Happy Bavarianuary!

Bavarian troops at the Battle of Leuthen, 5th December 1757. The straw-coloured facings and white hat-lace identify these man as belonging to the ‘Morawitzsky’ Infantry Regiment.

Well it’s Groundhog Month here at Fawr Towers and without any prospect of games to provide a spur to painting, I’ve been setting myself challenges to keep the painting mojo going and to finish off wargaming projects.  The first of these was my ‘Württember Challenge‘, where I set myself the task of completing the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps for the Seven Years War (13x 12-figure battalions, 1x gun and 1x general) within the month of November.  Then I allowed myself to paint whatever I wanted before the start of ‘Bavarianuary’ on 1st January.

You’ve probably already guessed, but my ‘Bavarianuary Challenge’ is to complete the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps for the Seven Years War before the end of January and the start of ‘Frogruary’…  This was nowhere near as much of a challenge as ‘Württember’, as the Bavarian Corps only consisted of ten battalions and I’d already painted four of these around 20 years ago!  I also got a little carried away during December and jumped the gun by painting the Bavarian general and artillery a little early… So with only six 12-figure battalions left to paint I actually completed it on 12th January! 🙂 

The Bavarian Army at the start of the Seven Years War was a shadow of its former self, due to Bavaria having ruined its finances during the War of Austrian Succession during the 1740s.  Following the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1740, Elector Charles Albert of Bavaria had allied himself with France to pursue his claim on the Imperial throne.  This was initially successful and in 1743 Charles Albert was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII.  However, Bavaria was repeatedly ravaged by Austrian armies and in 1745, the gouty Charles VII died before he could really start enjoying himself as Emperor (or perhaps he partied too hard in his first year, who knows…?). 

Charles’ death was followed very quickly by the decisive defeat of the Franco-Bavarian army at the Battle of Pfaffenhofen.  Following this defeat, the new 18 year-old Elector Maximillian III Joseph of Bavaria sued for peace with Austria, relinquishing any claim on the Imperial throne.  With the resumption of peace, Maximillian III Joseph concentrated his efforts and meagre funds on renewing and reforming the civil, agricultural and commercial heart of Bavaria, at the expense of the army.  The army was severely downsized in 1753 and the four remaining cavalry regiments were largely dismounted, existing only as cadre squadrons.  The penny-pinching even led to the removal of buttonhole lace from coats and the characteristic Bavarian cornflower blue infantry coats being changed for cheaper dark blue cloth.

When the Seven Years War started in 1756, Maximillian did his best to keep Bavaria out of it, though standing Imperial commitments meant that Bavaria had to provide a regiment of three infantry battalions (the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment) plus artillery to the Imperial Reichsarmee.  A further ten infantry battalions were also then provided as a Bavarian Auxiliary Corps to serve with the Austrian Army in Bohemia, being maintained at French expense and bringing vital income into Bavarian coffers.  This was meant to be 10,000 strong, but in the event remained woefully understrength, with only 6,000 men.  Four infantry battalions and the four cavalry regiments (which were now fully-mounted) were left at home to garrison Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate and protect against raids by Prussian Freikorps.

Thanks undoubtedly to the neglect of the once-powerful Bavarian army, the performance of Bavarian troops during the Seven Years War was decidedly underwhelming and the nadir of Bavarian military prowess came at the Battle of Leuthen, on 5th December 1757, when the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps was swept away along with the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps by Frederick the Great’s assault.  However, I need ’em if I want to play Leuthen properly…

Above:  Generalfeldwachtmeister Johannes Claudius Graf Seyssel d’Aix commanded the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps for the duration of the war.  I painted him based on the description of Bavarian general officers’ uniform provided in the Pengel & Hurt uniform guides; namely a cornflower blue coat with black cuffs, thickly edged with silver lace, straw ‘smallclothes’ (i.e. breeches and waistcoat), red horse furniture with silver lace, sash of mixed silver and light blue threads and a hat edged with silver lace and split white ostrich feathers.  This figure is an Austrian general by Old Glory 15s and he’s also wearing a cuirass under his coat.

However, according to Kronoskaf, there was no stipulated uniform for Bavarian generals until the 1770s and in common with generals of the Prussian army and others, they would usually wear a version of their regimental uniform.  The problem is that I can find absolutely no information on Seyssel d’Aix’s background; there is no regiment with his name and I can’t find him listed anywhere as colonel of a Bavarian regiment (though relatives are listed with the French and Austrian armies).  I’ve therefore stuck with the uniform described by Pengel & Hurt, which in any case, closely resembles the pre-austerity uniform of the Bavarian ‘Leib’ Regiment.

Above:  The artillery element of the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps comprised little more than a single company of light guns, providing close support to the infantry battalions.  Bavarian arsenals did however, hold large stocks of heavy artillery guns which were made available to the Imperial Artillery Reserve (which I will cover in a future article). 

Above:  The Bavarian Artillery uniform was a light grey coat with blue facings (including lapels), brass buttons, straw smallclothes, white belts and ‘false gold’ hat lace (like the French, the Bavarians used ‘false gold/silver’ hat lace, which was made with silk threads and to be honest, didn’t look all that metallic, so I just use plain yellow or white paint).  The hats also had pompoms in the national colours of white & light blue.  Guns were polished brass and carriages were painted light blue, with metal fittings painted black.  These models are Prussian artillerymen by Old Glory 15s.

Above:  I painted my first two Bavarian regiments over 2o years ago, when I started building my Reichsarmee corps.  As a result, I painted the two regiments that provided battalions to the composite ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment that was sent to the Reichsarmee.  This therefore, is the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment, which provided its 1st Battalion to the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment (the other two battalions were provided by the ‘Pechmann’ Regiment).  Of course, the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment didn’t serve with Bavarian Auxiliary Corps, but the uniform is very close to that of the ‘Herzog Clemens’ Regiment, which did.

Above:  Pengel & Hurt described the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment as having red facings, straw turnbacks, straw smallclothes, brass buttons, ‘false gold’ hat-lace and white belts, which is what I’ve painted here.  However, Kronoskaf describes the facing colour as ‘light red’ or ‘old rose’, being more of a dark pink or light crimson shade.  Kronoskaf also shows the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment’s turnbacks as light red, though the ‘Pechmann’ Regiment as having light red facings with straw turnbacks.  The regiment’s drummers wore the same uniform, though heavily decorated with mixed white & light blue lace.

The ‘Herzog Clemens’ regiment of the Auxiliary Corps had a very similar uniform to that shown above, except with white smallclothes.

Above:  The ‘Pechmann’ Regiment, as mentioned above, provided two battalions to the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment with the Reichsarmee and did not serve with the Auxiliary Corps.  However, its uniform was very similar to that of the ‘Morawitzsky’ Regiment, which did serve with the Auxiliary Corps (the only difference being the colour of buttons and hat-lace), so they can happily do double-service.  The ‘Pechmann’ Regiment was renamed to the ‘Meinders’ Regiment in 1759 and to ‘Herold’ in 1761.

Above:  The ‘Pechmann’ Regiment initially had the uniform shown here, with straw-coloured facings and matching smallclothes, with brass buttons, white belts and ‘false gold’ hat-lace.  However, Kronoskaf suggests that the facing colour changed in Spring 1757 to ‘light red’ or ‘old rose’ to match that of the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment, which was also serving in the Reichsarmee contingent.  However, the turnbacks of the ‘Pechmann’ contingent remained straw.  The regiment’s drumemrs wore the same uniform, though heavily decorated with yellow lace.

Above:  When I first painted them, these two regiments were equipped with flags by Grubby Tanks, as shown here.  I’ve now replaced them with the rather nicer (and larger) flags by Wargames Designs.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the new flags are a definite improvement!  However, note that the Wargames Designs flags are bubblejet printed, so need a coat of varnish to clearly define the details and make the colours pop. 

On the subject of flags, each Bavarian battalion in reality had two flags; the 1st Battalion of a regiment carried the Leibfahne (white flag with Virgin Mary) and a single Kompaniefahne (blue & white chessboard design), while the other battalions in the regiment carried two Kompaniefahnen.  As with most of my armies, I give each battalion a single flag – a Leibfahne for the 1st Battalion and a Kompaniefahne for the other battalions.  It’s also worth mentioning that in 1757 the ‘Pechmann’ Regiment added the Bavarian coat of arms to the corners of its Leibfahne (not shown here).

Above:  The regiments of the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps do not appear to have detached their grenadier companies in the manner of most other nations.  Probably because they were around 1/3rd understrength and couldn’t afford to detach any further manpower.  However, the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment with the Reichsarmee did detach its grenadiers and these would be massed with other Reichsarmee grenadier companies to form ad hoc grenadier battalions.  I’ve therefore painted two separate bases of Bavarian grenadiers for the ‘Holnstein’ and ‘Pechmann’ Regiments.

Above:  The ‘Minucci’ Regiment provided both of its battalions to the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps.  It was renamed to the ‘La Rosée’ Regiment in 1759.

Above:  The ‘Minucci’ Regiment had yellow facings with straw smallclothes, white belts, white metal buttons and ‘false silver’ hat-lace.  Some sources suggest that the facings were ‘yellow-buff’ and that the waistcoats were a darker shade of straw/buff.  Note that all Bavarian regiments had red neck-stocks, dark red leather musket-slings and blue & white pompoms on their hats.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Minucci’ Regiment.  Note that this regiment’s drummers had yellow coats with light blue facings.

Above:  The 1st Battalion of the ‘Preysing’ Regiment served with the Auxiliary Corps, while the 2nd Battalion remained on garrison duty at home.

Above:  The ‘Preysing’ Regiment had red facings with straw smallclothes, white metal buttons, ‘false silver’ hat-lace and white belts.  The regiment’s drummers are known to have had yellow coats with red facings and red waistcoats.

Above:  The 2nd Battalion of the ‘Kurprinz’ Regiment served with the Auxiliary Corps, while the 1st Battalion remained on garrison duty at home.

Above:  The ‘Kurprinz’ Regiment had white facings, smallclothes and belts, with brass buttons and ‘false gold’ hat-lace.  The regiment’s drummers wore the same uniform, though with the addition of mixed white & light blue lace. 

If you’re wondering why I’ve included the odd grenadier command figure in these units, the primary reason is that Old Glory 15s now only supply them in packs of 25, which includes only 1 officer, 1 NCO, 1 standard bearer and 1 drummer, which is a massive pain in the arse for those of us who like smaller units and/or more standard-bearers!  They used to supply them in massive bags of 100, with enough command figures to make 12-figure units.  Consequently, I’ve got a massive stash of spare Austrian grenadier command figures, so I’m using them to beef up these units, using the excuse that they kept their grenadiers attached… 😉 

Above:  The ‘Leib’ Regiment uniquely had three battalions, but only supplied its 2nd & 3rd Battalions to the Auxiliary Corps, while the 1st Battalion stayed home on garrison and ceremonial duty, hence the absence of a Leibfahne.

Above:  The ‘Leib’ Regiment had white facings and smallclothes, with white metal buttons and ‘false silver’ hat-lace.  Most unusually, its belts were ‘natural leather’.  In 1760 they were ordered to change their facings to their traditional (expensive) black with white bastion-shaped buttonhole lace loops (turnbacks remained white).  In 1761 the coat colour was officially changed back to the traditional (expensive) cornflower blue, retaining the black facings and white lace.  However, the coats were only to be replaced as they wore out, so the change took place gradually, over a number of years. 

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Leib’ Regiment.  The regiment’s drummers initially had white uniforms with blue facings, though in 1760 adopted the same dark blue uniform with black facings as the rest of the regiment, though heavily decorated with lace.  From 1761 the drummers’ coats also began to change to cornflower blue.

So that’s it for ‘Bavarianuary’!  I’m painting some SYW Prussian infantry and Napoleonic Russian artillery and jägers at the moment, but ‘Frogruary’ will soon be here…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession | 7 Comments

Jemima Fawr’s Review of 2020

Well it’s been a funny old year… ‘Funny’ that is, in much the same manner as Ricky Gervais, Miranda Hart or Mrs Brown’s Boys are ‘funny’; i.e. Not remotely funny whatsoever.

Thankfully, I’ve remained in employment throughout and I live in a remote corner of Wales, so it’s only in the last week that I’ve known anyone personally who has come down with the dreaded ‘Flu Manchu’ [edited to add that I’ve just heard that my aunt’s mother has just died of covid and my cousin, is ill… Shit’s gettin’ real!].  So I can only count my blessings, as it’s been a hell of a lot harder for many others.  The only mild embuggerances for me have been a succession of cancelled holidays and trips away, the pubs being closed for long periods of time and wargame shows being closed down.  So all things considered, I’ve got away very lightly and I sincerely hope that the readers of this blog have had as easy a time of it (except that bugger who sold one of my armies without telling me, obviously).

I’ve not done a proper review of the year before, but it’s been an unusual year!  I’ve put quite a few links in the text below, but a lot of the pictures are also linked to the relevant article if you click on them.

It’s certainly been a good painting year for me.  I’m doubly fortunate in that I do all my painting at my place of work AND my workload was reduced, so I had a lot of spare time on my hands in work.  I started the year by painting a heap of 15mm Cold War stuff, mostly Canadians and Soviets, with the intention of doing a demo game based on the book ‘First Clash’ later in the year.  However, lockdown killed that idea and in any case, I was getting sick of Olive Drab!  I haven’t done any relevant blog-posts yet, but here are some of the models:

With the arrival of lockdown and the cancellation of all games and club-nights for the foreseeable future, I decided to look at the vast list of projects that needed finishing.  Most of it was 10mm American Civil War (ACW) and 15mm Napoleonic.  So I started off with some more 10mm Reb divisions and half of the the Union XII Corps for Gettysburg.  I got distracted onto other things, but I’m now within sight of my goal to complete the order of battle for the full first day of Gettysburg.  I’ve now only got Anderson’s Rebel Division and half of the Union XII Corps left to do.

I finally finished off the French Imperial Guard Cavalry with the long-delayed painting of the Mamelukes of the Guard.  However, when I say ‘finished’, it was always my intention to add some Young Guard cavalry and Eclaireurs if and when AB Figures produced them.  As luck would have it, Tony Barton has just sculpted the Young Guard Chasseurs à Cheval, so those will soon be added to the ‘to do’ list in 2021!  He’s also sculpted Westphalian Cuirassiers, Saxon Hussars and several other bits and pieces I need to complete my armies, so I’ll be getting all of those as soon as they are available to buy! 🙂

Staying with the Napoleonic theme, I then moved on to the Army of the Duchy of Warsaw, painting Poniatowski’s VIII (Polish) Corps and Kellermann’s IV (Polish) Reserve Cavalry Corps for 1813, which gives me enough Duchy of Warsaw troops to do any historical scenario.  That said, I will eventually get around to adding some infantry in French-style uniforms for the Peninsular War, as well as the infantry of the Vistula Legion.
Then some Russkis, starting with a massive re-basing and re-flagging exercise of my large and rather ancient Russian army.  This actually consists of three former collections; My own original collection consists of the first AB Figures I ever bought, plus a load of Old Glory 15s cavalry and Battle Honours artillery (back in the early 90s AB only did Russian infantry and dragoons, so the other cavalry types and artillery were sourced elsewhere).  The second part of the army belongs to my mate Jase, who emigrated to New Zealand about 15 years ago and left his collection with me ‘in trust’.  This collection consists again of AB Figures and Old Glory cavalry, bought and painted at the same time as my own.  The third collection is that of my mate Martin, who swapped them for my old 15mm ACW army.  This consists mostly of Lancashire Games figures and a load of infantry of unknown origin.

A lot of troops were still based in single ranks for WRG rules, which we stopped playing in the early 90s, so a major re-basing effort was long overdue!  All of Jase’s flags had turned brown due to age and bad varnish, while Martin’s old printed Revo flags had fallen apart, so they were all replaced with lovely GMB flags.  My own hand-painted flags didn’t look as good as the GMB ones, so I replaced those as well!  You can see my last remaining hand-painted Russian flag at the back of the toolbox above (the purple one).  🙂

While rebasing and re-flagging the Russians, I realised that a lot of my cavalry and artillery were very ropey and my army would be much improved if I finally got around to painting the stack of unpainted AB Russian cavalry and artillery that had been sitting in the Lead Crypt for over 20 years!  So I then set to work painting all the Russian cavalry, artillery and grenadier units I’d need for the Battle of Liebertwolkwitz that we were going to play after the end of the pandemic… These units have been painted for over six months now… 🙁  I will eventually get around to doing a proper blog-post on the newly-painted Russians.

Oh and I also painted some Black Brunswickers
And some Burma stuff

And some more Cold War Cloggies

I did slightly burn out my painting-mojo with the Russian Napoleonics, though that was largely due I think, to the increasing realisation that this bloody pandemic was going to be with us for a very long time and me getting slightly depressed by the whole bloody thing.  However, during our brief respite from lockdown during the late summer, I managed to get a game in with my mate Phil and that led to a resurrection of my old Seven Years War (SYW) armies (along with my mojo), starting with the complete re-flagging of a rather large SYW Austrian army, which had been left to me by my mate Doug, who shuffled off this mortal coil some 15 years ago.
That was shortly followed by the painting of a whole new SYW Württemberg army and the purchase of a lot more new SYW figures! 🙂 

I’ve since painted some more SYW units (mostly Imperial and Prussian units) and have bought a whole new SYW French army from Eureka, which will be painted in the new year once I’ve finished my SYW Bavarian army.  With the SYW and Napoleonics in mind, I’ve also painted a load of new buildings and village ’tiles’ by Total Battle Miniatures to supplement my very old and battered scenery collection (articles to follow soon).

In terms of actual gaming, I kicked off the year with the second outing of my (dare I say, award-winning?) Cassinga Raid demo game in January at ‘Crusade 2020’ in Penarth, though a further outing to Partizan 2020 was of course, cancelled.  Warfare 2020 at Reading was also cancelled, so I’ve got to keep their Best of Show trophy and bask in the glory for another year! 🙂 

In February we also played a WW2 Burma game at club (the Battle of Wetlet 1945).

In March we had a refight of Marshal Masséna’s counter-attack at the Battle of Wagram 1809.  Sadly, the country went into lockdown immediately after this game, so that was pretty much it for a very long time…

Thanks to the brief easing of lockdown during the late summer/early Autumn and as mentioned above, I managed to get a game in at Phil’s in early October.  This was a historical refight of the Battle of Medellin 1809 and the Spanish won!  Of course as a gentleman, I could not possibly reveal the details of the comprehensive hoofing that Phil received at the hands of my Spaniards… 🙂  This game was played with Shako rules and this, along with the linear nature of the battle, was what re-kindled my enthusiasm both for the rules and for the 18th Century, hence the recent drive on SYW.  Of course, having utterly crushed Phil, seen his armies run before me and having heard the lamentations of his women, this may have contributed toward my enthusiasm, but I don’t like to go on about it…

Much to the wife’s disgust, I was also found playing with myself on the dining room table a couple of times during lockdown.  The first such solo game was a refight of ‘Sickles’ Salient’ during the Battle of Gettysburg 1863, which I enjoyed enormously.

And most recently, a rather compressed solo refight of the Battle of Mollwitz 1741, which was my first run-out for my SYW collection and Shako rules since the 1990s!

So while the gaming has been sparse, it’s been of high quality and with luck will be surpassed in 2021!  If our luck holds, a lot of the shows will be back on during the second half of the year, so I’m starting to think about demo-game options…  My original plan had been to do ‘First Clash 1984’, but it rapidly became apparent that I’ll have to make a massive further investment in ‘heavy metal’ as well as 20th Century scenery, so that might have to be pushed back a year or three.  Then there’s the ‘Sickles’ Salient’ ACW scenario above, which is a cracking scenario and has the advantage of being an iconic action, fought on very well-known ground.  I already have almost all the troops required (excepting some Zouave units, the Irish Brigade and the correct HQ flags, which will only take a few days to paint) and I’m sure I could make some superb terrain for it.  Then there’s the SYW, which has massive visual impact with densely-packed serried ranks of troops, usually with relatively simple terrain and which using my variant of Shako, can be played in a single day.  I have done some epic SYW demo games in the past.  Decisions, decisions…

It has been a rather epic year for the blog, however.  With not many games to write about, I did a few research articles and photo-shoots for old armies of mine, which proved extremely popular, especially the articles on my Napoleonic Austrian Army, SYW Prussian Army, SYW Swedish Army, Churchill Tanks, Hobart’s ‘Funnies’, the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group, the XIVth Army in Burma and the British Army of the Rhine.

There were also a few scenarios, including some old favourites such as the Battles of Fuentes de Oñoro and Dennewitz, as well as some I still have to play, such as the 2nd Battle of Caldiero.

My daily hits absolutely shot up with the start of lockdown in March and have only kept going up!  Hits on the blog seem to be doubling every year since I started in April 2018:  20,000 in the first year, then increasing by 40,000 to reach 60,000 in the second year and last week I just passed 100,000, so am on target to reach 120,000 at the end of my third year of running the blog.  So as mentioned before, while it’s not exactly viral, my blog is at least a persistent yeast infection…  But do not fear!  I will never put ads on this blog, as I hate the bloody things with a passion and in any case, I only do it for the adulation, free drugs and groupies…

Anyway, that’s me done with 2020…  A very Happy New Year to all readers of this blog!  

Well, most of you, anyway…

Posted in Uncategorised | 22 Comments

Resurrecting The SYW Mojo (Part 2) – Refreshing The Rules (Battle of Mollwitz 1741 Solo Playtest)

Much to Mrs Fawr’s disgust, I’ve been playing with myself on the dining-room table again…

Earlier this month I found myself at a loose end, with a dining-room table miraculously clear of Mrs Fawr’s sh…precious things and a pressing need to refresh my knowledge of the rules we used to play mid-18th Century battles some 20+ years ago.  These rules are an adaptation of Arty Conliffe’s Shako, which is a solid, fast-playing set of Napoleonic rules.  The 1st Edition rules did include rules for the Seven Years War, but I didn’t like them, so instead wrote my own version (which needless to say, we called Tricorn).  We found that Tricorn worked very well indeed; retaining the flavour of the period and allowing us to play both fast-paced campaign battles within the bounds of a four-hour club-night and big historical refights such as the Battles of Kunersdorf or Kolin within a single day.

A couple of months ago and during our brief respite from lockdown restrictions, I played a game with my mate Phil using Shako 2nd Edition, which sparked my renewed interest in the rules.  Chris Leach, one of the co-designers of Shako also kindly posted his 2nd Edition 18th Century playtest rules on the end of one of my recent posts and that gave me some more ideas to further adapt Tricorn.  I will post my Tricorn 2.0 rules here soon, along with a play-sheet.  

Anyway, a lot of braincells have died since I last played the rules in 1998, so a playtest was needed.  I thought I might play a game based on the Battle of Mollwitz 1741, from the War of Austrian Succession (aka 1st Silesian War) at club when Covid allows, so as a playtest I set a rather cramped version of the scenario up on my dining-room table.  The scenario really needs at least a 6×4 foot table (our club has 7.5×5 foot tables, which are ideal), but my table is only 4×3 feet! 🙂 

Here’s the historical map of the scenario.  I’ll write up the full scenario soon.  Thanks to my cramped playing area, I had to straighten up the opposing battle-lines and the fancy Austrian flank-attack would instead have to be a frontal charge! 🙂 In the actual battle, knee-deep snow slowed a lot of the movement and swirling snow severely reduced visibility at several key moments.  The snow also probably degraded roundshot performance quite considerably, but to keep things simple for the purposes of play-testing, I casually disregarded these facts!

Above:  Here’s the initial scene, viewed from the Prussian lines.

Above:  The view along the Prussian lines from the left flank.  Due to the cramped nature of the infantry deployment area, Oberst Posadowsky’s cavalry (in the foreground) have crossed over the Kleiner-Bach stream in order to find space to deploy.

Above:  King Frederick and his staff supervise the deployment.

Above:  Neipperg’s Austrian army is waiting for the Prussians.  The Austrians are weaker in infantry and artillery, but stronger in cavalry.

Above:  The view from the Austrian right flank.

Above:  The battle opens with two strong Prussian batteries hammering the Austrian centre.  The Austrians realise that their best chance of victory lies with Römer’s strong cavalry division on the left flank and this is immediately hurled forward to smash Schulenburg’s mixed division of cavalry and grenadiers.

Above:  In the centre of Schulenburg’s line, the ‘Winterfeldt’ and ‘Bolstern’ Grenadier Battalions make a brave stand, but are utterly smashed by the charge of the Austrian cuirassiers.  On their right, several squadrons of the ‘Schulenburg’ Dragoons and a single squadron of the Gens d’Armes are thrown back by Austrian dragoons.  The Prussian Leib-Carabiniers make a better show of it however, and succeed in repulsing one of the Austrian cuirassier regiments.

Above:  The Prussian Leib-Carabiniers charge on to glory, but are in turn thrown back by the second wave of Austrian cuirassiers.  Schulenburg’s entire wing suffers a crisis of confidence and flees the field!  The Austrian horsemen wheel to their right and bear down on the Prussian infantry.

Above:  General Römer urges his men on to glory!

Above:  On the right flank of the Prussian infantry, the Leibgarde Battalion, the ‘Kleist’ Grenadier Battalion and a battalion of the ‘Prinz Dietrich’ Regiment prepare to meet the charge.

Above:  Although the Austrians are getting the worst of the unequal artillery battle in the centre, a single Austrian battery posted on the left flank makes life miserable for the Prussian Leibgarde Battalion.

Above:  The rest of the Prussian and Austrian armies await the outcome of the battle on the far flank.

Above:  As Römer’s cavalry charges home they are subjected to a withering hail of musketry!

Above:  Braving the hail of lead, Römer’s cavalry press home their attack, but are unable to make a dent in the wall of Prussian bayonets.  The Prussian Leibgarde Battalion (1st Battalion of the Garde Regiment) on the corner of the line, comes within a whisker of being swept away, but the guardsmen hold the line!  If there had been any other battalion in that spot, the line would have been broken.

Above:  While things get exciting on the Prussian right flank, the artillery continues to duel in the centre.

Above:  Göldy’s Austrian left wing is suffering badly from the cannonade (the casualty figures indicate a ‘Staggered’ unit and the dots indicate the number of hits suffered (figures/bases are not removed in Shako.  Instead each unit has a morale level (e.g 4 for line infantry) and can suffer that many hits (increased by 1 for large, 16-figure units as here) before being broken.  One of the battalions in the second line has already been broken by the amount of roundshot bouncing through the formation.

Above:  Römer’s first wave is beaten off and falls to the rear as the second wave charges the Prussian lines.

Above:  Two more cuirassier regiments smash themselves fruitlessly against the corner of the Prussian ‘box’, though Römer’s personal dragoon regiment does somewhat better and breaks the ‘Prinz Dietrich’ Musketeers! However, upon breaking through the line, they run into the 3rd Battalion of the Garde and are soon falling back to join the cuirassiers.

Above:  With casualties rapidly starting to pile up and with two of his four cuirassier regiments already broken, Römer has a crisis of confidence and his cavalry falls back to the safety of Austrian lines.  However, the Austrian horse quickly rally and a messenger soon arrives from Neipperg, telling him to get back into the fight!  The Austrian cavalry are soon surging forward once again, though this time with a great many empty saddles.

Above:  With the Austrian cavalry driven off for the time being, Prinz Leopold starts to wheel half of his second line to the right, in order to protect the right flank of the advance from any further interference.

Above:  the Prussian artillery has torn ragged gaps in the Austrian left wing and the time is ripe for the Prussians to mount a general assault.

Above:  Schwerin is already leading the left wing forward against the Austrian lines and the Prussian guns start to fall silent as the infantry pass through.

Above:  Posadowsky’s Prussian cavalry moves forward on the left to cover the flank of the infantry.  A light battery positioned on the flank also continues to pound the Austrian horse.

Above:  As the Prussian right wing advances it isn’t long before Römer’s cavalry reappear.  

Above:  However, Prince Leopold hasn’t yet completed his redeployment to protect the right flank!  

Above:  The ‘Kleist’ Grenadiers, having been left behind by the main body and unsupported by Prince Leopold, are soon overwhelmed by the Austrian cuirassiers!

Above:  While the ‘Kleist’ Grenadiers keep the Austrian cavalry busy on the right flank, the rest of the first line of the Prussian right wing pushes forward to engage the crumbling Austrian left wing more closely.  This is all too much for the Austrian infantry as having already been crushed by the Prussian artillery, they flee the field.

Above:  The view of the whole battlefield from the Prussian left flank.

Above:  Having broken the ‘Kleist’ Grenadiers, the Austrian cuirassiers fall back to rally.  In front of the Prussians, Göldy’s Austrian left wing, dismayed by the heavy losses suffered from artillery, has broken and fled the field!  The Prussian gunners have now swung their guns around and will soon be sending canister into the packed ranks of Austrian cuirassiers.

Above:  Not waiting to remain stationary under artillery fire, the Austrian cuirassiers charge once again, aiming for the vulnerable end of the Prussian line.  However, the cuirassiers run into a withering hail of fire from Prince Leopold’s infantry and are broken.  Römer’s Austrian cavalry division again falls back to consider its options and the Prussian right wing resumes its advance.

Above: Schwerin’s Prussian left wing, with Kalckstein’s division in the lead, finally engages the Austrian infantry.

Above:  Having been largely ignored by the Prussian artillery, Browne’s Austrian right wing has only suffered very light casualties thus far and now looses a devastating volley into the advancing Prussians.

Above:  Kalckstein’s infantry very much get the worst of the opening volleys, suffering heavy casualties.  However, they reorder their lines more quickly than the Austrians and launch a charge into the disordered whitecoats!

Above:  Although outnumbered and outmatched by Berlichgen’s Austrian horse, Posadowky crosses the stream and launches a charge to support the infantry attack.

Above:  The leading Austrian cuirassier regiment (here with the blue standard) has already suffered heavy casualties from a Prussian battery and is swiftly broken by the charge of the Prussian cuirassiers.  The Prussian cuirassiers break through, but are in turn repulsed by the next Austrian cuirassier regiment.  The Prussian ‘Platen’ Dragoons meanwhile, recoil from the phalanx of Austrian dragoons.

Above:  Following up their success, the Austrian cavalry break through to strike the second line of Prussian cavalry and throw those horsemen back as well!

Above:  However, the two leading Austrian cavalry regiments are now on blown horses.  Some of the Prussian cavalry quickly rally behind the guns and charge again, throwing back the over-confident Austrian horse!

Above:  The infantry combat meanwhile, is a similarly mixed affair.  As expected, the two grenadier battalions on the Prussian left flank do well, breaking one Austrian battalion and throwing back another, forcing Browne to commit two battalions from his second line.  However, Prussian battalions, already weakened by musketry, are also starting to break, forcing Prince Leopold to feed some of his reserve battalions into the combat.  However, the Prussians have a significant numerical advantage and are poised to roll up the Austrian left flank.

Above:  However, Römer’s Austrian cavalry remains a significant threat and instead of rolling up the Austrian infantry with his full weight, Marwitz is forced to wheel several battalions to the right to meet the renewed cavalry threat. 

Above:  Nevertheless, the Browne’s Austrian infantry are slowly being crushed by the Prussian assault and Neipperg is forced to evacuate his field headquarters!  

Above:  However, there is still a slim chance for an Austrian victory, as Kalckstein’s Prussian infantry have suffered very heavy losses and are starting to waver.  The cavalry battle on the flank is also still far from decided. 

Above:  As the Austrian cuirassiers charge the Prussian grenadiers on the left flank of the line, a Prussian infantry battalion from the second line moves forward to support the grenadiers’ flank, with the Prussian cuirassiers charging again on their flank.

Above:  The Prussian infantry successfully beat off the Austrian cavalry, though the Prussian cuirassiers aren’t so lucky and are forced to retreat for a second time!  The Austrian dragoons this time wisely choose not to follow up and instead fall back to rally out of Prussian musket-range.

Above:  Browne’s infantry start to crumble as both flanks fold up under assault from Prussian infantry.  By some miracle, Kalckstein’s Prussian infantry manage to stay in the fight, despite having suffered very heavy casualties.  Prince Leopold meanwhile, keeps plugging gaps with battalions from his second line, as Marwitz overruns Neipperg’s former headquarters.

Above:  Posadowsky once again rallies his cavalry and is now in a significantly better state than Berlichgen’s Austrian horse, who have suffered heavier casualties.

Above:  Over on the opposite flank, Römer’s last-ditch attempt to disrupt the Prussian assault has failed!  The Prussian Leibgarde Battalion (with the musket smoke in front of it) once more comes within a whisker of being broken (for the second time today!), but again manages to hold its ground and drive off the Austrian cavalry!  Römer’s lads have finally had enough and flee the field.

Above:  As his division disintegrates around him, Browne makes his last stand with one resolute Austrian battalion.

Above:  Posadowsky moves forward again to complete the rout of the Austrian army!

Above:  With two cuirassier regiments broken and two dragoon regiments in full retreat, Berlichgen mounts a desperate rearguard with the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons, though they are soon sent packing by the Prussian dragoons. 

The young King of Prussia has won his first battle!

Anyway, it sounds like the turkey is finally out of the oven and we’re about to take it to the daughter’s house, so I’m signing off now to get stuffed!  Everyone please do have a very Merry Christmas and stay safe! 🙂


Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 5 Comments

Happy Württember!

Wurttembergers meet the Prussian attack at Leuthen, 5th December 1757… and some of them are already ‘advancing to the rear’ (this appears to be the ‘Spitznass’ Regiment, though the pompoms belong to the ‘Prinz Louis’ Regiment).

Last month I mentioned that I had decided to embark on the ‘Württember Challenge’, which was to paint the entire Württemberg Auxiliary Corps for the Seven Years War by the end of November (13x 12-figure infantry battalions, 1x general and 1x gun and crew).  Well, I’m pleased to report that I ALMOST succeeded; all the figures were painted, but as November came to an end, I still had the bases of the 3rd Grenadier Battalion and the artillery left to paint and flock.  I blame myself, as I got a little side-tracked en route and also painted fifteen casualty markers, two additional generals (a Bavarian and a Saxon) and a Bavarian gun-crew!

Anyway, they’re now all finished and I’ve also managed to paint some more Prussian and Imperial troops during the first week of December.  In the New Year I’ll be partaking in ‘Bavarianuary’, which will be a little less strenuous than ‘Württember’; namely painting the last remaining six battalions of my Bavarian Auxiliary Corps.  Anyway, here are the finished Württembergers.  These are all Old Glory 15s figures (available in the UK from Timecast), with flags printed by me from pictures nicked from the superb Kronoskaf website.

The Württembergers make an interesting, if rather hopeless little army.  The rot most definitely started at the top, as Duke Charles Eugene of Württemberg was something of a mercenary, having been paid by France since 1752 to maintain a corps of 6,000 men in thirteen battalions for their use, but only raising 3,000 men and trousering the remainder of the cash!  However, when the call to muster came in 1757, the Duke was forced to conscript the remaining 3,000 from an unwilling population.  This forced conscription, allied to a pro-Prussian Protestant majority and a deep suspicion of France, contributed to severe discipline problems, high levels of desertion and complete collapse at the Battle of Leuthen.  Nevertheless, they continued to fight alongside both the Austrian and French armies at various times (depending on who was paying the Duke), as well as on their own as an army in their own right on at least one occasion.  Finally the Duke kept his army at home from 1761 to 1762, as nobody had any cash left to hire the Württembergers (or perhaps decided they weren’t worth the bother).  There is also an interesting ‘what-if’ for 1758, as the British tried paying off the Duke to fight for the other side!  What wargamer could possibly resist an army with a bloody awful fighting reputation and led by an amoral war-profiteer…? 🙂 

Above:  The Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ was (briefly) the premier infantry regiment of the Württemberg Army, having been created in 1757 from the two musketeer battalions of the Garde zu Fuβ (the four grenadier companies of the Garde zu Fuβ having been split off to form the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’).  However, along with much of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps, the regiment included large numbers of unwilling Protestant conscripts and even suffered a mutiny before leaving Württemberg!  Nevertheless, they performed well enough at the Battle of Breslau, though at the Battle of Leuthen the Württembergers (along with the Bavarians) became the focus of the Prussian flank-attack and were beaten like an unloved ginger step-child!

Above:  In 1758 the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ lost the ‘Leib’ part of its title when the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ became the core of a new Leibgrenadierregiment and thus became the new premier regiment of the army (until the creation of a new Garde zu Fuβ later that same year).

Above:  In common with the other regiments of the Württemberg Army, the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ had a a blue, Prussian-style uniform and I’ve consequently used Prussian figures by Old Glory 15s (currently available in the UK from Timecast).  The regimental facing colour was carmine (a pinkish-purplish shade of red) and their guard status was indicated by white lace bars (three pairs on each lapel and one pair on each (Swedish style) cuff) and by their lemon yellow waistcoats.  Breeches were white.  Buttons were yellow metal, though the hat-lace and aiguillette behind the right shoulder were white.  Hat pompoms were black over yellow.  Officers’ buttons, lace, hat-lace and sashes were gold (some sources say that the sashes were mixed red and gold or black and gold).  Drummers’ uniforms are not known, but I’ve given them simple swallows’ nests and brass drums with hoops striped in the national colours of red & yellow.  When they became Regiment ‘von Werneck’ in 1758, the uniform stayed the same, though the hat-lace and aiguillette became yellow.

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’ was one of four Württemberg line infantry regiments (five regiments once Regiment ‘von Werneck’ was downgraded in 1758 – a sixth infantry regiment was raised in 1759) and like the others consisted of two musketeer battalions and two detached grenadier companies.  The grenadiers formed part of 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ (see below).

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’ had poppy-red facings without lace and white metal buttons.  Hat-lace and aiguillette was white, as were the waistcoat and breeches.  Hat pompoms were red over yellow.  Officers had gold hat-lace, which is known to have been ‘scalloped’.  They presumably also had a gold aiguillette.

Above:  A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’.  Details of Württemberg regimental flags are not all that well known, but the excellent Kronoskaf website has reconstructions based on the written descriptions.  The flags of all regiments were apparently of a standard pattern, with each regiment receiving a single white Leibfahne and an unknown number of Regimentfahnen, which Kronoskaf presumes to be red for all regiments.  I’ve given a Leibfahne to each 1st battalion and a Regimentfahne to each 2nd battalion, though in reality each battalion probably carried at least two flags – one of each type in the 1st battalion and a pair of Regimentfahnen in the 2nd battalion.  The Leibfahne has the ducal arms on both sides, while the Regimentfahne has the ducal arms only on the obverse side, with the crowned ducal cypher (repeated in the corners) on the reverse.

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘von Spiznass’ had several changes of inhaber (i.e. colonel-proprietor) and therefore regimental title through the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Romann’ in 1758, ‘Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm’ in 1761 and ‘von der Gabelenz’ in 1762.  The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to the 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ (see below).

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘von Spiznass’, like the Regiment ‘Prinz Louis’, had poppy-red facings, white waistcoat and white breeches, though this time with brass buttons and yellow hat-lace and aiguillette (gold for officers).  Pompoms were red over medium blue.

Above:  A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘con Spiznass’.

Above:  The Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’.  This regiment was originally formed in 1752 from part of the Garde zu Fuβ and for some reason was designated as a ‘Füsilier’ regiment.  However, this title seems to have been purely historical/whimsical and there were no role, uniform or organisational differences with those regiments designated as ‘Infantry’.  The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to 3. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Georgii’.

Above:  The Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’ had black facings without lace, though the coat-linings and turnbacks were poppy-red.  Waistcoats and breeches were white.  Hat-lace, pompoms and aiguillettes were yellow.  Buttons were white metal (note that I made a mistake here and painted the regiment with brass buttons – I wrongly assumed that the button colour matched the hat-lace/aiguillette colour).  Officers’ hat-lace/aiguillette colour is not known; it may have been gold in common with all the other regiments or may have been silver to match the button colour.

Above:  A rear view of the Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’.

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’.  Like the Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’ above, this regiment was also originally titled ‘Füsilier’ when raised in 1754, but had been changed to ‘Infantry’ by 1757.  The regimental inhaber and title changed in 1759 to ‘von Wolff’.  The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to the 3. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Georgii’.

Above:  The Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’ had rose-pink facings without lace, brass buttons and white hat-lace, pompom and aiguillette.  Waistcoat and breeches were also white.  The colour of officers’ hat-lace and aiguillette is not known, so I’ve gone again with gold.

Above:  A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’.

Above:  The massed grenadiers of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps.  Note that the Württemberg grenadiers are recorded at the Battle of Leuthen as wearing white cotton pillow-cases over their mitre-caps, in an attempt to avoid being confused by Allied troops for their Prussian enemies.  I do have some grenadiers wearing (black oilskin) cap-covers in my Swedish army, but I decided to leave the Württemberg grenadiers in all their glory.

Above:  The 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’.  As mentioned above, in early 1757 the Württemberg Garde zu Fuβ was split into two parts; the two musketeer battalions became Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ and the four grenadier companies were combined to become 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ (most unusually the Garde zu Fuβ had double the usual helping of grenadiers, so was able to form a complete grenadier battalion it its own right.  All other regiments had only two grenadier companies and grenadier battalions were therefore formed from the grenadiers of two regiments).  In 1757 the 1. Grenadierbataillon served with the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps in Silesia.  However, in November of that year (shortly before the Battle of Breslau), three of the four companies were returned to Württemberg, to form the cadre of a new Garde zu Fuβ and Leibgrenadierregiment.  Their place in the battalion was taken by picked men from the five infantry regiments of the Auxiliary Corps.

The battalion went through a series of commanders and titles during the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Plessen’ in 1758, ‘von Bode’ in 1759 and back to ‘von Plessen’ in 1762.  Note that the 2. Grenadierbataillon was also called ‘von Plessen’ in 1757.

Above:  The uniform of the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ was exactly the same as that of the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ discussed above, except that the men wore a brass-fronted Prussian-style grenadier mitre-cap.  However, following the departure of three grenadier companies in November 1757, it is almost certain that the battalion wore a mixture of uniforms at the Battles of Breslau and Leuthen and the battalion probably didn’t revert to this uniform appearance until well into 1758.

Note that this uniform was also worn by the new Leibgrenadierregiment, though the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Leibgrenadierregiment were eventually detached as the 4. ‘Herzog’ Grenadierbataillon & 5. ‘Haus’ Grenadierbataillon and adopted different facing colours (black and green respectively).  The battalions of the Leibgrenadierregiment carried flags of the standard pattern and therefore represent a rare opportunity to use those bloody Old Glory Prussian grenadier standard-bearers!  However, the battalions lost their flags when they were detached as independent battalions.

Above:  A rear view of 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’, showing the details of the mitre-cap.  The band of the cap was brass, while the ‘bag’ (i.e. the cloth back) was carmine with yellow (some sources say gold) piping.  The pompom was yellow with a black centre.  Note that Württemberg grenadiers officers actually wore hats like the Prussians, but I need to use up my huge stash of unhistorical Old Glory Prussian grenadier officers…

Above:  The 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ was formed from the grenadiers of the ‘Prinz Louis’ and ‘Spiznass’ Infantry Regiments.  It went through a number of changes of commander and title through the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Legenfeld’ in 1758 and ‘von Wizleben’ in 1759.  Note that the 1. Grenadierbataillon was also called ‘von Plessen’ in 1758 and again in 1762 (due to the CO being transferred and then spending some time in captivity before returning to his command).

Above:  Both constituent regiments of the 2. Grenadierbataillon had poppy-red as their facing colour, so the two uniform coats look very similar, being differentiated by their button and aiguillette-colours (white for ‘Prinz Louis’ and yellow for ‘Spiznass’).  However, both contingents had brass-fronted mitre-caps, which is slightly odd, as most armies used the button colour as the colour for the mitre-cap metalwork.  Also note that the pompom of the ‘Prinz Louis’ Regiment’s grenadiers was plain red, whereas the parent regiment used red over yellow.  The ‘Spiznass’ Regiment’s grenadiers simply used the same red over medium blue pompom as the parent regiment.

Above:  A rear view of the 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Pless’, showing the mitre-cap details.  The ‘Prinz Louis’ Regiment’s grenadier mitre-cap had a dark blue band with red bag and ywllow (some sources say red) piping.  Those of the ‘Spiznass’ Regiment had a medium blue band and piping, with a red bag.

Above:  The 3. Grenadierbatailon ‘von Georgii’ was formed from the grenadiers of the ‘Truchsess’ and ‘von Roeder’ Regiments.  It also went through a succession of commanders and titles, becoming ‘von Bouwinghausen-Walmerode’ in 1758 and ‘von Altenstein’ in 1760.

Above:  As with the other grenadier battalions, the companies of 3. Grenadierbataillon wore the uniform of their parent regiment, which in this instance were markedly contrasting; black for ‘Truchsess’ and rose-pink for ‘von Roeder’ (note that I’ve here corrected the button colour for ‘Truchsess’).  As with 2. Grenadierbataillon, the white metal-colour of the mitre-caps was consistent throughout the battalion and didn’t necessarily match the button-colour.

Above:  A rear view of the 2. Grenadierbataillon, showing the details of the mitre-caps.  The historical details aren’t actually recorded beyond the (white) metal-colour of the front plate, so I’ve gone with the regimental facing colour, with piping and pompom colour matching the regimental aiguillette.

Above:  The Württemberg Auxiliary Corps of 1757 included a small Artillery Company, which is represented here by a single model gun and crew.  In 1758 the Württemberg Army’s artillery arm was expanded to a battalion of five companies and later campaigns included larger quantities of Württemberg artillery, so I will probably eventually add another light gun and a heavy gun to this contingent.  The uniform was again Prussian in style, consisting of a dark blue coat (changing to light blue sometime between 1760 & 1762), black facings (lapels, cuffs, collar and turnbacks), brass buttons, white smallclothes and yellow hat-lace, with yellow over black pompoms.  Prussian artillery uniforms didn’t have lapels, so I’ve simply painted them on.

Above:  Württemberg artillery is described as being ‘probably’ Austrian in origin, with Austrian carriages also being used.  The carriages are described variously as ‘yellow’, ‘ochre’, ‘buff’ and ‘plain wood’ and were probably just the same as the Austrians (yellow ochre with black iron fittings).  I’ve gone with the plain, varnished wood look, simply to make them look a bit different from the Austrians.

Above:  Marschall von Spiznass commanded the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps in 1757 and here we see him at the start of the Battle of Leuthen, praying to God that the Prussians attack someone else…

Above:  As with many other armies such as that of Prussia, the Württemberg Army had no stipulated uniform for general officers, so they wore regimental uniform (or a flamboyant concoction very loosely based on regimental uniform!).  In this instance, Spiznass simply wears the regimental uniform of his own infantry regiment.  I do like this figure; note how one hand is thrust through the guard of his sword.  Note also that he’s taken his hat off to pray and has it on the saddle-pommel in front of him.  Lovely 🙂 

Anyway, I’m hoping to finally get some games in over Christmas if lockdown permits… Fingers crossed… I’m presently painting more Imperial and Prussian troops to field in those games, so more SYW stuff to come.  I will also get around to finishing off the Burma Armour series with the 255th Indian Tank Brigade, I promise.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the view of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps that the Prussian Army had five minutes into the Battle of Leuthen…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 21 Comments

Post Without an Interesting Title: The Swedish Army of the Seven Years War

Normally when I write an article, I’m able to find an interesting battle painting, some interesting and quotable military characters, an interesting or exciting historical event or some pithy and amusing phrase to use for a title and/or introduction…


No, me neither…

While Sweden was a fairly major player in the Seven Years War, its star which had shone brightly through the 17th Century, was most definitely on the wane in the 18th.  An ill-advised war with Russia from 1741 to 1743, launched to regain territories lost at the conclusion of the Great Northern War in 1721, proved to be a humiliating defeat.  In 1757 the Swedes joined the allied powers of France, Austria and Russia in the war against Prussia, hoping to regain those parts of Swedish Pomerania (on the Baltic coast of Germany) that had been lost to Prussia in 1720.  The ‘Pomeranian War‘ as that part of the Seven Years War is known, proved to be an extremely indecisive non-event for both sides, with only a few very minor engagements being fought and with Sweden completely failing to effectively prosecute, let alone achieve its war-aims.

So you might be wondering why I bothered getting a Swedish wargames army… Well in the mid-1990s I was running a very large, Europe-wide 1740s campaign and we already had armies in the club for Prussia, Austria, France, Russia, Britain, Hanover, the Reichsarmee and Ottoman Empire (those were the days!), so Sweden was the only missing army for the main players.  The Swedish army also looks great, with the very striking national theme of blue and yellow running right through the army.  Added to which, Pengel & Hurt produced an excellent organisation and uniform guide AND I managed to pick up a sheet of printed flags from Andy Grubb. 🙂 

The uniforms of the Swedish army were very old-fashioned for the period, being largely unchanged since the Great Northern War, with only the headgear having changed significantly.  The infantry also now whitened their belts instead of leaving them natural buff.  Instead of canvas gaiters, they still wore long woollen stockings, secured with a leather garter-strap below the knee and these stockings (usually white or matching the facing colour) add a huge splash of colour to the uniform.  I do rather like them and in our campaign, the King of Sweden (King Bruce I) managed to regain all of Sweden’s lost territories!

Above:  The Swedish army commander and his staff, seated on STEFAN flatpack dining chairs.  According to Pengel & Hurt, Swedish generals and staff usually wore a very plain uniform in the national colours of blue with yellow linings, cuffs and small-clothes, with white stocks and gold buttons and hat-lace.  I’m not aware of a specific range of 15mm figures for the Swedish Army of the period, so these chaps are taken from Old Glory 15s‘ Austrian Generals & Staff pack. 

The Commanding General wears a cuirass under his coat and the red sash of the ancient Swedish Order of the Secret Ways.  This ancient order confers on the holder the ancient knowings of the secret pathways through Swedish life, until at last one is rewarded in Swedish paradise with the Sacred Meatballs.  

Above:  The attendant hussar officer and orderly (holding a leather map-tube – these are lovely figures) are from the ‘Yellow’ (‘Gula’) Hussar Regiment, which was raised late in the war, in 1761.  The dolman is black, with yellow facings and barrel-sash and white braid and buttons (silver for officers) and the pelisse is yellow edged with black fur and braid and buttons as before.  The shabraque is black edged in yellow vandycking and the sabretache is black edged yellow with a crowned yellow ‘G’.  Belts are buff and the busby is brown with a yellow bag and silver death’s-head badge.  Breeches are straw, while boots are black with white lace edging and tassels.  Thigh-length leggings could also be worn and these were black cloth with a white lace upper-edge.

Above:  A pair of ADCs.  Again, these are Austrian figures by Old Glory 15s.  The chap on the right is an officer of the general staff and just wears the usual blue and yellow staff uniform.  The chap on the left is an officer of the Swedish horse guard corps, the Upplands Liv Regiment.  This regiment had white facings, with gold lace for officers and polished steel cuirasses (usually, but not always worn under the coat).  However, when I painted my Swedes in the Pre-Internet Age, the Pengel & Hurt booklet was my only source of information and they just described the coat-colour as ‘blue’.  The Kronoskaf Seven Years War Project website describes the coat-colour of Swedish Regiments of Horse as ‘medium blue’, so the colour should probably be quite a bit brighter than this.

Above:  The Dalarnas Infantry Regiment.  For my Swedish infantry I used Old Glory 15s ‘French Infantry With Turnbacks’, as they have suitably old-fashioned, baggy coats with big cuffs and a waist-belt worn outside the coat, which is ideal for Swedes.  This uniform was virtually the standard uniform for Swedish infantry regiments of the period, with the majority conforming very closely to this scheme of dark blue coat, yellow facings, yellow small-clothes (i.e. waistcoat & breeches), black neck-stock and white stockings, held up by a brown leather garter-strap.  The hat-lace matched the button-colour, which in this case was white (silver for officers).  Speaking of officers, Pengel & Hurt describe Swedish infantry officers as wearing very plain uniforms in the field, being dark blue, without coloured cuffs, small-clothes or stockings (though the linings might sometimes be in the facing colour).  Black canvas gaiters or tall leather boots were worn.

Above:  The Dalarnas Infantry Regiment (again).  There are a couple of differences of opinion between my painting (based on Pengel & Hurt) and the more modern research on Kronoskaf:  First, Kronoskaf describes the Dalarnas Regiment’s small-clothes as being white, not yellow.  Second, Kronoskaf states that the button-hole edging matched the facing colour for all regiments, while P&H says it was white for all regiments (the button-hole edging is hardly visible in any case, so it matters little).

Above:  The Hälsinge Infantry Regiment.  The uniform details for this regiment are exactly the same as the Dalarnas Regiment described above, though the sources this time agree that the small-clothes were yellow.

Above:  The Hälsinge Regiment (again).  As with many other armies of the period, the Swedish infantry carried two types of flag.  The first was the Colonel’s Colour or Liffana.  This was basically the same pattern for all regiments, being a white field bearing the royal coat of arms.  The only difference being that the  provincial ‘badge’ was shown in the canton of each Liffana.  The other type of flag was the Kompanifana, which simply carried the provincial coat of arms, with the field colour matching the armorials.  The 1st (or Colonel’s) Battalion of a regiment carried the Liffana and one Kompanifana, while the 2nd (or Lieutenant-Colonel’s) Battalion carried two Kompanifanor.  However, as with my Prussians, I’ve simplified things slightly by giving the 1st Battalion a single Liffana and the 2nd Battalion a single Kompanifana.  

Above:  The Hälsinge Regiment (again again).  I bought these flags from Andy Grubb of Grubby Tanks in about 1998ish.  I think he printed them himself, but I’ve no idea if they’re still available.  Needless to say, the more modern research in Kronoskaf has highlighted some mistakes:  The flag-staves should apparently be yellow for all regiments and the Kompanifanor should have steel finials (gold for Liffanor).

Above:  The Nylands Infantry Regiment.  The uniform for this regiment is the same as that described above for the Dalarnas and Hälsinge Regiments, except that this time the buttons are brass and the hat lace is yellow (gold for officers).  However, Kronoskaf disagrees, stating that the hat lace remained white instead of yellow (still gold for officers though).

Above:  The Nylands Infantry Regiment (again).  I should discuss the Swedish Army’s system of of ‘Varvade‘ (‘Permanent’) and ‘Indelta‘ (‘Alotted’ – i.e. to the army in wartime) regiments.  Along with the Household Troops, the Varvade regiments were the only permanent, peacetime force of the Swedish army and were mostly used as garrison regiments.  The Indelta meanwhile were raised for one or two months every year in peacetime and would then be placed on furlough, becoming full-time during war (the Prussian Army operated on a similar system, with only the Garrison Regiments and small cadre elements of the other regiments being full-time soldiers).  Consequently, when the Swedish Army was mobilised for war, the field armies consisted mainly of Indelta regiments.  Of the eighteen infantry regiments deployed to Swedish Pomerania during the Seven Years War, fifteen were Indelta regiments, two were Household regiments and only one was Varvade.  All five regiments shown here are Indelta regiments.

Above:  The Skaraborgs Infantry Regiment.  At last, we have a slight change of colour here, with the yellow stockings of the Skaraborgs Regiment!

Above:  The Skaraborgs Regiment (again):  However, Kronoskaf disagrees with the yellow stockings and instead shows them as boring white!  🙁 

Above:  The Närke-Värmlands Infantry Regiment.  This time we have a PROPER splash of colour, with one of the very few infantry regiments in the Swedish Army to have a different facing colour (red).

Above:  The Närke-Värmlands Infantry Regiment (again).  However, Kronoskaf disagrees once again re the stocking colour and instead describes them as white.  In fact, Kronoskaf describes the stockings of ALL regiments as being white.

Above:  The Swedish Artillery had a very plain uniform of dark blue, which lacked contrasting facings, linings, hat-lace or small-clothes.  This was worn with buff belts and dark grey gaiters.  Gun-carriages were painted light blue, as shown here.  However, I now know that metal fittings were either polished brass or were iron painted with yellow ochre, thus reflecting the national colours.  These will therefore need a repaint, as I did them with black iron fittings, like the Prussians.  For these chaps I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Artillery.

Above:  Swedish Horse (‘Ryttare‘) Regiments were theoretically equipped as cuirassiers, being equipped with a polished steel cuirass that was normally to be worn beneath the coat.  However, in practice it would seem that this cuirass was rarely worn.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s French Chevauxleger figures for the Swedish cavalry, as again they have that ‘old-fashioned’ baggy-coated look about them.  Like the Swedes, the French Chevauxlegers were meant to wear a cuirass beneath their coat but rarely did so.  As mentioned above, according to Kronoskaf the coat colour should probably be a brighter ‘medium blue’ shade for all these regiments, but I painted mine according to Pengel & Hurt, which just described them as ‘blue’.

Above:  The Östgöta Regiment of Horse.  This regiment had red cuffs, linings and shabraque-edging with brass buttons (gold buttons and hat-lace for officers).  Small-clothes, gauntlets and belts were buff leather and these were common to all regiments.  My Swedish cavalry are especially glossy, so don’t look all that great in photos!

Above:  A rear view of the Östgöta Regiment of Horse, showing the obverse of the standard.  There weren’t any printed flags available for the cavalry, so I had to paint my own.  Swedish Horse carried one standard per company (there were typically four companies per regiment, though some regiments had more), with the 1st or Colonel’s Company carrying the regimental Lifstandar and the others each carrying a single Kompanistandar.  For simplicity’s sake I’ve given each regiment a single standard.  The Lifstandar was very much like the infantry Liffana, being white and bearing the royal arms on both sides, with the provincial badge shown in the canton.  The Kompanistandar was in the provincial colours, with the provincial badge on the obverse and the crowned royal ‘AF’ cypher within a laurel wreath on the reverse (some regiments had palm-wreaths instead of laurel-wreaths).  All standards had gold finials and were heavily fringed with gold.  I now also know from Kronoskaf that all standards had yellow & blue spirals on the stave. Bah… 🙁 

Above:  The Södra Skånska Regiment of Horse.  This regiment was dressed in the same manner as the Östgöta Horse above, but the facing colour this time was straw.  Note also the general urging them forward; this is another Austrian general figure.

Above:  A rear view of the Södra Skånska Regiment of Horse, showing the reverse of the Kompanistandar.

Above:  The Västgöta Regiment of Horse.  This was again dressed in the same manner as the regiments above, though with yellow facings.  For some reason I’ve given these yellow hat-cockades, but I don’t think that’s correct, as Swedish units normally did not wear any cockade during this period.

Above:  A rear view of the Västgöta Regiment of Horse, showing the obverse of the standard.  I really do love the bold, heraldic designs of the Swedish flags. 

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got painted thus far.  I still have another five infantry regiments, two grenadier battalions, two horse regiments, a dragoon regiment, a hussar regiment and some more guns waiting in the lead-crypt to be painted.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 16 Comments

Visited By The Ghost of Demo-Games Past…

Just a quick one today: Following the recent resurrection of my Seven Years War mojo, I was visited by the Ghost of Demo-Games Past, who sent me this photo he’d scanned from a 1998 copy of Wargames Illustrated. The photo is of our 1998 demo-game of the Battle of Lobositz 1756, which was the first battle between the Prussian and Austrian armies during the Seven Years War. 

This photo was taken by Duncan MacFarlane at the Partizan show in Newark.  We also took the game to Warfare in Reading, where we won a runner-up prize for the best demo and also to John Tuckey’s excellent little show at Marston Magna, where we won the Best Demo Game prize, with the maximum number of points (the only time that had ever happened).

Gareth Beamish and I built the terrain, which was definitely one of our best, though making those vineyard walls from cat-litter and PVA glue was something that I vowed never to repeat…  Which of course I did only three years later, when building Fuentes de Oñoro for the 2001 AB Figures Wargames Weekend…

Doug Wetherall provided the Austrian army (painted by Gareth Beamish) and I provided the Prussians (as seen in recent posts).  The rules were our 18th Century-modified version of ‘Shako’, which I’m currently editing and will post here soon.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Partizan (Show), Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 3 Comments

“Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 3: Cavalry)

My freshly-rekindled interest in the Seven Years War is progressing well and my painting output has increased by several orders of magnitude.  Having finished the Würzburg ‘Red’ Regiment (my first SYW unit to be painted in 23 years) at the start of the month, I then set myself the ‘Württember Challenge’; to paint the thirteen battalions of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps (156 figures, plus a general, a gun and four gun-crew) by the end of this month.  So far, so good, as I now have eleven of the thirteen battalions plus the general painted.  I’ll post some pictures of the Württembergers later, but here’s a taster:

Once the ‘Württember Challenge’ is finished, I’ve got some lovely new SYW figures from Eureka to paint (including an entire new SYW French army) and some games to play, plus some more Reichsarmee troops along the way, before cracking on with the ‘Bavarianuary Challenge’ (i.e. the remaining six battalions, general and gun of the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps).  Once the Bavarians and a few Eureka Prussian units are done, we’ll have enough troops to refight the Battle of Leuthen, which I’ve been wanting to do for the last 25 years or so!

Anyway, back to the subject…

If you haven’t been paying attention, I recently dug out my old models of Frederick the Great himself and some of his infantry regiments that I’d painted in the 1990s, so here’s a selection of Prussian cavalry regiments.  These are all 15mm models by Old Glory 15s, which when I bought them were still manufactured by Old Glory themselves, but were split off as a separate company in the late 1990s, now sold in the UK by Timecast.  I’ll start with the Hussars…

Above:  General Zieten, with detachments from the 1st ‘Szekely’ Hussars (on the left, in green) and 8th ‘Seydlitz’ Hussars (on the right, in red).

Above:  A closer view of Zieten and the 1st ‘Szekely’ Hussars.  As with the infantry, regimental numbers weren’t actually used during this period and Prussian cavalry regiments were instead referred to by the name of their Chef (the regiment’s proprietor/colonel-in-chief, not the regimental ‘slop-jockey’…).  However, there was a strict order of seniority and the later regimental numbers directly reflected that order of seniority, so it’s often easier to refer to that instead of a regimental name that changed every time they changed Chef!  As it happens, this regiment its changed Chef and name in 1759 to ‘Kleist’.

Above:  Regardless of regimental numbering and naming, this regiment was usually referred to as ‘The Greens’… Buggered if I can work out why…

Most Prussian hussar regiments fielded a whopping ten squadrons, so at my 1:50 ratio, this is only a half-regiment or ‘battalion’.  ‘Battalions’ of five squadrons were a very common tactical grouping and they could sometimes be detached to entirely separate corps or theatres of war.  Two Prussian dragoon regiments the 5th and 6th also fielded ten squadrons.

Above:  Prussian hussars of the Seven Years War did NOT carry standards… However, the 1st to 6th Regiments did indeed have standards during the early days of their existence and carried them during the First Silesian War of 1740-42 before their standards were laid up in 1743.  Old Glory also included bloody standard-bearers in the pack, so I had to do something with them…  The standard shown here is an Eskadronstandarte, which was carried by the 2nd to 10th Squadrons.  This was coloured much the same as the regimental shabraque, with a field of dark green and light green vandycking around the edge.  The 1st or Leib Squadron of the regiment carried the Leibstandarte, which had a white field, still with light green vandycking.

Above:  While trying to finish off the army for our show demo-game of the Battle of Kolin in 1998 and inevitably running out of time to paint all the remaining units, I commissioned my good friend Gareth Beamish paint a few units for me (most of my armies seem to contain hussar regiments painted by Gareth in a frantic rush…).  However, we seem to have got our wires crossed somewhere, as he duplicated the Green Hussars! 🙂 So here’s his take on the regiment – the full regiment, this time!  Note that these chaps are carrying the regimental Leibstandarte.

Above:  The 2nd ‘Zieten’ Hussars, also known as the ‘Leib‘ or ‘Red’ Hussars (not to be confused with the 8th Hussars, who were also known as the ‘Red’ Hussars) were General Hans Joachim von Zieten‘s own regiment.  

Above:  As previously mentioned, there was no stipulated Prussian general officers’ uniform during this period, so generals wore uniforms based on that of their own personal regiment.  Zieten’s uniform modelled here was a very extravagant ‘gala’ version of the normal officers’ dress for this regiment.  In the field Zieten probably looked more like he does in the painting below, which is still very extravagant!

Above:  Again, to avoid leaving a gap in the ranks, we were stuck with having to use the supplied standard-bearer, so I’ve given them a pre-1743 Eskadronstadarte, which again is coloured like the regimental shabraque, being blue with red vandycking.  The Leibstandarte had a white field with red vandycking.

Above:  As mentioned above, just to add even more confusion, the 8th ‘Seydlitz’ Hussars were also known as the ‘Red’ Hussars!  The regimental Chef, General Alexander Gottlieb von Seydlitz, was a relative of the more famous cavalry general Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.  In 1759 the regiment became the ‘Gersdorff’ Hussars.

Above:  The regiment had ten squadrons at the start of the Seven Years War, so I’ve still got half the regiment to paint!  However, they surrendered along with the rest of the army at the Battle of Maxen in November 1759 and the regiment was re-raised with only three squadrons after that date.  The regiment was finally disbanded in 1763, with the 9th ‘Belling’ Hussars then taking the 8th slot and also later adopting the red uniforms. 

Above:  General Normann leads a brigade of Dragoon regiments forward.  His own 1st Regiment (black facings) is at the front-right, while alongside them is the 11th Regiment (yellow facings).  In the rear-rank are a pair of Lancashire Games regiments: the 3rd (rose-pink facings) and 4th (straw facings) Regiments.

Above:  The 1st ‘Normann’ Dragoons’ combination of black facings with the standard Prussian cobalt-blue dragoon coat is a very nice one, I think (especially with the gold officers’ lace added to the black lapels).  This combination was also used by the Prussian 12th ‘Herzog von Württemberg’ Dragoons and indeed on the other side of the battlefield, by the Imperial Württemberg Dragoon Regiment!  This latter regiment had to undergo a frantic change of uniform to dark blue following the Battle of Rossbach in 1757, when the Austrian ‘Szecheny’ Hussars captured their standard in an unfortunate case of ‘Friendly-Stab’… 🙂 

The ‘Normann’ Dragoons were renamed to ‘Zastrow’ with their change of Chef in 1761.

Above:  The 11th ‘Stechow’ Dragoons.  In 1758 a change of Chef meant that this regiment was re-titled ‘Jung-Platen’.  Sadly, the hand-painted flag on this regiment didn’t survive  (or rather, Old Glory’s rather weak cast-on flagpole didn’t), so I replaced it last week with a brass wire flagpole and printed standard by Fighting 15s.

Above:  There’s nothing quite like the sight of a mass of cuirassiers to stir the blood! 🙂

Above:  Another view of the massed Prussian cuirassiers, with Seydlitz to the fore!

Above:  The 3rd ‘Leibregiment zu Pferde‘ Cuirassiers.  Along with the 10th ‘Gens d’Armes‘, 11th ‘Leib-Carabiniers‘ and 13th ‘Garde du Corps‘, the 3rd ‘Leibregiment zu Pferde‘ were known by their historic title, rather than by the name of their Chef.  The pipe-smoking general at the front is a ‘Seydlitz’ figure from the original Lancashire Games range, painted as General Schönaich, in the uniform of his regiment, the 6th Cuirassiers.

Above:  Another view of the 3rd Cuirassiers.  I gave them an Eskadronstandarte, which unusually had a white, instead of coloured field.  The Leibstandarte was exactly the same, except that the central panel was white , instead of the silver centre shown here.

Above:  The 6th ‘Baron von Schönaich’ Cuirassiers.  In 1759 the regiment was re-titled as the ‘Vasold’ Cuirassiers.  The facing colour for this regiment was ‘light brick red’, though isn’t what we would consider to be ‘brick red’ (i.e. orangey-brown) from a modern perspective.  It’s more akin to the deep orangey-red of 18th Century German roof-tiles.

Above:  Another view of the 6th Cuirassiers.  I’ve given them an Eskadronstandarte, which was officially ‘light blue’, but the exact interpretation of the shade varies from source to source.  I went with Bleckwenn and gave them a more ‘medium blue’ shade, although it does look quite dark here.  The Leibstandarte was white, with a blue centre.

Above:  The 7th ‘Driesen’ Cuirassiers.  In 1758 they became the ‘Horn’ Cuirassiers and in 1762 they changed again to the ‘Manstein’ Cuirassiers.  Again, I’ve given them an Eskadronstandarte.  I usually do this, as it adds a greater splash of colour than a mainly-white Leibstandarte (which in this instance was white with a red centre).  General Seydlitz is out in front, wearing the uniform of his 8th ‘Seydlitz’ Cuirassiers (previously ‘Rochow’).

Above:  The 11th ‘Leib-Carabiniers‘ Cuirassiers.  As mentioned above, this was one of the regiments known by its historical title rather than its Chef.  

Above:  Due to a confusion caused by the limited written sources I had available to me at the time describing the standards of the 11th Cuirassiers as ‘royal blue’ and the facings as ‘light blue’, I did the Eskadronstandarte in the same mid-blue as I used for the 6th Cuirassiers and distinctly darker than the facing colour.  However, from more recent sources such as Bleckwenn, it’s most likely that the colour of the standard should actually match the facing colour.  So either the flag should be lighter or the facings should be darker, but it’s probably more likely that they should meet somewhere in the middle as more of a ‘dragoon blue’ shade.

Above:  The 12th ‘Baron Kyau’ Cuirassiers.  The regimental Chef and title changed in 1759 to ‘Spaen’.  

Above:  However, there are disagreements in the sources regarding the details of regimental colourings for the 12th Cuirassiers.  All sources agree that the regiment’s facings were ‘dark orange’ (so far, so good).  However, the sources I was using at the time described the shabraques and standards to be of the same colour.  Later sources such as Dorn & Engelmann and Bleckwenn generally agree, though Bleckwenn shows the shabraque to be a slightly darker, more red shade of orange.  Kronoskaf (linked above) meanwhile, describes the shabraque as ‘crimson’ (though shows the same red-orange as Bleckwenn in the picture) and the standards as ‘buff’…

Above:  Lastly, here are Fred’s mounted bodyguard unit, the 13th ‘Garde du Corps’ Cuirassiers.  This regiment actually started the Seven Years War as a single squadron, but in 1756 was increased to three squadrons with the forced incorporation of the captured Saxon Garde du Corps!  Despite this injection of presumably unwilling recruits, they don’t seem to have done too badly in subsequent battles.  

Above:  The Garde du Corps unusually wore polished cuirasses instead of the usual black-enameled  cuirasses and uniquely carried a ‘vexillum’ standard.  Old Glory, to their credit included a free extra Garde du Corps vexillum-bearer in every pack of 30 Prussian Cuirassiers, which partly made up for having to snip the anachronistic flippin’ plumes off every hat… However, they then went and ruined my goodwill by giving one of the two officers in the pack a sodding Garde du Corps tabard instead of a cuirass… This was an item of dress that didn’t appear until AFTER the Seven Years War (along with hat-plumes).  Consequently, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that half of my cuirassier officers have tabards cunningly painted to vaguely resemble cuirasses…

As mentioned earlier, Old Glory’s sculptor appears to have only looked at the pretty pictures in the Osprey book and not read the text… 🙁 Nevertheless, despite their anachronistic items of dress, their congenitally-deformed horses and the lengths of 4×2 masquerading as swords, they do have plenty of ‘character’ and I like them… 🙂

Anyway, that’s enough for now.  Next time I’ll write an extremely dull article about an  extremely dull army…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 6 Comments

“Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 2: Infantry)

As discussed recently, I’ve been dusting off my ancient Seven Years War collection, which hadn’t seen the light of day since the 1990s.  In my last post I looked at Fred The Big, his generals and artillery and this time I’m looking at a few of his infantry regiments and grenadier battalions.  I’ve presently got fourteen Prussian infantry regiments and six grenadier battalions in my collection, but these are my favourites.  As discussed last time, I started out with skinny Lancashire Games ‘Mk 1’ figures, then the considerably more ‘corn-fed’ Lancashire Games ‘Mk 2’ figures and then with Old Glory 15s (now available in the UK from Timecast).  I’ve still got the old figures, but I’m not showing you those! 🙂

I’ve just this week received my first batch of Eureka figures and they’re absolutely exquisite!  Once I’ve got some painted I’ll post some pictures, with some size-comparisons for the various makes.

Anyway, here are some of my Prussian infantry.  To save on the text, I’ve added a link to each regiment’s entry on the excellent Kronoskaf website if you want to get the exact uniform details.

Please note that when I painted these I was still using gloss varnish and painting my own flags.  The bases were also mostly painted grass green and dry-brushed yellow.  The very last units to be painted (in about 1997 or thereabouts) were among the very first to be based using my current method of brown, dry-brushed sand and then ‘patchily’ flocked.

With regards to flags; Prussian infantry regiments of the period actually carried FIVE colours per battalion.  The Leibkompanie of the 1st Battalion would carry the regimental Leibfahne, while the other nine companies each had a Kompaniefahne.  In the field, all five colours of a battalion would be grouped together in the centre.  The Leibfahne usually had a white field with other colours and designs usually reflecting those of the other flags or Kompaniefahnen of the regiment (‘reversing’ the colours was common, where the centre of the Leibfahne would be the field colour of the Kompaniefahnen, sometimes with the colours of the ‘darts’ or ‘flames’ also being reversed).  For an excellent explanation of Prussian flags have a look at this link on the Kronoskaf website.  By the time of the Napoleonic Wars regiments had been reduced to two colours per battalion.

However, I only gave each of my battalions a single colour… This was partly because I was only painting 12-figure battalions, but mostly because I was having to paint the colours myself (printed flags were very limited back then) and was trying to save myself the extra work!  I gave the 1st Battalion in each regiment the Leibfahne and the 2nd Battalion a Kompaniefahne.  I’m now about to paint some more Prussians and am wondering whether or not to give them two colours per battalion…

Above:  Musketeer-Regiment 17 ‘Manteuffel’.  Although regimental numbers were not actually used at the time of the Seven Years War, this regiment was the 17th line infantry regiment in order of seniority.  Regiments are almost always referred to by their anachronistic regimental number in histories (possibly because it makes battle maps much easier to label), so I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I also use that convention, as it’s far easier to use numbers than the name of the regimental Chef (roughly the equivalent of a colonel-in-chief, though ‘proprietor’ would be a better term), which could change frequently (although Gerd Heinrich von Manteuffel remained the regimental Chef for this regiment for the duration of the Seven Years War).

Above:  Musketeer Regiment 25 ‘Von Kalckstein’ (became ‘Ramin’ in 1760).  Prussian line infantry regiments normally consisted of two battalions plus two companies of Grenadiers.  The Grenadiers would be detached in wartime and grouped with the grenadiers of another regiment to form combined Grenadier Battalions.  The only exceptions were Infantry Regiment 3 ‘Kahlden/Anhalt-Bernburg’, which consisted of three battalions and three detached grenadier companies, Infantry Regiment 6 ‘Grenadier-Garde’ (see below), which consisted of a single battalion (designated and dressed as grenadiers) and a detached grenadier company and Infantry Regiment 15 ‘Garde’, which consisted of three battalions (one of them designated and dressed as grenadiers) and three detached grenadier companies.

Above:  Musketeer Regiment 25 ‘Von Kalckstein’ (again).

Above:  Musketeer Regiment 29 ‘Schultze’.  This became ‘Wedel’ in January 1758, though the post of Chef became vacant again in April of the same year, as Carl Heinrich von Wedel was instead offered Musketeer Regiment 26 (former ‘Meyerinck’).  The regiment was known as ‘Vacant Wedel’ for the rest of the Seven Years War, though some sources, most notably Duffy, refer to the regiment as ‘Knobloch’ from 1758 on.

Above:  Infantry Regiment 6 ‘Grenadier-Garde.  This unusual regiment was the only single-battalion infantry regiment in the army and had once been the (in)famous regiment of palace footguards of Frederick’s father, Frederick-William I, known as the ‘Potsdam Giants’.  Frederick-William famously had a weakness for tall soldiers and if volunteers and conscripts could not be found within his own domains, he would buy tall soldiers from other monarchs and would even resort to kidnap when likely candidates were identified in other countries!  Most bizarrely, he even attempted to start a grenadier breeding programme, using similarly-large women!

When Frederick-William died in 1740 the regiment had grown to 3,200 men and was ridiculously expensive to maintain.  Frederick II immediately reduced the regiment to a single battalion and designated his own regiment, the 15th as the new ‘Garde‘ (which was expanded to three battalions using transferees from the down-sized 6th).

As a mark of their historical lineage, the 6th retained the title ‘Grenadier-Garde‘ and the entire battalion was dressed as grenadiers.  The only other permanent battalion in the army to be dressed as grenadiers was the III Battalion of the 15th ‘Garde Regiment.  The 6th and III/15th were therefore the only grenadier battalions in the entire Prussian army to carry colours and I’ve given these lads a Kompaniefahne.  The regiment’s Leibfahne was exactly the same, though had a white centre with blue scroll, instead of the blue centre with white scroll shown here (I made one mistake though – the corner ‘medallions’ should have blue backing for both Kompaniefahnen and Leibfahne).

On the subject of grenadier standard-bearers: Old Glory 15s always included a pile of the bloody things in their grenadier packs, along with lots of officers wearing mitre-caps… Of course as mentioned above, only two grenadier battalions in the entire army had colours and Prussian grenadier officers NEVER wore mitres and instead wore hats.  Consequently, I have a lot of spare, redundant figures… 🙁 As I’ve mentioned before, Old Glory’s research did seem to consist purely of looking at the pictures in an Osprey book and not reading the text…

Note also that even though the 6th ‘Grenadier-Garde‘ were all grenadiers, they still had the usual company of ‘flanking’ grenadiers that was detached in wartime to form part of a combined grenadier battalion.  The same was true of III/15th ‘Garde‘.

Another oddity that crops up in research is that Duffy refers to the 6th as the ‘Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon‘ and the III/15th as the ‘Grenadier-Garde‘.  Kronoskaf and various German sources such as Bleckwenn refer to the 6th ‘Grenadier-Garde‘ and the otherwise untitled III/15th ‘Garde‘, with the only titled battalion of the 15th being the I/15th ‘Leibgarde.  I’ve gone with the Germans on this…

Above:  Garrison Regiment 5 ‘Mützschefahl’ was one of fourteen such regiments in the Prussian Army, being primarily responsible for the garrisoning of Prussia’s fortresses.  This regiment had a change of Chef in 1759 and was renamed ‘Sydow’ (aka ‘Jung-Sydow’).  Most of these regiments initially consisted of two battalions and two grenadier companies apiece, though the 9th & 13th Regiments had only one battalion and one grenadier company apiece, while the 12th Regiment had a single battalion with no grenadiers.  The ‘New Garrison Regiment’ (being the un-numbered 14th regiment) instead had eight independent companies and two grenadier companies.

In peacetime the Garrison Regiments were permanently-manned in contrast to the bulk of the ‘regular’ army, which would be placed on furlough and only called up for annual training and war.  Most of their grenadier companies were therefore massed into permanent grenadier battalions in peacetime and were known as ‘Standing Grenadier Battalions’ (see below) and in wartime these battalions mostly served with the field armies.  Additionally during the Seven Years War, Frederick ordered most of the Garrison Regiments to expand to four battalions, so that the 1st & 2nd Battalions could serve in the field, leaving the 3rd & 4th Battalions to continue garrison duties.  No additional grenadier companies were formed.

Above:  The uniforms of the Garrison Regiments were extremely drab, with dark blue waistcoats and breeches matching the coats and no hat-lace.  The only distinguishing feature for each regiment was the colour of the cuffs and hat-pompoms.  However, the detached grenadier companies could sometimes have a very different uniform including white or buff waistcoat and breeches.  Aside from the 1st and 2nd Garrison Regiments, who had colours of the usual pattern with the central ‘black eagle’ motif, the colours of the Garrison Regiments had Frederick’s ‘FR’ cypher in the centre and were usually very plain, with a single coloured field, though the 3rd and 4th Regiments had black corner ‘darts.

When I painted this regiment in the pre-internet era, my only (printed) references made no mention of regimental Leibfahne other than those of the 1st and 2nd Regiments, so I gave the regiment a pair of black Kompaniefahnen.  However, more recent research shows that these regiments did have Leibfahnen and in this instance would be a plain white flag, with details the same as the Kompaniefahnen.

As mentioned above, the regimental grenadier companies were detached in wartime and combined with those of another regiment to form a semi-permanent grenadier battalion.  These grenadier battalions would not necessarily serve in the same army or even the same theatre of war as their parent regiment.

Each Grenadier Battalion was identified by the name of its commander and in latter histories by the number of their constituent regiments (e.g. GB 3/6 ‘Kleist’ being the battalion formed from the 3rd & 6th Regiments and commanded by Major Kleist).  All grenadier battalions formed for the Seven Years War remained in the same groupings for the entire duration of the war, though as they were known by their field commander rather than an absentee aristocratic regimental Chef, the battalion name could change frequently as commanders were killed, wounded or transferred.  So GB ‘Kleist’ became ‘Hacke’, ‘Wechmar’, ‘Enckevort’, ‘Plotho’ and back to ‘Hacke’ again as the war progressed.  Consequently it’s a lot easier to track them by their regimental numbers, even though these weren’t used at the time.

The Austrians used grenadier companies in a very different manner, generally keeping them with their parent regiments on the march, though detaching them on the eve of battle to be  assigned on an ad hoc basis as baggage guards, or to defend a specific location, or to beef up the Grenze skirmish screen and only occasionally as combined grenadier battalions.

Oh and with the exception of IR 6 and III/15 mentioned above, GRENADIER BATTALIONS DIDN’T CARRY FLAGS!  Figure manufacturers please take note…

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 13/26 was formed from the grenadier companies of Musketeer Regiment 13 ‘Itzenplitz/Syburg’ (in their pale straw facings and silvered caps) and Musketeer Regiment 26 ‘Meyerinck/Wedel/Linden’ (red facings, yellow lace and brass caps).  This hard-fighting battalion got through quite a few commanders (and associated name-changes) during the course of the war (more than any other unit in the army, in fact!), being successively known as ‘Finck’, ‘Bornstädt’, ‘Kreckwitz’, ‘Homboldt’, ‘Billerbeck’, ‘Schwerin’ and ‘Kalckstein’.

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 47/g7 was formed from the grenadier companies of Füsilier Regiment 47 ‘Wietersheim/Rohr/Grabow’ (yellow facings) and Garrison Regiment 7 ‘Lange/Itzenplitz’ (crimson facings). The battalion was initially named ‘Wangenheim’, then became ‘Carlowitz’ and lastly ‘Bock’.  Note that this was the only grenadier battalion to include Garrison Grenadiers that wasn’t a Standing Grenadier Battalion.

Since painting these some 25 years ago, both Bleckwenn and Kronoskaf disagree with me re the colour of these Garrison Grenadiers’ breeches and waistcoats.  They should probably have white breeches and waistcoats instead of dark blue.

Above:  Standing Grenadier Battalion 1 was unusual in that it comprised the grenadier companies of three regiments: Garrison Regiment 3 ‘Hellermann/Grolmann’, Garrison Regiment 4 ‘Grape/Jungkenn Müntzer/Lettow’ and the New Garrison Regiment.  The battalion was initially named ‘Kahlden’, but changed successively during the war to ‘Wangenheim’, ‘Buddenbrock’ and ‘Carlowitz’.

However, as mentioned above, I was painting these based on my only printed sources of the time – the relevant Osprey book by Haythornthwaite and Duffy’s ‘The Army of Frederick The Great (2nd Edition)’ and therefore based these uniforms on those of the parent regiments (with the exception of the New Garrison Regiment – these grenadiers were mentioned by Haythornthwaite as having different uniforms).

Having since got my hands on Bleckwenn’s four-volume guide to the uniforms of the Prussian Army, I find that these grenadier companies wore totally different uniforms to those of their parent regiments.  Bleckwenn describes the grenadiers of G3 as having red facings and white smallclothes (the mitre cap is not described), while those of G4 again have red facings, but also have red smallclothes, white metal buttons and an old-fashioned red cloth-fronted mitre cap, blue bag, red band and white piping.  Bleckwenn also shows an alternative silver mitre cap with blue bag, white band and white piping.

Kronoskaf meanwhile shows the same brass-fronted mitre for all three contingents, with brass band, red bag, yellow piping and red-within-white pompom.  Buttons are brass for all.  G4 and the NGR both have straw-coloured smallclothes, while G3 has white.

Above:  Standing Grenadier Battalion 6.  I’m pleased to report that this time the grenadiers of this battalion did at least wear a uniform that vaguely resembled what I’ve painted!  The battalion comprised the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment 6 ‘Lattorf/Saß’ (orange facings and pompoms) and Garrison Regiment 8 ‘Nettelhorst/Quadt’ (black facings with rose-pink pompoms).  The battalion was initially named ‘Plötz’, but changed during the course of the war to ‘Rohr’ and ‘Busche’.

I’ve mostly got these uniforms correct, though both Bleckwenn and Kronoskaf describe the smallclothes as being white, not dark blue.  They also describe the backs of the mitres as being in the facing colour (orange and black respectively), piped white.  I followed the Osprey and did them dark blue, piped in orange for GR6 and pink for GR8. 🙁

Anyway, that’s enough for now!  Next time I’ll look at some Prussian cavalry regiments, which I’ve hopefully painted at least half-right… 🙁

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 6 Comments

“Rogues! Do you want to stay in the toolbox forever?!” (My 15mm Seven Years War Prussian Army – Part 1: Generals & Artillery)

As discussed last time, I’ve recently decided to rekindle my painting and wargaming mojo.  I’d grown slightly tired (for the time being) of the tedium of bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and shakos of the Napoleonic Wars, so have renewed my enthusiasm with the TOTALLY different bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and tricorns of the Seven Years War

My Seven Years War collection last saw the light of day in 1997 and has since then lain forgotten and unloved in the darkest crypts of Fawr Towers.  One of the steel toolboxes used to store the little chaps had even rusted shut!  However, I’ve been rummaging through the old boxes, repairing bits and pieces, replacing the odd flag and photographing some of the best units in some rare November sunshine.  So here are some of my Prussians, starting with the man himself, Fred the Big

Fred and his staff are produced by Lancashire Games and I really do like them.  These are probably the last remnants of Lancashire Games’ original range of figures, which I seem to remember was originally produced by another company.  The mounted staff and background infantry are Old Glory 15s figures, which are now sold in the UK by Timecast

Oh and note that I was still using gloss-varnish and painting my own flags in those days, as well as painting the bases old-skool green, dry-brushed yellow…  I was just starting to change my basing-style in 1997, so the last regiments to be painted were among the first to use my current basing-style of dark earth, dry-brushed sand and patchily flocked with Woodland Scenics’ ‘Blended Turf’.

These figures were very slender and ‘anatomically-realistic’, though that sadly made them very prone to breakages and aside from Fred and his friends they were all ditched from the range.  They fit really well with other ‘slender’ 15mm ranges such as Freikorps.  The Lancashire SYW range was remodelled in the late 90s to be MUCH chunkier (though strangely, no less prone to breaking at the ankles).  I still have quite a few regiments of both Prussian and Austrian ‘Mk 1’ Lancashire Games figures, though they do look distinctly weedy when standing next to their ‘Mk2’ Lancashire Games and Old Glory brethren.

The mounted officers standing behind Fred’s group are the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern (wearing the rose-pink facings of his regiment, Infantry Regiment #7 ‘Alt-Bevern’) and Prince Moritz of Anhalt-Dessau (wearing the regimental uniform of Infantry Regiment #22 ‘Prinz Moritz’).  There was no prescribed uniform for general officers in the Prussian Army of this era, so generals always wore a version of the regiment to which they were appointed as Chef (i.e. colonel-in-chief/proprietor).  Fred’s own uniform was the simple ‘field’ version of Infantry Regiment #15 Garde.

A Flügeladjutant of the King’s staff (dressed in white with red facings, yellow small-clothes and silver lace) is interrupted by a Feldpost postillion, who has an urgent dispatch for the King.  Again these are Old Glory 15s figures.  The Flügeladjutant figure is one of Old Glory’s legendary ‘comedy figures’, having a hussar boot on one leg (here covered up by black paint) and a heavy cavalry boot on the other… Though not as amusing as the Napoleonic French Hussar ADC figure with a third hand sticking out of one of his pelisse arms… 🙂 

Also standing behind the King is the veteran Berlin Correspondent for The Times, Sir Timothy Paget.  Knighted for his services to journalism and comedy following our War of Austrian Succession campaign, his battle reports and other musings from the courts of European royalty were the stuff of legend, though won him as many enemies as admirers… Gareth Beamish created him from an Old Glory officer figure and he would roam campaign games at will, conducting interviews with the participants.  While he could never be deliberately targeted, Mr Paget could frequently be found at the receiving end of an ‘accidental’ bounce-through or cavalry charge…   Subsequently denied a peerage due to a Times editorial comparing the Duke of Cumberland with the eponymous sausage, he has now returned to Europe to document the coming war and to insult the nobility of Europe once again…

Above:  Here is Frederick the Great’s premier hussar general, General Hans Joachim von Zieten wearing the ‘gala’ version of his regimental dress for Hussar Regiment #2 ‘Zieten’ (aka Leib or ‘Red’ Hussars). 

This spectacular gala uniform included a leopard-skin cloak, eagle-wing plume and very natty yellow boots.  This version of dress would not have been worn on campaign, but it does look spectacular and I’m glad that Old Glory included a figure of Zieten wearing his finest clobber! 🙂 

Above:  Here is Fred’s great heavy cavalry leader and reformer, General Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.  Again, this is a figure by Old glory 15s and is based on the famous Richard Knoetel print of Seydlitz hailing a cab.

Seydlitz actually started the Severn Years War as the mere colonel of Cuirassier Regiment #8 ‘Rochow’ (which became the ‘Seydlitz’ Cuirassiers in 1757), though quickly proved his mettle as a superb cavalry leader, particularly at the Battle of Kolin in 1757, when he took command of General Krosigk’s cavalry brigade following Krosigk’s death and then threw back the Austrian pursuit force.  Frederick promoted him to general’s rank on the spot and he rose meteorically to become the Inspector of Cavalry in only a few years.

Above:  General Carl Ludwig von Normann was another of Fred’s heavy cavalry leaders.  As Chef of Dragoon Regiment #1 ‘Normann’, he wears the light blue coat of a dragoon, with the black facings and gold lace of his regiment.  Again, this is an Old Glory 15s figure.  Note that Old Glory’s designer, having looked at the Osprey Book pictures but not read the text (he did that a lot…), added plumes to the Prussian Cuirassier and Dragoon figures, even though these were not a feature of Prussian uniform until just AFTER the Seven Years War (the Cuirassier pack also included a Garde du Corps officer figure in tabard, which again was a post-SYW uniform item).  I clipped most of them off, but left them on Normann and Seydlitz, as it made them look a bit more ‘generalish’.

Above:  This figure is a little anachronistic for the Seven Years War, as it’s meant to be Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau (‘The Old Desauer’ and Prince Moritz’s dad) calling down divine retribution on the Saxons at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745, during the Second Silesian War (part of the War of Austrian Succession).  The Old Dessauer had been a superb infantry commander during the War of Spanish Succession, where he rose to command the Prussian contingent of the Allied army, leading them under Marlborough’s command at Blenheim.  He then went on to train and modernise the Prussian infantry, forging it into a formidable weapon.  His hard-won experience was to be of enormous value to the young King Frederick II during the Silesian Wars, though he died shortly after his greatest achievement at Kesselsdorf.  Prince Moritz here is dressed in the uniform of his Infantry Regiment #3 ‘Alt-Dessau’, albeit of a slightly old-fashioned style.

Above:  Prussian artillery prepares to fire.  These are foot artillery; Fred did develop a single horse battery during the course of the Seven Years War, but I don’t have those yet (well, not until the post arrives from Eureka, anyway).

Above:  I was obviously feeling keen when painting these gunners, as the officer is studying a plan of a the fortress he’s presumably bombarding… I’m not sure I can paint that sort of thing nowadays… 🙁  

That’s it for now.  I’ll show off the Prussian infantry next time! 🙂 

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 9 Comments

Regaining the Mojo & Resurrecting The Seven Years War

I suppose like a lot of people at the moment, the current situation combined with a lack of wargaming opportunities has been killing my painting mojo.  I did initially have a good gallop at the Napoleonics, finally completing my French Imperial Guard Cavalry and Army of the Duchy of Warsaw, as well as some odds and sods and quite a lot of Russian Napoleonics, which I’ll post here later, as well as a side-order of Indian armour for Burma.  However, my painting (and blog-posting) has slowed considerably in recent months and I clearly needed a break from all those bright facing colours, buttons, lace, cross-belts and shakos…

But then a rare game of Napoleonics using Shako 2nd Edition and conversation with Phil Portway last month (just before going back into flippin’ lock-down) prompted me to delve into the crypts of Fawr Towers to dig out my old 15mm Seven Years War (SYW) collection.  I used to use my own conversion of Shako 1st Edition rules for the Seven Years War and for a couple of years ran an epic Europe-wide campaign in the Pre-Internet Age… But that was all 23 years ago… I’m suddenly itching to do SYW again…

Yes, that’s right…  What I needed to get my mojo back after painting all the bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and shakos of Napoleonics was the bold colours, facings, buttons, lace, cross-belts and tricorns of the Seven Years War… And playing wargames using a set of Napoleonic rules…

My own SYW collection consists mainly of a fairly sizeable Prussian army (35 infantry bns & 17 cavalry regts) which is big enough to refight most of the historical battles of the period, including the Battles of Lobositz and Kolin, which we ran as show demo-games (our Lobositz game appeared in Wargames Illustrated around 1997ish).  However, it could still do with a little bit of expansion for the Battle of Leuthen and some of the other big’uns such as Prague and Torgau.

My other armies are a small, half-completed Swedish army and a small contingent of Reichsarmee and Saxon cavalry.  I’m also very fortunate to have been left a very large Austrian army (66 infantry bns & 24 cavalry regts) by my friend Doug, who passed away some 15 years ago.

Doug’s Austrian infantry, freshly re-flagged

However Doug had only given flags to a very few of his Austrian units and all of those flags had faded, perished, broken or simply dropped off in the intervening decades.  So the army needed a complete re-flagging, including the replacement of all (mostly broken or about to break) cast-on poles with rather more resilient brass rod.  The flags are pre-printed infantry flags from Fighting 15s and cavalry flags from Wargames Designs.  These are mostly Lancashire Games figures, which to be fair, aren’t the best figures in the world, but were given a cracking paint-job (some 23-25 years ago) by our mate Gareth Beamish.  Quantity also has a quality all of its own…

Doug’s Austrian cavalry, in the process of being re-flagged.  Each regiment is based in line, on a single base.  This may seem unusual, but in the age of ‘linear’ warfare it works very well and really speeds up play.

So 44 infantry battalions and 30 cavalry regiments later…

Doug’s Austrian cavalry, freshly re-flagged and with all finials and fringes picked out with metallic paint.

As always, the Fighting 15s flags (used for the infantry) are exquisite, being very crisply laser-printed.  In fact, I think these are the best of his that I’ve used to date.  The Wargames Designs flags (used for the cavalry) however, are nowhere near as good.  They’re inkjet-printed and absolutely need varnishing in order to sharpen up the details.  However, they are about the only SYW Austrian cavalry standards on the market, are cheap and are no worse than pre-printed flags I was using 20 years ago, so I’m happy with them and the finished result above looks good.

With Doug’s Austrians re-flagged and a few of my Prussian and Reichsarmee units similarly repaired, I’ve started painting some new SYW units for the first time in this century!  I’ve started with the Würzburg ‘Red’ Regiment, which was an excellent Imperial auxiliary regiment raised by the Arbishop-Elector of Würzburg to serve with the Austrian army and which held Leuthen Church until being finally ejected by the Prussian Footguards, as shown above.

The figures used here are Old Glory 15s, which were still being sold by Old Glory themselves when I bought them, but which were then split off as a separate company in the late 1990s.   They are now sold in the UK by Timecast.  These are the Austrian ‘German’ Infantry, which I think are the best figures in the range, having stacks of ‘character’.

The flag is a speculative design for the regiment’s Leibfahne based on a historical description and published on the excellent Kronoskaf Seven Years War Project website, which is the ultimate ‘one-stop shop’ for all things Seven Years War (and which didn’t exist when I was last researching the topic).  I then printed it off on my own laser-printer.  The regiment’s second battalion (seen half-painted at the back of this photo) is also now painted.

Next in the painting queue are some more Old Glory 15s figures I bought around 25 years ago; namely the Württemberg and Bavarian Auxiliary Corps, who fought for Austria from 1757 onward and who had the misfortune of being the focus of Frederick’s attack at Leuthen.  These corps each have ten 12-figure infantry battalions, plus three grenadier battalions for the Württemberg Corps.  I actually painted four of the Bavarian battalions during the 90s, so that cuts down the ‘to-do’ list somewhat.

After that I plan to generally expand the Prussians and add a few more Hungarians to the Austrian army (Doug only had two Hungarian regiments), before moving on to getting a French army (may mate Andy is getting the Russians).  But there’s now a lot more choice of high-quality figures, with both Blue Moon (Old Glory’s 18mm replacement for their old 15mm range) and Eureka producing exquisite Seven Years War figures.  Despite dire warnings of them being ‘too big’ for my existing armies, I’ve ordered some Prussian Fusiliers, Prussian Grenadiers and Hungarian Fusiliers from Eureka and can’t wait to see what they’re like.

In terms of gaming, I plan to break the boys in gently with a small historic refight; probably the Battle of Mollwitz of 1741, which was Frederick the Great’s first victory and was actually fought during the War of Austrian Succession.  I’ve then got a small campaign based on the Prussian invasion of Bohemia in 1757 (which led to the Battles of Prague and Kolin) that I’ve been itching to try out and then, if there’s sufficient interest, I might run a ‘global’ Seven Years War campaign along similar lines to our very successful 1990s campaign.  At least this time we have e-mail and can save a fortune on postage! 

Posted in 15mm Figures, Campaigns, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 14 Comments