Saturday, 5 October 2019

Cuirassier and Curiouser

As you know, while working on the Grenadiers, I've also been experimenting with a few test figures. Below is my first ever attempt at a French cuirassier. No French army would be complete without at least a regiment of these.


He is a vintage Hinton Hunt FN 102: Cuirassier Trooper (mounted) charging, painted to represent a trooper of the 8th Cuirassiers.


I had a number of false starts with this one as it was really difficult to work out exactly what it was that Marcus intended in some areas, so it took a bit of guesswork.


I'm reasonably satisfied with the results.  I'll get cracking on the rest of them as soon the Grenadiers à pied are finished, which shouldn't be toooo far off now.

Yours, as always

WM

Friday, 27 September 2019

Vintage Vignette

The second half of the Grenadiers à Pied have a way to go, so to fill the gap I present a vintage vignette.
A lone sentry stands guard while the Emperor considers his next move.

General Dorsenne, Colonel-General of the Foot Grenadiers, arrives with the relief.

Dorsenne: Guard, Halt!

The ceremonial switcheroo is soon effected....

….and the Guard marches on.
Dorsenne is a vintage Hinton Hunt FN 360, on horse FNH 10. He may just have stolen my favourite spot.

More grenadiers to follow in the next exciting episode, all things going well.

WM

Friday, 20 September 2019

Troop Inspection

The Lamming castings I posted a few weeks ago seemed to go down quite well, so I decided to slap a bit of paint on them.


To recap, from left to right, the figures are:

FI/3: Imperial Guard Grenadier advancing;
FI/1: Line Voltigeur or Grenadier elite; and
FI/8: Line fusilier


They're a wee bit bigger than Hinton Hunts, but it's nothing  that can't be cured by using slightly thinner bases.

Hinton Hunt FN 254 and Lamming FI/1

Hinton Hunt FN 5 and Lamming FI/8

Lamming FI/3 and Hinton Hunt FN 234s
It'll probably come as no surprise to anyone that I also couldn't resist painting up one of the FI/1s as a Fusilier grenadier.


And the final lineup:


I think that some of these will definitely be making their way into Phase 3.

Best Regards

WM

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Touchdown

Rout du Roi

Belatedly realising that discretion might be the better part of valour, Felop withdrew back towards the stream. The triumphant Prinz Karls, led by their ferocious commander, Lutz Jahnke, launched themselves in pursuit.

Herr Janhnke:  Felop by name....
If Felop's plan was to lure the Saxons away from the Blasthof Bridge, he was only too successful. As the Saxon dragoons smashed into the depleted ranks of the Garde du Roi, Felop watched helplessly as his men were ruthlessly cut down. It was simply too dreadful. He longed once more for the peace and tranquility of the family estate, the Chateau de Thongue.

Jahnke:...und Felop by nature!
As the last of the Gendarmes fell, Felop snapped out of his reverie. 'At least I can save the Kettle Drummer!', he cried. 'Come on Taps, let's get out of here!'


Kornberg watched the unfolding tragedy on the flank and steeled his heart. Nearer the bridge the Imperial artillery superiority was beginning to tell.


A Coup de Main

The Schönburgs were falling fast. There was just enough time, thought Kornberg, to seize the objective! 'Now's your time, Diesbach's!', he thundered. Drilled to perfection, the elite Swiss infantry wheeled and advanced. The bridge was taken!


Soubise was aghast at Kornberg's audacious Coup de Main. 'The Elector will have my guts for this!', he exclaimed. Kornberg was beginning to wonder what it might be like to be an Imperial duke.


By the fading light of the setting sun, the Swiss prepared to do or die while the Prinz Karl's and Schönburgs wheeled to face them. As the volleys crashed, the Saxon horsemen made a desperate charge around the Swiss flank and seized the bridge. Soubise had snatched victory in the final moments!


La Soumise au Soubise, as it was remembered forever afterwards in the Empire, was commemorated in a doleful woodcut.


In the Electorate, on the other hand, Kornberg's Come-Uppance, as it was known, was depicted much more colourfully.


My sincere thanks to Rob for what was the most gloriously entertaining game. I was really caught out by the speed at which the squadrons and companies can manoeuvre in the simple version of Charge!

My sincere apologies are also due for the endless delays in producing this. There is, however, one mitigation, which is that there are now lots and lots of newly painted soldiers, which will be following in shiny succession over the next few weeks....

Till then,

WM

Sunday, 1 September 2019

3,2,1....Blasthof

The second battle Rob and I fought, which was perhaps only appropriate in this the 50th-anniversary year of the moon landing, was the Action at Blasthof Bridge.

As all good wargamers know, Blasthof was the first battle to be demonstrated in Charge!, the seminal work on the art of wargaming by Brigadier Peter Young and Lieutenant Colonel J.P. Lawford published in 1967. Blasthof featured the basic mechanisms of the Charge! wargame rules and it was with these same basic rules, with each side moving alternately, that Rob and I set out to recreate the famous action.

The situation

An Electorial rearguard, commanded by General Soubise (aka Rob), having been defeated in a previous engagement, is seeking to prevent the advancing Imperial army under Count von Kornberg (my good self) from seizing the bridge over the River Blast. Soubise's mission is to either destroy the bridge or hold it until nightfall -- a mere 15 moves away.


Soubise knew that victory depended on bringing the massive firepower of his Saxon Artillery battery and the 43-strong Saxon Infantry Regiment von Schönburg to bear. Eyeing the enemy cavalry horde, the Saxon Dragoon Regiment Prinz Karl, only 13 sabres all told, may have been forgiven for agreeing with him.

Soubise: Courage mes enfants, zat Imperial rabble look half starved. Let them eat lead!

Kornberg, on the other hand, knew that the bridge could be taken only by the deft use of the arme blanche. If a portion of the enemy infantry could somehow be drawn off and destroyed, there was a good chance that the 34-strong Swiss Infantry Regiment Diesbach von Signau, supported by the Bavarian artillery, would prevail. The 18 sabres of the elite French Gendarmerie de la Garde du Roi, pranced and chafed at the bit, eager for the charge.
Kornberg: Ve vill crush zose Saxon sissies like a vice!
Into Action

Having won the toss, Kornberg sent the Garde du Roi splashing across a ford in the Blasthof Stream, while the guns and infantry plodded forward towards the bridge.

Kornberg: You vill show zem no mercy!
Soubise stifled a yawn and surveyed the scene with his customary equanimity. 'Not that old manoeuvre', he thought. The Saxon dragoons and half the Schönburgs were swiftly dispatched to see off the French cavalry nuisance.

Soubise: Paf! Not zat corny old move! 'E's not called Kornberg for nutzing!
 A sharp rebuke from the Saxon guns found its mark and the first of the Garde du Roi fell.

Soubise: Ha Ha!, it's two nil to us.
Kornberg, now thoroughly annoyed, ordered his Bavarian gunners to return fire. 'That'll teach that Frenchified Fop!', he cried.


An artillery duel of increasing deadliness ensued....

Soubise: Let's show them a bit of Saxon Violence!
...with Kornberg's Swiss getting the worst of it.


Kornberg gritted his teeth. 'We can still win it', he said to himself. The ruse was working! Half of the Electoral lackeys appeared to have been distracted by the Garde du Roi.


The tension slowly rose as the Swiss approached Blasthof village and the Saxons mounted the Blasthofberg. Having run out of smokeless powder, the guns on both sides reverted to gunpowder.


Desperate to avoid the Saxon shot, the Swiss right sought shelter in the village.

Swiss: Hmmm, bit a doer upper, this!
Rounding the flank of the Blasthofberg, the Garde du Roi were supremely confident. 'Nous serons totally victorious, gentlemen!' declared their captain, the Comte de Jandalle, aka the Chevalier Philippe Felop (the inventor, as it happens, of a remarkable new form of footwear). The Count, however, was labouring under a fatal misconception, which was that it was not the done thing for officers to take part in vulgar brawls. The numerical superiority of the Garde in the coming fight was thus far from assured.


Nevertheless, the situation was beginning to look very bad for the Electorate as the Bavarian artillery finally found the range and knocked out one of the Saxon guns.



Soubise steadied his startled men: 'It's a total fluke, Saxons! Just you wait and see!'.

Meanwhile, On the far side of the Blasthofberg, a cavalry melee of the most murderous proportions was breaking out. Neither side was in the ascendant. The Schönburgs wheeled to deliver a volley against the impetuous Garde du Roi. The situation suddenly beginning to look a little less rosy for the Empire.


To be continued...…

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Filling a GàP

To my shame and dismay I still haven't finished my write up of Blasthof. Part of the reason for this is illustrated below.


The figures are all really splendid vintage Hinton Hunts, being FN 29 Grenadiers of the Old Guard 1804-15, Grenadier marching x 12. As an incentive to get the battalion finished I've decided to save all the fancy command figures for the second half. This was an idea suggested by Rob G and it's working just fine so far.

The next post really is going to be Blasthof, I promise.

Best regards

WM

Edit: I meant to add, those Lamming test figures ought to be appearing over the next few weeks too,