Monday, May 25, 2015

I Am Off to Partizan!

The Austrian and Prussian general staffs confer over the ground rules for the coming game at Partizan on May 31st. Both of the above pictures feature figures from the collection of John Ray, and are published here with his permission.

The wargame gods giveth and taketh, so it would seem. I had to miss this year's Seven Years War Assn. convention in March, so Mrs. Fritz decided that it would be a good idea for me to cross the big pond and attend a wargame show in the United Kingdom. 

So I'm going to Partizan in Newark!

The show will be held on Sunday May 31, 2015 at Kelham Hall near Newark.

I leave tomorrow and will spend several days in London getting over the jet lag and doing a little site seeing (National Army Museum and Westminster Abbey are at the top of my list this year). Then I will take the train north to Coventry/Birmingham and stop in for a visit with Griffin Moulds so I can see first hand how miniatures are made. That would make the trip worthwhile on its own.

But wait, there's more:

Unless your name is Clark Kent and you can read fine print, then read the game flyer above. However, for the rest of us, the text of the flyer is copied below:

A Military Gentleman of the 18th Century was written by John Ray and published in September 2013.Only 500 numbered copies of this limited first run were printed. This book of 304 pages has over 500 images, covering model soldiers, inspirational pen and inks drawings plus coloured military artwork specifically commissioned for this story.

Purchase of this exceptional book allows the owner to join the AMG Forum, where the hobby and all things 18th Century (and more!) are discussed and debated in what can only be described as a wonderful 'Private Members Club'

Members of the forum thought it would be a wonderful idea if we could meet and at the same time promote the 18th Century as a wargames period.Hence the decision was made to present not 1 but two games.In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Waterloo the games before you today represent an 18th Century take on the battles of Quatre- Bras and Ligny. The games are based around those presented by Charles Grant in his publication 'The Wolfenbuttel War' and of course we shall be using his rules 'The War Game' suitably tweaked for the day.

Over 20 members of the forum are here bringing together  800+ years of wargames experience.
On the Ligny battlefield we have the Prussian Army commanded by Feldmarschall Johann von Rae, over 30 Battalions of Prussia's best, ably supported by 20+ squadrons of cavalry.

Opposing them is the French Army commanded by Marshall Phillipe D'Olley. His army is roughly the same size as the Prussians. However neither army starts at full strength, when and where they arrive may have a significant impact on the battle. The French must take Ligny and cut the road to Quatre Bras in order to win.

On the Quatre Bras field of Battle the Hanoverians and their Allies must blunt the attack of the French Army and prevent them from seizing the cross roads at Quatre Bras. Initially outnumbered the Allies must hang on until reinforcements arrive and then hopefully counter attack the French army.

There will be over 4000 figures deployed across the two tables, from many manufacturers, including Minden Miniatures and Crann Tara miniatures, there are also figures from the private collections of John Ray and Phil Olley. Whilst it is not possible to name all the participants today it is a privilege to welcome some of the doyens of the wargaming world - Charles Grant,  John Ray, Phil Olley, Mark Allen. Jim Purky has flown in specially from America and the man who made Horace St.Paul available to the Seven Years War fraternity - Historian and Wargamer Neil Cogswell.

Feel free to ask anything about the book, the Forum, the game.

I am hooking up with some of the members of the "A Military Gentleman" forum at Partizan, where we are collectively hosting a couple of games on Sunday, featuring Charles S. Grant and his The War-game Rules for our 18th Century games. John Ray will bring a small portion of his vast post-SYW era Prussians and test wills against Phil Olley and his French collection. A number of other members are bringing their own troops, and based on some of the pictures that I have seen on the forum, there will be a lot of superbly painted SYW era troops on the table (in 28mm of course).

Kudos must go to Graham Cummings (Crann Tara Miniatures) for his tireless devotion to organizing the game, its logistics and playing the role of chief cat herder. Without Graham's efforts, this game would not have progressed beyond the idea stage.

For me, the best part of my visit to Partizan will be the opportunity to meet a number of acquaintanences and friends that I have made over the years as  a result of the Internet. I look forward to matching up the faces with the names and having the opportunity to chat with everyone. So if you happen to be going to Partizan, or even thinking about it, please do stop by at the AMG game and say hello.

Griffin Moulds Update
I have a several large boxes of figures on the way from Griffin Moulds, scheduled to arrive tomorrow (hopefully before I leave for the airport). I don't know exactly what is in the box, but Graham Cummings visited Griffin Moulds last week and hinted that some of the new figures will be in this shipment. So I am holding my breath with anticipation. I have also learned that Griffin Moulds has moved to a new location, added more employees to work on the casting part of the business, and made a couple of administrative hires, that collectively, should start to make a big dent in the order backlog and get the regular lead times for castings back to the 3-4 week range.

I should also report that Richard Ansell has started working on the AWI Hessians for the Fife & Drum figure range so we will probably start seeing some pictures of the greens within a couple more months.

All and all, there is much to look forward to in the coming months.

I look forward to meeting more of my blog readers at Partizan.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Battle in the Oak Wood

Overhead view of the fight for the Oak Wood.

The above picture provides a general overview of the action on Turn 12 of the Kolin game. While the Austrian and Prussian infantry vie to control the Oak Wood, a massive cavalry melee continues behind the woods. Should the Prussian cavalry prevail, it would jeopardize the entire Austrian defense of Krechor Hill as the Austrian infantry would be facing Prussian infantry to their front and Prussian cavalry behind them. Austrian cavalry general Serbelloni sees the same thing and so he has committed all of his remaining cavalry to the scrum.
The cavalry battle behind the Oak Wood draws in more and more cavalry from both sides.

While on the other side of the woods, Hulsen continues to press the attack.

Marshal von Daun rushes reinforcements from Sincere's division to Krechor Hill  to support the Austrian right flank.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Emergency help needed for fuzzy primer

I primed a squadron of 12 Austrian cuirassiers yesterday and three of the new Austrian 3-pd cannon models in the Minden range. I was all "primed to paint " them tonight, but to my complete horror, every figure has one side covered with fuzzy black primer

I tried scraping the fuzz off with a new tooth brush in the hope that they could be recovered and reprimed. however, they are not up to snuff and I don't want to spend hours painting the figures only to find that I could not cover up the rough fuzzy surface on one side of the figure.

I'm sure that some of my regular readers have gone through this experience before and I'm hoping that you can give me some advice. I've decided that I need to strip all of the primer off the figures and start anew. So the question is, what is the best way to strip primer off of a figure. I used Armory black primer if this helps. I shall never use black primer again.

I'm going to have a wee dram or two of Highland Park 18 year old Scotch right now. I think that I deserve one right now.

Please leave a comment in the comment section if you have a good method for striping figures or send me an email at

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Grand Cavalry Melee at Kolin

Prussian hussars and DR12 Wurtemberg Dragoon cross swords with the Austrians, east of Krechor.
 I have downloaded some pictures of the grand cavalry melee that took place to the east of Krechor village. This did not happen historically...

Another view of the same melee scrum.

After the casualties and morale tests, few Austrians are left standing.
The next turn of cavalry melee would have been fought on the edge of the table, so the light bulb went on and I pushed one of my back tables forward so as to add an extra 2 feet of depth to the table. I like the way that this worked out.

Several turns later, more Austrian cavalry enters from the bottom of the picture. I shoved my back table up to the main table so that I could stretch the width of the table to better fight this melee.

A better view of the extra table that I pushed forward to extend the width. These are standard school cafeteria tables 2.5ft wide by 6ft long, purchased at Staples.

Seydlitz leads the Prussian cavalry circling around Krecho to the east. IR5 Alt Braunschweig regiment follows.

Several squadrons of the Bayreuth Dragoons (DR5) await their turn to get into the rumble.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hulsen's Advance Guard Attacks Krechor

Von Seydlitz leads his cuirassiers into the cavalry melee

After setting up the Kolin terrain and looking at the table for several days, I decided that it was time to haul out the D10 dice and take the scenario out on a test drive. As always, please click on the pictures to enlarge the view (it is worth the clicking effort).

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The game was played using Minden Miniatures, Herb Gundt buildings and trees and my own Der Alte Fritz rules (which are available as a free download on the Fife & Drum Miniatures website.

Overhead view of Hulsen's attack. He has cleared the Croats from Krechor and has sent a brigade of grenadiers around the left to outflank the Austrian infantry of Wied (arriving).

Here are some pictures of Prussian General Hulsen's opening attack on the Austrian right flank near Krechor village. Commentary is provided in the captions.

Prussian regiment Winterfeldt (IR1) tries to press the attack out of the village, but its path is blocked by the Soro Grenadier battalion of the Austrian army.
At the same time, Serbelloni commits his Austrian cavalry in a forlorn hope charge to slow down the Prussian grenadiers to the east of Krechor and to stop the Prussian flank maneuver.
A view of the battlefield to the east of Krechor. Prussian hussars screen off the Croats deployed in Kutlire so that the rest  of the attack can pass without getting shot in the flank.

Wied's Austrian division is the first of the Austrians to arrive on their far right flank between Krechor and Chozenitz.
Hulsen deploys a battery of Prussian 12-pounders that inflict a lot of damage to Wied's forces on the Krechor Hill.

Prussian grenadiers press home the attack near the Oak Wood.
The same action, but from the Austrian point of view.

The first battalion of IR1 Winterfeldt routs through Krechor.

Sincere's division arrives around Turn 8.

A close up view of Sincere's division on the march.

Hulsen rallys the first battalion of IR1 Winterfeld, while the second battalion waits for the traffic jam to clear.

As of late Friday evening, the game has progressed nine turns and both Wied and Sincere's divisions have arrived at Krechor to stem Hulsen's attack.

To the east of Krechor, a massive cavalry melee is developing with both sides feeding ever more squadrons into the action. Seydlitz has brought the Prussian cavalry reserve from the center to all the way on the the left flank and his cuirassiers will soon enter the melee.

Treskow split up is left wing command into two brigades: the IR49 Fusiliers and the Prussian 12-pound battery occupy the front on the Kaiserstrasse between Krechor and Chozenitz; the IR5 Alt Braunschweig regiment continues the original plan of marching around the left or east of Krechor village, adding their weight to the advance of the Prussian grenadiers.

If the Prussian cavalry prevails in the melee, then there will be little to stop the attack on the left to the east of Krechor. This will create a kink or bend in the Austrian defensive position that is now anchored on the Oak Wood.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Hulsen's Attack At Krechor Village

Hulsen has chased the Croats out of Krechor

Thursday evening I commenced my solo game test of the Kolin scenario that I am working on and I was able to complete six turns before calling it a night.

Hulsen cleared the Croats out of Krechor by the end of the third turn but was making little headway beyond the village. The Austrian Soro grenadier battalion had sealed off the exit from the town and as a result, two Prussian battalions of the IR1 Winterfeldt regiment were bottled up in the town stuck in a traffic jam.

Hulsen sent his two grenadier battalions, supported by two squadrons of hussars, around the east side of the village in order to outflank the Soro grenadiers. Just as they were starting to shake out into a line, the Austrian cavalry general Serbelloni had ordered two squadrons of the Sachsen Gotha Dragoons to,charge into the Prussian grenadiers. Both of these actions created enough time for Wied's Austrian division to march to Krechor. In addition, Sincere's division was also marching to Krechor, two moves behind Wied.

I am creating this post in the Blogger iPad app which does not allow,me to enlarge the pictures. So tomorrow night I will replace the pictures and add some more to,this report.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More New Kolin Terrain Pix

Croats in defense of Krechor village
I did a little tweaking of the Kolin scenario the other night and added some bits and pieces to the terrain to break up the expanse of game mat. I still need to embelish the terrain a little more, but slowly and surely it is coming around. Click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Hulsen's advance guard prepare to attack Krechor
I added the village of Kutlire on the left hand side of the picture and stuffed more Croats into it.

Austrian 6-pounder battery deploys near Chocenitz

I just happen to like this picture of the Austrian battery and the perspective with the village in the background.

The vanguard of Wied's division on the march to Krechor.

Overhead view of the terrain from Krechor to Chocenitz, showing the Austrian grenadiers as the only units available to link Krechor village to Chocenitz.

A good overhead view of the new terrain. I removed Wied's division and will now have it marching towards Krechor from the far right in hopes that it will get to the Oak Wood before Hulsen does.

On old version of the Kolin game that I ran years ago at the SYW Assn convention. Sorry, but I can't make this picture larger.
I build purpose built terrain boards for Kolin many years ago and ran this game at the SYW Assn convention.