Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Innies or Outies?

I've started basing up my Saxons and am coming up hard against the point where I have to make a decision. I am now standardising my units on a 36-figure basis for the regular infantry*. Do I want to include my command figures in this total? At the moment I'm looking at six bases of six figures plus an officer or NCO figure per 12-figure company plus a mounted officer, drummer and a couple of standard-bearers.
 The alternative seems to be to drop one of the stands of figures and replace it with one mounting an officer, drummer, mounted officer and a pair of ensigns. The first image in this post has just such a mock-up, whilst the others are variations of my current arrangement.
*Why? Because this feels like a good compromise between piddly little units of 12-24 figures on the one hand and unmanageable monsters on the other. I admire those people who can maintain the focus and stamina to put out 72-figure units, but I just cannot do it. Charles Grant-style units of 53 figures are my absolute limit!

I think 36 figure units give me a chance of occasionally finishing them off and eventually offering the prospect of putting on actions like (shall we say) Quebec with a reasonably-sized table. I also think that they represent an opportunity to do two-battalion regiments where you can properly hive off the grenadiers, merge them with those of another regiment and come up with a viable grenadier battalion.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Prestonpans - The Anglo-Hanoverian Army

Commander-in-Chief North Britain: Lieutenant-General Sir John Cope
Adjutant General: Colonel Lord Loudon (64th)

Cavalry: Brigadier Thomas Fowke
13th Dragoons (Colonel James Gardiner)
14th Dragoons (Lieutenant-Colonel William Wright)
567 Troopers

Infantry: Colonel Francis Lascelles (58th)
55th (Lee's) Foot Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Halkett - 5 Companies
57th (Murray's) Foot Lieutenant-Colonel Jasper Clayton - 10 Companies
58th (Lascelles) Foot Majoy John Severn - 8 Companies plus two companies of Guise's 6th Foot
43rd (Murray's) Highlanders - 1 Company
Loudon's 67th Highlanders (Captain Alexander Mackay) - 3 1/2 Companies
1,464 Rank and File

Artillery: Major Eaglesfield Griffith and Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Whitefoord
6 1 1/2 pr "Curricle" guns
4 Coehorn Mortars

These figures do not square up too well with the casualties suffered on the day - 1400 of the Anglo-Hanoverians taken prisoner. 300 more were killed and another 170 escaped the fight.Unless I was mistaken in assuming that all the cavalry got away. A closer reading of my Duffy suggests that the 13th at least were fairly hotly engaged, but were mostly overrun standing. Perhaps more of the cavalry were lost than I had earlier thought. perhaps the Anglo-Hanoverian army was not quite at the "2300" strength I had originally thought. Perhaps their strength was more in the order of about 2000-2100 in total.

Also, my earlier assumption of basically three regiments of foot and two of dragoon starts to fall apart when we examine the actual breakdown of the forces involved. As can be seen there were lots of small-fry, interestingly including  four and a half companies from two highland regiments. Whether to fold them into the 55th and not worry or to set them apart as the Picquets is another decision.

I shall have to think this over and see what turns up. My original conversion of men to figures assumed that there were 1900 infantry which I scaled down to 108 - a 20:1 (weeeell, roughly) ratio. That may have to change.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings

The Saxon Leib Grenadier Garde
 I started painting some Saxon infantry in oh, I don't know, 2006-7.
RSM Prussian Grenadiers led by a French (!) General
 They have languished ever since, barring the odd spurt of enthusiasm.
von Bruhl's Regiment
 Finally, after all this time and a well-timed prod from Jim, I finally got on with them. I still need standards, but with Christmas on us, I think I might be forgiven not having them ready until the new year.
I'm pondering a re-organisation on a 36-figure standard. I've not yet decided what to do with the command figures - integrate them into the line or stand them seperately as you see here. I'm thinking of 30 "hatmen" and a detatchable half dozen grenadiers to allow me to put together provisional grenadier battalions.
I always did like the various Naploeonics done with Elite and Hinchcliffe Miniatures that adorned many a cover of WI that had the mounted officer just protruding on a funny little polygon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

...And just in time for Christmas

I say there, chappie, I'm looking for a florist
 Among my best eBay purchases ever.
You won't find one here, mon ami.
One starts to consider that one's own painting style may possibly be touch fussy and could benefit from a little simplification.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Last Days before Christmas

And a last chance to acheive something before the end of the year.

Can it be done?
Ha! Remember these?
Let's see, shall we? Stay tuned...

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Jacobite Army

RSM 95 Jacobite
The Osprey on the Culloden Campaign (#106) has the most detailed breakdown of the Jacobite Army at Prestonpans that I have yet seen.

Without any further ado:

HRH Prince Charles Edward Stuart
Adjutant General: Colonel John Sullivan
Lt General William, Duke of Atholl
Lt General James, Duke of Perth
Lt General Lord George Murray

Perth's Division
Clanranald's Regiment - 200 men
Glengarry's Regiment - 400 men
Keppoch's Regiment - 250 men

Murray's Division
Duke of Perth's Regiment - 200 men
Appin's Regiment - 200 men
Lochiel's Regiment - 500 men

Reserve (Prince Charles)
Atholl's Regiment - 500 men
Cavalry - 36 men

Having had a bit of a look at the size of the units the Anglo-Hanoverians are fielding, it seems to me that I am working at around a 18/20:1 man:figure ratio. Thus:

Perth's Division
Clanranald's Regiment - 10 figures
Glengarry's Regiment - 20 figures
Keppoch's Regiment - 15 figures

Murray's Division
Duke of Perth's Regiment - 10 figures
Appin's Regiment - 10 figures
Lochiel's Regiment - 25 figures

Reserve (Prince Charles)
Atholl's Regiment - 25 figures

You'll note that I've fudged the figures on Keppoch's Regiment and dropped the cavalry altogether. It seemed a fair enough trade and works in with my feeling that the Jacobites would not have been packed as tightly into their frontages as the Anglo-Hanoverians - I am looking at five figures per 45mm wide x 40mm deep base.Looking at the organisation of figures purely in terms of infantry bases, this would give us 18 Anglo-Hanoverian ones versus 23 Jacobite bases.

I noted the fairly detailed Anglo-Hanoverian Order of Battle in the same Osprey and will present it as an alternative to that already worked through.

Deconstructing Prestonpans

An old image from my black undercoating days.

Looks to me like the sequence of events (barring all the pre-battle maneuvering) was something like this:

The Anglo-Hanoverians* deploy in line, with the cavalry on the wings. The guns are awkwardly deployed on the right of the infantry wing on a low rise. Whether this rise was a significant feature I cannot tell and there is no mention of it in the sources I have so far read.

The Jacobites  advanced in two large bodies either side of some marshy ground which encumbers the centre of the battlefield. A third body of troops under the Prince formed a reserve behind them.

Is this the origin  of reports the Jacobites advanced in a mass, the centre retarded by the marshy ground so their “line” formed a “V” with flank attacks going in first?

The Anglo-Hanoverian artillery was not effective. The Dragoons were static; their only contribution was to fire some mounted volleys at the Jacobites as they came on.

Whatever the reason, the Dragoons in the front line broke on contact and fled. I would surmise that the Jacobite reserve effectively pinned the Anglo-Hanoverian centre whilst the large bodies on the left and right simply collapsed the Anglo-Hanoverian line.

There you go - Prestonpans in a nutshell.

*Yes, I read Duffy's "The '45"

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ground Scale and Recreating Johhny Cope's Army

Just as an addendum to my last, I have done a little back-of the envelope figuring with regard to recreating Cope's army.

The infantry shall consist of three, 36-figure units. I will take away  three "companies" of 6 grenadiers as piquets,  leaving  three 30-figure and one 18-figure unit.

The dragoons shall be represented by a pair of 12-figure dragoon units each in three four-figure squadrons.

There shall be a derisory 2 guns and 3 gunners. Enough to fire them both once and one of them (perhaps) a second time.

Doing a little figuring based on a 15mm per figure frontage for the Infantry and 20mm per cavalryman, I came up with a few figures for ground scale for a Prestonpans fight.

The infantry would occupy a front of 81cm with an additional 48 cm for the cavalry and a notional 10cm for the guns. This when you throw in a few centimetres as spacers between units comes in round figures to 150cm. These are maxima which take no account of the fact that a couple of the dragoon squadrons were behind the main line of battle. Still, as they say, close enough for a game of toy soldiers.

Looking at the Battlefield Trust map of the battlefield, it becomes apparent that Cope’s line occupied a front of about 500 metres. Scaling this down to match the frontage of our wargaming units, we discover that our ground scale is in the order of 3cm to 10metres.

Musket range is therefore in the order of 15cm or 6 inches!

See? Some things really never do change.

Numbers at Presonpans - The Anglo-Hanoverians

One project I have in mind for my year without lead is to put together a little Jacobite collection from the lovely 28mm RSM95 figures available from DPC, based on Prestonpans.

This would benefit my “British” collection insofar as it would prompt me to add some more troops to it, especially come cavalry and let me get some Jacobites started. I’m even thinking of doing some of the Black Watch who might do double-duty as Jacobites. This will feed into two of my longer-term goals of “doing” the failed British assaults on Fort Carillion in 1758 and one day to play out the campaign against Quebec in 1759.

So then, Prestonpans. About 2300 Government troops faced about 2500 Jacobites. It’s not clear how the Anglo-Hanoverian Army breaks down numerically, but so far as I can tell, the foot were broken up into four units – three infantry battalions from the left and at the extreme right a fourth unit of foot composed of piquets from each of the foot regiments. I have no idea as to what their composition was, but I’ll call them Grenadiers. At the left and right extremities of the line were one each of two regiments of dragoons. Each of these was of three squadrons.

In the aftermath of the battle it transpired the Jacobites had taken 1400 of the Anglo-Hanoverians prisoner. 300 more were killed and another 170 escaped the fight. I would suggest that as they dragoons fled at the start of the fight that most of these would have been infantry, giving us a total of about 1900 and 400 dragoons.

It seems that of the Jacobite army, no more than about 1000 of them actually came into action.

Any questions or comments are most welcome. More on the Jacobites later.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Quarterly Review

Well, here we are at the end of another painting challenge. This one has been longer than most and i think this will show in both the amount and variety of what got dome. Naturally I have done nothing of what I actually intended, (4 x Charles Grant-styled Saxon Regiments from RSM Prussians) but what they hey.

I started the quarter on a bit of an Operation Torch kick with lots of French "armour"...
Improbably saggy-tracked Airfix M3 Lees...
 Some excellent Minimi French trucks and
Some PSC M5s.
 Then it was Ancients. mostly Rose Prestige like these Immortals
 And these rather plain Medes
 A few Garrison phrygians. Pick the ones I didn't paint.
 More Rose in the form of some Skythians.
 Then we reel back a Millennium to these Eureka Minoans. How cool are cow-hide shields?
And some Phrygian Mercenaries.
 Then we went off to Port Macquarie for a week and I got started on some Staddens who are masquerading as "Littler Britons".
 Oh, I do like them
 The gunners are patiently waiting for me to convert them some arms. The dear little fellows.
Then there's Lord Rakehell, fresh from the Crimea.
While we were away, I wanted to experiment a little with my horse painting technique and when I returned, I raised a little stud to service the various on-going projects I had on.
Just for laughs I painted up 36 of these little fellows who've been knocking about here for a LOOONG time.
Oops, nearly forgot the Greeks. These are just a small sampling. I think I got through 50 or so in the time I had. As the clock ticked down and it was time to assuage a little guilt and do these guys:

They'd been sitting in their primer glaring at me for about 6 months! So there you go - the 90 Day Challenge. About 270 Olley Points. Phew.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Oops, I did it again...

... I painted something random.

La Garde
I'd had these sitting in a box for months. All those blue-primed little eyes, beseeching me. So... I graced them a wash of dark blue, painted all the flesh bits in ... flesh. All the black bits in black, the brown bits brown &c, &c until I came to do the facings.

Let's see, methought. I've done la Rosee, von Prittwitz's. Time for the Leibgarde? Why not. A quick flip through Knotel, Knotel and Seig... Red? Oh, that's a bit dull. Still, and... done!

That's three Alzheimer units done. There are about two and a half of the Prussians, plus a field artillery battery complete as well. I've another Prussian unit of foot plus two of Lancers lined up and ready to go. Then there are those Stadden Brits.

With whom shall they throw their lot?

On a completely different note, if you were considering a smallish Jacobite Rebellion game done completely out of existing stocks of metal, what would you do?

I'm thinking of a game something like Prestonpans, following the orders of battle that can be teased out of Duffy, perhaps element-based. Probably element-based.

In terms of granularity, I'd be wanting to depict the Anglo-Hanoverian dragoons at a squadron level and allow for the piquets on their right. It'd be nice to show the artillery off with 2-3 models (there were half a dozen coehorns and another half-dozen light field pieces) and 3-4 gunners. All with RSM miniatures plus a few Cran Taras. Heaven knows, I'll probably paint up some Irish Piquets at some stage, too.

"Ooh, Shiny" moment of the week? Minairons Spanish Republican Infantry in 20mm. Resist them if you dare.