Sunday, 23 August 2015

30th (Cambridgeshire) Foot

The 30th foot formed part of Halkett’s 5th British Brigade in Alten’s 3rd Infantry Division during The Hundred Days campaign. They were in the thick of the fighting on the ridge between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte during the closing stages of Waterloo where they took part in the action that repulsed the Imperial Guard. Total losses in the battle were 51 killed and 165 wounded.

BN/6 Private (kneeling)
BN/4 Private (firing)

BN/14 Ensign King's Colour Bearer holding colours & sword
BN/13 Ensign Regiment Colour
BN/1 Officer (charging)

BN/2 Sergeant (charging)
BN/12 Drummer (playing)
BN/8 Officer (standing)

 BN/6 Private (kneeling)
BN/4 Private (firing)
 BN/80 Guards Officer (charging)

I chose to represent them in miniature simply because I fancied a British unit in yellow facings but having recently read Tim Clayton’s book on Waterloo I have become impressed with their contribution to Wellington’s victory. I had of course heard of the crucial role Mailtand’s Guards played in throwing back Napoleon’s Guard but Halkett’s Brigade were positioned right next to them in the line directly in the path of the advancing grenadiers.

The Battalion in column (the Fifer is BN/11)

General Alton takes refuge in the Battalion square.

 The whole army will advance!

The unit is made up from a selection of different poses because I didn’t have enough of any one type for a unit all in the same pose. I also slipped in a rogue Guards officer just because I liked him. All the figures are vintage Hinton Hunt with the exception of the standing officer and drummer which are DK. The superb brushwork is by Lee.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Brandenburg (Landwehr) Uhlans

Those of you who have seen Matt’s recent post (click here) on the work he has done on my Hinton Hunt Uhlans may remember that they are destined to be brigaded with the DK Landwehr lancers to make a single 12 figure unit for Vintage Waterloo. Anyway, I thought I’d better get my skates on and post a couple of pictures of the DK’s before their more well-heeled compatriots arrive.

Der Kreigspieler 139 Prussian Landwehr Lancer (charging).

They've already graced the tabletop once albeit just for a dry run - next time it's for real!

Matt’s done great things with these figures and it just goes to show what a bit of superior brushwork can do to lift Der Kreigspieler’s to a place where they are truly worthy to fight alongside their Hinton Hunt brethren.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Count Von Alten

Alten was a Hanoverian who commanded the King’s German Legion Brigade in the Peninsular under Moore and later went on to lead the famous Light Division under Wellesley. At Quatre Bras and Waterloo he was in command of the 3rd Division which included Halkett’s British Brigade, Ompteda’s KGL Brigade and Kielmansegge’s Hanoverian Brigade.

Bruce Quarrie says of Alten that he was “a talented and inspiring commander” but I also found a quote on Wikipedia that has him down as “pedestrian” although to be fair, that was in comparison to Craufurd from whom he took over command of the Light Division. Whatever his abilities there is no doubt that he led from the front as he was wounded at both Salamanca and Waterloo.

This casting is probably a David Clayton one rather than a vintage Hinton Hunt one although it’s very hard to tell – all the Clayton personality figures I have are indistinguishable from vintage ones. The horse though is more easily identifiable as Clayton due to the one long plug mark along the base (vintage castings have two distinct separate plug marks).

BN/254 Lieut-Gen. Charles, Count von Alten in General’s full dress uniform (horse BNH/11). Beautifully painted by Matt B.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Thoughts on Vintage Waterloo

It was really useful to be able to lay out the terrain and troops with Roy last week, as it’s helped me to sort out some ideas for the full game scenario. Our aim is to be able to play the game in a single day and run it for eight turns and this will be difficult to achieve unless everything is worked through in advance.

Click the image to zoom in and examine the table.

Eight turns will take a minimum of eight hours, so it will be necessary to condense the action if we’re going to be able to include the fight for La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont, a mass cavalry charge or two, an attack by the Old Guard and the arrival of the Prussians. The last item is perhaps the hardest to get right in any refight of Waterloo – I’ve read plenty of Waterloo AAR’s where the players run out of time before the Prussians really get a look in and I want to avoid this. So the idea is to have the Prussians fully deployed on the French right flank in front of Plancenoit but to have them fixed in position until released as follows:

Turn 1 – skirmishers may move
Turn 2 – skirmishers and cavalry may move
Turn 3 – All troops free to move

Because the table is a rectangle we’re not able to place Plancenoit behind the French flank but the built up area is really a representation of Paplotte, Frischamont and Plancenoit combined to present an obstacle to the Prussian advance. This should mean at least five turns of fighting for the Prussians, enough to see them seriously involved in the action.

To balance things on the French side we’re going to allow them to move ‘reserve’ troops to any point on the table within their own lines. The maximum number of units that can be moved this way per turn will be four – starting from turn 2 onwards. This may seem a bit extreme but I think it’s a good way to keep the action flowing when we have a limited number of turns to play. It would for instance allow for the rapid redeployment of the Young Guard to Plancenoit or perhaps allow the French heavy cavalry or the Old Guard to move rapidly forward to attack.

Vintage Waterloo - click on the map to zoom in.

I’ve drawn up a map showing the troops as we deployed them for the playtest but there may be some tweaking before the actual game. One of the things I was pleased to find was that the OOB’s were surprisingly balanced considering that Roy and I have built up our forces independently. Roy of course is providing the lion’s share of the figures having pulled off the truly Herculean task of assembling and basing over 1,800 troops in five months!

Although fairly evenly matched in numbers to the French, the Allied and Prussian forces both have quite a few Landwehr troops (rated ‘C’ grade in my rules). The French have 10 Guard units of which 5 are Old Guard (‘A+’ rating) and this mixture of quality adds a bit of an unknown quantity to the way the game will play out - I really do think it could go either way.

Please feel free to chip in with any ideas for the game via comments.

I drew the map using MappingBoard an excellent bit of free software and well worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Vintage Waterloo – more photos

Here (in no particular order) are a few more photos from the Vintage Waterloo play-test game that Roy and I had last week. Remember that you can click on an image to zoom right in (I don't use the lightbox feature for that reason).

Looking just a tad Gilder-esque - even if I do say so myself!

The Prussian lancers in the front rank are the DK Landwehr ones superbly painted for me by the talented Matt B. My Naumarkisches Dragoons are supporting them to make up one ad-hoc 12 figure unit.

You can never have too many Jagers - the Prussian skirmish screen presses on towards Placenoit.

On the other side of the village a division from D'Erlon's corps moves to block the Prussian advance (yes I know there were no Swiss troops at Waterloo but there was NO way I was leaving them off the table!).

You can never have too many Riflemen - this slightly imbalanced the skirmishing in favour of the allies but who cares as I was playing Wellington.

Another shot of the Emperor and his staff near La Belle Alliance. There are three batteries of Guard foot artillery about to trundle up the road and start bombarding La Haye Sainte.

Reille's corps, supported by heavy cavalry, move forward towards Hougoumont. There were eight infantry battalions to represent Reille's command.

Wellington and his staff looking nervously down the road towards La Haye Sainte. These are all personality figures from my own collection - from left to right, Picton, Uxbridge, Alten, Wellington, Delancy & Hill.

I still don’t feel that these photos adequately convey the full spectacle of the table but I hope they give a glimpse at least – I’ll try harder next time.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Vintage Waterloo – Playtest

Today Roy and I finally got together for a playtest of Vintage Waterloo and we had a great time laying out the troops and shuffling the terrain about. This was the first time that we’d got all the figures together in one place and we weren’t disappointed with the result – spectacular is an understatement and I must say that my photos really don’t do it justice!

The Emperor at his command post near La Belle Alliance. This is Roy's version of Napoleon and staff - very nice.

Excuse the camera wobble but at least this shot gives some impression of the size and scale of the game. Looking east along the battlefield with Hougoumont in the foreground.

Roy’s main table (yes he has two) is 12 x 5 foot and we had no trouble completely filling it with Hinton Hunts, at least 2,000 of them. Just setting the figures up was a delight and Roy to his credit, knowing that I am a perfectionist about such things, humoured me by letting me do it my way.

Reille's corps getting ready to take on the British defending chateau Hougoumont.

Barings KGL riflemen crammed into La Haye Sainte. These are the figures currently on loan for the Vintage Waterloo project. Note to self: you've put the farm on the wrong side of the road - doh!

Vorwarts mein children, I vill shoot any man I zee with pity in his eyes!

It took until lunchtime to get everything ready which left very little time for actually playing but the point of the day was to work out the terrain, dispositions and orders of battle. We did however manage to play two whole turns which considering the scale of the thing, and the fact that there were just the two of us, was very good going.

Picton's men stand ready to take on d'Erlon. The highland brigade are lining the hedge with my own 42nd Black Watch on the right.

Ponsonby with the British heavy cavalry in reserve behind the ridge - ready to gallop at everything.

The Guard - Young Guard in the front, Old Guard behind, five units of each. They look like they could just steamroller straight through the British line and be in Brussels for tea!

I took so many photos that it will take me a while to sort through the blurry ones and find the half decent ones so those posted here are just a taster – more to follow.

My thanks to Roy for a splendid day and excellent gourmet lunch.

Friday, 17 July 2015


Well, not really mercenaries as these tough looking chaps are only on loan having been sent to me this week by a kind blog follower to help bolster the British forces for Vintage Waterloo. As you can see they are mostly Hinton Hunt but there are a few Alberken and SHQ figures as well.

 With this many British riflemen on the table any mounted French officers had better keep a sharp lookout!

As there is a full unit of 24 figures I was thinking that maybe they could represent Major Baring’s KGL rifles at La Haye Sainte although Roy may already have this covered.

The oversized hand on this officer is a nice example of Hinton Hunt flash metal. The painting of the buttons and lace is exquisite (click image to zoom in).

Also arriving here this week have been the 30th Foot (painted by Lee) and a squadron of Prussian Landwehr cavalry (painted by Matt B) together with a mystery personality figure – more on these once I get them based up.

Roy and I are hoping to get together next Friday – I have no idea just how much stuff Roy has managed to assemble but I’m thinking it will be a lot!