Monday, 24 February 2014

London trip

I have just returned from a short break in London.  The weather was pretty good, no rain, which was a relief.  We took advantage of the sun to walk along the embankment and look at the memorial to the RAF and the Battle of Britain.

Our destination was the Household Cavalry Museum and on Whitehall is the memorial to the Women of WWII
The museum is pretty small, but has some quite interesting displays.  Alongside the helmets and ornamental 19th century armour was this plug bayonet; which I assume related to the Royal Dragoons in their early role as mounted infantry.

The gauntlet in the background formed part of a collection of classic "harquebusier" equipment, with front and back plate and helmet, you could clearly see the 'proving' mark on the breast plate.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Austrian infantry

With family  and other priorities, Steve and I have not managed to meet for a game for two weeks and with half term that is likely to extend to three weeks.  However, I have managed to find my paint brush and fight my way to my painting table to finish the first unit of Austrian infantry for my Grand Alliance collection.  The figures are Wargames Factory plastics and work out pretty good value, plus with all the options available in the box all sorts of units/nationalities can be created.

I decided to paint the figures as Regiment Furstenburg, like the majority of Austrian units they had pearl grey coats with red facings. The Pike & Shot Society publication on the Austrian Army by Robert Hall and Giancarlo Boeri provides all the uniform and flag information via its excellent plates. In the introduction, mention is made that the Austrians fought two different types of opponents during this period, the Ottomans and the French and their allies. For the former they discarded their pikes and relied more on firepower, therefore I painted up an extra two figures of musketeers so I could swop out the pikes for the campaigns in the east.

 For the western theatre I can retain the pikes and swop the extra musketeers for the grenadiers and then group the grenadiers from several battalions into a composite battalion

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Gentlemen Pensioners Vapnartak weekend

A double-header for last weekend, a reprise of Brandywine on the Saturday,followed by a trip over the Pennines to York for Simon Chick's Cravant game.

We drew cards for commands on Saturday morning and once again I commanded the British left flank.  One change in the deployment was that Mathews elite brigade was put on the far right, by the fords to lead the attack, rather than get tied up in the fields and fences in the centre.  As often happens in larger multi-player games I had little idea what was happening on the opposite flank as I was soon involved in a a protracted struggle to secure the crossroads by the Meeting House.  Grey's brigade advanced against the Virginia battalion defending the crossroads

Ian, my opponent was struggling to get his reserves forward, but this lone battalion bought him the time he needed and although pushed back to the meeting house, rallied and took their place in the line again.

Von Donop's brigade made swift progress at first but once they reached the turnpike they struggled to push on and their delay gave the American reserves enough time to march onto the table and deploy.

Over by the fords the American infantry (commanded by Phil), were fighting manfully to halt the British advance but were hampered by low 'action' rolls which often allowed the British to pre-empt any of their manoeuvres.

The British right hook swept forward and cleared the fords, destroying two American brigades in the process. However,  in the centre and left the British were not having everything all their own way.  Von Donop had eventually got his German battalions sorted out and moved forward once again.  Attempting to clear some American skirmishers one of his units was hit by fire from a farm and then charged by a battalion of infantry. In the ensuing melee the the Germans were defeated and driven from the field.

On the British left, the light companies were attempting to work round the American flank.  As they neared some woods they were met by fire from American riflemen and driven back in confusion. This unit is developing a name for itself as an 'unlucky unit'; the last three times it has taken the field it has been wiped out twice, when on both occasions it had the advantage over its opponents.

One bright spot was that another of Von Donop's battalions was defying the odds and managing to hold its position against fire from two American battalions and a battery.

As the slugging match around the meeting house continued the Virginians were eventually worn down by the casualties they received from the British, but before they were driven off Ian had managed to get reinforcements forward.

Things were beginning to look a little bleak for the British left, both brigades required morale tests because of the casualties they had taken.  Fortunately, Chris, the commander of the British right had by now secured the fourth objective, a hill overlooking the American centre and was poised on the flank of the American line.

Led by the grenadiers this manoeuvre signalled the end of the American resistance.

Up early on Sunday morning  we travelled over to York for the Vapnartak show.  This year's show was up to the usual high standard with plenty of games and traders attending.  Here are a few examples

Justice Mills by M Wheatley

Wake Island 1922 League of Extraordinary Kreigspielers
WW1 North Hull Wargames Club

A Panama Game from the League of Augsburg using their new Donnybrook rules
 As I mentioned in my previous post the Lance and Longbow Society were showcasing Simon Chick's Cravant game.  Here are a few photos of the excellent terrain and figures.

The game followed history with the joint English and Burgundian force raising the siege and driving off the Franco-Scottish army.  My own unit of Scottish pike managed (eventually) to defeat a unit of longbows in melee (after losing two-thirds their strength).  As they struggled up onto the enemy bank of the river they looked back to see their fellow Scots  fighting for their lives against a block of English foot (the ones seen crossing the river above).  Reforming, they re-crossed the river but were too late to save their compatriots.  In the ensuing melee they were driven from the field.

An excellent weekend.