Sunday, March 27, 2016

AB British Light Dragoons

I've had some time to paint over the last couple of weeks or so as I've been fighting off a cold and managed to finish up the British light dragoons I bought 6 months ago. This has been sort of a gap in my collection for a long time.

Here is the 14th Light Dragoons. The trooper without a helmet (rear rank, center) was an interesting variant from AB. Sometimes we forget equipment could be lost or destroyed and replacements scarce.

And lastly, here is the 16th Light Dragoons. I chose to paint units which were active in the Peninsular War and the orange facings was something a bit less common in the British army. I'm happy with how they turned out and look forward to seeing them on the field.

I've been working on 6mm Baccus French Napoleonics for a while. In March I hope to have them debuted here. For grand tactical games, smaller figures can make larger game possible without the need for a super-sized table.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Albuera In 6mm

Trying a different direction in gaming, here is a 6mm Albuera my group played in recently. The French left flank here near Soult's position. We used historical OOB's but deployment was a little different. The varying weather as in the historical battle's rain played a role in this.

The opposing Spanish right flank. Knowing the Allies have little artillery, we decided to set up the Spanish and British behind the ridge instead on top of it. This would shield us from French fire until they were up close. Latour-Maubourg's cavalry can be seen trying to get around the Spanish line.

The village of Albuera on the opposite side of the battlefield. The river is fordable in a few areas and will slow down some of the progress made here by the French. We didn't understand until near the end of the battle that the village had some victory point value and was worth holding.

A better view of the Allied position behind the ridge. To the left, reserves being positioned more towards the Spanish as they are the weakest link and will likely need the help later on.

The extreme Allied right where the Spanish cavalry are positioned for a counter strike. One battalion in a square to increase its odds of surviving. As it later turns out, would be needed.

The French cavalry positioning for their strike. Why the artillery is not deployed to open up on the square is unknown but I did not correct my opponent. The only thing I can assume is he was overly confident of smashing the Spanish and did not feel like wasting time with such time consuming measures. Keep that in mind for later.

My apologies for the blurry picture here, but 6mm picture taking is new for me. The French right closing in on the village while the defenders spread out into line. The French as it turned out got across the river quite easily. We had varying weather during the game like the real battle but the rains didn't seem to keep the French back.

The Allied center with the Spanish command ending and the Portuguese brigade starting up. Not much goes on here until the last several turns of the battle.

More French reinforcements fording the river near the village. As the Allies, we decided not to hold the village as we didn't think it necessary nor did we think we had the numbers to hold it and the rest of the line. The French have a reserve that came in later during the game and not knowing where it was coming in made it difficult to commit the bulk of our men, especially when worrying about how long the Spanish could hold out.

I believe this is Cole's brigade being held in reserve along the Allied left. Stewart, the other reserve brigade, was in position behind the Spanish as an immediate reinforcement.

I forgot a picture or two from this Allied right flank, but this is the end result of a Spanish initiated cavalry charge. The blurry cavalry on the bottom right had charged, pushed back the French cavalry now coming back at them. During that interval, the French horse artillery battery was destroyed. The French are seeking some revenge and are now fully engaged.

The French infantry finally engage the Spanish along the curved line of the Allied right. A Spanish battalion is broken and the French keep on coming, seemingly again not deeming the Spanish worthy of weakening before rushing right in. The rain inflicting negatives or the impossibility of musketry at times probably also adding to the decision.

Stewart's brigade lined up in assuming a new flank when the Spanish give way. Everything remains quiet in the center.

The Allied left is about to be heavily engaged as the bulk of the French army is on this side of the field. Using the reverse slope combined with the intermittent rains really prevented musketry from being a deciding factor. In the heavy rain, which seemed to take up about 1/3 of the game, there was no musketry. In the light rain, it was at a -1. Everything would come down to melee.

Again, I missed a couple of turns here from all the dice rolling. The French cavalry brigade was demoralized and broke! A lancer unit did poorly and broke, then some dragoons decided to charge the square. The Spanish light cavalry counter charged and broke the French cavalry unit. Between those two lost cavalry units and the artillery, the brigade broke. The Spanish cavalry lost one unit as it ran from the field after a poorly fought round of combat. Typical.

The French manage a break through of sorts with one battalion breaking the corner of the line. The rest of the French aren't having quite as much luck as they're getting repulsed from their charges. The rains let up a bit and the Spanish were able to fire and weaken the attacking lines, which made the combats not so advantageous for the French.

The center of the line can now see some French fanning out to come attack the center. It's about the get bloody.

The Allied left is facing difficulties as the number of French units are making themselves felt. The Allied line here is thin and so if the French manage a breakthrough, they have the chance to roll up the flank.

Some of the upcoming French troops from the left flank also decide fan out toward the center. With the Allied right holding them back, maybe they believe the center is the weak point? Time will tell.

The center from a different view. The Spanish artillery really was a life saver for the Spanish as it inflicted a lot of damage from canister fire. With the French coming over the ridge, they were going to be hit soon. The battalion coming down the hill to try to fight it will also be broken from canister fire.

Cole's reserve brigade is being brought up as some of the Allied left units have broken. It won't be long and an Allied brigade will also break. The heavy rains have seemingly subsided so musketry is beginning to also take its toll.

Another French brigade broken! This valiant French battalion that did the break through has found itself in a trap and is eliminated in the musketry crossfire. This finishes off the brigade. The Spanish cavalry coming up around the far right will take over the position and reverse the flank.

Stewart's brigade is now not needed as a backup for the Spanish and so turns and moves towards the center where the next act is about to be played out. The Spanish artillery continues firing and inflicting damage.

Now the center begins the musketry duel as the French close in. The Italian battalion toward the bottom right will soon be broken as it marches across the Spanish artillery's line of sights and into the path of waiting infantry.

The Allied left lost one brigade and the French are continuing to press home the attacks. The French have paid for the continued attacks as they've had no real chance to recover from the disruptions. This is the most success the French have had up until now.

With the French all routed, the Spanish cavalry decided to try what Latour-Maubourg's troops did and turn the flank. It will take a while to get into a position as there is quite a bit of ground to cover.

The continued approach. Both commanders seemed to work together here to make sure they could try to deliver simultaneous attacks, which was a good idea. The longer they took, the more damage they were taking and so time was not on their side.

Cole's men plugged the gap on the Allied left. With fresh units now place, the French attempts to break through were greatly decreased. Not pictured was a couple of rounds of melee in the center which cost each side a battalion or so and really did nothing. The Spanish cavalry managed to come after another French battery trailing the infantry moving to the center.

It was getting late and we had to call it a draw. The village was worth 1pt and each broken formation was also worth 1pt. Both sides had 2pts and it's clear that in another couple of turns, the French probably would have lost another brigade and that would have taken the French from the field. We did not expect the Spanish to do so well but I think the French aggression worked against itself in that even though there was rain, they made minimal to almost no attempt to weaken the Spanish lines first. I think their artillery could have been brought up and used much sooner than it was. Despite the quality issues, the numbers made up for the quality differences and allowed the Allies to hold the line.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

AB British Hussars

In my attempt to keep my armies made up of the same figure manufacturer (or at minimum, the 18mm scale) I parted with my tried and trusted Battle Honors KGL hussars recently and bought some AB British hussars and light dragoons. Only the Hussars have been finished so far.

As with all AB figures, they paint up quite well. I used a different blue on these figures and like how it turned out (Vallejo Model Master Dark Blue). A simple drybrush of white on the raised areas over the black primer gives this a deep blue look without looking like a Prussian blue. One white horse... still don't think I got it quite right!

Ottoman Cavalry: Finally Completed

After a long break from posting and getting through a lot of painting and finishing up of projects, I got these last four Ottoman cavalry units ready for battle. I don't see the need to expand the army out any further.

This last brigade for Lasalle represents the completion of a long term project that is quite unlike any other Napoleonic army. The Ottomans have a lot of gaps in their uniform and organization records which in part plays a role in so few people being brave enough to go down this road. The colors here are quite different yet blend in the rainbow spectrum that is the Ottoman army.

One thing different with this brigade was to get away from white horses, which I've never cared for when painted most of the time. The flags are from Cotton Jim's and is somewhat better than some of their other lines.

More custom made lance pennants here. The black is somewhat odd for the time period but was from an actual Ottoman unit.

And the final unit. As hard as it is to find some detail to add to these units, they are a bit bland. Unlike the Europen nations that have buttons, uniform trim, plumes etc, all you have are various clothing colors. Fine enough for the table top! Now, back to western Europe.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ottoman Limbers, Miners & Engineers

As I begin finishing up the Ottoman army for Lasalle, there are some odds and ends that needed to be done. One thing that held me up was the limbers for the Ottoman army. Next to nothing seems to be written about this with the exception of noting the Ottomans used European horses or oxen for pulling guns. Not having any oxen on hand, horses would have to work.

Knowing that little nugget of information was useful in determining that the Ottomans likely did not ride the draft animals. Since no one makes any figures to represent Ottoman limber drivers, all I could do was some conversions with the Old Glory artillerymen. The crewmen with the shafts used to lift the trail were modified and green stuff used to model a rope to the horse harness.

I think it worked out well. Museum Miniature horses and some old Minifigs limbers filled out the rest and best of all, these were odds and ends I had laying around already. I kept everything a painted wood/brown color, as I don't think the French reforms in using green were common from what little I have read.

Alternative Armies seems to be the only company making 15mm Ottoman figures suitable for sapper or engineers. The ones in red are miners and the blue are engineers. Oddly enough, I found a nice color plate of their uniform with absolutely no problem. It would appear these figures were designed for the siege of Vienna in the 15-1600's. I'll wager the uniform plate didn't change much and if anyone has contrary information, please let me know.

These figures are closer to true 15's than the Old Glory, but not too wildly different. The details on the figure are clear and no moulding lines cutting across the face or anything silly.

Auxiliary troop information on the Ottomans is hard to find. How they were organized or distributed doesn't seem to be accounted for around the time of the Russo-Turkish War. Given the influence of Russian and French on the Ottoman army, I think it highly likely that they were distributed into units and then collected when the need came.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ottoman Turk Cavalry

So with moving behind me, I've had time to finish the basing and other details for the two cavalry brigades that are finished. Up first, is there "heavy cavalry brigade" as per Sam Mustafa's list for Lasalle. These are large units in the game and will probably be the most effective in the army.

What I'm using for the Household Cavalry as these two large armored units. There was some decent uniform information on these guys, but conflicting information as to whether the shields were bare metal or painted. As with all Ottoman troop information, you have bitz and pieces to put together.

For the Kapikulu Sipahis units in the brigade, there are numerous uniforms to use for the various regions these units were drawn from and the time period in particular. They are the equivalent to the Jannisaries and considered to be of better quality men. Some appear armored and some not. I went with both styles.

For the other brigade, we have the four regiments of Sipahis. It appears later in the Ottoman Empire's reforms, armor seems to drop off as weapons become more lethal. Various internet searches reveal some regional differences in head gear.

The Old Glory figures for this range are above average for the company. With that said, they did not appear to sculpt lance pennants even though they ought to be present. I used Mircosoft Excel to create the pennants, cut them out and glued them on to all of the lances. After they dried, I used a fine pair of scissors to cut the V shape off the end. Seemed to work well and adds a bit of needed detail.

I'm pleased with the way they turned out and the variance of colors to give the units character. There is one last Sipahis brigade to go and hopefully it will be completed in May.

I also decided to have one more militia unit painted up. This will bring the army up to four units of militia. The only good thing I can see about these guys is that being irregular, they can take advantage of rough terrain and use it as cover.

On uniform plates, it is hard to determine exactly what uniform regional units were given. I suspect it was a hasty affair in many cases and so they were haphazardly dressed in civilian clothes. In any case, the other three units are much more varied and this one is in a uniform found on a uniform plate. Just adds more color to the army.