So apparently my French marines are not marines at all but are sailors, thanks to Stuart A and Roy for pointing that out – if only I’d applied myself more during my CSE French lessons.
Steve noted the fact that Roy has a surplus of Sailors of the Guard and kindly sent these photos of a suitable paint job conversion - these are FN96 Marine (marching) converted to Young Guard Tirailleurs Grenadiers.
I’m pretty sure that I’d heard before that the Hinton Hunt French Marine figures were often given paint job conversions. Some of the figures that I have came originally from Don and look to have been painted as either Westphalians or Saxons.
Any other suggestions?
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Saturday, 19 December 2015
Historical scenarios for this unit are admittedly thin on the ground but there is one other nautical range in the Hinton Hunt catalogue to which Roy can have no objections – French Marines of the Guard. The figure is FN/93 French Marine of the Guard 1804-15 (charging).
Now here is a unit that really did fight at Waterloo albeit in company strength but I will stretch this to a whole battalion. They are also the one unit type currently missing from the combined order of battle of our troops for the Imperial Guard. I’m not sure if they served at Leipzig but I hope on this occasion Roy will say yes!
Saturday, 12 December 2015
|My combined guard cavalry unit and what was left of the guard horse artillery, engulfed in the smoke of exploding rockets. Wellington claimed 2 artillery batteries, 2 cavalry units and 1 infantry unit destroyed but this may be propaganda.|
|Revenge is sweet! The remaining troopers ride over the RHA rocketeers, I fear there was little mercy offered to the crew members of the battery.|
|It was now 6.00pm and Hougoumont had fallen for a second (and last) time. The Nassauers are heading for the rear, their colonel dead and the French have occupied the farm.|
|The guard are now halfway across the valley between the opposing ridges. I think there were 5 battalions of OG, 3 battalions of YG plus several line battalions on either flank. They completely filled the space between La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont.|
|What was left of the French cavalry was heading for the gap between the commands of Wellington and The Prince of Orange. The defending infantry here chose sensibly to form into square.|
|Behind the squares the remnants of the combined blues&greys were waiting. The yellow marker denotes that they are disordered and therefore unable to charge.|
|On the allied far right Roy's splendid Scots Greys saw off their third successive enemy cavalry unit - and all without losing a single casualty!|
|8.00pm and the French drummers of the guard are getting ready to beat out the pas-de-charge. Everything now depends on the guard breaking through the centre of the allied line to win the day.|
|It's getting tense and its getting dark. The French come on in the same old style.|
|Picton rides forward, "Now Maitland, now's your time!". He orders a nifty passage of lines that puts the British foot guards into the front line just as the enemy grenadiers reached the bottom of the ridge.|
|The huge mass of the French guard approach the allied line. You can see through the window that it really is dark now!|
|Wellington raised his hat "The army will advance!" Hill's highlanders move forward in the distance while the rest of his command prepares to advance towards La Haye Sainte.|
|A somewhat dejected D'Erlon surveys the scene at the end of the game. What happened to his fine command? We may never know...|
Roy - for providing the venue, 80% of the figures and a fantasic lunch and refreshments.
Stuart (and the chaps from Cirencester Wargame Club) - for playtesting and refining the rules.
A small army of painters - for helping to get the troops ready in an incredibly short period of time.
To the many generous gamers who have kindly donated figures to my project over the years (you know who you are)
Napoleon Bonaparte - Myself (of course)
Marshal Ney - Mark F
Lt Gen Count D'Erlon - Neil
Lt Gen Count Reille - Nigel
Lt Gen Count Lobau - John
The Duke of Wellington - Stuart
The Prince of Orange - Richard
Lt Gen Lord Hill - Matt
Blucher - Steve S
Final thanks goes to eBay and Napoleon Bonaparte without whom none of this would have been possible!
Thursday, 10 December 2015
|More ex WHC troops from Roy's collection sporting a Peter Gilder flag - who knows, these lads might even have taken part in the 150th anniversary battle?|
|Silesian hussars move forward to support the infantry. The Prussians did seem to take quite a long time to get forward here, possibly because their ranks contained a fair few 'C' class Landwehr units.|
|The position at La Haye Sainte is looking quite secure with plenty of reserves on hand.|
|At this stage the Duke appears quite confident as he chats with Picton and Uxbridge in his position safe behind the ranks of the 30th Cambridgeshires. "I say Uxbridge, do keep your legs tucked in old chap!".|
|The left-centre of the field from the allied lines. Wellington has committed several heavy cavalry units to stop the French from advancing and his tactics seem to be working.|
|Another view from Hill's position on the allied left flank. D'Erlon is pressing closer but Hill has substantial untouched reserves waiting in column behind the Scots while the Prussians attempt to roll up the French flank.|
|A view along the whole of the main table - I must say that all the Generals look very engrossed in the game!|
|French heavy cavalry is about to mix it with the Blues&Greys next to Hougoumont.|
|I think this is the last in my sequence of photos from Plancenoit. The Prussians seem to have the church firmly under their control.|
|Even more French cavalry pile forward - these are my combined guard lancers/horse grenadiers. I think though that I can hear a sort of ominous fizzing noise as the rocketeers on the hill light their fuses...|
|Controversial it may have been, but the Nassau Grenadiers are definitely in control of Hougoumont, although they do seem to have left the gate open!|
Sunday, 6 December 2015
|A closer view of Bylandt's brigade from the Allied lines. The RHA batteries appear to be making a dent in the advancing French columns whilst light cavalry pass their flank. Some Prussians are just coming into action as well.|
|Meanwhile in La Haye Sainte, Barings brave lads are holding on.|
|Bylandt's men are taking casualties and that red marker denotes the fact that a Colonel has become a fallen leader. This will put the Dutch/Belgians on a minus 2 for morale ('C' class troops with fallen leader). This is only going to go one way.|
|The Brandenberg Uhlans did quite well on what was their first outing making short work of these French lancers.|
|Moving slightly to the left we can see the 95th Rifles engaging a French line regiment that sensibly chose to deploy from column into line.|
|Beyond the riflemen the French are trying to batter down the gates of La Haye Sainte.|
|The Old Guard making ready to advance against the Allied centre. There are five battalions here - a sixth was fighting in Plancenoit. The unit in the foreground are the 2nd Grenadiers from my own collection.|
|The Emperor watches as his 'daughters' pound the Allied line in the hope of softening up the defenders.|
|The French line just to the left of La Haye Sainte. Some of Lobau's battalions are moving forward while a cavalry melee develops in front of them. Guard lancers are engaging some British heavy cavalry.|
|The French heavy cavalry reserve advances to the right of Hougoumont (and to the left of the Guard infantry). On the hill in front of them you can just make out the British rocket battery.|
|The French are pressing hard at Hougoumont - it must be just a matter of time before it falls?|