Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foil Flag

On another blog I read a series of comments about using foil for flags and pennants.

The commentary was about finding 'scrap' sources for essentially 'free' materials to do the flags with.

It was on my mind when I was working to repair an inner tube for my middle son's bicycle tire. 

The pneumatic tube repair patch was stuck to a foil section that was reasonably stiff (more than the tinfoil used in cooking) and after the tire patch was used was now essentially waste.  Therefore 'free'.

So my new lancers were going to make use of this material.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Painting Progress

I have been away from the painting desk for any aggressive projects for a while.

This time I am back with a collection of Cavalry and Infantry, with some Gunners thrown in for good measure.

For this week I plan to make a significant start on 40 Cavalry and 24 Artillerymen.

Here is a shot of the bare metal:

Just a selection of the horses and riders for the coming week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quatre Bras - Fast Play Grand Armee

May 13 : Visited Bluebear Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein fame.  As this was the time planned for a tabletop game, I was not able to get it it, better to support Jeff anyway.

May 14: Monday afternoon I got into a fun discussion with my eldest about games stuff - he is painting some of his own Star Wars troops, and following the discussion my youngest boy asked in his best direct way, can we play a game daddy?  As I had all the parts for Quatre Bras in FPGA all set out anyway it was a cinch to get on the table quickly.

Both the youngest and oldest wanted to take part at first, so I let the eldest take on Ney's role and I helped my younger boy in setting out things for Orange.

The amazing die roll for game start came up "4", or 'early afternoon' as the start time for the battle action ... historically the battle started at 14:00.

Table Lay out as the Dutch open fire from the edge of Bossou wood

Initially the Dutch-Belgians dominated the northbound road into Quatre-Bras, here can be seen 3/4 of their brigades with all batteries firing from the edge of the Bossou Woods.

Dutch Forces command the high ground near the road and Bossou Wood
This first artillery fire was effective as it caused early casualties to a French light infantry brigade.  While the rules for FPGA do not have an input from casualties on command decisions and whether a division will move, strangely enough this division would not budge on the first turn and the ones behind it had to 'go around' in order to start the action against the Dutch-Belgians that were the only allied troops in the area to start with.

French brigades suffered the first casualties of the action
By the first pulse of turn five the French were now coming into close combat range of the Dutch-Belgians, however the Brunswick legion had arrived and the Allied forces would now be tougher to overcome ...

The French left flank attack under the direction of Reille with Gerard's Division had got moving and was 1/3 of the way to the Allies right flank (you can see them in the top of the image).

Turn five start
In the center, French brigades were clashing with Dutch ones.

French brigades assault the Dutch on the hill
Further into the center, the Belgians were being completely outflanked.  d'Hurbal's heavy cavalry (seen in the distance on the right) had pressed onto the Lingy - Quatre Bras road and finding no opposition, simply stood their ground.

French brigades outflank Belgians in the center of the field
Brunswick Hussars, artillery and advance guard were now making their appearance right behind the hard pressed Dutch-Belgians.

Brunswick Legion arrive
The Death's Head Hussars wasted no time in engaging the French Infantry brigade, sending one off in retreat right away during the second pulse of turn 5.

Brunswick (on white horse) looks on as the Death's Head Hussars charge home through a French infantry brigade
Meanwhile the Dutch continued to be pressed by French at the edge of Bossou Woods.

More hard fighting at the edge of Boosu Wood
Further arrivals for the Anglo-Dutch as Picton's Division arrived, now to plug the gap to the left of Wellington. 

Late Afternoon now in 2nd Pulse turn 5, Picton arrives
In the center of the field, now the Brunswick Legion was taking over from the Belgians who had fled.

The carnage was immense, as can be seen with the many casualties ...

Brunswick forces were now engaging directly with French ones
Pire's Lancers and Chasseurs were now rushing into the fray, enveloping the Brunswickers.  While the battle for the hill was now joined by the formerly standing still light brigades of French infantry.

French Cavalry now hammering at the Brunswick column
French casualties mounted, still the hill was held by Dutch-Belgians and Ney was forced to help recover the morale of the shattered infantry.

French brigades fall back and start to recover from the assaults on the hill at Bossou Wood
From the Allied lines the battle looked to be won, with no major French infantry formations in view.

A lull then came over the battlefield as the French rallied what infantry they could while moving Gerard deep into the Allied right rear and at the same time struggling to get the heavy cavalry organized on the Allied left flank.  Ney had rolled poorly on the command dice and used them all up early in turn 6.

Turn six became an amazing 4-pulse turn, one where both commanders, Ney and Wellington effectively lost control over their armies.  During the final pulse general Picton went into a fury and charged into the attack against the heavy cavalry on the road in front of his lines.  The French simply rode back and got organized for a counter attack.

Both sides had spent some time rallying troops, then came a final thrust from Ney
Picton's efforts at first looked like they might clear the Allied left of the opposing cavalry, then Picton did it again ... another "12" on the command dice ... another forced attack, now the lines became ragged and disorganized.

At first blush Picton looked to have broken up the cavalry attack ...
The was held by the Brunswick legion, though only tenuously as Kellerman and the French Heavy Cavalry was now in position to strike.

Brunswick Legion holds in the center
Gerard's Division was finally in place on the Allied right, only a smattering of Dutch rallied troops stood between them and Wellington's command post.  The cross-roads of Quatre-Bras were ripe for the taking!

Having marched around the Bossou Wood Gerard's Division was ready to strike
This would be the supreme test for both army commanders, a turn 7 was going to happen (in Fast Play Grand Armee there is an indeterminate number of turns) and now the Allied army was only one brigade away from having to test for morale ...

Darkness approaching the armies were reaching breaking point ...
The French were in only slightly better position for morale, they had two brigades value to hold on to before having to test, and Kellerman was in position with the Cuirassier and Dragoons to hammer the Brunswick Legion.  Hammer they did, the grenadier brigade was shattered (down to 1 strength and fleeing, though not off the board yet, they were never coming back as a striking force in the campaign)

Brunswick himself is twice forced back by Cuirassier, then Dragoons as his black legion is cut to pieces
Picton's wild push on the Allied left is now punished by Kellermans Cuirassier, Kempt's brigade is all but wiped out and flees from the field in total rout.

Picton's punishment

Over on the Allied right, Gerard was now aiming artillery and making ready to surge forward into the rallied Belgians.

French Infantry smell fresh meat on the Allied right
The French attacks on the Allied left were spectacular, yet not quite enough to destroy Picton's Division, he lost no further brigades and pulled back from the French heavy cavalry, on the Allied right there was a 'split decision' and one French Brigade advanced while the other retreated, while in a ragged condition the Dutch-Belgian line held.  In the center, only one Brunswick brigade remained and it was not to full strength.

This was when a 'turn end' happened, then a game end roll happened.

Ney, on the verge of victory over Wellington, gets only a DRAW. 

Just like historically happened.

On the verge of a victory Ney must settle for a DRAW
It may have been a rainstorm, as that summer was exceptionally soggy, or it could have been simply exhaustion on the part of his men, when they had done this much before in Spain or Germany the enemy had already run.

In the end the Allied army was certainly in poor repair and Picton's division was gone, only a rump remained with Pack's Brigade as the only 'in tact' unit.  The Dutch-Belgians would have more men going into Waterloo than was historically.  Other than that the results were mostly the same.  Reille's Corps was spent, only two divisions were really in fighting shape and Kellerman's Cavalry would be in great shape for further battle.

death toll in the center
Kellerman's Ground
Shattered Brunswick Legion in retreat

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Brunswick-Oels Brigade

Here are the command elements of by Brunswick-Oels Brigade.  I used some greatcoat wearing officers for the 'top commanders' in bicornes as these come closer to the long tail-less coat that the Brunswick troops actually wore.

Here you see both the flash on and off versions of the Brigade and a shot of the Oels Battalion that I am using as the 'veterans' from Spain.

The Black uniforms worked out mostly to the format that I expected, the finished product is most certainly up to my current standard.

Great Display

The game that I missed! A WATERLOO game was held at the Trumpeter Salute convention this past month. I was unable to attend and this magnificent game was run by a gamer that I know ... he shared the picture with me just today.
What a fabulous game that must have been to take part in!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Black Works Stage 2-4

Continuing the Brunswick force, when last left off the base layer was still wet.
Now here are the same troops, all dry and ready for the blocking colors to go on.
I did the blocking colors on Sunday night, once they were on I took this photo.
Then life and work got busy, so no new work was done till Wednesday, when the inking was done. I was concerned, as I often am at this stage, that the inks had wiped out all my 'shading work'. The concern was all the more as I was thinking I did not 'water down' the indigo ink enough.
So with only the final metal details to go I took these series of shots of the variety of troops that I did. They are all using flash on, no gloss coating has been done yet, nor have the brass, silver or buttons been done at this point.
I particularly like the way the artillery battery commanders turned out. I shall be flocking the bases tonight, so a further set of pictures will come 'in situ' showing the whole force as it might appear on the games table.