Monday, June 30, 2008

A garden force:

Just for giggles I decided to take some pictures of the newly finished Austrian Infantry (they looked a little short on firepower so my helper suggested the BIGGEST gun to support them).

The force is of regiments of Austrian infantry which were divided into two groups; 'German' and 'Hungarian'. The 'Hungarian' regiments were renowned for their fierce fighting spirit, and their grenadiers were best of them. The 'German' regimnts were the best trained and disciplned part of the infantry. "German sense of duty caused them to rally after lost battle to fight again."
Can you see them just near the base of the tree?

The 'German regiments' included:
- 11 regiments of Austrians
- 23 regiments of Czechs (Bohemians and Moravians)
- 5-6 regiments of Wallons
- 2 regiments of Croats
- 2 regiments of Tyroleans (46th and 64th, although in 46th the Tyroleans consisted only half)
- 1-2 regiments of Italians
In 1805 10 regiments (9th, 20th, 24th, 30th, 38th, 41st, 44th, 55th, 58th, 63rd) were recruited of Galician Poles and Ukrainians. The Poles had low morale and often deserted to the French or Polish troops fighting for Napoleon. All these units were dressed like 'German' infantry.

The 'Hungarian regiments' included:
- 11-12 regiments of Hungarians.

Perhaps the most important of the reforms carried out by Archduke Charles was the new Dienst-Reglemet. It aimed to humanize discipline and raise troop morale by better treatment. It sharply condemned brutality. The introduction of the code was accompanied by a shortened term or conscription. (Rothenberg - "The Emperor's Last Victory" p 46) The enlistments were 6 years for infantrymen and 10 for cavalrymen.

The Austrian troops were well supplied and equipped. Every soldier carried a fur-covered leather back-pack called Tornister. There was 1 tent for every 5 men, 1 wagon for each company, 4-6 carts and wagons and 30 packhorses with ammunition (on average 36 rounds for every soldier) for every battalion of 6 companies. Officers were also allowed individual packhorses. The senior officers and generals however brought excessive baggage, numerous carts and horses. It slowed down movements of the army. In 1809 regiment of infantry had 26 packhorses, while Grenzer regiment only 7. The Jäger battalion had 12 and cavalry regiment none. The supplies for infantry regiment were carried on 13 wagons (4 horses each) and 26 pack animals.

Although as an army the Austrians lost more battles than won, the individual line regiments were reliable and some fought with tenacity and bravery.

The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. Legal and historical meanings of militia include:
Defense activity or service, to protect a community, its territory, property, and laws.
The entire able-bodied male (women are usually called to work in munitions factories) population of a community, town, county, or state, available to be called to arms.
A subset of these who may be legally penalized for failing to respond to a call-up.
A subset of these who actually respond to a call-up, regardless of legal obligation.
A private, non-government force, not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government.
An official reserve army, composed of citizen soldiers. Called by various names in different countries such as; the Army Reserve, National Guard, or State Defense Forces.
The national police forces in several former communist states such as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries, but also in the non-aligned SFR Yugoslavia. The term was inherited in Russia, and other former CIS countries. See: Militia (Police).
In France the term "Milice" has become tainted due to its use by notorious collaborators with Nazi Germany.

While my top hat wearing militamen do not look exactly like the great Grenzers of Austrian fame...they may well get the designation in battles to come...

Border Troops - The Grenzers.

The Grenzers came from military frontier between Austria and Turkey settled by Christian refugees. During peacetime the Grenzers spent 7 months of every year guarding the frontier. They were raised as militia but were considered by army officials as something between light and line infantry. The Grenzers were given training in marksmanship and skirmishing and basics of linear tactics. When attempts were made to train the Grenzer as line infantry they turned out to be not as good in this role as the regular regiments.

There were 17-18 Grenzer regiments each of two or three battalions. During wartime one battalion of every regiment was left to guard the border with Turkey. The other battalion or two joined the regular army and were part of advance guards.

The Grenzers lacked weapons, uniforms and discipline. But despite the shortcomings the Grenzer battalions performed well in combat (for example at Malgaboreth, Eggmuhl, Wagram and others). According to many experts, including Christoipher Duffy, they were "the most enthusiastic troops" of the Austrian army. When many Austrian regulars fled at Austerlitz the Grenzers fought hard and lost 66 % !
During retreat after Marengo (1800) when all order broke, two battalions of Grenzers (Warasdin-Kreuz and Ottocac) fended off all attacks and allowed the grenadier battalions to march to the Bormida. Together with the grenadiers they fought one of the last rearguard actions at Marengo.

The French had good opinion about the Grenzers and considered them as the only ones looking warlike in the entire Austrian army. Napoleon had no hesitation in using these wild men. (After the defeat in 1809 Austria ceded some territories and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th Grenzer Regiment went into French service. They served for Napoleon

So much for the history lessons, enjoy the eye candy and tell me what you think.

I feel a new inspiration coming on...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Austrian Infantry booster done.

The white coated infantry you have seen moving thru its progress over the past few months is now done.

69 more foot troops added to the Austrian forces I have already.

You can see some bare metal beside these militia troops (in top hats I love them, they look so very different from the 'Line' troops), they are the second wave of red coats that I need to get base coated this week and press on with the painting progress. The aim is to put brush to metal daily this month!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Significant Video

About two years ago I wrote elsewhere that it was the interpreters in Afghanistan who held the real combat action power as it would be up to the interpreters to be the most essential link between the military force and the ordinary people.

This video clip by Guardian Flims, from The Real News is the most significant piece of film documenting what is really happening on the ground there.

When you watch this clip, think of what the village elder is really saying with is allegorical story, then understand that the translator DID NOT TELL ANY OF THE ELDER'S STORY! The sergeant is angry with the old man because of what he thinks the man said, yet the translator was the power broker in the entire exchange and this most essential trust is totally broken.

In my mind the translator is lying, and if the sergeant knew this I think he might just break the translators nose, if not something more drastic and permanent.

If anyone seeing and reading this knows anyone of the troops in that clip from 'charlie company' then please forward all of this to them! Please, for the sake of everyone involved, the old man and his village, the military troops, the rest of the populace here in Canada, North America, Australia and the world, since this is a monstrous criminal mistake that is going on in the 'name' of us all through NATO and the UN.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Other Focus

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.


Some of you may have been noticing a 'spotty' posting plan here.

You would be right in seeing that.

I have taken on many new projects right now and find that writing about them consistently is say the least.

I shall be focusing on a few of them over the next few months and sadly blogging here may not be one of them.

Rest assured that I will post in from time to time, especially after the Vimeiro event, but time must be spent wisely from now till then and I plan to do just that.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good words.

A kudos has been posted elsewhere, but bears repeating:

"I don't want to start a stampede of gamers to Vancouver Island, but I'm just back from a whirlwind tour to the west coast and a marvelous OS game day hosted by Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein fame and want to publicly thank Jeff, Murdock and Pete for their hospitality and for their generous, relaxed, welcoming attitude and their patience as my friend Tom & I stumbled through the rules. (incidently, I trusted that if the rules were sound then I could just base my plan on what knowledge I have of the 18th C (drawing heavily on Minden for inspiration) then the details of the rules wouldn't matter and indeed the rules proved very sound as well as fun). Jeff has an illustrated account on his blog site

Oh and Jeff, I apologise for my gunners getting a little over entusiastic at the end of the day and shooting one of your men when they had sat so harmlessly all day staring at my brigade of raw troops being trained in manouevres on the hillside. Perhaps if I had stationed Keith's Regiment well to the rear your men may not have been so intimidated?

One couldn't ask for finer bunch of fellows to meet across a table.

-Ross Mac"

It was great to have such a thoughtful and well-informed opponent along with a 'newbie' to the tabletop.
A battle - at Wollmitz -

Ordered to be VILE and somewhat aggressive at a recent tabletop battle, I was first distracted by a collapse of my storage/transport system.

A bottom drawer struck a stool that one of my children had inadvertently placed in my path. The drawer on the bottom of the storage unit then promptly let go and fell to the floor, tumbling along the way. It was filled with the light cavalry.

(sorry no pictures...I had already packed the camera in the van for the trip to Jeff's and was not really in the mind to capture this horrid sight)

They were all separated from their bases, no surprise as they are only magnetically attached. The annoying part was that many were now also broken from their mounts and would need repairs. My departure was delayed while I collected them carefully from the floor, the went to find the last of my cyanoacrilate.

Upon arrival at Jeff's I was unable to share in the chit chat as I was too busy re-assembling all of the light cavalry for Stagonia. To my relief there was only one saber permanently broken(lost) and only a few paint chips on an elbow or two. No horses were actually broken off at the ankles, only one was 'bent' and I was able to slowly bend it back into proper position.

Needless to say that these developments did not bode well for the coming fact they perfectly foreshadowed the final results.

During the 'dicing' for arrivals I lost one of the precious cannon that were few and far between. This after getting the 'extra' roll. Had that 'extra' failed I think my battle plan would have amounted to 'stand in two tight lines and wait around the gun'. IF all the guns had not arrived, I think the defeat was pre-ordained.

As it was I was supposed to be VILE, so in VILE fashion I attempted to cover the entire field, probably the worst plan of action, as there would be exactly 0 reserves. But then this was supposed to be a VILE action, right?

In fine VILE form the first real artillery barrage from the Saxe-Bearstiener's was driected at half of the Stagonian one moment the entire battery was obliterated, sigh.

After a long look at the battlefield, I decided that the only hope was to bottle-in some maneuvering infantry at the center of the Saxe-Bearstein line.

I shall let Maxwell Smart say it as he does so well...missed it by that much.

The light cavalry had a chance, slim I agree but a chance none the less, to make it into the town before the Saxe-Bearstein infantry could get into formation. Sadly the cavalry commander chose to 'wait' a turn to understand his orders before charging at (sort of) full speed...straight into a death trap.

Pretty VILE stuff...don't you think?

(oh yeah and here's some more tabletop eye candy for your minis' enjoyment)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Austrians move closer to completion and some redcoats

The Austrian formations are nearly done, the infantry got thier gloss coat of polyshade last night after I took some pictures, then got dinner.

Painting progress was halted due to a sick child needing to be held while mommy was out.

Once she got back I was able to fire-up the brushes again and finish all the infantry before dinner.

I was also able to get the first red layer on all the current batch of British Infantry.

Coming this week (during those rare moments) I may be able to finish the Hussars and get more done on the British. At the very least this week I plan to finish the cleaning of all flashing from all the remaining Brits so that in the coming month I can simply get them onto painting sticks and ramp-up production to a fever pitch...only two months to go before the VIMEIRO games.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Organizing for du VILE

Stagonia has a battle coming next weekend and I found myself with some outdoor demand time, which I took to organize the Stagonian forces needed for the coming Battle of Wollmitz.

(if you look at the foreground you can see the effects of leaving a 2 year old with a young sitter for too long during a trip away with their mother...sigh...more repairs)

I have been tagged to command the Stagonian forces and asked by Jeff to organize them in advance of the game.

So here are the coming forces of Stagonia!

General Baron Gaspar du Vile -- (Political, inertia 2, initiative 3 -- 12" command radius -- 2 AdC)
Maj. Gen. Rene de Villars -- (Aggressive, inertia 3, initiative 1 -- 11" command radius -- 1 AdC)

Brig. Yves d'Amours -- (Aggressive, inertia 3, initiative 2 -- 9" mounted command; 5" if foot)
Brig. Lothar Oppenkopf -- (Careful, inertia 1, initiative 1 -- 10" mounted command; 6" if foot)
Brig. Heinrich von Kroll -- (Steady, inertia 2, initiative 2 -- 14" mounted command; 9" if foot)
Brig. Graf Adolf von Voss -- (Political, inertia 2, initiative 1 -- 11" mounted command; 6" if foot)

In addition the following troops have been assigned to General du Vile to fill out the various commands as he sees fit (along with their rating in brackets):

IR von Hirschbock (elite)
IR du Breiz (veteran)
IR du Lepps (veteran)
IR O'Duffy (veteran)
IR von Gruber (raw)
IR von Krinkle (raw)
IR St. Cyr (veteran)

du Coiffard Kuirassiers (elite)
von Waganer Kuirassiers (veteran)
Benzler Dragoons (elite)
Pfeiffer Draggons (raw)
Jailler Hussars (veteran)
Hockdorf Hussars (raw)

Furthermore, Koenig Maurice has assigned some artillery batteries to the Wollmitz force. These are all crewed by veteran gunners:

2 x Medium Gun Batteries of 6 pounders
1 x Light Gun Battery of 3 pounders