Monday, March 31, 2014

Tales from Sverige Part 2 - Donnybrook in the Stockholm suburbs

Donnybrook in Stockholm! The teams assembled.
Barry Hilton - I very much enjoyed my evening in the company of Soren, Michael and the gang. They have a nice set up in a 'club basement' in the suburbs of the city. Having visited the Army Museum with the guys in the afternoon I headed out with Soren for a Donnybrook game set up by Michael in the evening.

What a gorgeous table.. the work of Michael Leck
Seven of the guys assembled for an exciting game based on one of the Donnybrook scenarios from the rulebook. The setting was a Skane Wars raid by the Danes on a Swedish wagon train. Michael used a nice variant on the card system by playing tow 'teams' against each other. When the generic cards were turned over the selected side could choose any unit or character to activate. This resulted in some nice team discussions ans choices about what was best to do next!

A detachment of the Dal defend the wagons
Michael, being from Dalecarlia was accused of some pro Swedish bias by his friends but I thought he umpired very fairly! The Swedes had a prominent representation from the famous Dalecarlian Regiment backed up by Bohus Dragoons, regular Horse and an artillery piece.

Snapphane face Bohus Dragoons - the Danes got stuffed here!
The Danes were regular troops and Snaphanne (Danish irregulars with a rough reputation). The Danes had the element of surprise, used a Scout and made some quick progress but the Swedes were pretty much in control of the game from the start. The dragoons fought very well, The Dal suffered some casualties defending the wagons but the Danes seemed somewhat hesitant and then plain unlucky with the dice.

Dal reinforcements march to meet the marauding Danes
The victory was a clear Swedish one and that seemed to satisfy the Umpire more than the players!

Beautiful scratch built work from Michael
Michael's terrain was lovely and his beautiful scratch built church (under construction) was a real joy.

Not often seen in a game - light artillery
The boys seemed to like the rules very much and a couple of extra copies stayed in Stockholm making my luggage lighter on the way home. I was back in my hotel for 10pm in time for a nice supper and some lovely Swedish IPA.. I kid you not!

Moment of victory.. the final blow from Swedish Horse
Join us again for more tales from Stockholm... next my visit to the Army Museum and some Great Northern War gems!

Editor - You can see more pics of this game, as well as Michael's AAR (and much more on Donnybrook) on the Dalauppror blog!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Beneath the Lily Banners PDFs

We are now pleased to offer the second edition of Beneath the Lily Banners in two digital formats...

High Resolution (300dpi)
This version contains extensive bookmarks and has been configured for printing. It looks absolutely stunning on desktops and laptops. Like any PDF you can load it onto your tablet but with its large file size it makes viewing cumbersome.

Low Resolution (96dpi)
This pdf has been optimized for fast viewing on tablets. It contains chapter hyperlinks to enable rapid navigation through the document. Like any PDF you CAN print this file but the 96dpi resolution may render less than satisfying results. 

Choose the version to fit your need or bundle them and choose both - one for printing and the other for the tablet down at the club!

You can order your copies at the League of Augsburg shop. Unfortunately the download system is not automated so links will be sent within 24 hours.

Wargaming in the Debatable Lands... Or, a visit to Dumfries!

Saxon Cuirassiers await the order to advance
A visit to Dumfries is something I would recommend you try and accomplish if the chance presents itself. The approach from North or South takes you through some stunning country. My trips have had the additional bonus of meeting old friends and participating in some wargaming. The locals are very friendly and full of colourful tales not for the faint hearted! We chose to host the latest League of Augsburg wargaming weekender at the labyrinthine Cairndale Hotel which is a prominent feature of the famous Borders town. Friendly staff, absolutely excellent victuals, miles of corridors and a ghost in Room 43. What more could you want?

Jacobite Dragoons race to repel William's cavalry at Drybridge
Well, we had a weekend of exciting games, a comedy club and a coach party of female over 60's who were throwing their mobility scooter keys in the commode hoping to 'pull' one of those 'weird wargamers'!!! Possibly some of the lads got lucky. I missed Gerry and Toggy for a while. When the came back they were both wearing cardigans and had family sized bags of Werther's Originals hanging out of their pockets, so there may be a tale there.

The formula of running four games, used last October in Derby seemed a logical choice for Dumfries. We had a little less space than Derby and Donnybrook has appeared since then so I chose to run two large scale BLB games and two Donnybrook games. We had 12 players not including the umpire team. 

Hot action around Oldbridge. The Jacobites are fully committed.
BLB Scenario #1: The Battle of the Boyne - Crossing at Oldbridge. July 1st 1690.

Blog members will not need me to explain the significance of this one. It was a good choice as very few of our players had fought the Boyne before. It is an interesting game and we'll feature it in detail on a later post. 

A tsunami of Saxons about to break on the Swedish shore
BLB Scenario #2: Winter 1706  Poland. Great Northern War.

Our Great Northern War game last year was very popular. I wanted to use a Winter table so this provided a perfect combination. The Saxons attacking the Swedish lines of communication in Poland. An entrenched covering force of Swedes protected a vital river bridge from a large Saxon Army. The game was played length ways and proved very challenging.

The mean streets of Auld Reekie
Donnybrook Scenario #1: Escape from Edinburgh 1681.
The Earl of Argyll has escaped imprisonment in Edinburgh Castle dressed as a woman! His retainers now have to get him across the city and into a safe house. The forces of the King are out to track him down. The only problem is - this is all going on whilst the denizens of Auld Reekie are having a riot! Three factions with competing and secret objectives had an action packed game one iteration of which lasted 5 hours on a 4 x 4 table!!!! Donnybrook stretched to the absolute limit.

Franciscans and Death Soldiers bid for freedom
Donnybrook Scenario #2: Revenge of the Huguenots, Southern France 1683.

The Huguenots of south western France are fed up being pushed around by Louis XIV's anti-Protestant policies. They take matters into their own hands and go on the rampage. This involves burning an abbey, attempting to murder the Franciscan Friars and liberating Catholic gold, jewels and artefacts. Protected by a fanatical group of Spanish adventurers known as the Soldados Muerte the Friars and their treasure must reach the safety of Royal lands. Meanwhile the Comte de Bidet leading the soldiers of King Louis are on their way to rescue the friars.

We'll feature every game in detail in separate blog posts. So, join us again for the unfolding story of wargaming in the Debatable Lands!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Russian Guard Flags from Quindia Studios

Clarence Harrison - Another addition to our GNW range...

Preobrazhenski and Semenovski regiments, available now from the LoA shop! It's been mentioned before, but you can get all of our flags at glorious LoA scale (50mm high), a quiet confident Quindia Studios scale (40mm high), and a boring 'realistic' scale (30mm high)... If you need something else drop us a note and we will see if we can work something out...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 9 - Battle Report dessert

Reconvening about a further three weeks down the line...Barry concludes the battle report  on the epic struggle at Aughrim.

Judging by his top you couldn't tell Gerry was Ginkel!! The start of Part 3.
For all you marathon runners out there; To recap, 10 x 6 feet table, about 1,600 miniatures and so far about 13 hours of gaming. Four players come together for the third time to try and resolve  the bloodiest battle in Ireland's history.. Aughrim 12th July 1691.

Well actually, Bob had to work late so there were only three of us for the first two and a half hours. Poor Gerry had to manage the entire Williamite Army whilst Dave and I dealt with our own little parts of the Jacobite force.

OK Hilton, deal with this! Langston's and Wolseley's move on up!
Part two, best described as the Jacobite cavalry phase had closed with the Williamite right wing (northern flank) stopped dead. Much of its infantry had retreated or routed and the remainder were mostly held at the distance of the first hedgerows. The Horse were largely untouched and a mighty wing consisting of 12 squadrons stood off beyond the Melehan stream. To achieve this considerable result the Jacobites had thrown in almost everything they had which was mounted on a Horse. Some of Abercorn's, Galmoy's and Kilmallock's battered squadrons were still operational but no unit was without losses. On Kilcommodan Hill the Foot had taken a battering, mostly from Ginkel's large guns and some battalions, particularly the Guards, were badly mauled.

The Williamites prepare to try again on the southern flank
The centre of the line on Kilcommodan Hill itself was solid and under no immediate threat. From Bloody Hollow south there were many regiments on both sides sorely tested. The Williamites had thrown cavalry across at Attibrassil bridge but this sacrifice was in vain. Jacobite counter attacks loosened the foothold. The Danes had fought through at Bloody Hollow only to break back disorganized and damaged.

Gerry had to hit us hard and so began Part three, best described as 'clinging to the lifebelt' for the Jacobites.
The attacks started immediately and were in reality a continuation from the end of Part two. Without masses of organized and well positioned Foot the only option open to Ginkel on the northern flank was to send in the Horse and hope that the Jacobites were fragile enough to break before the wave.

Langston's ride, Bagnall's run exposing Gormanston's. St Ruhe watches
Langston's regiment came first and made a good fist of it. They charged Bagnall's Regiment who bolted at the sight of the thundering horses. This in turn exposed the unsuspecting regiment of Lord Gormanston to the charge. The Irish volley failed to check the Horse who thundered into the infantry and cut them down. In their moment of victory the unsupported Langston's were caught in a cauldron of fire from Irish infantry all around them.

Unstoppable! Langston's crash into Gormanston's sweeping them away
Despite being yards from capturing St Ruhe, the Williamite Horse were all but destroyed and broke off.

St Ruhe in danger! Langston's cut their way through to the General
Next came Wolseley's Enniskilleners - wild, gungho and the only Williamite unit to be classed BLADE in the orbat. Out to meet them rode the remnants of Kilmallock's Regiment let by Pierce Butler and Lord Abercorn. The heroes of Kilmallock's died to a man but wiped out the lead squadron of Wolseley's (revenge for Newtownbutler!). The 2nd squadron charged on towards the Jacobite line but was cut down by feverish volleys on the way in. Seeing the fate of their comrades seemed to discourage the remaining regiments of Horse on the Williamite right.

Sacrificial charge - Kilmallock's spoil Wolseley's attack
On the southern flank the Williamites just could not  build the momentum of the attack. Just as it seemed the mass of infantry would roll forward yet another battalion would hesitate or retire in the face of enemy fire. The momentum drained away from the Danes and Huguenots.

Go for broke - They Dutch Horse force the centre
 An attempt to regain the initiative in the centre was at first successful. The Dutch brigade consisting of regiments Zuylenstien and van Oyen thundered up the central slope of Kilcommodan Hill. Lord Bellew's Regiment had advanced some way down the slope whilst engaging Dutch infantry but now found itself exposed to the enemy Horse.

Bellew's bolt! On come the Dutch!
The Irishmen lost their nerve and ran back up the slope bursting through McMahon's Regiment behind them. Tantalizingly, the Dutch Horse failed to contact the fleeing infantry and found themselves blown and exposed under the very muzzle of the surviving Jacobite gun battery and in front of McMahon's regiment. The inevitable conclusion was the rapid destruction of the brigade.

Now the Dutch will feel the heat of the guns!
Some command paralysis swept across the Williamite army at this point.. just as Bob arrived! He stood at the door in silence sweeping his eyes across the table then looked at Gerry! Priceless moment in sport... what is THIS?? Actually Gerry had done well but we as the Jacobites had done better and the dice Gods had been with us. In one crucial round of morale checks I remember rolling five 6's and a 5. The look on their faces was worthy of a picture!

Sarsfield  leads forward the counter stroke across the morass
They did their best to salvage something but this point marked the turning of the tide. Dave went onto the offensive leading forward the Life Guard cavalry brigade across the morass and took the fight to the Williamites. The Guards themselves charged to glory riding down Prinds George's Regiment but not before Patrick Sarsfield shamed himself in front of the world!

Sarsfield flees the field - A moment of infamy!
Leading the brigade and taking a 'officer hit' during the defensive volley, the craven scooter turned tail and galloped from the field! On seeing this, Simon Lutterell's Regiment of Horse faced about and fled too! The air was blue from Dave's side yet, the Life Guards on their own prevailed. This disrupted Gerry's centre resulting in a planned attack by the Danish Horse being diluted because they had to face about to meet he rampant Life Guards.

The King's Life Guard smash Prinds George's Danes
It was all up to Bob. The last attack. Led by Kirke's Lambs, supported by the inexperienced regiment of Meath and a handful of survivors from the gallant Erle's Regiment, they pushed for the spot on the northern slope of Kilcommodan hill most battered by the Williamite artillery throughout the battle. One bad die throw, one poor volley might see the Jacobite line crack in two.

Danish Horse try in vain to break the line late in the battle
Down the slope marched Lord Creagh's rookies. They had survived all morale checks in the previous five turns and now walked straight into the path of the oncoming attack. They took fire from Kirke's and Meath's. Erle's tried to charge them but failed. Meath's failed their charge check. Lord Creagh's passed their own! A volley from Kirke's veterans broke Creagh's battalion which at the point of charge had already suffered over 50% casualties. The rout of Erle's cause checks along the Williamite line and with the exception of the stoic Kirke's, they all broke!

Lord Creagh's Regiment sacrifices itself for victory!
The valiant sacrifice of Lord Creagh's Regiment had forced the enemy's hand and won the battle.

We all looked at each other. It was 8.30pm. We'd fought another 6 hours. Over 19 hours in total. Was it over? Yes it was. Ginkel's army was shattered. What was left had enough cavalry to cover a retreat to Athlone. The Jacobites had no Horse left to pursue. Their infantry line was solid, 13 battalions defiantly holding Kilcommodan Hill. Attibrassil was secure. Aughrim and the castle were still garrisoned. The Williamites had 6 scattered battalions in good order from the 28 who had begin the battle.

The end of the battle viewed from the south
View from the north. Kirke's attack has failed.
The War in Ireland would continue into 1692!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GNW Swedish Infantry Preview

Clibinarium - It may have seemed for quite some time now that all has been quiet on the Warfare Miniatures front, without news of new releases or development. But things have been progressing steadily under the radar on the first part of our new venture into the Great Northern War; the army of Charles XII.

Over the Christmas period a lot of work went into the preparation of doll figures, indeed I got a bit carried away and produced nineteen dolls, rather than the projected fourteen. However careful work on the dolls is essential and the more there are the greater choice it gives me as the sculptor in the later stages when masters are being prepared. The dolls went off for casting up and came out quite nicely, though a few had flaws and are being recast. In any batch of dolls some flaws are unavoidable, that's just the nature of the casting process.

Our basic approach with the Swedish foot is to produce three types of pose; Marching, Standing and Charging. The last in particular being indispensable for portraying the aggressive tactical doctrine of Charles' army. When we get on to the Russians they will likely be Marching, Standing and Firing, the latter to illustrate the Russian answer to the Swedish charge. Within the three poses we are providing figures in karpus and tricorn. I have decided to alter the style of the karpus slightly between the poses, but the different packs within that pose type will have the same style to make the units consistent.

Below are some Work In Progress pictures of figures currently on the workbench, but soon to be sent off for casting. Please bear in mind that there are certain bits that aren't quite finished on these figures, but they give a decent impression of what the eventual figures will look like.

Pikemen in tricorn charging

Command in tricorn charging

Pikemen in karpus charging

Command in tricorn standing.

The green coloured figure may be recognisable as one of the original sample figures sculpted back in October. He is green because procreate putty turns a sickly green hue after having been through the vulcanisation process. Beforehand it is a light grey as visible on all the other figures.

Pikemen in tricorn standing

You can observe in these figures some of the same dolls used in the command pack. Uniforms in the Swedish army differed little in cut between the officers and the rank and file. This makes the dolls wearing only waist belts potentially convertible into any infantry role.

Musketeers in tricorn marching

Musketeers in karpus marching.

As may be recalled from the preview it was decided that the best way of tackling the marching figures was to make the musket arms plug-in. Hence the lack of a musket arm in these masters. This allows a more dynamic pose and avoids certain casting issues that can make consistent good casting problematic, or in some instances, problems that render some poses un-castable altogether: see this previous post for discussion of this issue.

A happy accident of this choice is that I realised a slightly different pose from the originally intended one was possible by changing the plug-in arm, giving a more casual pose, and a more serious one with bayonets fixed advancing to contact. In both cases the arm can be rotated at the shoulder to alter the slant of the musket..

Note that these karpus wearing figures have a slightly different style of karpus than the charging figures..
The issue of headgear for Swedish grenadiers is a perplexing one. Few mitres have survived intact, regimental records rarely mention them, some of those that are known are for foreign regiments in Swedish pay, etc. It is quite likely that most just wore the tricorn. At the dollying stage I sculpted up some of the known examples. However when you think about the practicalities of how to produce the different varieties the numbers begin to add up. With five different mitres a single pose of standing grenadiers adopting all five would need twenty five sculpts to produce five packs, and then the other two types of pose would require another fifty. Never mind the sculpting, the inventory is getting out of control at that point.

A potential solution is to make the headgear plug-in, somewhat like Perry plastics. Its not ideal as there may be a slight gap between the head and the hat, though generally whatever glue is used to attach the hat will fill in the gap. Of course if you want your grenadiers in tricorns you can stick those on instead of mitres. Unless there are serious objections its likely this is the solution we'll pursue, but we'll have to see how the casts come out  before we decide.

Hatless grenadier. Options below.

I hope you like the figures in prospect. Its a relief of sorts to finally be able to show pictures of work that's been going on for a few months now. At the moment there's quite a lot of other figures on the workbench but they aren't quite ready to be shown yet. There should be more to come in the next few weeks, then on to the horse.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tales from Sverige Part 1 - Royal clothes and stuff

Strandvagen - The Army museum is over behind this avenue
Barry Hilton - Occasionally, my travels allow me to visit exciting places which are very appealing from a hobby perspective. I combined a recent business trip to Stockholm with some time off and managed to squeeze in some fairly heavyweight hobby action which I thought blog followers may find quite interesting.

Royal Palace on the right
Part 1 focuses on a visit to the Royal Armouries attached to the Palace which were a mere 100 yards from my hotel in Gamla Stan in the oldest part of Stockholm. Soren Christiansen (of this parish!) had thoroughly recommended my visit to the Armouries because I was going to see the actual war gear of two of Sweden's most famous monarchs - Gustav Adolph and Karl XII. I needed no further encouragement!

Yup - the Gods smiled upon my visit!
As a general comment, Stockholm is one of Europe's most beautiful cities without a doubt. I have had the privilege of seeing very many of these over the years and to my mind it ranks in the top 5 perhaps even top 3. It is full of history and the Swedes 'do' history rather well! The museums are very visitor friendly, modern in amenities and stylish. They are full of helpful and imaginative exhibits and  extremely tastefully lit and atmospheric.

So without further ado... The Swedish Royal Armouries and some interesting things for you to look at.

Gustav Adolph's buff coat with bullet hole on right side of chest
I felt I was really close to history in this first room containing the clothes of Gustav Adolph at Lutzen. His buff coat can be seen above.

The King's sword apparently found near his body on the field
According to the information accompanying the exhibits Gustav Adolph was personally leading the Smalands cavalry against the Imperialists. He received a bullet to his left elbow which caused him to lose control of his horse which bolted straight into the enemy ranks. He was shot again in the chest and for a third time in the temple. He went down and was lost. His body was not found till long after the battle at which time it had been stripped of everything except three linen shirts. His sword was apparently found near the body. His mount has galloped back to the Swedish lines. The only bit of the story I couldn't put together was that if he was found stripped of all valuables except the shirts.. where did they get the buff coat with the bullet hole? No matter, I loved it!

His Horse Streiff (apparently named after its first owner Mr Streiff) was bought by the king for 1,000 Thalers. It died of its wounds shortly after the battle and was stuffed. And here it is:

Gustav Adolph's very stiff Streiff!
All he was left in on the field - 3 bloody shirts
This fragment of a cavalry standard is also on display beside the king's clothes.

The standard has 1626 on it. Leather plate shows full size
Next to the Gustav Adolph display are the clothes of King Karl XII. The exhibition seemed to be saying that these were actually the clothes he was wearing when he was shot. By the Swedes or by the enemy is not clear but my Swedish friends told me that on the day he was killed in Norway, many hundreds of miles away in Sweden his brother in law produced a plan for the future of the kingdom... sounds like somewhat of a coincidence!

Karl XII's clothes
The King's hat is an interesting shade of grey brown, perhaps faded with the years?

The hat is large and deep in the crown
A couple of bonus shots from the many more I took. One shows some royal armour and the other a coach from the 18th century.

Visit again for more from my Stockholm trip................

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