Thursday, December 11, 2008

Time For Austrians

Crusader SYW Austrian Horse Grenadiers from the regiment Saxe-Gotha, painted by Der Alte Fritz. (click pix to enlarge)

His Royal Nibs will not be pleased to hear that I have decided to mobilize the SYW Austrian army. The recent painting binge of Prussian light troops has no brought my infantry establishment up to 19 battalions of 60 figures and 32 squadrons of 12 figures. I lost count of the artillery, but there must be at least a dozen guns and crew.

The Austrians, on the otherhand, have a mere 9 battalions of infantry, 10 squadrons of cavalry and 5 cannon and crew. Clearly then, it is time to augment the Austrian forces. I should mention that my Austrians can count on its allies from the Duchy of Freyberg (3 btns and 4 squadrons of Austrians) and the Saxon cavalry (8 squadrons) in the employ of Monsieur Chevert (Mr. Protz) to fill out the battle line. So all is not as hopeless on the battle line as it would seem at first glance.

There are two other drivers of the urge to paint hoards of men in white coats. Those being (1) a reading of the Charles Grant scenario for the Battle of Lobositz, as described in Charles S. Grant's new book, The Wargame Companion, and (2) a nightly reading of extracts from Christopher Duffy's new book on the Austrian army, titled By Force of Arms. Both provide considerable inspiration to create smaller battles on the tabletop. However, I simply need more Austrians in order to fight balanced wargames.

The Grant scenario for Lobositz requires 10 battalions and 4 regiments of heavy cavalry for both sides. All this on a 9 foot by 7 foot table. Since my home table is 6 feet by 12 feet, I ought to be able to accomodate Grant's Lobositz game on it.

I almost have enough infantry, what with my collection of 9 battalions, but I need more cavalry. The current Austrian mounted arm has 3 squadrons of cuirassiers, 4 squadrons of de Ligne Dragoons in green coats/red facings, and 3 squadrons of converged horse grenadiers. You can see one of the horse grenadier squadrons in the picture at the top of this page.

There are two squadrons of Crusader Austrian cuirassiers primed and ready to go on my painting table. With a considerable number of vacation days remaining in the month, I ought to be able to polish these off by the end of this year (that sounds like a long time when one puts it like that - we are talking a mere three weeks here). This augmentation will increase the Birkenfeld Cuirassiers up to their full strength of 5 squadrons of 12 figures, or 60 figures total.

After that, I have another dozen de Ligne Dragoons to paint - which will bring the regiment up to 60 figures as well. Thus, two full cavalry regiments ought to be able to hold their own against similar numbers of Prussian cavalry. After that, I am tempted to tackle my 36 figure regiment of Esterhazy Hussars (light blue pelise and dolman with red breeches, yellow cuffs and yellow boots). The Esterhazys are destined to become the sworn enemies of Friedrich and Hesse Seewald. The King holds a long grudge against the Esterhazy family for their closing of the SYW uniform/trophy collection that they have in Forschstenstein Castle (in Austria). Der Alte Fritz was visiting their schloss in 2005 and he was not able to see this fabulous uniform and flag collection (many of the Prussian SYW artifacts were captured at Maxen). My only recourse is to paint the Esterhazy infantry regiment and the Esterhazy Hussars, and then defeat them on the table top. Yes, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Be that as it may (and it is all in fun my friends), it is time to forge ahead with the Austrians. I am shooting for a deadline of early February 2009 so that I can have them ready for a game that I will run at the Little Wars Convention in that month. February is sooner than we all think.


  1. Hi Jim,

    Well, I hope that you'll post plenty of in-progrees photos of your planned Austrian units here and many of the Grant Lobositz scenario after you play it in February.

    Best Regards,


  2. Huzzah!!! Look forward to seeing the Austrian Cavalry. I have ordered several Crusader miniatures and am glad to see my blogging insperation using them.

  3. I love your horse grenadiers, they remind me of my Beersetin Horse Grenadiers. There's just something about those bearskin lads!

  4. Yes, I like the HGs too. I have one squadron in blue coats, one in green and one in red coats. I will probably add a fourth squadron in white coats down the road.

    I also like the red coated Austrian dragoons. Stokes' blog today made me think of them.

  5. Oh, I have a thing for horse grenadiers (but only in a manly way)!

  6. Hijacking the thread, but having to do with Dragoons...
    Jim, do you already have an idea about what minis could be suitable for Milady de Winter's Black Dragoons? Mind you, when she travels in her coach -or proudly rides sidesaddle- she deserves a more dignified escort than a bunch of Running Ruffians!

    Best regards,

  7. Yep, even I have been able to get back to painting after some weeks of being unable to make the rocking motions necessary to recharge the bursh or to change the figures ...
    just about finished with 18 figures of the Frangipani Hussars (Revell plastics).
    btw, I loved the battle report too.

  8. I plan on using the Crusader Bosniaks in post SYW uniform for Lady de Winter's mounted guard. They will be dressed in black with red facings. Shabraques will be black with red van dyking on the edges. Lance pennons will be black and white. These are nice looking figures so I probably won't do Black Dragoons. But then again...

  9. Hi Jim,

    I'm beginning to build a small, very small, Imagi-Nation force using RSM figures. The infantry and artillery covers everything I will need.

    The cavalry covers just about everything. What I don't like about most of the RSM cavalry figures is attaching swords and bending arms, etc.

    Can you recommend a figure line and maybe a specific figure for a generic trooper in tricorne with a cast on saber, not charging, that goes well with the RSM figures. I'll be using RSM Hussars and Cuirassiers. Just looking for a regiment of "Horse" trooper as "elegant" as the RSM figures.

    I don't have a blog or Google Id, so this coming is as anonymous. You can reply here or directly to me at


    Jim Wright
    Phoenix, AZ, USA.

  10. DAF: thanks for the information - looking forward to discovering them in their colored flesh!
    Will one day Milady de Winter use a war balloon?

    Anonymous "the other Jim" - Wright: for all aficionados of 'tricorne' Imagi-Nations, it's really too bad we can't enjoy your work! Hopefully you'll take the blogging plunge. In the meantime you can post photos and files on Yahoo groups -the Old_School_Wargaming one being specially propitious- or join the 'Emperor vs Elector' collective blog?
    Hoping to learn more from you,
    aka Louys de Monte-Cristo

  11. To Jim Wright: the RSM Prussian and Austrian dragoons come "open handed". However, if you look closely, you will see that the sword is still in its scabbard, so you don't have to put a sword in its hand. Only the French cavalry and Prussian cuirassiers and the British horse regts charging require sword attachment.

    Keep an eye out for the Minden Miniatures range of figures. Eventually Frank Hammond will add cavalry and these figures should fit in very well with RSM figures.

  12. Thank you, sir.

    As part of my search I ordered a sample of Crusader and Spenser Smith. I'll bookmark Minden Miniatures also.

    Jim Wright
    Phoenix, AZ, USA