Monday, 30 March 2020

My Favourite General

Following the lead from Nate at Natholeons Empires and his link to Matts blog Waterloo to Mons, here is my contribution on the subject of my favourite general from history.

I didn't have to think about this for very long and going with the concept that first impressions are usually right, the first person I thought of as I was reading Nates piece on the Duke of Marlborough was.......drum roll......Oliver Cromwell.

Now Matts concept for this was that it should be a piece of fun and I don't have to convince anyone that Cromwell was a tactical or strategic genius, perhaps he wasn't...all I have to do is tell you he is my favourite!

I will give some thoughts on why Cromwell immediately came to mind though. Firstly, that great  1970 film starring Richard Harris...I must have watched it half a dozen times at least, and it's still a cracking story! I know a lot of what is in there is a mish mash of history and important, even pivotal, events, are completely ignored EG the Battle of Marston Moor, but it's still one if my favourite British historical epics.

Secondly, in my opinion, Cromwell was on the right side of history in taking the side of parliament against the autocracy of Charles the First, albeit he was not a believer in universal suffrage and clearly demonstrated that later in the heavy handed way he dealt with Levellers and their like causing trouble and disent in the army.

Thirdly, I do think he was a pretty talented field commander...he won some very important victories , including his involvement in the aforementioned Marston Moor, which effectively smashed the last hopes of a Royalist victory, and also destroyed the myth of Prince Ruperts invincibility and the superiority of the Royalist horse. The battle of Dunbar, which it gives me, as a Scot, no pleasure at all to bring up, saw his weakened, sick, out numbered and out manoeuvred force round on the Covenant army and inflict an astonishingly one sided defeat on them....1-3000 scots killed and 10000 taken prisoner for the loss of 20 killed and 58 wounded in the Parliamentarian army...even allowing for a level of propaganda and hyperbole, this was obviously a crushing defeat and a remarkable feat of generalship. Likewise his later victories in the Second Civil War, again against the hapless Scots, showed his outstanding tactical and strategic abilities.

By all accounts, he was not really in favour of executing the King, but the latters constant double dealing in the end left him exasperated and he allowed himself to be convinced it was the only way to resolve things. Likewise, many may criticise him for disbanding the Long Parliament and becoming to all intents and purposes a military dictator, but again, it seems to me to have been a typically British dictatorship with a very light hand...what might be described as a benign dictatorship as we see today in the likes of Singapore.

So that's my choice and some of the reasons behind, it's your turn, so please, put your thinking caps on and let's hear who your favourite historical general was!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

The 15th (Kings) Hussars - First Two Squadrons Completed

Hi All. I am loading this via my work laptop which is now also my home laptop for the duration of our four week (at least)  lock down here in New Zealand. As mentioned previously, I am taking my time with these to stretch out my lead pile - its actually quite nice just spending an hour or so at the painting desk every now and then, rather than being in production line mode, trying to get through the figures and spit out another completed unit as quickly as possible!

At least I should be able to load the images in about two minutes rather than the twenty or thirty it normally takes on the verdammt iPad!

These are all Front Rank figures and dressed in the uniform of the middle period around 1812-1813 I think - after the tall, cylindrical busbies but before the British moved to shakos..

Fantastic - that all took about five minutes - a shorter time than just writing the initial couple of lines would have taken me on any of my posts since Dec 2019! AND as you can see, I can add comments after the photos are loaded as well..

Monday, 23 March 2020

From the Lead Pile.....

As we in New Zealand move to Defcon 1 in our reaction to the spread of COVID19, (from Wednesday most businesses will be mandatorily closed for four weeks), I spent yesterday searching through my meagre residue of left over and unfinished figures.

Now these are a genuine find, and something worth painting...twelve Front Rank British Napoleonic Hussars. I have decided to paint them up as the 15th, Kings, Regiment. I have had them part painted in a drawer for fifteen years at least...originally I was doing them for a friend but for various reasons, they were never completed.

This is the first figure...I plan to do a maximum of one per day, to stretch out the period I can fill doing this unit....not sure if I will post each one as it musters off the painting desk...

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Cacadores Completed!

Right on schedule, the completed battalion of Front Rank Portuguese Cacadores roll off the production line.

The Fourth Regiment were named "Beira" and were part of the Southern Division in the Portuguese organisational structure. In the division I have based my collection on, they formed part of Packs Brigade in Silvieras division at the battle of Vittoria in June 1813.

Standard brown uniform faced in light blue with white turn backs and piping.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The Fourth Cacadores Battalion - Halfway Point

I had intended this post to be a progress report and notification I would be off line till next Tuesday, but it now looks probable our trip to see our niece and her family in Masterton, will be cancelled due to the bloody Covid 19 alert.

Anyway, don't want too much of the real worlds crap to leak in here, so nuff are the first three bases of the Fourth Cacadores by Front Rank. The kneeling firing figure is an Atirador, the equivalent of an elite company. For some reason, although I got four in total, two per battalion, I managed to pair this guy up with a standard Cacadore ....the other Atirador will have to also be paired this way! I just couldn't be bothered pulling the base apart and starting again when I noticed the snafu!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Portuguese Reinforcements

On Friday last week, a small package arrived from the good people at Front Rank Miniatures....twenty four 28mm Portuguese Cacadores, enough for two battalions.

I am taking my time with these as it may be a while till I purchase the next batch of figures, so I don't want to get these done in a week or ten days. So far, I have more or less completed six figures, but only the following command element of the Fourth Cacadore regiment is completely finished.


Saturday, 14 March 2020

Friday Night Game - Melebasa AD 528

On Friday, Rick and I joined Julian for a To the Strongest refight of a battle between the Sassanids and Byzantines, using Julian's collection of 28mm Dark Ages troops .... they are not all necessarily ACTUALLY Sassanid or Byzantine.....

Basically it was a line up and charge game, as most battles were until 1500 or later, and using TtS meant there was little room for any complicated manoeuvring...perfect for a sociable Friday evening game! Rick and I led the four commands of the Sassanid army whilst Julian went solo with four commands of Byzantines. The main aim was for the Byzantines to seize and hold the hill in the centre of the table as they wished to build a fort there. The Sassanid army simply had to prevent them successfully occupying the position. The armies were pre set as per a map from Command and Color Medieval. Rick and I had relatively strong left and right wings but a weaker centre (very average infantry)

I won't give a blow by blow account, but will let the pictures tell the story. Suffice to say, with our slightly larger Sassanid army, we were able to wear down the Byzantine army morale (pile of coins as usual in TtS), We were successful on both wings and just managed to hold on in the centre, although our camp was overrun, costing us three lost coins! By the end, Julian dropped to zero and we had four coins quite close run.

Photos below in order
The scenario in the book
Table view at start of game
The Sassanid line
The Byzantine line
Move one B cavalry take the hill
S right wing (my command) advances
S left wing under Rick
S left wing wins first clash
S archers on the left disordered after combat with B heavy infantry
The S right wing advances
The S left wing victorious ...only the B general survives
The B cavalry charge from the hill to threaten S camp
S right wing v's B left
S left wing achieve complete victory
B cavalry still hold the hill in the centre
B cavalry overrun our camp taking three coins
B cavalry advance off the hill
S right takes B infantry in the flank but fails to break them
Disordered S cataphracts
S left wing cavalry pursue B cavalry off the central hill
Final picture of the table from the same position as pic two above

Thursday, 12 March 2020

British Napoleonic Horseguards (The Blues) Completed

These images have not come out as nicely as I would have liked, I am not sure why.... I did try to take an image of the full unit but I could not fit them into my Jerry built photo booth. As an aside, when I first started gaming with my group, the accepted basing size was 30mm frontage by 40mm depth for infantry and 40mm frontage by whatever depth was necessary (usually 50mm) for cavalry. At some point (I think when most of the guys collected ACW) they changed infantry to 40mm squares.

In recent years, our general acceptance of standardised basing seems to have gone by the wayside...Mark has used three bases of 60mm frontage per unit for some of his recent armies and our WWI and RCW have used the FoW 45mm x 20mm bases with three infantry on each...except for Julian, who used 40mm squares!

The point of this ramble is this....the Warlord boxes come supplied with plastic bases. These are 50mm square. For the Scots Greys, I cut off 10mm, so they have a 40mm frontage...but it was quite hard fitting the figures with the Blues, I decided to just use the bases the way they regiment will have a greater frontage but so what, it doesn't seem to worry anyone else! If it becomes a problem, I can put five bases at 250mm frontage against six at 240mm...close enough not to matter.

Anyway, here are the not so great images...hope you like them more than I did! Oh by the way the last image I took just so anyone who hasn't used thes figures before can see the (what I think is quite a nifty) way Warlord cast the "base" at the end of two of each horses feet....