Saturday, 28 February 2015

On the work bench

The Saxons are here, finally finished the last 5 ordinary Saxon warrior's, again a mixture of figures from gripping beast and Magistar to give the bases an irregular look.
So know it is time to go to war.
The Saxon army
Im going to try the Saxons army v the Irish for the first try. I'm also going to have a go at using Basic Impetus rules both Dux Bellorum and Impetus use large bases so no messing with bases nice.
The army lists are a little different but I will be mustering.
The Irish
1 Nobles (the leader)
6 Fl           (warrior's javelins )
3 S             (skirmishers javelins)
The Saxons
1 Noble       ( the leader)
5 Followers (warrior's )
1 S                 ( skirmishers short bows)

this should be a interesting battle the Irish have manly light troops but are given javelins.
The Saxons are a traditional shieldwall army I have given them a base of bow armed skirmishers to help.

Close up of a Saxon base. Battle report to follow soon.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

On the work bench

Saxons for Dux Bellorum
So far I have painted up
 1 foot companions with leader
2 Noble warrior's
2 foot skirmishers  with bow.
The bases are a real mix of makes. Gripping beast mainly but with a few Essex and Magistar.
I have 5 more ordinary warrior's bases to go.
The saxon leader base is made up of later saxons large shields, yep I know the early saxons had small shields but I want to use these bases for the middle and late period armies to. So not historically correct but they have that battle harden look, which is what I like in my dark age armies, no shiny helms in my army. More of a rust and guts man.

The 2 Noble warrior's bases follow the same ideas also they carry the black raven banners a saxon favourite. My army has no riders at the moment but I might add some to give it some flexibility maybe replacing the leader and noble warrior's with there riders equivalent.
Hopefully more saxons to follow, then it's time for a battle.
Now Irish or Late Romans.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Battle report first Dux Bellorum battle

Late Roman v Irish
The mist cleared slowly to reveal the two armies in the valley, the Irish warlord looked long and hard at the Romans standing on the hill in there shieldwall he could see the famous knights of the Roman Dux. He gave a grim smile and the  war horns told his warrior's it was time for battle. Irish war cries filled the valley, and the Romans locked their  shields a little tighter.
General view of the battlefield

Romans battle plan deal with the Irish riders then swing round on the flanks with the riders and noble shieldwall ordinary shieldwall and bow are to hold the hill.

Irish battle plan Hold off the riders use the warrior's to attack the hill use the javelins to soften up the noble shieldwall and hit them with the noble warrior's then move in for the kill.

I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of the battle but give you the highlights. The Irish were the clear aggressors and advanced all along their battle line
The Irish move in on the Romans
In the for ground through riders are about to clash Roman Noble riders and mounted companions charge forward to meet the enemy, the Irish riders showing no fear charge to meet them.
In the back ground Roman bowman try too slow the Irish advance.
Roman Noble shieldwall after having javelins thrown at them smash the skirmishers and in turn are charged by the noble warrior's I fight to the death.
On the other side of the battle the Roman Noble riders slowly overwhelm the Irish.   very slowly.
The Irish ordinary riders put up an amazing fight
The fight for the hill is brutal the ordinary warrior's are hard men but they have the -2 on there combat role to contend with.
With the Irish riders finally broken the noble riders attacked the Irish warrior's on the hill this was just after the noble shieldwall finally buckled under the weight of the noble warrior's who know attacked the flank and rear of the ordinary shieldwall. Shortly after the Roman shieldwall broke. The Irish were masters of the hill.
It had been a hard fought battle. The Irish ordinary riders lasted longer than I thought they would. This gave the Irish warlord time to concentrate his warrior's on the hill and the Romans flank. Both Roman shieldwalls took one he'll of a beating before it finally broke. A hard fought victory for the Irish warlord.

Monday, 23 February 2015

war diaries part 7

February 17th  1798

At last the enemy is in sight. They are positioned on a ridge on the other side of a river called  the Volar,
we the light infantry are tasked with fulshing out the enemy to the east ot the bridge , our scouts have found an island to the east of our position where there is a ford with the island in the middle. I was posted with the carabiner and two companies of chasseur  there was  four companies  to our left and a further two companies on our extreme left the other battalion of the 20th was held in reserve to force the bridge itself, once we had control of the ford. Once we were over the ford we were to form a skirmish screen  to the east of the main advance.
We advanced quickly but almost as we cleared our lines we came under heavy fire from  enemy skirmishes along the line of our advance, we extended our order and pushed the enemy before us. At this point more enemy fired at our flank and we were forced to withdraw  and regroup this new attack melted away. We had lost 8 men in the early part of the skirmish this was going to be a hard fight the enemy were skilled skirmishers better than we had seen before, as we advanced again the enemy had already withdrawn to the island again we came under heavy fire as we advanced on to the ford using what cover we could we put as much fire into the tree line that the enemy now occupied. The island was heavly wooded with scrub  and fallen trees. The General d'Bridgade sent up half a battery of light guns, they soon set about firing on the enemy infantry i could see branches landing on there heads and a chear raind out each time an enemy was bolled over by a shot.
Three companies charged the for and island we ran knee deep in water as the enemy open up on us, several men fell into the freezing water but we rushed the island were there was a stiff fight at the bayonet point. We fought our way throught the island, we had to fight for every tree. The enemy were as determined to hold the island as we were to take it. They fell back leaving many dead and wounded. We had also lost heavly 38 killed and 60 wounded. Our new boys had foufgt well, it had been a true baptism of fire. We crossed the island and we formed our skirmish screen to cover the main afvance of the big battalions some of the men were sent back to tend the wounded. We advanced all day in skirmish order as the eneny once again melted away the battalion had done well but was tired the advance was halded but we were to advance a little further that day but we could go no further that day as the enemy slipped away yet again.
We cooked what little food we had and prayed for sleep.

Mo from the 20th soon.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

On the work bench

On the work bench: 10 mm LOA from Pendraken. These are great figures to paint although 10 mm in scale they have beautiful detail, that is easy to pick out with the brush even in this scale.
I like to start with the under coat that is also the base coat that covers the majority of the figures. In this case it's the coat colour. I'm painting one of the Huguenot regiments Colonel Cambon's part of the Williamite army in Ireland 1690s.
All the Huguenot regiments wore a light grey coat so this is the start point.
Next is the face and hands, not a lot of flesh on show in this period large coats&cuffs topped off with wide brimmed hat covers the figure up so just a little flesh to paint.
The best bit of advice I got from the Pendraken forum about painting 10 mm figures was to keep things simple, and to paint them like a production line. Although I'm only painting one for an example.
Next up socks, white for these figures cuffs and britches purple. Belts and pouches light sand colour. Brown for the muskets and black for the hat and equipment. A bit of silver for the musket and other equipment. No pike men in the Huguenot regiments, as they were all musket armed.
Hats were black the tricky bit is to paint the white edge l find if you use the flat of the brush not the point the result is neater.
So know you have a basic paint job. Next is the trick before you go for it, try it out on one of the figures also paint the figure a lighter colour than you would normally as you are going to ink wash them all over.
I use Winsor & Newton nut brown ink diluted half and half with water.
With a soft brush slap it on and leave to dry
The result is quite cool as the ink sits in the deeper details the figure comes to life. Once dry give them a coat of Matt varnish and done.
Some other examples Cambon's command and some Dutch blue guard infantry.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Look what I found

Not really a fantasy fan but I found this old Gandalf in a boot fair about a year ago I think he is from an early 80s set. I found him in a box of old bits just had to paint him up and post a picture.

war diaries part 6

More from Francais and the 20th

1st  February 1798
We arrive at Bruan' foot sore but we are still up to strength in our battalion only having lost 2 men. The men are drilled but still raw, we will see how well they fight soon.
I am almost 25 years old, and one of only a few men in my company that has any combat experience. We have few experienced men in the hole battalion other than our carabiner company who are our best men all veterans.

8th February 1798
My 25th birthday  we drank much in the camp that night.

13th February 1798
We March on frozen roads, many  men have fallen we have had 3 men die of cold and we have passed many casualties on the road side. The men are tired, cold, and hungry. Were are the enemy if only we could find them then our spirits would lift I'm sure. We have reports from our scouting parties that the enemy are close, it is just that when we appear  they disappear.

15th February 1798
At last we have found them, our efforts are doubled in pursuit of the enemy, at last the weather is improving, soon there will be a battle.
Enemies of the Republic advance on our hero

Thursday, 19 February 2015

war diaries part 5

Francais returns
15th August 1796
There was to be a large clash of which my company played part in. We were held in reserve. The army took Vhich to our left and marched onto Riovn, we're there was a large battle to push the enemy from there position by late afternoon, we were ordered to advance north through some Marsh land to flush out some enemy skirmishers that had been firing on one of our artillery  batteries. We advanced in open order, but our progress was slowed by the ground, having to wade through the Marsh at times we had to hold our muskets and munitions above our heads to keep them dry. We gained dry ground, but no sooner as our feet hit soled ground we were fired at from some farm buildings, and surrounding walls. We fell back to behind the bluff in the ground to regroup  Captain Mathias, lead some of the company on an assault  on the nearest wall line. But he was driven back with 3 killed and 4 wounded on the ground. I was sent forward with a skirmish screen into what cover we could. After which we traded shots with the enemy Captain Mathias lead another assault on the walls he was wounded  yards from the wall but the men charged on and reached the wall and  fought there way over it. Me and the rest of the company charged in support  there followed  a very hard fight the Austrian light infantry  we hard fighters and they were not going to give us the wall easily  we fought well but we were pushed back with loss. My luck ran out as I was captured with 14 other wounded men. I awoke with the wounded both French and Austrian a Austrian sorebone  had bandaged my leg, I had taken a bayonet to my leg and was knocked to the ground by a musket butt.  An officer in very good  French told me they were withdrawing soon and my friends would be here soon "good luck to you sir"  he said and he left.
As night fell our battalion moved up to our position  we had taken heavy losses we had lost some officers to Captain Mathias was among them what was left of the battalion was sent back to the depot to await recruits.

18th  September 1796
At hospital,  my leg had become infected and it will take months to heal. I am bed ridden.
I hear of hard fighting with mixed results.

23rd March 1797
At the depot our battalion is back up to strength,  training and more training, our new recruits are eager but very raw, some can hardly fire there muskets.

11th July 1797
We are on the move, we are to join the Armies d' Allemagne.
Francais will return with further adventures.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

War diaries part 4

We last heard of Francais walking back from the field hospital.
His adventure continues.
I caught up with my company and found that we had done well, but my captain would not allow me to rejoin the skirmish line. He said we had lost too many good officers and was not going to lose one so young. I was sent by the captain to find the battalions command to enquire about the battle. The fog was still heavy in the valley we were fighting in, and we had lost contact with the battalion command. There was musket fire to our West and north. The company occupied a farm complex and held the ditches and hedge line. 
I made my way back to the village of Advoch and found the GeneralD'Brigade D'Hours I informed him of our position on his map. The sun was clearing the morning fog. I could see our troops moving north of  Advoch, gaining the high ground. 
The general orders were for us to remain in our position to cover his flank,and to hold our position against any enemy wishing to turn this flank.
The sun had cleared the fog by the time I made it back to my battalion I informed the companies command of the generals orders. We arraigned ourselves into skirmish order along an extend ditch and hedge line and waited. 
At about midday we could see large numbers of enemy infantry maybe 2 fall battalions and number of squadrons of cavalry moving slowly down the road from the north of our position . We being only 1 battalion strong minus casualties,we're to few to hold so many. 
We gritted our teeth we had our orders. 
Lucky for us this must have been a mere bluff as only the grey coated light infantry traded a few shots with us as the hole host withdraw up the road they had just marched down. If they had ventured further they would have see how few we were.
Heavy rain started to fall there was to be no further action that day from us or the enemy  the ditch that had become our home became flooded, and we moved to dryer ground. Our company had lost 24 men killed and a further 20 wounded. One of the men that died that day was one of the companies corporals  I became a corporal that night. Our strength was low in numbers we had lost so many men in two days of fighting. I myself had been wounded 3 time's. Luckily the next few days were spent scouting and foraging. 
Francais  and the 20th  will return soon.

On the work bench

New Austrian infantry base on the work bench.
I like to start off with a basic idea  as to what the finished, base is going to love like.
I also like to have each base tell a little story. This one is going to show the unit in front of the base the moment when the officer is handing over the regiments flag to an ADC so they can be carried  from the field, as the regiments makes a last stand.
Figures are mainly from Italera from there Austrian infantry 1798-1805
The officer to the left has had his head removed as I want him to be looking at the ADC as he hands him the flag. There are casualties and a broken cannon, also a gunner removing a barrel of gunpowder. This figure is from Strelet's-r if your into 1/72 scale dioramas they do some amazing little sets of figures well worth a look.
Next comes the composition of the base hopefully what it will look like when complete but generally things change a bit. 
As you can see the main elements of the base are in place. The base has a second unit in the rear, as the base will be used in my Age of war wargame rules we're each base represents a brigade. Just the painting to go. I will cover some basic painting techniques in a later blog. 
Below are some examples of brigade bases.
I  like to use plastic figures as they are easy to paint and have good detail, not to mention cheap these days the choice of figures are huge. One old problem still remains if you use them for wargames the paint will flake off of bayonets and other thin part. So I came up with the idea of putting them on larger bases so you don't touch them when moving then around the table, and designed a set of rules around that. Hope so return with a basic painting,  on the work bench blog, and other projects from the work bench. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

war diaries part 3

11th March 1796
The  next day we were tasked with advancing onto the village of Vhich.
The morning was very foggy, the 20th  was to advance on the right flank of the main advance of the divisions. The main strike was to be the ridge to our north this was were the cannon was firing from last night. This is were the generals say the main body of the enemy is. Our job is to cover the flank of the advance. We advanced to our position early, the fog was still heavy in the valley as we begin to advance. We set off at 7:00 in open order  we covered the ground as best we could as it was full of hedges and ditches and boggy in some places.
To our left I could hear the dull thud of the enemy artillery as they started to open fire on our troops this must mean the main advance has begun.We continued our advance as we stumbled over hedges  and ditches from out of the mist, musket fire erupted we had found the enemy. I was wounded almost  instantly and for the second time in may arm. The enemy fire increased,we could not advance into this fire and our casualties started to mount. We had to feed all our companies into this fire fight,our numbers began to tell and the enemies fire began to slacken  bar a few isolated shots. The enemy withdraw out of the hedges and into the open, and then into another field complex. All this time they kept up a heavy fire we gained the enemy hedge line and at this point I was wounded and had to fall back to our rear. I awoke a little later still dazed. I wandered to the fight which had moved on some distance to the north of me. Francais adventures continue in part 4

Sunday, 15 February 2015

War diaries part 2

I present to you the fictional diary of Francais Ignace.

Feb 8th 1796
On joining my battalion I was made appointed junior for my reading and writing was a good standard. My first duty was as acting administration to the 20th DBda,le I took stock of supplies and numbers of men and recruitment. As with most of the army, we had little of anything. We had, had no recruits for months,  and food and uniforms were in short supply. We marched and marched with no sign of the enemy. Would this be a war of marching, would I ever see a battle.

March 10th 1796
My first combat  came when we were involved in the skirmishes south of Sulzbach we the 20th  were part of Augereus division, being light infantry  we were tasked with providing a skirmish screen to the  division. I was with a company of chasseur  we had 3 officers with us and about 112 men our company moved out in open  order 2 companies of the  20th  moved out the rest were held in back to be feed  into the skirmish line in support.
The clash started well for us we advanced in good order. The enemy opened fire on us as we approached the wood a to our north our orders being to clear these woods. I could hear musket fire to our left, our other company had also found the enemy. As we drew closer to the woods  we started to take casualties here the fire fight became heavy and the valley we were in began to fill with smoke.
We managed to dislodge the enemy for the edge of the woods and we advanced into the wood itself.
The diary 
The enemy  dead were dressed in brown tunics and blue  pantaloons we pushed our advantage with small charges with the bayonet and fire. All this time the fire to our left grew heavy and I could hear volley fire. In one of the many charges I was wounded in the arm. The enemy was reinforced to our right but so we're we. The enemy fire began to slacken as our numbers began to tell, and the enemy began to withdraw we had won the day. We had lost 8 men killed 16 wounded 3 of those would not last the night.
My friend Duphan and most of the others were killed when they were suppressed by enemy cavalry.  We advanced into Abvoum were we stopped, heavy rain made any more fighting impossible. The enemy fired a few shots with there cannon a few balls landing near us but did little damage other than damaging a few roofs. This was my first battle, and tomorrow would bring more. 
Our hero  Francais  in the centre 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

war diaries part 1

So this is the start of my war diaries. I think an explanation might be in order. It all started when I was playing a 20mm Napoleonic battle. I was asked to right a battle report. For a change  I wrote it as if it was a diary entry by an officer on the ground, a sort of a eye witness account. After much laughter and amusement, it kind of kicked off an obsession.
So I set about and with a bit of research I picked a regiment  the 7th Regiment d'infanterie Legere and so it began. What followed was a semi historical account based on the regiments history using  fictional characters. It became known as.
The Memoirs Of The Plastic Heroes Of The 7th Rgt

The games we played were skirmish battles or part of a action within a battle. Based on the historical engagements of the 7th. The rules used were my own light infantry wargame rules we're players have command of a battalion at most. Each battalion  has company bases and individual figures to represent deployed skirmishes. The battles we played were small affairs as the idea was to  get the early  skirmishes of a battle played, not the battle it's self.  Characters on both sides were resented,and if they became casualties the good old fate dice was used 1D6 was rolled and the fate of the unfortunate was sealed. Our main character was lucky  the fate dice smiling on him on many occasions, but will his luck part 2 I will present for you the first entries of the diary of Fracais I gnawed the 7th Regiment d'infanterie Legere.
French infantry advance 20mm plastics hat mainly

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Irish take the field part 1

Well here they are. The Irish are ready to test there metal against the Romans.
I have gone for.  Foot companions and leader 2 ordinary riders 2 Noble warrior's 4 bases of ordinary warrior's and 2 bases of foot skirmishers.
The Irish army stand ready

Top The Irish war Lord and his bodyguard, below
The 2 bases of ordinary riders.
Noble warrior's and below a wall of ordinary warrior's
With 2 bases of javelin armed skirmishes  to add a little fire, or just to brake up any advance.
Battle will be joined.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Out doors wargame

A few shots of a Waterloo game me and a friend put together a few moths ago for a help the heroes event in Surrey.
We ran a game based on the real movements and advances of the battle. Moving the elements of each brigade as per the battle. We also gave a talk to, as it turned out too quit a few people, showing weapons and uniforms.
A great day, and a very good cause.
The main table French in the for ground
Close up of the French lines
Close up of the allies, and some of the weapons  and uniforms used in talks.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Late Romans part 2

Late Roman line up Mounted companions with leader with a base of Noble Riders.They are going to be the hammer the 5 bases of Noble and Ordinary  shieldwall troops are going to be the backbone of the army, absorbing what ever the enemy can throw at them. 2 bases of bow will add a bit of fire power, also keeping the enemy skirmishes of the shieldwall. Well that's the plan first up will be the Irish. Nearly completed this army too, hope to post  some more pictures of the completed army soon. Then it's of to war.
       Close up of the 3 bases of ordinary shieldwall.
                   The Late Romans  take the field
For the first few battles I'm going to have a go at just line up and fight it out  just to get a feel for the rules.  I'm not going to give either side any strategies or tactics just keep things simple
Part one of the Irish  coming soon as well as more plastics and the start of my war diaries.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Late Romans arrive part 1

Finally finished the army from left to right
Mounted leader and a base of noble riders, noble shieldwall, ordinary shield wall, and a screen of bow.

The riders up close

Noble shieldwall