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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Mystery Figure Stripped

I have managed to strip most of the paint from the figure, which revealed some interesting features:

 Looks like a tassel on the right side of the shako:
Closer view:
Is this a skull badge?

Rear view:
I still can't make up my mind - he could be a Brunswicker with some inaccuracies thrown in!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Another Mystery Figure

A few days ago I purchased a small lot of figures, amongst which were a small group of Minifigs 'One Piece Castings' (OPC) cavalry figures. I was particularly attracted to two Russian cavalry men that I had not seen before. One is a dragoon and the other a hussar (see last picture).  There were two other OPC figures in the group, which I initially assumed to be the British Napoleonic hussar (which I have seen before) and what I considered to be a Brunswick hussar.

However, on closer inspection the Brunswicker did not look quite right:

Looking at his shako it is easy to see why he might be considered to be a Brunswicker, but that is where the similarities end. He is not wearing a hussar tunic and the horse furniture is not right either.

Here is a picture of our man next to the British Hussar:
Our man lacks the hussar braiding across the jacket but on the other hand the pose is very similar to the British figure - assumed to be Napoleonic.

I wonder, if our figure is in fact a Crimean War figure depicting a light dragoon?  The reason I suggest this is that the British heavy dragoon and lancer OPCs have plumes (not worn in the Crimea) and in full dress the 1850s British Light Dragoon had a feathered plume as above.

I took a look at the Lone S ranger site, but alas there is no picture of a Light Dragoon.

here are the four figures from the group lined up together, with the two Russians on the end:

I would welcome any thoughts. Does anyone have another example of this figure?

Industrial Hexes

Before I begin I should explain the pause in reporting. Having taken some pictures of my latest project, I placed the camera in a location where I would not forget it and it would be safe.  Of course when I went to get it I could not find it. For several days I looked in all the likely spots to no avail.  Eventually I went back to the first place I looked and there it was under some papers - doh!

Anyway, for the last few days I have been working on a small factory and warehouse to make up two industrial hexes.  They are made from foam board and balsa, with a paper chimney, coated in pva for strength. Here is the small factory unit:
To go with it I have made a substantial warehouse building:
The two structures can be placed together to form a major strong point:
Seen here with some Russian troops defending:

The chimney is quite tapered, although this is not clear in the pictures taken from above, but is evident in this shot of the components prior to construction:

Friday, 31 August 2018

A Village Hex

Continuing on from my last post, I have now completed a hex to represent a small village/hamlet. It consists of two houses straddling a road section hex. It has sufficient room for units to pass through and for them to adopt defensive positions amongst the buildings.  Made from foam board and card, these no frills structures are quick to make and provide an effective solution to the scenic work on a hex playing area:
Seen here with a unit passing through on the road:
The village can be expanded by adding additional structures in adjoining hexes:
For other periods such as WW2, there is enough room for the largest of my 1/72 scale vehicles:
I will probably make one more to give enough to represent a town.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

New Terrain Piece

I have settled on using five inch hexes for my Napoleonic wargames and have been slowly building terrain features. The biggest challenge has been buildings, which need to look vaguely in scale, but of a size that will allow a unit to fit within the hex.  So far I built a walled farm, a larger farm/chateau, and my latest is a church, with wall.  This will make a useful strong defensive position:
It is made from foam board, balsa and card and painted with DIY sample pot paint. Here is the same building with an infantry unit within the walls:
My infantry units are 12 figures on four bases.  It will also accommodate a gun battery on one of my standard artillery bases:
The  next terrain project will be a two or three house village.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Napoleonic Army level operations - an emerging idea.

I have been reading with interest about a growing move towards playing games that involve whole armies fighting, rather than a couple of Brigades or a Division on the table. Inspiration has come from sites such as Bob Cordreys developing Napoleonic game, as well as Hexblitz and other sites, such as the Napoleonic Wargaming Blog; Napoleonic Wargames 

In most cases a grouping of units, which would be about a brigade on my table, represents a corps, with four or five 'corps' making up an army. I have tried this to some extent with Command and Colors by using figures, but even this does not give manoeuvre feel of a number Napoleonic corps widely dispersed.

With this in mind I have dug out my old 'big fat' 25mm Minifigs and based them along similar lines to those described in the blogs.  I am just about able to field an Austrian army:
This army consists of five 'Corps'. Four are infantry consisting of four blocks of 12 troops, a gun, a cavalry unit and a command figure. The fifth corps is a cavalry corps of three units of heavy cavalry and a horse artillery gun.

I have organised the French in a similar way:
My plan is to devise a mechanism, whereby the battle will start with one or two Corps in contact and the remainder marching to the sound of the guns. The table will be divided into entry sectors and the marching Corps will arrive in one of those sectors, with a D10 time delay. This should make for an interesting game. 

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Day 10 Siege of Sevastopol - The British Assault

After a further drenching of the siege lines the rain finally stops and amid huge political pressure from London, Raglan gives orders for the British 2nd Division to assault the Redan, following a three hour preparatory bombardment.  The British begin their preparations; however, the weather changes again and the morning is greeted by a thick blanket of fog that has rolled in off the Black Sea. The British gunners advise Raglan to postpone the attack as they will not be able to fire the guns.  The infantry commanders, keen to at last get to grips with the Russians, having been humiliated by the French for their inaction, urge Raglan to order the attack. The British commanders feel that the fog would allow the infantry to reach the Russian defences unseen. Raglan orders the assault.

At 7am the British leave the protection of the trenches and begin to move forward:
However, by 8am the British are still trying to organise themselves with the added confusion of trying to form a Division into line in dense fog, without alerting the Russians in the Redan.

But; the Russians had not been idle and, by taking advantage of the poor visibility, they manage to stealthily move four Regiments out of the Malakoff, towards the unsuspecting French. As the British are dressing their lines the unsuspecting French and Sardinians in the Mamalon see a surging mass of grey coated infantry rapidly advancing towards them:
The allies face a dilemma - do they use their command points to support the British attack, or the French defence.  The hard fought for Mamelon must not fall and so main effort becomes the French defence.

The Russian assault quickly overwhelms the forward French defenders and a Caucasian regiment pours into the Mamelon defences:
A second Russian regiment pushes forwards and the Sardinian defenders collapse. The Russians take the Mamelon:
On the other side of the field the British begin to advance, but at 9am the fog begins to lift giving the Russian gunners a juicy target, with a whole division spread out across the open ground. The allied staff on the home ridge witness carnage as shot and shell plough through the British lines. One Regiment halts and pulls back in confusion.

To their right the allied commanders can hear the crackle of musketry and emerging from the smoke is a steady stream of allied soldiers fleeing the Mamelon. A Russian flag can be seen flying from the ramparts.

Over at the Mamelon Sardinian troops mount a counter-attack and a regiment of Bersagleri force their way into the defences, crushing the Caucasians:
The Allies gain a toehold in the Mamelon once more, but the Russians again break through and the Sardinians are ejected:
Over on the left, the British have reorganised and advance steadily towards the Russian lines, as cannon fire continues the mow down their ranks:
Once again on the right the allies attempt to mount a counter-attack against the growing number of Russians in the Mamelon, and have some success initially:

But the exhausted French and Sardinians are spent and now outnumbered. Fighting uphill against the buoyant Russians becomes futile. Soon their is just a single French unit remaining:
Although causing some damage to the Russians the French unit is unable to hold on and is soon heading for the rear. The Mamelon has been lost!

On the left the British assault reaches the walls and a highland regiment smashes into the forward defences pushing the Russians out.

With a cheer the British surge forward, but they are caught in a deadly crossfire and soon the highlanders are no more and canister and musket balls cut into the following ranks:
It becomes evident to the British commanders that this assault cannot succeed and the order is given to withdraw.

As the evening sets in the allies lick their wounds and take stock of the situation. They have lost the Mamelon and there are insufficient troops to retake it, without significant reinforcement. The British 2nd Division failed in its attempt to take the Redan losing half of its strength.

Amid the political row during the following days and cries for commanders heads to roll, Raglan and Pelissier resist pressure to mount another futile assault, but decide to reorganise and bring up additional men and guns - but there will be no attack for several weeks.

This phase of the siege draws to a conclusion and it is a resounding Russian success, having recaptured the Mamelon and destroyed most of the allied forces on the right and having given the British a bloody nose on the left.

As a game this battle was very enjoyable, being broken down into short daily chunks.  The mechanisms worked well and allowed a complicated campaign to be played out without becoming bogged down in the detail.  At the end I think the result was a fair reflection of reality and the limited command and resupply points mimicked the inept command and logistics evident in the Crimea.

There is scope for a second attempt at a later date.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Days 7 & 8 Siege of Sevastopol

I have included days 7 and 8 together as so little has happened. On day 7 the weather changed to rain, which lasted until noon. The British guns banged away for most of the remaining day causing minimal damage to the Russians, with the infantry in the forward positions taking some casualties. As dusk drew in the guns fell silent as ammunition was used up. That night with the boggy wet roads the Allied supply score was a poor 2, meaning that there would be insufficient ammunition for a full day next morning.

The Russians decided to sit tight, conserving ammunition for the inevitable assault on the Redan. Resupply was used to bring up more fresh troops.

Day 8 was supposed to have been another day of bombardment, but continued rain and supply problems reduced this to just two batteries firing sporadically throughout the day.  The allied commanders met that evening and determined that the assault must begin soon and that further ammunition supplies would be conserved to support the attack.

The allies rolled a 4 for resupply, which did not provide enough for all batteries to be supplied.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

More on the mystery figure

Thank you to all those who have commented on this Minifigs figure (I am pretty sure it is Minifigs).  I have a copy of the Minifigs 1972/3 catalogue and the personality figures listed are:
I know it is none of the British figures and I am pretty sure that it is none of the French personality figures. So it could be the French ADC, French Marshall or the Prussian, Austrian or Russian general figure. Of course it could be a figure added to the range later as I know there were more personality figures.

The horse, in my view does not help, as these are generic to all figures and all of the horse furniture is on the figure itself.

I have taken some more close up pictures:

What is interesting is that pictures 4 and 5 show what appears to be a frock coat coming down to about knee length. In the same pictures the saddle cloth shape looks non French.

I am still not sure. Could he be Russian?

Friday, 17 August 2018

Help needed to identify this figure.

This mounted officer cam with a bundle of other bits and pieces. He appears to be a Minifigs S Range mounted general. He has a large droopy bicorne style hat and the usual senior officer's uniform. I thought he might be Spanish?