work ? Battle of Ucles on Sunday 👍

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    1. Thanks! I know nothing about Ucles but looking forward to it!

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  8. Les Gardes Imperials sont fantastique, mon ami!

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  9. I think that painting rate is good in anyone’s books, but it is your commitment to getting a good game to table with plenty of research and the necessary prep to give everyone a good game that is most notable.

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    1. Norm, I do enjoy the research and game prep. Hopefully, those efforts become visible during games and are appreciated.

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  10. Gosh. You are clearly a painting machine Jonathan. Lovely units with which I and my fellow French commanders will crush the Austrian centre.

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    1. Thanks, Richard! My output cannot compare to some but I try. I hope seeing these guardsmen on the field will put the Fear of God into the Austrians.

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  11. I will watch this game with interest Jonathan. Hopefully one day someone will make a full range in 28mm for this war.

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    1. Hi Mark. I hope you enjoy the replay. It is surprising that there are not full ranges of figures in 28mm for this war.

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  12. Splendid looking unit of the guard and a great looking game to come!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you, Iain! I look forward to the battle. I know the Rejects have been plotting and planning ahead of the game.

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  13. Go on, admit it. You’ve invented a painting robot and keep it hidden somewhere in the basement……

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    1. No such luck. I have no elves or robot to paint my figures.

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  14. Impressive as ever Johnathan. I see you to picked up a bug whilst in Texas. Im still struggling with it. Solferino is a big and very confused battle so best of luck with making sense of it. The French once again had the prettiest army but their appearance didnt help them when it came to commanders. At best they were aggressive but mediocre, but they did know how to dress their men. If it was me I would aim to paint up units for all the Imperial garde because they are so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Robbie! Yes, I picked up a bug in Texas too and it still lingers. I feel a little better this morning. I was fine while on holiday but there must have been some nasty germs in the airport or plane on the two legs home.

      Both the French and Austrians have splendid uniforms for this period. Well, at least the French have an advatage over their Austrian opponents. While both may have been mediocre, at least the French were aggressive!

      Hope you are feeling better soon.

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  15. See, you don’t need Mark to paint for you. You’re a speed demon in your own right. I’m fact, I should get you to paint for me, the shipping will be less and I wouldn’t have to deal with that shady prince fellow… 😀
    Nice job and good luck with the game. I agree that a little Fog of war is fun before the scenario. 😀

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    1. Perhaps I do not need Mark's help but it couldn't hurt! That man is a Painting Machine. Shipping would be cheaper, for sure, unless I required in-person pick up.

      Thanks on both figures and upcoming game. I expect this battle to be a real toe-to-toe fight. On fog of war, neither side knows the speciifc composition of its opponent beyond general deployments and estimated force strength. Both may be in for a surprise or too.

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