Saturday 20 June 2020

Moore of Corunna

In his book Napoleon’s Campaigns in Miniature, Bruce Quarrie proposes that Sir John Moore was the only other commander in the British Army of the same ability level as Wellington. If this is true, then it could lead to some interesting alternative history scenarios if we assume Moore had survived Corunna. Moore at Talavera? Moore at Waterloo?

Moore’s career saw him serve as a Lieutenant of infantry during the American Rebellion and later as a Colonel in both the Mediterranean and the West Indies. He commanded the 52nd Foot in the campaign in Egypt and returned home to oversee the defence of the south coast of England against the threat of French invasion. He commanded the British forces in Spain from 1808 until his death a year later at Corunna.

The figure is a vintage casting of BN107 British General (last seen here on this blog) I painted him in accordance with the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet except that I gave him grey overalls rather than white trousers, as shown in Blandford’s Uniforms of the Peninsular War.

Sunday 7 June 2020

Not quite Waterloo - Conclusion

With Saint-a-Mont fallen the Duke was now on a sticky wicket, the French could advance on the ridge without fear of flanking fire.

And advance they did!

The Guard Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry reserve pushed forward determined to take the initiative.

With a crisis point looming the Duke moved to the right to steady the ranks "Now, Mercer give them some canister!".

But by now many of the gunners had been picked off by French skirmishers and nothing could halt the advance of the Guard.

The Brunswick Horse Artillery did cause some execution amongst the enemy cavalry but it was not enough to turn the tide. 

All along the line the allies were taking heavy casualties and even poor Lord Hill was down.

One small success for the allies - the Swiss were sent packing but this was against the run of play.
As the 45th and 105th ligne swept up on to the ridge.

On the opposite flank the Young Guard and Guard Marins prepared to charge.

The Duke ordered the Guards forward but it was not enough "Gentlemen, the last one back to Brussels is a rotten egg!".

The Guard Marins storm the ridge and see off the Brunswickers - another glorious victory for the French and not a single soldier of the Old Guard with so much as a scratch on him!

It was fun to get all the figures out on the table and play through the game although a shame to see the Duke trounced once more, I should have let the Prussians arrive!

Thursday 4 June 2020

Mini not quite Waterloo

This week I found that I was a year older but on the plus side was pleased to receive by way of a gift, more TSS terrain units together with some custom cut hills. The hills include a 4-foot ridge which provides a serious defensive position that the Duke was keen to take advantage of straight away. Napoleon was equally keen to try out his latest Guard unit and so deployed the entire Grande Armee ready to attack.

The view from the allied ridge across a shallow valley towards the French lines. Does anything look vaguely familiar to you?
The emperor had placed a grand battery on the opposite side of the valley backed up by his heavy cavalry in reserve.
Wellington held the Guards in reserve behind his ridge (the ridge looks quite massive in this photo but is actually only 40mm high).
Ok, this is the photo you've been waiting for - the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard.
The French infantry wait patiently for the order to advance whilst the Grand battery pounds the allied line. That's Grouchy nearest the camera - surely some mistake? 
On the French left flank the Guard is screened behind three line battalions including Poniatowki's Poles.
Things get underway with a spirited attack on Hougo-Sainte.
At the same time, following an heroic resistance, the Prussian Jagers are forced out of Saint-a-Mont

Sensing an opportunity Napoleon is quick to order a general advance.

While the Grand battery continues to pound away just like the good old days in the 60s.

There's not much the British can do except stay nailed to their ridge and grin and bear it.

Ominously, behind the French front line, their cavalry are massing and moving forward.

To be continued…

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Old Old Guard done

I know I’ve used this pun before, but these guys really are old, the quality of the castings and their provenance lead me to suspect that they must have been very early Hinton Hunt figures possibly dating from the 60s. The figures used are:

20 x FN/29 Grenadier (marching)
1 x FN/27 Officer (marching)
1 x FN/28 Sergeant (marching)
1 x FN/24 Colour-Bearer (advancing)
1 x FN/43 Minifigs Line Sapper

It was a bit of a slog getting through this unit, but I enjoyed painting them more as I went on and for once even the flag went well. That’s probably it for the Imperial Guard now as I think 4 foot units is more than enough for most scenarios.