Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Defense of Strudelburg - Croats

Here are a couple of new Croats/Grenz.
I've done them to represent the Szluin Regiment of the Karlstadt Generalcy. You'll note that they are the two RSM Croats with their felt tshakoes chopped off and replaced with tricornes. I did this on the basis of a throwaway line in "Instrument of War"* referring to those troops having at one stage tricornes. Whether they retained them for long is another matter...

You'll note the man on the right has a bandage on his head. This is the legacy of me being too eager with cutting his old hat off, then being too generous with the Green Stuff as I tried to patch the gap!
Overall though, I think they look pretty cool; I really like the overall effect of the colour scheme.
The RSM Croats are very easy to paint, too. Try them for yourself some time. I'll soon be painting up an Austrian Officer with a Hungarian infantry head swap on him to "exoticise" him enough to serve with the Croats.
It strikes me that you could almost mistake them for early (mid1740s?) Hungarians, especially if you replaced the sabre with a plastic card sabretache. Just a thought.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A few thoughts on "The Croat Terror" (or "The Defense of Strudelberg")

Some little while go I posted on what is evolving into a demonstration game - "The defense of Strudelberg".

To refresh your memories: It is about 1742. Austro-Hungarian forces are ravaging Bavaria. A small Bavarian force of Infantry and Cavalry are trying to hold up a strong force of enemy line and light infantry supported by a strong force of hussars and some light artillery. My initial idea was to fight down the length of a table with towns representing victory points scattered on either side of the river. TheBavarians would be forced to choose what to defend and this choice would be complicated by a river running down the centre of the table. The Austro-Hungarian player would be able to choose where to strike, and would have a small but significant advantage in numbers.

To all this, Murdock said:
The only concern I would have for your planned 'long running' battle along the banks of the river is the speed of most infantry cannot match that of the cavalry. Wheras the artillery is what is generally needed to 'batter-down' hardened town locales.Your overall concept I think would be better organized as a 'campaign' to be faught over a number of 'imaginary' weeks. With each defensive stand, chosen by the Bavarians (probably based on the 'value' of the locations) becoming the basis for a tabletop engagement.This way the Croat forces would be able to either 'blitz' trying to rush past with their superior cavalry...or surge forwards in a unified formation.

Me: Murdock, I take your point and am revising the scale of the game down to an "evacuate the civilians" game. Further, I am taking on board your recommendation on artillery and will be equipping the Austro-Hungarian side with a pair of battalion guns. Play-testing may also result in the Bavarians obtaining one also.

I would still like to play out the campaign at a later date, though!

And then Grimsby Mariner said:
We ran a very similar idea for a demo game some years back at Triples & Partizan. the game was based on a large Indian raid down the Ohio valley in the French indian Wars. Twelve warbands of indians (some 120 figures) racing down the valley against 30 regulars and 40 civilians (including women and children) with a relief force sailing up the river in boats. The terrain had two steep wooded valley sides with a fort close to the river and homesteads scattered across the valley floor. we found the whole thing great fun and added twists with each play adding in some French regulars to support the Indian or local militia for the English - we even had Indians in canoes!).the trick we found was play testing it several times before the demo to make sure it worked and was not too unblanced.I imagine your Croat terror game being similar.

Me: It's interesting that you should say that. I'm fairly sure that Jim Purky's "Croat Terror" rules (the title of which I'm pinching to head this series of posts) had it's own genesis in a set of FIW rules called "Iroquois Terror" that had a premise not unlike the series of games you describe.

In light of Murdock's comments above, I'm inclining toward this sort of a scenario at the moment. Hungarian regulars replace the French, Croats replace the Indians, a walled or fortress town replaces the fort - hm, at last! a use for my Vauban fortress - as eye candy at least.

Now i just need a number of 18th Century civilians to look out for. I have some from RAFM's old "Flint and Feather" range. Can anyone suggest some more?

New progress pics of the Haller Regiment

I finally finished off the second company last night - plus a few extras.
I'll start adding command when my last order from DPC comes through.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Just so you know i've not dropped of the face of the earth.

Well, work on the 2nd company of the Haller regiment is coming along quite well; I think they'll be finished off in the next couple of days. I'll hold a parade whaen that happens.

I'm still waiting on my latest RSM order, so the part of the project that's the incentive (ie, the pretty bits) is still a twinkle in my eye. I'm contenting myself with a drummer and another mounted officer for my Bavarians.

Yesterday I took delivery via Amazon UK a copy of Stephen Manley's The War or the Austrian Succession; A Wargamers' Guide - Part IX. This comb-bound A4 paperback (reviewed in BAttle Games V1 Nr5) covers the Uniforms of Denmark, Bavaria, Pfalz, Hannover, Saxony and the varios Hessian states. Let me just say that I was humming with delight as I perused this little gem with it's densely-packed and well-laid out information. It's a great help for my Bavarians in my growing "Croat terror" game that I am slowly assembling. I will be buying more of these. Especially the Austrain book.

Anyway, I must carry on; the dishes won't wash themselves and I would like to put in an hours' painting before Amy gets home from karate.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Here's an idea

I woke up in the middle of the night last night thinking about how I might create a pioneer figure for my Bavarian infantry.

RSM do a couple of figures in their waistcoats with empty hands as part of their artillery sets. I'm thinking, perhaps a grenadier head-swap, a greenstuff apron, a scratchbuilt axe, a loose musket on a sling and a painstakingly built-up coat and I might be there.

The bare head could be transferred to an Officer or NCO who might then be persuaded to hold his hat in his hand.

I'll let you know how I go with that.

I'd like to go further too with my Grenadier officers and actually arm one with a fuisil and a belly-pouch (did the French call them "gargoussiers"?). The Austrian Officer advancing with his "spanish reed" in hand looks a promising subject.

Friday, February 09, 2007

What's on

Every now and then I must really annoy Rich and Dave from DPC by putting in orders like this:

5 x S6-001 - Austrian Officer with Baton
5 x S6-002 - Austrian Officer Advancing
5 x S6-003 - Austrian NCO with Halberd
2 x S6-004 - Austrian Musketeer Drummer
13 x S6-005 - Austrian Grenadier Marching
10 x S6-007 - Austrian Musketeer Marching
8 x S6-012 - Austrian Grenz Loading
8 x S6-013 - Austrian Grenz Stand & Fire

Still they are good about it and they humour me, which I like.

That being said, that's my Hungarian regimental officers taken care of, as well as my Bavarian Grenadiers and a company of Grenz.

Speaking of Grenz, I reckon that with some judicious chopping, you could turn a Grenz Officer casting into an "enthusiastic" ensign. That upraised sword cries out to me to be replaced with a flagstaff.

Flags here: These are amazingly beautiful flags by Frederic Aubert, surely one of the most helpful people in this hobby. I stand in awe.

I've finished undercoating the next company of the Haller regiment and am painting all the blue bits. Next comes highlighting them, then the gray base-coats of the coats followed by the white highlighting.

I've a busy weekend on!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

1st Company, Haller Regiment


The Grenadier drummer will eventually be drafted to the Grenadier company. Just as soon as there is one...

Monday, February 05, 2007

New Recruits

Yhis weekend i started batch painting the first fusilier company of the Haller regiment.

As you can probably see it's an Hungarian unit. Figures are the huge stash of RSMs I found I had.

These two are a pair of test shots I did last week; they are painted very much according to the plate in my Blandford book on the uniforms of the 7YW.

I've another dozen fusilieers and a couple of drummers (one a Bavarian) in process. I've painted the coats, facings, leggings, cross belt and have made a start on the faces.

I ought to have them finished by the end of the week. Each company will have an Officer, Drummer and NCO in attendance. Four companies plus a mounted Colonel should see the regiment come in at 61 figures.

If only all my regiments were of such a size!

This next gentleman is from the RSM aid package of "odds and ends" that lovely Ioannis Mavromichalis sent me, and I painted him over the weekend to stop myself from going mad as I splashed the white paint around. He has now joined the von Kleist Freikorps.

Eureka Toy Soldiers - Free!!!

...and they're gone!

Next available lot are Eureka's Warrior Frogs.

Take a look here:

Again, a pretty fair sampling across the latest releases in the range.

I'll be posting a bit later today to let you know what's been going on here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Eureka Toy Soldiers - Free!!!

I've some review samples from Eureka Miniatures "Toy Soldiers" range. They are a complete sampling of the range, so there's quite a few items there.

For the cost of postage and packaging I'd like to get them to a good home.

First email gets them. Please contact me at: