The one more project continues – the megalomania strikes!

I mentioned that there was one more project being planned. Doug and I had decided on the American Revolution (or in his case, the American War of Independence), The plan was to purchase a few packets of plastic figures, paint them up and have them ready for battle overChristmas 2015. We decided to each buy a set or two of figures and swap the British and the Americans. We had decided on 2 boxes of Infantry, half a box of artillery and a handful of Indians each. 40mm frontage, rules to be decided!

Doug ordered some Highlanders, Indians, cavalry and the mixed grenadiers and light infantry. He also ordered the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse Revolutionary War from IMEX and some Italeri British Light Cavalry

He was then going to package the americans and half the Indians and send them on so I could get painting – oh, and  half the artillery.

He noted that

As far as I can tell, we will end up with:

British
16 cavalry (+ 1 wounded)
88 usuable british infantry (+ spares) + 4 mounted
16 british grenadiers
16 light company skirmishers
4 guns + 24 figures
42 usable scots figures
24(48) indian figures

American
84 usable militia + 4 mounted
24(48) indians
4 guns + 24 figures

Doug also suggested that I may need a box of French.

I must admit, that I may have misinterpreted his original email because when I ordered some British Infantry to do a paint conversion to French. I also ordered 2 boxes of American War Of Independence – American Infantry from Italeri, an American Revolution War Of The Patriots Set from IMEX and two boxes of IMEX British Redcoats

I would have ordered IMEX Americans instead of Italeri but they were out of stock.

A calculation was made by Doug last night and his email noted:

“You do realise just how many infantry you are going to have? rough count, each box is 50 and the set around 100, so with the ones here, 100, you will have another 100 in the boxed set, another 100 from your two Italeri boxes, and with the Brits painted up as French – you could have up to 150 of those!”

All up, then we will have (approximately):

Redbox Highlanders – 50
Indians – 50
Dragoons – 32
Grenadiers & Lights – 32
16 artillery & crew
Americans – 300
British – 300

So if 50 Brits were used as French … that would be approximately:

American
25 Indians
16 Light Dragoons
50 French Infantry
8 artillery pieces
300 ‘Patriots’

roughly 375 foot

British
25 Indians
16 Light Dragoons
50 Highlanders
32 Grenadiers & Lights
8 artillery
250 Line Infantry

roughly 357 foot

Megalomania indeed!

Yet one more project

OK, Christmas, the odd beer or ten too many, a late night and a brilliant idea. All these items conspired to have Doug and myself decide that we were going to leap into a new period, a new project, in a scale that was at least new(ish) to me and in a medium that apart from World War 2 and the odd aircraft model, neither of us work in.

The image to the right is a pretty good hint.

So, Doug has sent an order off for some appropriate plastic figures in 1.72 scale, and I am in the process of doing the same thing As we hae been buying some sets, there is a period of figure swapping going to occur.

The plan is to shape up for the battle next Christmas, over the aforementioned odd beer or 10 too many!

Just what I needed, another project in the year that I decided to paint the fleets of Jutland!

Still, it is a good book, especially if you have an interest in that period.

French-Indian War – Battle Two at the Gun Bar

It started back on August 3rd, 2013, with the Battle of St Roll No Ones. That was the battle that I rolled so many ones and coupled with the following battle, had us wondering about dice Feng Shui as when we played the third game, Anthony was on the other side of the table. By now, two wins in Rank and File and from what was the poor Feng Shui side of the table now has me wondering if the Feng Shui is period specific.

2013-09-14 15.50.36We met for an engagement at Dresden’s Ford.

The French (that’d be moi) had stolen a march on the British and advanced to the village on the ford. Indeed, the skill of the French engineers and the efforts of the troops ensured the road across the ford and the cross roads were suitably protected with earthworks. The was designed to ensure the the British left a holding force in from of the earthworks and attacked, most likely, on their right flank

The French were ready for an attack on either flank but had le Blue regiment stationed there waiting for the British to come. They came.

The view of the battle from the British side can be seen in General Gage it is with some trepidation … 

2013-09-14 18.36.26 I fear the British powder was wet as they barely caused a French casualty all day. They advance, the French shot, the British routed. Overall it was a simple battle. Those foolhardy enough to advance on the earthworks were repulsed with heavy casualties.

Those attempting to work the flanks were repulsed with heavy casualties as well. The French Cause was aided somewhat by the British inability to roll a 6 (or a 5 or a 4 come to think of it when those were needed).

The photo above is from the Montgolfier brothers recent invention and show the final position of most of the forces.

Lessons and Comments

When attacking hard cover, I think the attackers probably need around 2.5 to 1 odds.

We need to have a look at the interaction between cavalry and squares – namely, how many elements in the square can fire on the cavalry and when it comes time to melee, how many cavalry elements and how many infantry elements get to fight?

Lastly, an about face. 1/4 move to about face and 3/4 move or  … ?

Battle of Malplaquet

Battle_of_Malplaquet,_1709Just when I was settling into decisions for next years projects it occurred to me that today, 11 September 2013 is the 304th anniversary of the Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Malplaquet fought between England, Austria, Prussia and the Low Countries on one side and France and Bavaria on the other. It was a battle that was famous for the commanders, John Churchill of the English (the Duke of Marlborough) and Prince Eugene of Savoy on the one side and Claude de Villars and Louis Boufflers on the other. Overall there were 86,000 in the armies of the Grand Alliance with 100 guns and and 75,000 and 80 guns on Bourbon side.

The Army of the Grand Alliance found itself at Malplaquet near the modern Belgian/French border. In the morning of 11 September 1709 at 9.00am the Austrians attacked with the support of Prussian and Danish troops. These were commanded by Count Albrecht Konrad Finck von Finckenstein. They pushed back the French left wing into the forest behind them. On the French right wing the Dutch under the command of the Prince of Orange, John William Friso, attacked to distract the French and prevent them from coming to Villars’ aid.

Later a decisive final attack was made on the weakened French centre by British infantry under the command of the Earl of Orkney. This attack occupied the the French redans. Allied cavalry was then able to advance through this line and engage the French cavalry behind. By this stage, de Villars was off the field having been wounded earlier so Boufflers was in command. Boufflers was leading the Maison du Roi and six times drive the Allied cavalry back before finally deciding the battle was lost and surrendering the field.

The victory for the Grand Alliance had come at some cost however with 21,000 casualties from within the alliance compared to 11,000 casualties on the French and Bavarian side.

Now I am torn again between the War of Spanish Succession and the Great Northern War. Of course, I could just do this as Imagi-nations. Oh yes, and I am still planning something with the Thirty Years War.

Rank and File – Hacking for the Great Northern War and War of Spanish Succession

Victory after the Battle of Narva
Victory after the Battle of Narva

Well, that’s a long title!

Truth is, after one game of Rank and File, I felt really comfortable with them as a rules system for the Seven Years War (7YW). After a week of pondering them, I find I am feeling really comfortable with them as a rules system for the American Civil War. I can also see me using them for the Great Pacific War (if I can ever find those bloody figures). I’m not sure about them for the Napoleonic Wars yet.

However, if did odcurr to me that if they work well enough for the Seven Years War, they should work well enough for the earlier ways – namely the War of Spanish Succession (WSS – Marlburian Wars to the English) and the Great Northern War (GNW – Stora nordiska kriget to the Swedes; Северная война to the Russians). During this period there were a couple of innovations in Europe and a little anachronism in Northern Europe.

Duke of Marlborough signing Despatch from Blenheim, Bavaria in 1704
Duke of Marlborough signing Despatch from Blenheim, Bavaria in 1704

Artillery was more effective as I understand later in the 18th century but apart from the pikes and the possibility of the odd plug bayonet what really separated the warfare of 1700 to 1721 from that of 1740 onwards?

Now I am researching some more and looking at modifying Rank and File to suit one of my sorely underplayed and modelled favourite periods of history.