Friday 26 April 2024

Never Fight Uphill me Boys!

Here as promised are the finished Belgians parading for your inspection. They don't represent any particular unit and as I don't intend to paint any more they will simply be known as "The Belgians".

The sharp eyed amongst you will note the oversized flank companies, I do like six-figure companies for my units regardless of the historical organisation and as the figures have been modelled with shoulder wings it seemed like a good idea to have them.

The figures used are vintage ones that I have stripped and repainted, they are:

2 x DN/1 Officer (charging)
4 x DN/2 Private (firing)
16 x DN/3 Private (charging)
1 x BN/12 Drummer (playing) - with pack conversion
1 x BN/13 Ensign Regiment Colour

Rather surprisingly, within days of mustering in, the lads found themselves in unfamiliar territory taking part in the Battle of Lundy's Lane. Yes, that famous battle of the War of 1812 (no, I hadn''t heard of it either) where to their further bewilderment they were seconded to the US forces.

General 'Blood n' Guts' Goya was leading his American forces in an sneaky attack on my own Anglo-Canadian troops with both sides desperatley wanting possession of a vital hill.

The British forces began the game in possession of the hill, the US forces are lining up to attack. Goya had reinforcements arriving on turn 4 while mine were to arrive Turn 6.
Here they come! I think the British (Canadian) unit in the foreground are Les Higgins castings and of course the unit next to them are Hinton Hunt.

The first man is down. These are Airfix figures that Goya painted when he was still in short trousers! Goya reflagged his Belgian and Portuguese units specially for the occasion - unfortunately my Belgians didn't get the memo.

This rather nasty attack on my left flank was to prove tricky as the game progressed. Here these lovely Hinton Hunts have been broken by more Higgins types.

Things are getting serious now! The matchstick snake fences were made by my brother about 40 years ago for our ACW games.

The US reserves have arrived and are making their way towards the hill. More plastic types on the left and HH on the right.

My Belgians rout the Canadian Militia but were reduced below break-point in the process and removed from play. Not bad for a first outing even if they did fight on the wrong side.

With the top of the hill almost clear of troops, both sides are hurrying up their reinforcements.

The position at the end of play. The British have just pipped the Americans to the post.

The game was great fun and although I was technically in possession of the hill when we called it at the end of turn 8, everything could easily have changed if we'd played a couple more turns.

It was nice to give Muskets & Marshals a run out and also interesting to fight a Napoleonic battle without cavalry, skirmishers or columns. I'm hoping we'll do another of these.

Note - If you haven't got the "Never fight uphill me boys" reference then follow this link to Tony's blog - click.


Rob said...

Lundy's Lane the biggest engagement of the War of 1812, at which time the Belgians were not the right side i.e., ours! That said those Belgians are gorgeous, I think their rarity makes them more exotic while their unfussy uniforms are rather elegant. I did scan the ranks for any sign of a waxed moustache but couldn't find one. Having just one unit of 'Belgians' raises the obvious question as to whether they will be accompanied by a 'Dutch' unit, go on you know you want to...

Stryker said...

Rob, the officers do have moustaches but I can’t confirm whether they are waxed or not. No plans for Dutch at the moment but there may be another ‘Allied’ unit to follow!

Bob Spruster said...

I was tickled to find Trump's moronic take on the Battle of Gettysburg reached the wargamer's blogs domain. Ray Rousell's comment on Tony's blog summed it up best: "Bloody hell, what a twat!".
According to Trumo, Lee said, "Never fight uphill, me boys!" Steven Colbert wondered if Lee was a pirate while Jimmy Kimmel wondered if he was a leperchaun. Saints preserve us.
Nice looking game, seems it was a fun one! And nice to see those Airfix troops, too!

Stryker said...

Bob, yes a t*** but clearly a tactical genius!

French Follower said...

As always your figurines are magnificent. However, I have a big doubt concerning the elite companies.
If the battalion has retained its French organization with six companies including two elite, it seems to me that the two elite companies called "flanqueurs". These two companies wear the same clothes with the "wings" of blue cloth edged in white, specific to elite companies but there is no distinction like the French between voltigeurs and grenadiers. For me these two companies elite wear the same uniform.
On the other hand there is a distinction in hat between the Belgians (Dutch from the south) and the Dutch (from the north). The Belgians wear the belgic shako (like the British) with the plume and cords red.The Dutch wear an Austrian-type shako with a white plume with a green top but without cord.
Sources: the uniforms of the Napoleonic wars volume II foreign troops Éditions Quatuor
The armies of Waterloo 1815 Éditions de la Belle Alliance
The campaign notebooks no. 2 Le chemin d'Ohain Éditions de la Belle Alliance

But perhaps you have other sources giving companies of flankers with green distinctives?

Donnie McGibbon said...

Your Belgians are lovely, a really nice unit and nice to see them take the field so soon, albeit disguised as Americans! Great looking game and loads of loveliness to pore over!

Stryker said...

Glad you like them FF. I used which rightly (or wrongly) shows the flank companies with red or green plumes.

Stryker said...

Thanks Donnie!

Matt said...

The gratuitous showing of Airfix conversions is totally unacceptable.
Hell, I had never even considered this conflict until this post.
Still, without cavalry it would be achievable in a relatively short period...!

Stryker said...

Matt, Goya has achieved it in record time just by swopping out the flags!

Rob said...

I just checked and the OSPREY on 1815 Belgians says "red or green plume and cords for the heavy [grenadier?] and light companies respectively", although it does go on to say this is surmised because the both red and green are mentioned for the flank companies with no further information about which were red and which were green.

Aly Morrison said...

A lovely looking unit Ian…
And they work rather well as Americans…
If you are interested in knowing more on The War of 1812 I can wholeheartedly recommend…
The Invasion of Canada and Flames Across the Border…both by Pierre Berton.

All the best. Aly

Stryker said...

Aly, glad you like them. Funny thing is I have read (and gamed) much about the ACW and AWI but never the War of 1812. I think I must get genned up!

the Archduke said...

So much confusion...HHs who should be on our side fighting Airfix who, well, what can Matt mean? As to the flank companies, Otto von Pivka, who is right about everything, says "plumes...a red tip for grenadiers, green for light companies". I didn't read that before painting mine; the same as yours. It's obvious who they are, and anyway what did they wear in American service? Oh, they are a splendid unit, by the way.

Wellington Man said...

Belgians fighting for the Americans? Would that make them Belgicans? Whatever they are, they look very spiffy in their white and blue. Well done!
Best regards

Stryker said...

Thanks Nigel, strangely the only Airfix Napoleonics I ever painted as a lad were British as Belgians - I can’t remember how I painted the plumes!

Stryker said...

WM, or perhaps Belgyanks? Glad you like them!

David said...

Those Belgicans look magnificent, especiallty when fighting on the side of all thing good and just (even if the war of 1812 was an attempted landgrab by my fellow Americans of the past). Speaking of, if the T*&t were to be elected again, I'm moving into the hut, so I hope you plan to install a heater! Thanks for a lovely description of the battle and a chance to see those magnificent vintage Airfix plastics still doing yeoman's work!

Stryker said...

Thanks David, still not much heat in the Hut but apparently the good weather is on the way!