Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy First Anniversary

Brunswick regiment Von Zastrow on parade. Foundry figures from the collection of Dennis Smail. This collection is merely passing through Hesse Seewald and on its way to a new home.

One year ago today I started Der Alte Fritz Journal as a place where I could talk about the wargaming hobby, post a few pictures from time to time, and keep a few friends up to date on my on going feud with Gallia. I must admit that I had a little bit of fear and trepedation. Afterall, how would I find enough things to blog about every week of the year?

I guess that my fears were unfounded, for I have posted 112 entries over the past year, or approximately one new posting every three days. Topics have ranged from the current SYW units on my painting table, pictures of my various wargame collections, new products that I had discovered, after action wargame and convention reports, and last but not least, the ever popular Teddy Bear Wars.

A Few Statistics
Just off the top of my head, I would imagine that the most popular postings have been the Teddy Bear Wars, the Jacobite Rebellion, anything having to do with Napoleonics, and my latest additions to my Seven Years War armies. Case in point, the average number of visits per day is around 175, but whenever I have posted Teddy Bear Wars reports, this zooms up to nearly 500 visits. Some of the Jacobite Rebellion and the In The Grand Manner Napoleonics reports have also logged nearly 500 visitors. Typically, a new pictorial posting will attract somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 visits.

As of this evening, there had been 63,900 hits on this blog over the past twelve months, which is far more than I ever would have imagined when I began this endeavor. So a big "thank you" to everyone who has paid me a visit. Your feedback and comments are very much appreciated and make this endeavor a lot of fun for me.

The Brunswick Brigade
I have graced the top of this page with a picture of one of the units that my friend Dennis Smail painted for Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (or "BAR", as it is popularly known). Dennis had been out of wargaming for a number of years, but the Alte Fritz Journal stirred up his interest in the Seven Years War and games played with the BAR rules. He didn't want paint Prussians, exactly, but was looking for something similar. So he settled on the army of the Duchy of Brunswick.

I rather like the way that Dennis organized his battalions. Note that each grand division (or stand) has an extra officer, NCO or other file closer that he places in front of the grand division as it marches across the table top. Then, as the unit prepares to engage in musketry, he places the file closers behind the battalion, just as they would have done in real life. I think that this is a rather nifty way of organizing a BAR battalion, and it kind of harks back to the organization used in Peter Young's Charge book.

Converged grenadier battalion von Redeken in the front, composed of the grenadier companies from the von Zastrow and von Behr regiments, and the von Zastrow musketeer regiment in the second line, advance into battle.

The Brunswickers are currently passing through the Duchy of Hesse Seewald, where they paused to have their pictures taken. They are soon to pass into service of another imagi-nation in the vacinity and I look forward to seeing them in some of our future battles in Brown Deer, WI. The brigade consists of two musketeer battalions and two grenadier battalions. The whole Brunswick army had eight battalions, as I recall, and Dennis had painted four of them. They consist largely of Foundry and Crusader castings and look rather splendid.


  1. Dear Jim,
    Congratulations on your first anniversary. It has been a genuine treat visiting your BLOG, seeing the miniatures and reading your remarks. Prodigiously good viewing and definitely appreciated by me.
    Kind Regards,

  2. Jim
    Happy Birthday to your Blog- thanks for the fun and inspiration you have given me . Long may you continue!
    best wishes

  3. Congratulations, and thanks for producing such an interesting blog. May you have many more anniversaries


  4. Congratualtions, Jim on your splendid year. I have enjoyed many of your posts (alright, I admit that I ignore the Napoleonic posts).

    Besides the SYW posts, I also very much enjoyed your Sudan posts . . . more of those too please.

    As for "another imagi-nation", please be sure to invite them to email me if they'd like to become part of EvE. My email is . . .

    -- Jeff

  5. Happy Anniversary to the Alt Fritz blog, and here's to many more years of good blogging.

  6. Huzzah!

    Looking forward to many more posts and anniversaries.


  7. Happy anniversary! Thanks for all of the posts and pictures and info and inspiration!

    Very nice large battalions by your friend there!

  8. Three Cheers for Der Alte Fritz and Hesse-Seewald! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

  9. Can I just add my thanks for a year's worth of inspiration.

  10. I'll join all the others wishing you a Happy Blog Anniversary, sir. And a thank you, as well, for your part in helping Mr. Protz develop what has become BAR.

    I'm a long way off from your painting skills and output, but I very much enjoy the viewing of your accomplishments, and it helps keep me in mind of what's possible.

  11. I would like to add my congratulations as well. One again your blog has inspired me to nothing less than blatent imitation. In a break from the production line of Prussina regiments I had been considering doing a couple of Wuttemburg regiments to bolster the Austrians ranks. However after seeing these Brunswick lads, I spent the weekend reading about their army. Can I ask one thing. Where did your friend find the flags?


  12. Jim,

    I have enjoyed reading your blog over the last year. I hope you have many more enjoyable years with your blog and gaming!
    The Brunswick Brigade looks mighty nice!


  13. The Brunswick flags came from Vaubanner Graphics in Canada. They are nice flags indeed.

  14. I for one am a hooked and dedicated reader. Well painted minis, well photographed with well done writing. What's not to like? Wishing you many more successful anniversaries!

  15. Dear Jim,
    delayed (I was cut from the internet in some remore area of 'deep France') but most sincere congratulations!

  16. Congrats on some fine work. Chronofus

  17. Hello, Alter Fritz,
    happy first anniversary! I found your blog by chance (searching for pictures of Seydlitz) and was pleased to find another Frederick-the-Great-of-Prussia-enthusiast! If you're both interested in the Seven Years' War and wargaming, I'd like to recommend the euro-wargame "Friedrich" to you. It's a fascinating simulation of the Seven Years' War in Europe, and I've had wonderful hours of playing. The game's website is (or post an answer to this comment, and I will ask your questions). Hoping your blog will have many more years,

  18. Sorry, I meant "answer your questions", of course.

  19. Congratulations! I can't believe it's only been a year. Checking on your blog regularly has become part of my wargaming routine and it feels like it's been there for a lot longer.

    You've been one of the inspirations for my move to the big battalions style, though I'll never match your production rate. May you be blogging for many years to come.

    Best wishes,


  20. I have a copy of Friedrich and actually Monsieur Chevert and I were thinking of using the board map for our own campaign. I have yet to play the game, but it looks very interesting indeed.

  21. A belated "Congratulations!" Herr Alte.

    Your site, your email, and your former work in the SYWA have been both motivational and educational in my own SYW gaming.

    Here's to many another year!

    Ed v. H-F

  22. Hey, that's great! I wish you as much fun as I had with the game.
    P.S.: The 3rd Friedrich world championships have been held in Berlin last weekend. I didn't participate, but I have in mind to be there next year, so maybe we'll meet there? :-)