Friday, January 31, 2014

I Wanna Tell You a Story... Tales with Toy Soldiers

Clarence Harrison - I thought I'd hijack Barry's series (missed 'em? Follow the link) on basing to add my two cents. Barry and other LoA partners inspired my designs long before we had the chance to chat over the net. LoA games were regular features in Wargames Illustrated when I was just starting to build my wargames collections. That was what wargames should look like! Massed blocks of troops were great, but it was the vignettes scattered around the table that really caught my eye (anyone else remember TYW 'Running Away' bases?).

My C-in-C stand for King James II combines several principles from Barry's series. Obviously this is a command vignette and therefore destined to be one of the centerpieces of the army. The fantastically pensive King James II (Warfare Miniatures) sets the scene. He looks... concerned. He is obviously getting the news that his nephew has crossed the Boyne. The model's were posed in way to make it seem like the king is ignoring the messenger, but the man's frantic tones have certainly caught the attention of the horse! Just to make sure there's no mistaking the battle, I've added the sign post that places the good king between Old Bridge and Donore. Both the sign and the king's banner add the element of height to draw the eye and make the base stand out from the masses.


What a contrast with the command stand of King William III! The dashing leader calls 'Men of Eniskillen, what will you do for me?' Again I've used height by modeling the small hill to raise the models above the rabble. The broken fences and position of the models lend the impression of a wild charge over broken terrain rather than the ordered precision of the parade ground.




I like including other details like walls and trees on my unit bases. Not across the entire army, but maybe one in three or four. These will always be painted in ways that match other pieces of terrain in my collection. I know some people don't like the thought of trees marching across the table, but these same people have no problem with marching models shooting when the time comes!

Send us your vignettes and a short description of the thinking behind them. When we get three or four I'll add another post to the series...



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The baby wore red. The infant British Army learns to walk 1670-1704. Part 4

A walk through the fixture list.
Like any good team the Redcoats learned through experience. They clawed their way up the rankings from the position of joke outfit to become the most formidable infantry in Europe by Napoleonic times. The pre-eminent military powers of the late 17th century viewed them with some disdain. Although regiments in foreign-service were well thought of, indigenous units were viewed less than positively. In 1688 their new Dutch allies had little that was good to say about them. In appearance, demeanour and discipline they were held in near contempt. Getting match fit was hard yards for the men from the islands. Their road to the top started here and 13 post match reports track the journey from zeros to heroes.
22nd June 1679: Battle of Bothwell Brig.
A small but by comparison well equipped Royal Army comprising around 1,500 Foot, dragoons and artillery faced 4-5,000 armed civilians. These religious dissenters called Covenanters put up a token resistance defending a bridge across the river Clyde near Hamilton. It cannot be described as a formal battle rather more as 17th century riot control. The army was commanded by the Duke of   Monmouth. The mettle of the soldiers would not have been sorely tested in this encounter. After about 1 hour of skirmishing the bridge was forced and the Covenanters routed. John Graham fought with the Royal Army.
Match verdict:  An easy home victory against poor quality opposition with little war craft required. They were better equipped and slightly more coordinated than the comedy turn enemy and were never seriously under pressure. Nothing significant can be garnered from this result.
skirmishing in my home county of Lanarkshire
1680-1683 Tangier
Tangier was in the possession of the crown from 1661 as part of the new Queen’s dowry. It was a problematic outpost from the minute of hand over by the Portuguese who were ecstatic to be shot. Between 1680-83 a force of around 3,000 battled constantly and fiercely to keep the Moors and Berbers from over running the city. Dumbarton’s (1st), the Tangier Regiment, a composite Guards battalion and Trelawney’s (4th) all fought against the numerous and dangerous Moroccan tribes before the city was abandoned in 1684.
Match verdict:  Very tricky away fixture which gave the boys priceless experience in a pressure cooker environment. Although they scored early, the long period of extra time resulted in no glory. This game toughened up those who turned out at Sedgemoor in ‘85 and so we must take the long view. Exposure to those fit African lads with their individual flair and speed sharpened the skills of the Reds when they next turned out at home against a rebel rabble from Somerset.
5/6th July 1685: Battle of Sedgemoor
The very same Monmouth who had protected the kingdom from rebellion, rebelled himself in 1685. His army of volunteers from the West Country led by a small core of professional officers was routed in a night time – dawn action. The Royal Army was commanded by the Earl of Feversham but the victory is sometimes attributed to his second, John Churchill. The army had 2 battalions of the 1st Foot Guards, The Coldstream Guards, Dumbarton’s(1st), Kirke’s (2nd) and Trelawney’s(4th), 2 regiments of Horse, 1 of dragoons and around 10 guns. The enemy army was about twice the size but less well equipped. This could have been a disastrous outcome for the fledgling army but the night attack was un-coordinated and Dumbarton’s Scots sentinels reputedly spotted the bumbling night advance from their glowing slow-matches thus raising the alarm in time. 
Match verdict: A workmanlike home victory against second class opposition. The Redcoats relied heavily on veteran Scots players who’d seen plenty of action in their long careers. Valuable lessons were learned and positive developments resulted. High profile fans including an upper class hooligan named Jeffries, went on the rampage after the match. His thuggish behaviour did much to take the shine off a well won victory for the King’s men. The anti-Catholic press had a field day!
25th August 1689: Battle of Walcourt
This encounter battle in southern Belgium displayed signs of what the maturing British infantry were capable of.  An advanced guard of around 500 men under Colonel Hodges held up advancing French forces long enough to allow the main army to come up and deploy. This detachment fell back in good order after a further stand against the advancing enemy. In the main battle, British units including the Coldstream Guards were in the thick of the action and performed steadily and aggressively. Their fighting ability was noted by their Dutch masters as was their particularly shabby and un-soldierly appearance!
Match verdict: They handled the novelty of their first big European occasion well. Some star performances from individuals and regiments. The Redcoats were strong defensively and evidenced great stamina. In sticky moments they were prepared to dig deep for that extra reserve of guts. They showed lots of aggression in the counter attack and demonstrated a few shock moves for the enemy. Overall this was a surprise away win with more than a little help from their continental allies! 
27th July 1689: Battle of Killiecrankie
A well trained and equipped Williamite Army of just under 5,000 Foot and about 200 Dragoons was attacked and cut to pieces by a Highland charge which may have lasted less than 5 minutes at the Pass of Killiecrankie near Pitlochry. The very experienced Major General Hugh Mackay was in command of the force which included Mackay’s, Ramsay’s and Balfour’s regiments of the Scots-Dutch Brigade, 2 newly raised Scottish regiments; Leven’s (25th) and Kenmuir’s and a solitary English regiment; Hasting’s (13th). The action was a complete disaster with casualties running to over 1,000. The army was not trained to deal with the fast moving, close combat tactics employed by the clans. It could be argued that the battle was an aberration, nevertheless serious flaws in defensive capability resulted in Mackay being credited with the invention of the socket bayonet as replacement for the almost useless plug variety.
Match verdict: A whitewash! The manager appears to have totally underestimated his opposition and must shoulder all of the blame for his poor judgement on the day! Surprisingly the Board did not sack him and their decision was vindicated over a couple of seasons when he came good in both Scotland and Ireland. Although the majority of the army broke and fled, two regiments stood their ground withdrawing in some semblance of order. Ironically one was the newly raised recruits of Dave ‘Lucky’ Leven so what can you infer from that if anything?
21st August 1689: Battle of Dunkeld
After the disaster at Killiecrankie a newly raised regiment of staunch Covenanting men raised by the Earl of Angus (26th) garrisoned and held the small cathedral town of Dunkeld on the River Tay about 15 miles from the disaster site. They were attacked by 4,000 highland clansmen and Irish regulars. The battle was a day long, house to house, hand to hand combat resulting in the almost complete destruction of Dunkeld. The defenders desperately hung on with great courage. Dunkeld was not a field engagement but the stubborn streak of the Redcoat at bay was demonstrated to the full against a ferocious if disorganized opponent. Visitors can still see the bullet marks in the cathedral walls to this day.
Match verdict: Surprise result of the season. Strong defensive work by the Reds resulted in a shock home win in the dying seconds.  Angus’s giant killers humbled the odds on favourites for silverware who were somewhat hampered by the recent demise of their star player- manager ‘Bonnie Johnnie’ Graham. His Irish replacement Colonel Cannon should clearly have been fired before the match. The young Colonel Cleland (27) who fell in the first hour and his deputy Major Munro showed huge appetite in the pressure cooker cauldron of the battle. They were the architects of victory.
1st July 1690: Battle of the Boyne
The Boyne is much misunderstood and often deliberately distorted for political and sectarian reasons. The Williamite Army containing about 20,000 British and 15,000 foreign troops defeated the Jacobite Army of about 20,000 British and 7,000 foreign troops. The majority of the fighting and winning on the Williamite side was done by Dutch, Danish and French Huguenot regiments. Casualty returns evidence this clearly. The fighting and losing on the Jacobite side was mainly by Irish infantry. Their cavalry however displayed outstanding dash and skill and proved themselves to be of the finest quality in combat. The Boyne cannot be described as a test of the Redcoat’s skill at arms as very few regiments of British infantry were heavily engaged. The following regiments were present Douglas’s (1st), Kirke’s (2nd), Trelawney’s (4th), Lloyd’s (5th), George Hamilton’s (7th), Beaumont’s (8th), Steuart’s (9th), Hanmer’s (11th), Brewer’s (12th), Hastings(13th), Meath’s(18th), Erle’s (19th), Bellasis’(22nd), Gustavus Hamilton’s (20th), Herberts (23rd), Dering’s (24th), Tiffin’s (27th), Lisburns, Drogheda’s, Mitchelbourne’s, St John’s and Ffoulkes.
Match Verdict:  The partisan press really went over the top with cliché superlatives which belied the true outcome. It was a solid home victory but all the chances were created and scored by top class foreign  stars! The management team was also foreign and they played our home boys in supporting positions for most of the match not considering them reliable enough in the critical areas on the field. The domestic game is really getting ruined by all these European big money imports who’ve clearly taken advantage of the Bosman ruling to exploit our national sport!
12th July 1691: Battle of Aughrim
Aughrim was a grim and bloody struggle between a largely British Williamite Army of around 22,000 and a slightly smaller British Jacobite Army. It involved the Williamites attacking over very difficult boggy terrain against a well-positioned enemy force on higher ground. There was a high proportion of hand to hand combat. The battle was very hard and close fought. The outcome was contingent on several critical events such as the freak death of the Jacobite commander from a stray cannonball which beheaded him and the single handed reconnaissance of an almost impenetrable bog by General Hugh Mackay thus enabling a decisive flanking attack by cavalry. Mackay retrieved his honour as a top quality soldier after the debacle of Killiecrankie. British regiments present includedKirke’s (2nd), Lloyd’s (5th), George Hamilton’s (7th), Steuart’s (9th), Brewer’s (12th), Meath’s (18th), Erle’s (19th), Gustavus Hamilton’s (20th), Bellasis’(22nd), Herbert’s (23rd), Tiffin’s (27th), Creighton’s, St John’s, Lisburn’s, Ffoulkes and Cutt’s.
Match verdict:  League winning victory against a good quality opponent and a ticket to European competition in the 1692 season. Coach Mackay was on the park with the players from the kick off although manager Ginkel played a less dynamic role in guiding his side to glory. This ‘up and at ‘em’ approach from the British including their leaders is beginning to mark them out as something a bit different.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Roster Sheet for Donnybrook

Here is the force roster sheet for Donnybrook so you don't have to break the spine of the book to photocopy it! It should be self explanatory, but I've included a second sheet filled in so you can see where everything goes. There are twelve boxes to record the number of models in each unit - if the unit has fewer than twelve models, simply black out the extras (duh). You can record casualties in pencil to keep an eye on when you need to test for the End of Game. Use pencil to record when the unit has fired in the 'Reload?' box. Obviously if you are playing with more than four units, you will need two roster sheets...

Right now you need to fill these in manually, but I will look into making a form fillable PDF as soon as I get the chance.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 1 - Bazza's history bit


Have you heard of the Battle of Aughrim? Many people haven't and that includes wargamers. The words of a rather provocative (to some) song mention the battle and many people must have heard it  without being aware of the reference.


It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.


One of our guest bloggers the author Michael McNally, has posted an interesting series on the battle here. The Battle of the Boyne is well known but often misunderstood in terms of its detail. The Battle of Aughrim was more fierce, larger and a much closer run thing with commensurately heavier casualties. It took place just over a year after the Boyne west of Athlone in Co Galway.

On to Aughrim!

Many of the forces that took part had fought at the Boyne and gained a further year of experience campaigning in Ireland. The leadership of each army had passed from 'royal' control to that of lesser known generals (in historical profile terms at least but perhaps not at the time). A Frenchman was in command of Jacobite forces and a Dutchman in command of the Williamite army.


The Jacobites were now much more of a thoroughbred Irish entity. The French battalions present in 1690 had returned home. The Williamite force although still containing a strong foreign component in the form of Dutch, Huguenot and Danish regiments was to rely heavily on the performance of English regiments at Aughrim.

Aughrim Castle Ruins


The engagement has many of the hallmarks of a classic set piece battle. One side in position on higher ground, flanks protected by difficult terrain and well deployed to take maximum advantage of its situation. Although fewer in numbers and with lighter and less artillery they had the advantage of excellent cavalry and a competent commander. They also knew that to lose in such a major engagement would hasten if not mark the end of the war in Ireland.


The Williamite commander Ginkel was also under the pressure of expectation. His master needed the 30,000+ troops tied up in Ireland to meet the enormous threat of Louis XIV's legions in Flanders. Failing to bring St Ruhe and his Irish army to battle and defeat him did Ginkel's reputation no good whatsoever with William.



Tristuan stream from Attibrasil bridge looking north

With the fall of Athlone the stakes could not be higher for either side. This gives a context to our excitement at fighting Bloody Aughrim.



Friday, January 24, 2014

WARFARE FEATURED CODE: WLOA4 Musketeers advancing


WLOA4 Musketeers advancing  is another of the most popular Warfare codes.  The aggressive nature of the poses allows an exciting mix to be created when basing up these miniatures in units.

Painted as Lutterell's Regiment by the late Spencer Warner.

Four body dollies were used as the basis for this code. The models come with plug bayonet attached to the model but these can be removed easily with a craft knife.
 This pose contrasts well with the others.
This dolly is used once in the set but appears elsewhere in the range.

One of my personal favourite sculpts from the early codes is part of this set. The chap second from the left in the shot at the top of the page captures perfectly the aggressive look of a soldier going into the  thick of it. With mouth open perhaps singing, shouting encouragement to his friends or hurling insults at the enemy he looks the business. He may even be praying for deliverance!

Swedish Vastmanland Regiment  from the Skane Wars period by Spencer Warner.

The last of the five options in the code is the striding model below who appears to be moving forward with intent!

To create a flavour for how units based around code WLOA4 Musketeers advancing look, here are a variety of shots of finished battalions by various painters.

Earl of Bath's Regiment by Barry Hilton
Dutch Brandenburg Regiment by Kris Allsop

Danish Regiment Prinds Georg by Bob Talbot

Clarence Harrison - The first Warfare unit I ever built, my Danish Foot Guard, used this code.

Danish - Garden til Fods (Foot Guard)

Dutch - Brandenberg (again)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The baby wore red. The infant British Army learns to walk 1670-1704. Part 3

Worse than the Premiership
The story of the Redcoat is as much about the men who led the troops as the battles they fought and so an illuminating place to dig is into the personalities leading the russet coated masses.  Forget dying for the colours. Even a cursory look at the careers of prominent military figures of the period tells a tale which is often hard to follow in its twists and turns. Although some of these men were motivated by cause and conscience it is clear that power and wealth played a large part in the transfer market. This type of behaviour was not restricted to British officers but a swift tour through a few resumes begins to unpick some of the misconceptions associated with modern views of the times.
James Scott (1st Duke of Monmouth) Born 1649, executed 1685.
Monmouth served first in the Royal Navy and then the army from 1665-72. He transferred to French service fighting against the Dutch where he commanded 6,000 British troops. In 1673 he distinguished himself at the siege of Maastricht. By 1678 he was leading a British brigade fighting for the Dutch against the French. His bravery was noted at The Battle of St Denis. He led his father’s troops at Bothwell Brig in 1679. In 1685 he landed in England as Protestant claimant to the throne directly challenging his uncle, James II. He was defeated at Sedgemoor and subsequently executed. He was dead at 36, hero to some, traitor to others.
A General officer perhaps the venal Major General Kirke
John Graham (1st Viscount Dundee aka Bonnie Dundee and Bluddy Clavers) Born 1649, died 1689.
He served as a junior officer in Lockhart’s Regiment of Scots in the pay of France and under the direct command of Monmouth during 1672. At this point he was fighting against the Dutch. By 1674 he was a cornet in William of Orange’s Lifeguard fighting against the French. He distinguished himself at Senneffe where he reputedly saved the life of William. He returned to Scotland in 1676. He was sent by Charles II on military duties into the Covenanter heartlands of the south west. In 1679 his outnumbered dragoons were beaten at Drumclog. He fought them again in the same year at Bothwell Brig this time on the winning side. By 1686 he was a major general. In 1688 he was second in command of the Scots Army which marched south in aid of the King’s cause. He fell in his moment of victory leading Highlanders against Mackay’s Williamites at Killiecrankie in 1689. He was dead at 40, immortalized in both deed and song. A Protestant Jacobite hero. 
Hugh Mackay (Lieutenant General) Born 1640, died 1692 at Steenkirke.
In 1660 he joined Douglas’s Regiment (Royal Scots) then in the service of France. By 1669 he was in Venetian pay and active in the Mediterranean theatre. By 1672 he has returned to Douglas’s Regiment and fought under Turenne in Flanders. After marrying a Dutch woman he changed sides and commanded a Scots Regiment in the army of the United Provinces fighting against the French. By 1685 he was a major general commanding the entire Scots-Dutch brigade.

 During the Monmouth Rebellion William of Orange ‘lent’ the brigade to his father in law James II under Mackay’s command although it did not see much action. In 1688 when William invaded England, Mackay’s men were in the Dutch vanguard.  As commander in Chief of Williamite forces in Scotland he was soundly beaten at Killiecrankie by Dundee despite a 2:1 numerical advantage. He subsequently redeemed himself by subduing the Highlands during 1691. He was instrumental in the Williamite victory at Aughrim in 1691. He was killed valiantly leading his brigade at the disastrous Battle of Steenkirke in 1692. He was dead at 52 having lived the epitome of a 17th century soldier’s career and held by most to be man of high principles.
Patrick Sarsfield (1st Earl of Lucan) Born 1660, died 1693
He served as part of the English brigade in the service of France during the reign of Charles II. He was a junior officer in the Royal Army at Sedgemoor. Promoted to colonel shortly after, he was fiercely loyal to James II. In the early stages of the Dutch invasion of 1688, his men skirmished with Scots soldiers in the William’s Dutch Army. He became a prominent Jacobite leader in Ireland. He was known to be fearless and distinguished himself at the Boyne, the siege of Limerick and Ballyneety after which he became an Irish national hero. He fought at Aughrim. After the fall of Ireland he went with the Wild Geese to France to continue the fight for the Stuart dynasty. He was mortally wounded at Neerwinden in 1693, dying a few days later. He was dead at 33, immortalized as an Irish romantic hero and all round man of action.


John Churchill (1st Duke of Marlborough) Born 1650, died 1722
His military career started with a commission in the 1st Foot Guards in 1667. He subsequently spent 3 years fighting the Moors in the English outpost of Tangier. In 1672 he was at sea with the navy distinguishing himself at the Battle of Solebay and receiving command of the Lord High Admiral’s Regiment. The Lord High Admiral was none other than his friend and patron James Stuart, Duke of York, later King James II. He transferred to English forces fighting for the French and further glory was gained saving the life of Monmouth at one of the frequent sieges of Maastricht. He remained serving Louis XIV despite some British defections to the Dutch. He fought under Turenne during 1674 -75. During the Monmouth Rebellion, Churchill commanded the Foot and although subordinate to Feversham, is credited by many as having won the battle. He defeated the man whose life he had saved 12 years and so indirectly condemned Monmouth to death. During the Glorious Revolution he deserted James II in a cloud of intrigue. He aligned himself with William but was never fully trusted by him. After service in a junior command role at Walcourt in 1689 and an independent command expedition in Ireland in 1691, he retired from military life for the rest of William and Mary’s reign and always suspected of being a closet Jacobite. Seen by all but his most blindsided devotees as a man of almost limitless ambition and questionable scruples, the rest as they say, is history.
Thomas Dalyell, General (Bluidy Tam the Muscovite  De’il) Born 1615, died 1685.
Dalyell first fought in France during Charles I’s expedition of 1628 to aid the Huguenots at La Rochelle. He fought in Ireland during the Civil War and at the Battle of Worcester as a Royalist officer. He escaped to serve the Czar of Russia and fought against the Turks, Tatars and Poles between 1651-1660 as he would have been imprisoned if in the British islands. He returned to Scotland after the Restoration and by 1666 was Army Commander in Chief of Scotland. He routed the Covenanters at Rullion Green in 1666 leading 3,000 men against an enemy one third that strength. He was supposed to command the Royal Army at Bothwell Brig but did not arrive until the battle was ended.









































































Monday, January 20, 2014

The State of Our Union

Warfare Miniatures painted by the indomitable Barry Hilton
...unless he is playing against Dave O'Brien of course!
Clarence Harrison - I had meant for this to be the 100th post, but sometimes the blog has a life of it's own and before I knew it we were at 137! The first post was only six months ago (June 3, 2013) and in that short amount of time we have seen the League of Augsburg blog grow into a thriving community. Since the site began we have gained 162 followers, 108,000+ page views, and now average around 425 page views per day. We have managed 137 published posts from ten different authors, generated over 670 comments, and posted more than 300 photos! Even better for me is the fact that we have been able to keep a pace of at least three posts per week since we started!

The new year will see more hobby articles, scenarios, featured regiments, and history for the League of Augsburg period. We'll give more attention to Beneath the Lily Banners and Donnybrook in the form of scenarios and optional rules. The site will also continue be THE place for news on Warfare Miniatures.

I'd like to remind everyone that we accept submissions from guest authors and enjoy adding new voices to the blog.

Thanks for all of the support!

Friday, January 17, 2014

WARFARE FEATURED CODE: WLOA3 Musketeers marching

WLOA3 Musketeers marching

Code WLOA3 Musketeers marching is yet another characterful set of sculpts which were part of the original commission for the range.

Painted as Churchill's Regiment (English)

As troops of the period were not necessarily known to have manoeuvred in step (cadenced marching to the beat of a drum) the leg positions create a much less formal look to units in formation.

Danish Regiment Funen

Although I was not directly involved in specifying these sculpts (as it was pre my active involvement in Warfare Miniatures) I understand that two body dollies were used one with right foot forward and the other with left foot forward.

French Regiment Provence

The weapons are carried at a variety of angles and in several different ways which adds further to the slightly irregular look of groups of models together. This is evident in the group shots.

Garden til Fods (Danish Foot Guards)
The shot above gives a nice perspective on a small group of this code together. This is part of a unit painted by Chris Meacham and based by BH.
Painted as Jacobite Regiment Clanrickarde

This code has fairly universal application across different armies and as can be seen from the various painted examples are already serving in various collections as a selection of regiments.


 Bob Talbot's Coldstream Guards

 Garden til Fods by Chris Meacham

And finally  nice shot from the forthcoming Donnybrook rules showing a detachment of infantry leaving the safety of their billet to take the field against an unknown enemy.

 Clarence Harrison - This is my favorite pack! There is a wonderful sense of movement in these models as as Barry mentioned the variation creates some great looking units.


Two battalions of the Dutch Garde te Voet
Nassau-Saarbrucken-Ottweiler

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The baby wore red. The infant British Army learns to walk 1670-1704 Part 2

In the beginning
To fully understand the British military tradition we could journey back into prehistory and explore the warlike island tribes and their struggles against waves of invasion and migration from continental Europe. This piece however is more concerned with the evolution of the Redcoat from the time when men from the four nations began to fight together as opposed to facing each other across a battlefield. There was no British Army until the Act of Union in 1707 but before that date the different nations were already standing shoulder to shoulder. The years between 1670 and 1704 provide the scope for this article. The first tentative steps of the baby in red were taken handling local rebellions in the 1670s. By 1704 at a little village in Bavaria, the child had learned to walk upright and proud. He was also capable of giving some of the bigger kids in the schoolyard a good kicking.
The School Bully - Louis Gauloise
The sun appears to come up over the British with their contribution to the victory over the French army at Blindheim. The name has been anglicized and of course immortalized as Blenheim. Their fighting reputation was consolidated through Marlborough’s campaigns. What is not obvious is that by the time Blindheim was fought, Marlborough was 54. Napoleon and Wellington were both 45 at Waterloo and Bonaparte was dead at 51. Marlborough had already lived a lifetime as a soldier in an era when his troops were learning their craft and mostly on the losing side. The army appears to begin recording its matches with the first significant win at Namur in 1695. Before that date, epic battlefield performances were racked up at home and away. These in my experience, are not commonly known about even in the wargaming community. The reasons why are not immediately obvious but may become clearer as you read on. It is to these earlier encounters that we must look in order to understand the desperate struggles which marked the bloody birth of the British Army and its reputation.
Their’s is not a story of instant success. Many hard lessons had to be learned and the context in which the Redcoats fought must also be explained to fully understand why the British projection of history often rankles with foreign readers and writers. Throughout its history the British Army has partnered with forces of other nations to achieve political and military objectives. Often these foreigners have provided the money, materiel, the generals and the majority of the fighting troops yet British writers and commentators often appear to air brush the contribution of others out of history or minimize it at the least.
This tendency to goal-munch would clearly irritate we Brits (witness some modern American re writes of WWII and the resentment these engender) so the discomfort of Dutch, Danish and German scriveners is understandable and somewhat embarrassing to the less xenophobic of the island peoples. The British were increasingly significant contributors to continental wars of that there is no doubt. These wars were often against France, the biggest and baddest kid on the block. They were never, at any point the most numerous contingent although English written sources would have us believe that they were the architects and creators of most victories and relatively blameless when Coalition or Aliance armies were defeated. This trend continued long after the period and Fontenoy in 1745 is a great example of finger pointing at the Dutch (again).
Britain is a small country. Throughout history its army has been relatively modest in size with the exception of the world wars. This is not an issue of population but rather more to do with limiting the power wielded by any individual or group who might be in control of such an entity. The army evolved from the strife of the Civil War and Parliament with its new found power was understandably reluctant to build and fund apparatus which might, in the wrong hands, relieve it of that power and influence.  From its birth until modern times the British Army has struggled to receive the financing necessary to recruit, equip and fight effectively.
This makes its performance all the more remarkable. Often the Army’s achievements have been won on a shoestring. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 the cash strapped King was not best placed to maintain a massive military machine. British soldiers of all ranks tended to venture abroad to ply their trade. Service with the Dutch, Imperialists, Russians, Swedes and French was common. The most senior regiment of the line is widely accepted as having started life Swedish and then French service. The Royal Scots were formed as Hepburn’s Regiment during the Thirty Years War. A smallish Royal Army grew in England from 1660 including 3 regiments of Foot Guards (later to be known as Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots) and no more than 6 regiments of Foot. A modest force of cavalry was also maintained. This army fulfilled duties in far flung locations of crown interest including the American Colonies and North Africa not always with much success. During the late 1670’s religious strife at home saw it in action against its own people.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WARFARE MINIATURES SPRING 2014 FREE FIGURE OFFER


To kick start the year Warfare Miniatures are offering a free mounted figure with orders to the value of £50.00 or over (figures only and ex postage). The figure is a senior officer in dashing pose. He will never be commercially released as part of the range and will only be available through occasional special offers.

More pics available here!


After January he will be available through February with orders to the value of £75.00 or over (figures only and ex postage).

In addition, during January and February orders over £75.00 will also receive a free GNW sculpt from the 10 protos shown below. We are as yet undecided how many of these 10 will make it to full production so this may be a chance to get your hands on something very unique!

More news on the GNW range very soon. We now have a very large number of dollies completed. This means production is on schedule and the first codes will be available in Q1 2014.

Happy New Year from Warfare!

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