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! 🙁

Conclusions

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.

Models

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]

Notes:

  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]

Notes:

  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

“Á l’eau c’est l’heure!” – The Sailors of the Imperial Guard

The Marins de la Garde Impériale were originally created by Napoleon in 1803 as part of the Consular Guard.  The Marins (i.e. ‘Sailors’ or ‘Seamen’, often mis-translated in English as ‘Marines’, which they were not) were raised from naval personnel and were organised into a battalion of five ‘crews’ (companies), each of around 145 men.  They were tasked with supervising the boats that were to carry the men of the Grande Armée during the invasion of Britain.  In 1804 the Consular Guard became the Imperial Guard and the battalion was increased to six crews/companies, for a total of 818 men. 

In 1805 the invasion of Britain was cancelled and the Marins were re-trained as infantry.  However, they soon found themselves back on the water; building bridges and manning boats on various rivers and lagoons during the campaigns against the Austrians, Prussians and Russians during the period 1805 to 1807.

In 1808 the battalion was sent to Spain and at the battle of Baylen fought hard as infantry, suffering heavy losses against the Spanish, before the survivors passed into captivity along with the rest of Dupont’s unfortunate army.

In 1809 the Marins were reformed as a single company/crew and accompanied the Emperor on his Danube campaign against the Austrians, were they once again took to the water, manning boats and assisting the engineers in building bridges.

In 1810 they were once again restored to a full battalion, with a theoretical strength of 1,136 men, organised into eight companies.  However, it seems that this was never attained.  They soon found themselves in Spain once again and in 1811 were fighting as infantry in the rearguard of Marshal Massena’s army as it retreated from the Lines of Torres Vedras.  Thankfully they this time managed to avoid being wiped out and in 1812 were marching with the Emperor to Moscow, where they for a time proved their versatility by operating as artillerymen.

Reconstituted once again following heavy losses in Russia, they operated again as boatmen during the 1813 Campaign in Germany and fought hard as infantry alongside their comrades of the Young Guard at Leipzig.  They fought on as infantry throughout the defence of France in 1814 and when Napoleon capitulated they still had 350 men under the Eagle.  94 Marins accompanied Napoleon into exile on Elba and returned to France with him in 1815.  The Marins were expanded to 150 men during the 100 Days Campaign of 1815, where they served as part of the Engineers.  Nevertheless, at Waterloo, they formed part of the last rearguard covering the retreat from the battlefield, making their stand alongside the 1st Grenadiers of the Guard.

As Napoleon said, “What would we have done without them? …They were good sailors, then they were the best soldiers. And they did everything – they were soldiers, gunners, sappers, everything!”

When I saw these figures appear in a ‘coming soon’ article from AB Figures last year, I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and spent the next six months checking the Fighting 15s website on a daily basis to see if they’d arrived!  At long last, they finally arrived and I was absolutely not disappointed – these are exquisite figures and quite definitely among Tony Barton’s finest work.

Most AB figures Napoleonics are depicted in ‘field dress’: I.e. not full dress and not full-on campaign rags, but ‘somewhere in the middle’.  However, an exception is made for the Imperial Guard infantry, which are all depicted in full dress splendour (and quite right too!).  These Matelots are depicted in their full dress dolman jacket, which had red pointed cuffs, blue collar and brass contre-epaulettes (shoulder-scales) on a red cloth backing, all heavily festooned in aurore (a pinkish yellow-orange) lace.  The trousers were dark blue, with aurore-laced side-seams and Hungarian knots.

The Marins also had a field uniform consisting of a plain dark blue, double-breasted jacket, with collar and pointed cuffs in the same colour, piped aurore.  The brass contre-epaulettes were worn with this uniform.

The shakos were initially quite plain, with detachable peaks and aurore lace on the upper and lower bands, aurore cords, a carrot-shaped aurore pompom and the national cockade on the upper-front edge.  This changed at some point (probably with the reformation of the unit in 1809) to the one shown on these models, with a brass Young Guard eagle-plate on the front, brass edging to the (fixed) peak, a tall red plume and the national cockade moved to the left side.

Drummers and trumpeters wore a sky-blue version of the uniform, with mixed red/yellow lace.  Their shakos had gold lace and cords.

Officers had a dark-blue uniform cut in the style of the Guard Chasseurs, with dark blue facings heavily laced in gold (these officers were described as ‘gilded’), a gold aiguilette on the right shoulder and epaulette on the left shoulder.  The cutaway coat revealed a red waistcoat with gold ‘hussar’ braid.  Breeches were dark blue with gold side-seams and rank shown in the light cavalry style, by gold lace ‘spearpoints’ on the thigh.  Boots were of light cavalry style with gold tassels.  Headgear was an unlaced cocked hat with gold ‘pulls’ and red plume.

In game terms, these are actually fairly redundant for me, as I play Napoleon’s Battles 4th Edition, which is a ‘grand-tactical’ game, with units representing brigades rather than battalions.  If I were to reflect actual strength, the unit would be no more than eight figures strong at full strength!

However, these figures are just too good not to have on the table…  I do need a lot of Young Guard for the 1813 Campaign and my unit of Marins will therefore replace one of the five Voltigeur brigades of the Young Guard.  They’ll help break up the monotony of painting all those Young Guardsmen!

Posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic French Army, Napoleonic Wars, Painted Units | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hold Back The Tide For a While… Germany, 1984

In my previous ‘Cold War 1984’ game report, regular readers will recall that I forgot to bring my box of British armour to the game.  So by popular demand, I finally got the Chieftains on the table…

In our last game, the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars (QRIH) Battlegroup from the BAOR’s 33 Armoured Brigade had been rushed south to shore up the crumbling 1 Belgian Corps.  Together with West German Home Guard forces, the QRIH advance guard had successfully blunted the reconnaissance efforts of the Soviet 40th Motor Rifles Regiment.  However, the Soviets have broken through in other sectors and the QRIH Battlegroup is now tasked with blunting a Soviet armoured breakthrough east of the River Weser, in an encounter battle at the town of Durchwetten.

Chieftain Main Battle Tank

Orbat for Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars Battlegroup – Lt Col O’Rasmussen:

(All elements ‘Veteran’)

HQ QRIH:
1x Command Chieftain Main Battle Tank
1x Ferret Scout Car

Close Recce Troop:
1x Command CVR(T) Scorpion Reconnaissance Vehicle
3x CVR(T) Scorpion Reconnaissance Vehicle

‘A’ Squadron Group:
1x Command Chieftain Main Battle Tank
3x Chieftain Main Battle Tank
3x Infantry (1 with Carl Gustav, remainder with LAW)*
1x FV-432 Armoured Personnel Carrier*

‘D’ Squadron:
1x Command Chieftain Main Battle Tank
4x Chieftain Main Battle Tank

No.1 Company Group, 1 Irish Guards – Major Pring:
1x Commander
1x L9A1 51mm Mortar Team
1x L7A2 GPMG Team (Sustained Fire Mount)
6x Infantry (2 with Carl-Gustav, remainder with LAW)
2x MILAN ATGM Team
5x FV-432 Armoured Personnel Carrier
1x Chieftain Main Battle Tank*

Elements, 111 Air Defence Battery RA:
2x Javelin SAM Team
2x CVR(T) Spartan Armoured Personnel Carrier

5 Field Battery, 19 Field Regiment RA:
3x Forward Observer
3x FV-432 Armoured Personnel Carrier
4x Abbot 105mm Self-Propelled Guns (off-table Direct Support)
[13, 25 & 28 Field Batteries also available in General Support]

‘B’ Flight, 653 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps:
1x Command Gazelle AH Mk 1 Light Observation Helicopter
2x Lynx AH Mk 1 HELARM Anti-Tank Helicopter (TOW ATGM)

Royal Air Force:
1x Forward Air Controller (with Harrier GR Mk3 on call, armed with rockets)
1x Ferret Scout Car

*These elements are cross-attached between the QRIH and 1 IG to form mixed Squadron/Company Groups.

T-64A Main Battle Tank

Orbat for 40th Motor Rifle Regiment (Elements) – Colonel Thomasski:

(All elements ‘Trained’ except for aircrew, who are ‘Experienced’)

Tank Battalion, 40th Motor Rifle Regiment – Lt Col Sibleyski:
1x Command T-64AK Main Battle Tank
9x T-64A Main Battle Tank
3x T-64B Main Battle Tank

9th Company, 40th Motor Rifle Regiment – Major Thomsonov:
1x Commander
1x SA-14 ‘Gremlin’ SAM Team
2x PKM Light Machine Gun Team
9x Motor Rifle Infantry (3 with RPG-7L, remainder with RPG-16)
5x BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Elements, Regimental Air Defence Company:
1x ZSU-23-4 ‘Shilka’ AAA Vehicle
1x SA-9 ‘Gaskin’ SAM Vehicle

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

Elements, Regimental Recce Company:
1x BRDM-2 Scout Car
1x T-64B Main Battle Tank

1st Battery, Regimental Artillery Group:
1x Forward Observer
1x PRP-3 ‘Val’ Artillery Command & Reconnaissance Vehicle
3x 2S1 ‘Gvozdika’ Self-Propelled 122mm Howitzers (off-table Direct Support)

2nd Battery, Regimental Artillery Group:
1x Forward Observer
1x 1V13 Artillery Command & Reconnaissance Vehicle
3x 2S1 ‘Gvozdika’ Self-Propelled 122mm Howitzers (off-table Direct Support)

Elements, Divisional Aviation Squadron:
1x Command Mi-24 ‘Hind E’
1x Mi-24 ‘Hind E’

Elements, Frontal Aviation:
1x Forward Air Controller (with MiG-27 ‘Flogger D’ on call, armed with mixed bombs and rockets)
1x BTR-60 R975 Tactical Air Control Vehicle

Above:  Having crossed a minor water obstacle, the QRIH Battlegroup races to take up positions on the high ground overlooking the town of Durchwaten.  The Close Recce Troop, with an attached RAF FAC, motors to take up position in the southern factory complex, while ‘D’ Squadron move to take up hull-down positions on the ridge west of the town.  The Irish Guards No.1 Company Group moves to occupy the town with ‘A’ Squadron Group in support.  Somewhat rashly, Lt Col O’Rasmussen decides to make a personal reconnaissance of the high ground north of the town, along with the Royal Artillery AD Javelin teams.  The FOOs from 5 Field Battery are allocated to each Squadron/Company Group.

Above:  Having broken through the Belgians and associated West German Home Guard units, the Tank Battalion of the 40th Motor Rifles Regiment is in full flood!  The regiment’s 9th Motor Rifle Company follows closely behind, while anti-aircraft, anti-tank and artillery elements provide close support.

Above:  At the point of the advance, the Soviet reconnaissance element, having detected a new NATO unit ahead, falls back while the tanks race to seize high ground to the sotheast and northeast of Durchwaten.

Above:  The QRIH Chieftain crews, confident of their thick armour and the long-range hitting power of their 120mm guns, quickly move to take up hull-down positions… However, they are spotted and a handful of the Soviet tanks are new T-64B models, which soon take the Chieftains to task at long-range with tube-launched AT-8 ‘Songster’ missiles, backed up by the AT-5 ‘Spandrel’ missiles of the Anti-Tank Company.  Two ‘D’ Squadron Chieftain troops are knocked out in quick succession, closely followed by the Royal Artillery FV-432, which falls victim to Soviet artillery.  Thankfully, the RA FOO manages to bail out of his vehicle and scuttles into the nearby woods.  The remaining Chieftains return fire, but the Soviets are already closing fast…

Above:  The bloody nose received by ‘D’ Squadron is soon repeated elsewhere… The Close Recce Troop bites off far more than it can chew in the factory complex and suffers catastrophic casualties as they discover that a Scorpion is no match for a T-64!  The shattered remnants quickly retire back toward the river valley and give up all hope of establishing an OP in the factory chimney.

Above:  Return fire by ‘D’ Squadron is remarkably ineffective as the Soviets close the range.  The Squadron Commander (on the left) pushes forward to observe from the treeline, but is immediately spotted and disordered by fire from a whole company of T-64s, backed up by ATGMs.  The FOO calls down fire on the Soviet tanks, but the 105mm Abbot Guns make little impression.

Above:  On ‘D’ Squadron’s left, the Irish Guards’ No.1 Company pushes on into Durchwaten unmolested.  However, they can hear the ominous sound of tank engines echoing through the streets as the Soviets push into the eastern edge of town.  Major Pring’s attached Chieftan Troop and MILAN section are placed on the right, to support the flank of the beleaguered ‘D’ Squadron.  On the far left flank, 111 Air Defence Battery has also suffered losses.  Their Spartan APCs came under fire and were quickly dispatched by long-range missile fire from prowling ‘Hind’ helicopters.  Nevertheless, the Javelin SAM teams managed with some considerable good fortune, to dismount unscathed and quickly set up their missiles to engage the helicopters.

Above:  Lt Col O’Rasmussen is leading a charmed life on the left flank, as two of the Hinds’ AT-6 ‘Spiral’ missiles malfunction and a third fails to penetrate the armour of his Chieftain!  Fire from a T-64, BMPs and an ATGM vehicle is also shrugged off, as the Colonel returns fire and destroys T-64 and BMP platoons in quick succession!  Buoyed up by their Colonel’s supporting fire, ‘A’ Squadron Group, ignoring the threat posed by the lurking helicopters, attempts a move around the northern flank of the town.

Above:  Two squads of Motor Rifles manage to escape from their burning BMPs into the woods, but a third squad is not so lucky as it is immolated.  The other BMPs quickly move to better cover, along with the support AA and observer vehicles.

Above:  As one company of T-64s works its way through the factory and the wreckage of the QRIH Close Recce Troop, another company of tanks runs the gauntlet between the factory and the town, under fire from British artillery and the surviving Chieftains all the while.  The weight of British fire temporarily forces back some of the Soviet units, but they rally and are soon moving forward again.  Behind the leading Soviet tanks, the Battalion HQ and an attached ATGM vehicle provide supporting fire, while a FOO calls down more 122mm fire onto ‘D’ Squadron’s position.  Unseen by the British, a Soviet FAC dismounts from his BTR and moves up onto the high ground, to get a better view of the battlefield.

Above:  Answering the call, a MiG-27 ‘Flogger D’ streaks in from the east and dodging Javelin SAMs and hastily-sprayed machine guns, unleashes a volley of rockets at the ‘D’ Squadron Commander’s Chieftain.  The Squadron Commander survives by the skin of his teeth, becoming Disordered in game terms.  The MiG soon returns for a second pass, but the Javelins this time are more effective, disordering the Flogger and throwing off his aim.

Above:  The ‘Hind’ flight commander tries once again to engage Lt Col O’Rasmussen’s Chieftain, but again with little effect!  Frustrated and out of missiles, his wingman moves forward to engage with rockets…

Above:  However, the Javelins of 111 AD Battery are waiting and the Hind is quickly reduced to a rapidly-descending fireball…

Above:  ‘A’ Squadron’s flanking move has been detected and a platoon of T-64s moves through Durchwaten to engage them in the flank.  The Chieftains manage to get their shots off first, but incredibly fail to destroy the Soviets, despite firing at point-blank range!  The Soviets are suppressed, but still manage to hit the leading Chieftain troop in the flank, destroying it and blunting ‘A’ Squadron’s attack.

Above:  In the centre, Major Pring’s No.1 Company Irish Guards dismount to fight through Durchwaten.  However, they are distracted by the sight of a Soviet tank company bursting through the gap between the town and the factory!  Their supporting Chieftain troop quickly takes out one platoon of T-64s, while the MILANs take care of another, before being subjected to Soviet artillery.  The right-hand troop of ‘A’ Squadron moves along the edge of town to destroy two more T-64 platoons, but is itself then destroyed by a point-blank RPG from hidden Motor Riflemen.  ‘A’ Squadron’s attached Irish Guards platoon is swift to take revenge however, as they move into the houses and eliminate two lurking Soviet Motor Rifle squads.

Above:  The remnants of ‘D’ Squadron sell their lives dearly, destroying another T-64 platoon, as well as ATGM and AA elements that were unwise enough to stick their paper-thin armour above the parapet.  However, a Soviet tank company is about to outflank them…

Above:  The rest of the Motor Rifle Company moves into Durchwaten, though not before an unwary section of BMPs falls victim to the wily Lt Col O’Rasmussen!  An ATGM vehicle fires yet another missile at the Colonel’s Chieftain, but the armour shrugs it off and the Colonel soon chalks up yet another kill as he dispatches the uppity ATGM vehicle.

Above:  However, the writing is on the wall as ‘D’ Squadron looks set to be overrun…

Above:  The disordered and bewildered ‘D’ Squadron Commander finally loses his bottle and takes off in a frantic dash to the rear!  Another Chieftain troop follows suit and falls back from the crest, though the remaining troop carries on fighting on the ridge until it is overwhelmed.

Above:  Observing the disaster unfolding on the right flank, the Chieftain Troop attached to No.1 Company Irish Guards continues to stand its ground as it reports back to Lt Col O’Rasmussen.  Despite successes in the town, the right flank has now collapsed and Soviet tanks are heading for the Weser!

Above:  Lieutenant Colonel O’Rasmussen calls up the helicopters of 653 Squadron, but they can do little to stem the flood.  All they can do is buy time for the remnants of the QRIH Battlegroup to fall back to the Weser, where they can hopefully find an intact bridge to the west bank…

So a victory for the Soviet Union and Orders of Lenin all round for the senior officers, with Major Thomsonov appointed as a Hero of the Soviet Union!

On the British side, Lt Col O’Rasmussen receives the DSO for his sterling leadership and gunnery skills during this difficult engagement, while Major Pring is Mentioned in Dispatches for a skilful infantry engagement in Durchwaten.  2Lt O’Lunacy, commanding the right-hand flank troop of ‘D’ Squadron and now listed as MIA, is recommended for a VC.  The Squadron Commander of ‘D’ Squadron QRIH was later arrested by the RMP and awaits Courts Martial.

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 British infantry and vehicles are all by QRF.  The Soviet BRDM, BMP and BTR-60 variants are all by Skytrex, while the other Soviet vehicles are by QRF.  The Soviet infantry are by Khurasan.  The Lynx and Hind helicopters are by Team Yankee, while the Gazelle is a 1/100th kit by Heller and the MiG-27 ‘Flogger D’ is a VERY rare 1/100th kit by Takara (that is actually here converted into an Angolan MiG-23ML Flogger – I would REALLY like to find another one of these to do as a proper Soviet Flogger D!).

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Scenarios | Leave a comment

Somewhere in Germany, 1984…

A little while ago, the Minions and I decided to get the tanks out for another clash in West German, circa 1984.  This would be a first run out for my newly-painted British armour…

However, I brought the wrong box, so we had to use West German armour as substitutes (bah!). So where you see a Leopard 2, it’s meant to be a Chieftain, an M113 represents an FV-432, etc…

The year is 1984 and the Soviets have broken through 1 (Belgian) Corps on the right flank of 1 (British) Corps. A small Soviet reconnaissance force from the 40th Motor Rifles Regiment races to the town of Hafeneinfahrt, to establish a bridgehead on one of the four crossings of the River Teiwi. A scratch British force from 4th Armoured Brigade races south to head them off…

Above: The infantry of 1 Irish Guards approach Hafeneinfahrt and dismount from their APCs.

Above:  The force commander, Major O’Rasmussen from the Royal Irish Hussars, parks his Chieftain next to the factory, covering the westernmost bridge.

Above: A Soviet BRDM-2 scout car noses round a corner and immediately comes under fire from a West German Home Guard Jagdpanzer, though by some miracle, survives.

Above: “They should have called Fred Dibnah for this bloody job…” Pilot Officer Prune, the attached RAF Forward Air Controller climbs the factory chimney for a better view of the countryside…

Above: …and not a moment too soon! Pilot Officer Prune spots a troop of T-64s and calls in a strike from a 54 Squadron Jaguar. The Jaguar manages to suppress one T-64 and disorder the other, which soon falls victim to a lurking Chieftain.

Above:  A lurking Shilka fires at the Jaguar, but to no effect.

Above:  Two can play at that game, Comrade… The Soviet FAC calls up a Mi-24 ‘Hind D’ gunship, which immediately moves to engage the Chieftain troop. The Hind is suppressed by Royal Artillery Blowpipe SAM teams, but still succeeds in slamming an ATGM into one of the Chieftans. British infantry frantically dig in nearby… However, the victorious Soviet crew don’t survive to celebrate their victory, as the Royal Artillery Blowpipes swiftly end the Hind’s rampage.

Above:  The Chieftain burns…

Above:  The surviving Chieftain duels with the surviving T-64.

Above:  The T-64 also now comes under fire from MILAN ATGM teams, though Soviet artillery soon deals with one of the MILANs.

Above:  Meanwhile, back at the town, Motor Rifles dismount and move through the town supported by BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and another T-64.

Above:  The Motor Rifles are wary of lurking German Home Guardsmen and they know that a Jagdpanzer is prowling the streets.

On the northern edge of town, a Soviet BRM-1 recce vehicle locates some German Home Guard, but comes under panzerfaust fire.

Above: In the town centre, a T-64 moves to secure the central bridge, but bumps straight into an ambush:

Above:  At point-blank range, the Jagdpanzer can’t possibly miss and astonishingly, hits something vital, destroying the T-64!

Above:  At the church, things also go badly for the Soviets, as the BRM succumbs to panzerfaust fire. The Motor Rifles manage to knock out one of the German Home Guard sections, but are soon repulsed and running from the town, preceded by the BRDM scout cars.

Above:  Elsewhere on the battlefield, the duelling T-64 and Chieftain are both soon burning and prowling BMPs emerge from the town, only to be engaged by British infantry armed with Carl-Gustav 84mm recoilless rifles.

Above:  Two BMPs are soon burning in the town.

Above:  The British infantry advance to finish the job. The RAF Jaguar returns and finishes off the Soviet artillery OP vehicle with a volley of rockets. The Soviet FOO survives, but is soon running for the hills as fast as his jack-booted little Socialist legs can carry him.

Above: The rest of the British infantry stop digging in and join the advance.

Above: Soviet vehicles burn as the Irish Guards move into Hafeneinfahrt.

Above:  An overview of the battlefield.

Above:  Major O’Rasmussen of the Royal Irish Hussars (on the left) accepts the surrender of Podpolkovnik Ashcroftski of the 40th Motor Rifles Regiment (on the right).

Thanks to all, especially Connor Jones for the photos.

The models are all 15mm models from my own collection: The British and West German infantry, along with the T-64s, Shilka, Jagdpanzer and Fuchs are by QRF.  The BMP and BRDM variants are by Skytrex.  The M113s and Leopard 2s are plastic kits by Flames of War.  The Soviet infantry are by Hurasan.  The Mi-24 Hind D is a plastic kit by Revell (actually painted as an Angolan Mi-25 – I’ve since got some Soviet Hind Ds and Es).  The Jaguar is a 1/100th die-cast model by Italeri.

Rules used were Battlefront: First Echelon, which is a Cold War variant of Battlefront: WWII currently under development.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Scenarios | Leave a comment

“In Dixie Land I’ll Make My Stand”: Building a 10mm Confederate Army (Part 1)

Heth’s Division at Gettysburg

Major General Harry Heth

Following on from my recently-painted Union I Corps and 1st Cavalry Division, I’ve finally completed my first major Confederate formation: Major General Harry Heth’s 2nd Division of A.P. Hill’s III Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Heth (pronounced ‘Heath’) was an aggressive, if somewhat rash commander, who was promoted to command the division in late May 1863, just over a month before Gettysburg.  His role in the Battle of Gettysburg was to be a controversial one, as it was his actions that precipitated the great battle, against the orders of his friend Robert E Lee.

Heth recorded in his memoirs that he sent two brigades into the town of Gettysburg to search for shoes for his men, but historians cast doubt on that story, as General Ewell’s II Corps had recently passed through the town and would have picked any Union depots clean; a fact that Heth was aware of.

Whatever the reason for his actions, the fact remains that on the morning of 1st July 1863, Heth sent two of his four brigades (Davis’ and Archer’s) on a reconnaissance-in-force down the Chambersburg Pike toward Gettysburg.  This force encountered Buford’s Union 1st Cavalry Division west of the Lutheran Seminary and deployed into battle-formation.  As the battle intensified, Heth’s two leading brigades were repulsed by freshly-arrived elements of Reynolds’ Union I Corps, forcing Heth to throw in his remaining two brigades and call upon A.P. Hill for support…

General Lee’s orders to ‘not engage until the rest of the army was in position’ were soon forgotten, as A.P. Hill committed first his corps artillery reserve, then Pender’s 3rd Division and then Anderson’s 1st Division to the escalating engagement, while calling upon Ewell to bring his II Corps down from the north, to strike the Union force’s northern flank.  The Union I Corps meanwhile, was being reinforced by XI Corps and XII Corps and the rest of Meade’s Army of the Potomac was hurrying to the scene… The situation was now completely out of Lee’s control and the greatest battle of the war was underway, thanks to Harry Heth…

General Heth

Having precipitated the battle, Heth’s actions during the day continued to be questionable.  Nobody could doubt his bravery, but he continued to mount piecemeal attacks with his division and failed to coordinate with neighbouring divisions.  He was eventually knocked senseless by a spent bullet that struck his head and command of his division passed to General Pettigrew for the remainder of the four-day battle.  On 3rd July the division formed a large part of ‘Pickett’s Charge’ and by the end of the battle had suffered truly horrific casualties, the worst of any Confederate division engaged at Gettysburg at 3,373 men dead, wounded and missing.  As a consequence, the division was ordered to lead the retreat back to Virginia.

Following his recovery, Heth returned to command his division and briefly commanded III Corps following A.P. Hill’s death in 1865.

As can be seen, this division, in common with other Confederate divisions, was considerably stronger than the Union equivalent.  Confederate divisions were typically four or even five brigades strong and also included an organic artillery battalion.  Union divisions by contrast, typically had two or three brigades and all artillery was massed in the Corps artillery reserves, to be distributed to divisions as required.

The division’s 1st Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General J. Johnston Pettigrew, consisted of the 11th, 26th, 47th and 53rd North Carolina Regiments and was the strongest in the division at 2,581 men, equating to 13 bases in Fire & Fury.  The brigade, along with the rest of the division, would also play a part in ‘Pickett’s Charge’ on the 3rd.  56% of these men (1,450) would be dead, wounded or missing by the end of the battle.

Pettigrew himself took command of the division following Heth’s wound on 1s July, with command of the brigade passing to Colonel J. K. Marshall of the 53rd North Carolina Infantry.

Depending on which source you believe, Colonel J. M. Brockenbrough’s 2nd Brigade, consisting of the 22nd, 40th, 47th and 56th Virginia Regiments, was the weakest in the division, weighing in at only 971 men or 5 bases in Fire & Fury.  However, some other sources show the brigade as being almost exactly twice as strong, at 1,840 men.  This does tend to suggest that someone along the line has made a mathematical error.  However, the casualty figures for Brockenbrough’s Brigade (175 men killed, wounded and missing) are very low when compared to the other brigades in the division, even though they were in the same engagements.  This does tend to suggest that the lower strength figure is the more likely.

Along with Brockenbrough’s brigade, Archer’s 3rd Brigade was very weak as a consequence of earlier engagements.  The brigade, consisting of the 5th & 11th Alabama Regiments, 1st Tennessee Provisional Regiment and 7th & 14th Tennessee Regiments, had only 1,197 men, equating to 6 bases in Fire & Fury.

Davis’ 4th Brigade, consisting of the 2nd, 11th & 42nd Mississippi and 55th North Carolina Regiments, was very strong with 2,241 men present, equating to 11 Fire & Fury bases.  I’ve arbitrarily given them a Mississippi state flag to break up the monotony.

The 2nd Division’s organic artillery support was provided by Lieutenant Colonel John J. Garnett’s Artillery Battalion.  In reality this consisted of four batteries, each of four guns, equating to two model guns in Fire & Fury.  Half of these guns were obsolete, bronze smoothbore M1838 or M1841 12pdr Howitzers (not to be confused with the more modern 12pdr ‘Napoleon’), which was still an excellent weapon for close-in canister fire and could throw an explosive shell a reasonable distance, but severely lacked long-range hitting power.  For long-range work, the other half of the battalion was equipped with iron 10pdr Parrot Rifles, which complemented the smoothbore weapons, in that it made up for its lack of short-range canister power with excellent long-range accuracy firing solid shot.

All three of A.P. Hill’s divisional artillery battalions were similarly equipped with 12pdr howitzers and 10pdr Parrot Rifles, while the Corps Artillery Reserve had another 36 guns of varying types and calibres.  In the event on 1st July, Garrett’s battalion was a very long way behind the head of the column and the Corps Artillery Reserve actually deployed first to support Heth’s attack on Seminary Ridge.

Models & Painting

All figures are from the superlative 10mm ACW range by Pendraken Miniatures, painted by Yours Truly.  As I’m very much a ‘uniform man’ when it comes to painting, I HATE painting ‘random dress variations’ with a passion, so wasn’t looking forward to doing these.  I was also unsure as to what proportion should be grey and what proportion should be ‘butternut’ and other shades of brown/civvies.  My limited book collection didn’t provide much information and internet discussions seemed contradictory, with many people saying ‘mostly butternut/brown’ and others saying that recent research shows that ‘butternut’ is largely a myth, caused by grey uniform exhibits in museums turning brown through age (I’ve seen this happen to green Napoleonic uniforms turning blue and blue items turning pale buff…).

In the end I decided to hedge my bets and go for a roughly 50/50 split of grey and brown.  There were about 100 infantry to paint, so I split them into three batches and painted the first batch of jackets in darker greys, the second batch in light greys and stone shades and the third batch in brown, russet and sandy shades.  Trousers, hats and blanket rolls were then painted in a hotchpotch of colours.  Once that was done, I mixed them all up and based them (hence why they’re all in firing poses).

I was surprised to discover that I actually enjoyed painting them, though they do take around twice as long as the Union figures to paint! 🙁

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, American Civil War Confederate Army, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Painted Units | 1 Comment

Refighting the Battle of Raab, 14th June 1809

The Battle of Raab in Hungary, then part of the Austrian Empire, was the culmination of a three-month campaign fought in 1809 between Napoleon’s adpoted son, Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, and Archduke John, younger brother of Emperor Francis of Austria.

Archduke John of Austria

In concert with the thrust into Bavaria by his older brother Archduke Charles, Archduke John’s smaller army had invaded French-occupied Italy, defeating Prince Eugène’s scattered Franco-Italian forces in a series of battles.  However, the Austrians were never able to inflict a knockout blow and as he fell back into Italy, Eugène was able to concentrate increasing numbers of men against the Austrian attackers.  Napoleon in the meantime, had counter-attacked in Bavaria, inflicting a series of reverses on Archduke Charles.  Bavarian forces also managed to defeat Chasteler’s Austrian division in Tyrol, thus releasing more forces for Eugène and exposing John’s right flank to attack from the Tyrolean Alps.

Archduke Charles ordered John to retreat back into Hungary, to combine his forces with the Hungarian Insurrection under Archduke Joseph and then reinforce the main army near Vienna. However, John was harried all the way by Eugène and was eventually forced to fight a defensive battle at Raab.

Prince Eugène, Viceroy of Italy

While the numbers were fairly equal, Archduke John’s army was largely made up of German and Italian ‘Landwehr‘ militia and Hungarian ‘Insurrection‘ troops, so lacked the quality and training of the French and Italian veterans facing them. However, they were in a strong position behind a stream, with the strongly-fortified farm of Kis-Megyer at the centre of the position, backed up by high ground and strong reserves.

Above:  The Battlefield of Raab, as it appeared on our wargames table.  The city of Raab is just off the left-hand (northern) edge of the map and is on the far bank of a wide and unfordable river, which roughly follows the northern edge of the map.  Each map square represents approximately 1km or 12 inches on the table.

The Pancza Stream, flowing south to north across the Austrian front line, is fordable only by infantry for most of its length, though is also fordable by cavalry south of the point where a minor tributary joins it south of Kis-Megyer farm.  The tributary itself is insignificant and may be ignored for game purposes.  The Pancza is crossed by three bridges.

All built-up areas have a defensive modifier of +1 in Napoleon’s Battles, except for the Kis-Megyer Farm, which is a considerable fortified structure, with a +4 defensive modifier.

Above:  On the southern edge of the battle, the Pancza stream was shallow enough for cavalry to ford with ease. Consequently, Mescery’s Austrian cavalry (two regular hussar regiments and three Hungarian Insurrection brigades) formed up near the bridge, ready to receive the inevitable charge by Grouchy’s massed French and Italian cavalry – the divisions of Montbrun, Pully and Colbert.

Above:  A closer look at Mescery’s Austrian hussars. A cavalry battery has deployed near the bridge, ready to engage anyone who attempts to use that easy crossing.

Above:  On Mescery’s right, Colloredo’s Centre Division deploys in and around the Kis-Megyer. The stream here is too deep for cavalry or artillery to cross. The walls of Kis-Megyer are thick and loopholed for musketry – defence against centuries of raids by bandits and marauding Turks, but also ideal for keeping out Frenchmen!  To the rear of the farm is a large hill, upon which sits Frimont’s Reserve Division, comprising regular Line Infantry Regiments, a brigade of elite Grenadiers, a regiment of Grenzer light infantry and two batteries of 12pdr heavy artillery.

Above:  On the northern (right) flank of the Austrian line is Jellacic’s Division; a very mixed bag of German Landwehr, Hungarian Insurrection infantry, Insurrection cavalry, regular infantry, regular cavalry and Grenzer light infantry.  They have the vital task of holding the two bridges on the northern half of the battlefield – the stream here is unfordable by cavalry and artillery.

Above:  On the French southern (right) flank is Grouchy’s Cavalry Corps, which comprises Montbrun’s Franco-Italian cavalry division, Pully’s French dragoon division and Colbert’s French light cavalry brigade, as well as a couple of batteries of horse artillery.  This impressive force has a slight advantage in quality over Mescery’s Austrian cavalry, as well as a considerable command & control advantage, but will that be enough to win the day?

Above:  On Grouchy’s left is Grenier’s VI Corps, which comprises the divisions of Seras (nearest the camera) and Durutte – a total of five infantry brigades and two small cavalry detachments.  To Grenier’s rear is stationed Eugène’s reserve – the Italian Royal Guard Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery, under General Lecchi.

Above:  On the left of Eugène’s army is Baraguéy d’Hilliers’ XII Corps, consisting of Pacthod’s French division and Severoli’s Italian Division – a total of three French and two Italian brigades.

Above:  On the extreme left of Eugène’s army are two formations that have just arrived from Germany, having been sent by Napoleon – General Sahuc’s French light cavalry division and General Lauriston’s contingent, comprising two infantry regiments and a horse artillery battery from the German state of Baden.

Above:  Eugène’s plan is relatively simple: to mount a strong, but ultimately diversionary attack on the right with Grouchy’s and Grenier’s corps, destroying Mescery’s cavalry and force Archduke John to commit his reserves to holding that flank. Then, with the Austrian reserves committed, launch the main assault against the Austrian right wing with Baraguéy d’Hilliers’ corps, supported by Lauriston’s Badeners, Sahuc’s cavalry and Lecchi’s Italian Guards.

Above:  As the two cavalry formations glower at each other, Seras’ infantry division moves forward to take the bridge.  However, he quickly runs into extremely stiff fire from the Austrian cavalry battery and the two reserve heavy batteries stationed on the hill.  French infantry casualties are unexpectedly heavy and the French horse artillery gallop forward to even the odds.

Above:  Some of Mescery’s hussars fall back from the threat of the French guns, but maintain a close watch on the riverbank.

Above:  As the battle begins on the southern flank, in the centre the Italian Guards deploy their artillery and commence a bombardment of the Kis-Megyer fortress.

Above:  At the southern bridge, Seras’ division receive a pasting from the Austrian guns. The Austrian gunners really did earn their pay on this day!

Above:  On the northern flank, Lauriston’s Baden infantry and Sahuc’s light cavalry have arrived.  The Baden horse artillery deploys and proceeds to make life miserable for a brigade of Hungarian Insurrection infantry on the eastern bank.

Above:  On the southern flank, the French cavalry have finally charged across the stream with mixed results; one regular Austrian hussar regiment and an Insurrection brigade have been routed, with the other regular hussar regiment being thrown back in some disorder.  The second line of Insurrection cavalry holds firm however, and the French cavalry fall back behind the stream to rally for the next assault.

Seras’ infantry meanwhile, are being cut to pieces by the Austrian guns.  Grenier moves his small cavalry detachment forward against the Austrian cavalry battery, but that too becomes a target.

Above:  Another view of the action on the southern flank of the battle.  The French cavalry ready themselves for the next assault.  The Austrian battery at the bridge meanwhile, starts to feel very isolated!

Above:  In the centre, the Italian Guards occupy a small knoll overlooking Kis-Megyer and start to reduce the defences of the farm.  With the Austrian artillery committed elsewhere, there is nothing the defenders can do to respond.

Above:  The Hungarian Insurrection infantry are definitely not used to this sort of thing, but hold their ground!

Above:  With things looking increasingly bad on the left, Archduke John moves Frimont’s reserves to face Mescery’s crumbling flank… Thus doing exactly what Eugène hoped he would do…

Above:  With their horse battery providing supporting fire, the Baden infantry advance to control the northernmost bridge.  Sahuc’s cavalry stand by, ready to take advantage of any opportunity.

Above:  Very quickly, the combined Baden artillery and infantry fire finds its mark and a brigade of Hungarian Insurrection infantry is routed!

Above:  With the Insurrection infantry out of the way, Sahuc’s cavalry quickly cross the bridge and deploy into line.  Sadly missed by our camera, the Austrian regular cavalry brigade launches a charge, but comes off worst and recoils.  However, Sahuc’s men become disordered and fall back across the bridge to rally and try again…

Above:  Back on the southern flank, Grouchy again masses his cavalry and lauches an even more powerful assault against the massed Insurrection Hussars.  The brave cavalry battery is overrun and it surely looks as though the French horsemen are going to sweep away the remnants of Mescery’s hussars…

Above:  A close-up of Grouchy’s charge: The forward line is largely made up of French dragoon brigades belonging to Montbrun’s and Pully’s divisions, with a brigade of French Chasseurs a Cheval and Hussars on their left.

Above:  Colbert’s French hussars provide close backup for Montbrun’s dragoons… Perhaps a little too close…

Above:  Near the southern bridge, the Italian dragoon brigade follows Montbrun’s charge, forcing the French gunners to cease fire as they mask their targets.  Beyond the bridge, one of Seras’ infantry brigades has been broken up by Austrian artillery fire and the other is seriously damaged.  As the battered infantry division pulls back, Durutte’s division moves forward, ready to cross the bridge and exploit Grouchy’s successes.

Above:  Things look desperate from Mescery’s point of view.  In the foreground, two hussar brigades (one regular and one Insurrection) remain routed and are in need of rallying, while the remaining three hussar brigades (one regular and two Insurrection) look about to be swept away.

Above:  Archduke John looks on apprehensively from his hill top and turns Frimont’s reserves, ready to face the coming onslaught from the south.

Above:  Prince Eugène meanwhile, positions himself near his Italian Royal Guards, as they push their artillery closer to Kis-Megyer.

Above:  Somewhat astonishingly, the French cavalry completely failed to break through the heroic Hungarian Insurrection hussars!  With friendly cavalry following on so closely behind, the disordered French cavalry are milling about in confusion when the Hungarians launch their counter-attack!

Above:  The view a few moments later…  Most of the French and Italian cavalry was thrown back across the Pancza, save for a single brigade of dragoons!  However, it was to be a pyrrhic victory for the Austrians – Mescery was killed at the head of his men and the two heroic brigades of Insurrection Hussars charged on to destruction, leaving a single regiment of regular hussars still in the fight and soon to be overwhelmed by vengeful Frenchmen.

Above:  An overall view of the southern flank, following the great cavalry battle.

Above:  With the Austrian reserves now committed to holding the Austrian left, Eugène launches his master-stroke and hurls XII Corps against the Austrian right wing.

Above:  Lauriston’s Badeners and Severoli’s white-coated Italians quickly engage the Austrians in a firefight across the Pancza and soon gain the uper hand.  Sahuc’s cavalry once again cross the northernmost bridge and threaten the Austrian right flank.

Above:  Once again, the Austrian regular cavalry brigade charges Sahuc’s French cavalry as they cross the northern bridge, but this time come off much worse and are routed, thus beginning the collapse of the Austrian right wing.

Above:  With the French, Badeners and Italians winning the firefight, they soon launch an assault across the Pancza stream and roll up the Austrian right wing.

Above:  In the centre, the Italian Guard Horse Artillery continues to whittle down the defences of Kis-Megyer and the elite Royal Guard Grenadiers prepare to launch an assault on the farm.

Above:  With the last of Mescery’s hussars swept away by Grouchy’s cavalry, Durutte’s French infantry cross the southern bridge and mount a demonstration in front of Frimont’s reserve division.  Their purpose here is not to attack – just to keep the Austrian reserves pinned in place and unable to intervene against the real attack on the opposite flank.

Above:  Frimont has little choice but to deploy his reserves in response to Durutte’s threat.

Above:  Sadly the last photo, but here we see Lecchi’s Guards as they continue to pound Kis-Megyer.  Soon afterwards, with his left wing destroyed and his right wing crumbling, Archduke John wisely decided to disengage from the battle, thus keeping his centre and reserves intact for another day.  Following this victory, Prince Eugène’s army would go on to reinforce Napoleon’s army at Vienna and would play a decisive role in the Emperor’s great victory against Archduke Charles at Wagram.

Models and Rules Used


Most of the models are AB Figures 15mm from my own collection, with some Austrians from the collection of Martin Small and the Italian infantry from the collection of Jase Evans.

Rules used are Napoleon’s Battles 4th Edition which is a grand-tactical ruleset, where the smallest tactical unit represents a brigade or large regiment and each base of figures represents approximately 400 men.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic Wars, Scenarios | Leave a comment

Saga: The Great British Boar-Off

It’s summertime in Britannia…  The crops are planted, this year’s recruits are trained and a Romano-British warlord’s thoughts turn to the good things in life: Raiding, Pillaging and Barbecue…

Things haven’t been easy in Camulodunum just lately; Sagramor and Gwenhwyfawr have been banging on about the lack of diversity in the court, Myrddin is furious that funding has been cut for his crystal healing centre at Ynys Wydryn, the Franks are threatening a trade war and on top of all that, the migrant crisis on the east coast is only getting worse.  To be honest, it’ll be good to get out in the fresh air and away from the palace for a few days…

Aside from the Saxon migrant crisis, there is a similar, though smaller-scale problem with Irish tribes in the western civitate of Demetia.  Governor Gerontius of Siluria has called for help, as the Irish settlers in Demetia have started raiding into Siluria.  One warband even reached as far as Gerontius’ garrison at Nidum.  The garrison commander managed to reach an accommodation with the Irish, agreeing to pay them in return for some work in resurfacing the Via Julia… Needless to say, the savages got payment up front, did half a job, used shoddy materials, stole the bronze statue of Jupiter (Best and Greatest) from the forum and ran off with all the half-tidy womenfolk!

I was shocked…

“Is this true, Centurion?  Siluria had some tidy womenfolk?!”

“Oh they’re not that bad sir, once you scrape off the coal-dust… The trouble is that they only eat some local muck called ‘Alf-n-alf’ and they just can’t get it in Dumnonia, so they soon bugger off back to their Mam’s.”

Anyway, the insult to Jupiter (Best and Greatest) can’t go unpunished, so I’m leading a punitive raid into Demetia, to give those bare-arsed savages (excuse my Brythonic) a damned good taste of Romano-British spunk!

As we drive deeper into Demetia, the unmistakeable sound of diddlydiddlydiddlydiddly, barking guard-dogs and the hammering of scrap-metal breakers warns us that we are approaching an enemy encampment…

However, a wall of discarded rubbish, chariot-wheels and discarded carts creates a considerable military obstacle, making the camp impossible to storm without considerably stronger forces, so we will have to content ourselves with stealing a few pigs from the surrounding fields (they should be ample recompense for the loss of the Silurian women).

We are soon spotted and are met with the traditional Irish curse of “We know where youse lives!”

[In game terms, we were playing the ‘Cattle Raid’ scenario from the ‘Aetius & Arthur’ sourcebook: I was playing the British, while Ashley had Irish.  As the attacker, we had to grab as many pigs as possible (there were six total) from the central strip of the table and get them back into our deployment zone by the end of turn 6.  At the end of turn 6, each British unit with a pig gained 1 point – 5 or 6 points for the win, 3 or 4 for a draw and 0-2 for a loss.]

[My 6-point army consisted of my Warlord, one unit of 12 Levy Archers, two units of 8 Warriors, one unit of 4 Hearthguards and two units of 4 Mounted Hearthguards – two Mounted Hearthguards were split off to become Companions to the Warlord and the remaining Mounted Hearthguards were then combined into a single unit of six.]

[Ashley’s Irish were only allowed to deploy four units on table at the start.  The remaining two units and the Warlord had to remain off-table until the first pig was grabbed.  He deployed one unit of Mutts, a unit of 4 Hearthguards and two units of 8 Warriors.]

My Comitatenses have been in a foul mood since the last Mess Meeting.  Sagramor had been winding them up with his ‘Diversity’ talk and they suggested that we should replace the Mess furniture with a single, large dining table!  The nerve!  Top table Mess dinners are traditional: I sit at the top table with my honoured guests and the Lower Orders all sit on the tables below me!  It’s tradition!  It’s good to be the Dux…  This isn’t bloody Athenian Democracy we’re practicing here… For starters, we don’t have enough pederasts (which is a shame, as my feet are killing me).

The Comitatenses go to sulk on the right flank, which is fine by me, as I don’t want to talk to them…

Anyway, who ever heard of a ROUND table?!  Do they even realise how big that’s going to have to be?!  It’ll cost a bloody fortune and we’ll have to double the Mess subs!

Unfortunately, Gwenhwyfawr is on their side and she threatens to refuse me ‘marital rights’ unless I agree their suggestion… God knows I like being able to leave the privy seat up, so I’ll give in.

I’ll order the bloody Mess table… But they needn’t come crying to me if they want me to pass the salt and only then realise that they can’t reach the middle of it…

Anyway, the battle… As our battle-line advances, our porcine prey comes into view… She also has some pigs with her.

The Irish seem keen for a ruck and come on enthusiastically, with nary a scrap of armour between them.  This should be a quick scrap for my lads!

“Levies!  Hairy, bare-arsed ginger savages to your front: with a quiver of five rounds, in your own time go on!”

It’s first blood to the Levies, as an Irish Hearthguard drops to a well-aimed arrow.

“Derfel!  Didn’t you read the bloody op order?!  ‘Don’t grab a piggy until we’ve driven off the Irish, because the Irish Warlord and his remaining troops will come steaming out of the camp!”

“Not you as well, Centurion?!  Does nobody bloody read orders in this army?!”

“Look Derfel, I warned you this would happen!  You only have yourself to blame if you’re on the receiving end of the Irish Warlord, his hearthguards and his menagerie…”

“JUPITER (BEST AND GREATEST) ON A BIKE! Do I have to do everything myself?!  Derfel, stop bloody crying at the unfairness of the Irish having javelins and just keep the Warlord busy while Bedwyr, Bors and I chop down a few of his hearthguards…”

“Aha!  Chief Ashley O’Loonesy, we meet at last!”

“He was a nice chap, I thought… Shame really… Anyway, well done Bors, just pull those javelins back out of yourself and get back to the surgeon, there’s a good chap…  That reminds me… We’re going to need some cocktail sticks for these sausages later, so see what you can find in the baggage…  Derfel!  When you’ve quite finished playing with the doggies, we have some pigs to catch!

“Well done Centurion!  But that one’s a dog, not a pig… I’m sure it all tastes the same on the barbecue.”

“Watch out chaps!  More of the buggers and these ones have axes!”

“Won’t you just die?!!  Comitatenses… Some help here, please?!  I’ll buy you your table without increasing Mess subs!”

“So that’s how it’s going to be, eh…?  Still sulking on the right flank…”

“Right Centurion, that’s enough pigs!  Get the hell out of there and watch out for those bloody Irish javel… Oh, too late…”

“Save the pigs!” At last the Comitatenses get stuck in, and not a moment too soon!

“Right lads, we’ve got enough pigs, now let’s get the Hades out of here!”

The Comitatenses have managed to damage the Irish, but have themselves lost a couple of men… We can probably get away with a smaller table now…

As Lord Derfel and the Warriors withdraw with their pigs, the Irish make a last, desperate attempt to stop us…

“SAVE THE BACON!!!” Dodging British arrows, the last unit of Irish Warriors sprints through the gap and hurls yet more javelins at the Centurion’s band of pig-thieves.

Sadly for the Irish warband, their javelins all dropped short or thudded harmlessly into shields as the Centurion’s boys closed ranks and saved our bacon!

Returning in triumph to Nidum, we were most disappointed to find that Governor Gerontius was not pleased…

“What’s this?! If you’d read your briefing, you would have realised that you gained one Loot Point PER UNIT WITH A PIG!  As the Centurion’s unit has three pigs, that still only counts as one Loot Point and you’ve therefore seized a draw from the jaws of victory!  You idiot!  I’ve a good mind to-“

Governor Gerontius’ rant was ended with the sound of his head rolling across the forum floor…

Posted in 28mm Figures, Ancients, Romano-British Wars, Saga, Scenarios | 3 Comments

“Glory, Glory Hallelujah!” (Part 2): Buford’s 1st Cavalry Division in 10mm

As discussed in the previous article in this series, I’m presently building 10mm armies for the American Civil War, starting with the orders of battle for the 1st day at Gettysburg (1st July 1863).

General Buford

The latest formation to be painted is Brigadier General John Buford’s 1st Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac.  When the war started, John Buford was serving as a regular U.S. Army cavalry captain.  Being originally from secessionist Kentucky, the Governor of that state appealed personally to Buford for him to join the Confederacy.  However, Buford refused and remained true to his U.S. Army commission.  Buford quickly proved himself to be a talented cavalry commander and rose almost immediately to the rank of Brigadier-General.  He was firmly an advocate the use of ‘dragoon tactics’ and dismounted skirmish lines and had little time for the beau sabreurs such as Custer, though nevertheless was absolutely not averse to mounted shock-action when necessary.

On 1st July 1863, General Buford’s cavalry were operating as the flank guard and reconnaissance force for General Reynolds’ Army Wing (I, XI & XII Corps) when they detected a very strong Rebel force (the corps of A.P. Hill and Ewell) advancing on the town of Gettysburg.

Buford immediately realised the significance of that town’s strategic location, being the hub for a large number of good roads and also appreciated the highly defensive nature of the ground.  Although heavily outgunned, he ordered his two brigades and horse battery to make a stand west of the town, while requesting urgent assistance from General Reynolds’ I Corps, thus setting in motion the events that would lead to the most significant battle of the American Civil War.

Above: The 1st Cavalry Division saddled up.  Colonel William Gamble’s 1st Brigade (pictured on the right) was the stronger of the two brigades, comprising the 8th New York, 8th & 12th Illinois and 3rd Indiana Cavalry Regiments. totalling a little over 1,600 men (8 bases in Fire & Fury).  Colonel Thomas C. Devin’s 2nd Brigade, comprising the 6th & 9th New York, 3rd West Virginia and 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiments, was slightly weaker at a little over 1,100 men (6 bases).

Lt John Calef’s Battery ‘A’ of the 2nd U.S Artillery Regiment provided heavy fire support with its 3-inch Ordnance Rifles.  At Gettysburg, Lt Calef’s battery provided superb support to the cavalrymen, deploying well forward and at considerable personal risk to the gunners.

Missing from the picture is Brigadier General Wesley Merrett’s Reserve Brigade, which comprised mainly regular U.S. Cavalry Regiments.  The brigade was not present on 1st July, though played a direct part in the battle a few days later.

The figures are by Pendraken.  Note that I unwisely depicted Buford, in line with Mort Kuenstler’s paintings (see above), on a black horse.  However, I’ve just discovered that his horse at Gettysburg was called ‘Grey Owl’ and was white/grey!  Aargh!

Above: The division deploys for dismounted action.  Note that in Fire & Fury, every fourth cavalry base becomes a horse-holder stand when the unit dismounts.  Consequently, Gamble here has six deployed dismounted cavalry bases and two horse-holder stands, while Devin has five dismounted cavalry bases and one horse-holder stand.

Buford’s HQ flag is the source of some debate.  I’ve gone with the version shown in ‘Civil War Battle Flags’ by General C. McKeever, which conforms to the usual pattern of the corps symbol (in this case crossed sabres) being depicted in red, white and blue for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions respectively. Other depictions show a red-over-white pennant with ‘1’ in reversed colours, as shown in the painting above.

I should also add some minor criticisms of Pendraken’s otherwise excellent figures here… Firstly, there are only two cavalry poses, which is rather boring.  Second, there is no dismounted command; I’ve therefore used infantry officers and a horse-holder converted to a guidon-bearer.  Third, the dismounted cavalrymen are for some reason modelled with thigh-length sack-coats when the mounted versions have the short jacket issued to Union mounted troops.  Thankfully at this scale, this sort of thing is easily hidden by a paint-job.

Above: I may as well add a quick photo of some markers that I’ve also recently painted up, which are used to indicate unit status in Fire & Fury.  The casualty figures indicate that a unit is disordered, while the loading figures indicate that the unit is low on ammo.  The wrecked guns somewhat obviously indicate that a battery is damaged/depleted.

The best thing about these markers is that they’ve finally provided me with a use for all the useless loose-change I always end up with after European holidays!  The Loading markers are based on 1 Euro-Cent pieces, while the Disorder markers are on 2 Cent pieces and the guns are on 5 Cent pieces. 🙂

The first Confederate division is just nearing completion, so more soon!

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, American Civil War Union Army, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Painted Units | 4 Comments