Friday, 18 January 2019

Prussian Grenadiers update (2)

Well, I’ve finished them and we’re only half way through the month so yay me! Even the flag is in place, the figures just need one more coat of varnish and then basing. I’m very pleased with the result and think they are a suitable tribute to my original 1970s unit.

I’m particularly pleased with the way the standard bearer came out and think it was worth the head-swop and reconstructive hand surgery. The flag is an old Revo one for added retro authenticity.

I took a trip to Goya’s house earlier this week to take part in a re-fight of the Battle of Aspern (Aspern-Essling Day 1). Goya had been beavering away creating his own hex table top and scenery and wanted to give them a try out. Goya provided his S-Range Austrians (he’d also painted some plastic Austrian Lanwehr but we won’t mention that) and Tony supplied the French.

We used Tony’s Ramekin Rules that he had refined since our last game. I’m really impressed with the work he has done to produce a game that plays somewhere between Commands & Colors and a traditional wargame. These rules have potential to be used in much larger battles should we ever be able to play one.

For a full battle report see Tony’s blog here.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Prussian Grenadiers update

Just to prove that I haven’t been slacking since the start of the year here is a photo of my progress so far on the Prussian Garde Grenadiers. Eighteen figures completed and the final six are about halfway there.

The drummer is another fine conversion by Wellington Man (from a charging figure) whilst the standard bearer next to him is the result of a head-swap I carried out on a casting of PN.5 Private (the figure with separate musket).

With a fair wind I should have the whole unit finished by the end of the month although I think I may have run out of plasticard to base them so better get that ordered.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Painting review

I don’t normally do a New Year review of my painting output as it is usually depressingly small, however this time I seem to have ended up with a half decent total of 111 foot and 15 mounted figures so blowing my own trumpet seems in order.

The Young Guard, perhaps my favourite unit of 2018?
The combined Marines of the Guard and Guard Engineers (just
look at the anchor on that flag!).
Another 'daughter' for the Emperor.
Not forgetting the line artillery.
It was a good year for the Traffic Warden Corps.
And for this star of Coronation Street.
Some heavy metal for the Guard
British RFA - at last!
These lads broke the bank but they are pretty.
The Black Duke.
Some fancy troopers
Technically I didn't paint this one but I'm including him in the
line-up anyway - marshal Davout.
The Brunswick Owls.
I began last year with the idea of completing the Imperial Guard infantry but eventually became distracted into Prussian Landwehr and then Brunswickers but all in all it was a fairly focussed year. The aim for 2019 is that it will be the year of the Prussians, at least until I become distracted again.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Plancenoit - the game

Tony and Goya came over on Sunday to play my Muskets & Marshals scenario for the Battle of Plancenoit. Tony took command of the French and Goya the Prussians whilst I acted as umpire.

For the scenario and initial deployments map click here.

The initial deployments - Prussians on the left and French on
the right. The buildings are my recently re-based Airfix ones.
The good old 45th ligne (nearest the camera), when the 45th are
on the field you can be sure of a good game and of course they
never lose their eagle (or if they do it comes back again for the
next battle).
The Young Guard and Guard Marins started the game in reserve
behind the village.
The 105th ligne occupied one of the buildings supported by a
foot artillery battery on the road.
The 9th legere were deployed in line to the front of the village.
They were to play a significant part during the fighting but were
eventually forced to quit the field when their strength dropped
below 9 figures.
The Prussian line. The troops with the lighter green bases are
all S-range figures from Goya's collection.
The unit in the rear are Prussian Grenadiers. I think these were
all converted from line figures which meant adding a lot of
plumes. The brushwork is excellent. 
The action kicks off with an advance on the French left. The
wily Prussians chose not to press directly against the occupied
buildings but rather to push against the infantry in the open.
The Uhlans lost no time in charging the single unit of French
cavalry present. Sadly this was not the best of days for the
French mounted arm.
The situation at the end of turn 3. The Young Guard have
advanced and occupied the church while the Prussians make
headway against the French left.
The French Voltigeurs had a good game. After blowing away
most of the Jagers with a crushing volley they then crowded
around the Prussian left and eventually caused the 2nd
Silesian Landwher to rout from the field.
The French were safe in the buildings of Plancenoit but the
Prussians chose, perhaps wisely, to bypass the village.
The 45th were forced to form square due to the presence of
Prussian cavalry in their flank and rear. This made them
vulnerable to a charge by the enemy infantry.
The battle in full vintage mode.
The 45th broke for the rear only to be confronted by the lances
of the Prussian Uhlans - hold on to that eagle lads!
The situation at the end of play - turn 8. The French still hold
Plancenoit but the Prussians have turned their left flank and
are threatening to move on La Belle Alliance.
The final tally was 5 VP's to each player so an honourable
draw was declared by the umpire.

At the end of turn 8 we were quite surprised to find that the game was a draw on points although possibly it was more of a strategic victory for the Prussians who managed to get troops around the French left flank. I was pleased that the scenario turned out to be so balanced and that we managed to play the full eight turns.

Games using my rules have tended to be bigger affairs of late, so it was nice to play something more manageable for two players which is more in tune with my original concept. The rules themselves have perhaps become a little more complex than I initially envisaged which is inevitable ‘mission creep’ I guess. I have some thoughts to streamline them but want to be careful not to tinker with them too much as generally they do seem to give a good game.

My thanks to Tony and Goya for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

More nostalgia

I suppose in a blog that’s pretty much dedicated to nostalgia this is not an unusual title. However, after a year or so swelling the ranks of the Imperial Guard I thought it was about time that I revisited my Prussians.

Test figure complete - just 23 more to go.

If you’ve looked back to the beginning of this blog, you will know that the inspiration for this project was the idea of recreating the Hinton Hunt Prussian army I had in my youth. It has taken me a quite a few years to collect enough figures to make this possible, but I do now have everything I need.

One of the few pictures I have of my original collection - Prussian
Guardsmen tramping through the snow.

So, next up will be a unit of Prussian Garde Grenadiers (in plumed shakos and jack-boots) in the marching pose PN.16 Guardsman (marching). I last painted one of these in 1972!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Plancenoit revisited

Tony and Goya have agreed to humour me and play Plancenoit again but this time using my Muskets&Marshals rules. This will be on a smaller scale than our last attempt playing C&CN but I hope it will be just as challenging for the players (I’ll be umpiring).

For a bit of added interest, I’m going to try to post live updates of the game to my Instagram account . The game will be next Sunday 9th December hopefully kicking off around 11.00am - you’ll need to follow me on Instagram at hhfigures to see the posts. A full after action report will of course be posted here as well (eventually).

Order of Battle

French OOB
2 x Line Infantry (B)
1 x Legere (A)
1 x Voltigeurs (deployed as skirmishers)
1 x Marins (A)
1 x Young Guard (A)
1 x Old Guard (A+)
1 x FA battery
1 x Light Cavalry (A)

Prussian OOB
2 x Landwher (C)
3 x Line (B)
1 x Fusiliers (A)
1 x Jager (deployed as skirmishers)
1 x Grenadiers (A)
2 x FA battery
1 x Uhlans (B)
1 x Dragoons (B)

Victory Conditions

Troops begin the game deployed as per the map. The game lasts for 8 turns, at the end of turn 8 VP’s are calculated as follows:

2 VP for possession of the church
1 VP for possession of each of the other buildings
1 VP for each enemy infantry or cavalry unit removed from play or currently routing
1 VP for each non-disordered Prussian infantry unit in the area within the red box marked on the map.

Special Rules

The Old Guard cannot move until turn 3

Buildings – each building can hold one infantry unit. Each building has its own separate MDF base projecting from the side of the structure by 25mm enabling the placing of a single rank of figures around the perimeter. During the movement phase the defender will be allowed to move any of his troops around the perimeter to meet a threat with no penalty to firing. Normal firing rules will apply

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Brunswick Owls

This has to be the fastest I’ve ever completed a Hinton Hunt infantry unit as the whole lot have been prepared, painted and based in just over one month. Not quite sure how it happened but as I mentioned in my last post I’ve been assisted by the relative simplicity of the uniform.

The figures are:
2 x BRN/1 Officer charging (one converted to standard bearer)
11 x BRN/4 Private charging (one converted to drummer)
9 x BRN/5 Private firing
1 x BRN/6 Officer marching
1 x BRN/40 Avant Garde Officer marching
The flag is an old Revo one (the battalion didn't actually carry a flag but I wasn't going to let that stop me!)

The Leib Battalion had a rough time of it at Quatre Bras where they took 127 casualties and famously broke, leading to the incident in which the the Duke of Brunswick lost his life. At Waterloo they were held in reserve on the right flank in the area behind Hougoumont. Eventually they moved forward to support the British line where they formed square and helped repel the French cavalry attacks.

As a dog lover I won’t be stationing my Brunswickers anywhere near the 95th Rifles. The story goes that they had a liking for dogs (but not in the British way) and ate the mascot of the 95th, a dog called Rifle, who had survived shot and shell only to be “devoured by the insatiable jaws of the Brunswickers”.