Friday, February 28, 2014

Donnybrook Reviews

Clarence Harrison - Well, Donnybrook has been arriving in the hands of eager gamers across the planet and some of them with a presence on the web have chimed in with their impressions...

Dalauppror
Don't Throw a 1
Fall on Pell Mell!
Platoon Forward
A Wargaming Gallimaufry

I'm sure there are more (apologies if I've left you out - add your link in the comments), but these came with a quick look around. Most of the sites above have more than one post (so make sure to spend a bit of time on all of these sites) including some AAR and their own modifications. Dalauppror and Saxon Dog are adapting Donnybrook for the Medieval period... with multiple supplements planned, this one might jump the queue with all of their input!

Quick Side Note: Real life has been rather... errr... real for me the last month or so and my free time has been seriously restricted. There are lots of Donnybrook posts coming along and lots of supporting projects in the works, but it may be a bit before I can commit the time I'd like. Please join the Fighting Talk forum and join in the discussions there. I still make time to answer rule questions and there are lots of new ideas floating around from other players.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Adrian's Walls at Shows in 2014


Adrian - We have teamed up with Wargames Emporium for touring dates in 2014 around  the UK and Antwerp.

You can catch us at the following shows:

HammerHead, Newark, Saturday 1st March 
WMMS, Wolverhampton, Sunday 9th March
Salute, London, Saturday 12th April
Legionary, Exeter, Saturday 3rd May
Campaign, Milton Keynes, May 
Triples , Sheffield, Saturday 17th May and Sunday 18th May
Broadside, Sittingbourne, Sunday 8th June
Phalanx, St Helens, Saturday 14th June
The Joy of Six, Sheffield, Sunday 20th July
Claymore , Edinburgh, Saturday 2nd August
Worlds, Derby, Castle Donnington, Saturday 4th October & Sunday 5th October 
SELWG, 
Fiasco, Leeds, October
Crisis, Antwerp, Belgium, Saturday 1st November 
Warfare, Reading, November
Recon, Pudsey, Leeds, December 

Some of the Adrian’s Walls Team will be on the Wargames Emporium Stand at the following shows to talk all things warfare: - HammerHead, Salute, Triples, Joy of Six, Worlds, Fiasco, Crisis and Recon. Why not pop along and have a chat with us...

We will also be trading under Adrian’s Walls at: Partizan, Newark, Sunday 1st June & The Other Partizan, Newark, Sunday 7th September

We will be carrying a large selection of our products to view and purchase including a very special Limited Edition Viking Longhip - Odin’s Wrath - which comes fully painted and fully assembled in red with a full black sail. This ship is only available for collection from the shows and will come fully pre-built to game straight out of the box. To order your exclusive ‘Odin’s Wrath’ Longship please email us at: info@adrianswalls.co.uk and we will be happy to deal with your enquiry.

http://www.adrianswalls.com

Hopefully see some of you at one of these shows.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 5 - Jacobite Order of Battle

Dragoons garrison the ruins of Aughrim Castle
The Jacobite order of battle we used. I have not listed it in the normal format of first line, second line etc. I have used the regimental names of the units as we represented them which means that some of these units were not at the battle but our model soldiers were!

Left Wing of the Army defending Aughrim.

Castle Garrison
Walter Bourke's Dragoons (9 models)

Aughrim Garrison
Walter Bourke's Dragoons (9 models)
1 light gun

The village of Aughrim was fortified
Behind Aughrim village.

Cavalry Brigade
Duke of Tyrconnel's Regiment (2 squadrons) Elite
Earl of Abercorn's Regiment (3 squadrons) Elite

Between Aughrim and Kilcommodan Hill.

Cavalry Brigade
Lord Galmoy's Regiment ( 2 squadrons) Elite
Lord Kilmallock's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled
Nicholas Purcell's Regiment (1 squadron) Drilled

King's Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion the King's Foot Guards (Elite)
2nd Battalion the King's Foot Guards (Elite)
Lord Gormanston's Regiment (Drilled)
Dudley Bagnall's Regiment (Raw)
1 light gun

From behind the left wing 
Upon Kilcommodan Hill.

Infantry Brigade
Bourke's Fusileers  (Drilled)
Edward Nugent's Regiment (Drilled)
Lord Creagh's Regiment (Raw)
John O'Connell's  Regiment (Drilled)
1 field gun
1 light gun

Infantry Brigade
Edward Grace's Regiment (Raw)
Lord Bellew's Regiment (Drilled)
Art McMahon's Regiment (Drilled)
Lord  Louth's Regiment (Drilled)

Infantry Brigade
Earl of Antrim's Regiment (Drilled)
De Boiselleau's Regiment (Drilled)
1st Battalion Henry Dillon's Regiment (Drilled)
Earl of Clanrickarde's Regiment (Drilled)
1 field gun

St Ruhe and his staff assess the enemy dispositions
Cavalry Brigade
Edward Prendergast's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled
Daniel O'Brien's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled

Infantry Brigade
1st Battalion Dennis McKellicut's Regiment (Drilled)
2nd Battalion Dennis McKellicut's Regiment (Raw)
Edward Butler's Regiment (Drilled)
Cuconnacht McGuire's Regiment (Drilled)
Regiment(Drilled)

Cavalry Brigade
The King's Lifeguard Regiment (2 squadrons) Elite
Henry Luttrell's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled

Patrick Sarsfield in front of the King's Lifeguard
Infantry Brigade
2nd Battalion Henry Dillon's Regiment (Drilled)
The Lord Grand Prior's Regiment (Drilled)
Ulick de Burgh's Regiment (Drilled)
Sir Maurice Eustace's Regiment (Drilled)
1 light gun

Dismounted Dragoon Brigade
Lord Dongan's Dragoons (Drilled)
Simon Lutterell's Dragoons (Drilled)
Maxwell's Dragoons (Drilled)

The right wing around Attibrassil bridge and the Tristuan stream

Lining the hedgerows along the centre of the line 5 detachments of commanded shot each of 6 or 7 models (All Drilled)

24 battalions, 24 squadrons of Horse, 4 regiments of dismounted dragoons, 5 detachments of commanded shot, 4 light guns, 2 field guns

Monday, February 24, 2014

The last invasion of Scania - Battle of Helsingborg February 28th 1710 Part 2


Andreas describes the historical action in part 2...

The Battle of Helsingborg

Early on the morning of February 28 the Swedish army started to move west towards the sea for a few kilometers and then turned south. The army formed into five columns ready to attack the Danish army. Rantzau was also up early that morning and formed his army facing northeast, the most likely facing of the Swedish attack. The terrain in front of the Swedish army was not the best; it was full of frozen swamps, deep ditches and low stonewalls. A thick fog concealed the armies from each other and it came as a surprise for both Stenbock and Rantzau when the Swedish army around 10 o’clock in the morning appeared to the left of the Danish army. The Swedish right flank of cavalry stretched far beyond the Danish positions formed on the slopes of the Ringstorp Heights. Rantzau immediately ordered his army to turn towards the position of the Swedish army. He positioned his artillery, 12 pieces of different calibers, on the Ringstorp heights along with 29 squadrons of cavalry. In the Danish center, formed around the small village of Berga, was the Danish infantry. Sixteen battalions of infantry formed in two lines behind a line of cheval-de-frise to protect them from cavalry attacks. On the right flank 29 squadrons and 2 battalions were still trying to get into position. With them was also Rantzau, doing his best to bring order to the chaos that had erupted.


Stenbock was also surprised by the Danish formation and as his battalions and squadrons started to form a battle line, they started to slightly turn left to better meet the Danish army.  The Swedish army had 60 squadrons equally distributed on each flank of the 22 battalions strong center. Stenbock also had 34 cannons, although of lighter calibers than the Danes. The two armies were roughly the same size with about 14 000 man fighting on each side. The Swedish turn to the left was perceived as an attempt to out-flank the Danish right flank. Rantzau decided to counter this by ordering his whole right flank to advance. This on the other hand was perceived as an advance by the regiments in the center, which slowly started to advance, causing a wide gap between the center and the right flank of the Danish army.



The first contact was made far on the right of the Danish battle line as the cavalry of the Danish right flank surprised the cavalry of the Swedish left flank. A fierce battle took place around the village of Brohusen were numerical inferior Swedish squadrons were beaten back by guard cavalry regiments of the Danish army.  Reinforcements from the second Swedish line were soon ordered in to the fight and they soon started to win ground. Stenbock withdrew a few of the cavalry regiments from his right flank to support the attack on the other flank. Rantzau himself carelessly threw himself into the fighting and was soon wounded with a shot through his lung. Unable to command he was escorted back to Helsingborg and later in the day evacuated to Denmark. Without their commander and facing growing numbers of Swedish cavalry squadrons the Danish right flank soon collapsed. The remaining soldiers fled towards Helsingborg and some of the Swedish cavalry chased them all the way to the city walls.


In the meantime the Swedish infantry in the centre had traversed the difficult ground in front of the Danish line and with their battle cry “With the help of God and Jesus!” they attacked the Danish positions. The Danish battalions fired a constant fire but the shock of the Swedish pikes and bayonets were too much for the leaderless Danish army. The fight was bloody and many fell on both sides. Eventually the Danish line broke and the battalions started to retreat towards Helsingborg. The only regiments that stood their ground were the Danish Foot Guards and the Grenadier Corps. Their positions on both flanks of the centerline occupied the Swedish battalions long enough to let several of the Danish battalions reach the safety of Helsingborg. Of the three battalions that attacked the foot guard battalion they all reported around a third killed or wounded after the battle bearing witness to the ferocity of the fighting.


At the same time as the Foot Guards fought on the right flank the attack on the left flank was well underway. The Danish left flank was severely weakened as two cavalry regiments had been ordered to reinforce the right flank but had been caught up in the panic and also fled to Helsingborg. Although this was also the case with the Swedish right flank facing them the Swedes were still numerically superior to their Danish foes. The Swedish squadrons had been harassed by cannon fire from the Danish batteries on the Ringstorp Height and suffered several casualties but had stood their ground. The Swedish attack started once a gap between the Danish right flank and the center arose. The Swedish squadrons rode around the Ringstorp height to attack the remaining Danish forces in the rear. They were met by some Danish squadrons who quickly broke and fled towards Helsingborg. Instead of pressing home the attack the Swedish squadrons pursued the Danes towards Helsingborg. This meant that the remaining Danish Grenadier corps could continue the fight. The corps was attacked by two Swedish regiments but stood their ground for some time before they retreated back to Helsingborg in good order. Casualties were high on both sides.



Aftermath

The battle was over around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the battle had lasted for no more than an hour and a half. Smaller skirmishes were still being fought during the afternoon as isolated Danish troops were trying to get back to Helsingborg. The Danish army had lost the battle and more than 5 000 men were dead or wounded and some 2 500 had been captured. The Swedish army counted around 900 dead and some 2000 wounded but had won the battle. The Swedish army was too weak to besiege Helsingborg and instead made camp outside of the city and waited. Stenbock sent a request for capitulation but this was refused and the new Danish commander, Frantz Joachim von Dewitz, invited the Swedes to storm the city. The two armies watched each other for a few days until the Danish king, Fredrik IV, decided to evacuate the city. The evacuation started on March 4 and was finished late in the evening the day after. When the Swedes entered the city a horrific sight met them. The Danes hadn’t been able to evacuate their horses or all of their supplies and obviously didn’t want this to fall into Swedish hands. The solution had been to kill all the horses, some 6 000, and put the cadavers in wells and cellars or in the streets. The 10 000 barrels of supplies, mostly grain, had been poured on the streets together with black powder, to make it absolutely useless. The Swedish soldiers refused to clean up the city and eventually nearby farmers and fishermen were threatened with violence if they didn’t clean it up. By this time it was already too late as the dead bodies had poisoned the city’s water. 


For Stenbock, and Sweden, the battle of Helsingborg was a great victory. But in the big picture the result was nothing more than a little breathing space on the way to inevitable defeat. Stenbock’s army was later put to use in a campaign in northern Germany from 1712 to 1713. Here Stenbock led the Swedish forces in the battle of Gadebusch, another Swedish victory. But the Swedish forces were outnumbered and retreated to southern Denmark and the fortress of Tönningen, which belonged to Sweden’s ally, Holstein. Allied forces soon besieged the fortress and Stenbock had to capitulate in May 1713. Stenbock ended up in Danish captivity where he died 1717. But the war continued to 1721, eleven years after the battle of Helsingborg. Sweden was utterly defeated and had lost its position as a great power in Europe.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hugging the Huguenots; My new wargaming passion Part 3

Somewhere in the trenches.....
Colin Napier continues with tales of Protestant Frenchmen fighting their King......

It’s one of my bad habits that I often believe that certain baffling aspects of modern life; dog salons, ‘it’ girls, the failure of the Scottish football team to qualify for anything vaguely important, are new. Take the invasive nature of mass marketing, all those pamphlets, phone calls, emails and junk mails heckling for my attention when I have such a limited amount. Definitely an aspect (ok blight) of modern life?

Well, not really, William of Orange instigated a European wide marketing campaign to attract Huguenots to his colours. Messengers were sent to centres of Huguenot refugees in German states and Switzerland to preach the message in churches and halls, enticing them to take up William’s cause. Many answered, often driven by a desire to fight back against the regime that had caused them to forsake France.

With the influx of refugees to the Dutch Republic and this active encouragement by November 1688 when William landed in Torbay then literally had thousands of Huguenots in service or looking to be in service (not to mention a fair sized community in England). Men, usually of some strata of noble birth, who needed a patron if they were ever to return to France (or in many cases just get a chance to give the French regime a bloody nose). Such a group could prove useful in a political environment where many a native noble, clergyman or regiments' allegiance could be found to be somewhat malleable.

 Four regiments of Huguenots were raised in England  around April 1689, comprising of 3 foot and one of horse.
In action at Aughrim . Du Cambon's face Eustace's Regiment

Duke of Schomberg’s Horse
This was initially raised as the Duke of Schomberg's  lifeguard a duty it failed to fulfil at the Boyne when the Marshal was ridden down by Jacobite horse. Eventually, according to some sources as late as 1691, the colonecy of the regiment passed to the Marquis de Ruvigny under which name the regiment was known at Aughrim where it fought on the right wing. Even by 1689 the Marquis had already been raised to the peerage of Ireland as the Earl of Galway and was to have long, distinguished (at least in parts) career. Later he held amongst others, a colonecy in the Dutch Army, command of the British army in Portugal and a couple of stints as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

Of course there was another regiment serving in Ireland led by the Duke’s son (Meinhard) which also is referred to as Schomberg’s horse much to the confusion of this most amateurish of historians (though I have at least learned that a Duke outranks a Count).

Du Cambon's
Francois Dupuy du Cambon was an engineer in the French Army who found quick promotion in the Dutch after fleeing France. In August 1688 he was appointed as Chief Engineer and Director of Fortifications and then (within seven days) commissioned as a Major General in the Dutch Army but it was as a colonel of foot that Du Cambon was to land in Ireland. The regiment fought throughout the Irish campaign landing (as did the other Huguenot regiments) as part of the Duke of Schomberg's force.  Engagements included the Boyne and Aughrim. After Ireland the regiment fought (with the others) in Flanders. Du Cambon was killed at the Battle of Landen at which point the colonelcy fell to Comte de Marton.


These French guns may be firing at Frenchmen!

La Calliemotte's
This regiment formed the second stage of the crossing of the Boyne after the Dutch Blew Guards had forced a way over the river. They were struck by several regiments of Jacobite horse, including the Life Guards, and the colonel Masseue de La Calliemotte was killed (Bob Talbot's version of this regiment has a pike stand - which would have come in handy). After the Boyne the Lt. Colonel Belcastel de Montvoillant took command and naturally the regiment adopted his name. Belcastel remained a soldier until his death at the battle of Villaviciosa in 1710. In 1701 he raised his own Huguenot regiment in Dutch service.

La Meloniere's
Regiment fought in Ireland and Flanders retaining the same colonel, Isaac de Monceau de la Meloniere, throughout. Clearly he had William's favour (or at least William found him useful) as he reached the rank of Major-General though like many of his Huguenot brethern apparently being paid was not common. William was well aware that the Huguenots in his service had nowhere else to go and they were often abused in matters of remuneration.

There was a fifth Huguenot regiment in British service during this period, Miremont’s dragoons. There is some debate as to where and when this regiment was formed and they did not serve in the Irish campaign of 1689-91. As such they were left out of the project (but I'm sure their time will come).

Next time… painting the Huguenots brigade, or at least my version of them, be prepared you’ll need grey… grey and some grey...I've read one source that says they were clad in white… but trust me I wasn’t to be dissuaded…

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 4 - Williamite Order of Battle

Looking north from the Williamite right 
Here is the Williamite order of Battle we used. I have not listed it in the normal format of first line, second line etc. I have used the regimental names of the units as we represented them which means that some of these units were not at the battle but our model soldiers were!

Left Wing of the Army facing Attibrassil bridge and southern slope of Kilcommodan Hill.

Dismounted Dragoon Brigade
Gard Dragonders (Guard)
Conyngham's Dragoons (Drilled)

Cavalry Brigade
Gard te Paard (2 squadrons) Guard
Gardes du Corps (2 squadrons) Guard
Gard Dragonders (3 squadrons) Guard

Cavalry Brigade
Regiment Van Oyen (1 squadron) Drilled
Regiment Zuylenstien (1 squadron) Drilled
Regiment Schack (2 squadrons) Drilled

Huguenot Infantry Brigade (All musket)
Regiment Du Cambon (Drilled)
Regiment Le Caillemotte (Drilled)
Regiment de la Meloniere Drilled)

Danish Infantry Brigade (All musket)
Regiment Funen (Drilled)
Regiment Garden til Fods (Elite)
Regiment Jyske (Drilled)

The right centre of Ginkel's army
Centre of the Army facing Kilcommodan Hill


Cavalry Brigade
Regiment Donop (2 squadrons) Drilled
Regiment Schomberg ( 2 squadrons) Drilled

Danish Infantry Brigade (All musket)
Regiment Prinds Frederick (Drilled)
Regiment Prinds Christian (Drilled)
Regiment Prinds George (Drilled)
Regiment Dronningens/Oldenburg (Drilled)
1 Field gun

Dutch Infantry Brigade
Regiment Brandenburg (Drilled)
Regiment Waldeck (Drilled)
Regiment van Graben (Drilled)
Regiment van Auer (Drilled)
1 Light gun

English Infantry Brigade
Coldstream Guards (Elite)
Thomas Erle's Regiment (Drilled)
Sir John Hanmer's Regiment (Drilled)

English & Irish Infantry Brigade
Piercy Kirke's Regiment (Drilled)
Earl of Meath's Regiment (Raw)
William Steuart's Regiment (Drilled)
Zachariah Tiffin's Regiment \(Drilled)
3 Positional guns

Scots- Dutch Brigade
Hugh Mackay's Regiment (Elite)
George Ramsay's Regiment (Drilled)
Lauder's Regiment (Drilled)

English & Irish Infantry Brigade
Earl of Bath's Regiment (Drilled)
Gustavus Hamilton's Regiment (Drilled)
Richard Brewer's Regiment (Drilled)
Royal Fuzileer Reigment (Drilled)
Williamite right wing Horse advance
Right wing opposite Aughrim village and the Causeway

Cavalry Brigade
William Woseley's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled - Blade
Robert Byerley's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled

Cavalry Brigade
Earl of Oxford's Regiment (3 squadrons) Drilled
Earl of Portland's Regiment (2 squadrons) Drilled
Richard Leveson's Dragoons ( 2 squadrons) Drilled

27 battalions, 26 squadrons, 2 dismounted dragoon battalions, 3 positional guns, 1 field gun, 1 light gun.








Monday, February 17, 2014

The last invasion of Scania - Battle of Helsingborg February 28th 1710 Part 1


Andreas introduces the context of this dramatic battle;
The Swedish and Danish kingdoms had been fighting over Scania for decades before the Great Northern War broke out. This struggle would come to an end with the Battle of Helsingborg.

Background
The province of Scania, the most southern part of modern Sweden, belonged to Denmark up until the peace of Roskilde in 1658. The peace was a result of the Swedish King Charles X Gustav first Danish War, 1657 to 1658. The Swedish demands were very harsh and Denmark had to give up several core provinces and large areas of land. Among these were Halland, Blekinge and Bohuslän but most importantly, Scania. The Danes did not forget this humiliating peace and were intent on taking back the lost provinces.  

It wasn’t until 1675 that a good opportunity appeared. Sweden seemed weaker than ever with a young and inexperienced king on the throne and an army and navy in shambles. The Danes landed in the vicinity of Helsingborg with an army and conquered Scania within a few weeks, virtually unopposed. But luck changed and in the following years the Swedes won a series of important battles. Eventually the Danes had to leave Scania in 1679. Because of Sweden’s alliance with France the peace treaty was very favorable to Sweden even though Danish and Brandenburg troops occupied all of its German provinces.

In 1700 another opportunity appeared when Denmark, Russia and Saxony-Poland created an alliance to challenge Swedish supremacy around the Baltic Sea. Denmark was forced out of the alliance in the same year after an unsuccessful campaign in Holstein and a Swedish surprise attack on the Danish mainland. The Great Northern War, as the war became known, continued being fought in northern Germany, Poland, the Baltic states, Finland and in Russia. The Swedish armies won several spectacular victories over numerically superior enemies but were unable to make much use of the victories. In 1709 disaster struck in the Ukrainian plains. The battle of Poltava was the largest Swedish military disaster ever. The army was destroyed and the Swedish king, Charles XII, had to flee to Turkey. The Danes didn’t waste any time and declared war on October 18 the same year.


The campaign in Skåne 1709/1710
The Danish fleet assembled outside of Råå, just a few kilometers south of Helsingborg. Around 15, 000 soldiers were put ashore on the beach without any Swedish opposition. Commanding the Danish forces was Christian Ditlev Reventlow. His Swedish counterpart was Magnus Stenbock, governor of Scania and general lieutenant in the army.  Stenbock was a veteran of the earlier parts of the war. He had participated in the battles of Narva and Kliszów. The forces at his disposal were besides the garrisons at the different fortresses, just one cavalry regiment. Understandably Stenbock couldn’t do much except call for reinforcements.

In a matter of days the Danish army had taken control of Helsingborg and most of central Scania. Only the fortresses of Landskrona and Malmö held out. Stenbock decided to retreat to Kristianstad in the northeast of Scania and then on to Växjö in Småland, about 100 kilometers from the Scanian border. Reventlow’s plan was to attack the naval base of Karlskrona but soon realized this wasn’t realistic as he lacked supplies, artillery and soldiers to do this. At the same time as the Danish army was resupplying in northeastern Scania and in Blekinge, Stenbock was building his army in Växsjö. Almost daily new regiments, weapons and supplies arrived at the camp and the soldiers were drilled at a nearby frozen lake. 

By February 5, Stenbock’s army was ready to march and after a few more regiments joined at Osby, the army crossed in to Scania. In contrast to popular belief in Sweden the army wasn’t made up of peasant boys and old men. The core was made up of experienced officers and the rank and file was of good soldier material, even though a bit younger than normal. As soon as the Swedish army marched in to Scania the Danish commander Reventlow saw the danger of being trapped and losing his communications with Denmark. The Danish army started to retreat west, towards Helsingborg. During the march Reventlow got sick and had to return to Denmark, command was given to Jörgen Rantzau. Rantzau was an experienced soldier and had served under Marlborough during the War of the Grand Alliance and the War of the Spanish Succession. He had participated in the battles of Blenheim and Oudenaarde where he had commanded a Danish cavalry brigade.

Now, on the other hand, Rantzau commanded a whole army and he continued to retreat towards Helsingborg. Once there, the Danish army made camp northeast of the city and received much needed reinforcements. The Swedish army was always one step behind the Danish army during the retreat and didn’t arrive at Helsingborg until February 27. The army made camp ten kilometers northeast of the city. The intent was to attack the Danish army from the north the day after.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Evolution of Warfare Miniatures - Contextualizing this series

Irish Foot Guards 1690 

Barry Hilton - My involvement in Warfare Miniatures was not precisely accidental but rather circumstantial. Back in 2010 the late Spencer Warner decided to plug a gap in the market and commission a range of figures to cover the League of Augsburg period in 28mm. He had been inspired by Beneath the Lily Banners and we knew each other from  shows and his job at Static Games in Glasgow. He initially approached me for some background information to help him research the range.

Enthusiastic cavalryman

Spencer went ahead, built a relationship with Clibinarium (Warfare's Sculptor) and got things moving. He asked me at one point to meet him for coffee and he showed me some sculpts. By this time Spencer was looking for some financial support to develop the range which I agreed to but remained adamant that I wanted nothing to do with the business side of things.

Ensign from WLOA88

Over a period of time I became more active in the discussions about where the range should go and this was coincidental with the beginnings of Spencer's illness. Despite a period of recovery, Spencer never really regained his health and we agreed that I should take over the company. He passed in July 2012 and by then Warfare was operating commercially.

As yet unreleased gun gin
So, the featured code series was designed to give an insight into the range code by code. It should have proven reasonably interesting for those who game or model the period. My objective ws to advise on the choices made and the models sculpted as well as suggest uses for them in terms of armies and theatres.

In future installments we'll feature codes and sculpts that did not make it to production or have been held back for various reasons relating to production or 'context' relative to the rest of the range.  A good example are these prototypes of the Gardes Francaises (below) which were mastered but never put into production and were then superseded by the musketeer packs currently available.

Two prototype Gardes Francaises never in production.

Warfare has grown well beyond any idea originally conceived. With the current range offering nearly 200 different sculpting variations and a further 200+ to be released during 2014/15 it will I hope, offer the widest level of options to gamers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The baby wore red. The infant British Army learns to walk. 1670-1704 Part 6.

The concluding part of the series provides some final perspectives on the early British Army.
The Coldstream Guards go to war
Debugging the regimental code
For those with an eye for detail you may have picked up that regiments listed in the battle summaries seem to change names. This is because the numbering system came to the army much later than the period in question and up till the mid- 18th century regiments were known by the name of their colonels. These changed frequently with promotions, deaths, cashiering and retirement! To get full wargaming value out of the units you may wish to model I have noted the later number in the line if the regiment survived into the period of that system of identification. Those regiments without numbers were disbanded at some point after the period. 
Weapons and changes
This was a time of significant transition in terms of weaponry. At the beginning of the period regiments contained between 500 and 1,000 men in 13 companies. Each contained a mixture of musketeers and pikemen in a ratio of between 3 and 5 to 1. This changed over time as the pike was phased out although animated debate still rages over whether the British carried pikes for at least some time during the War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714. Musketeers began the period carry matchlock muskets and powder bandoliers with apostles and finished by moving towards flintlock muskets and ammunition pouches. British infantry fire tactics evolved to the so called platoon firing system during the period after 1700.
Marching on
Following the War of the Spanish Succession the tale of the Redcoat is signposted with many highs and a few lows. Their reputation stands the test of time and history is favourably disposed towards their performance which has lasted into the khaki phase and on into the modern era. Their beginnings are a truly fascinating and under explored phase worthy of interest and filled with gaming opportunity. The infant’s survival was indeed a desperate struggle but he grew into a man of distinction with a career packed full of stirring tales and excitement to which pages continue to be added.

Red Coats
The red coat is synonymous with British infantry but usage did not become universal till well into the period. As colonels had a lot to do with the clothing and management of their regiments, coat colours varied widely during the period 1670-1700. Many British regiments used red but the shade would be variable. Highly unlikely would be bright scarlet as this shade was too expensive to produce. Red varying from mid brown through brick, washed out rose, ‘blusher’ red-pink to a deeper, darker red is far more likely. Officers who could afford more expensive clothes may have a more recognisable traditional mid to bright red. The British also used blue for a few regiments including marines. Grey was relatively common particularly for newly recruited units as it was cheap. This might be of varying shades. Regiments with Royal connections wore cuffs, waistcoats and breeches in blue. Cuff colours were the most obvious distinction between units of the same colour coat. Common were yellow, greens, buff and red. Less common was black, orange-tawny, purple and grey. Prominent amongst Scots regiments was white or off-white, few other colours were used by them.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 3 - Our armies

Warfare, Dixons, Reiver and Foundry models all in this shot
Amongst my gaming circle there has been a gratifying and high quality effort to ensure our games are fought with as many Warfare Miniatures as possible. Most of us have worked on the 'I'll do that unit because I like it' principle so we did not have all of the regiments present at Aughrim within our collections.

This meant a reasonably high degree of substitution. A good example was the inclusion of General High Mackay's Scots Dutch Brigade from my own collection. Although the bold Sir Hugh played an enormously prominent role in the engagement, his brigade, cut to pieces at Killiecrankie in 1689, was not at Aughrim. In our version they were!

General Mackay's Brigade... interlopers at our Aughrim refight!
Similarly we included a battalion of the French Regiment Zurlauben because it looked nice! Interestingly, there is absolutely no surviving information on many of the Jacobite regiments present at the battle. Their clothing and flags are pure conjecture. this means we felt largely immune to the button counting brigade's post match autopsy of our efforts!

A good book to have at hand if you are reading this blog series is Mike McNally's;The Battle of Aughrim 1691. Mike describes the positions of many regiments and our version largely follows this with a couple of notable exceptions. The positioning of several Jacobite cavalry regiments such as Abercorn's and Lutterell's seem to be exactly opposite. There was a very simple reason; Dave and I both wanted to command units that we had painted so some units swapped places!

Good perspective on the scale of our re-fight.. unit for unit
We did managed to pretty accurately represent the actual number of battalions and squadrons at the battle if not their actual names. As Beneath the Lily Banners was he chosen rule set it is important to remind readers that with a model to man ratio of about 1:35 a six model squadron of Horse actually represents 210 men or between 2 and 3 real squadrons. This means our 28 Williamite squadrons were equivalent to between 56 and 84 real squadrons.

Positions around Aughrim village on the Jacobite left
Using many of the little amendments which I have developed since the release of BLB1 in 2008 we had specific rules to handle the different ratios of pike and shot in some of the Irish units, the use of commanded shot detachments and the grading of a couple of Protestant Irish Horse units to 'Blade' as opposed to the standard 'Bullet' classification.

Troops from the collections of Bob Talbot, Gerry Donohoe, Dave O'Brien, Paul McLauchlin and myself adorned the table. Within the ranks were regiments painted by Andy Thompson, Chris Meacham and Peter McCarroll. Overall a really nice line up.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Ride to York - Donnybrook Hits the Streets; February 2nd, 2014

Why my wife wants a divorce
Barry Hilton - It was stupid planning.. I admit it. I had arrived back from working in the Middle East at 1930 hours on 31st and by 1500 on the 1st I was heading on a 200 mile journey south to run an all day Donnybrook demo at Vapnartak in York. Bob has a word for that. Luckily, Bob and Gerry were in the car to keep me awake with their low quality humour. We got to our hotel about 7pm and spent a quiet evening examining the bottoms of glasses (frequently) for cracks.

The Jungles of Vapnartak
We were unloading at the Knavesmire for 0830 on the 2nd. This is wargaming rock n'roll. Not quiet Lynyrd Skynyrd's One more from the road but good enough for us. Vapnartak was Donnybrook's public D-Day. The first couple of hundred trade orders were being delivered and the book was available for the first time at a convention.

Bob's Bane.. Gerry can resist a smirk as Max rolls yet another 6
To promo the launch we decided to run an expanded version of Diel'ry in the Gloamin' which is the example scenario from the book set in Darien in 1699. The terrain is dense and jungly and the scenery dramatic. Bob was to be the Scots Colonists and Gerry the natives and Spanish. They were trying to rescue/murder the comely Moira respectively.

God's own country: Yorkshire sunlight illuminates Panama
They managed to run the game twice during the day whilst I scuttled about delivering books, talking with our casters, setting up new trade deals and catching up with commitments to WI and divers other hobby contacts.

Donnybrook and the game seemed to make a splash for all the right reasons. Young Max Dudley forsook his father's Musket & Tomahawk's game next door to destroy Toggy Bob (who was unable to bring himself to shout at a 7 year old despite looking as if he wanted too on several occasions) whilst Gerry stood about laughing.. frequently.
Jesuit stronghold unsullied by the Presbyterian settlers
The day went very fast, we talked to the wargaming public a lot, we met many of our friends and by 1945 I was standing in my living room once more very ready for a cuppa and a sit down.

Donnybrook has arrived and sales proved to be brisk!

Clarence Harrison - We want to thank everyone so far for supporting Donnybrook. If you come up with questions, please don't hesitate to drop by the Fighting Talk forum. We'd also love to hear about your games, characters, and scenarios!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The baby wore red. The infant British Army learns to walk 1670-1704. Part 5

Away matches….
23rd July 1692: Battle of Steinkirke
This battle more than any so far showcased the fighting spirit developing in the British regiments. A surprise dawn attack launched from difficult terrain took their French opponents completely by surprise. The vanguard of British battalions although somewhat slow off the mark and disorganized in their advance, ground their way forward against increasingly numerous, well organized and top quality opposition. Only when they ran into Louis XIV’s Maison du Roi did the wheels come off the team bus. Without support from their own army which was riven with factional politics and petty jealousies, the hapless heroes in red were butchered slowly but surely as they retraced their steps in retreat. The gallant Mackay fell at the head of his brigade. A comment attributed to William of Orange at the time “The English like to fight,  let them have a bellyful” cannot be verified and is possibly the construction of a biased press corps. Known to have been in action at the battle were the 1st Foot Guards, Orkney’s (1st), Babbington’s (6th), Fitzpatrick’s (7th), Buchan’s (21st), Leven’s (25th), Angus’s (26th), Mackays, Graham’s & Lauder’s (Scots Dutch) and Cutt’s regiments. These 12 regiments including seven Scots, would account for about 8,000 Foot or roughly half of the attacking force. Both General Mackay and the Earl of Angus fell at Steinkirke.
Match verdict:  Over ambitious and naïve tactics against enormously experienced continental opponents. Out played and not fit enough for this level of competition. Definitely the blame must be laid at the manager’s feet for the wrong tactical decisions. He showed poor judgment in supporting Team Red in their foolhardy but gallant advance into the teeth of a giant and extremely dangerous opponent. I mean, the French team was immense and experienced, what was he thinking! Orange should have received his marching orders for this one.
29th July 1693: Battle of Neerwinden
Neerwinden was a massive meat grinder of a battle. A Grand Alliance army of 50,000 had taken up a defensive position to prevent further advances into Flanders by the French. The British infantry held almost all of the critical frontline positions. The plan was anchored on holding several key fortified villages Laer, Neerwinden and Rumsdorp. Frontal assault was the only method open to the French army of 80,000. The villages were swamped by a tsunami of attacks which came thick and fast for the entire day. Gradually each was to succumb to the onslaught although the defenders offered ferocious resistance and caused heavy losses. With the line cracked in several places the Allies broke in spectacular fashion and quit the field. This was William’s worst defeat at the hands of the French.  Hard fighting British battalions included 2 battalions each from the 1st Foot Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Foot Guards and Orkney’s (1st). Single battalions from Selwyn’s (2nd), Churchill’s (3rd),Trelawney’s (4th), Fitzpatrick’s (7th), Tidcombe’s (14th), Derby’s (16th), Erle’s (19th),Buchan’s (21st), Leven’s (25th), Ferguson’s (26th), Mackay’s, Lauder’s & Collingwood’s also fought. In total the British turned out and impressive 21 battalions or around 14 -16,000 infantry.
Match verdict: The Alliance failed to deliver on the big occasion. A very promising start turned into a wipe out under a welter of goals from star studded opposition. The British produced a very tenacious performance in the hottest spots on the battlefield for much of the day. Alas they just didn’t have the legs to resist the Maison du Roi which steamrollered through the centre to deliver a Gallic coup de grace. The boys were buried and took a season to recover from this mauling. A real growing up experience playing in top flight competition.
From 2nd July 1695: The siege of Namur
The first honour carried by many British regiments despite participation in the previous battles mentioned. Having captured Namur from the Dutch in 1692 it was the turn of the French to be besieged in 1695. This very active and bloody siege cost 12,000 casualties to the attackers and 8,000 to the garrison which eventually surrendered. 14 British regiments took part including the 3 Foot Guard units, Orkney’s (1st), Columbine’s (6th), Fitzpatrick’s (7th), Beaumont’s (8th)  Tidcombe’s (14th), Leslie’s (15th), Hamilton’s (20th) and Maitland’s (25th). Several were involved in storming the breaches and suffered commensurately. 
Match verdict: The tide begins to turn for the Redcoats as they taste victory in the face of stiff resistance. This close quarter infantry slugfest was all about bayonets, blades and grenades. The lads were not shy when it came to getting stuck in. There was lots of hard tackling and prodigious use of the magic sponge at full time to get them match fit for the next big occasion.
1704: The Battle of Blindheim
An Alliance army co-led by Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy faced the French under Marshal Tallard on the north bank of the Danube. The forces were arrayed on either side of a small river called the Nebel. The Allies attacked with the British concentrated on the left and left centre. The Redcoats made repeated attacks on the village of Blindheim and were bloodily repulsed. Their persistence paid off and the village was taken at bayonet point, street by street with many thousands of French taken prisoner after hours of fighting. Blindheim was a stunning victory for the Grand Alliance and saved Vienna. British regiments present 1st Foot Guards, 2 battalions of Orkney’s (1st), Charles Churchill’s (3rd), Webb’s (8th) North & Greys (10th),  Howe’s (15th), Derby’s (16th), Frederick Hamilton’s (18th),  Rowe’s (21st), Ingoldsby’s (23rd), John Churchill’s (24th), Ferguson’s (26th) and Meredith’s (37th).
Match verdict: The boys done good!  They finally got to lift the big trophy in a showcase away fixture although the Dutch, Prussians, Danes and the Austrians also had one hand on the cup. The victory belongs to the double-headed management team and the lads! (with a bit of help from a few flash foreign sorts). The British infantry are no longer considered an inferior species and can stand tall against the best in Europe. They want to thank all their fans for sticking by them through the tough times Come on you Reds!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bloody Aughrim July 12, 1691 - refought by the LoA Part 2 - Wargaming set up

The Battle of Aughrim
As this was not going to be one of our larger weekender games but rather an 'at home in Barry's den' job, I plumped for a set up which is best described as a busy 10 x 6! Little did I know that we would have to meet three times and play for 16 hours to finally satisfy all of our perspectives on what was a definitive result. The gaming was fun and friendly with frequent stops to discuss, tactics, incidents, history and general wargaming nonsense. Each time we finished a session the action was frozen in time in front of my painting station for me to cogitate over. And, I promise, I never moved a battalion closer to or further away from its position when time was called! (despite what my compatriots may have suspected!)

From Kilcommodan Hill looking ENE towards Mackay's positions

If you look at the pictures of the initial dispositions you should be able to spot the obvious key landmarks. Starting on the Jacobite side; Kilcommodan  hill dominates the deployment area. The piece of terrain I used was 4 feet long by 2 feet deep. On its southern flank the lower ground contains a section of the Tristuan stream and an overly large representation of the Attibrasil bridge. To the north we left a gap of about 2 feet before the village of Aughrim is reached. Travelling on toward the northern table edge I placed some ruins to mark Aughrim castle.

Stretch of Urraghry Hill from which the Williamite right advanced
Difficult boggy/tussocky terrain appears at both the north east and south east fringes of Kilcommodan hill. It is impossible in the context of wargaming terrain to depict row upon row of hedges in a confined space (it would end up looking like a vineyard or worse.. a maze!).

The line of Kilcommodan Hill from the Williamite right
I chose to create a prominent hedge line near the centre of the table running roughly parallel to Kilcommodan hill. This was an interpretive depiction of the hedges and ditches defended by groups of Jacobite musketeers so prominent in the early stages of the battle. Closer to the western base of the hill were some small enclosures.

The Williamite Left

We chose not to extend the Melehan stream right across the centre of the battlefield as the terrain set up was just getting too busy. If you look to the Jacobite left you'll see the Melehan appears in a more tangible form just at the northern tip of Kilcommodan hill and runs across to the northern table edge.

Looking South east from Aughrim

The area known as Bloody Hollow can be seen marked by a pool and trees. The boggy ground along the Tristuan is marked with a winding brook and some lichen. Here, dragoons battled for many turns!


Although I have 'straightened the flanks' slightly the biggest liberty was taken by starting the Williamite army a bit further forward than history. An 8 feet wide table is not possible in my garage and no wargamer I know has the arm length to stretch that far into a table anyway!

Looking South west at Kilcommodan Hill

We represented Urraghry hill with a small model hill on which the Williamite artillery was placed (perhaps not 100% accurately but from a scenario perspective it worked because it gave a clear line of fire onto the Jacobite lines).

Overall, I felt the terrain was a pretty good representation of the battlefield albeit the usual wargaming distortions had to prevail. I have spent about 6 hours over two different days driving around and walking over the field at Aughrim. Comparing the set up with photos I shot whilst there I was happy that the mechanics and flow of the game would work pretty well.

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