“Where is Grouchy?!” – Some French Units for Waterloo

And so to the French…

While I already had a pile of French troops for Waterloo, quite a few were looking very tired and in need of refurbishment or replacement (most notably my ancient 1980s-vintage Battle Honours artillery and Guard Lancers with barely a lance left intact, as well as my Young Guard, which I’d converted from line troops during the early 1990s).

Above: With an eye on the upcoming Waterloo Bicentennial, AB Figures had recently released a stunning Marshal Ney figure, which I HAD to get!  Combined with AB’s ‘Superior Officer of Hussars’ figure (based on an Edouard Detaille painting) and a Carabinier command pack, he looks very much like the famous painting of Ney leading the massed French cavalry in the Waterloo Panorama painting (above).

Above: A close-up of Ney in profile.  Tony Barton’s sculpting of Ney’s facial features is truly exquisite.

Above:  Ney’s escort is provided by this officer and trumpeter of Carabniers.  The late Carabinier figures are among my favourite AB Napoleonics; the detail, from the rivets of the officer’s cuirass to the crowned ‘N’ on the front of the helmets, is truly astonishing.

Above: A cavalry corps commander (either Kellerman or Milhaud).

Above:  Général de Division Charles Lefebvre-Desnöuettes commanded the Guard Light Cavalry Division in 1815.  As formed Commanding Officer of the Guard Chasseurs à Cheval, he is here depicted in that uniform.  He may well have been a simpler version of the uniform or even the standard blue General’s uniform, but he looks pretty magnifique in full Chasseur rig!

Above:  Général de Division Jean-Jacques Desvaux de Saint-Maurice commanded the Artillery of the Imperial Guard at Waterloo.  He had previously commanded the Horse Artillery of the Imperial Guard and as such, I’ve used a figure of a Guard Horse Artillery officer in full dress to depict him.  In reality, he was probably wearing a regulation General officer’s uniform with aiguillette signifying his Guard status.

Above:  An anonymous Général de Division of the Imperial Guard.  His Guard status is indicated by the looped aiguillette on his right shoulder.

Above:  An anonymous Général de Division of heavy cavalry.

Above: The Empress’ Dragoons of the Imperial Guard were the largest Guard heavy cavalry regiment present at Waterloo, serving as part of Guyot’s Guard Heavy Cavalry Division, alongside the Grenadiers à Cheval and the Gendarmes d’Elite.

Above:  These beautiful new models have replaced a unique unit of Battle Honours Empress’ Dragoons that had never been released to the public.  Tony Barton sculpted them just before Battle Honours self-destructed and for some reason they never became part of the AB figures range.  As far as I’m aware, I have the only examples in existence, so I couldn’t throw them away and they now live in Martin Small’s collection.

Above:  Another view of the Empress’ Dragoons.  The flag is by Fighting 15s.  I used to paint such things, but now not so much…

Above:  The 2nd (‘Red’) Lancers of the Imperial Guard formed part of Lefebvre-Desnöuettes’ Guard Light Cavalry Division, alongside the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Guard and small remnants of the 1st (Polish) Lancers and Mamelukes of the Guard.

Above:  In full dress, this regiment would also have worn tall white plumes, yellow cap-lines and red overall trousers with blue stripes.  However, Tony Barton generally likes to sculpt Napoleonics in ‘field service’ dress – somewhere between full-dress grandeur and campaign dress scruffiness.  Consequently I’ve painted these in blue field service trousers.  That said, the trumpeter should really be wearing a sky blue coat for field service, but I do like the white…

Above:  A rear shot of the Guard Lancers to show the cap-tops and equipment.

Above:  The Horse Artillery of the Imperial Guard.  Again, Tony Barton has sculpted these in ‘field service’ dress, retaining some elements of full dress, but lacking the full plumes, cap-lines, etc.  In 1815 the Guard Horse Artillery were actually wearing their typical campaign rig, being a blue Chasseur-style coat with red distinctions, very much like that of the Horse Artillery of the Line, though with the unadorned fur colpack.  My old Battle Honours Guard Horse Artillery were dressed in that style and I understand that AB Figures will shortly be releasing such figures (along with Mamelukes of the Guard).

Above:  The 7th Cuirassiers, along with the 14th Cuirassiers, formed part of Travers’ Brigade, Wathier’s 13th Cavalry Division.

In my opinion, Cuirassiers are THE epitome of Napoleonic cavalry, but to be honest, they are something of a millstone as they hardly ever come out of the box!  99% of the time they were all massed in the main theatre of war as the Emperor’s main striking force.  This of course, also means that you need stacks of them for those occasions where they do turn up…  So even though I already had a reasonable number of Cuirassiers and Carabiniers (early and late!) in my collection, I still needed more…

Above:  The 10th Cuirassiers, resplendent in their pink facings… The 10th were grouped with the 5th Cuirassiers in Vial’s Brigade, which formed part of Delort’s 14th Cavalry Division.

Note that the flags for these two regiments are wrong for 1815, as they should be 1815 Pattern tricolour flags.  The majority of my collection is actually geared for the 1809 Campaign, so I’ve given them the 1804 Pattern ‘lozenge’ flags, in common with the rest of my collection.  In any case, the long coat-tails on the Cuirassiers are more suited to the pre-1812 period.

It’s just occurred to me that I don’t have any photos of my new line artillery, so I’ll keep those for another time.  In any case, I’m presently building my forces up for the 1809 Campaign, which has required even more stuff!  So more Imperial Guard, Cuirassiers, Generals and more coming soon… And a stack of Austrians…

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“Vorwärts!” – Some Prussian Units for Waterloo

As discussed here, we decided in 2015 to refight the Battle of Waterloo as part of the Bicentennial commemorations.  However, we still needed to paint ‘a few’ units (in reality a surprisingly large number of units…).  Thankfully, I already had a lot of Prussians painted, so really did only need to paint a few more…

Above:  My first priority was a new Marshal Blücher figure.

Above:  I was fairly well supplied with Prussian regular cavalry, but the 5th (Brandenburg) Dragoon Regiment was required.

Above:  In addition to the regular Dragoons, I needed some ‘Landwehr’ (i.e. Militia) cavalry and the 1st Kurmärk Landwehr Cavalry Regiment fitted the bill.  Most sources agree on the uniform coat being a typical blue Prussian ‘Litewka’ coat, with brass buttons, poppy-red collar and cuff-piping for the province of Brandenburg (Kurmärk is part of Brandenburg), plus white shoulder-straps indicating the 1st regiment from that province.  However, sources disagree on the style of headgear and colour of lance-pennant and I opted for one of the recorded desriptions, namely British-supplied stovepipe shakos with white lace and black plumes, with red-over-white lance-pennants.

Above: The 12th (2nd Brandenburg) Infantry Regiment (often referred to as simply the ‘Brandenburg Regiment’) was a regular (i.e. pre-1815) infantry regiment.  However, as the most junior regular infantry regiment, this regiment was frequently at the back of the queue when it came to uniform and equipment and looked more like a Reserve Infantry Regiment in terms of dress.

In theory, the regiment should have been dressed in standard Prussian blue coats, with collars and cuffs in poppy-red (the colour of Brandenburg) and red shoulders-straps (red being the strap-colour for the 2nd regiment of a province – white being 1st, red being 2nd, yellow being 3rd and light blue being 4th).  However, only the officers and ‘cadre’ of the regiment wore this regulation uniform (as shown on the officer and drummer above).  Evidence does suggest that the regiment’s 2nd Battalion had been fully issued with regulation uniform by Waterloo, though the majority of the men were still wearing dark grey ‘ersatz’ uniforms with poppy-red collar patches as the only regimental distinction.  Headgear was the standard Prussian shako, though not all men were issued the standard black oilskin waterproof shako-cover.

The 12th Infantry Regiment was not issued colours until after Waterloo.

Above:  The Prussian 10th Reserve Infantry Regiment was formed in 1813 from the Reserve Battalions of the 1st Silesian Infantry Regiment. While the regimental cadre wore the parent regiment’s regulation uniform (yellow facings, white shoulder-straps & silver buttons), the reservists wore ‘slop’ clothing with yellow collar-patches and yellow hat-bands. The regiment’s 1st battalion wore uniforms in the typical ‘slop’ light grey, though the 2nd battalion had uniforms dyed dark blue and the 3rd battalion had uniforms dyed a dark grey (‘almost black’). I’ve already got plenty of Prussian reservists in light grey, so I thought I’d opt for the blue 2nd battalion’s uniform to represent this regiment.

In 1815 the 10th Reserve Infantry Regiment became the 22nd (1st Rhenish) Infantry Regiment and in March of that year began receiving new regulation line infantry uniforms with crab red facings (being the provincial colour for Rhenish regiments) & white shoulder-straps (indicating the 1st regiment from that province). However, the issue of new uniforms was not complete before their departure to Belgium and it is recorded that the men in old uniforms stood on the flanks of each battalion.

 The regiment carried no flags until after Waterloo

Above:  The Elbe Infantry Regiment was originally raised in April 1813 by a certain Oberstleutnant Von Reuss, from defecting enemy units – primarily the Guards and Chevauxlegers of the Kingdom of Westphalia.  Initially known as the ‘Auslander-Bataillon Von Reuss’ it rapidly expanded during the summer Armistice of 1813 to three battalions and was re-titled in July 1813 as the ‘Elbe-Infanterie-Regiment’.  Although it was organised, equipped and regarded as a Line infantry regiment, it was curiously not given a number in the line infantry regiment sequence (possibly because of its ‘foreign’ origins?).

However, that changed in 1815 (probably due to the re-absorption of Westphalia into Prussia), when the remnants of the regiment formed the core of the new Royal Prussian 26th (1st Magdeburg) Infantry Regiment. The former regiment’s reserve battalion was incorporated into the new 27th Infantry Regiment.

Uniforms were of the same style as those of the regular line infantry, with poppy red collars and turnbacks, white shoulder-straps and bright blue cuffs with red piping and dark blue cuff-flaps. Buttons were brass/gold.  The regiment did not carry colours until after Waterloo.  They were apparently given ‘new style’ uniforms with crab red facings and white shoulder-straps in 1815, but it isn’t clear if anyone received them prior to Waterloo.

Note that I completely forgot to add the red cuff-piping and blue cuff-flaps and as with the Brandenburgers, I gave them white (instead of red leather) musket-slings. They must have been supplied from old Westphalian stocks… 😉

This unit takes the record for my longest start-to-finish project, as they were undercoated in July 1994 and were finished almost 21 years later… 🙂

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“Long Live The House of Orange!” – Netherlands Troops at Waterloo

In my last article, I showed off the British and KGL units I had to paint for our Waterloo Bicentennial game in 2015.  However, I had an even greater deficiency in Netherlands troops!  However, from my involvement in organising a Waterloo mega-game at the National Army Museum in 2000, I did have a pair of fairly ropey Netherlands Light Dragoon Regiments by Old Glory Miniatures, as well as the Orange-Nassau Regiment (converted from AB Figures Saxon infantry), a Dutch Militia Regiment (converted from AB Figures Portuguese infantry) and the 1st & 2nd Nassau Regiments (converted from AB Figures French Light Infantry).

When we started this project, AB Figures still did not produce any specific figures for the Army of the United Netherlands, so I was looking to convert some more units.  However, at that very moment, AB Figures produced a raft of new models, allowing us to complete the army!  🙂  Since 2015, AB have added even more units to the range, including the Nassau regiments and the Dutch and Belgian light cavalry, though sadly they weren’t available for our Bicentennial game.

Above: The Prince of Orange; commanding general of the Army of the United Netherlands and General Officer Commanding the Allied I Corps.

Above: I’ve rotated the model here to show the Prince’s Chief of Staff, General Constant Rebeque.

Above:  I’ve rotated the model again to highlight the staff officer passing a packet of orders to a galloper from the Corps of Guides.

Above:   The 2nd Netherlands Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Henri-Georges de Perponcher-Sedlnitzsky was spread across a very wide and precarious frontage in front of the Allied left flank at Waterloo. They have been unjustly maligned in virtually all subsequent British accounts of the battle, but recent research is thankfully restoring their reputation.  It should of course be remembered that this division performed superbly two days before Waterloo at Quatre-Bras, where it was instrumental in delaying Marshal Ney’s advance.

Bijlandt’s Brigade (pictured here on the left) has been especially singled out for criticism, as it was positioned in an extremely exposed position in front of the main line and came in for particular attention from the French artillery during the opening phases of the battle and being rapidly broken by the fire.  The Orange-Nassau Regiment (centre) and the 2nd Nassau Regiment (pictured on the right) together formed Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar’s Brigade and were spread among the hedgerows, gullies and walled farms (Papelotte, La Haye, Smohain and Frichermont) on the Allied left flank.

Note that when I painted the Orange-Nassau Regiment in 2000, the ONLY source I had for the uniform was this 19th Century print (right), which shows orange facings and red turnbacks.  However, more modern research describes the facings as red (bah!).

Above: The 7th (Belgian) Line Infantry Regiment.  All Netherlands Line Infantry Regiments wore a standard uniform of dark blue with white facings.  The Belgians were distinguished by having the Portuguese/British-style false-fronted shako, with cords and plumes coloured by company – white for the Centre Companies, red for the Grenadier Company and green for the Light Company.  The Grenadier and Light Companies had blue & white striped ‘rolls’ on the shoulders.

I painted this unit to represent Bijlandt’s Brigade, which consisted of the 7th (Belgian) Line Infantry, 27th (Dutch) Light Infantry, 5th (Dutch) Militia and 7th (Dutch) Militia Regiments.

Note that the flag is anachronistic and although ‘1815 Pattern’ (by GMB Flags) was actually issued AFTER the Battle of Waterloo… These flags matched the facing colour – white for line infantry, yellow for light infantry and orange for militia.  At least some regiments did carry some sort of unofficial flag as a battlefield marker, but only one was recorded.

Above: The 3rd Netherlands Division, commanded by Lieutenant General David-Hendrik Chassé, was initially stationed on the extreme right-rear flank of the Allied Army, covering the river crossings at Braine l’Alleud.  With his centre in danger of collapse, Wellington brought this division in to reinforce the point at which the Imperial Guard were attacking and Chassé’s men were therefore instrumental (along with the British Guards and 52nd Light Infantry) in stopping and then pursuing the defeated Imperial Guard.

The division consisted of two brigades; Detmers’ and D’Aubremé’s.  However, there were considerable numbers of Dutch Militia present in both brigades, so I’ve separated these out as a separate ‘brigade’ in game terms.

Above: The 12th (Dutch) Line Infantry Regiment.  This unit represents D’Aubremé’s Brigade, which in full consisted of the 3rd (Belgian), 12th (Dutch) and 13th (Dutch) Line Infantry, the 36th (Belgian) Light Infantry and the 3rd & 10th (Dutch) Militia Regiments.

The uniform for the Dutch Line Infantry was exactly the same as that for the Belgian Line Infantry, except that they wore an Austrian-style shako, with front and rear peaks and no cords.  The short woollen hackles were white, tipped with red or green for the Grenadier and Light Companies respectively.

Above:  The 35th (Belgian) Light Infantry Regiment.  This regiment represents Detmers’ Brigade, which in full consisted of this regiment, plus the 2nd (Dutch) Line Infantry and the 4th, 6th, 17th and 19th (Dutch) Militia Regiments.

The uniforms of all Light Infantry Regiments were identical, whether Dutch or Belgian, being green with yellow facings and Austrian-style shakos with green hackles.  The two flank companies had green & yellow striped shoulder-rolls and yellow tips to their hackles.

Above: The Netherlands Cavalry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Baron J A de Colläert, formed part of Lord Uxbridge’s Cavalry Reserve Corps.  Pictured on the left are the 5th (Belgian) Light Dragoons, resplendent in their yellow-faced green coats and distinctive green shakos.  This regiment represents Van Merlen’s 2nd Light Cavalry Brigade, which in reality also included the 6th (Dutch) Hussars.

Pictured on the right are the 4th (Dutch) Light Dragoons, representing Baron de Ghigny’s 1st Light Cavalry Brigade, which in reality also included the 8th (Belgian) Hussars.  When I painted this unit, there was simply no information whatsoever on what the front of the jacket looked like, so I painted them with lapels, in the same style as the 5th Light Dragoons.  However, modern research shows that these should actually be hussar-style dolmans… Bah… AB Figures now produce suitable models, so I will eventually replace both the light cavalry brigades with better figures.

In the centre is Trip’s Heavy Cavalry Brigade (detailed below).

Above: The 2nd (Belgian) Carabiniers formed part of Trip’s Heavy Cavalry Brigade, which also included the 1st (Dutch) & 3rd (Dutch) Carabiniers.

Above:  Only the 2nd (Belgian) Carabinier Regiment wore the magnificent crested helmets shown here; the two Dutch regiments wore the same style of uniform, but were still wearing old-fashioned cocked hats.

Above:  A rear view of the 2nd Carabiniers.  The similarity to French Cuirassiers is very apparent and many of the officers and men had indeed been ‘French’ Cuirassiers until the previous year!  However, they didn’t wear cuirasses and instead wore rolled cloaks en bandolier as protection against sword-cuts (indeed, at least one French Cuirassier Regiment was also dressed in this fashion in 1815, making the similarity even closer).

Above:  Instead of a specific general officer figure, I’ve used a Dutch Carabiner officer figure to represent General Trip.  He is dressed in the pink facings of the 3rd Carabiniers.  The 1st Carabiniers had yellow facings.  Both the 1st and 3rd Carabiniers wore white-plumed cocked hats.

Above:  Netherlands Horse Artillery open fire on the enemy.  There were two full horse batteries – Bijleveld’s Battery was assigned to 2nd Division, while Krahmer de Bichin’s Battery was assigned to 3rd Division.  The Cavalry Division has two half-batteries: Petter’s and Van Pitius’.  All were equipped with ex-French 6pdrs.

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“The Scum of the Earth”: Wellington’s Army at Waterloo in 15mm

As discussed here and here, in 2015 we decided to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Waterloo by refighting it in grand style.  Although I already had a lot of British, French and Prussians (mostly AB Figures), there were still ‘a few’ (actually rather a lot of!) units that needed painting for the game, as well as the famous walled farms that were characteristic of the battle.

So here’s a gallery of the British units that I painted for Waterloo (all AB Figures 15mm, with flags by Fighting 15s):

Above: The 3rd Battalion of the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards.  This unit represents Maitland’s 1st Infantry Brigade of Cooke’s 1st Division.  In full, the brigade consisted of the 2/1st Foot Guards and 3/1st Foot Guards.  Note that in the Foot Guards, the Regimental Colour was based on the Union Flag and was carried on the left.  The King’s Colour was the crimson flag and was carried on the right, as shown here.  Infantry Regiments of the Line had the Union Flag as the King’s Colour, so would carry the Union Flag on the right [I’ve edited this, as what I wrote earlier made no sense at all!].

Above and right: The 3/1st Foot Guards in close-up.  The Foot Guards’ uniform was very similar to that of the Regiments of the Line.  I.e. single-breasted red coats, with coloured facings at collar and cuffs and strips of lace edging the collar and buttonholes on the breast and cuffs.  The eight Centre Companies were identified by their white-over-red plumes and shoulder ‘tufts’, while the Grenadier (right flank) Company had white plumes and shoulder ‘wings’ and the Light (left flank) Company had green plumes and shoulder wings.  Headgear was the false-fronted, Portuguese-style shako that was introduced in 1812 (often mis-named as the ‘Waterloo’ or ‘Belgic’ shako).  Shako-cords were white, except for the Light Company, who had green cords.

All three Foot Guards regiments had dark blue facings and gold lace for officers and sergeants.  The grouping of buttons and buttonhole lace identified which regiment: equal spacing indicated the 1st, pairs indicated the 2nd and in threes for the 3rd.  The 1st Foot Guards actually had bastion-shaped lace loops, but my eyesight and hands these days can’t cope with doing those in 15mm and more… 🙁

Note that the chief difference between Foot Guards uniforms and those of the Line Infantry were that there was lace edging to the cuffs, plus a strip of lace down the front-seam of the coat.  The flank companies also had blue backing to the shoulder ‘wings’, whereas those of the Line had red backing.

Above: The 2nd Battalion of the 2nd (Coldstream) Regiment of Foot Guards.  This unit represents Byng’s 2nd Infantry Brigade of Cooke’s 1st Division.  In full, the brigade consisted of the 2/2nd and 2/3rd Foot Guards.  The uniform of the 2nd Foot Guards was almost identical to that of the 1st Foot Guards above, but note that the buttonhole lace on the breast is now arranged in pairs.

Note that many sources depict the 2nd Foot Guards as being dressed in white overall trousers at Waterloo.  However, research has shown this to be incorrect.  They were issued white overalls in Paris, during the occupation following Waterloo.  This uniform was painted by Dighton and was then accepted in subsequent works as being the uniform they wore at Waterloo.  However, they were still wearing the standard grey overall trousers at the battle.

Above: The 1st Battalion of the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).  This unit represents Mitchell’s 4th Infantry Brigade of Colville’s 4th Division.  This brigade was the only part of 4th Division to be present at Waterloo and in full consisted of the 3/14th (Buckinghamshire) Foot, 1/23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers) and 51st (2nd Yorks West Riding) Light Infantry.

The uniform of the Royal Welch Fusiliers was very similar to that of the 1st Foot Guards above, having dark blue facings and evenly-spaced, bastion-shaped lace loops, with gold officers’ lace.  However, note that there is no lace edging to the cuffs, the backing to the shoulder wings is red and the position of the Union Flag (which is the King’s Colour) is now on the right [edited].  Note also that all companies in the regiment wore shoulder wings; this was a feature of Fusilier and Light Infantry regiments.

Above: The 1st Battalion of the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot.  This unit represents Lambert’s 10th Infantry Brigade of Cole’s 6th Division, which in full consisted of the 1/4th (King’s) Foot, 1/27th (Inniskilling) Foot and 1/40th (2nd Somersetshire) Foot.

Above: The 27th Foot in close-up.  The 27th had pale buff facings, evenly-spaced lace (square-ended bars, rather than the bastion-shaped loops of the 23rd) and gold officers’ lace.  Some questions remain over the colour of the regiment’s leatherwork; for most regiments this was simply pipe-clay white, but regiments with buff-coloured facings would traditionally have matching buff belts, as well as buff turnbacks on the coat (and buff breeches in full dress).  However, the vast majority of artistic depictions of the regiment show white belts and the modern-day re-enactment group have been able to produce evidence for belts being ‘pipe-clayed’.  Consequently, I have followed suit and opted for white belts (which is a shame, as I really like the look of buff belts…).

Above: The 27th Foot in action at Waterloo.

Above: Lord Somerset’s 1st (Household) Cavalry Brigade consisted of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (The Blues) and the 1st & 2nd Regiments of Lifeguards.  Ordinarily, I will pick a single regiment to be representative of the brigade, but in this instance I wanted to show both the Royal Horse Guards in blue and the Lifeguards in red.

Above: The 2nd (Royal North British) Regiment of Dragoons (‘The Scots Greys’).  This unit represents Lord Ponsonby’s 2nd (‘Union’) Cavalry Brigade, which consisted of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, representing England, Scotland and Ireland respectively, hence ‘Union Brigade’.

 Above:  The Scots Greys were mounted exclusively on grey horses and uniquely for the British Army, wore bearskin caps, which makes them a very striking unit and a firm wargamers’ favourite (probably due in no small part to the incredible depiction of their doomed charge in Sergei Bondarchuk’s epic film ‘Waterloo’).  However, there are lots of different types of grey horses and my horse-loving wife Sue helped me research the differences when painting this beautiful unit.  I hope I’ve done them justice in trying to depict a range of greys.

 Above:  I make no apologies for showing three pictures of this unit! It’s worth mentioning at this point that the 1st and 6th Dragoons wore helmets and would have been more representative of the brigade and would have been a FAR more useful addition to my wargames army than this regiment (which only fought one battle – Waterloo – during Napoleon’s reign)… But they HAVE to be done…

Above:  the 15th (King’s) Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars).  This regiment formed part of Sir Colquhon Grant’s 5th Cavalry Brigade, along with the 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars and the 2nd Hussars of the King’s German Legion.  Like most British Hussar regiments, this regiment had gone through an array of uniform changes over the preceding decade, but by Waterloo was wearing the uniform shown.

Above: The 10th (Princess of Wales’ Own) Light Dragoons (Hussars).  In 1815 this regiment, along with the 18th Hussars and the 1st Hussars of the King’s German Legion, formed part of Sir Hussey Vivian’s 6th Cavalry Brigade.  However, I must confess that this unit is WRONG for Waterloo, as it is painted in the uniform it wore in the very early stages of the Peninsular War, circa 1808.

The style of uniform shown here, with very tall busbies, was the standard dress for British Hussars for most of the Peninsular War, though by 1815 all British Hussar regiments were wearing either a shorter style of busby or shakos (as shown above).  I had a single unpainted regiment of these chaps languishing in my collection and they needed painting…

The 10th Hussars only wore the striking yellow-faced uniform shown here very briefly, only for the first few months of the Peninsular War.  They then went  through a number of uniform changes and by 1815 were wearing a very similar style to that worn by the 15th Hussars above, with red shakos trimmed in white lace.  However, their dolman jackets were plain blue with no contrasting facing colour.  Lace and braid was yellow.

Above:  The 2nd Light Infantry Battalion of the King’s German Legion (KGL).  This battalion, commanded by one Major Bäring, formed part of Colonel Christian von Ompteda’s 2nd KGL Infantry Brigade.  The brigade also included the similarly-dressed 1st Light Infantry Battalion and the red-coated 5th and 8th Line Infantry Battalions.  At Waterloo, Major Bäring’s battalion was tasked with holding the key walled farm of La Haye-Sainte, in the very centre of the battlefield and well forward of the rest of the brigade.

Dressed in British 95th Rifles style of dark green with black facings, the regiment had some subtle differences, in that they lacked the white piping worn on the facings of the 95th.  They also wore exclusively grey coverall trousers when the 95th wore green (admittedly with grey trousers also appearing on campaign).  Unlike the 95th Rifles, approximately two-thirds of the battalion was armed with smoothbore muskets, with rifles being issued to the remaining third.

 Above:  The 1st Regiment of Hussars of the King’s German Legion.  Along with the 10th (Princess of Wales’) Hussars and the 18th Hussars, the 1st KGL Hussars formed part of Sir Hussey Vivian’s 6th British Cavalry Brigade, initially being deployed on the extreme left flank of Wellington’s army.

The 1st KGL Hussars wore essentially the same uniform throughout the Napoleonic Wars, being dark blue with red facings and yellow lace, topped with a brown fur busby with yellow cords and a red bag.  The style was essentially British, though they had one unique quirk – their busbies had a black leather peak to keep the sun and rain out of their eyes.

Above:  Gunners of the Royal Horse Artillery and/or the Horse Artillery of the King’s German Legion (the uniform was identical) load 9-pounder field guns.  This uniform remained essentially unchanged throughout the Napoleonic Wars, being a dark blue Hussar-style dolman jacket faced red with yellow lace, grey overall trousers with a red stripe and a Tarleton helmet with black crest, white plume and blue turban.

Above:  Gunners of the Royal Horse Artillery and/or King’s German Legion firing 6-pounder field guns.

Above:  Gunners of the Royal Horse Artillery and/or King’s German Legion firing 6-pounder field guns (rear view).

That’s all for now!  More to follow soon…

[Edited to add] I’ve just seen the trailer on ITV for the forthcoming Waterloo episode of ‘Vanity Fair’ and it looks EPIC!  Hundreds of Cuirassiers charging in reasonably well-ordered lines against solid squares of Redcoats… I’ll no doubt be disappointed, but the trailer looks spectacular… I must also admit to enjoying the series thus far and especially the bold choice of 70s/80s rock music accompaniment… 🙂

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“Great SKOT!” Some Warsaw Pact APCs in 15mm…

1980s Polish infantry disembark from their SKOT-2A APC.

Those of us who like to wargame the ‘Cold War Gone Hot’ in 15mm (1/100th scale) are truly living in a Golden Age of model-availability…  It’s not so long ago that the choice was limited to QRFSkytrex and Peter Pig, or the increasingly-rare and long out of production range by Roskopf.  We well-remember the frustration of having armies of tanks and APCs with no infantry, or having to perform hefty conversion-jobs on models (thanks Martin! 🙂 ), or using models that were ‘similar-ish’ to what we wanted.

Now seemingly all of a sudden, we have Flames of War producing their Team Yankee range and an expansion of the offerings from the other existing companies, plus other new players such as Khurasan MiniaturesThe Plastic Soldier Company, Totentanz Miniatures Oddzial Osmy and Butler’s Printed Models.

Our Mug (Folding), Field Equipment, ’58 Pattern doth truly runneth over!

There is still the odd ‘capability-gap’ in available models, but those gaps are rapidly being filled.  One such gap was the USSR’s Warsaw Pact allies, but East German infantry are now available from two manufacturers and I recently picked up a load of Oddzial Osmy Polish infantry, as Fighting 15s were selling off their stock cheaply.  However, nobody produced the key Polish wheeled APC, the SKOT (Średni Kołowy Opancerzony Transporter – known in Czechoslovakia as the OT-64).  This made assembling a complete Polish (or Czechoslovak) army somewhat difficult, so the Poles have spent some months in the Painting Pile of Doom, waiting for the day when something SKOTish became available.

A Polish mechanised infantry platoon on the march during the 1980s. At the front and rear are SKOT-2As, with a Soviet-designed turret (as fitted to the BRDM-2 scout car). In the centre is a SKOT-2AP, with a Czech/Polish-designed turret, allowing high elevation of the 14.5mm gun for local air defence.

That day finally dawned recently, when I noticed that Butler’s Printed Models had added a range of SKOT variants to their catalogue! 🙂  Their initial listing showed a SKOT-1 (the original, basic flat-topped type), a SKOT-2 (with an octagonal ‘plinth’ and pintle HMG), a SKOT-2 with shielded gunner’s position, a SKOT-2A (with the Soviet BPU-1 turret) and a SKOT-2AP (with Polish/Czech-designed hi-elevation turret).

I must admit that I was a little bit wary, as I’d never seen a 3D-printed model ‘in the flesh’ and photos I’d seen of printed model vehicles hadn’t impressed me – mainly due to excessive ‘stepping’ on sloped or curved surfaces caused by the printing process.  However, the photos looked good and I really NEED those SKOTs!  They are also only £4 apiece (compared to £5-£8 for a typical model of the same size from other manufacturers), so I ordered a sample of three vehicles (a SKOT-2, a SKOT-2A and a SKOT-2AP).  They were delivered in only three days and I was very impressed!  So much so that I immediately ordered another nine models.

Having never seen a 3D-printed model before, I’m absolutely fascinated by the ‘supporting structure’ that underpins each model and even completely encases parts of it.

This supporting structure all needs to be cleaned away and BPM kindly provide at least one cleaned-up model with each order as a guide to what needs to be removed.

Some of the supporting structure snaps away very easily between finger and thumb.

The rest of it comes away easily enough with the aid of a small pair of snips or pliers.  I found that the join between the supporting structure and the model itself is always the weakest point and I haven’t yet managed to damage a model during clean-up.

The trickiest bit of the clean-up process for these models is the turrets.  The lower half of each is completely encased in a ‘tube’ of supporting structure and you do need a knife or snips to pierce it.  It then peels off easily enough, as shown above.

Here are my first twelve models cleaned and based, ready for painting.  The whole process took about an hour, so roughly five minutes per model.  This takes somewhat longer than the clean-up time for a metal or resin model, but there is no construction required aside from attaching the turrets or pintle-mounted MGs and it takes considerably less time than building a plastic kit!

The process to generate a lot of waste, however!  This is the rubbish left over from the first twelve models.

Having now got all the infantry-carriers I need, I started thinking about command vehicles, artillery OP vehicles and anti-tank vehicles.  I dropped a quick e-mail to BPM to ask if they had any plans to release the SKOT-R2 command vehicle or the SKOT-2AM anti-tank missile carrier and quick as a flash, they got back to me asking if I had any photos… Within four days they were available on their website and I had them within the week!  How’s that for superb customer service?! 🙂

The primary difference between a command SKOT and an ordinary SKOT is the addition of vision-blocks to the forward five sides of the octagonal ‘plinth’ on the superstructure, so the SKOT-R2 battalion/regimental command vehicle model is basically a SKOT-2 with those details added, while the SKOT-R2M company command vehicle is a similarly modified SKOT-2A.  The SKOT-2AM model includes a modified turret and a separate AT-3 ‘Sagger’ missile and blast-shield to attach to each side of the turret.  In the field, the SKOT command vehicles would normally also have an auxiliary generator box or two carried on top, as well as additional whip-antennae, antenna brackets and telescopic antennae, so I added these from spare parts.  The artillery observer’s SKOT-R2AM variant also has a folding frame aerial, so I added these simply with a bit of bent brass wire (see above).

I’ve now completed eighteen SKOTs; mostly SKOT-2A, but with a few SKOT-2AP, a pair of SKOT-2, a SKOT-R2, a SKOT-R2M, a SKOT-2AM and a pair of SKOT-R2AM.  I found that some models were slightly worse than others in terms of ‘stepping’, but none were in any way bad and mentioned earlier, the slight imperfections are invisible when viewed at normal tabletop distances.  Here are some close-ups of the various types:

Above:  The basic SKOT-2 APC, here fitted with a DShK 12.7mm HMG.  The original SKOT-1 lacked the octagonal ‘plinth’ on the top deck and had additional internal seating.  When the plinth was added it became the SKOT-1A and when armed it became the SKOT-2.  The Czechs simply called all of these the OT-64 and did not distinguish between the sub-types.  The Czechs also fitted some of their OT-64s with a small 7.62mm LMG turret.

The SKOT-2 was either armed with a 7.62mm LMG or a 12.7mm HMG and NATO referred to these types incorrectly as ‘OT-64A’ and ‘OT-64B’ respectively.  Many HMG-equipped SKOT-2s were fitted with all-round shields for the gunner.  By the 1980s the Polish People’s Army had largely relegated the remaining SKOT-1 and SKOT-2 to secondary roles such as internal security, heavy-weapons transport.  Most were converted to other types.

Note that Butler’s Printed Models produce both the SKOT-1 and the SKOT-2 with gun-shields, but I haven’t bought any yet.

Above: The SKOT-2A was the majority type in the Polish People’s Army of the 1980s.  It was fitted with the standard Soviet BPU-1 turret, as fitted to the BRDM-2 scout car and BTR-60PB APC.  The BPU-1 turret mounted a KPVT 14.5mm HMG, but had a severely limited range of elevation or depression.  The Czechs referred to this vehicle as the OT-64A, while NATO incorrectly referred to it as the ‘OT-64C’.

Above: The SKOT-2AP was a further development of the SKOT-2A, which replaced the BPU-1 turret with the locally-produced WAT turret.  This new turret retained the KPVT 14.5mm gun, but had much better elevation, enabling it to provide local air defence and making it much more useful in urban and mountain warfare situations.  Never as numerous as the SKOT-2A, the SKOT-2APs seem to have been mixed in with SKOT-2As, with perhaps one SKOT-2AP per platoon.  The Czechs also used a few of these, but only in small numbers and they didn’t give it a special designation, simply grouping it under the heading OT-64A.  NATO incorrectly referred to the SKOT-2AP as the ‘OT-64C(2)’.

The WAT turret was also fitted to Poland’s large fleet of TOPAS tracked APCs (their version of the Soviet BTR-50), creating the TOPAS-2AP.

On a critical note, I’m not keen on the gun.  I’m guessing that it’s a limitation of current 3D-printing technology, but the gun is rather over-sized and ‘rough’, when it should be exactly the same as the gun on the SKOT-2A.  I’d have preferred the model to have the gun pointing horizontally, as the AA role was only secondary to its primary infantry-carrying role.  even so, this is still an excellent model.

Above: The SKOT-2AM was a fairly rare conversion of the SKOT-2A, with a 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 ‘Sagger’) anti-tank guided missile fitted to each side of the turret, behind an armoured blast-shield.  These vehicles were probably issued to regimental anti-tank companies in lieu of the 9P122 Malyutka anti-tank vehicle (BRDM-2 with AT-3 ‘Sagger’).    The Czechs also had a few of these vehicles, but again don’t appear to have given it a distinct designation other than OT-64A.  NATO incorrectly referred to this type as ‘OT-64C(1A)’.

There was an earlier anti-tank variant of the SKOT-1, which had a single large deck-hatch at the very rear of the vehicle, with two 9M14 Malyutka missiles mounted on the deck in front of the hatch.

Above: The SKOT-R2M was the battalion/regimental command post version of the SKOT-2.  The Czechs referred to this as the VSOT-64/R2.  Butler’s Printed Models provide it with a DShK HMG, but all the photos I’ve seen show it as unarmed, so I’ve left it off.

The main recognition features of the command variants of the SKOT are the vision-blocks placed in the forward five sides of the octagonal ‘plinth’.  However, I’ve also added some other common features such as the auxiliary power generator on the rear deck, the telescopic mast stowed on the right-hand side of the hull, an antenna bracket at the rear-left corner and some whip-antennae.

Above: The SKOT-R2AM was an artillery observation and command vehicle, which was externally much the same as the SKOT-R2, with the addition of a folding frame-antenna.  Higher-level command and signals vehicles such as the SKOT-R3 also looked much the same as this.

Above: The SKOT-R2M was a turreted version of the SKOT-R2 that seems to have been used primarily as a company commander’s vehicle.  In Czech service this was known as the VSOT-64/R2M.

Now to get the Polish infantry finished and get them into a game! 🙂


Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Painted Units, Warsaw Pact Armies | Leave a comment

“Fortes Fortuna Juvat”: The Jutland Dragoons at Wulfsfelde, 1984

Fortes Fortuna Juvat

‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ (Motto of the Jutland Dragoon Regiment)

The Warsaw Pact’s Northern Front crossed the Inter-German Border yesterday, rapidly breaking through the forward units of the German Schleswig-Holstein Territorial Command and surrounding the 71st Heimatschütz Regiment in Lübeck.  The 81st Heimatschütz Regiment however, has been annihilated and the survivors of the mechanised 51st and 61st Heimatschütz Brigades are falling back to the main line of resistance on the Kiel Canal.  Scattered German Home Guard units meanwhile, are mounting ambushes everywhere, making the enemy pay for every inch of German soil.

The Heimatschützen’s sacrifice has allowed time for NATO’s LANDJUT Command to crystallise a main line of resistance along the Kiel Canal.  The German 6th Panzergrenadier Division is on the right, with its flank resting on the Elbe and covering the main approaches to Hamburg.  The Danish Jutland Division is on the left, holding a wide swathe of land across Schleswig-Holstein, with its left flank resting on the Baltic and the British 1st Infantry Brigade is in reserve.  The line is spread very thin, though gaps are being covered by the ubiquitous local Heimatschütz platoons and the line should soon be strengthened by the arrival of the US 9th Motorized Infantry Division, which is presently unloading at Hamburg.

However, not everyone is safely behind the Kiel Canal… Danish and German reconnaissance forces are east of the canal, performing reconnaissance and covering the withdrawal of the surviving German Territorial units and refugees from the east.  Among these is the 1st Battalion of the Danish Jutland Dragoon Regiment, whose ‘A’ Squadron is presently in camouflaged positions near the town of Wulfsfelde, approximately half-way between the IGB and the Kiel Canal.  Major Simmondsson, commanding ‘A’ Squadron, has the following forces at his disposal:

‘A’ Squadron, 1st Jutland Dragoons
1x Commander
1x M113 Command Vehicle
3x M41 Light Tanks
3x Infantry (1 with Carl-Gustav MAW & the rest with M72 LAW)
1x M113 APC
3x Infantry (1 with Carl-Gustav MAW & the rest with M72 LAW)
3x Land Rover (armed with MG3)
1x 81mm Mortar
1x M125 81mm Mortar Carrier

Attached from the Armour School
1x Prototype M41 DK-1 Light Tank

Attached from the 33rd Artillery Battalion
1x Forward Observer
1x M113 APC
Battery of 3x 155mm Guns in Direct Support (no General Support – they’re busy)

Attached from the 14th Air Defence Artillery Battalion
1x Hamlet (Redeye) SAM Team
1x Land Rover

Attached from the Royal Danish Air Force
1x Forward Air Controller
1x Land Rover
On a successful roll for Close Air Support, roll again to see what arrives: 1-2 = German Alpha-Jet, 3 = British Jaguar GR1, 4-7 = Danish Draken, 8-9 = Danish F-16, 10 = US A-10 Thunderbolt. All are armed with mixed bombs and rockets.

Attached from the German 61st Army Aviation Battalion
1x Command Bo-105 PAH-1 Anti-Tank Helicopter (HOT)
1x Bo-105 PAH-1 Anti-Tank Helicopter (HOT)

There are also some German units locally that are initially not under the command of Major Simmondsson. They start the scenario in the locations detailed and only come under Danish control once they have been contacted by the enemy (they will hold fire until spotted or until an enemy unit comes within ambush range):

Platoon, Jäger Battalion 512
This unit is holding a farm and its associated bridge over the stream to the north of Wulfsfelde, on the Jutland Dragoons’ left flank.
1x Command Jäger
2x Jäger (1 with Panzerfaust 44)
1x M113G APC

Platoon, Heimatschütz Company 1131
These men are preparing to defend their homes in Wulfsfelde and are in ambush positions on the eastern edge of the town.
1x Command Jäger
2x Jäger (1 with Panzerfaust 44)

Rapidly approaching from the east are the leading elements of the East German 28th Motorisierte-Schützen Regiment Wilhelm Florin , which is the spearhead unit for the 8th Motorisierte-Schützen Division Kurt Bürger.  At the tip of the spear is the 28th Regiment’s Reconnaissance Group, led by Major Marx:

Regimental Reconnaissance Company
1x Commander
4x Motor Rifles Infantry (2 with RPG-7 & the rest with RPG-18)
3x BTR-60 PB APC
2x BRDM-2 Armoured Car
1x T-55A Medium Tank
1x BRDM-2 RKh NBC Recce Vehicle

Attached Elements, Regimental Anti-Aircraft Company
1x 9K31 Strela 1 (SA-9 ‘Gaskin’) SAM Vehicle
1x ZSU-23-4 Shilka Anti-Aircraft Vehicle

Attached Elements, Regimental Anti-Tank Company
1x 9P148 Konkurs (BRDM-2 with AT-5 ‘Spandrel’) Anti-Tank Vehicle

Attached Elements, Regimental Pioneer Company
3x Pioneers (1 with RPG-7 & 1 with Flamethrower)
1x BTR-152 APC
1x MTU-54 Bridgelayer
1x IMR Engineer Vehicle

Attached Elements, Regimental Artillery Battalion
1x Forward Observer
1x 1V18 Artillery Command & Observation Vehicle
3x 2S1 Gvozdika SP 122mm Howitzers in Direct Support

Attached Elements, Frontal Aviation
1x Forward Air Controller
1x BTR-60 R975 Forward Air Control Vehicle
On a successful roll for Close Air Support, roll again to see what arrives: 1-2 = MiG-17 ‘Fresco’, 3-4 = MiG-21 ‘Fishbed’, 5-7 = Su-17 ‘Fitter’, 8-9 = MiG-27 ‘Flogger D’ & 10 = Su-25 ‘Frogfoot. All are armed with mixed bombs and rockets.

The above elements are all under the command of the Reconnaissance Company and will all arrive in column on the eastern road, with the Reconnaissance Company leading. The following elements will arrive in column from Turn 4:

Motor Rifle Company
1x Commander
1x 9K32 Strela 2 (SA-7 ‘Grail’) SAM Team
9x Motor Rifle Infantry (3 with RPG-7 & the rest with RPG-18)
4x BTR-60 PB APC

Tank Company
1x Command T-55A Medium Tank
5x T-55A Medium Tank

Above: Elements of Major Marx’s Recce Group avoid the town of Wulfsfelde and head north along the riverbank, before turning west onto a farm track.  The bridges along this track have already been assessed by covert pre-war reconnaissance as being capable of taking tanks.

Above: Behind them, the sound of explosions and gunfire announces the presence of West German Heimatschützen in Wulfsfelde.  A BRDM-2 scout car goes up in flames as a Panzerfaust finds its mark.

Above: In Wulfsfelde, elements of the Recce Company dismount to deal with the uppity locals, but soon get the worst of it!  A dismounted assault fails and they withdraw from the village, covered by their BTR-60.  Let the artillery deal with them…

Above: On a wooded knoll approximately 1km north of the town, marked as Der Offensichtlicher Hügel on their maps, a Danish patrol, consisting of an M41 light tank, an infantry section in Land Rovers and an artillery FOO, keep watch over the surrounding countryside.

Above:  The rest of the Dragoon Squadron is playing it safe; setting up a thin screen covering the road bridge west of Wulfsfelde.  On their left, a West German detachment from Jäger Battalion 512 is guarding a secondary bridge.

Above: A platoon of mechanised Dragoons dismount from their M113 APC and takes cover along a hedgerow, protecting the attached RDAF Forward Air Controller and his Land Rover.

Above:  With the skirmish going on in Wulfsfelde, the HQ and supporting elements of the East German recce group start to bunch up at the eastern bridge.  This is far too tempting a target to ignore and 155mm rounds from the Danish 33rd Field Artillery Battalion are soon causing havoc among the bunched AFVs.

Above:  North of Wulfsfelde, the leading elements of the East German recce group follow the farm track around Offensichtlicher Hügel and make a bee-line for the West German-held farm and its associated bridge.  However, the Danes have seen them and call up some support, courtesy of the West German 61st Aviation Battalion.

Above:  From his concealed position on Offensichtlicher Hügel, the forward M41 tank commander spots a column of East German BTR-60s crossing his front.  His orders are to remain concealed and report enemy strength and direction, but temptation gets the better of him and he orders his gunners to engage with 76mm AP!

Above:  The 76mm gun of the M41 might be no match for post-WW2 tanks, but it’s more than capable of taking on the paper-thin armour of a BTR-60 and the head of the column bursts into flames.  An unfortunate section of East German infantry are instantly immolated, but two sections manage to bail  out in various states of disorder.

Having conducted a successful ambush, the M41 commander smugly reverses out of his position, leaving the FOO and Land Rover-borne Dragoons to face the inevitable return fire on the hill top…

Above:  In the farm lane north of the Offensichtlicher Hügel, the leading BRDM-2 is spotted by another M41 and is rapidly dispatched by the alert gunner.  Once again, the puny 76mm gun of the M41 ismore than a match for Warpac light armour.

Above:  Buzzing in at hedge-top height, a pair of West German Bo-105 PAH-1 anti-tank helicopters moves up on the Danish left flank and passes the burning BRDM patrol to engage the rest of the East German reconnaissance element.  Strangely, they take machine-gun fire during their approach, but from where and from whom?!  Thankfully the hostile fire has no effect and they move forward to engage the Ossies…

Above:  Using the flank of Offensichtlicher Hügel to mask their approach, the helicopters manage to avoid any serious enemy fire as they loose off their HOT missiles, destroying a BRDM and a BTR-60 in the farm lane.  Luck is with the East German recce infantry, as they successfully bail out of their burning BTR-60.

Above: The momentum of the advance is rapidly being lost as the German Home Guard continue to resist in Wulfsfelde and the East German Motor Rifle company frantically seeks cover in the face of enemy artillery, helicopters and tanks.  Major Marx screams at his AA detachment commander to find a better position and take out the enemy helicopters!

Above: “What the £@%&??!!”  The smug grin is wiped off the M41 commander’s face as an anti-tank rocket screams past his reversing tank… “That came from the rear!  Gunner traverse left!  Enemy infantry to the rear!  Load HE!  Zero this is One, we are taking enemy anti-tank rocket fire from the rear – somewhere in the vicinity of the farm, over.”

“Zero, this is One!  We are being engaged by the West Germans at the farm!  They’re £@%&ing Spetz………..”  The Danes are shocked by a sudden explosion on their left and look round to see an M41 turret cartwheeling horribly through the air, atop a column of smoke and flame…

Above:  A platoon from the elite East German 40th Air Assault Battalion Willi Sanger (regarded by all as the very best of Warpac special forces) has infiltrated NATO lines using uniforms and M113Gs captured from the Schleswig-Holstein Territorial Command and has taken up position at the farm in order to keep the bridge (which had already been assessed as good for tanks by members of a ‘student exchange’ some years previously) open for the East German advance.  However, the arrival of the West German helicopters and Danish M41s required them to play their hand early; they’ve now been rumbled by the Danes and their mechanised recce relief force is now burning in the lane…

Major Simmondson acts swiftly, calling in an RDAF Draken to strike the farm!  Dodging fire from SA-9 SAMs and ZSU-23-4 Shilka AAA, the Draken screeches in and releases 500-pound bombs onto the farm, eliminating two of the three East German special forces teams.  However, one team (armed with Panzerfaust 44) and the M113G remain.

Above: An M41 moves forward to engage the surviving special forces, but is disordered by Panzerfaust fire from the farm.  Meanwhile, the East German artillery have finally woken up and concentrated 122mm fire is plastering the Offensichtlicher Hügel.

Above: The prototype M41 DK-1 detachment ends the argument with the East German special forces, destroying their looted M113G APC with a shot to the rear.

Above: With East German units deploying into battle formation in the distance, the West German helicopters fire again, destroying a T-55.

Above: Undeterred by mounting casualties, the East Germans shake out into battle formation.

Above: At last, the East German air defence units start to find their form and the helicopters suffer a crisis of confidence, scuttling behind the lee of the Offensichtlicher Hügel to avoid concentrated SA-7, SA-9 and Shilka fire.

Above: Determined to winkle out the Danish OP on the Offensichtlicher Hügel, a surviving East German recce platoon movesup onto the high ground.  Somewhat unwisely, the Danish FOO decides to stay in position and call his guns down onto the approaching East German infantry… But for the first time his frantic calls go unanswered and the East Germans launch a close assault on his position!  Somewhat astonishingly, the FOO survives by the skin of his teeth, but the East Germans now have a magnificent view of the Danish positions beyond the hill.

Above: Led by the tank company, the East Germans cross the river and advance on the Danish position.

Above: The East German infantry decide  to break with doctrine and conduct the attack dismounted… Anything is better than going to war in a BTR-60…

Above: Back at Wulfsfelde, the East German pioneer detachment finally winkles the Home Guardsmen out in bitter house-to-house fighting.

Above: The RDAF Drakens return for a strike on the East German armour, but this time are driven off by a wall of AAA and SAMs.

Above: The light Dragoon patrols on Offensichtlicher Hügel are still calling down artillery and air support, but are under intense pressure from East German infantry and artillery and can hold on no longer.

Above: After a sterling effort in blunting the enemy advance, the West German helicopters are out of ammunition and must return to base.

Above: With the East German attack now in full flood and more coming up behind, Major Simondsson decides that discretion is the better part of valour and orders his squadron to disengage.

Above: Having given the East Germans a bloody nose for the loss of a section of M41s, the Dragoons disengage.

The game was played with Battlefront: First Echelon, our under-development Cold War variant of Battlefront: WWII rules by Fire & Fury Games.  In BF:FE and BF:WWII, each vehicle or heavy weapon represents 2-3 actual items, while a stand of infantry represents a Section/Squad.

The models used are all from my own collection.  The Danish infantry and vehicles are all by QRF with all modelling and conversions by my good friend Martin Small (the infantry are actually QRF Israelis).  The infantry were painted by Martin, but the vehicles were painted by me.  The Draken is a Tamiya 1/100th kit.  The West German infantry are by QRF, while the M113G and Bo-105 PAH-1s are by Flames of War/Team Yankee.

Most of the Warpac vehicles are by Skytrex, though the MTU-54, IMR and ZSU-23-4 are by QRF.  The East German infantry are by Flames of War/Team Yankee.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Games, Scenarios | 2 Comments

Gettysburg Revisited

We were back in Gettysburg again last week!  Following on from our highly successful first game of Fire & Fury 2nd Edition last month, my mate Skippy was persuaded to give the rules a go, so I decided to re-run the same scenario.

The scenario covers the first moves on 1st July 1863, the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg: General Heth’s Confederate Division is marching toward the Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg and has encountered the Union Cavalry Division of General Buford.  Heth’s two leading brigades (Davis’ and Archer’s) have deployed to attack the skirmishing cavalrymen and the rest of Heth’s division, along with several batteries of artillery, are hurrying to the scene.  On the Union side, the leading elements of General Reynolds’ I Corps has arrived to relieve Buford’s cavalry.

The last time I played this, I was on the losing side as the Union, so Skippy graciously offered to take the Union side in order to ‘give me a chance’…

Above: “With a Rebel Yell…” Archer’s small but veteran Confederate infantry brigade charges across the Willoughby Run, hoping to sweep Gamble’s unsupported dismounted cavalry brigade before them… And get shot down in droves… Archer’s assault grinds to a halt on the banks of the Willoughby Run.

Above: Support for Gamble is coming in the form of Meredith’s crack Iron Brigade, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be needed…

Above: At the northern end of the battlefield, Davis’ large Confederate brigade crosses the Willoughby Run and advances along the unfinished railway line.

Above: On Davis’ right, a brief artillery duel results in a magnificent result for the Union gunners as one Confederate battery on the Herr Ridge is knocked out, a second one is damaged and the third battery is temporarily silenced!  Calef’s Union Horse Battery, which is closely supporting Devin’s cavalry brigade, now switches its attention to Brockenbrough’s infantry brigade near the bridge, but Calef’s guns are already running low on ammunition following the artillery duel, so have a difficult choice to make: Stay to support the cavalry with diminished results, or pull back to replenish their limbers, leaving the cavalry unsupported…?

Above: Cutler’s Union Brigade moves forward on the north side of the railway to MacPherson’s Ridge, to support Devin’s left flank and perhaps stop Davis’ Confederate Brigade on the banks of the Willoughby Run.  However, Davis’ first volley disorders Cutler’s Red-Legs and the Rebel Yell is heard once again as Davis’ men charge up the ridge!

Above: Cutler’s Brigade manage to hurt Davis’s men as they charge up the ridge, but fails to stop them.  A return volley inflicts more casualties on Cutler, but still they hold on!  The combat is drawn out and bloody – men fall in large numbers on both sides until finally, Cutler is forced to give ground.  However, a further exchange of fire sees Davis’s men falter and Cutler throws them back off the ridge!

Above: At McPherson’s Farm, Devin’s cavalry can’t possibly hope to hold out against the massing Confederate infantry.  Calef’s Battery still hasn’t had a chance to replenish its limbers, so is only able to provide limited support.

Above: Thankfully, Hall’s Battery, still stationed well to the rear on Seminary Ridge, is providing outstanding long-range fire support and manages to keep the Confederate artillery largely silenced.

Above: Gamble’s Cavalry Brigade continues to hammer Archer’s Confederates.  The waters of the Willoughby Run run red…

Above: Meredith’s Iron Brigade still hasn’t managed to get into action.  It looks as though Gamble is easily coping with Archer’s attack, though Pettigrew’s massive Confederate brigade is massing in the wooded valley and looks set to attack the Union cavalrymen.  It’s time for Buford to pull his cavalry back and allow Meredith to attack the Confederate flank.

Above: Archer’s Brigade is soon broken utterly, though Confederate artillery are now starting to make their presence felt again and the Union cavalry are starting to take casualties.  Buford gives the order for them to fall back to the next ridge-line.  In the distance, the Iron Brigade engages Pettigrew.

Above: On the northern flank, Cutler’s and Davis’s brigades are now utterly exhausted, having fought each other to a standstill.  Cutler launches another charge in a desperate attempt to throw Davis back off McPherson’s Ridge, but to no avail.  Heth and Wadsworth both become personally involved in the bitter hand-to-hand fighting, but to no effect.  With Buford’s cavalry falling back on the left, Wadsworth finally orders Cutler to concede ground and fall back to conform with Buford’s right flank.

Above: On the southern flank, Pettigrew’s Confederates suffer heavy casualties from the combined effects of Meredith’s Iron Brigade, Gamble’s cavalry and Hall’s Battery and suddenly suffer a crisis of confidence!  To Meredith’s astonishment and disappointment, the Rebs retreat back to the cover of the woods along the Willoughby Run!

Above: Brockenbrough’s small veteran confederate brigade pushes hard up the road, but comes under renewed fire from Calef’s Battery and Gamble’s cavalry and his attack grinds to a halt.  To his right, Pettigrew’s boys are withdrawing and on his left, Davis and Cutler have fought each other to a standstill.  With casualties now approaching catastrophic levels, Heth halts the attack and waits for Pender’s Division to come up…

Above: Having suffered near-perpetual silencing at the hands of the Union artillery, the Reb artillery is starting to build up again on Herr Ridge, but it’s too little, too late…

So I lose again… Regular readers may be starting to spot a pattern… Is this really the hobby for me, I wonder…?

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Scenarios | Leave a comment

Operation Colosseum: Angola 1986

First apologies: As you know, it’s been a very slow couple of weeks on the blog.  This is primarily due to the arrival of a new Hairy Land Shark Under Training here at Fawr Towers, accompanied by constant demands for attention and lack of sleep…

That said, I did manage to get down to the club and get some wargaming in.  It occurred to me last week that it’s been ten years since I last did a game with my Angola ‘Border War’ collection, so it was high time we dusted off the models (quite literally) and do a small game.

Many moons ago, I converted a scenario by Johann Schoemann covering one of the many South African operations against SWAPO-PLAN guerrillas during the 1980s.  This scenario (Operation Colosseum) can be found in the Battlefront: WWII Scenario Page of the  Fire & Fury Games website.  Despite re-writing it for Battlefront: WWII I’d never actually gotten around to play-testing the scenario.

Note that the low-tech nature of African wars generally means that you can simply use the ‘straight’ Battlefront: WWII rules without modern modification.  All you need are the models and the Unit Data Cards, which can be downloaded from the Battlefront: WWII Data Card Generator.  Just scroll down the list and select the cards you want (keeping the Ctrl key pressed), then print them off.  South African cards are prefixed ‘SADF-‘ and the Communist cards are prefixed ‘FA-‘.

Note that in Battlefront: WWII, each vehicle or heavy weapon represents 2-3 actual items and each troop stand represents an infantry section or HQ section.  We are presently in the (long and drawn-out) process of developing a Cold War variant entitled Battlefront: First Echelon.

To précis the scenario: In November 1986, the South African special forces of 5 Recce-Commando, led by Commandant James Hill, were operating deep inside Angola, with the objective of destroying a SWAPO-PLAN guerrilla training camp about 30km north-east of the earlier battlefield of Cassinga and about 20km south-east of the Cuban garrison at Jamba.

Splitting his force into three groups, the first group designated 5/1 Commando under Major James Luyt, would be the main assault force and would at dawn, conduct a surprise mounted assault in Casspir APCs against the main camp.  Two smaller groups, designated 5/2 Commando under Major Buks Buys and 5/3 Commando under Major Nick du Toit, would infiltrate north across the river under cover of darkness, to establish cut-off positions on the main roads out of the camp, with the intention of ambushing fleeing SWAPO-PLAN guerrillas or Cuban reaction forces approaching from the north.

Above: Aside from a few sentries, Major James Chitepo and his SWAPO-PLAN freedom-fighters sleep peacefully, unaware of the danger lurking in the treeline.

Above: Captain Herbert Guma’s 1st Company sleeps in its tent-lines near the Motor Pool (ok sorry, I don’t have any tent models…), while Captain Duke Mafoka’s 2nd Company beds down between the trenches and the officers’ accommodation buildings.  Captain Raymond Mondlane’s 3rd Company is camped on the far side of the stores and headquarters buildings.  All three companies have heavy machine guns positioned in bunkers at the road-entrances and 60mm mortars in weapon-pits to the rear.

Above: Commandant Hill leads his HQ Group, plus two attached platoons from 5/1 Commando to the east, with the intention of rushing across the eastern road bridge, to assault the eastern gate of the camp.  His 81mm mortar platoon is deployed, ready to lay down the planned barrage on the unsuspecting camp.

Above: Major Luyts leads the rest of his Casspirs in a frontal assault across the ford.

Above: As quietly as they can, 5/1 Commando’s support weapons move into position along the treeline, ready to provide supporting fire for the assault.  The Fire Support Group has two Unimog trucks mounting ZPU-2 twin 14.5mm HMGs, another two Unimogs mounting B-10 107mm Recoilless Rifles (proxied here by Land Rovers) and a GAZ-66 mounting twin .50 Cal HMGs.

Above: At H-Hour, the 81mm mortars, recoilless rifles and heavy machine guns open up on the camp and the Casspirs roar at full-pelt across the river!

Above: As Luyts’ assault group charges the camp, the 81mm mortars manage to silence the DShK bunker guarding the south gate.  The truck-mounted heavy weapons meanwhile cause utter carnage among Duke Mafoka’s 2nd Company tent lines.

Above: Luyts’ leading Casspir crosses the river and then uses its second action to disembark two sections of Recce Commandos.  The following Casspirs move to either flank and close on the trench-lines.

Above: Hill’s assault group closes on the east gate.  The sentries desperately fire their weapons at the armoured beasts, but to no effect.  There is now utter pandemonium in the camp, as guerrillas attempt to extricate themselves from their tents!

Above: At the south gate the Casspirs, bristling with machine guns, lay down covering fire as two sections of Recce Commandos assault the DShK bunker.  A further four sections of Recces dismount and throw themselves into the cover of the trenches.

Above: At the east gate, Commandant Hill personally leads the assault on the dug-in sentries.  Aided by suppressing fire from their Casspir, two Recce sections dismount and assault the DShK bunker on the north side of the gate, while a further two Recce sections dismount and occupy the trenches on Hill’s left.

Above: The east gate a few moments later; Commandant Hill’s supporting section was suppressed by smallarms fire from the SWAPO sentries, but Hill’s HQ section successfully stormed the trench at bayonet-point!  On the other side of the road however, the Recces weren’t quite as successful, being beaten off by the suppressed DShK HMG section.  As his men die around him, Duke Mafoka’s position in the officer’s accommodation block looks increasingly precarious!

Above: It has now only been twenty minutes (two turns) since the first shot was fired and the situation already looks desperate for Major Chitepo’s beleaguered command.  Chitepo orders his HQ section to load up into one of the GAZ-66 trucks and to make for the Cuban garrison at Jamba.  Duke Mafoka’s 2nd Company has virtually been wiped out and the few survivors, including Mafoka, are fleeing for the north gate.  Herbert Guma’s 1st Company is still relatively intact, though is falling back toward the Motor Pool.  Their HMGs, which were originally positioned on the west side of the camp, are moving to engage the South Africans.  Guma himself however, finds himself trapped in the officers’ accommodation.  He succeeds in breaching the fence to the Motor Pool and immediately jumps into a GAZ-66.  Raymond Mondlane’s 3rd Company is still intact though, and while some of the company move to commandeer vehicles, the rest of the company attempts to establish blocking positions on the north side of the camp.

Above: Seeing movement in the truck-park, Major Luyts calls the 81mm mortars down on the parked rows of GAZ-66 trucks and watches with grim satisfaction as some of them go up in flames.  James Chitepo and Herbert Guma now find themselves fleeing for their lives as their transport goes up in smoke!  On the south side of the camp, more of Guma’s 1st Company fall victim to South African fire.  Guma’s DShKs and 60mm mortar attempt to keep South African heads down, but to little effect.

Above: At the east gate, the heroic Commandant Hill, with help from his Casspirs, successfully knocks out the machine gun bunker and pushes on into the officers’ accommodation buildings.  Duke Mafoka attempts to flee across the road, but tragically becomes road-kill as a Casspir charges down the street in pursuit of the fleeing guerrillas!  Hill’s HQ Casspir meanwhile, drives into the forest on the north side of the camp, in an attempt to cut off the fugitives’ escape.

Above: With the eastern side of the camp now cleared, Commandant Hill calls his Fire support Group forward across the river in order to more closely engage the remaining DSHk HMG teams and bunkers.

Above:  The Casspir in the street luckily manages to spot and destroy a B-10 recoilless rifle team before they could engage the Casspir.  A guerilla section does manage to fire an RPG at the Casspir and suppresses it, but those guerrillas too are soon eliminated.

In the woods near the north gate, the SWAPO 1st Company spots an opportunity and launches an assault on the command Casspir.  Unfortunately for the South Africans, the command Casspir isn’t a fully ‘tooled up’ K-Car model, so doesn’t have the same level of firepower when compared to the other Casspirs.  However, it still manages to disorder one of the three attacking guerilla sections.  The combat is close, but the Casspir gets the worst of it and is forced to retreat.  This is a nail-biting moment for the South African commander – there is a possibility of bogging down in the woods and if it does so while retreating it will be captured and will hand a massive 50 Victory Points to SWAPO!

However, Commandant Hill makes a successful bog-down check and his Casspir escapes!

With this threat to their lines of retreat temporarily beaten off, the surviving SWAPO guerrillas make good their escape down the northern and western roads… Straight into ambushes, courtesy of 5/2 Commando and 5/3 Commando…

As the Recces swept through the camp, mopping up any SWAPO units that resisted and driving the rest toward the waiting ambushes, it was clear that this had been a resounding victory for 5 Recce Commando and an utter disaster for SWAPO-PLAN!  The South Africans had not suffered a single loss, while SWAPO-PLAN had suffered the loss of their entire HQ, 2nd Company and motor pool, as well as 75% of 1st Company and 50% of 3rd Company.  Major James Chitepo, Captain Duke Mafoka and Captain Herbert Guma were all dead or missing.

It had also been one of the most catastrophic hoofings that I’ve ever suffered in a wargame! 🙁


In terms of how it performed as a scenario; it actually worked out pretty historically, though could use a few tweaks to improve ‘balance’ and make it more of a fight.  It would also be an idea not to completely forget to place barbed wire, like I did… 🙂 With a wire barrier in front of the trenches, the South Africans would have been held back for one or two more actions as they breached the wire.  This might have given the SWAPO forces a chance to occupy their own trenches before the South Africans did!  I’d also perhaps only place restrictions on SWAPO for Turn 1.  Making SWAPO stay put through Turn 2 gave the South Africans a massive advantage and they had essentially won the game before SWAPO was able to fight back.

Nevertheless, Chris and I had a highly enjoyable game and Chris did a remarkable job with his superb, text-book assault, despite never having played Battlefront: WWII before.  The game did demonstrate clearly the massive advantages and disadvantages that troop quality gives a unit over raw stats over weapons and firepower – something that Battlefront: WWII simulates very, very well.


The models used were all 15mm models from my own collection:

The troops, heavy weapons, Unimogs, UAZ-469 Jeeps and Ural-375 trucks are all from Peter Pig’s ‘AK-47’ range, while the rest of the vehicles (including the Casspirs, which were originally designed by our own Martin Small) are by QRF.

I should have said that the terrain cloth is by Tiny Wargames, the trees, bunkers and trenches were home-made by Al Broughton, the rubber roads and rivers are by TSS, the fences are by Timecast and the hooches are by a long-forgotten company that used to make 15mm Vietnam riverine stuff.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Angolan Border War, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Scenarios | 4 Comments

“By God, That’ll Do!” – The Battle of Salamanca, 22nd July 1812

The Battle of Salamanca 22nd July 1812

Following the French retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras in 1811, Wellington once again secured the Allied position in Portugal with the capture of the Spanish border fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz.  Wellington then captured the city of Salamanca and pursued Marmont north to the River Douro.

However, Marmont was able to concentrate his forces and steal a march on Wellington, thereby threatening Wellington’s flank.  Nevertheless, Wellington reacted with astonishing quickness and the two armies spent several days marching south, parallel with each other and at times even within cannon-shot.

At last on the morning of the 22nd day of July, Wellington noticed that Marmont’s army was rather more strung out than usual and decided to take advantage of the situation.  Concealing the bulk of his army in dead-ground behind the village of Arapiles, he ordered Packenham’s 3rd Division to ambush and then drive in the head of the French column.  The rest of the army would then follow up by launching a general attack on the French centre…

The game starts with the Allied 0800hrs turn and ends with the French 1900hrs turn.

Rules used are ‘Napoleon’s Battles’ (4th Edition) and each unit represents a brigade at roughly 1:100 ratio.

Allied Order of Battle

General Sir Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington

Cavalry Division – Lieutenant General John Stapleton-Cotton
Le Marchant’s Brigade (Heavy Dragoons) [12 figures]
C Anson’s Brigade (Light Dragoons) [12 figures]
MacDonald’s Troop RHA [6pdr]

1st Division – Lieutenant General Hugh Campbell
Fermor’s Brigade (Guards) [16 figures]
Wheatley’s Brigade (Highlanders) [20 figures]
Löwe’s Brigade (KGL Line Battalions) [16 figures]
Sympher’s Troop KGLHA [9pdr]

3rd Division – Lieutenant General Edward Packenham
Wallace’s Brigade [16 figures]
J Campbell’s Brigade [16 figures]
Power’s Portuguese Brigade [20 figures]
V Alten’s Brigade (Light Dragoons & KGL Hussars) [12 figures]
D’Urban’s Portuguese Cavalry Brigade [12 figures]
Bull’s Troop RHA [6pdr]

4th Division – Lieutenant General Lowry Cole
W Anson’s Brigade [16 figures]
Ellis’ Brigade [16 figures]
Stubbs’ Portuguese Brigade [24 figures]

5th Division – Lieutenant General Leith
Greville’s Brigade [24 figures]
Pringle’s Brigade [16 figures]
Spry’s Portuguese Brigade [20 figures]

6th Division – Lieutenant General Clinton
Hulse’s & Hinde’s Brigades (combined) [24 figures]
Rezende’s Portuguese Brigade [24 figures]

7th Division – Lieutenant General Hope
Halkett’s Brigade (KGL & Brunswick Light Battalions) [16 figures]
De Bernewitz’s Brigade (Light Infantry) [16 figures]
Collins’ Portuguese Brigade [16 figures]

Light Division – Lieutenant General Charles Alten
Barnard’s Brigade [16 figures]
Vandeleur’s Brigade [16 figures]
Bock’s KGL Brigade (Heavy Dragoons) [12 figures]
Ross’ Troop RHA [6pdr]

Spanish Division – General Carlos de España
Spanish Infantry Brigade [20 figures]
Lanceros de Castilla [12 figures]
Horse Battery [4pdr]

1st Portuguese Independent Brigade – Major General Dennis Pack
Pack’s Portuguese Brigade [24 figures]

2nd Portuguese Independent Brigade – Major General Thomas Bradford
Bradford’s Portuguese Brigade [16 figures]


  1. Stapleton-Cotton is the overall Allied cavalry commander and may take control of any British, KGL or Portuguese cavalry brigade or horse battery within his command span, even if they are temporarily attached to other divisions at the start of the battle (see below). He may not take command of Spanish units.
  2. V Alten’s and D’Urban’s Cavalry Brigades plus a horse battery from the Cavalry Division are temporarily attached to Pakenham’s 3rd Division.
  3. Bock’s KGL Dragoon Brigade plus a horse battery from the Cavalry Division are temporarily attached to Von Alten’s Light Division.
  4. An additional 6pdr battery has been manhandled on to the North Arapile and is under Cole’s command. It may not be moved from this position, though it may pivot on the spot.

French Order of Battle

Maréchal Auguste de Marmont, Duc de Raguse

1er Division – Général de Division Foy
Chemineau’s Brigade (Light Infantry) [20 figures]
Degraviers-Berthelot’s Brigade [24 figures]

2ème Division – Général de Division Clausel
Berlier’s Brigade [28 figures]
Barbot’s Brigade [28 figures]

3ème Division – Général de Division Ferey
Menne’s Brigade (Light Infantry) [24 figures]
2nd Brigade [24 figures]

4ème Division – Général de Division Sarrut
Fririon’s Brigade (Light Infantry) [28 figures]
2nd Brigade [16 figures]

5ème Division – Général de Division Maucune
Arnaud’s Brigade [24 figures]
Montfort’s Brigade [24 figures]

6ème Division – Général de Division Brennier
Taupin’s Brigade [24 figures]
2nd Brigade [16 figures]

7ème Division – Général de Division Thomières
Bonté’s Brigade [24 figures]
2nd Brigade [16 figures]

8ème Division – Général de Division Bonnet
Gautier’s Brigade [28 figures]
2nd Brigade [28 figures]

Division de Cavallerie Légère – Général de Division Curto
1st Brigade (Hussars & Chasseurs) [12 figures]
2nd Brigade (Chasseurs) [12 figures]
Batterie à Cheval [4pdr]

Division de Cavallerie Lourde – Général de Division Boyer
1st Brigade (Dragoons) [12 figures]
Carrié’s Brigade (Dragoons) [12 figures]
Batterie à Cheval [4pdr]

Reserve Artillery
Batterie à Cheval [4pdr]
Batterie à Pied [12pdr]
Batterie à Pied [12pdr]


  1. While an accurate order of battle for the French artillery at Salamanca does not exist, we do however have an accurate record of the number and type of guns lost, so our ‘educated guess’ is based on this.
  2. An additional 8pdr battery has been manhandled to the top of the South Arapaile and is under Bonnet’s command. It may not be moved from this position, though it may pivot on the spot.
  3. The two reserve 12pdr batteries start the game on the march with Ferey’s Division.

After-Action Report

  1. The battlefield of Salamanca. In the centre are the ‘Arapiles’ – in reality, two steep-sided, rocky hills that formed a bastion in the centre of each side’s position.

  1. The battlefield of Salamanca, showing the position of all divisions and independent brigades (white for the Allies and blue for the French). Aside from the 1st, Light and 4th Divisions, which were placed in obvious positions on the high ground, Wellington had hidden the bulk of his army in the dead-ground behind Arapiles village.  The French were strung out, attempting to march around what they believed to be Wellington’s right flank.  However, Packenham’s 3rd Division was lying in wait at Miranda de Azan.

  1. The battlefield as seen from the rear of Wellington’s army: On the left, the Light and 1st Divisions, with Bock’s KGL Heavy Dragoons, make a demonstration against the French rearguard. The 4th Division holds the Lesser Arapile, with Pack’s Independent Portuguese Brigade in reserve.  The 5th Division holds Arapiles village, with 7th Division forming a second line and 6th Division in reserve.  On the right, Bradford’s Independent Portuguese Brigade, the Spanish Division and the bulk of Cotton’s Cavalry Division (Anson’s Light and Le Marchant’s Heavy Brigades) guard the flank.  In the distance, the 3rd Division, with Alten’s and d’Urban’s Cavalry Brigades, ambushes Thomières’ Division, at the head of the French column.

  1. The right flank of Wellington’s army, with Bradford’s Portuguese out in front, supported by Cotton’s Cavalry Division and d’España’s Division.

  1. A closer look at the Allied right flank.

  1. D’España’s infantry – resplendent in British-supplied blue uniforms.

  1. They might be a bit rubbish, but d’España’s cavalry do have a certain panache.

  1. Wellington establishes his headquarters next to Clinton’s 6th Division, which consisted of Hulse’s and Hinde’s British Brigades and Rezende’s Portuguese Brigade. The two British brigades were woefully understrength, so are here combined into a single unit for game purposes.

  1. A close-up of Wellington’s centre, showing Leith’s 5th Division in and around Arapiles village, with Hope’s 7th Division in support and Clinton’s 6th Division at the rear. On their left (our right), Cole’s 4th Division holds the area of the Lesser Arapile, while Pack’s Portuguese stand in reserve to the rear.

  1. A closer look at Leith’s 5th Division at Arapiles village: Greville’s Brigade holds the village itself, while Pringle’s Brigade and Spry’s Portuguese Brigade provide support.

  1. Pack’s Portuguese parade in front of Wellington.

  1. Another view of Wellington’s centre.

  1. A close-up of Pack’s Portuguese Brigade and Wellington’s headquarters.

  1. A close-up of Clinton’s 6th Division: Hulse’s & Hinde’s Brigades (combined unit) in front, with Rezende’s Portuguese to the rear.

  1. Yet another view of Wellington’s centre: The British unit with the green colour is De Bernewitz’s Brigade (7th Division), while the British unit with the blue colour is Ellis’ Brigade (4th Division). The Portuguese unit with the red colour is Stubbs’ Brigade (4th Division).

  1. Here we see elements of Campbell’s 1st Division and Alten’s Light Division, on Wellington’s left flank.

  1. An overview of the western end of the battlefield. On the right we can clearly see Packenham’s 3rd Division attacking Thomières’ French 7th Division.

  1. Wallace’s Brigade leads the attack on Thomières, closely followed by Campbell’s Brigade and Power’s Portuguese Brigade. On the flank, d’Urban’s Portuguese Cavalry and Alten’s British/KGL Light Cavalry Brigade engage Curto’s French Light Cavalry Division.

  1. The view from behind French lines: From left to right in the front line are Thomières’ 7th Division, Maucune’s 5th Division, Clausel’s 2nd Division and Bonnet’s 8th Division (on the Greater Arapile). Curto’s Light Cavalry Division marches to support the left flank, followed by Brennier’s 6th Division.  To the rear of the Greater Arapile stands Boyer’s Dragoon Division, with Ferey’s 3rd Division, the reserve artillery and Sarrut’s 4th Division approaching, though still strung out on the march.  In the distance, Foy’s 1st Division holds the rearguard at Calvarisa de Arriba.

  1. Another view of the French centre and left: The divisions of Clausel, Maucune and Bonnet, with Curto’s Light Cavalry, Brennier’s infantry and Boyer’s Dragoons in support.

  1. Boyer’s Dragoon Division, with Marmont’s headquarters and Ferey’s Division, plus artillery reserve approaching.

  1. An overview of the eastern end of the battlefield: On the left, Ferey’s Division marches toward Marmont’s headquarters, while on the right, Foy’s Division face off against the British 1st and Light Divisions, plus Bock’s KGL Heavy Dragoons.

  1. A close-up of Ferey’s division on the march.

  1. As Packenham’s flank attack goes in, Wellington’s entire right wing advances into the plain.

  1. As the Allies advance, Clausel’s Division moves forward to better support the left flank of Bonnet’s Division on the Greater Arapile.

  1. Somewhat surprisingly, Packenham’s Division and the supporting cavalry get the worst of the initial clash and Thomières is able to pull back, covered by Curto’s cavalry. However, d’España’s Division is rapidly marching to Packenham’s aid.

  1. After the initial clash, d’Urban’s Portuguese Cavalry steady their ranks and steel themselves for the next charge.

  1. Thomières trades space for time, though the bulk of Wellington’s army is rapidly bearing down on him.

  1. Bonnet’s Division waits on the Greater Arapile to see what develops.

  1. As Anson’s Brigade watches from the Lesser Arapile, the rest of Cole’s 4th Division crosses the valley, making a bee-line for the Greater Arapile. Guns positioned on the two Arapiles start to duel.

  1. Cotton’s Cavalry Division and d’España’s Spanish begin their advance.

  1. As the range closes, the Spanish horse artillery unlimbers and gives supporting fire to Packenham’s left flank.

  1. The Spanish infantry and Bradford’s Portuguese advance on Thomières.

  1. As the infantry close to contact, the Spanish cavalry looks for an opportunity.

  1. At Calvarisa de Arriba, Foy suffers early losses to the British and KGL artillery, with his supporting artillery being crippled by Allied fire. However, Ferey moves up to support the Greater Arapile position, bringing with him a battery of 12-pounders. Wellington judges that Ferey is the greater threat and orders Campbell’s 1st Division, Alten’s Light Division and Bock’s Dragoons to deal with him, while sending Pack’s Portuguese to contain Foy at Calvarisa de Arriba.

  1. Leith’s 5th Division surges forward from Arapiles village, with Greville’s Brigade and Spry’s Portuguese out in front.

  1. Cole’s 4th Division moves forward on Leith’s left, though Ellis’ Brigade starts to attract unwelcome attention from the French artillery. Very soon, casualties are beginning to mount and Cole’s attack stalls long before it reaches the foot of the Greater Arapile.

  1. The British 6th & 7th Divisions move up past Arapiles village, in close support of the developing attack.

  1. On the Allied left, Campbell’s 1st Division, followed by the Light Division and Bock’s Dragoons, moves forward to meet Ferey. Pack’s Portuguese move up to watch Foy’s flank-guard.

  1. Fermor’s Guards Brigade leads 1st Division’s attack, followed by Wheatley’s Highland Brigade, Löwe’s KGL Brigade and Bock’s KGL Dragoons. Barnard’s and Vandeleur’s Light Infantry Brigades follow on.

  1. A close-up of Fermor’s Guards Brigade, with Sympher’s KGL Horse Artillery in close support.

  1. An overview of the entire battlefield showing the initial movements.

  1. An overview of the initial movements in the centre.

  1. An overview of the initial movements around the Arapiles hills.

  1. Ferey’s Division, with a 12pdr battery in close support, forms up to meet the advance of Campbell’s 1st Division.

  1. Cole’s 4th Division staggers forward, under heavy fire.

  1. Anson’s Brigade, stationed on the Lesser Arapile, also starts to suffer from the remarkably accurate French gunnery.

  1. Leith’s Division also now starts to suffer casualties from increasingly heavy French fire. However, in the distance, the Spanish cavalry make their first charge of the day, pinning French infantry in squares and making them easy targets for the Allied gunners.

  1. As Campbell’s infantry close with Ferey, Bock’s Dragoons look for an opportunity to charge. In the distance, Ellis’ Brigade finally reaches the foot of the Greater Arapile, though comes under ever-increasing quantities of French artillery fire and is soon broken.  The survivors flee to the protection of Stubbs’ Portuguese.

  1. The scene a little while later: In the foreground, repeated attacks by Packenham’s 3rd Division, d’España’s Spanish Division and Cotton’s Cavalry Division have destroyed Thomières’ Division. Brennier and Curto attempt to shore up the crumbling left flank, but rapidly suffer heavy casualties.  Further along the French line, Maucune seems to be holding the ridge, though under increasing pressure from Leith’s 5th Division.  Clausel meanwhile, has lost one its brigades and is coming under fire from Hope’s 7th Division.  The situation for the entire French left wing looks grim and Marmont forms a strong reserve with Sarrut’s Division and Boyer’s Dragoon Division.  However, Bonnet is holding his own on the Greater Arapile and his artillery has halted a second attack on the position.  In the far distance, Foy’s Division has sallied out of Calvarisa de Arriba, intending to strike at Wellington’s left flank.

  1. A close-up of Wellington’s right wing; Wellington closely supervises the assault as Packenham and d’España roll up the French left flank as Hope and Leith keep the French infantry pinned down. Cotton’s cavalry rally following their charges against the French left flank.

  1. A close-up of the eastern flank of the battle; On the right, Foy sallies out of Calvarisa de Arriba against the exposed left flank of Alten’s Light Division, though Pack’s Portuguese Brigade moves to intercept. Campbell’s 1st Division engages in an artillery duel with Ferey’s 12pdrs.

  1. A close-up of the valley; Cole’s 4th Division attempts to keep the attack on the Greater Arapile going, though to no effect, as the French artillery fire is just too strong. With Ellis’ Brigade already depleted to dangerously low levels, Stubbs’ Portuguese Brigade is also now disordered by the French guns.  Supporting fire from the Lesser Arapile is largely ineffective.

  1. A close-up of the centre; The leading brigade of Leith’s 5th Division (Greville’s) manages to break one of Clausel’s brigades at the foot of the ridge. However, Greville is now disordered, is flanked by a 12pdr battery and is perilously close to threatening French infantry.  The rest of 5th Division struggles to make headway, but help arrives on Greville’s right flank, in the form of Halkett’s German Light Infantry Brigade (7th Division).

  1. Clinton’s 6th Division, Wellington’s main reserve formation, moves up past Arapiles village and Cotton’s cavalry.

  1. Having already mounted some limited attacks in support of the assault on the French left flank, Cotton’s cavalry brigades (Le Marchant’s Heavies and Ansons Lights) take some rest while they can.

  1. Wellington closely observes as Bradford’s Portuguese Brigade and Hope’s 7th Division go into action.

  1. A close-up of the action on the flank: Packenham’s 3rd Division and d’España’s Spanish Division overrun Thomières’ former position and also push back Brennier and Curto.

  1. The scene in the centre a short while later; Greville’s Brigade has somehow managed to hold on and has rallied from disorder, despite being isolated right in front of the enemy-held ridge. Hope’s 7th Division, Bradford’s Portuguese and the Spanish, plus artillery support, are really starting to damage the crumbling French left flank, paving the way for further attacks by Packenham’s 3rd Division.

  1. The overview from behind the French; The French left might be crumbling, but it’s hard work for the Allies, as the wooded and boggy river valley prevents any serious outflanking moves.

  1. Nevertheless, the Allies continue to roll back the French left; Here we see Halkett’s German Light Infantry Brigade (KGL & Brunswickers), together with the Spanish Infantry Brigade, rout one of Brennier’s brigades, thereby clearing the high ground of French infantry

  1. However, the Allies do not have it all their own way, as Greville’s beleaguered brigade has finally succumbed to the weight of close-range French fire brought against them. Anson’s Light Cavalry Brigade attempts to intervene, though is beaten off by Taupin’s French infantry and is unable to save Greville.

  1. With Greville’s Brigade destroyed, the Portuguese Brigades of Spry (5th Division) and Collins (7th Division) now become the focus of French animosity. However, they give as good as they get and the centre becomes a battle of attrition.  However, with the Allies able to feed in more reserves and successfully rolling up the flank, there can only be one eventual outcome.  In the distance, Cole has brought his remaining fresh brigade (Anson’s) down off the Lesser Arapile in a further attempt to take the Greater Arapile.

  1. As the Allies recover from their latest attacks, Marmont desperately feeds rallied brigades back into the battle for the centre and mounts some limited counter-attacks in an attempt to regain the initiative, though all are beaten off.

  1. On the southern slope of the ridge, Curto’s cavalry makes one last-ditch attempt to throw back Packenham’s advance. Wallace’s Brigade and Alten’s Light Cavalry suffer casualties and are thrown back in some disorder, though the French horsemen are decisively halted by Campbell’s Brigade, Power’s Portuguese Brigade and d’Urban’s Portuguese Cavalry.

  1. The heroic Spanish Infantry Brigade once again withstands all French counter-attacks. They are disordered, but still in command of the high ground.

  1. Anson’s Light Cavalry charges once again. Unable to form square due to the close proximity of the KGL Light Infantry, Taupin’s brigade is broken and Brennier’s Division is destroyed along with it.  The French have now lost three entire infantry divisions on their left flank.

  1. Another view of the centre.

  1. The central battle of attrition continues.

  1. On the far eastern flank, Alten turns part of the Light Division to face the renewed threat from Foy’s Division, which is sallying from Calvarisa de Arriba. Vandeleur’s Light Infantry and Ross’ Horse Battery engage in a close-range fire-fight with one French brigade, while Bock’s KGL Heavy Dragoons charge the other brigade.  However, the French manage to form square in time and Bock’s Dragoons are repulsed.

  1. Meanwhile, Alten’s other brigade (Barnard’s) is suffering under a hail of French fire. To make matter’s worse, Sympher’s 9pdr battery is silence by Ferey’s 12pdr guns.

  1. Ross’ battery too is silenced by French fire, though Vandeleur’s infantry return the complement and disorder the French infantry.

  1. With Foy’s infantry either disordered or trapped in square, they are now ripe for the plucking. Vandeleur’s Brigade prepares to charge.

  1. An overview of the situation on the eastern flank; Campbell’s 1st Division, with Cole’s 4th Division on its right, struggles to make headway against the strong French divisions of Ferey and Bonnet. However, Alten’s Light Division, assisted by Bock’s KGL Dragoons and Pack’s Portuguese Brigade, would soon make short work of Foy’s counter-attack on the flank.

  1. Despite Barnard’s Brigade floundering in front of them, Wheatley’s Highland Brigade make a fine spectacle as they advance on Ferey.

  1. In concert with Pack’s Portuguese, Vandeleur’s Brigade launches itself at Foy’s Division. Foy’s boys are soon routed with Bock’s Dragoons in hot pursuit and the threat to Wellington’s left flank is ended.

  1. Despite the reverses on both flanks, Bonnet still feels secure on the Greater Arapile.

  1. Still unengaged, Clinton’s 6th Division moves up to deliver the coup de grace to Marmont’s left wing.

  1. Similarly fresh, Bradford’s Portguese and Le Marchant’s Dragoons move forward to complete the destruction of the French left.

  1. In a last gasp of defiance, Curto’s surviving cavalrymen make yet another charge against Packenham’s infantry, though are intercepted by d’Urban’s Portuguese Cavalry and are annihilated.

  1. Seeing the writing on the wall, Marmont orders Boyer to be prepared to mount a rear-guard as the army withdraws from the field.

  1. An exhausted but victorious Packenham orders Power’s fresh Portuguese Brigade forward to sweep away Curto’s few remaining horsemen.

  1. Scenting victory and an opportunity for loot, the Spanish Cavalry Brigade moves forward to be in at the kill.

  1. Bonnet’s Division has been sitting pretty on the Greater Arapile for the entire battle, but now prepares to withdraw. Behind them, Sarrut’s Division and Boyer’s Dragoons prepare to become the rearguard for the army.

  1. Rallied fragments of the French left wing, aided by the ever-superb French artillery, continue to resist and even succeed in dispersing Spry’s Portuguese Brigade. With the loss of its second brigade, Leith’s 5th Division finally grinds to an honourable halt.

  1. With grim satisfaction, Wellington and his staff watch as the last elements of the French left wing are overrun. Strong elements of the French army still remain and will have to be dealt with, though this is nevertheless a resounding Allied victory!
Posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic Wars, Scenarios | 4 Comments

“There’s The Devil To Pay” (First Clash at Gettysburg): Our First ACW Game

Things have been slow on the painting, wargaming and blogging front just lately due to a wedding, an eye infection and tropical heat (anything better than ‘damp’ is considered tropical in these parts), but last week I managed to play my first 10mm ACW game down at the club!

I wanted to keep things small in order to get a grip of the Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules (and in any case, my eye infection has kept me from finishing off my second division of Rebs), so I set up a small scenario based on the initial clash at Gettysburg, on the morning of 1st July 1863:

General Heth’s division of A.P. Hill’s Confererate III Corps is advancing on the Pennsylvanian town of Gettysburg, but has encountered General Buford’s Union 1st Cavalry Division who are deployed across the road and are spoiling for a fight.  Heth’s leading two brigades have deployed for battle and the rest of his division is hurrying to the sound of the guns.  On the Union side, Wadsworth’s 1st Division of Reynolds’ I Corps is also deploying to support the hard-pressed cavalrymen.

If we were playing the full battle, troops would continue to pour on to the battlefield (the rest of Hill’s and Reynolds’ corps, as well as the Confederate II Corps and Union XI & XII Corps), but we’re keeping things small-scale for now and we’re saving the full 1st July battle for another day.

In terms of rules, I had originally thought that I would first try Fire & Fury 1st Edition and then move on to the slightly more complicated 2nd Edition.  However, on reading 2nd Edition, the subtle changes really appealed to me, particularly with regard to unit quality and weaponry.  It was also noticeable that unit firepower has been significantly increased over 1st Edition.  From my limited experience of the 1st Edition, it seemed that engagements were decided by close assault rather than fire-fights, so this seemed an improvement, but would it add too much complexity and slow down what is meant to be a game for big battles…?  We would see…

Union Forces – Major General John F Reynolds (I Corps) [Exceptional Leader]

1st Cavalry Division – Brigadier General John Buford [Exceptional Leader]
Gamble’s Brigade – 8 bases [8/5/3, Breech-Loaders, Veteran]
Devin’s Brigade – 6 bases [6/4/2, Breech-Loaders, Veteran]
Calef’s Battery [Horse Battery, Light Rifles, Veteran]

1st Division, I Corps – Brigadier General James S Wadsworth
Meredith’s (Iron) Brigade – 9 bases [9/6/4, Mixed Muskets, Exceptional Leader, Crack]
Cutler’s Brigade – 10 bases [10/7/4, Rifled Muskets, Exceptional Leader, Experienced]
Hall’s Battery (attached from I Corps Reserve) [Light Rifles, Veteran]

Confederate Forces – Brigadier General Harry Heth (2nd Division, III Corps)
Archer’s Brigade – 6 bases [6/4/2, Rifled Muskets, Veteran]
Davis’ Brigade – 11 bases [11/8/5, Rifled Muskets, Experienced]
Pettigrew’s Brigade – 13 bases [13/9/6, Rifled Muskets, Exceptional Leader, Experienced]
Brockenbrough’s Brigade – 5 bases [5/3/2, Rifled Muskets, Veteran]
1st Battery, III Corps Artillery Reserve [Light Rifles, Experienced]
2nd Battery, III Corps Artillery Reserve [Mixed Rifles & Napoleons, Experienced]
3rd Battery, III Corps Artillery Reserve [Light Rifles, Experienced]
4th Battery, III Corps Artillery Reserve [Mixed Rifles & Napoleons, Experienced]
5th Battery, III Corps Artillery Reserve [Napoleons, Experienced]

Note that all units start the game ‘Spirited’, so have the best possible Brigade Effectiveness ratings.  Note that the Gettysburg First Day scenario in the F&F 2nd Edition rulebook starts from a point slightly later in the morning, so some units have lost bases and are pegged slightly lower as ‘Reliable’.

For a bit of ‘local colour’, we also decided to use the ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Faulty Confederate Fuses’ special rules, which add a +1 close combat bonus to Confederate infantry charges and a -1 penalty to Confederate artillery when firing at Shot & Shell ranges (i.e. beyond canister range).

Note that for ease of play, I wrote the essential unit information on squares of card.  These aren’t quite as photogenic as my usual unit labels printed on green card, but for our first game I wanted them to be easily read.

Above: Being a card-carrying idiot, I forgot to take photos until well into Turn 2, so missed the opening action… Prior to this photo, Calef’s Union Horse Battery, deployed on the Chambersburg Pike alongside Devin’s dismounted cavalry brigade on MacPherson’s Ridge (here on the left), had opened the engagement in fine style by rolling a 10 and damaging one of the Confederate batteries unlimbering on the Herr Ridge (on the right).  However, this meant that Calef was already low on ammo and the Confederate gunners exacted swift retribution, silencing Calef’s battery and forcing it to fall back from the ridge.

With the Union artillery threat silenced, Davis’ large Mississippian brigade, straddling the unfinished railroad, surges forward across the Willoughby Run, with the intention of assaulting Devin’s presumptuous cavalrymen.  The cavalry manage to cause casualties to Davis’ brigade, though are in turn disordered by the Confederate artillery, who now have two batteries established on the Herr Ridge.  To add to Devin’s problems, Brockenbrough’s small brigade of Confederate veterans is also now crossing the Willoughby Run north of the railroad and will undoubtedly attempt to flank Devin’s position.

Above:  South of the Chambersburg Pike, Gamble’s cavalry are also coming under extreme pressure from Pettigrew’s and Archer’s Confederate brigades.  It seems that Pettigrew is a little more cautious than Davis, as he waits for Archer’s brigade and two supporting batteries of artillery to deploy before pushing across the Willoughby Run.  Gamble orders his cavalrymen to fall back in the face of this considerable threat.

Above:  Help for Buford’s cavalrymen is at hand!  General Reynolds arrives at the head of I Corps, accompanied by General Wadsworth, commanding I Corps’ 1st Infantry Division.  they take post on Seminary ridge, near the Lutheran Seminary itself, to observe the developing battle.  Note that I can’t yet find any suitable models of the Lutheran Seminary, (nor indeed any other Gettysburg landmark buildings such as the Pennsylvania College or the Cemetery Gatehouse) so the stone house is standing in for the Seminary.

Above:  With artillery support now deployed on the Herr Ridge, Pettigrew’s and Archer’s brigades wait at the bank of the Willoughby Run as they wait to see what effect the gunners will have on the Bluebellies.

Above:  The Confederate artillery deploys on Herr Ridge in support of Heth’s right flank.  Heth’s own divisional artillery is still someway back down the Chambersburg Pike, so instead has Colonel Walker’s entire III Corps Artillery Reserve in support, as they were simply closer to the front of the column.

The guns here comprise a battery of bronze 12pdr Napoleons and a battery of mixed Rifles and Napoleons.  In game terms, the Napoleons are excellent close/medium range weapons, while the Light Rifles have longed range, but less close-range firepower.  The mixed Rifle/Napoleon batteries are a ‘happy medium’, having the same range as Light Rifles (though with less long-range firepower) and decent close-range firepower (better than Light Rifles, though not as good as a ‘pure’ Napoleon batteries).

Above:  Wadsworth’s division is split to bolster Buford’s flanks.  Here, Cutler’s brigade (represented by the ‘Red-Legged Devils of the 84th New York (14th Brooklyn Militia) ) deploy across the Chambersburg Pike, with Hall’s battery deploying in support on Seminary Ridge.

Above:  Meredith’s crack ‘Iron Brigade’ deploy on the left flank of Gamble’s cavalry.  However, they are immediately taken to task by the Confederate artillery.

Above:  The Iron Brigade suddenly find themselves in deep water, as they’re equipped with Mixed Muskets and are therefore outgunned by Pettigrew’s more numerous Rebs, who are armed with Rifled Muskets.

Above:  As Davis’ Mississippians advance, Devin’s beleaguered cavalrymen finally fall back into the dead ground behind MacPherson’s Ridge.  To their rear, Cutler’s infantry are forming up along with Calef’s horse battery and Hall’s battery.  However, the Confederate artillerymen are earning their pay this day, as they manage to seriously damage Calef’s battery.

Above:  As Devin’s cavalry fall back to the left, Davis and Brockenbrough turn their attention to Cutler’s Red-Legged Devils.

Above:  Brockenbrough’s tiny brigade of Rebel veterans moves quickly to outflank Cutler.  The Red-Legs soon find themselves being whittled down and disorder spreads through the ranks.  The ‘Rebel Yell’ is heard as Davis’ Mississippians launch their charge!

Above:  Despite being themselves disordered by defensive fire during their charge, Davis’ brigade succeeds in throwing Cutler’s Red-Legs back to Seminary Ridge.

Above:  Suffering constant disorder from the Confederate artillery and Pettigrew’s infantry, Gamble’s cavalry brigade and Meredith’s Iron Brigade fall back to the fence-line marking the crest of the middle ridge.  Devin’s cavalry meanwhile swing back to protect their right flank from Archer’s brigade, which has moved up to join Davis’ assault up the Chambersburg Pike.

Above: Heth repeats his previous manoeuvre, engaging Cutler frontally with Davis’ brigade, while moving Brockenbrough’s veterans along the railroad cutting to flank the Red-Legs.  However, Devin’s cavalry have now fallen back to the woods in front of the Seminary and are themselves in position to flank the Rebs as they advance on Seminary Ridge.  Archer’s brigade is hammered by the cavalry and by Hall’s battery and beats a hasty retreat back to MacPherson’s farm.

Above:  Calef’s depleted battery tries unsuccessfully to stop Brockenbrough’s flanking move against Cutler.  The Red-Legs are hammered yet again, but manage to wheel back in order to avoid being flanked again.  Hall’s battery fares a little better as it knocks out a Confederate battery as it attempts to redeploy on MacPherson’s Ridge.

Above:  At long last, Meredith’s Iron Brigade, which has been suffering from near constant disorder thanks to Reb artillery, manages to avoid disorder long enough to manoeuvre against the enemy.  Wheeling down the ridge in concert with Gamble’s cavalry, the Iron Brigade charges Pettigrew’s brigade.  Hall’s gunners again find their mark and silence the battery of Napoleons at MacPherson’s Farm, while Gamble’s cavalry provide excellent support, disordering Archer’s brigade.

Above:  As the Iron Brigade charges home they suffer yet another disorder from a combination of Pettigrew’s infantry and the Reb artillery stationed on Herr’s Ridge.  Nevertheless, they manage to put effective fire back into Pettigrew’s brigade and disorder them before contact.  The melee is close-fought and while the Rebs lose, they only fall back a short way into the woods – far from the decisive victory that the Union commander had hoped for.

Above:  That was where we had to leave it, as we’d run out of club-night time, but all in all, it was a most successful play-test of an excellent set of rules and a cracking little game.

Models and Figures:

The figures are all Pendraken 10mm figures, painted by me.

The buildings are all by Timecast Models.

The cloth (also having its first outing) is by Tiny Wargames.

The rubber roads and rivers are by Total System Scenic (TSS).

The snake-fencing sections are excellent (and very cheap) laser-cut MDF items by Blotz Models.

The bridges and stone wall are by Battlescale Wargame Buildings.

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Scenarios | 6 Comments