Saturday, June 30, 2007

Burtzenia forces get another layer.

OK so now I can call them by their correct name, since the white uniforms are what I have settled on. Yes, I am certain that when you look at them right now they look rather --- blue.

Not much more to write about right now, as I must be off to stay ahead of 3 boys...

Friday, June 29, 2007

More of the Boyardvina? troops.

I have been thinking about the long-term uses of the current bunch of castings.

Since I plan to do much more Napoleonics with Austrians in the near future I thought it better that I paint the current crop as Austrian rather than the 'red' russians.

So here is the current state of these troops:

Here are the 'officers', my son asked "Why is there a blue horse?"
I answer, "Keep watching the blog and see it change color to the final one of ... white!"

The 'pink' ones here are even stranger!
They will have a hot re-brown color at the end.

The infantry!
Again my son asks, "White infantry?"


sigh, I guess I now need to re-teach him about another 'empire' (not the Lucas' one!) that had its soldiers in white!
Seven Years War uniform templates.

NOT BY APPOINTMENT is a blog from David Morfitt, very well done basic black & white illustration style Seven Years War uniforms. Just copy and color!

Very neat and I will be using them for some more details connected to my own 18th Century forces in the Duchy of Mieczyslaw.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Loads of 20mm RUSSIAN REVOLUTION minis got moved last night.

Great chance to visit with a Trumpeter gamer and Jack Hutchings award winner, Dennis Chin!

We blasted away with some very simple rules that Dennis has worked up and managed to repeat the victory of the Reds over the Whites (the best part was that no matter who won lots of Russians were being dropped!) {must be something about all those Cold War years I spent hunting Soviets that makes this sort of game satisfying}.

On to a few pics:

The train was stopped by a barricade that the Reds had put on the tracks.

The Whites had to clear the barricade (needing 2 turns with 9 men working on it unmolested).

This was a skirmish level game so each mini was 1-1, with a chance to shoot. So there were loads of dice being thrown at certain times!

Something that my (soon to be) 8 year old son found very satisfying was to be able to throw lots of dice and to be able to game on the same team as dad! I know that in less than 2 years this will be passe and the aim will be to beat dad, but I will take this for now.

The Whites had a stone wall to provide some cover and a hill with a small wood on the top to try and give that wall company some flank cover. On the other side of the train was a hill, Jeff was busy with Alex (my son) once the Whites had jumped off the train the battle was on! We had only nine turns to come to a conclusion, and as I had an armored car and a cavalry formation I was not going to waste any time in 'getting at' the foe, as a fair amount of ground was still to be crossed.

Jeff did manage to get to the barricade, but not in numbers and not until turn 6. Along the way he and Alex had exchanged a number of lethal shots at one another, though Jeff's elite unit had suffered more than Alex's by the time the barricade was reached.

My cavalry had braved mortar and rifle fire before delivering a knockout-punch to one of the Whites infantry companies under Dennis' command.

Tipping point.

The Whites had the barricade, but only one turn to spare if they were to have the blockage removed by turn 9.

The Reds had broken through the woods and now were poised to fall on the White company at the stone wall.

I decided to go for broke and launched the forward company at the barricades crews and flung the rear company at the gap between the stone wall company and the remnants at the wood. The gamble paid off in spades as the barricade crew was stale mated and the stone wall company was overwhelmed being caught in the flank!

This allowed my fast-moving cavalry to rush to the train and sabotage the gunners on the mortar!

At the end the Reds held the train and the barricades could not be torn down before turn 9, a victory for the Red Army over the Whites!

Oh and lots of 'dead' Russians...

Monday, June 11, 2007



Victor of the field, Count Bennigsen now faces the difficult choice of continuing to give Bonaparte battle here at Friedland or falling back to the Neimen and meeting up with more Russian arms.

The Russian General Gortchakov pressed hard on first General Grouchy then Marshal Mortier to take Heinrichdorf, then scatter the remnants of the Cavalry Reserve and VIII Corps. This left Marshal Lannes with the difficult choice of either taking Sortlack (possible, but a long-shot) or recovering from an extended position and giving Emperor Bonaparte time to assemble the Imperial Guard and re-position I and VI Corps. With the loss of the access of Heinrichdorf, I Corps would have to round-up the scattered parts of VIII Corps and hold the French Left while the Guard, VI Corps and a recalled Marshal Murat (from the seige of Konigsberg) fell on the Russian Left. Ultimately the Russians would have to choose to continue their stand at Friedland or take the wiser course of falling back to the Neimen, victorious, but bloodied all the same...

Tale of the game:

We started a tad early (as all players were present and keen to get back into action!).

The Trophies were on hand for the conclusion of the action.

By the end of Turn Eight the Russian Right Wing had dispatched another cavalry force and was threatening to break through in force to reach Heinrichdorf.

While on the Russian Left, the advance was stalled then re-formed.

First the Pavlov Grenadier Guards were caught by the French Heavy Cavalry under Nansouty (in personal command). While the guards were chasing away a pesky French 4-pounder batter (that had not scored a hit on these Guardsmen) the thunder of hoofs came from their right, too late to form square they were struck from within their flank lines! Still they were guardsmen and withstood three rounds of melee before collapsing. Undeterred the French Heavies then slammed into two successive formations of Gallitzen's Light Cavalry, without thier General to support either of them they too were scattered towards the rear (though not butchered like the Pavlovs). Again Gallitzen was busy with rallies. Into the gap rode the Cossacks under Platov.

Now the French Heavies were blown and disordered. Rather than face an attack in their flank, they chose to recover. Along the way they were hit multiple times by Russian Cannon of Mazovski's command, still in squares at the center of the field.

Once the Cossacks were denied an easy target they chose to take a more paced advance, thus giving time to Gallitzen to rally the Light Horse and permit more arriving troops time to take up positions. This lack of charge also permitted the French Heavy Horse to rally, and the timely arrival of Polenz with Saxon Heavy Cavalry sealed the fate of the lead formation of Cossacks...

The Cossacks were smashed by a twin charge of Saxon and French Heavy Horse. The Saxons halted while the French continued on ... sending the entire division of Cossacks to flight. Following this charge the Heavies managed to keep control and slammed into a distraught Light Cavalry (that had failed to break a square of French Grenadiers). Upon completing this quick action the Heavy Horse reformed and charged into Russian Guns (scattering the gunners) and finally halted by Gallitzen's light Horse which had just barely enought time to rally.

Behind this heavy charge ran a column of Grenadiers (whom had formed square once the Light Cavalry attacked) and a columns of Legere, which had smashed a Russian Square and was now pressing in on Sortlack town.

The Russians under Markov was thrown into some confusion and during this the Light Cavalry was scattered beyond his command. Platov was overwhelmed by having all of his Cossacks fail at one moment and two thirds of them were seeking their own way over the Alle River...

But the tipping point had come on the Russian Right.

With massed batteries now in position to sweep all before them they proceeded to destroy four more French formations, two cavalry and two Infantry columns were dispatched by cannon and bayonette. Heinrichdorf was now defenceless and the Russian Infantry was sweeping into the town. Along the way General Grouchy had been captured (during an ill-fated cavalry charge into a heavy battery) and three other French commanders were injured in close combat!

My pontoons were finally constructed, but were not to see action as this battle was all but won at the tip of Russian bayonettes!

Here they are all finished and ready for use, watching a remnant of the Right Wing cossacks fleeing from the field.

Here we see more of the carnage on the Russian Right (note the dead in the far right corner)!

A French Grenadier Square, the last link between a dominant Oudinot and a failed Grouchy/Mortier....

Lannes final view of the field of action, having to withdraw is always a hard choice to make.

All said and done this was a fantastic finish to my three-year journey from Austerlitz to Friedland!

(remember that if you click on an image you can see a larger version of it)

Thank you to the players whom took part in this battle, Jeff was declared the Russian winner and Sam was declared the second winner!

In the end all those players whom have taken part in Austerlitz, Kelly Jones (for the hosting back in 2004!) whom was unable to continue with the games and I have the utmost respect for and wish to honor his memory by continuing the play and expanding the hobby wherever I go! Mike,Ian, Scott and the crew from Victoria also from Austerlitz.

David, Jeff, Mike, Alexander and Rebecca for Auerstadt.

David, Mike, Peter and the Dak-Kon crew for Eylau.

and finally Jeff, Peter, Alexander, and Sam for taking part in FRIEDLAND.

anyone I missed just take your own bow now.

Thank you one and all!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Title?

Just a bit of fun...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Sir Murdock the Querulous of Lardle Midhoop
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Boyardvina troops start to take shape.

The Principality of Boyardvina lies to the east of The Duchy of Mieczyslaw; these three formations of infantry, one of dragoons and a small battery shall constitute the 'observation' brigade that should start actions against Mieczyslaw later this year (indeed, it may see action later this summer!).

One formation of the infantry is not shown in the picture, since the picture was too blurry to even try to post.

All in all there are 18 companies and 4 squadrons coming with that light battery.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Day ONE of the Friedland battle.

Though it started a bit late, due to work circumstances of one of the players, the battle progressed very, very well.

I was most pleased with the tabletop presentation of the troops and of how much faster play proceeded with the new magnetic 'tags' on the cadre troop stands.

I had finished off the flocking of the engineers and decided to toss a bit of flock on the new artillery 'supplies' markers that I also made up.

Then after rising, I made sure that the family was well fed and watered so as to not have them complaining while I was in action at the tabletop.

Jeff was the first to arrive with the second player Pete coming a bit later, we feasted (I had meats, cheezes, a variety of each, some meat pies, a selection of fruit juices and tea all lined up to feed the hordes (in case the turnout was unexpectedly large)) then advanced to the table and laid out troops and began action.

As expected it was very hot, after deployment we did a small break and got the fan operating in a better location. Also the weather broke in our favor and some clouds rolled in to shade us much better.

After deployment, I got a shot to show the view that Marshal Lannes would have had, while watching the display of Russian arms assembling before the River Alle and beyond the city of Friedland in front of him. The assembly was not unmolested, however being outnumbered at least 2:1 in all arms made the French careful in their attack postures, only one foray was permitted on the left (in pursuit of some defeated Russian cavalry) and on the French right a column of Light Infantry was rushed into place to cover the flank and managed to push away some Russian Jaegers in the process!

My new engineers also got the start to their first field works in preparing the ground for three pontoon bridges to be set over the Mulenfluss.

Later, by turn 7, the engineers were assembling the materials for putting the pontoons into the water, overseen by none other than Count Beningsen himself.

For the Russians on the left General Gallitzin was the busiest, with a few light cavalry formations being blasted by a very lively French 4 pounder that was handled with extreme urgency, taking a great risk in remaining to the very last in order to hammer one group of Russian cavalry and send it routing to the rear!

Gallitzen then calmly rode back and rallied these men, so as to make them ready to fill in later.

By turn 4 the French Cavalry Reserve had been shoved back by determined Russian action and the French artillery had taken a pounding. However the Russians could not advance very quickly due to the continued resistance of the French cavalry.

On the Russian left actions had gone more slowly, this was due mostly to the Russians needing to arrive onto the field from the cramped confines of Friedland itself.

By far the most impressive unit (strange it is also one of my favorite paint jobs, isn't it supposed to be the other way around, were the worst painted is the best performing?) in action on the Russian side was the Pavlov Grendadier Guards.

They marched rapidly out from Friedland, then hurried into a position in front of the remains to Gallitzin's cavalry. Three times they came under close (point-blank range twice!) range fire of a French 4-pounder battery and not once was the fire lively enough to even ruffle their feathers!

The commander of the left, Bagration (player:Pete) did have some ruffling when Jeff his fellow player came up with the best comment of the day:

"I have destroyed on of the enemy formations, I note that you have ~ as yet ~ destroyed none ... my prince."

The Muhlenfluss contined to be a thorn in the Russians plans as both the Right and Left wings were forced to carefully co-ordinate their movements so as to permit their arriving troops enough room to deploy. By turn 7 this was extremely difficult for both, as on the Russian Left an Infantry Division had formed squares and their commander was not responding to calls to 'make a hole' for the arriving Cossacks to pass through. While on the left cavalry casualties had created all sorts of new room to deploy, sadly it was at the expense of a full unit of light cavalry.

By turn 7 (or about halfway through the alloted game turns) neither side had used any free rolls ~ for my part it was mostly due to very good luck early in rolling many 7's, 8's, 9's and 10's! just whenever needed on the 'defence'.

The first, fast chance for the Russians was now over, the real meat-grinder remains to be played out! Next sunday, 10 June 2007.

I certainly hope for at least as good a turnout!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

On the eve of battle...

I am always a bit nervous on the eve of any major tabletop battle that I am hosting.

At the moment the nerves are also about the attendees...sigh summer is always so full of activities for many that the prospect of an indoor game is not as pleasant.

Ultimately since the gaming location is inside my 'outdoor' shed space we will have all the sounds and smells of the outdoors and have a place in the shade (it will get very toasty tomorrow with daytime highs near 26 degrees celcius!). I must remember to power up the fans once we start to game.

Anyway, onto the images.

I only have to flock the engineers and toss some flockings under the loose boards sets I made for simulating pontoon supplies and that project will be done on time.

I think the jitters are less since I do not have to finish painting 100's of figs in time!

Here are the engineers just after the gloss coat (done last night, late and I was too tired to write).

The tabletop is all ready with the troops all laid out in deployment readyness.

Here is Lannes surveying the landscape before Friedland.

Here is a shot of the whole of the battlefield as seen from behind the French positions (I cut out the mess in the background). The distance from the far side of Friedland to the near edge of the French lines is 8 feet and the large table width (too much to fit in the picture) is also 8 feet! A total of 56 square feet of battlefield action area!

Must get that flocking done and off to bed ... cheers!