Sunday, May 31, 2009

ITGM Day Two - The Austrian Center

At the end of Day One, the Austrian infantry was converging on the Grosserdorf farm, mildly contested by the French, who have advanced a few skirmishers into the farm enclosure.

Austrian horse artillery, supported by cuirassiers, hold the entry to the town of Altenberg (it had no previous name, but I've just given it one to keep track of things).

The Russian cavalry and a battery of horse artillery control the area to the right of Altenberg.

A long column of Austrian infantry march towards the town of Altenberg, in the center of the battlefield towards the end of the first day.

Day Two Battle in the Center Around Altenberg

What a difference a day makes: the Austrians have firm control over the Grosserdorf farm enclosure, while the French have retreated to their back table. A small group of French skirmishers hold out in the woods on the left, but not for long.

As the Austrian and Russian cavalry push the French off of the center table and onto their own back table, the second Austrian infantry corps makes a leisurely march through Altenberg to support the attack in the center.

Uncle Duke, commanding the Austrians and Russians in the center, has pushed the French back onto the back table. This was one of the finest examples of wargame generalship that I have ever seen in a game.

Day Two of the battle of Altenberg commenced with the French deciding that they would need to fall back and form up a defensive position on the back table in their own center and right wings of the army. As noted in yesterday's report, Davout was also holding the defense on the left. So the offensive initiative was ceded to the Allies so that the French could build up their infantry strength.

Duke Siefried commanded the Austrians and Russians in the center and he put on a wargaming clinic on how to use combined cavalry and horse artillery to defeat one's opponent. It was one of the best displays of table top generalship that I had ever seen. It seems like the French were always on the run and Duke never gave them breathing room to recover. There always seemed to be a squadron of cavalry to the front and flank of any French cavalry attack, while the horse artillery was used with deadly precision.

A second French corps arrives in the center (mixed group of Bavarians and French) and occuppy one of the farms in a defensive position. The battery on the right is about to get over run by the Russian cavalry as the French cavalry has abondoned the centre, leaving the French infantry to fend for themselves in square.

The French First Corps in the center holds to its squares, while the cavalry seeks refuge behind them in hopes of reforming.

French cavalry in the center try to reform behind the protective squares of the First Corps.

So at the end of Day Two, the French now have two infantry corps pinned down in the center by hoards of Austrian and Russian cavalry. The French Fourth Corps commander was last seen sending most of his heavy cavalry over to the center to assist his beleagured comrades. I should point out that it was the French plan to consolidate on the back table, but we were a bit surprised by how aggressive the enemy cavalry were. The Austrians are now well screened so that they can bring up their infantry and hold the ground gained by their cavalry. These are not the usual Austrians, my dear Chanticlare.

I will post pictures of the French and British battle on the French right within the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In The Grand Manner - Day 2

Russian cavalry (21 squadrons) deployed to attack Davout's corps (13 squadrons) at the end of Day One

Davout's defense of the French left at the conclusion of Day 1 (April 19, 2009)

Today we reconvened the In The Grand Manner Napoleonic wargame that started on April 19th. As you may recall, the battle began with cavalry brigades entering the tables from a variety of directions. The French dice rolls resulted in two of three cavalry brigades entering on the same road as well as two of the three infantry corps. So we were sort of bottled up in a bridgehead that was reminiscent of Aspern-Esseling. Some relief was provided by Davout's large corps of 14 battalions and two field batteries entering the table on the far left flank of the French. We concluded Day One with Davout holding onto the high ground for dear life, hoping to buy enough time to get his corps across the river and set up for an eventual attack. Today's post will focus mainly on the fight that occurred in Davout's sector during today's battle.

Opposing Forces

The Russians began the day with a very strong cavalry corps of 21 squadrons, consisting of 7 squadrons of elite cuirassiers, 6 squadrons of hussars, 8 squadrons of those dreaded pig stickers (aka Lancers) and a horse artillery battery of three light guns.

Davout had only 13 squadrons of horse, consisting of 7 squadrons of dragoons, 4 chasseur squadrons and 2 squadrons of lancers. These were all deployed across the river on the Russian side of the table. Their mission was to provide a screen that would enable Davout to cross his corps of 14 infantry battalions, one 12-pd battery (4 guns) and one 6-pd battery (4 guns). Davout deployed all of his artillery on the French side of the river (which was not fordable, so it could only be crossed at one of the two bridges spanning the water) so that it could enfilade any Russian attack on the long ridge that was perpendicular to the Russian cavalry, thereby screening the advancing French infantry. Three infantry battalions had already crossed the river and they were deployed in square, screened further by the ridge and by all of the French cavalry. The Russians could not charge anything on the reverse slope of the ridge because it blocked line of sight. You can not charge what you can not see.

The final positions of the French infantry & cavalry versus the Russian cavalry at the end of Day Two. The columns of infantry in the upper left are the vanguard of the French Old Guard division which are positioned the exploit the exit of the Russian cavalry corps.

Davout commenced Day Two by opening an artillery salvo against the Russian cavalry, with orders to pay particular attention to the cuirassiers, lancers and then hussars, in that order. Several turns of long range artillery reduced the Russian hussar screen and forced two cuirassier squadrons to return to their own lines. This narrowed the Russain advantage from 21 squadrons to 17 squadrons, versus the 13 French squadrons. At this point, Davout ordered the heavy dragoons on his far right to engage the Russian dragoons (another 4 squadrons of which joined in on the assault) and cuirassiers. The French gained a slight advantage in the ensuing melees, forcing a couple more squadrons of cuirassier and hussars off the field.

Now Davout ordered an all out cavalry charge at the remaining Russian cavalry -- and then a wonderful thing happened. A single squadron of French lancers won a melee against a larger and heavier Russian cuirassier squadron, forcing to to flee, but more importantly, pinning the two cuirassier squadrons that were stacked up behind it. The lancers lost nary a trooper. They also rolled an immediate pursuit, which is a good thing. To the lancers left, the French sent in two squadrons of chasseurs against a similar number of Russian lancers. They lost two troopers, but Davout picked the right moment to start rolling hot dice. The French chasseurs downed 6 Russians! The Russian lancers turned and fled, also pinning more Russian cavalry behind them. As for the chasseurs, Lady Luck speaks French today, for the chasseurs rallied on the spot and were thus in a position to ride down the rest of the Russian cavalry, which was either pinned or fleeing. Pictures of the end result can be seen below.

At the end of Day Two, we see the victorious French chasseurs turning back the Russian lancers in the front line. Their retreat will pin the three Russian squadrons behind them To the right of the chasseurs, you can see the French lancers driving off a squadron of Russian cuirassiers. The cuirassiers will pin the two squadrons of lancers behind them when they rout. The French lancers will have an uncontrolled pursuit into a mass of pinned Russian cavalry. French infantry squares can be see atop the key defensive ridge.

The Guard cavalry division plus a regiment of line cuirassiers arrived on the far side of the river on Turn 18. Here you can see the cuirassiers crossing the river to help out the French cavalry in the main fight. They did not arrive in time to cross swords with the Russians, but they are well posisitioned to follow up and send the Russian host on the run.

While all of these glorious events were happening on the main cavalry field, the Old Guard infantry was arriving behind the large wooded area to Davout's right. The Guard cavalry division was also arriving on the French side (the side where the French artillery is deployed) of the river. This caused a division of Russian infantry, attempting to march up the table edge across the river, to pause and fall back. Davout sent the Guard Lancers and Guard Horse Artillery after the Russians, and maintained four or five infantry battalions on the short side of the river to protect the French grand battery. The line cuirassiers and Guard Horse Grenadiers and Chasseurs began to cross the river.

So the day ended with Davout and the Guard poised to push the Russians back onto the middle table. Now that most of the Russian cavalry was fleeing or falling back into walk-about mode for two turns, it would be safe for the infantry to get out of their squares and advance forward. So things look very promising on the French left flank as we head into Day Three, which will be played on June 24, 2009.

As for events in the center (Austrians versus French) and right flank (British versus French), I will post more pictures over the next several days and do my best to tell that story. To put it briefly, the Austrian cavalry commander in the center, the Duke of Siefried, aggressively pushed the French off of the middle table and well back onto the rear table. The Duke put on an impressive display of wargaming skills and had the French on the run in the center. On the far right, the French fell back onto the back table to deploy into a battle line and play defense (which was our plan), enticing the British to advance.

I did not spend much time monitoring the events in the other sectors, for I was too busy tending to affairs on the left. How's that for fog of war? You don't need special rules for FOW when you are playing on 24 foot long tables. You are too busy in your own sector to even notice what is going on elsewhere on the table.

Friday, May 29, 2009

French Cuirassiers & Dragoons

French heavy cavalry brigade of 3 squadrons of dragoons and 3 squadrons of cuirassiers. Figures from Elite Miniatures, based on single stands for the BAR Napoleonic rules that we are working on. click the pix to enlarge the view.

The results of an evening's worth of figure basing: Elite Miniatures French cuirassiers, dragoons and, oh, one Minden SYW Austrian cuirassier in the front row on the left. In the background you can see part of a 60 figure battalion of Minden SYW Austrian infantry that is waiting to get primed and painted.

The first leg of my 100 Days Napoleonic painting blitz was completed this evening with the completion of 34 French cuirassiers and the basing of said figures plus a few dragoons. You can see the results in the picture above. By the way, I really do not like terraining the bases of my figures. It can be a royal pain in the neck. I figure that it takes me about a minute to apply the spackle compound (paint is mixed in already), sprinkle some grit or gravel, then apply some flock while the spackle is still wet.

If I want the bases to look really nice, then I do what I call The Frank Hammond Method of spackle, grit, dry overnight, apply ink, dry brush and then apply static grass. This takes two evening's work because the goop needs to dry overnight before the ink wash is applied. It results in a more professional looking base, but it takes longer. Usually, I use this method for command stands or smaller wargame projects.

Here's a little basing tip that I picked up on TMP this week. When you want to remove figures from old bases, and the figures were glued using super glue, then you simply put the figures in the freezer for an hour or two to chill. This breaks down the glue bond. Then, simply pop the figures off the stand using a #2 Exacto wedge knife. I was amazed at how easily the figures popped off of the wooden stands.

Another view of my heavy cavalry brigade for the 1806 Project.

It seems like I have been on a heavy binge of Napoleonic cavalry painting this month. That's because I had the incentive of round two of the In The Grand Manner game on Saturday May 30th, and I wanted to paint a couple of 32 figure ITGM cavalry regiments for the French. Nothing like a deadline to get the brushes moving fast. That said, once the game is over, I will have to take a short break from Napoleonics and paint at least a squadron of the Minden SYW Austrian cuirassiers to relax me and restore a sense of sanity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Foundry 1806 Prussian Generals

Foundry's version of Blucher (left) and Hohenlohe (center) compared to an Elite Miniatures general (right). Please click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

The Foundry has begun releasing the first of its new 1806 Prussian Napoleonic range and so when I saw that they had some mounted personality figures, I was eager to order some and see how they looked first hand and up close. As you can see from the picture above, the two ranges appear to be fairly compatible in terms of overall size, heft and height.

There are two personality packs so far: one contains Prince Hohenlohe, the loser at Jena and General von Ruchel (in an overcoat) and von Yorke (also in an overcoat, modelled after the Knotel drawing of Yorke leading his light infantry). The Blucher pack contains the generals and two mounted aides. All of the personalities are nicely sculpted, and von Blucher actually looks like the person that he is modeled after. Since Elite Miniatures only has a couple of mounted officers, the new Foundry generals are a welcome addition to my 1806 army.

Prince Hohenlohe (left) and an unknown Elite Miniatures general (right)

Blucher, Hohenlohe and two Elite Miniatures generals (on the right). French dragoons from Elite are shown in the background, but pay no heed to them for now.

Here's a peak at some Minden SYW Austrians that I've been working on: infantry officer (left) and cuirassier trooper (right).

As a bit of a teaser, I have included a photo of the new Minden Austrian cuirassiers above. I've only painted one trooper so far, dressed in the distinct blue facings of the Alt Modena regiment, i.e. the only cuirassier regiment that did not wear red facing distinctions. I will try to work in a squadron of 12 Minden cuirassiers so that I can get a better idea of how they will look in mass.

I also finished off 24 French cuirassiers for my 1806 French army and boosted the 20th Dragoons up to 40 figures. I will post pictures within the next couple of days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Hundred Days of the 1806 Project

French battalion formed in a line of 6 companies, per the 1808 regulations. For the 1805-07 campaigns, the French would have 9 companies instead of 6.

On May 1, 2009 , I decided that it was time to concentrate all of my efforts into finally getting the 1806 Napoleonic project off the ground. Earlier in the year, I had done a similar focused painting effort to get my SYW Austrians, while the month of April was devoted to increasing my Jacobite Rebellion forces. I decided that this method of focusing on one army for a month or more seems to work for me. So with that in mind, I turned my attention to the revival of the French and Prussian 1806 army building.

The regimental colonel has deployed his company of voltigeurs out in front of the battalion. Now a player will actually be able to deploy a "cloud of skirmishers" that really means business.

My plan is to spend the next 100 days painting nothing but figures for the 1806 Project, effective May 1st and continuing on through August 8th. Hopefully this will result in the build up of a critical mass of infantry and cavalry for both sides so that we can start play testing the rules and organizing games. Bill Protz, Randy Frye and I are concurrently developing a set of rules, based on the BAR mechanics used for the SYW, albeit with plenty of Napoleonic twists. I think that the effort will result in a fun set of rules that are easy to learn, yet have plenty of nuances and set forth choices for the player.

I began the 100 Days Project by starting on the French 20e Regiment de Dragoons, and as of this evening, I have 36 dragoons and will have the regiment completed at 48 figures by the end of May, a week hence. I also have a battalion of 60 Prussian musketeers on the painting table (32 done so far) and I will work on the Prussian infantry once June rolls around.

The battalion changes into a column of divisions, the so-called Attack Column that we all know and love. Doesn't that column look a little more imposing at a 1:10 figure to man ratio?

The plan is to paint two more Prussian infantry units, a 12-pounder battery of four guns and crew, and maybe a couple of squadrons of dragoons by August 8th. These additions will augment the current inventory of four Prussian battalions and two 6-pounders that I had completed last year. So that will give me a total of 6 btns and six artillery pieces. I have 36 converged cuirassiers and plan to use my SYW Black Hussars in my 1806 Prussian army. I can also use my SYW dragoons as stand ins until their actual 1806 counterparts are completed. The Prussians can be augmented by two battalions of 1805-07 Russians that I have already painted plus a Russian horse battery.

As for the French, they need more up front attention. I have two 72-figure infantry battalions, one legere battalion and these will be joined by Bill's two French line battalions. I have also painted an 8-pounder battery of four guns. The cavalry will consist of 40 cuirassiers, 48 dragoons and hopefully 48 chasseurs a cheval at the end of the 100 Days.

I am still trying to decide how to base my French. The 1791 regulations call for 8 companies plus one company of voltigeurs (beginning in 1804 with the addition of voltigeurs. Or I might sort of fudge it and use the 1808 organization of six companies, which is easier to work with when it comes to basing the figures.

Our first scheduled game is set for July 18th, so I should have plenty of time to paint some new units for both sides. We will undoubtedly have some informal play testing sessions in the interim so that we can work on our ideas for cavalry charges, square formations and changes, etc. and skirmisher rules. I am highly encouraged by some of the ideas that Bill has come up with so far. So stay tuned as the 100 Days rolls along. The French dragoons are nearly done and I am looking forward to adding more Prussians soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A New Paint Storage Rack

Fritz is better organized now that his paints are neatly stored in the Hydra paint rack, shown in the picture above. (click pix to enlarge)

Last week on The Miniatures Page ("TMP") I saw an advertisement for this nifty tiered paint storage rack available from Hydra Miniatures LLC (28118 James Drive, Warren, MI 48092, USA). Hydra imports these "MiniaturicuM" brand paint racks from Germany. They are made from wood and the pieces appear to be laser cut so that the mortices and tenons fit precisely. I liken the assembly to putting together a model with Tinkertoys (plug in and push system).

You can contact Hydra on line at to place an order. I ordered the 72-bottle paint rack for $35.00 plus shipping for a total cost of $40.20. The assembly was very easy an I had it put together within about 5 or 10 minutes and loaded it up with my paint bottles. You can see the finished results in the picture above (click to enlarge the view). I was able to get about 62 bottles into the rack, but about half of my bottles were older, wider Ral Partha/Iron Wind Miniatures bottles that are a little bigger diameter-wise than the standard Reaper or Foundry or various other bottles available these days. You can also buy a 92-bottle rack or you can purchase racks for eye dropper style bottles (such as Vallejo) that allow you to store the bottle upside down. Kind of cool.

Fritz's painting desk is now free of the clutter of multiple bottles of paint, now that they are stored away in my Hydra paint rack. Above is a picture of some Elite Miniatures French Napoleonic Dragoons and Cuirassiers that I am working on for my 1806 Project.

The main point is that having this rack made it easy for me to clean up my painting table and get things organized. So I am really glad that I found this product, as I had been looking for a tiered storage rack for some time. Highly recommended! (as Hal Thinglum would say).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jacobite Skirmish at Culwhinic Moor

The two battalions of the Atholl Brigade protect the Jacobite left flank near the town of Cardhu. Click on all Pix to enlarge the view.

On May 8, 1745 the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie fought a bloody action against the Government forces of King George II on Culwhinic Moor, not too far from Curmudgeon Castle. As our readers may recall, the Jacobite army descended on the supply depot at Curmudgeon and routed the Government forces out of the village, out of the second line of redoubts, and chased them back into Curmudgeon Castle. For the past few months, the Government garrison has held out, defying the rebels overtures to surrender. Finally, the Government sent out a relief expedition to seccour its forces in the castle and hopefully deal the rebels a severe blow. This then, is the account of the battle between Lord Keith Leidy of Woodstock's Government army, and the Jacobites commanded by Lord George Murray and the Earl of Talisker.

Lord Woodstock surveys his deployment with a certain degree of detachment. "Tis just a little tussle with the rebel rabble. It ought to be over in a matter of minutes," sayeth His Grace. (View of the Jacobite center atop of Culwhinic Moor with its left anchored by the town of Cardhu. The Earl of Talisker (me) commands the Jacobite left).

We assembled in the wine cellar of Lord George Murray (Randy F.) to settle our differences on the Field of Mars. The Earl of Talisker (der Alte Fritz) and Lord George Murray commanded the Jacobite forces. We rolled for the charisma of Prince Charles, which today was Poor (-1) so needless to say, we did not bother to attach the Prince to any Jacobite unit for morale enhancement. Keith L. (Lord Woodstock) and Bill P. (Lord Brown Deer) commanded the Government forces:


Lord Talisker (left wing)
5 x 30 Clan Regiments - Veteran
1 x 30 ECW Unit - Veteran

Prince Charles (center reserve)
1 x 24 French Regiment d'Albanie - Veteran
6 x Mounted Bodyguard - Superior Hussars/Elite
6 x ECW Hussars - Baggot's Hussars - Superior Hussar/Elite

Lord George Murray (right wing)
1 x 60 Royal Ecossais French - Veteran
1 x 45 Camerons - Veteran
1 x 60 Black Watch standing in for Highlanders - Veteran
1 x 25 ECW Scots standing in for Highlanders - Veteran
2 x 4pdr artillery with 8 crew- Trained

The Jacobite center, with artillery and the Royal Ecossais and Atholl Brigade on the front line. The clan regiments can be seen skulking behind the ridge, waiting for an opportunity to charge.

The Government forces were divided into two wings, each of 3 x 60 figure battalions of redcoats. The right wing under Lord Woodstock was to hold back and perhaps contest control f the village of Cardhu, thereby keeping the Jacobites from reinforcing the center. The left wing was commanded by Major General Lord Brown Deer. He had the two 6-pd Royal Artillery battery attached to his command. He also controlled the reserve of 43 converged grenadiers and 12 mounted 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (the "Greys").

Lord Woodstock (right wing)
1 x 60 3rd (Buffs) Foot - Trained
1 x 60 8th (King's Regt.) Foot - Trained
1 x 60 27th (Inniskilling) Foot - Trained

Lord Brown Deer (left wing)
1 x 66 44th Foot - Trained
1 x 72 46th Foot - Trained
1 x 54 60th Foot - Trained
2 x 6pdr Royal Artillery - Veteran

1 x 43 converged grenadiers - Veteran
1 x 12 horse grenadiers - Veteran

Jacobite center (2nd Atholl and Royal Ecossais) gang up on the 8th Foot and charge down Culwhinic Moor and open up a huge hole in the center of the Government battle line.

I had not played the Jacobite BAR rules for quite awhile and so I watch three 60 man red coat battalions march towards the town of Cardhu with some trepedation. I pulled back several of my clan regiments to get them away from the dreaded British first fire bonus and hopefully draw them in and attack any kink in their battle line. Then I remembered that the rules favor the Jacobite charging and getting into melees, so I sent in the 2nd Atholl and the Royal Ecossais, from our center, where they outnumbered and overwhelmed the Government's 8th Foot. I had not consulted the rules and forgot that the first fire bonus is only +3 instead of the normal BAR +5. Also, the redcoats were only trained, rather than veterans, but I did not know that at the time. So we charged.

The fury of the Highland Charge routs the 8th Foot from the field with 2nd Atholl losing more than half of its men, while the Royal Ecossais lost a hole stand of 15 figures. Very bloody. Very deadly.

The Clan Fraser Regiment plays "capture the flag" with the 27th Foot. This picture gives one a sense of the whirling back and forth nature of fighting the melee-focused Jacobites.

The 1st Atholl battalion finishes off the 27th Foot, but the Buffs do an about face and prepare to finish off the 1st Atholl instead. This is the "Before" picture.

And here is the "After" picture after the Buffs have shot the Athollmen in the flank and rear. The Buffs would then charge and finish off the Athollmen.

I was too busy to keep track of what was going on over on our right flank around the town of Drambui. There was an intense hand to hand fighting inside the town, and I heard that The Blade and Captain von Bergmann of Tradgardland both fell in battle. (The two heros were later given the benefit of a second saving throw and both survived to tell their tales).

The fight over Drambui (the town, not the whiskey unfortunately). Government redcoats at the bottom of the picture fight the red coated Camerons (top right) and some ECW Scots that we drafted into the Jacobite army. Pikemen counted as two fighters in the melee, a good idea that Bill made up on the spot. The Government captured Drambuie by the end of the game.

The Cameron Clan Regiment (Center left with red flag) and the Black Watch (upper left) stand in for Jacobite units in the game. Both are actually the Black Watch, but since they were wearing kilts, we drafted them into Prince Charlie's army.

The Royal Artillery blasts the Jacobite long arm into kingdome come at very close range.

Well that riles up Clan Stewart of Appin, which comes roamin' from the gloamin' (out of the blue so it seemed) and avenged the Jacobite artillery by charging into the flank of the Royal Artillery battery and wiping it out.

But then the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons materialize on the flank of the Black Watch and make them pay for switching sides. Again, one gets a feel for the sense that units from both sides are charging hither and yon and seemingly hitting each other in the flank. There were no secure flanks by the end of the game.

By the end of the game, the Government forces had captured the towns on each flank of the original Jacobite position, while the Jacobites held the center of the field with two strong battalions of French regulars and a few remaining clan regiments. Lord George Murray advised the Prince that it would be a good idea to retire from the field and pick up stragglers. Lord Woodstock's relief force was in tatters and as he aptly put it, "my relief force needs some relief!"

Thus we assumed that the Jacobites would probably withdraw back towards Curmudgeon Castle and lift the seige and consolidate their army so that it could fight another day. Lord Woodstock decided that he would not be able to fight his way through to the Castle, so he withdrew his forces back to the coast where the Royal Navy could protect them until more red coats arrived.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

20e Regiment de Dragoons

Elite Miniatures French Dragoons painted by Der Alte Fritz

The picture above depicts the 27 French dragoons that I have painted so far for my 1806 project. I could have painted more, but I ran out of horses and so I have to wait for the next shipment of reinforcements from the UK. I like to glue the rider onto the horse and the base before I prime the figures. I am not really keen on painting the rider and horse separately and then gluing after the painting is done. You get a better "metal to metal" bond with the glue when you glue the pieces together unprimed.

In the near term, I will top up this unit to 32 figures so that I have enough to use in our In The Grand Manner wargames. Eventually, though, there will be four squadrons of 12 figures for a total of 48 figures under the "BAR Napoleonique" rules system. If you look closer, you will see that each figure is sitting on its own 1" by 2" metal base. Later, I will make wooden movement trays, covered in magnetic sheeting, large enough to hold 3 or 4 figures in a single rank. A squadron would then be three stands of four figures, lined up in three ranks.

I seem to be in a Napoleonic painting spurt once again, probably inspired by the ITGM game that we played in April. Part II of that battle will be played on May 30th. I figured that as long as I am so inspired, that I might as well take advantage of the situation and make a significant addition to my 1806 project in May and June. Last weekend I primed two 60-figure battalions of Prussian musketeers (one in the march attack pose, and one in a firing line pose-standing and kneeling firing) and began work on the first 30 of the march attack battalion. These will have the rose colored facings of IR23 von Winning while the firing line will have the straw colored facings of IR5 von Kliest. Completion of these two battalions will then give me 6 Prussian battalions, which should be enough to conduct my first play test of the rules.

In June, I hope to complete a battalion of French line musketeers (72 figures), which would bring the French contingent up to three battalions (plus two more battalions that Bill has already painted). Of course, I could totally burn out on painting Napoleonics by then, but I am willing to bet that the continuation of the ITGM game in May will keep me going.

I will post the pictures of our Jacobite game this past weekend within the next day or two. I took a fair number of pictures, but the strong natural light in the room made most of the pix too bright and so only a few of them are worth saving and publishing. I will keep you guessing as to which side one. An item of note, both The Blade and von Bergmann were slain in battle. I was all prepared to make little balsa wood casks and mail the figures back to their owners, but then we hit on the idea of rolling saving throws for the characters. A roll of a 4, 5 or 6 would save their lives. Thus, both The Blade and von Bergmann survived and have proven to lead rather charmed lives. The Blade has a 4 month recovery time and von Bergmann will be out of action for 6 months (both amounts of recovery determined by the roll of a D6).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What's New At Schloss Fritz?

2nd Atholl Battalion (Front Rank Figures)

MacDonnell Clan Regiment (Front Rank Figures)

As you can see from the two pictures above, I've been busy painting Jacobites for our game next Saturday, May 9th at DeKalb. Ostensibly, we will continue the seige of Carmudgeon Castle that we started last summer (gee, has it really been that long?). On the other hand, with the two new units that I painted in April, plus some French reinforcements that General Chevert is painting, we may opt to fight a larger set piece Jacobite battle. I enjoy painting the Front Rank Jacobites, and thought that I might be able to paint a third 30-figure clan regiment, but then I sort of burned out on kilts and plaids and turned my painting attention in another direction.

My April Olley Painting Points totalled 92 points, down a bit from the 115 or so that I notched in March. The April talley included 60 Front Rank Jacobites and 16 Elite Napoleonic French Dragoons (cavalry count as 2 points since they include a horse and a rider). The Napoleonics were a needed diversion from plaids and no doubt our In The Grand Manner game last month had something to do with that choice.

1806 Project Revisited
As mentioned above, the big Napoleonic game we played stirred up an urge to get back to the painting of Napoleonics so that I can move my 1806 Project along the way. As of this evening, I have finished 27 French Dragoons and probably would have finished a full ITGM regiment of 32 figures, had I not run out of suitable horses. Reinforcements from Elite will be on their way within another week or two, at which time I will increase the dragoons to at least 36 figures, and eventually a final total of 48 figures.

In the meantime, I have a 60-figure battalion of Prussians musketeers in the march attack pose. This is a relatively new figure that Peter Morbey added to his 1806 range, about a year ago. I primed the battalion over the weekend - we finally had nice Spring weather here in Hesse Seewald so I was going through cans of Armoury Black Spray Primer like there was no tomorrow. I also managed to get a 72-figure battalion of 1805/06 French infantry primed and ready to go. Finally, Elite also introduced a couple of Prussian musketeers in the kneeling and standing firing position, so I plan to paint a battalion in a firing line pose. All of this should keep me busy through the rest of May and June.

I have decided that now is the time to make a big push on the 1806 Project so that I finally have a suitable mass of figures to begin playtesting a BAR variant for Napoleonics. On the French side, we have 5 battalions of infantry (2 provided by Bill Protz), 1 regiment of dragoons and an 8-pounder artillery battery (3 x 8pdrs and 1 x Howitzer). There is also a partially painted 36 figure regiment of chasseurs a cheval.

The Prussians currently have 3 musketeer battalions, 1 grenadier battalion, 1 converged cuirassier regiment of 36 figures from three different regiments, one hussar regiment of 36 figures (a draft from my SYW Black Husssars) and a 6 pound foot battery (3 x 6pdrs). There are also two battalions of Russian foot and a Russian horse artillery battery (4 guns).

So feel like I am almost at critical mass and the addition of a couple more units of this and that should give me a playable quantity of troops for play testing the rules. One day, in the future, I can foresee a large Napoleonic game with a dozen infantry units per side, a couple of artillery batteries, and four to six cavalry regiments per side. It will truly be a grand sight to behold.