The Battle of Neumarkt 1809 Refought (15mm Napoleon’s Battles)

Last week I posted my scenario for the Battle of Neumarkt (also known as the Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit), which was a rare Austrian victory from the 1809 Danube Campaign.  On Saturday we got to play it at the Carmarthen Old Guard.

The game was originally planned in order to re-acquaint my good mate Andy with the rules, as it’s been some years since he last played them.  But in the event we also acquired Stephen, Chris, Richard and Alan as extra players – none of whom had played Napoleon’s Battles rules before (or indeed Napoleonics in some cases)!  The roles were soon divvied up – Andy would take the role of Hiller the Austrian C-in-C, while Richard took Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column and Vincents’ Advance Guard and Alan took Kottulinksy’s 2nd Column.  On the Franco-Bavarian side, Chris took the role of Bessières and did most of the heavy lifting, while I took Jacquinot’s cavalry on the right flank.

My apologies once again for my poor photography (the lighting in the club isn’t great and my mobile phone struggles to cope with it), but thanks to Chris W and Lewys for the extra photos! 🙂


Above: The scenario map, showing the starting positions for both armies and reinforcement entry-points for the Austrians.  Kottulisnky’s 2nd Column had one more infantry brigade (Hohenfeld’s) and some artillery following him at Point C, plus Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps, which was a couple of hours’ march behind him.  One of Kottulinsky’s brigades (Weissenwolff’s) had got lost and would arrive at Point B.  Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column had another infantry brigade (Froehauf’s) due to arrive at Point D.  Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column was due to arrive at Point A.  Lastly, Radetzky’s Flank Guard was being seriously delayed by Bavarian dragoons, though would eventually arrive in the Franco-Bavarian rear at Point E.

Above: The Battle of Neumarkt as it appeared on our table (the troops are in their positions at the end of Turn 1).  I’d made over 100 trees in the last month and it STILL wasn’t quite enough!  The high ground of the Leonberg is in the foreground, the Austrians are on the left, the French are on the right and the Bavarians are hidden amoung the trees along the ridge in the centre.  Someone had lost the steeple for my model church, so I used a thatched farmhouse for the Abbey of St Vitus. 🙁

Above: Marshal Bessières establishes his command post near the Abbey of St Vitus.

Above: At the hamlet of Oberscherm, the Bavarian 13th Infantry Regiment (IR #13) shift their position to the left, seeking the cover of some woodland.  Captain Dobl deploys his 12-pounders to the right of IR #13.  Dobl’s heavy guns would dominate the Scherm valley in the coming battle.

Above: To the east, the Bavarian 3rd Infantry Regiment Prinz Karl (IR #3), bolstered by the 6th Light Infantry Battalion (represented here by a Bavarian Light Infantry unit), also took shelter along the edge of the woods on the slopes of the Leonberg.  Caspers’ 6-pounder Light Mounted Battery was brought down from its isolated position atop the Leonberg, to IR #3’s position, where it would hopefully be safe from marauding Austrian cavalry.  The highly dispersed nature of the Bavarian deployment would give Bessières and Wrede a command-and-control headache in the coming battle, but then the Austrians also had their command-and-control problems to contend with.

Above: Back at Neumarkt, Beckers’ Bavarian Brigade, consisting of the 6th Infantry Regiment Herzog Wilhelm (IR #6) and the 7th Infantry Regiment Löwenstein (IR #7), are already marching forward to reinforce Wrede’s forward position along the ridge.  Wrede directs these men to support IR #13 at Obserscherm.

Above: On the Bavarian’s right flank, near the hamlet of Strass and guarding approaches to the western bridges, is Jacquinot’s French cavalry brigade.  This brigade was very strong and for game purposes is treated as a division.

Above: To the rear of Neumarkt is Molitor’s French infantry division and Marulaz’s French cavalry division.  Molitor’s division was given orders to march east to the bridge at Kinming (visible in the distance on the left); it was then to deploy onto the Leonberg, to support the Bavarian IR #3 and deny that dominating feature to the enemy.  Marulaz’s cavalry meanwhile, would cross the bridge at Neumarkt and would march up onto the ridge, to generally support Molitor’s and Wrede’s infantry.

Above: Near the hamlet of Teising, to the west of Neumarkt, Preysing’s Bavarian cavalry brigade, attached to Marulaz, sits patiently waiting for orders.  Marulaz initially intended to take his two French brigades across the river and then come back to fetch Preysing, but no plan survives contact with the enemy and Preysing would spend the entire battle in reserve, north of the River Rott.

Above: The sound of Dobl’s heavy guns opening fire announces the arrival of the Austrians!  The Hungarian 60th Infantry Regiment Ignaz Gyulai (IR #60) had been split off from Bianchi’s brigade (Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column) to deal with Bavarian skirmishers in the woods near Freiling, between the 1st and 2nd Column’s lines of march and has become separated from the rest of Reuss-Plauen’s column.  Just visible behind the trees in the foreground is the Austrian 8th Hussar Regiment Kienmayer, which is marching at the head of Kottilinsky’s 2nd Column and is now coming under fire from the Bavarian 12-pounders at Obserscherm.

Above: On the Austrian right, the head of Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column, consisting of the remainder of Bianchi’s infantry brigade, deploys near the hamlet of Hundham (confusingly there is another Hundham on the River Rott).  Fröhauff’s infantry brigade will also soon arrive on the road behind Bianchi.  Just visible through the trees is Vincent’s Advance Guard, consisting of the 6th Chevauxleger Regiment Rosenberg, which is advancing on the high ground of the Leonberg.  Somewhat controversially, Hiller has taken the decision to personally lead IR #60 out of the woods, which leaves the individual column commanders to act on their own initiative.  Vincent manages to get his cavalry moving, but poor Reuss-Plauen struggles to get his infantry to advance in the face of long-range fire from Caspers’ Bavarian artillery.

Above: Although low in numbers, the Bavarian left flank-guard takes a steady toll on Reuss-Plauen’s white-coated infantry as they struggle to close the range.

Above: Vincent leads the 6th Chevauxlegers along the woodland road and up onto the Leonberg.  His aim is to cut the Bavarian left wing off from reinforcement.

Above: The situation at approximately 0930hrs.

Above: Molitor’s French infantry, with a battery of horse artillery in support, march east to the bridge at Kinming.

Above: Marulaz’s French cavalry emerge from Neumarkt and deploy into open ground near the Abbey of St Vitus.  Marulaz heads back to find Preysing’s Bavarian cavalry, but the sound of trumpets makes him rush back to the Abbey, just in time to see Vincent’s white-coated cavalry emerge from the woods of the Leonberg!

Above: Reuss-Plauen’s infantry (now reinforced) continue to inch forward in the face of stiff Bavarian fire from the tree-line.

Above: Hiller meanwhile, is reliving his days as a brigadier, leading IR #60 instead of commanding the army!

Above: In the centre, Kottulinsky has deployed the 7th Grenze Infantry Regiment Brod into skirmish order and assisted by a battery of 6-pounder cavalry-guns, is starting to inflict losses on the Bavarian IR #13.  In the background, Hohenfeld’s infantry brigade has arrived to reinforce the attack on Oberscherm.

Above: However, Dobl’s Bavarian 12-pounders are taking a steady toll on the Grenzer.

Above: Another view of Hohenfeld’s arrival.

Above: Suddenly, Kottulinsky does something rather rash…

Above: Seeing the approaching Bavarian columns, Kottulisky orders the Kienmayer Hussars to attack them!  The Bavarian IR #6 calmly forms square and prepares to receive cavalry…

Above: Somewhat astonishingly, Jacquinot’s cavalry, despite having re-deployed to face the threat posed by Kottulinsky, seem disinclined to counter-charge the Austrian hussars!

Above: The whole Franco-Bavarian army watches in amazement as Jacquinot remains motionless in the face of the Austrian charge…

Above: Shot to bits by the combined fire of two Bavarian infantry regiments, the Kienmayer Hussars make a ragged charge on IR #6 before being driven off to the jeers of the Bavarian infantry.  Finally, Jacquinot at last draws his sabre and leads the 1st Chasseurs forward to glory against the disordered and weakened Kienmayer Hussars.  Beyond the hussars lies a cavalry battery, a regiment of Grenzer deployed in skirmish order and a brigade of infantry still deployed in march column; surely nothing could stop the glorious ride of Jacquinot’s Chasseurs…?!

Sure enough, the hussars were smashed by Jacquinot’s charge, but Jacquinot then lost control of his battle-crazed troopers, who then launched an uncontrolled charge into the cavalry battery.  Having sabred the gunners, the Chasseurs then milled about in confusion as Hohenfeld’s infantry and two batteries of 12-pounders deployed only a few hundred yards away.  Facing the immediate prospect of seeing his cavalry shredded by close-range Austrian fire, Jacquinot ordered his cavalry to save themselves and flee for the safety of the 2nd Chasseurs, back at Strass!

Above: The rest of Jacquinot’s brigade jeer the 1st Chasseurs as they flee back to their lines… This whole sorry episode had succeeded in eliminating a regiment of Austrian cavalry and a battery of guns, but the French had lost three of their seven Free Roll markers, all to absolutely no effect!

Above: On Kottulinsky’s left, Weissenwolff’s infantry brigade has arrived on the wrong road at Nieder-Bergkirchen, separated by about a mile from Kottulinsky’s main body, thus giving Hiller and Kottulinsky a fresh command-and-control headache… However, while in march column and on road, Weissenwolf can press on without being activated by a general, so he presses on toward Strass.

Above: Kottulinsky gallops over to take control of Weissenwolff’s brigade and use it to threaten the Bavarian right flank (and Jacquinot’s cavalry) at Strass.  Hiller also rides over to this sector to find Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column and direct it against the Franco-Bavarian right flank.

Above: Having weathered the storm of shot from the tree-line, Bianchi’s brigade finally starts to get to grips with their Bavarian tormentors, as Fröhauff’s brigade moves through the woods to envelop the Bavarian left flank.

Above: On the Leonberg, Vincent’s 6th Chevauxlegers rally following a sortie against Marulaz’s cavalry at the Abbey.  For a moment, it seemed as though Vincent was going to catch the French cavalry in column as they emerged from Neumarkt.  However, having emerged from the woods and deployed into line, Vincent hesitated, giving Marulaz time to deploy the 23rd Chasseurs into line and make the first charge!  The Austrians had the slope in their favour, but the quality of the French cavalry, allied to Marulaz’s decisive aggression, quickly routed the Austrians and sent them reeling back up the Leonberg – all except for Vincent himself, who was captured in the melee!

However, the French have become disordered in the woods, and as they emerged from the treeline they are charged by the rallied Chevauxlegers!  This time the combat is more even and both sides withdrew to lick their wounds.  However, the Austrians have suffered heavy casualties during the running combats and are now close to breaking point.

Above: But what’s this?!  It appears to be a fresh body of troops arriving from the south and emerging from the woods behind the French right flank… Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column has arrived!

Above: Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column consists of the 8th Hussar Regiment Liechtenstein, the 6th Grenze Infantry Regiment Warasdin-St Georg, a cavalry half-battery and Hofeneck’s Hungarian infantry brigade.

Above: Alarmed by the appearance of enemy cavalry to his rear, Jacquinot frantically turns the 1st Chasseurs around to face the new threat.

Above: Hoffmeister is already close to linking up with Weissenwolff’s brigade at Strass.  Only Jacquinot’s cavalry stands in their way.

Above: To make matters even worse for Wrede’s Bavarians Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps has arrived (early)!

Above: The situation at around 1200hrs.

Above: Kottulinsky’s 12-pounder position batteries are starting to make their presence felt on the Bavarian infantry, forcing the Bavarians to pull back from their forward positions between Strass and Oberscherm and leaving the Bavarian 13th Regiment isolated once more.  Kottulinsky’s battery is about to be reinforced by two more 12-pounder position batteries and 6-pounder cavalry guns from Kienmayer’s Reserve Korps.


Above: With the Bavarian infantry retiring and with the French cavalry threat diminished, Kottulinsky orders Hohenfeld’s infantry forward to link up with Weissenwolf at Strass and to push the enemy back further.


Above: Kienmayer deploys his reserves.  Clary’s dragoon brigade stands ready to counter any unexpected attack by Jacquinot’s cavalry, while D’Aspré’s elite grenadier brigade moves up to assault the Bavarian infantry.


Above: Back on the slopes of the Leonberg, Reuss-Plauen finally gets to grips with the pesky Bavarian light infantry!  Bianchi’s infantry, having weathered the storm of Bavarian fire, finally open up on the Bavarians with a devastating volley that disorders their line.

Above:  Seizing the moment, Reuss-Plauen draws his sword and leads Fröhauff’s brigade forward to assault the Bavarian left flank while they are still reeling from Bianchi’s volley.  In the background, the Rosenberg Chevauxlegers make yet another charge against the 23rd Chasseurs.

Above: A few minutes later, Reuss-Plauen’s white-coats cheer themselves hoarse as the defeated Bavarians flee for the safety of Neumarkt, leaving Caspers’ guns behind!  On the Leonberg, the Rosenberg Chevauxlegers have once again fought the French cavalry to a standstill and again rally back on the peak of the hill.

Above: However, a new and much more powerful threat has arrived to take on Reuss-Plauen; Molitor’s French infantry division.

Above: Outnumbered two-to-one, Reuss-Plauen’s men sell their lives dearly and inflict heavy losses on the French 37th and 67th Infantry Regiments.  However, a charge led personally by Molitor himself, breaks Fröhauff’s brigade and an assault by the fresh French 16th Infantry Regiment finally ends Bianchi’s resistance by 1400hrs.  The French 2nd Infantry Regiment meanwhile, finally drives the Rosenberg Chevauxlegers off the Leonberg.  Reuss-Plauen manages to escape by the skin of his teeth and seeks shelter with the Hungarian 60th Infantry Regiment at Oberscherm, which is now the only part of the 1st Column left intact (albeit demoralised by the catastrophic losses on the right flank).

Above: Even though the battle for the Leonberg has been won by the Franco-Bavarian army, Bessières has no time to rest on his laurels.  Most critically, Preysing advises him that Bavarian dragoon patrols have been fighting a rearguard action against a strong Austrian force that will arrive within the hour at the village of Rott, on the north bank of the River Rott (Point E)!  At once, Bessières orders the rallied Bavarian IR #3 to prepare Neumarkt for defence and orders Molitor to likewise withdraw to defend the town against this new threat.

On the opposite flank, Hoffmeister has deployed his column for battle and the 8th Liechtenstein Hussars are already clashing with Jacquinot and the weakened 1st Chasseurs.

Above: The Liechtenstein Hussars make a brave show of it, but once again the quality of the French cavalry tips the balance and the hussars are thrown back in disorder.  Almost immediately, the supporting Austrian cavalry guns open up on the Chasseurs and inflict further casualties on the French horsemen.  The 1st Chasseurs are now dangerously close to breaking and Jacquinot considers his options for withdrawal.  Passing on his concerns to Wrede and Bessières, they agree that the time has now come (possibly belatedly) to withdraw to the west bank of the Rott!

Above: Even though their cavalry has been beaten off, Hoffmeister’s infantry advance to roll up the enemy flank.

Above: Back in the centre of the battle at Oberscherm, the valiant Bavarian 13th Infantry Regiment has finally been crushed by the combined fire of the 7th Grenze, 60th Infantry and several batteries of 12-pounders.  Dobl’s Bavarian 12-pounder battery, finding itself alone, quickly limber up their guns and make for the safety of the Bavarian 7th Infantry, behind Obsercherm.

Seizing the moment, the 7th Grenze rush forward, but are charged by Jacquinot’s waiting 2nd Chasseurs!  The Chasseurs don’t have it all their own way, as their charge is subjected to a hail of fire from Weissenwolff, Hohenfeld and the Grenzer.  However, the skirmishing Grenzer are easy meat for the French cavalry and are destroyed.

Above: However, the 2nd Chasseurs, like the 1st Chasseurs before them, now run out of steam and find themselves milling about, right in front of a horde of white-coats…  Once again, Jacquinot orders the horsemen to save themselves and make for the bridge at Hundham!  Now it’s the 2nd Chasseurs’ turn to endure the jeers and cat-calls of their comrades as they flee for safety… With both his regiments severely depleted, Jacquinot orders a general withdrawal and the 1st Chasseurs also make for the bridge.

Above: However, the Liechtenstein Hussars have rallied and are looking for blood.  Hoffmeister orders them forward once again against the 1st Chasseurs…

Above: In the centre, Hiller again has his sabre in hand as he relives his glory days as a brigadier… This time he’s leading Clary’s dragoon brigade and he inserts them through a gap in the woodland, aiming to cut off the Bavarian retreat.  The Bavarian 7th Regiment forms square in reaction to the cavalry threat and Dobl’s 12-pounders go into action once again as they open fire on the Austrian dragoons.  Marulaz meanwhile, brings one of his cavalry brigades up to oppose Clary.

Above: However, forming square to defend against Clary’s dragoons only exposes the Bavarians to assault by D’Aspré’s grenadiers.  The Bavarian 6th Regiment is withdrawing in good order and can’t hope to save the 7th Regiment from what is about to happen…

Above: The situation at around 1400hrs.  Sadly, as always seems to happens, that was where we had to leave it… Just as it was getting REALLY exciting and the players were getting a firm grip of the rules… 🙁

So would the Liechtenstein Hussars crush Jacquinot before he could escape across the bridge?

Would the Bavarians manage to withdraw safely back to Neumarkt?  Or would they be crushed between the hammer of Clary’s dragoons and the anvil of D’Aspré’s grenadiers?

Would Preysing do anything…? (In fact I was going to allow Wrede to take command of Preysing if Marulaz remained too busy – they were ordinarily part of Wrede’s division, but had been detached to Marulaz on this occasion).

Would Molitor be able to reach the western bank of the Rott before Radetzky arrived? Or would he have to fight his way across the river?

Radetzky’s flank-guard had already rolled for early arrival (1 on a D10 to arrive an hour earlier than planned, like Kienmayer did) and had failed.  On the next turn it could arrive 30 minutes early on a 1-3, so it could potentially seize the bridge at Kinming before Molitor had a chance to return back over it.  It could then arrive on its booked time (1500hrs) on a roll of 1-6, or 1-8 for every turn thereafter.  Radetzky’s column was much the same as Hoffmeister’s – a regiment of cavalry, a regiment of Grenze, a brigade of infantry and a half-battery of cavalry guns, so while perhaps not strong enough to assault Molitor’s division en masse, it was more than strong enough to defend a bridge and generally make an extreme pain in the arse in itself…


The players were unanimous in that while neither side had completed any scenario objectives, the writing was on the wall for Bessières’ command and it was clear that the Austrians had won the day, despite heavier losses.  It was unlikely that the Bavarian 7th Regiment and Dobl’s Battery could be saved and it also seemed likely that Jacquinot’s cavalry, who had suffered heavy casualties, would be crushed.  It was also likely that the Bavarian 6th Regiment would be overwhelmed, or at the very least suffer heavy losses before it reached the safety of Neumarkt.

Of the rest of the Franco-Bavarian army, Preysing’s Bavarian cavalry, the French 2nd Infantry, 16th Infantry, 3rd/19th Chasseurs and horse battery remained intact.  Caspers’ Bavarian battery was also intact, despite having been routed alongside the 3rd Infantry, and was able to recover its guns thanks to the efforts of Molitor’s infantry.  The 23rd Chasseurs had taken light casualties during repeated clashes with the Rosenberg Chevauxlegers and the 37th & 67th Infantry and 3rd Bavarian Infantry had suffered heavy casualties during the fighting with Reuss-Plauen’s column.  The Bavarian 13th Infantry was the only allied unit to have been driven from the field.  Crucially, Bessières had also expended all his free roll markers.

On the Austrian side, most of the army remained intact, aside from Clary’s Dragoons, Hohenfeld’s infantry and the Liechtenstein Hussars, who had taken light casualties.  The Rosenberg Chevauxlegers had suffered heavy casualties.  The 7th Grenze, Bianchi’s brigade, Fröhauff’s brigade, the Kienmayer Hussars and a cavalry battery had been rendered hors de combat and Vincent had been captured.  Reuss-Plauen’s remaining regiment (IR #60) was incapable of taking offensive action due to the losses suffered by the rest of the 1st Column.  The Austrians had only used three of their free roll markers and had three left in reserve, which were probably about to be deployed to increase the chances of an early arrival for Radetzky!

So a bloody victory for the Austrians that potentially might have become a decisive one if Radetzky were to arrive in time to cut off the Franco-Bavarian retreat…

In the post-match analysis, it was clear that both sides were in a difficult position right from the outset, with divisional commanders being unable, due to their restricted command-radii, to command their entire division at once.  Experienced players would probably have spent the first few turns bringing isolated units ‘back to the fold’ (e.g. Reuss-Plauen could have spent a turn or two bringing IR#60 over to the right flank, while Marulaz could have spent a turn bringing in Preysing and Kottulinsky could have gone to round up Weissenwolff.  The C-in-Cs could also perhaps have spent more time ensuring that their divisional commanders were activated… However, all the players were new to the game and valuable lessons were learned for next time! 🙂

My thanks to the players, who certainly seemed to enjoy it, despite the steep learning curve!  The interest is high for some more Napoleonics and perhaps (fingers crossed!) Aspern-Essling as a Christmas game!  In the meantime I’ll try to arrange a scenario without as many technical challenges as this one! 🙂

Thanks also to Richard for providing extra roads and trees.


The models are all from my own collection.  They’re mostly AB Figures painted by me, though my good mate Gareth Beamish painted a few of the units in all three armies.  The Bavarian line infantry and artillery are actually by Battle Honours (sculpted by Tony Barton before he went on to create AB Figures) and the Bessières figure is actually a re-purposed Marshal Murat figure by Sho Boki.

The buildings are a mixture of home-made card buildings by Gareth Beamish and resin buildings by The Drum.

The rubber roads and rivers are by TSS.

The trees (aside from the ones provided by Richard) were made by me from Woodland Scenics plastic armatures, based on Warbases MDF discs.  Most were foliated using Woodland Scenics ‘Foliage Clusters’, while some had Woodland Scenics ‘Foliage’ applied (which is like a sort of miniature camouflage netting).

Austrian infantry trap Marulaz’s cavalry in the streets of Neumarkt

Posted in 15mm Figures, Games, Napoleon's Battles (Rules), Napoleonic Wars, Scenarios | 2 Comments

More 15mm Cold War Poles

Of all the pages on this blog, one of the most-viewed is the page on my 15mm Cold War Polish Infantry.  This tiny range of lovely models by Polish company Oddzial Osmy is available in the UK from Magister Millitum and I’m very pleased to report that they’ve added a new pack of 9K111 Fagot (AT-4 spigot) anti-tank missile teams (pictured), so we can finally upgrade our 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) teams! 🙂

The pack apparently includes ‘6 figures’ – I assume that this means four crewmen and two missile launchers, for a total of two teams per pack; the same as the Sagger pack.  I’ll confirm when my pack arrives.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Cold War - Warsaw Pact Armies | 1 Comment

The Battle of Neumarkt, 24th April 1809 (A Scenario for ‘Napoleon’s Battles’)

Bavarian Light Infantry

We’ve got an all-day wargaming session coming up at The Carmarthen Old Guard, so I thought I’d run a small (ish) historical battle, the Battle of Neumarkt (also known as Neumarkt-Sankt Veit) from my favourite Napoleonic campaign, the Danube Campaign of 1809.  It’s also a favourite of my mate Andy, so I thought he’d appreciate it.

This scenario is designed for Napoleon’s Battles, which is a ‘grand-tactical’ rule-set, where each tactical unit represents a brigade or large regiment and the figure ratio is roughly 1:100.  This scenario could easily be converted to other rule-sets of the same scope, such as Age of Eagles.

Historical Background

Napoleon with Bavarian troops at the Battle of Abensberg

Following Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Abensberg on 20th April 1809, Feldmarschalleutnant (FML) Johann von Hiller‘s left wing of the Austrian Army (consisting of his own VI Korps, Archduke Ludwig’s V Korps and Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps) was forced to retreat south-eastward toward Landshut and its vital bridge across the River Isar, thus splitting the wing away from Archduke Charles’ main army in the Danube Valley.  Despite a chaotic retreat, Hiller’s command succeeded in reaching relative safety behind the Isar.

However, the river-line didn’t hold for long and Napoleon’s army seized Landshut on 21st April, forcing Hiller’s demoralised command into a further retreat to the line of the River Inn and further away from Archduke Charles, which was forming up to attack Marshal Davout’s isolated III Corps near Regensburg (known as ‘Ratisbon’ to the French).  Panic started to get the better of parts of Hiller’s command and Archduke Ludwig’s V Korps in particular, had largely lost all cohesion and was streaming back in disorganised groups.


Thankfully for Hiller, Napoleon left the pursuit of the Austrian left wing to Marshal Bessières and instead turned his attention to the relief of the beleaguered Davout, who was already engaged with Archduke Charles at Eggmühl.  Bessières was given a mixed force consisting of Marulaz’s French Light Cavalry Division, Wrede’s 2nd Bavarian Division (which included Preysing’s cavalry brigade), Molitor’s French Infantry Division and Jacquinot’s French Light Cavalry Brigade.  However, despite his considerable strength in light cavalry, Bessières was no Murat and conducted the pursuit lethargically.  Thus, Hiller was able to reach the Inn relatively unmolested and was able to bring some sort of order back to his fragmented command and was already making plans to go back onto the offensive and to link up with Archduke Charles and/or Jellacic’s command at Munich.


Hiller and Archduke Ludwig received a message from the Emperor during the night of the 22nd/23rd, advising them that Archduke Charles was intending to launch an offensive against Davout at Eggmühl on the 22nd.  Hiller was determined to recover his reputation and announced his intention to attack Bessières on the 24th and re-cross the Isar on the 25th.  Hiller was not to know that Archduke Charles’ offensive had never even started, that he had been defeated by the ‘anvil’ of Davout and the ‘Hammer’ of Napoleon and that he was now retreating through Regensburg to the North bank of the Danube…

Hiller set about issuing a very complex set of orders for the attack, of the type that Austrian generals particularly excelled at… This blizzard of instructions did succeed in reorganising and solidifying his shaky army, but the complex plan did largely strip divisional commanders of the ability to use their own initiative in achieving the objective.  It’s also noticeable that Archduke Ludwig, commanding the VI Korps was seemingly by-passed, with all formations reporting directly to Hiller’s headquarters.  Perhaps this was due to Ludwig’s loss of control during the retreat?  Or perhaps Ludwig was ‘ill’ (he would retire due to ‘illness’ a few weeks later)?


As mentioned above, the Austrians had a great love of over-complex plans and for reasons only known to themselves, would regularly rearrange perfectly good corps, divisions and brigades into ‘columns’.  the 1st Column consisted of V Korps troops under the command of FML Reuss-Plauen and would advance on the right, screened by an advance guard under FML Vincent and a flank-guard under FML Radetzky.  The 2nd Column consisted of VI Korps Troops under the command of FML Kottulinsky and would be in the centre, pushing up the main road behind an advance guard commanded by Generalmajor (GM) Mesko.  The 3rd Column consisted of VI Korps troops under GM Hoffmeister would advance on the left, screened by the advance guard of GM Nordmann.


FML Kienmayer’s II Reserve Korps (actually a divisional-sized force consisting of a Grenadier Brigade, a Dragoon Brigade and the reserve 12pdr batteries) would follow in general reserve.

Somewhat inevitably, the plan started to unravel from the start and the army started its march by crossing the Inn an hour late at 0300hrs instead of the planned 0200hrs.  further delay was then caused by Mesko’s advance guard, who were still in their beds when the 2nd Column arrived at their camp!  Nevertheless, Marulaz’s cavalry picquets were rapidly pushed back and Hiller’s army marched ponderously closer to the town of Neumarkt, which lay astride the main road to Landshut and which guarded a key crossing on the River Rott (which, while not a major strategic obstacle was a considerable tactical obstacle).


At 0400hrs Bessières, with the bulk of his corps, on the north bank of the Rott at Neumarkt, was advised of Hiller’s advance by Jacquinot’s cavalry.  Despite the clear numerical advantage enjoyed by the Austrians, Bessières brushed off his aides’ concerns and instead ordered a reluctant General Wrede to take his Bavarians east of the Rott, to take up positions on the high ground, between Strass and the Leonberg hill.  By 0900hrs the bulk of Wrede’s division was in position, with Jacquinot’s cavalry formed up on their right.  Vincent’s Austrian cavalry were already visible near the Leonberg and a large column of white-coats was deploying from the highway into battle-order (our scenario starts at this point).


Fighting on home soil, Wrede’s Bavarians fought hard and Wrede himself seemed to be everywhere, inspiring the Bavarian troops by personal example.  However, the Bavarians were thinly-spread, massively outnumbered and it soon became apparent that they were being enveloped on both flanks.  Wrede, reinforced by elements of Molitor’s division, held out until noon, but was then finally forced to order his division to withdraw through Neumarkt.  Unfortunately, this withdrawal coincided with a renewed Austrian assault and hundreds of Bavarian infantry and French cavalry were killed or captured as the battle spilled into the narrow, winding streets of the town.


In the meantime, the ponderous Austrian flanking moves were finally approaching the battlefield.  Elements of Kottulinsky’s 2nd Column and Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column, strictly sticking to their orders, made no attempt to turn the Bavarian right flank at Obserscherm, but instead made straight for the river-crossing at Hundham (note that there are TWO hamlets called Hundham on this battlefield!).  Having crossed the Rott and established a bridgehead without difficulty, these Austrian units astonishingly made no further attempt to cut off the Franco-Bavarian retreat.  On the other flank, Radetzky’s wide flank march, which should have arrived in Bessières’ rear, was critically delayed by a single squadron of Bavarian dragoons and only arrived on the battlefield long after Bessières had retreated.


Bessières’ army, having begun its retreat at 1500hrs covered by a strong rearguard formed by Marulaz’s cavalry and Molitor’s unengaged infantry regiments, withdrew unmolested up the Landshut Road.  The Franco-Bavarian army had suffered around 1,400-1,600 casualties, 1,200 of whom were suffered by the Bavarian infantry.  The Austrians meanwhile had suffered around 1,400 casualties and remained masters of the field, so the Austrians had won a rare victory.  However, both commanding generals had handled the battle very badly and neither had covered themselves in glory…

Nevertheless, Hiller was feeling pleased with himself and that evening was settling in to St Vitus’ Abbey.  However, his bubble was burst when an Imperial messenger arrived, informing him of Archduke Charles’ defeat at Eggmühl and ordering him to withdraw at once to defend the River Inn…


Franco-Bavarian Order of Battle

Maréchal Bessières, Duc d’Istria
[7 Free Rolls]

2nd Bavarian Division – Generalleutnant von Wrede                     4”G(7)+1 [2F]
Inf Regt #3 ‘Prinz Karl’ & Lt Inf Bn #6 (Minucci’s Brigade)                           24 BvLT [12D]
Inf Regt #13 (Minucci’s Brigade)                                                                          16 BvLN [10D]
Inf-Regt #6 ‘Herzog Wilhelm’ (Beckers’ Brigade)                                            16 BvLN [10D]
Inf-Regt #7 ‘Löwenstein’ (Beckers’ Brigade)                                                     16 BvLN [10D]
Caspers’ 6pdr Mounted Light Battery                                                                 Bv6#
Dobl’s 12pdr Reserve Foot Battery                                                                      Bv12#

3rd Division of 4th Corps – Général de Division Molitor               5”E(7)+1 [2F]
2e Infanterie de Ligne (Legauy’s Brigade)                                                         16 FrLN [8D]
16e Infanterie de Ligne (Legauy’s Brigade)                                                       20 FrLN [10D]
37e Infanterie de Ligne (Viviès’ Brigade)                                                           16 FrLN [8D]
67e Infanterie de Ligne (Viviès’ Brigade)                                                           16 FrLN [8D]

4th Corps Cavalry Division – Général de Brigade Marulaz          3”G(6)+2 [2F]
3e & 19e Chasseurs à Cheval                                                                                 12 FrLC [6D]
23e Chasseurs à Cheval & Hessen-Darmstädt Chevauxlegers                       12 FrLC [6D]
Preysing’s Bavarian Cavalry Brigade                                                                  12 BvLC [6D]

Light Cavalry Brigade – Général de Brigade Jacquinot                  3”G(6)+1 [1F]
1er Chasseurs à Cheval & 8e Hussards                                                               12 FrLC [6D]
2e Chasseurs à Cheval                                                                                            12 FrLC [6D]

Reserve Artillery
French 6pdr Horse Battery                                                                                   Fr6#

Bavarian Infantryman (Leib Regiment)

Franco-Bavarian Order of Battle Notes

1. Wrede’s generalship stats have received a boost in most areas, as he was uncharacteristically dynamic on this day.

2. Preysing’s Bavarian Cavalry Brigade was part of Wrede’s Division, but was this day attached to Marulaz.

3. The Franco-Bavarian order of battle lists 36 guns as being present, but the total number of batteries only adds up to 30 guns. There must presumably have been an additional battery and I have therefore added a French horse battery as an artillery reserve (given the amount of French cavalry present, a French horse battery would have been a sensible attachment).  This battery must be attached to either Marulaz or Molitor at the start of the battle.

4. Note that I’ve adjusted the infantry ratio slightly from 1:120 to 1:100. This allows each regiment in the Franco-Bavarian army to be represented separately, instead of being represented as single large brigade-units. This is necessitated by the wide dispersal of Wrede’s Bavarians.

French Chasseurs à Cheval

Austrian Order of Battle

FML Johann von Hiller
[6 Free Rolls]

Advance Guard Cavalry Detachment – FML von Vincent     4”A(5)+0 [1F]
Chevauxlegers-Regiment #6 ‘Rosenberg’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)       12 AsLC [6D]

1st Column (Right) – FML Reuss-Plauen                                       3”A(7)+1 [2F]
Infanterie-Regiment #60 ‘Ignaz Gyulai’ (Bianchi’s Brigade)                20 AsLN [10D]
Bianchi’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #29 ‘Lindenau’ & #39 ‘Duka’)            24 AsLN [12D]
Fröhauff’s Infantry Brigade (IR #58 ‘Beaulieu’)                                      16 AsLN [8D]

2nd Column (Centre) – FML Kottulinsky                                      4”A(5)+1 [2F]
Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment #7 ‘Brod’ (Mesko’s Brigade)                      16 AsGRZ [10D]
Husaren-Regiment #8 ‘Kienmayer’ (Mesko’s Brigade)                          12 AsLC [6D]
Weissenwolff’s Inf Brigade (IRs #4 ‘Deutschmeister’ & 49 ‘Kerpen’)  28 AsLN [14D]
6pdr Cavalry Battery                                                                                      As6#
Hohenfeld’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #14 ‘Klebek’ & #59 ‘Jordis’)           28 AsLN [14D]
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                   As12#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                   As12#

3rd Column (Left) – GM von Hoffmeister                                     4”A(5)+0 [2F]
Husaren-Regiment #7 ‘Liechtenstein’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)              12 AsLC [6D]
Grenz-Inf-Regt #6 ‘Warasdin-St. Georg’ (Nordmann’s Brigade)         16 AsGRZ [10D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                             ½ As6#
Hoffeneck’s Infantry Brigade (IRs #31 ‘Benjowski’ & #51 ‘Splényi’)   28 AsLN [14D]

Right Flank-Guard – GM Radetzky                                                   5”E(8)+2 [2F]
Uhlanen-Regiment #3 ‘Erzherzog Karl’ (Radetzky’s Brigade)              12 AsLC [6D]
Grenz-Infanterie-Regiment #8 ‘Gradiska’ (Radetzky’s Brigade)         20 AsGRZ [12D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                            ½ As6#
Reinwald’s Brigade (IR #40 ‘Josef Mittrowsky’)                                     24 AsLN [12D]

II Reserve Korps – FML Kienmayer                                               4”G(6)+2 [2F]
Clary’s Dragoon Brigade (DRs #3 ‘Knesevich’ & #4 ‘Levenehr’)         12 AsHC [5D]
6pdr Cavalry Half-Battery                                                                           ½ As6#
D’Aspré’s Grenadier Brigade                                                                      28 AsGN [11D]
6pdr Cavalry Battery                                                                                    As6#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                 As12#
12pdr Position Battery                                                                                 As12#

Austrian Chevauxleger-Regiment #6 ‘Rosenberg’

Austrian Order of Battle Notes

1. Only the Austrians could take two well-organised corps (plus reserves) and mix them up into a bugger’s muddle like this… Archduke Ludwig (commander of V Corps) and FML von Schustekh (one of Ludwig’s divisional commanders) have for some reason disappeared from the story, even though their troops are all still present in the orbat. Perhaps they were simply attached to Hiller’s staff or were wounded/sick, or had duties elsewhere on the day?

2. God alone knows why Vincent, being a senior FML, was placed in command of a single regiment of Chevauxlegers…

3. Each column is shown in its order of march, with the top-listed unit in each column arriving first.

4. Note that I’ve adjusted the infantry ratio slightly from 1:120 to 1:100. This allows each regiment in the Franco-Bavarian army to be represented separately, instead of being represented as single large brigade-units. This is necessitated by the wide dispersal of Wrede’s Bavarians.

5. Austrian Dragoons would normally be classed as Light Cavalry in Napoleon’s Battles.  However, in this instance they formed part of the heavy cavalry reserve alongside the Cuirassier Brigades and were kept in hand as shock cavalry, so I think its worth upgrading Clary’s Brigade to Heavy Cavalry.  Feel free to disagree and downgrade them!

Austrian Grenadiers

General Order of Battle Notes

I’m afraid that I still haven’t worked out how to import the unit labels into WordPress, so if you want a copy of the Word file containing the labels, just comment below and I’ll send them to your e-mail address (which I can see when you comment).

As mentioned earlier, each formed unit in Napoleon’s Battles represents a brigade or large regiment.  The usual figure ratios are 1:120 for infantry and 1:80 for cavalry, though I’ve adopted 1:100 for the infantry in this scenario.  Some people I know like to represent the uniforms of every regiment within a brigade, but I tend to think that looks rather confusing and I prefer to represent a brigade using just one of the regiments within that brigade.  It would be boring if we were all the same… 😉

Light foot artillery batteries are not represented, as they are factored into the infantry strengths. Heavy foot batteries and horse batteries are represented on the table by individual gun models, plus crew.  If you’re playing Age of Eagles, you’ll need to add two 6pdr batteries to Wrede, a 6pdr battery to Molitor, a 6pdr battery to Hoffmeister (at the rear of the column), two 6pdr batteries to Kottulinsky (one with Weissenwolff’s Bde and one with Hohenfeld’s Bde), two 6pdr batteries to Reuss-Plauen (one with Bianchi’s Bde and one with Fröhauff’s Bde), one 6pdr battery to Radetzky (at the back of the column) and one 6pdr battery to Kienmayer (with the Grenadier Bde).

The unit stats are written in ‘Napoleon’s Battlesese’.  Essentially each unit is followed by a number showing its starting strength in figures, followed by the nationality code and the unit type code, which corresponds with the Unit Information Card below.  The last number in brackets is the strength at which the unit will disperse.  Generals have a command-radius in inches, a quality rating (Poor, Average, Good or Excellent), an initiative rating from 1-8 (higher the better – C-in-Cs are always 10) and a combat bonus.

Austrian Husaren-Regiment #7 ‘Liechtenstein’


The Austrians deploy all the units shown on the map in the positions shown, in any formation (artillery starts the game limbered).

The French and Bavarians are deployed in the positions shown on the map, in any formation.  Artillery may be unlimbered.  Additionally, the Bavarian 3rd and 13th Infantry Regiments may be re-deployed up to 12 inches from their shown starting positions, but no closer than 6 inches to an Austrian unit’s starting position.  The 3rd and 13th Infantry Regiments may also split off detachments to occupy Oberscherm, Strass and/or St Vitus’ Abbey before the game starts (modify the order of battle and unit labels accordingly).

The C-in-Cs and all divisional commanders named on the map may start the game in a location of the controlling player’s choice (the dots on the map are purely illustrative).

Austrian reinforcement generals arrive at the head of their reinforcement column.

All reinforcement units are automatically classed as activated and may make a full move during the turn in which they arrive on table (taking into account the distance they have to travel to reach the table due to the length of the column in front).  The normal command, activation and movement rules apply thereafter.

Austrian Infantry

Game Schedule

0900hrs (Turn 1) – Game Start.  Austrians have the first turn.  The rest of Reuss-Plauen’s 1st Column arrives at Point D.  Austrian Army Morale is 4

0930hrs (Turn 2) – Hohenfeld’s Brigade (2nd Column) arrives at Point C and Austrian Army Morale increases to 5.

1000hrs (Turn 3) – Weissenwolf’s Brigade (2nd Column) arrives at Point B.

1200hrs (Turn 7) – Hoffmeister’s 3rd Column arrives at Point A and Austrian Army Morale increases to 7.

1300hrs (Turn 9) – Kienmayer’s Reserve Column arrives at Point C and Austrian Army Morale increases to 8.

1500hrs (Turn 13) – Radetzky’s Flank Guard arrives at Point E and Austrian Army Morale increases to 10.

1930hrs (Turn 22) – Game ends following the Franco-Bavarian turn.

Austrian units arrive on the indicated road in March Column.  They may delay their arrival by two turns in order to deploy into battle array and will then arrive in any formation, up to 6 inches from the road.

Reinforcement arrival times may be altered using the usual Variable Arrival Time system:

Two turns before the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1.

One turn before the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-3.

On the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-6.

After the designated arrival time, roll a D10: They will arrive on a roll of 1-8.

Note that the Army Morale level may change if units arrive in the wrong order, so you’ll have to work it out!  Total the number of arrived formed units (including all those already eliminated) and consult the Army Morale chart to find the current Army Morale number.

Bavarian Artillery

Austrian Artillery

Terrain Notes

The map represents 7′ x 6′ on table, equivalent to 7km x 6km.  Each grid-square is a square foot/km.

The River Rott is impassable to all troop-types, except at the four bridges shown on the map.  All other streams are very minor obstacles and are passable by all troop types as linear rough ground.

The woods are passable to all troop types as rough ground.

The town of Neumarkt may be occupied by up to three infantry units of any size: one south of the river, one north of the river and one on the northern edge of the town.  It is not well suited for defence and only carries a +1 defensive modifier.  Units passing through Neumarkt on the roads may only do so at rough ground speed.

The Abbey of St Vitus (‘St Veit’) is marked by a cross and is highly defensible.  It has a defensive modifier of +3.  However, it may only accommodate a maximum of two stands of infantry.

All other hamlets are tiny communities and/or farms and can only accommodate small detachments of two stands of infantry.  Defensive modifier for all hamlets is +1.

Austrian General Staff

Victory Conditions

Austrian Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army is ‘Hopelessly Broken’* (this overrides all other victory conditions).

Austrian Partial Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army has been ‘Broken’*.  OR All formed and undisordered Franco-Bavarian units have been pushed west of the River Rott and there is also at least one undisordered Austrian unit west of the Rott.

Franco-Bavarian Partial Victory – The Franco-Bavarian army remains unbroken, is holding Neumarkt with at least one undisordered formed unit, has at least one formed and undisordered unit east of the Rott and there are no undisordered Austrian formed units in Neumarkt or blocking the Landshut Road.

Franco-Bavarian Victory – The Austrian Army is ‘Hopelessly Broken’* (this overrides all other victory conditions).

Draw – Anything else.

* The Austrian Army Morale level will increase as reinforcements arrive on table.  The Austrian Army may therefore become temporarily ‘Broken’ and then recover when reinforcements arrive and push the Army Morale level up.  The army will normally only become ‘Hopelessly Broken’ if the maximum Army Morale level of 10 is breached (note that while Routed units may count towards an army becoming ‘Broken’, only eliminated units may count toward an army becoming ‘Hopelessly Broken’).  However, as a scenario rule, the Austrian Army will become ‘Hopelessly Broken’ if all units (not including batteries) on table at any given time become Routed or eliminated.


The models shown above are all 15mm figures from my own collection and are mostly by AB Figures, except for Bessières, who is actually a Murat figure by Sho Boki and the Bavarian artillery, who are by Battle Honours.

That’s it for now!  The game report will be up soon…

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

A Very British Civil War in Pembrokeshire 1938: A Clash in the Landsker

Hello.  This is Huw Puw, reporting from the front line for the Fish Guardian.

Yes, that’s right; the Front Line.  It seems that following my numerous near-death experiences in reporting the campaigns of the Army of Cantref Cemaes, I am now the Fish Guardian’s subject-matter expert on the Front Line and my editor insists on sending me back to the Front Line as often as he can (as soon as he finds out I’m back in Fishguard, in fact)…

So once again, I found myself blindfolded and bundled into a car, then dumped in the field headquarters of a regiment of the Army of Cantref Cemaes.  Thankfully there were no cross-dressing nutcases to be seen, but there was a lot of sharpening of bayonets and swords going on, which was most worrying.  From asking around, I gleaned that the newly-raised Catrawd Waldo Williams was about to go on its first raid into the No-Man’s Land of the Landsker.  Colonel Lewis-Jones assured me that his men’s lack of combat experience didn’t matter, as they were going to go in with the cold steel and give those Royalists “A damned good taste of Welsh spunk!”

I wished him luck and requested permission to observe the attack from somewhere at the rear of his regiment…

Above: As dawn rises, the ‘Waldo Williams’ Regiment (known generally as ‘The Wallies’), with a company of the Llanfyrnach Armoured Regiment and a squadron of the Preseli Horse, advance on the isolated farm of Dyffryn-Conin.  The farm is to be used as a firm base for a further assault on the railway near Clunderwen.

Above: The locals enjoy the morning air, oblivious of the impending battle.  As is customary, the ladies wear traditional Welsh dress in case some tourists come past.

However, the Royalist garrison of Clunderwen Junction has been tipped off and is advancing to meet the enemy at Dyffryn-Conin!

Above: On the Royalist left flank, a long, drawn-out chord on an accordion splits the early morning air and chills the blood of all who hear it, friend and foe alike!  This of course, is the internationally-recognised signal that Morris is about to be perpetrated…  The Welshmen pray that it can’t possibly be true, but yes, the sound of clacking sticks, jingling bells and the sight of capering Silly-Bastards draws nearer and the Civil War in Pembrokeshire is plunged into new, unimaginable depths of depravity… The Bastards…

Above: In the Royalist centre, Lt Col Keir and the Slebech Castle Ladies College Cadet Corps provide the tactical headquarters and a rifle company for the Royalist force.  These young ladies are now hardened veterans of campaigns in England as well as Pembrokeshire and together with the cross-dressing lunatics of Y Merched Beca are giving me a deep-seated fear of anyone in a long skirt…

Above: On the right of the Cadets is a company of regulars belonging to the Royal Highland (Black Watch) Regiment and on the right flank is a ‘Storm-Wing’ of the BUF’s Sir Thomas Picton Independent Cohort, supported by an anti-tank rifle team and a Machine Gun Carrier from the 2nd KSLI.

Above: Suddenly, the thundering of hooves and the revving of engines announces a charge by the Preseli Horse!  Resplendent in their buff coats and steel helmets, the Welsh cavalrymen draw sabres and charge the hedgerow, screaming their war-cries; “Shwmae Mam!”, “Beth ydym ni’n ei wneud yma?!”“Peint i mi!”, “Rhedeg i ffwrdd!”…

The BUF watch the oncoming charge in disbelief: “Are they bloody mad, Sergeant?!  Don’t they know it’s the 20th Century?”  “I dunno Sir, but they’re not as mad as Private Pritchard; he’s a bloomin’ ‘ero, Sir!”  BUF Private Pritchard sprints forward to the hedgerow and lobs a Mills Bomb into the heart of the cavalry charge, cutting down two of the troopers before running back to the cheers of his comrades.  As they reach the hedgerow , the rest of the cavalry are wiped out by concentrated BUF rifle and Lewis Gun fire! [Private Pritchard’s heroics were the result of a random even card]

Suddenly finding their arcs of fire clear of friendly cavalry, the Welsh armoured cars open up on the hedgerow, cutting down a few Highlanders and BUF.  However, the Royalist MG Carrier returns fire and kills the driver of one of the armoured cars.

Above: Confident that her right flank is holding, Lt Col Keir orders her ‘gels’ to take up positions in the farmhouse, while she brings her tactical headquarters and heavy machine gun section up in support.  She does however, dispatch a medic to the right flank.

Above: But what fresh hell is this?!  As if one load of Morris-dancers wasn’t enough, yet another Morris-man scampers out of the farm stables, inflicting a Nerve Test on all nearby units… War is Hell… However, the young ladies of the Slebech Castle Cadet Corps prove to be made of steel and the terrifying apparition capers off to join his mates on the left flank. [Yep, another random event card…]

Above: Back on the right flank however, the Black Watch suffer a bit of a wobble as they come under heavy and accurate fire from the Wallies’ Glogue Company and one of the armoured cars.  Buoyed up with confidence, the Glogue Company runs forward to the cover of the barn, but many are cut down in the open before reaching safety.

Above: Back at the farm, the Wallies’ Llanfyrnach Company has occupied the stable-block and is raking the farmhouse with fire.  Colonel Lewis-Jones senses that his moment of glory has come… Dragging me and his personal standard-bearer along by the scruffs of the neck, he personally leads the Hermon Company through the farmyard gate and across the yard to assault the farm house!  Thankfully his grip on my collar eases off and I manage to take cover in the corner of the yard, behind the civilians (that’s me at the top-left of the picture above)!

Above: Having weathered the assault of the Morris Man, Lt Col Keir brings up her tactical headquarters and most crucially, her heavy machine gun to assist in the defence of the farmhouse…

Above: Veterans of the Great War will recognise the scene in the farmyard as the Cadets open up on the Hermon Company at point-blank range with pistols, rifles and heavy machine gun… The Colonel manages to reach the farmhouse with two men, but they are quickly cut down at the front door and the Colonel is forced to fall back, dragging his wounded standard-bearer with him.

Above: Meanwhile, over on the Royalist left flank, a duel has been taking place between another Royalist Machine Gun Carrier and the Wallies’ heavy machine gun section.  The carrier eventually gets the best of the exchange, cutting down two of the three Welsh machine-gunners.  Seeing their way clear, the Carew & Cresselly Morris scramble over the hedge and charge!  The accordion-playing reaches a new crescendo and the jingle of bells strikes terror into the hearts of all there to witness it!

Above: Despite the early Royalist success on the right flank, the continuous machine gun fire from the armoured cars and the Glogue Company is shredding the morale of the Black Watch and the BUF.  The anti-tank rifle meanwhile, seems utterly incapable of hitting anything.  However, the MG Carrier does sterling work in the anti-tank role and manages to immobilise the smaller of the two armoured cars.  Nevertheless, the infantry are jumpy and Lt Col Keir dispatches her Sergeant-Major and an additional medic to stabilise the situation.

Above: The cowardly BUF have finally had enough and pull back from the hedgerow, leaving the Black Watch to it, who are themselves cracking under the strain!  The Llanfyrnach armoured car crews scent victory and advance over the rather squishy remains of the earlier cavalry charge!  Hurrah!

Above: However, that Royalist MG Carrier is still lurking and bullets finally penetrate the paper-thin ‘armour’ of one of the armoured cars, killing the crew.  The second car pulls back and is soon followed by what’s left of the Waldo Williams Regiment…

But I survived, which is what really matters…

This is Huw Puw, reporting for the Fish Guardian while running as fast as I can back to friendly territory (and with luck, all the way back to Fishguard).

Models, Rules, Acknowledgements, etc

My sincere thanks to Chris and Rhys at the Carmarthen Old Guard for embracing the silliness and joining the Civil War in Little England Beyond Wales and thoroughly getting into the spirit of it all!  Thanks especially to Rhys, who painted that magnificent Welsh Nationalist army in only a week or so!  Huw Puw would apologise to Rhys for mercilessly taking the mick, but he has no shame…

The rules used were ‘Went The Way Well?’ by Solway Crafts.  They’re not the greatest rules in the world, but they do give a fun game, as long as you’re playing with gentlemen and not bounders, rules-lawyers and nit-pickers…

The models are a bewildering array of manufacturers and have mostly been covered in previously articles here, so I won’t go into detail.  Empress, Footsore, Hinterland, Warlord, Great War, Woodbine, Mutton-Chop and other manufacturers all feature.  The livestock are by Redoubt Enterprises.

The Huw Puw figure was sculpted from scratch by the supremely talented Martin Small and is based on the John Sparkes comedy character of the same name.

The farm is an epic pre-painted model from EM4 Miniatures.

The terrain cloth is by Tiny Wargames.

The hedges were frantically finished off by me on the day of the game and were still wet with PVA glue when we placed them on the table!  They’re made out of six-inch lengths of rubberised horsehair, kindly supplied by my good mate Andy.  I then Bostiked them down to 6″x 1″ MDF bases from Warbases.  Warbases also supplied the very nice laser-cut MDF gates and styles, as well as a Royal Mail pillar-box and phone box in resin.  The hedges were then finished off with thinned PVA glue and ‘Blended Turf’ flock by Woodland Scenics.  Some of the hedges also include Woodland Scenics tree-armatures that were finished off using Woodland Scenics foliage mesh, which is rather like miniature camouflage netting – you rip pieces off the mesh and then drape it over the (glue-covered) tree branches.

The trees were also frantically finished off for this game (I’ve got around 300 woodland Scenics tree armatures awaiting completion) – this time using Woodland Scenics ‘clump foliage’ and ‘foliage clusters’.

Posted in 28mm Figures, Games, VBCW - A Very British Civil War | 6 Comments

A Very British Civil War in Pembrokeshire 1938: Welsh Nationalist Factions in Pembrokeshire

Regular readers of this idiocy will probably remember that I’ve created a Welsh Nationalist faction for the ‘Very British Civil War’ in Pembrokeshire; namely the Army of the Republic of Cantref Cemaes, which has its stronghold in the chapel-proud hinterland bocage country of North Pembrokeshire.  My mate Martin has also created the Free Wales Army, centred on the port of Fishguard, featuring their crack regiment, The ‘Fish Guards’.

However, the lads at the Carmarthen Old Guard are becoming increasingly interested in building their own VBCW armies, so here are my notes on the other Welsh Nationalist factions operating in and around Pembrokeshire.  However, the golden rule is that it’s YOUR VBCW, so don’t be constrained by my ideas!  He who paints the army writes the history… 😉 I hope this nonsense serves as the germ for your own imagination:

The Free Wales Army (Pembrokeshire)

Y Fyddin Rhyddud Cymru (Sir Benfro)

The most powerful Welsh Nationalist faction in West Wales is the Free Wales Army (FWA)’s Pembrokeshire Division, centred on the port of Fishguard.  Prior to the civil war, Fishguard was something of a hotbed of Welsh Nationalist academia, mainly drawing on the non-conformist and pacifist Welsh chapel tradition.  However, with the departure of most of the pacifist Nationalists to the new Senedd (Parliament) at Machynlleth, the FWA has rapidly filled the vacuum, aided by public revulsion at Royalist/BUF methods in the Landsker.  The FWA therefore emerged as a pro-war, militaristic backlash against the failed policies of the traditional, pacifist Welsh Nationalist intelligentsia.  Some observers ascribe fascistic elements to the FWA movement; they certainly love their bottle-green uniforms, public rallies and oaths to the cause and there are echoes of Italian and German fascism in the title of Yr Arweinydd (‘The Leader’) for their senior member.  The current Arweinydd is a shadowy figure only known as Martin Bach (‘Small Martin’).

The FWA in Fishguard are aligned with FWA enclaves in other parts of Wales, as well as other Welsh Nationalist groupings, though as discussed above, they profoundly disagree with the rump of the ‘old’ Welsh Nationalist leadership, such as Plaid Cymru, over military policy.  They do maintain a permanent presence at the Machynlleth Senedd, albeit in a non-voting capacity.  The FWA’s main source of power in Fishguard comes from its superb deep-water harbour and the associated trade with Ireland, as well as with various other anti-government factions around Britain, as well as foreign powers.  Newly-installed coastal artillery (purchased from Argentina) and a fledgling Free Wales Navy keeps the harbour relatively safe from interference.

Regular military elements of the FWA generally wear bottle-green uniforms, with weapons and equipment from a variety of British and international sources.  Uniforms are typically emblazoned with their stylised ‘White Eagle’ symbol (looking something like an asterisk with downward-turning ‘arms’).  Those without uniforms typically wear a green armband with the eagle symbol in white.  Flags again are bottle-green with the white eagle in its stylised form or sometimes in a more realistic form, typically inscribed with the motto ‘FE GODWN NI ETO’ (‘We will rise again’).  The naval ensign is similar but in sea-grey.

The Republic of Cantref Cemaes

Y Gweriniaeth o Cantref Cemaes

The main article for the Army of the Republic of Cantref Cemaes can be found here (link).

The Welsh Republican Army

Y Fyddin Gymraeg Gweriniaethol

North of the River Teifi is the Welsh Republic, which forms the rump of Welsh Nationalist power, governed chiefly by the pre-war Plaid Cymru (‘Party of Wales’).  The new realities of national civil war forced the largely pacifist Plaid Cymru to reconsider its previous opposition to military action and it was with great reluctance that a Welsh Republican Army was formed.  Despite their initial reluctance, the Welsh Republic has done well, successfully carving out a large, economically-sustainable and defensible chunk of territory, with good access to overseas trade and excellent contacts among sympathetic foreign powers.

After some debate, the capital of the new Republic was established at Machynlleth, site of Prince of Wales Owain Glyndŵr’s short-lived Senedd (‘Parliament’). A new Senedd has been created and despite the war, the Republic has even managed to hold local elections, to provide the Senedd with Representatives.  However, not all Welsh Nationalist territories are willing to suborn themselves to the Republic, though many of these (such as the Republic of Cantref Cemaes and the Kingdom of Dyfed) do send non-voting Representatives to the Senedd, which to its credit, allows these dissenting voices to be heard.

Thanks to foreign military aid, the Welsh Republican Army has grown to become a considerable force.  However, the lack of strong, central leadership from the Senedd, allied to a lack of sufficient modern weaponry, has greatly stymied its offensive capability.  It is this perceived weakness that has only encouraged the formation of independent, more offensive-minded factions such as the FWA and the Kingdom of Dyfed.

Thanks to the variety of foreign sources, the Welsh Republican Army has a wide variety of uniforms and equipment.  As with many Welsh Nationalist factions, bottle-green is a popular jacket colour, though khaki uniforms from a variety of sources are also widespread, as are French-sourced ‘Horizon Blue’ uniforms of Great War vintage.  Armbands usually match the Welsh Republic’s colours of green, red & white, though plainer green & red, deleting the white, have also been seen.

The flag of the Welsh Republic is a tricolour, with bright green at the hoist, then red, then white at the fly.  However, flags loosely based on the heraldic banner of Henry Tudor are also popular, being a white-over-green flag with red dragon passant. However, some units prefer a slightly more aggressive dragon rampant badge and others show the dragon on a plain green ground.

Knights of the Grey Mare

Marchogion y Mari Lwyd

The ‘Knights of the Grey Mare’ are a shadowy and terrifying guerrilla group operating in the Gwaun Valley, which is a deep, narrow and thickly-wooded gorge, nestling in the mountains east of Fishguard.  They resist ALL attempts to move into the Gwaun with ruthless and terrifying acts, backed up by wild rumours of druidic practices and the Dark Arts.  They are never seen and never heard, though they most definitely exist; patrols and sentries will simply disappear, only to reappear at dawn, minus everything below the neck.

The Cwm Gwaun is therefore best avoided and even the FWA give them a wide berth.

The Army of the Kingdom of Dyfed

Y Fyddin o Gwledydd Dyfed

East of Pembrokeshire is the nominally Welsh Nationalist ‘Kingdom of Dyfed’.  When war was imminent, the most powerful land-owner and canniest political operator in Carmarthenshire, Lord Dryslwyn, hedged his bets and declared himself early to be a Welsh Nationalist.  Indeed, he declared himself to be not only the heir to the ancient Kingdom of Deheubarth due to his descent from Lord Rhys, Prince of Wales (which is not in doubt), but also to ‘Arthurian’ times and the Kingdom of Dyfed due to his alleged descent from the Princes of Narberth (impossible to prove either way).  He has even re-titled himself as ‘Lord Rhys’ and clearly also has designs on any future Throne of Wales.  However, there are rumoured to be several rival potential monarchs scattered abut Wales, from heirs of Llewellyn the Great to an alleged heir of Owain Glyndŵr himself!  Nevertheless, Lord Rhys is undoubtedly by far the most powerful potential Welsh monarch.

This move was a massive gamble for Lord Rhys, but through sheer force of personality and undoubted popularity, he has managed to maintain his social position within Carmarthenshire and to largely preserve his power and estates, while simultaneously opposing the government and English hegemony over Wales.  Of course, he’s got a lot of cash and that buys influence, men and weapons.  A string of early victories against Loyalist forces in Carmarthenshire, as well as against the Reds in the coal-mining districts of the upper Amman, Loughor and Gwendraeth Valleys also helped to secure his Welsh Nationalist credentials.

Needless to say, the traditional Welsh Nationalist politicians despise him as an opportunist aristocrat, but what they really can’t stand is that the people always seem to fall for charming aristocrats and would-be monarchs!

The ‘Kingdom of Dyfed’ presently covers most of Sir Caerfyrddin (Carmarthenshire), plus parts of Ceredigion (Cardiganshire) and Brycheiniog (Brecon).  In the west they hold a narrow front west of St Clear’s against the Loyalist Pembrokeshire enclave.  One of their early victories against the King was in establishing a bridgehead west of the River Tâf, thereby taking Laugharne, Llanddowror and Pendine and establishing a fortified camp on the high ground between St Clear’s and the Loyalist stronghold of Tavernspite.

To the north of St Clear’s there is a tense stand-off with the Welsh Nationalist Republic of Cantref Cemaes along the River Cynin and at the town of Newcastle Emlyn on the River Teifi.  Lord Rhys would like to woo them into the Kingdom, but they seem resolutely opposed to any external government, especially any return to a form of principality or monarchy.  Further north and much to the Welsh Republic’s annoyance, Lord Rhys holds the ancient Ceredigion college town of Lampeter.  It was here that he won his greatest victory to date; forcing out the Loyalist garrison (which retreated to Cardigan) and seizing large quantities of weapons and ammunition.  He also captured the large British Army training camp at Sennybridge, again securing considerable stocks of military materiel.

However, several besieged Loyalist enclaves remain within Lord Rhys’ domain at Carmarthen, Llandeilo, Llandovery and Brecon and he presently lacks sufficient military power to tie them all down.  He is resolved to destroy each one in turn, starting with Carmarthen.  There is also the problem of the Reds; Communist, Anarchist and Socialist militias presently hold large swathes of industrial south-east Carmarthenshire, including the large towns of Llanelli, Kidwelly, Pembrey, Burry Port, Crosshands and Ammanford.  To secure these would mean a considerable boost in the Kingdom’s economy, as well as access to overseas trade.  However, the Reds are implacably opposed to an unreconstructed reactionary like Lord Rhys.

With excellent access to sheep, woollen mills and dyers and having largely preserved stability and industry within his domain (particularly the very small-scale steel-working industry in eastern Carmarthenshire), Lord Rhys’ Army of the Kingdom of Dyfed is somewhat better-dressed than most Welsh armies.  As with many Welsh Nationalist factions, green remains the predominant uniform colour for the Army of Dyfed, though Lord Rhys’ household troops are known to wear red or a combination of red and green.  There are also a lot of captured khaki uniforms in evidence; often modified with regimental facing colours.  Recognition armbands and helmet-stripes are white over bright green.

The flag of the Kingdom of Dyfed is a bright green & white flag, split vertically, with green at the hoist and white at the fly.  In the centre are the Arms of Dyfed, being a royal blue shield displaying a gold lion rampant, surrounded by four gold roses.  The personal banner of Lord Dryslwyn was originally a black, upward-pointing black chevron on a white field, with three standing black ravens (two above and one below the chevron).  Since elevation to become Lord Rhys, this is now quartered with the arms of Dyfed described above.

A Note on the ‘Flag of St David’

I’ve noticed that a few AVBCW players like to use the so-called ‘Flag of St David’ for Welsh Nationalists.  However, you might be interested to know that the use of this flag is a VERY modern phenomenon, being accidentally started only about ten years ago by a Greek restaurant-owner recently moved to Cardiff in the early 2000s.  He wanted to establish his Welsh credentials, so in preparation for a Welsh rugby international, ordered a few dozen ‘Flags of St David’ for his customers to take to the match.  The flag-maker was confused and produced a load of flags bearing the central design of the arms of the Bishop of St David’s (a sulphur yellow cross on a black field).  It proved extremely popular and it has rapidly become an alternative national flag among the ignorant.

However, this design is NOT the flag of St David.  Saints only get a cross flag when they are martyred and St David died of old age (otherwise they have a saltire flag or simply nothing at all).  The design is purely the arms of the Bishop of St David’s and has never been any sort of national symbol until very recently.  It has been used by a few establishments such as St David’s College in Lampeter, due to the patronage of a former Bishop and not because of the St David title.

It’s roughly the equivalent of Americans who think that they’re entitled to use the coat of arms of someone with the same surname.

In a 1938 context it therefore makes no sense to have it as a Welsh Nationalist symbol – particularly as the Bishop of St David’s would be part of the Anglican reactionary establishment. I know that everybody has their own ideas of AVBCW, but I do like to use a historical basis as some sort of starting point for the AVBCW silliness.  Consequently, my Bishop of St David’s uses his flag extensively, while my Welsh Nationalists regard it as the mark of the enemy!

Posted in VBCW - A Very British Civil War, VBCW Welsh Nationalist | Leave a comment

I’m Finally Available To Buy! :) (28mm Jemima Fawr by Trent Miniatures)

At long last, my adoring public can buy a miniature facsimile of their favourite Welsh pub-bouncer, wargame-blogger, scourge of the French and all-round Welsh bruiser, Jemima Fawr! 🙂

At the Partizan show last May, I bumped into my old mate Duncan MacFarlane, the former editor of Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated.  He now runs Trent Miniatures, which produces a lovely 28mm French Revolutionary Wars and Irish Rebellions range.  Sadly this range was only in embryonic form when we were looking for figures for our Fishguard 1797 project, or we’d have bought a heap of them!  He’d been wanting to speak to me, as he’d just commissioned some Angry Welsh Women and their associated Gentleman Friends to complement his excellent and growing range of figures.

So here she is: ‘Big Jemima’ herself:

This lovely model can be bought from the North Star Figures website.

And here’s the first pack of Welsh peasants:

They certainly do look like cracking figures – I just wish they’d been available 10 years ago! 🙁

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about with regard to the Battle of Fishguard 1797, here are my earlier articles covering the French invasion of 1797, the ‘Battle’ and the armies and characters involved:

The Battle That Never Was: Fishguard 1797

French Forces at Fishguard

British Forces at Fishguard (Part 1)

British Forces at Fishguard (Part 2)

Fishguard 1797 Scenario #1: Ambush at Carnwnda

Fishguard 1797 Scenario #2: The French Attack

The Further Adventures of the Black Legion

Posted in 28mm Figures, Fishguard 1797, Napoleonic Wars | 4 Comments

“La Garde Au Feu!”: My 15mm French Imperial Guard (Part 2 – The Middle Guard)

A Fusilier-Grenadier of the Guard circa 1809-1814

In Part 1 last week, I looked at the infantry of Napoleon’s Old Guard and my recreation of them in 15mm, using AB Figures.  In Part 2 I’m going to look at what was initially the ‘Young Guard’, but which then became the ‘Middle Guard’.

In 1806, Napoleon embarked upon an expansion of the Imperial Guard infantry, creating the 2nd Regiments of Grenadiers à Pied and Chasseurs à Pied of the Old Guard.  Additionally in October of that year, a new regiment of light infantry was formed from the Vélites of the Guard (i.e. the Guard’s corps of infantry officer-candidates), titled the Regiment of Fusiliers of the Guard.  Only a few weeks later in December 1806, this regiment became the Fusiliers-Chasseurs of the Guard and a new sister-regiment was formed; the Fusiliers-Grenadiers of the Guard.  These two new Guard Fusilier regiments were collectively termed the ‘Young Guard’.

In 1809, the infantry regiments of the Guard were reorganised again, with the 2nd Regiments of Grenadiers à Pied and Chasseurs à Pied of the Old Guard being disbanded as a cost-saving measure.

A sentry of the Fusiliers-Chasseurs of the Guard circa 1810-1814 (with an officer of the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Guard)

The savings generated by the disbandment of these expensive regiments enabled several new Young Guard infantry regiments to be raised in 1809, including the Battalion of Vélites of Turin, the Battalion of Vélites of Florence, the Regiment of Tirailleurs-Grenadiers, the Regiment of Tirailleurs-Chasseurs, the 1st & 2nd Regiments of Conscrit-Grenadiers and the 1st & 2nd Regiments of Conscrit-Chasseurs.  I’ll cover most of the ‘new’ regiments of the Young Guard in the next article.

With the creation of so many new light infantry regiments for the Young Guard, the Fusiliers-Grenadiers and Fusiliers-Chasseurs were initially known somewhat confusingly as ‘Old Soldiers of the Young Guard’, through from 1811 became known as the ‘Middle Guard’.  The Vélites of Turin and the Vélites of Florence were also designated as Middle Guard.  (In fact, the 2nd Grenadiers à Pied and the 2nd Chasseurs à Pied, which had been reformed in 1810, along with the newly-raised 3rd (Dutch) Grenadiers à Pied were also officially designated as being part of the Middle Guard, but in reality were lumped with the Old Guard.).

With the huge expansion of the Young Guard, followed by a further expansion in 1813, the Middle Guard really ceased to be light infantry and instead became an extension of the Old Guard, providing excellent recruits for the Old Guard regiments, as well as excellent leaders for the Young Guard and Line regiments.  The Middle Guard was finally disbanded with Napoleon’s abdication in 1814 and was not re-raised with his return in 1815, though veterans of the Middle Guard formed a large part of the newly-raised 3rd and 4th Regiments of the Grenadiers à Pied and Chasseurs à Pied.

The Regiment of Fusiliers-Grenadiers of the Guard

The Regiment of Fusiliers-Grenadiers of the Guard was formed in December 1806 from the 1st Battalions of the Grenadier-Vélites and Chasseur-Vélites of the Guard.  Only a single regiment was ever raised, consisting of two battalions.  Each battalion initially had four companies, expanding in 1811 to five and then in 1813 to six companies.  Like the rest of the Guard regiments, there were no elite companies.  The regiment was initially intended to be attached to their ‘parent’ regiment; the Grenadiers à Pied of the Old Guard.  However, in practice on campaign they were increasingly brigaded with the Fusiliers-Chasseurs and other Middle/Young Guard units.

The uniform of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers was largely modelled on that of Grenadiers à Pied of the Old Guard; namely a long-tailed blue ‘cutaway’ coatee cut in the line infantry style, with brass/gold buttons, blue collar, white lapels, red tail-turnbacks with white eagle ornaments and red Brandenburg cuffs.  However, from 1806 to 1808 the uniform had some slight differences; the collar and lapels were edged with red piping and the cuff-flaps were red, piped white with more white piping around the edge of the cuffs.  On the shoulders were blue pointed shoulder-straps, edged with red piping.

Fusiliers-Grenadiers of the Guard circa 1809-1814 (NCO on the left)

From 1809 the red piping was removed from collar and lapels, the white piping was removed from the cuffs and the red cuff-flaps were replaced with plain white flaps.  The shoulder-straps were replaced at this time with white fringed epaulettes, which had red crescents and two red stripes along the epaulette-straps (NCOs had mixed red-gold epaulettes, while officers had gold epaulettes).  Aside from the epaulettes, the coat of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers now looked exactly like that of the Grenadiers à Pied of the Old Guard.

Drummers’ uniforms were essentially the same, though had yellow-gold lace edging added to collar, cuffs and lapels.

The waistcoat and breeches were white and worn with long black gaiters, which came up to the thigh and which were secured down the seam with brass buttons.  White gaiters were reserved for formal parade dress.

In 1806 the shako of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers had a red, carrot-shaped pompom, white cords, a wide band of white lace around the crown and a ‘V’ of narrow white lace on each side.  The front was decorated with the national cockade and the brass crowned eagle badge of the Young Guard.  There was no chin-strap or scales.  NCOs replaced the lace bands with gold lace and the ‘V’s had a red insert.  NCOs’ cords were mixed gold/red.  Officers’ shakos lacked the ‘V’s, but had rich gold lace decoration along the upper and lower bands, plus gold edging to the peak.

In 1809 the white lace band was removed from the upper-edge of the shako, though the white ‘V’s were retained.  The pompom was replaced with a tall, red feather plume and brass chin-scales were added.

The equipment consisted of two white cross-belts; one holding a sabre-briquet decorated with a red sword-knot on a white strap and the other holding a black leather cartouche, which was decorated with the brass crowned eagle badge of the Young Guard.  Backpacks were of the usual French hairy-hide type with white straps, usually topped with a rolled greatcoat in blue.

The uniform of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers remained essentially unchanged until their disbandment in 1814.  Like the Old Guard (and unlike the Young Guard) they never adopted the 1812 Bardin Pattern coat.  However there were various campaign dress variations, including blue or brown campaign trousers, shako-covers and red pompoms or padded discs instead of plumes.

As for flags; the Fusiliers-Grenadiers and Fusiliers-Chasseurs were not eligible to receive Eagles like the Old Guard and instead were ordered to carry plain fanions (i.e. marker-flags) in dark blue.  The lack of decoration on fanions was intended to deny any value as a battle-trophy to the enemy.  Details are sketchy, but units inevitably decorated their fanions with various emblems and inscriptions and the Fusiliers-Grenadiers were no exception, decorating their fanions with gold-yellow grenades.

For figures I’ve used the stunningly good AB Figures Fusiliers-Grenadiers, which like their Old Guard figures are standing at attention, as if waiting in reserve.  The flag is by Fighting 15s.

(NB Fighting 15s at present is the UK agent for AB Figures, though that contract will pass to someone else later this year.  Fighting 15s will however, continue to produce their lovely range of flags.)

The Regiment of Fusiliers-Chasseurs of the Guard

Fusiliers-Chasseurs of the Guard circa 1810-1814 (NCO on the right)

This regiment was initially raised in October 1806 as the Regiment of Fusiliers of the Guard from the 2nd Battalions of the Grenadier-Vélites and Chasseur-Vélites of the Guard, plus a draft of selected conscripts.  However, its title was changed only a few weeks later, in December 1806 to the Fusiliers-Chasseurs of the Guard.

Once again, only a single regiment was ever raised, consisting of two battalions.  Each battalion initially had four companies, expanding in 1811 to five and then in 1813 to six companies.  Like the rest of the Guard regiments, there were no elite companies. The regiment was initially intended to be attached to their ‘parent’ regiment; the Chasseurs à Pied of the Old Guard. However, in practice on campaign they were increasingly brigaded with the Fusiliers-Grenadiers and other Middle/Young Guard units.

Uniforms were modelled on those of the Chasseurs à Pied of the Old Guard; namely a long-tailed blue ‘cutaway’ coatee cut in the light infantry style, with brass/gold buttons, plain blue collar, plain white pointed lapels, red tail-turnbacks and red pointed cuffs edged in white piping.  From 1806 to 1808 the uniform had blue pointed shoulder-straps, edged with red piping.  However, in 1809 the shoulder-straps were replaced with the same fringed epaulettes as those worn by the Chasseurs à Pied, being green with red fringes and crescents.  Tail-ornaments were also added in 1809, being hunting-horn and grenade badges embroidered in aurore (a pinkish yellow-orange) on a white backing.

The shako was initially of the 1801 Light Infantry pattern, with the brass crowned eagle badge of the Young Guard on the front and the national cockade on the left-hand side.  White cords were suspended from the cockade-strap on the left side.  A mushroom-shaped, red-over-green pompom was also worn on the left side.  Officers wore a more conventional shako with plume and cockade positioned on the front.  In 1809 chinscales were added and the pompom was replaced with a tall feather plume, coloured red-over-green.  Sources are split over the exact proportion of red to green in the plume – some say a 50/50 split of red and green, while others suggest mostly green with a red tip.  In 1810 (ish) the shako changed to a more conventional type, with the plume and cockade moved to the front and the cords suspended from both sides.  The shako of the Fusiliers-Chasseurs lacked the white lace of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers, though NCOs and officers still wore gold lace (minus the ‘V’s of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers).

Drummers of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers (left) and Fusiliers-Chasseurs (right)

Drummers’ uniforms were essentially the same, though had yellow-gold lace edging added to collar, cuffs and lapels.  However, some sources suggest that the lace was coloured aurore (as shown in the plate on the right).

Waistcoats, breeches, gaiters and equipment were the same as for the Fusiliers-Grenadiers, except for the sword-knot, which had a white strap, green knot and red fringe.

The uniform of the Fusiliers-Chasseurs, like that of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers, remained essentially unchanged until their disbandment in 1814, except for various items of campaign dress.

As with the Fusiliers-Grenadiers, the Fusiliers-Chasseurs were not eligible to receive Eagles and instead were ordered to carry plain blue fanions. Again, information is scant, but the Fusiliers-Chasseurs probably decorated their fanions with gold-yellow hunting-horn and grenade badges.

In terms of modelling, I should point out that I don’t actually need a large, formed unit of Fusiliers-Chasseurs.  As mentioned before, I play Napoleon’s Battles, in which each unit on the table represents a full brigade at roughly 1:100 ratio.  The two regiments of Fusiliers were never deployed in sufficient strength to warrant having two formed units on the table, so my Fusiliers-Grenadiers are sufficient for the job.  However, I do need some skirmisher bases for occasions when the brigade needs to deploy in entirety as skirmishers, so I’ve decided to use the Fusilier-Chasseurs for the skirmishers.

While AB Figures produce lovely Fusilier-Chasseurs wearing the 1809 side-plumed shako and standing at attention (and their Fusilier-Grenadier figures can be used for post-1810 Fusilier-Chasseurs), they don’t produce any Guard Fusilier skirmishers.  Consequently, I’ve used AB Figures Young Guard Voltigeur skirmishers and have simply painted in the upper part of the gaiters above the knee.  The plumes are on the front of the shako and the coat-tails are a little short, but the differences aren’t all that noticeable, so I’m happy.

The Battalions of Vélites of Turin and Vélites of Florence

Although I haven’t painted these units, they formed part of the Middle Guard and wore very similar uniforms, so are worth mentioning here.  Both battalions were raised in March 1809 from a cadre of Imperial Guardsmen and volunteers (most of them Italian).  The Vélites of Turin were specifically raised to be the bodyguard for Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Prince Borghese, who lavished money and expensive Parisian tailoring on his beloved regiment.

The uniforms of both these units were meant to be the same as those of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers of the Guard, though various conflicting sources show a few minor differences and some more differences were created by Prince Borghese’s largesse!

As can be seen in the plate on the right, the uniforms of the Vélites of Florence were essentially identical to those of the Fusiliers-Grenadiers, though almost all sources show that the shakos lacked the white lace ‘V’s on the sides (the cords were white for rank and file – the soldier shown here is a sergeant and has the usual gold lace band around the crown and mixed red/gold cords.

Depictions of the original 1809 uniform for the Vélites of Turin show an identical uniform to that of the Vélites of Florence, again lacking the white lace ‘V’s on the shako.  However, some sources show red epaulettes.  By 1812 the shakos had been modified with the addition of aurore lace ‘V’s and the white cords had changed to aurore. This modification was presumably due to the patronage of Prince Borghese.  Again, most depictions of troops wearing the latter shako have the regulation white epaulettes, but some are depicted wearing red epaulettes (there is a suggestion that corporals may have worn red epaulettes as a mark of their rank, while the sergeants wore mixed red/gold).

A specific request by Prince Borgehese for the Vélites of Turin to be issued with an Eagle was refused by Napoleon, but there is a surviving flag of the standard 1804 ‘lozenge’ Pattern (pictured here).  This may have been a private purchase by Prince Borghese, but if officially issued, it seems likely that the Vélites of Florence would also have been issued with such a flag.  These flags were probably carried on light-blue poles with gilt spearhead finials.  I can’t find any other details of fanions for the Vélites.

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

“La Garde au Feu!”: My 15mm French Imperial Guard (Part 1 – The Old Guard)

I doubt that there’s a single Napoleonic wargamer who doesn’t have at least one Imperial Guard unit in their collection and I’m certainly no exception… And having recently painted my very LAST Imperial Guard infantryman (for the two Young Guard Corps at Leipzig in 1813), I thought I may as well post the pics here, starting with the Old Guard (which appropriately enough, are the oldest figures in my Imperial Guard infantry).

Back in the mists of time, I had a single unit of 16x 15mm Old Guard Grenadiers à Pied by Battle Honours.  They got a lot of mileage and by the mid-1990s were looking rather battered.  By then we’d started doing demo-games at wargames shows and I was wanting some new models, so asked Mike Hickling at AB Figures if they had any imminent plans for Old Guard infantry models.  By sheer luck, he had just cast the very first of the new AB Figures Old Guard and he put them straight in the post to me on approval!  I had it on good authority therefore that these AB Figures Old Guard figures were the first to appear anywhere – they were in our Bautzen 1813 game at ‘Warcon’ (1995 I think?) before they even appeared in the AB Figures catalogue! 🙂

(As an aside, Mike also sent me some never-released Empress’ Dragoons and a Napoleon figure that had originally been sculpted for the Battle Honours range and never released.  As far as he or I know, these figures are totally unique.  The Empress Dragoons have since passed on to my good friend Martin – replaced by newer AB Figures models – but I’ve still got the Napoleon figure and have never been able to bring myself to replace him with the newer AB Figures model.)

Above:  French 15mm Old Guard Grenadiers à Pied by AB Figures.  When I first saw these, I was totally blown away by the quality of sculpting and the accuracy of the depiction.  They look just as though they have stepped out of a Detaille or Gerard painting.  Even today, nearly 25 years later, I still think that they’re the best figures ever to have been produced in this scale (or indeed any scale).  They’ve even got their customary earrings sculpted on…

Above:  Regular readers of this blog will note that my painting was a fair bit better in those days… 🙁 Eyesight and cramping hands now get the better of me.  I also had a lot more patience and would routinely paint my own flags…

For the uninitiated, the distinguishing uniform features of the Grenadiers à Pied were the coat cut in ‘line infantry’ style, with square-ended white lapels (i.e. the bottom end of the lapel, where it meets the coat-tail), ‘Brandenburg’ cuffs with white cuff-flaps, plain red fringed epaulettes and a bearskin with brass front-plate, red plume, red ‘cul de singe’ (‘monkey’s arse’) on the back and white cords.  They continued to wear this uniform throughout the Napoleonic Wars, even when the rest of the infantry switched to the more modern ‘Bardin’ style after 1812.  However, the uniform would be modified on campaign by the addition of black gaiters, blue overall trousers and blue greatcoats.  The cap plumes and cords would also be removed and saved for best (‘Grande Tenue‘).

Above:  This photo will teach me to pay more attention to which figures I’m getting out of the box, as some Chasseur à Pied interlopers have joined the back of the column! 🙂

Above:  The next Old Guard regiment is the Chasseurs à Pied.  Once again, these are in very characterful ‘standing in reserve’ poses, often seen in Napoleonic battle paintings – standing around behind the Emperor, waiting for the order for the Guard to be committed.

Above:  The Chasseurs à Pied had some subtle uniform differences to the Grenadiers à Pied; their coat was cut in ‘light infantry’ style, with pointed lapels and pointed cuffs, edged in white piping.  Epaulettes were green with red fringes and crescents.  The bearskin this time had no front-plate and no cul de singe and plumes were now red-over-green.





Above:  I’m looking at the fine-lined piping on those cuffs while weeping into my turps-pot and wishing I could still paint like that… 🙁

Above:  My last regiment of the Old Guard is the regiment of Marins (which means ‘Seamen’, NOT ‘Marines’).  These are much more recent models and I painted these last year and wrote a blog-article about them at the time.

Above: The Old Guard on parade, with Général de Division Dorsenne, the Colonel-General of the Grenadiers à Pied at their head in full ceremonial uniform.

Above: Dorsenne and the Grenadiers à Pied under fire at Aspern-Essling 1809.

That’s it for now!  Middle Guard, Young Guard, Guard Artillery and Guard Cavalry to follow, but I’m now setting off on my hols. 🙂

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

75 Years Ago Tonight…

I’m just having a drink to the memory of my late father-in-law, Chief Petty Officer Harry James RN, chief engineer of a Royal Navy Landing Craft Flotilla, who 75 years ago tonight was being fished out of Portsmouth Harbour by the crew of a US Navy DUKW…

With the flotilla being held in total security lock-down in Portsmouth Harbour, he and his No.2 decided to row across from Portsmouth to Gosport, to ‘look for spare parts’. Having unsuccessfully searched most of Gosport’s licenced premises for spare parts, they realised that needed to get back to LCT(E) 413 in time to sail for Normandy, so made their way unsteadily back to His Majesty’s Rowing Boat… Only to find that some [insert an appropriate lower-decks naval epithet of your choice here] had nicked it…

Being trained Commandos and bolstered by the Courage bestowed on them by the Dutch, they decided to swim for it…

Had the USN not happened to be passing by, they might have become D-Day’s first casualties…

God Bless you Harry, and thanks for telling me that story… You certainly never told Jean or Sue! 🙂

Above:  Harry’s vessel on D-Day – LCT(E) 413.  This was a very rare vessel – only four LCT(E) were employed during the Normandy Landings and this (Harry’s photo – taken at Port Said in 1946) is the only photo I’ve ever seen of one.  It was the Emergency Repair (E) variant of the Landing Craft Tank (LCT) and instead of the tank-deck it had workshops for the at-seas repair of landing craft.  Unlike the standard LCT, there was also an upper deck with offices, cabins and stores, plus stowage and davits for its own motor-launch (and presumably Harry’s rowing-boat).


Posted in World War 2, World War 2 - Normandy 1944 | Leave a comment

Our ‘A Very British Civil War 1938’ Game at Partizan 2019

The last twelve months have certainly shot past since our last Very British Civil War 1938 epic at Partizan 2018 show in Newark!

I clearly hadn’t offended everyone last year, as this year I was very kindly invited by Dave Rose to once again take part in the Very British Civil Forum group’s demo game at Partizan 2019.

Dave’s collection is truly phenomenal and he was able to supply a 6×12-foot table, absolutely packed with beautiful urban terrain.  All we had to do was supply some troops, so I once again brought Baroness de Loutson and the Cadet Corps of the Slebech Castle College for Young Ladies (a Royalist faction aligned to the quasi-fascistic ‘English Mistery‘).  I also brought a spare force from the Army of the Bishopric of St David’s (Anglican League) in case additional players wanted to join the game.

Above: The Midlands town of Fackingham has been fortunate in that up to now the civil war has been held at arm’s length and the town’s local defence volunteers (LDV) have been able to discourage the belligerent factions from attacking the town.  However, Fackingham’s cottage industry has been producing armoured vehicles for anyone with the cash to buy them and while that has kept the richer factions happy, others viewed the town’s industrial resources with envious eyes.

Above: Nevertheless, Fackingham’s wealth keeps the locals happy and attracts business to the town and on Market Day the town is packed with traders… As well as rich pickings for anyone powerful enough to take on the town’s LDVs…

Above: But all is quiet in Fackingham… The vicar strolls through the church-yard and thinks about choirboys…

Above: Locals stroll through the streets as tradesmen make their deliveries.

Above:  The back-lanes are quiet… Perhaps too quiet…

Above: The peace is suddenly broken as an Anglican League reconnaissance aircraft roars over the town!

Above: Fearing an air raid or worse, the vicar runs to the church tower and rings the church bells to call out the LDVs!

Above: The local constabulary arm themselves and take up defensive positions around the police station and Red Lion public house.

Above: Even the local postmen have a war-role and quickly assemble their rocket-artillery.

Above: Factory-workers take up positions around the tank-factory.  While many of the armoured vehicles are only partly-built, some are runners and the crews fire up the engines and load ammunition.

Above: The town’s LDV was wise to mobilise, as a large Royalist force appears at the eastern edge of the town.

Above: The Baroness de Loutson establishes her headquarters in a farm and observes as her girls advance on the town.  On her left is a large force of BUF Blackshirts, while on the right is a regiment of Welsh Royalists.  Openng her packet of orders, she is horrified to discover that her primary objective is the tank factory at the far edge of the town!  Her girls will have to fight their way through the entire town to reach it!  However, secondary objectives include the confiscation of essential war-supplies, which should prove a much easier nut to crack.  She is also ordered to capture or destroy an enemy propaganda film-unit if encountered and she must also make contact with a Royalist agent, the local Verger.

Above: On the Baroness’ left, an armoured car leads the way along the lane, followed by a file of attached Blackshirts.

Above: Upon reaching the edge of town, the armoured car crew halt and scan the houses warily, waiting for the infantry to move forward and lead the advance into town.

Above: On the right flank, things go rapidly downhill as the Welsh Royalists encounter a group of archaeologists making a documentary film at the local ruined abbey (cultural endeavours must continue regardless of the war – this is Britain, after all!).  The Royalists demand that the film-crew stop making ‘propaganda’ and that they should hand over their equipment… A group of mercenaries providing close protection for the film crew lose their nerve and open up with a volley of Tommy Gun fire, cutting down a few Royalist soldiers!  The Royalists return fire, cutting down mercenaries, archaeologists and film crew alike, the Cadets also join in and even bring up a tankette…  The firefight is brutal and short and the surviving archaeologists make a run for the town, pausing only to shout “Come and have a look at this pottery sherd I’ve found over here, Tony!” and the like.

Above: Cadet cavalry follows the infantry into town… Who brings cavalry to a street-fight…?  Oh well, at least they add a degree of class to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.  In the background, a Cadet headquarters orderly runs forward to commandeer an animal feed agent’s steam-truck.  Thankfully, steam and internal-combustion motor maintenance and operation is all part of the thoroughly modern educational syllabus provided by the Slebech Castle College for Young Ladies…

Above: At the western end of Fackingham, the rich pickings have attracted other factions… Socialists, Anglican League and Yorkists advance on the tank factory.

Above: The factory militia prepare to defend their livelihood [I have no idea what was going on at this end of the table – it was twelve feet away and was an entirely different game, as far as we were concerned!]

Above: As the Cadet armoured car covers the houses with its machine gun, the Blackshirts advance on the market square, followed by a cadet medic and her trusty hound.

Above: A Cadet musician, riding on the back of the armoured car, gives the Blackshirts a jaunty tune on the accordion…

Above: As the Blackshirts move warily up the street, they spot the Verger – their agent!

Above: The Verger/Agent is escorted back to headquarters under guard.

Above:  With the fight at the abbey over, the Cadets, covered by the tankette and a heavy machine gun, move forward into town.

Above: Suddenly, all hell breaks loose as the Cadets and the Welsh Royalists come under heavy fire from LDV units positioned in the Bank, the Pelican pub and some terraced houses, as well as from the Post Office rocket-artillery on the market square!  Trapped in the street without immediate cover, several cadets are cut down before they have the chance to withdraw!

Above: Particularly murderous is the fire from an LDV heavy machine gun emplaced on the roof of The Pelican.  this gun dominates the market square and completely enfilades the street up which the Cadets were marching.

Above: The surviving cadets take cover behind the Bank’s courtyard wall and the tankette moves forward to engage the heavy machine gun.  However, the tankette is soon engaged by the machine gun and by LDV men concealed in the houses to the right of the lane!

Above: Throwing caution to the wind and responding to radio calls from the tankette, the armoured car surges forward onto the market square, in an attempt to destroy the rocket-artillery!

Above: Demonstrating a remarkable degree of dexterity  and speed, the Post Office Rocketeers somehow manage to dismantle their weapon and leg it into cover as the armoured car’s machine gun knocks chunks out the brickwork around them!  The armoured car turns its attention to the machine gun, but is in turn engaged by previously-unseen heavy machine guns at the far end of the square!  The armoured car’s paper-thin armour can’t withstand much punishment and the car is soon reduced to a burning wreck in the middle of the square.

Above: The LDV machine gun crew atop The Pelican whoop with triumph and taunt the Royalists as they turn their gun on the tankette.

Above: The Welsh Royalists manage to rout the LDV men from the terrace, but too find themselves suffering from the heavy fire coming from The Pelican Inn!  Alas, the Cadet tankette too succumbs to heavy machine gun fire and is soon burning in the lane behind the Bank.

Above: On the Royalist left flank, a large force of Blackshirts has moved forward, but doesn’t seem to be much interested in joining the fight… Instead, they spend their time removing trucks, loot and a whole herd of cattle from the cattle market.

Above: The local civilians keep their upper lips stiff as they carry on with their shopping on the market square, regardless of the bullets whizzing past… It makes all factions proud to be British (except the Socialists, obviously).

Above: The reason for the armoured car’s destruction soon becomes apparent as an LDV gun-truck and a police armoured car appear on the square.

Above: Despite their losses, the Cadets are made of stern, matronly stuff and, having fixed their lippy, they lift their skirts to ankle-height and with a bellow of “Come on Girls!” from Captain de Carnelle, they charge the rear of the Bank!  Their heavy machine gun manages to keep the bank staff pinned down and the Cadets reach the building without loss!  Led by Captain de Carnelle, brandishing her pistol and sabre, the well-drilled Cadets winkle the bank staff out from behind their heavy mahogany counter.

Above: The surviving bank staff are taken prisoner and are escorted to the rear by a mounted Cadet.

Above: With the armour knocked out, the mounted Cadets are mover forward to provide what support they can to the infantry.

Above:  Baroness de Loutson’s tactical headquarters group also moves forward for a better view of the action.

Above:  With Royalist forces now occupying the Bank and the houses on the left, the heavy machine gun on the roof of The Pelican is finally knocked out by the massive weight of Royalist small-arms fire.  The LDV gun-truck moves forward, somewhat suicidally, to closely engage the Royalists and quickly becomes the target of several grenades…

Above: On the north side of The Pelican, the LDV Headquarters Platoon is getting the worst of their firefight with the Welsh Royalists.

Above: Meanwhile, on the western edge of the town, the Socialist militia don’t seem to be making much headway against the tank factory LDV, who have brought up some armour to aid their defence.

Above: However, on the north side of the factory someone’s armour (we’re not sure whose) is storming up the main road and has almost reached the market square!

Above:  Following in the wake of the armour, Anglican League militia are storming through the factory gate.

Above:  Yorkist Boy Scouts have taken the church and raise the banner of the Duke of York from the tower!  There is much cheering from the Yorkists, though nobody else knows or cares why.

Above:  The Bishop of St David’s Anglican League forces follow the Yorkists into town and have ‘armour’ of their own…

Above:  Meanwhile, back at The Pelican, the LDV gun-truck has been grenade into submission and the Cadets storm out of the bank to assault the front door of The Pelican!  Astonishingly, they suffer no casualties during their mad charge and successfully breach the pub!  Suddenly realising that they have no Gentleman Friends with them, they immediately turn left into the Lounge Bar and avoid the Public Bar, as they are Ladies…

Above:  The dismayed survivors of the LDV Headquarters Platoon desperately down their pints and half-heartedly defend their pub from this frenzied attack, but are soon overwhelmed by shrieking women with long-suppressed Issues…  Congratulating her girls, Captain de Carnelle permits them to consume a small fruit-based drink, while the officers consult the cocktail menu…

Above: Missing out on the free drinkies, one disgruntled cadet escorts the prisoners to the rear, wondering if she is going to make it back in time for Last Orders…

Above: Cadet Headquarters Orderlies once again move forward to remove anything portable or driveable.

Above: “Time please, Ladies!” Having consumed a refreshing beverage, giggling Cadets burst out into the Beer Garden to engage the Post Office Rocketeers… However, they may have had one or two Babychams too many and are soon forced to withdraw, staggering and giggling, back into the Lounge Bar…

Above:  Duty done, the cadets have a lock-in and a party on the roof terrace of The Pelican, while waiting for their Gentleman Friends from the Welsh Royalists to join them…

Above: At the far end of town, the Anglican League and Yorkists look to be making headway into the tank factory.

Above:  The Yorkist armour has succeeded in knocking out the police armoured car, but is itself coming under heavy fire from the Post Office.

Above:  As the Anglican League recce plane makes another pass over the town, the Royalists realise that there’s no way that they’ll be able to reach the tank factory and withdraw (some of them staggering, giggly and ‘silly’) from their town with their loot..

Thanks to all for a great game and especially to Dave Rose for putting it on and to Mort for running around like a whirling Dervish as the game-umpire.  Congratulations also to Norm, our Blackshirt ally, who was judged to have ‘won’ due to hoovering up more cows than John Chisum and Ronald McDonald put together, while not firing a single shot during the entire battle…

Posted in 28mm Figures, Games, Partizan (Show), VBCW - A Very British Civil War | 3 Comments