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Friday, 22 September 2017

Peninsular War 6 - Warrior Miniatures 25mm British Line Infantry

A recently painted British line infantry regiment. This is the fourth British infantry unit. I have some highlanders on the go and will be painting some rifles, which will give me six or seven battalions in total.

Here is the British contingent as painted so far:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Peninsular War 5 - Black Bob's Boys - Warrior Miniatures British

My Peninsular force will consist of 6-8 British Battalions and a similar number of Spanish. They will be supported by four artilley batteries and 3-4 regiments of cavalry. That should give me enough figures to fight some interesting actions.  The French will have a similar number of troops.

To begin the British I have renovated these two battalions from Major General 'Black Bob' Crauford's Light Division - British Light Infantry:

Peninsular Warriors 4 - Warrior Miniatures Brunswickers

Forming part of my British Peninsular contingent is this battalion of Brunswick infantry.  These are old figures from my original coleection and they have not seen the light of day for several decades. I have simply rebased them and dusted them off:

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Peninsular Warriors 3 - Warrior Miniatures 25mm Napoleonic French Voltigeurs

I bought these figures unpainted on ebay for £2 - they needed a good home. I am pleased with the way they look after a spot of paint has been applied. The ebay lot included four Hinchliffe French and a Warrior Cuirassier. The mounted general in the picture is from my original 1980s collection:

Monday, 18 September 2017

Peninsular Warriors 2 - Warrior Miniatures Spanish Napoleonics

Following on from my earlier post here are the other spanish troops:

Line infantry in the later blue uniform: 

Spanish Militia - Regiment Muerte:

Another line infantry regiment in bicornes:
The Spanish army so far:

Peninsular Warriors and the Spanish Ulcer

I have had a plan to recreate some of the battles fought during the Peninsula War for many years, but have never had the troops to do so. All of my Napoleonics, until recently, have been painted and uniformed for the 1815, 100 days campaign period. I could have used them with some wargaming license, but I don't like doing that.  Two things have inspired me to have a go at this fascinating campaign, or series of campaigns. Firstly, I purchased a Spanish Napoleonic Army from that very nice man John at Warrior Miniatures. I went down this road as I did not want to spend a fortune on this project and he sells 25mm infantry for 50p and 100 piece armies for around £35.  The second trigger for this project was the article by Conrad Kinch in a recent copy of Miniature Wargames. He fought an action using 20mm soldiers and command and colors rules. I took the bait and out came the paintbrush. So far I have painted four Spanish infantry units and a couple of batteries of guns.

I also have painted a unit of French infantry and discovered several British infantry and cavalry units that had been sitting unused in boxes since the 1980s. The same search revealed some French cavalry too. All of these are by Warrior Miniatures.  I started to dust them down, touch them up and re-base them.

Warrior f25mm Napoleonic figures do not seem to have a very big fan base; however, I like them, being a sucker for the old school style toy soldiers!

Here are the first of the Spanish; first artillery and the first line regiment:

I will post some more pictures shortly and as the collection grows.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Battle Report - Valley of Death

The Light Brigade, with Lord Cardigan at its head begins to trot down the North Valley towards the Cossack Battery, of 12 guns. Initially the stunned Russians simply stare at the spectacle, but it is not long before they realise the intent of the British light cavalry. Guns on both flanks and the Cossack Battery begin to pour shot and cannister into the the ranks of the five British regiments:

The Cossack battery does little damage; however the guns the right flank bring down 10 men and horses. The Light brigade continues to trot down the valley.

The next salvos are more effective as 50 men from the 11th Hussars and 17th Lancers fall.
The British Cavalry break into a charge and hurtle towards the Russian guns, which are now blasting from all sides and another 70 men are brought down. Already the Light brigade has lost 130 from a total of 600. Somehow Cardigan at the very front survives the hailstorm.

On the fourth turn the Light Brigade reaches the Cossack Battery, although another 20 men are lost. The action now breaks into a series of smaller battles. Behind the guns and to the right and left are three regiments of cossacks and a regiment of hussars. They are tested to see if they stand. They do except one of the cossack units, which turns tail. In the centre the 17th Lancers and the 8th Hussars, which piles into the fray begin to batter the cossack gunners; the 13th Light Dragoons peel off to the right to engage the Russian hussars and the 11th Hussars and 4th Light Dragoons swing left to engage the cossacks. The flanking guns continue to fire into the British rear.

Meanwhile on the Fedioukine Hills the French Chasseurs d' Afrique charge into the Russian battery that had done so much damage to the 11th Hussars:
The battery is destroyed, but the Russian infantry, now in square pour fire into the French horsemen, who break off the attack:
Around the Cossack Battery a bitter fight continues, with the Russian gunners doing surprisingly well. For two whole turns they fight off the British cavalry, before finally being overwhelmed, but the damage is done, the remainder of the Light Brigade is fighting against ever increasing odds:
Having taken the cossack guns the 17th Lancers and 8th Hussars attempt to reform. However, two fresh regiments of Russian lancers appear from behind the hill:
The 17th Lancers Turn to support the 13th Light dragoons, who are locked in a losing skirmish with the Russian Hussars
On the left, the 11th Hussars, badly mauled by the artillery are now smashed into by the Don Cossack lancers, suffering severe casualties and they break and turn away from the fight:
The 8th Hussars, still sorting themselves out beyond the guns see a new regiment of cossacks bearing down on them:
And, the 4th Light Dragoons beat off their cossack lancers, only to be attacked by fresh Russian lancers:
Over on the right, the remnants of the 17th Lancers and 13th Light Dragoons finally rout the Russian Hussars and they look for an exit, turning to head back down the valley, but they come under more shell fire from the Causeway Heights and on their right flank they can see a Regiment of Russian lancers bearing down on them:

On the left the remains of the 4th Light Dragoons and the 8th Hussars are now outnumbered and almost surrounded; they attempt to break out, losing more men and once more coming under artillery fire. In the background the 17th Lancers bash through the Don Cosssacks, but are reduced to less than 50% strength:
It is over, the tattered remnants of the Light Brigade trot back to their starting positions. Out of their original 600, just 210 men remain. Cardigan trots back to his tent for a bath to clean off the dust:
Meanwhile at the Russian end the cossack cavalry and lancers regroup behind the destroyed cossack battery.

Who won? Well the Light brigade completed their objective and reached the guns, but were seriously mauled in the process, as were the French. The Russians lost the guns. However, the guns were not the intended objective, so the action was somewhat pointess

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Into The Valley of Death

Following the charge of the Heavy Brigade, the action of the Thin Red Line and the withdrawal of the Russians back across the North Valley, the allied staff, high above on Sapoune Ridge, observe the Russians removing the heavy naval guns from the fallen redoubts on the Causeway Heights. Lord Raglan decides to take action to prevent this and writes a series of three confusing orders to Lord Lucan, the commander of the cavalry. The third and last order said:

'Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns' Troop of horse artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left'.

Of course neither Lucan nor the commander of the Light Brigade, Lord Cardigan, could see what was happening higher up on the Causeway Heights. The only guns visible to them were those in the Cossack battery sitting at the other end of the north valley.  After some protestation and discussion, Lucan orders Cardigan to carry out Raglan's wishes - with disasterous consequences. Instead of turning right up onto the Causeway Heights, Cardigan leads his Brigade straight down the valley.

Here is an overview of the north valley. The Light Brigade is to advance down the valley to destroy the Cossack Battery. As can be seen there are infantry and guns on both sides of the valley and large numbers of cavalry behind the guns  and to the left:
A report of the battle is to follow.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Back to the Crimea - 13th Light Dragoons

At long last I have finished the fifth and final regiment that makes up the Light Brigade, the 13th Light Dragoons. Like the other four regiments these figures are by Douglas Miniatures:

 And here is the complete brigade. Guess where they are heading!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Battle Report - Normandy '44

Having set up the battlefield and positioned the troops the battle kicked off with a British artillery bombardment against three targets, causing some damage to the German infantry units deployed in woods and villages. The infantry unit in Grainville was particularly badly hit. After the Germans moved some of their armour from the rear the British began their assault on Grainville:

Under cover of artillery the infantry, supported by engineers breached the minefield, losing a unit in the process:
After a brisk battle Grainville fell and British armour began to pour through the minefield breach; However, just as it looked as though the first objective was secure, a Battalion of SS Panther tanks swept around the british flank, shot up a Regiment of M10s, forcing the other British armour to redeploy to meet this threat:
Eventually the Panthers were beaten off, but the British attack became bogged down as 88mm guns in a wood, supported by dug in infantry, picked off the allied tanks:
An airstrike severely damaged German infantry in and around Garvus:

While the fight for the Grainville salient continued, attention shifted to the left and the British attempted to force three armoured Regiments, equipped with Churchills across the river:

The leading Regiment pushed German armour away towards the village of Baron, but the Germans managed to quickly reinforce with two more armoured units, which after a vicious tank battle in turn blunted the British advance:

Over on the right, the now depleted British were able to reach the Bridge, conducting a combined infantry and armoured assault, that cleared out the remaining pockets of resistance, having at last eliminated the troublesome 88s. The British could now advance on their second objective; the village of Garvus:

:Eventually Garvus too fell, but the British forces here were spent, having lost most of their armour. The British now turned their attention to the Centre and a very expensive attack, several withdrawals and counter attacks.

Eventually British infantry managed to force their way into Tourmauville village.  This tipped the balance in favour of a British victory (memoire '44 score 8-7, with 3 objectives taken).

Overall this was a fun game to play, moving along quite briskly. The adjusted rules worked well, although a couple of further adjustments will be needed. In terms of the outcome, the British were nowhere near taking Hill 112, but they did manage to establish two bridgeheads over the Odon. The river was a formidable obstacle, stoutly defended by SS Panzer Grenadiers, with armour and anti-tank guns proving to be highly effective.

Having read accounts of Operation Epsom and Jupiter in June/July 1944 I understand a little of what a tough action it must have been.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Normandy Battle - Memoire '44

I have at last finished the rebasing and preparation of the battle board for my Normandy battle. I am using 1/300 figures and vehicles and a four inch hex playing mat. I have based the battle loosely on the British attack across the Odon River in late June 1944, with the objective of taking Hill 112 beyond.

The battle will be played using Memoire '44 rules, which I have modified to suit my own needs.

The map below shows the key features.  In defence the Germans, mostly SS troops, control all of the key villages, which they have fortified with infantry and 88mm guns. They also have a strong moble reserve of tanks as well as heavy artillery.

The German defences on the right are particularly strong around Grainville, which includes an extensive minefield. The Germans have also placed obstacles on the far bank of the Odon before Tourmauville.

The Odon river is not such a significat river as depicted on the map, but it is deep, has steep banks and is heavily overgrown with trees and scrub.  Areas of bocage are depicted by the green square fields.

The British are sitting astride their start line ready to begin the attack:

Saturday, 8 July 2017

An update

I was a little shocked to learn that I had not posted on here since May - a whole month and a bit has slipped by! I have not been idle, its just that there has been little to report as I work on several projects at once. I seem to do a few days on one, until I tire, or somethng else crops up, when I shift to another theme.

At the moment I am working on the following:

1. I continue to paint my 1/32 Britains Deetail collection. I am working on some scots soldiers, painted up as the Black Watch:

2. I am working on a Command and Colors scenario, playing on a 5 inch hex board with miniatures. I found a scenario for the battle of Bunker Hill and this led me to dig out my old Spencer Smiths. They have not been used since the 1980s and were in a bit of a state. I also had to rebase them to fit in with the game rules. Almost finished, this too is a work in progress:

Here are the Brits:
I need some 17 battalions! And here are the Americans:
I still have a couple more units to do. I am cheating slightly by using some Prussian figures, until I can muster all of my US troops.

3. I stumbled across a couple of old boxes containing a collection of 1/300 tanks and troops - these go back to the 1970s. I have had an idea to fight a Normandy 1944 action using Memoire 44 rules. Yes, that means more rebasing and scenery construction. Here are some of the troops:

British armour:
German armour:
and some other stuff:

The German artillery and 88s are on the updated bases.

4. I am slowly putting together a plan to refight the charge of the Light Brigade; when I have finished the last British cavalry unit.

There, that's what I have been doing.