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Wednesday 28 October 2020

Autumn Review - British Army of the Crimea

 In rather the same format as my other Crimean autumn reviews of the the combined collections of Alan Cook and my own, there follows a series of pictures of the British Army.  There is a slight problem in that I have two Light Brigades on parade and more highlanders than were available at the time, however, It all comes together to make a fine collection.

I will let the pictures tell the story:

Monday 26 October 2020

The Last Stand Colonial Game

I recently bought some buildings, a pack of 5 for about £12, and assembled them.  Also, having just painted a heap of colonial figures, I thought a small game was the order of the day.

The scenario is that an Anglo-Sudanese force has occupied a town near the River Nile.  The occupants of the town had been attacking shipping on the river and extorting  money from the boat owners. The British force had achieved its objective, occupied the town and was awaiting a boat to come and pick them up  Unfortunately the river levels had dropped and the boat was grounded several miles down stream. Meanwhile, the tribes of the River Valley had come together and had decided to attack the British in the town.  Seriously out numbered and with nowhere to go the British force must hold on until relief arrives.  The Anglo-Sudanese force consists of three companies each from the Loamshire Regiment, The McVities Highlanders and the 1st Juba Rifles. In support they have a light field gun and a gatling gun team. The force is commanded by Colonel  F R Smyth -Jones.

Here is the town with its defenders:

The combined River Valley tribes have the town surrounded. On a nearby jebel, amongst the rocks are some Sudanese riflemen, along with a muzzle loading cannon.  Behind the Jebel are three units of cavalry, Sudanese tribesmen and Eastern Fanatics:

At the other end of town a large group of Hadendowah tribesmen have congregated, 


and amongst some rocks rifle armed hillmen have been sniping into the town causing some casualties amongst the Juba Regiment.

The tribesmen do not wait long before beginning their attack, as the Fanatics swing around the Jebel and charge towads the Loamshires, who fire volleys from the sangar and buildings:

Almost simultaneously the Hadendowah charge towards the other end of the town under a hail of fire from the Juba Regiment and the Gatling gun:

After taking many casualties the Hadendowah take one of the buildings and overun the gatling gun as well as a company of Highlanders who had mounted a counter attack, but the Hadendowah are now a spent force:

All the time artillery and rifle fire rain down from the Jebel, which gradually eliminates the light gun crew. With the British gun destroyed the Fanatics renew their attacks against the Loamshires, who are reinforced by some Highlanders.

The Loamshires sangar falls:

To make matters worse, the cavalry begin to sweep around the flanks and the Sudanese tribesmen begin their adavance:

At the other end of the town the Juba Regiment continues to take casualties from the Hillmen, and skirmishes with the remaining Hadendowah, who have occupied one of the buildings.

The cavalry charge the highlanders behind the defences:

But are mown down:

Whilst this is going on the Sudanese tribesmen storm forwards into a hail of bullets and suffer badly:

But the Fanatics finally overwhelm the other Loamshires company and take the building and a second wave of cavalry smash through the highlanders and enter the main street:

Now the remaining Loamshires company is overun and the last Highlander company is attacked by the Sudanese tribes men from the front and cavalry from the rear:

The Hillmen sweep into the other end of town, driving out the few remaining Juba Regiment, while Colonel Smyth-Jones, along with his artillery commander fall with revolvers in hand.

The battle is over and the Anglo-Sudanaese force is destroyed. The relief never arrived and the town falls back into the hands of the River Valley people.


Friday 23 October 2020

More Warrior Russians

To provide the correct forces for my Leibnitz game I had to paint an additional couple of Ruiisian units.  These are Wrrior figures, consisting of a grenadier battalion:

And an artillery battery:


Wednesday 21 October 2020

Old School Wargame - Battle of Leibnitz

 Another wet few days, so I thought it would be fun to have a quick wargame. I decided to base the action upon Neil Thomas's example battle of the same name in his book 'Napoleonic Wargaming'.  This game has eight units per side.

 I used my Warrior troops for this action, which include some very senior figures.  Two of the cavalry units were previously owned by the late Stuart Asquith and can be seen in action in December 2016 on Keith's Wargames Blog under the command of Stuart himself!

 The Russians have three cavalry, one artillery and four infantry  units,  The French have two cavalry, one artillery and five infantry units.  The battlefield looked like this:

The French are at the bottom of the picture.  The town of Leibnitz is on the left, occupied by Russian Jaegers. In the centre right is the Schiller Forest and below that is Mount Hegal, around which is positioned the French army.

The Russian plan was to pin the French between Leibnitz and the Forest and bring their cavalry and heavy infantry around the opposite flank.  The French meanwhile decided to bypass Leibnitz town and batter their way through the gap between the forest and the town.

The battle kicked off with the French adavancing on the left and pulling back on the right.

A French Battalion watching Leibnitz, defended by Russian Jaegers:

The French advance commences:

However, the Russian Cossacks charge and force the French Guard Battalion into a square:

The French guard are then hit by artillery fire and finally destroyed by assaulting Russian infantry - not a good start for the French.

On the opposite flank the Russians begin their move, with two infantry battalions (one Guard) and two cavalry regiments, one heavy.

Back on the other flank things begin to hot up. The French send in their dragoons to chase off the Cossacks and a line grenadier battalion charges the the Russian line battalion that was already damaged during the fight with the guard. The Russian infantry is destroyed:

Having defeated the Russian line infantry the French storm into the Russian gunners nearby and wipe them out too:

The French are much happier now, having seen off the Cossacks and destroyed  an infantry battalion and a gun.

On the other flank, things are also developing.  The French Chasseurs a Cheval attempt to fight off the Russian Cuirassiers, fail and then rout from the field leaving the French flank horribly exposed.  However, not waiting for support, the Russian guards storm into the French voltigeur battalion, causing some casualties and forcing them back.  This leaves the guards flank exposed and next turn they suffer heavy casualties from flank and frontal fire and rout off the field:

The French success is quickly forgotten as the two isolated units are threatened by cavalry and forced into square, whereupon they begin to take casualties from the Russian grenadier battalion that has moved into range:

The French dragoons now hurtle across to the threatened flank and begin a lengthy melee with the Russian Hussars, with neither side making much headway.  

Having seen the French dragoons depart the Russian Cossacks come into play once more and charge the now exposed French Grenadiers, who fail to form square and are destroyed:


During the same turn the Russian Jaegers emerge from Leibnitz to threaten the French left, supported by the Cossacks:

 Back on the right flank, one of the French squares collapses and routs from the field. This leaves the French gun exposed to attack by the Russian Cuirassiers, and despite heavy casualties the guns are swept aside. This final blow sealed the fate of the French, giving a 5-4 victory to the Russians. 


What a great game.  Sometimes it is the simple games that offer the most enjoyment.