Friday, July 31, 2015

Minden Black Hussars

HR5 von Reusch "Black Hussars"

Soren Christensen sent me a photo of some of the Minden figures that he is working on as part of a project to recreate the Battle of Hohenfriedberg in 1745. These are wonderfully painted figures that deserve to be seen by a wider audience, so I am posting the picture on my blog.

Here is a link to Soren's blog:

Black Powder Wargames Blog

Click on the above link and spend a little bit of time scrolling through some of the earlier posts about the SYW and the Great Norther War in particular.

Speaking of Hohenfriedberg, here is a copy of the famous Richard Knotel drawing of the Prussian cavalry presenting captured colours to Frederick after the battle. I wish that GMB Designs would make some of these Austrian flags, which you don't see very often.

Richard Knotel's Hohenfriedberg drawing.

The picture also tempts me to paint some Bayreuth Dragoons in the white coats that they wore at Hohenfriedberg.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Back to the Prussians

IR22 Grenadier, NCO, Officer and Musician Uniforms (Bleckwenn)

I have been paying too much attention of late to my SYW Minden Austrian army (1:20 ratio), having added a regiment of cuirassiers (Anhalt Zerbst), artillery (3 x 3-pdrs and 1 x 12-pdr, plus ammo wagons) while my nephew Alex (Erbprinz Alex) has painted 2 battalions of the Wied infantry regiment and has another regiment of cuirassiers and dragoons in queue for my army.

So it is time to switch back over to the Prussians and add a few more units of infantry and cavalry to that army (bless them). I selected IR22 the Prinz Moritz regiment, which was "massacred at Kolin and heavily suffered at Zorndorf", in the words of Christopher Duffy. Dorn & Englemann indicate that the regiment lost 80% of its roster at Kolin: 26 officers and 1,165 men from its two battalions. I am inferring that some of these men were likely captured, as a number of them were exchanged in 1758, when the regiment was restored to full strength.

In 1758, it was part of the Pommeranian corps that joined Frederick's army at Zorndorf, where it fought on the right wing under the command of Dohna. In October of that year, the regiment was a part of the force that relieved Kolberg.

The regiment missed the battle of Kunersdorf, but later was part of the force that reinforced the King's shattered survivors of that battle. 

In 1760, IR22 served with the King's army again and took part in the unsuccessful siege of Dresden. It also fought at Torgau, although was mostly in a reserve role, thankfully. The regiment remained with the King's army during the 1761 and 1762 campaigns.

The regiment was a Pomeranian regiment and its garrison was at Stargard in Pommerania.

The uniform is shown in the Hans Bleckwenn uniform plate above, which depicts a typical Prussian blue coat, Prussian cuffs (tight) and red lapels. I was thinking that they had white breeches and waistcoat, but I was wrong. The small clothes are straw yellow. I really wanted a unit with white breeches to give me one with a classic Prussian uniform. I may switch over to IR20 Bornstadt, which was also at Kolin and suffered heavy losses there.

Below is a picture of the regimental colors and details of the grenadier mitre. I assume that the gentlemen pictured is Prinz Moritz.

IR22 Standard and Grenadier detail (Bleckwenn)

As of today, my Prussian (Minden) army has 6 battalions of musketeers, 2 battalions of fusiliers, 1 battalion of grenadiers, 1 jager regiment, and 2 battalions of IR/15 the Guard. I don't plan to use the Guards in many of my battles, so I need a couple of battalions to replace the Guards, so IR22 was my choice. I also need to add one battalion of grenadiers.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Labelling of Blog Entries Is Completed

I have gone through over 900 blog posts going back to August 2007, when I started this blog, and entered topic labels for every single posting. YIKES! that was a lot of work.

I then posted the 26 most popular topics in the column on the left side of this page. So if, for example, you wanted to see everything on this blog about Prussian cavalry, you would click on the link for Prussian SYW Army and that would cause every related post to show up on your screen. Then you would scroll down through the posts until you found one with a Prussian Cavalry label, click "Prussian Cavalry", and then all of the posts related to Prussian cavalry would be at your fingertips.

I can add more topics to the list, because everything now has a label, I just didn't want the list of labels to get too long.

Followers Wanted
I was hoping that the increase in blogging output would attract a few more followers  to this blog. I actually lost one follower today (sigh). I am targeting 500 followers as my goal. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, then why not click on the Follow This Blog link on this page and become a follower .

Comments Are Appreciated Too
I can track statistics that tell me how many visitors I have each day, but the thing that I really enjoy is reading comments that visitors leave on the blog. I encourage everyone to leave a comment on a topic from time to time, even if it is just to say Hello. A lot of times I post information in the comment responses that does not appear on the main page, so you could be missing some good information.

What's Next?
I have been working on my 1:20 Minden Austrian and Prussian armies so that I can run a Kolin game at next year's SYWA convention in March 2016 in South Bend. I will be reporting more on this topic in the coming days and weeks.

In the near term, I want to set up a Chotositz scenario and play a solo game. Hohenfriedburg and Soor are also candidates for solo play treatment in 2015. In other words, I want to play more wargames in 2015, be it solo games or games with the Brown Deer group. Solo games give me the opportunity to try out scenario ideas or experiment with rules changes.

AWI Hessian Update
We should be seeing the greens for the Hessian infantry within a couple of weeks, which would be my best guess. I am looking forward to seeing what Richard will come up with this time. Stay tuned for more information.

Big Battalion Game "Label"
In going through all of the old posts these past few days, I found some awesome pictures from the Battle of Schaumburg in October 2009. Click on "Big Battalion Game" label on the left side of this page to relive some of these battles. It is worth the extra couple of clicks. We are starting plans to host another huge multiplayer Big Battalion Game, probably in May 2016.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Some Blog Changes To Make Things Easier

I have added a list of "labels" or thread topics on the left side of this page. It is titled Most Popular Labels.

I have gone through about 450 of the 960 blog posts today and added labels. This takes me back to October 9, 2011. I plan to finish the remaining blog threads later this week.

The labels are listed in order of the most frequent topics. You can click on any one of the labels, for example, the Battle of Kolin, and you will have every single thread that I have written on the Battle of Kolin right at your fingertips.

I think that I still have too many categories and may amalgamate topic such as Austrian Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery into one Austrian SYW Army label.

I am only listing the most popular threads. There are many other labels, but you will have to scroll through the archives to find them. When you do (Dogs for example), just click on the label and all the Dog topics will appear.

I hope that this will be helpful in navigating your way around and through the blog archives.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Austrian Cuirassier Regt. Anhalt Zerbst

Two squadrons of the Austrian cuirassier regiment Anhalt Zerbst

Today I completed the second squadron of 12 Minden Austrian cuirassiers for the Anhalt Zerst regiment during the SYW. I wanted to have the regiment on standing horses so that they would look like they were in the second line of battle in reserve.

I have started keeping a unit diary for every infantry and cavalry unit and record the date of service in my Austrian and Prussian armies. Thus the Anhalt Zerbst regiment entered service on July 21, 2015.

Side view of the standing horse pose - the regiment is in reserve waiting to enter the battle.

I now have three cuirassier regiments and two dragoon regiments in my Austrian cavalry establishment. My plan is to have cavalry brigades of three regiments ( 2 x cuirassiers and 1 x dragoons).

Anhalt Zerbst Cuirassier Regiment in Austrian service.
I am toying with an idea to increase all of my cavalry from 24 figures in "squadrons" of 12 figures in double ranks to 32 figures in four squadrons of 8 figures in a single rank. The picture below illustrates how this might look. I started with the Anhalt Zerbst cuirassiers (24 figures) and borrowed four more stands from the O'Donnell cuirassiers to see how it would look.

What do you think?

An idea for having 4 squadrons of 8 cavalry in a regiment

The idea comes from Peter Gilder's In The Grand Manner (ITGM) rules for Napoleonic wargaming. ITGM uses the cavalry squadron as the basic unit in a cavalry regiment. I kind of like the look of 32 figure cavalry regiment and at a 1:20 ratio (640 riders) it is closer to the actual strength of an Austrian regiment than is my current 24 figure regiment.

The Cons:

  • requires adding 8 more figures to every cavalry regiment
  • more squadrons adds to the complexity of the rules and the game
  • do single ranks look better or worse than two ranks?

The Pros:

  • more figures always looks better on the table top
  • 32 figures brings the regiment closer to its theoretical strength of ~ 700-800 horse

Alternative Idea:

  • Increase the cavalry units to 36 figures divided into three squadrons of 12 riders and keep the 12 figures per squadron arrangement and two rank formations.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fritz Defends The Raj - BAR SYW in India

Bill Protz is master of his domain - BAR SYW game in Brown Deer

On Saturday July 18, 2015 the Gang of Seven convened at Chez Protz to fight a BAR game (Batailles dans l'Ancien Regime) in 18th Century India. Of course, the two sides represented the French and British, along with their respective native allies. We do not collectively have a lot of painted troops for the SYW in India, however, we borrowed the native contingents from Bill's 19th Century India collection and then added a couple of European units per side.

The British colonial army in India, led by the Earl of Glenlivet, a Scotsman whose family judiciously  had one son support the Hanoverian King, while the younger son supported the Pretender. That younger son was the Earl of Glenlivet, who was seeking to earn the good grace of the Hanoverian King by serving him in India.

Glenlivet was tasked with capturing the French colonial city of Basmatipur, so as to drive the French out of India. Glenlivet's army included two British infantry battalions, a brace of 6-pounders, 2 squadrons of European cavalry, and an unknown number of native levies, ably led by Keith Pasha (native infantry commander) and John Sahib (the native cavalry commander).

The British Europeans were a little uncertain about facing elephants for the first time, but their training made the difference as they held firm, fired a couple of rounds, and advanced towards the town of Basmatipur. Glenlivet placed his British infantry on the right flank and gave them the task of capturing the town.

In the British center, Keith Pasha was given the task of getting the attention of the French and keeping them from reinforcing the town. Glenlivet had no idea what his native cavalry were up to on the far left wing, nor did he care all that much. Much to his surprise, the British natives performed exceptionally well (it must have been those European commanders attached to each native brigade) as they swept the French army off the table in all three sectors.

Please follow the action in the pictures (captioned) below and click or double click the photos to enlarge the view.

The British contingent anchored the right flank and was given the task of launching the main assault on the town of Basmatipur.

The native contingents allied to the British filled out the center and also attacked Basmatipur.

On the far British left, John M. (left) and Bill Protz (right) crossed sabers with their cavalry. Bill : " let's see, the French get a plus ten in melee and the British get a minus 5".

The British 11th Foot, supported by two 6-pounders and a company of grenadiers on its left, advance towards the town.

The French Chasseurs de Fischer sally forth from the town to attack the British.

Same game turn, but from the French point of view. Note the British 8th Foot on the left, protecting the right flank of the 11th Foot in the center.

A huge melee developed in the woods between two opposing mobs of native levies. The British levies charged the front and flank of the French levies, but miraculously, the French natives won the scrum and sent the British natives fleeing out of the woods and back to their lines.

Undeterred by the melee loss in the woods, the British natives launch another attack to the left of the woods and right at the French Albany Regiment.

Earl's French regulars await the native horde coming its way.

Over on the British left flank, it is siesta time as the cavalry advance into contact.
The British irregular levies overpower the French regular cavalry, while the British regular cavalry waits to mop up the remains of the melee.

The 11th Foot wins the first fire card and mows down the Chasseurs de Fischer in  large numbers. The elephants  proved to look more impressive than they actually were.

More French levies try to work around the right flank of the British 11th Foot.

The Chasseurs de Fischer, what was left of them, fled back into Basmatipur. All that remained were a mob of native levies, some nellies a clear sailing into the town for the 11th Foot.

Some fierce looking native artillery gets left behind as the rest of the British natives  advance towards the French Albany Regiment.

Back in the center, the Albany Regiment is forced to retire back towards Basmatipur or risk getting outflanked.

A few of the French levies go battle mad and launch a hopeless charge into the 8th Foot, which would only lose two casualties all day.

The British 11th Foot also mop up the remnants of the French levies and have clear sailing into the town and its eventual capture.

While the outcome was a bit lopsided in favor of the redcoats, I think that everyone enjoyed playing in the game. The odd mix of natives, elephants and a few European units created a fun game with a few uncertainties provided by a deck of chance cards, that were drawn each turn.

Bill and I are both considering painting some French and British Sepoy regiments to use in future India games. I suspect that BAR will be returning to the Indian subcontinent again.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

American Militia New Figures At Fife & Drum

Minden Armed Civilian set of 5 figures
OK, they are not exactly new figures, per se, but this set of five European Armed Civilians has been a part of the Minden Miniatures range for the past several years, but is well hidden from the public. I think that they happen to look like American Militia too.

So, below is a picture of a set of 13 foot and one mounted officer put together from various figures in both Minden and Fife & Drum figure ranges. The mounted officer is actually one of the mounted civilian gentlemen from the Minden range.

I plan to eventually offer the set at a 15% discount at $27.00 (compared to the retail sales price of $32.00 if you were to buy the figures individually. The only problem is that I don't have enough stock of at least one of the figures (second row, second figure from the right - militia man in tricorn with musket down). However, if you are OK with me substituting a figure or two for any shortages, then I can go ahead and take orders for the militia set, as depicted below. Just ask for Militia Set #1 for $27.00 plus postage and I will send them to you right away.

Here are 14 different militia figures taken from our Fife & Drum AWI range (8 figures), the Minden mounted gentleman serving as a militia officer, and the Minden Armed Civilians (5 figures).
The next order of business: getting samples of the set painted and photographed.