Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Prussian generals

Having completed the Prussian infantry, I needed another 2 generals to bring the total number of commanders up to 9. In my rules Muskets & Marshals, each unit requires a commander who influences unit morale.

This gives me an excuse to paint up the wonderful range of personality figures produce by Hinton Hunt. Although, obviously, it’s not very realistic to have marshals and generals commanding a battalion of line infantry it does add a splash of colour to the tabletop and helps the players to identify with their units (nobody wants to be the commander who loses marshal Ney in action).

There are only 4 mounted command figures in the Hinton Hunt Prussian range so inevitably there has been some duplication and conversions to get the required number of commanders. The figures here represent Zieten and Pirch, both are PN.64 Prussian General although Pirch has had a head-swop with Gneisenau and his telescope removed.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Prussian Hussars – test figure

Well it’s hard to believe but I am finally on the last unit of my Prussian army. This will be a 12-figure regiment of the 1st Silesian Hussars painted as per the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet.

The figures I’m using are not original ones but are reasonably good copies of unknown origin (they came from the US but are not Clayton). Although I say reasonable copies, to be fair, they are at least as good as the same hussar figures I bought direct from Hinton Hunt in the early 70s which were pretty poor quality.

Receiving a package of HH soldiers back then was always something of a mixed experience, excitement that the toy soldiers had actually arrived within the stipulated 28 day period, coupled with the sinking feeling on seeing how many bayonets/sabres were broken and how much flash metal I was going to have to remove.

Happy days though…

Monday, 12 August 2019

Colberg Musketeers

The Colberg infantry are based and ready for action, not that there’s any prospect of action at the moment but it’s nice to know they can be called upon if Blucher finds himself in a tight spot.

The composition of figure types in this unit is the same as the other line infantry units however they are a 50:50 mixture of Clayton and reproduction figures, the command are all vintage ones.

The Clayton figures posed something of a problem when basing as they are orientated differently on their bases to the other figures. This has meant I’ve had to bend and tweak them a bit to get them to rank up.

This takes my total of painted figures for the year to over 100 which is surprising as I’ve hardly painted any for the last month or so.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Prussian progress 3

I’ve finished the final 6 figures of the Colberg Regiment this evening, a month later than I had hoped but at least they’re done. They just need to be varnished and based and then I can declare that the Prussian infantry are officially complete. 

Next I will be turning my attention to a unit of Silesian Hussars who in turn will complete the line up of the Prussian cavalry. I’m looking forward to doing this unit as these were the first Hinton Hunt cavalry figures I ever painted back in the mists of time.

Hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more frequently after what’s turned out to be a very busy summer (busy in a non-wargaming sort of way).

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Battle of Neumarkt

Last Saturday we convened at Tony’s for a re-fight of the Battle of Neumarkt using his C&CN variant Ramekin rules. Tony has already posted on the game here so I'll just get straight to my own photos that hopefully captured the flavour of the day.

The Bavarians deployed in and around the town. These are all
figures from Tony's collection and very smart they look too.
Most of the Austrians were S-Range Minifigs from Goya's
collection. They were backed up with a few Hinton Hunt units
from Nigel and myself.
A look at the Bavarians from the Austrian perspective.
It was quite a crush trying to fit in the French reserves as they
poured over the bridge behind the town.
The French infantry were all from Tony's collection.
I love that church model!
Bessieres arrives to take personal control of the field. The
figure is the Hinton Hunt one from my own collection. I bought
this figure from Tony via eBay many years ago (long before I
first met him) so it was nice to be able to bring him to visit his
old home - the paint-work is Tony's.
A general view along the entire field, despite the number of
units in play there is still a lot of empty space on the 10' x 5'
The Bavarians were soon well supported by French infantry.

The situation at the end of play from the Franco-Bavarian side
of the table. In the end weight of numbers told and the
Austrians had a creditable win.
This was the biggest game we have tried so far (we had over 20 Austrian infantry units) and I think we learnt a bit in the process about how to handle such large forces, Tony touches on the issues around the deployment of reserves in his blog-post.

Thanks to Tony for all his efforts in designing the scenario and preparing the terrain, it was another enjoyable game played in great company.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Beaufighter Boys (Off Topic #26)

This book Beaufighter Boys by Graham Pitchfork has just been released by Grub Street Books. The author has compiled tales of Beaufighter crews illustrating the roles and theatres of war in which the aircraft was employed during WW2. The text is illustrated with plenty of black and white photos, many of which have never been published before.

Originally researched a few years ago but not completed until now, most of the accounts are written by the participants themselves or as a result of interviews with them. Sadly, the majority of these Beaufighter veterans have now passed away but their stories should appeal to anyone with an interest in the air war in WW2.

My father WO Dennis Spencer DFC is featured in chapter 22 of the book where he describes the techniques used to navigate at low level across the Burmese jungle, deep behind enemy lines (the extract is from his memoir Looking Backwards over Burma).

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Quatre Bras – C&CN

We played the C&CN Quatre Bras scenario on Tuesday and an excellent game it turned out to be. Goya, as host, was umpire while Tony commanded the French and I took control of the allies. We played Tony’s Ramekin rules variant with a few new tweaks and the result was another very near-run thing.

This is the view from behind the French left-centre at the start
of play. The stream is fordable along its entire length. Quatre
Bras is represented by the building in the distance and was
worth one victory banner to the French.
This is the French right flank. The troops on the opposite base
line are Picton's British regulars whilst those further forward
are a mixture of Dutch, Belgian and Brunswick allies.
And this is the view from behind the allied right showing the
Bossu Wood on the extreme flank.
Tony opened proceedings with a spirited attack on Bossu Wood
and quickly removed my Dutch artillery battery from play.
However, thereafter it proved much more difficult to dislodge
my infantry who hung on in possession all day.
The French are starting to think they may have to bi-pass the
woods and attack in the centre. Tony had a grand battery on
the central ridge that was soon pounding away at my infantry.
This is the view along the entire allied line from the Bossu
Wood. The very large British unit in the trees is one of my
Guard ones, these are like the Napoleonic version of Tiger
Tanks and proved very effective.
Here you can see that the French have started to advance
across the stream. I've pulled my own front line back to the
shelter of the reverse slope of the ridge to avoid the galling
artillery fire.
Of course I had to move the men back on to the ridge as the
French columns approached. There were unit losses to both
sides and it looked to me like Tony was getting the upper hand.
The Black Duke steadies the Owls supported by one of Goya's
excellent Hinton Hunt Hanoverian units (not strictly right for
the OOB but they were standing in for |Dutch).
These Dutch cavalry are also from Goya's collection - all
Hinton Hunt.
A 'classic' wargame shot as the two sides grapple for control
 of the ridge (in the background you can see that Goya's
servants are getting ready to lay the table for dinner as
soon as we finish playing).
Eventually, somehow, I managed to push the French infantry
back prompting Tony to throw in his Cuirassiers. Luckily for
me he had no horse artillery with which to crack my squares.
A lucky run of dice then brought me to the 9 victory banners
required to claim victory - game over!

This was yet another game with a lot of ebb and flow that went right down to the wire. My thanks to Goya for hosting, umpiring and providing a very nice lunch, and to Tony for a most enjoyable game.