Thursday, 3 September 2015

Austrian Dragoons and Chevaulegers - Perry 28mm

First units painted after the house shift. More Austrian cavalry - Dragoons and Chevaulegers. The Dragoons were battle cavalry often concentrated with the Cuirassiers (who look very similar but they also have breast plates). The Chevaulegers tended to be used as light cavalry like the Hussars, so took a greater role in scouting and reconnaissance, in addition to battlefield use.

Which are which you might well be wondering? This is what I wondered too when I got the packs from Perry Miniatures, as they are very similar. In fact the riders are identical other than the command figures! The major difference is the horses, the Chevaulegers have smaller horses than the Dragoons, though this is not really noticeable from a distance. Also the Dragoons come with a standard bearer, and the Chevaulegers do not.

Why do the Dragoons and Chevaulegers both look so similar if they have different roles? There is a vastly confusing history of uniform changes and reorgnisation for Austrian Dragoons and Chevaulegers, see Peter's excellent Blunders on the Danube blog for more detail of this! It also seems to be common practice for wargamers to paint their Dragoons in white, and Chevaulegers in green so as to be able to tell the difference more easily.  I was going to do this too, but then decided to paint both regiments in white. Why? Well I liked the light blue facings of the Klenau Chevaulegers for one thing. And the other reason was so that it is less of a stretch to use BOTH regiments as either Dragoons or Chevaulegers if required if they are all in white!

So after that overly long explanation, here are some pics, first up Regiment #5 Ferdinand Dragoons with dark green facings.

And here is Regiment #5 Klenau Chevaulegers with light blue facings.

Lastly, here's a picture showing the difference in horse sizes with the two horses in similar poses closest to the camera making this obvious. Smaller Chevauleger horses to the left, larger Dragoon horses to the right.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Bandua Paint Rack and Paint Table review

Feeling all fired up from shifting house, I decided to improve my painting space, adding a paint rack and painting tray. Here's the new set up.

This was my old way of storing paints, and heaps of other stuff. Not very tidy and hard to find things!!

Having seen a few paint racks on other people's blogs, like this one on Kerry's blog (another New Zealand Napoleonic gamer), I decided to look around for something suitable. Given I have a variety of paints, in different shaped bottles, pots etc, I needed something flexible in what it could hold. I eventually settled on this Artai paint rack from Bandua, who make a range of pieces.

I also got this painting tray/table, as it's nice to be able to lift everything out of the way easily.

These pieces come in wooden parts which you clip together. All went together easily enough.

Here's the paint rack, which also comes with a neat brush holder. I didn't bother using any glue on this and it seems ok.

The paint brush holder hooks into the back of the paint rack, but can also detach and stand separately if you want (see packaging photo above).

And here's the paint tray. I needed to glue the side pieces of this with wood glue, and held the corners with a couple of pieces of tape while it dried.

I'm very happy with these items and should have got them years ago! Good price and it will save a lot of wasted time by having the most frequently used paints and brushes close at hand and easily accessible. The paint table will also be convenient if I'm taking my painting tasks to someone's house for painting sessions.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

New house and new cavalry

I'm back again at last! The house shift is finally complete, and we are gradually getting things in order again. Here's the new refreshments area where strategy can be plotted.

And what do you see in the below picture? It's very strange but most people see a double garage.

However what I see is a L-shaped wargaming table measuring 14 feet by 12 feet :)  So that this...

...becomes something like this. Each square is a square foot, or 30cm. It's good to have some long term plans! Somewhat smaller tables fit in another room for more regular gaming of course! I've also found some excellent folding trestle tables, 60cm by 180cm. The setup below will take 10 of them...

New figures on the workbench too. More Austrian cavalry from Perry in the back, and in front are Polish cavalry from Murawski enterprises. Murawaski Poles have an amazingly small amount of flash compared to Perry, very nice indeed. Looking forward to getting these into action, but likely I'll finish off the Austrians first.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Austrian Hungarian Insurrectio - Perry 28mm

One last small effort before I start packing everything to move house in the next few weeks. Adding to my Napoleonic Austrians, here's a regiment of Hungarian Insurrectio. The Perry's make them and I buy them - it's a simple formula which means I end up with some strange units! 

As far as I understand, these troops were a like short lived Hungarian version of the Landwehr. I don't have any regular Hungarian line infantry yet, but I liked the irregular look of these Insurrectio figures so I picked up a few packs to start with. They have annoying to paint stripey trousers just like the Grenz but nevermind!

The Insurrectio didn't achieve much historically, but they add some further colour to the mix of units in an Austrian force. One day I might get some more so I can refight the Battle of Raab. See this excellent Blunders on the Danube page for more information about the Insurrectio!

The Perry's have recently stated that Austrian Uhlans and Jagers are being worked on so I hope to add those more regular units soon.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Battle of Waterloo 200th Anniversary - Christchurch refight!

Another full weekend of wargaming! With one refight not being enough, a few of us Christchurch gamers lept into a second refight of Waterloo this weekend. General de Brigade rules were used rather than Blackpowder that was used in last weeks Waterloo refight in Wellington.

This is looking down the table from Papelotte towards La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont. Swish looking Allies on the right, and more humbly attired Frenchman on the left! 

Looking from the Hougoumont end.

With Napoleon ill (Ion), I took over as Ney. My orders from the Emperor were clear (at least in my own mind!) We were not going to try anything clever, just a frontal assault as quickly as possible in the centre. Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte were to be kept screened with skirmishers but not assaulted.

Paul as the French commander Reille was attacking left of La Haye Sainte.

The French forces opposite La Haye Sainte.

To the right of La Haye Sainte.

 Here's Marshal Ney in the centre.

First turn and the French start advancing across the table. For some unfathomable reason the main organisers had made the table 8 foot wide in the setup the previous day! Not recommended, as it was a real stretch to the middle. Fortunately our taller participants were able to help out and it wasn't quite the disaster I was expecting.

Paul moves past Hougoumont.

 And assault columns move up past La Haye Sainte also.

Still advancing...

The allies move to oppose between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte.

A look at a few of the allied forces - Highlanders.


British infantry.

Scots Greys and Light Cavalry. After breaking a unit of French infantry, the Scots Greys ended up fleeing from Cuirassiers this time!

Rockets in the Allied centre.

The attack continues to the left and right of La Haye Sainte.

To the left of La Haye Sainte the French are beaten back by massed artillery fire, but things go better on the right.

 More French are thrown in to the right of La Haye Sainte.

Between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte the French gradually take up a holding position.

Meanwhile we establish a grand battery in the centre to the right of La Haye Sainte, though failed order rolls slow down French plans.

The French heavy cavalry, in particular IV Cavalry Corp, does wonderful things, helping the infantry attack to break many allied units.

Start of day two, and Prussians arrive on the French right flank. (Being short a few Prussians some of my Austrian Landwehr and cavalry boost their numbers, though leaving behind their distinctive flags!).

Middle Guard is thrown on by the French.

Tony in our centre gets the furthest, breaking through the Allied line between La Haye Sainte and Papelotte with his infantry attack!

Paul manages to hold on around Hougoumont.

A massive table, with far too much going on.

On the French right, our infantry is trapped in squares by advancing Allied cavalry, and taking losses.

 The Allies position in La Haye Sainte is not threatened.

The Young Guard move on to help the French right.

Masses of French guns!

By the end of day two, the French had achieved some success between La Haye Sainte and Papelotte, and were stalled elsewhere. Unfortunately we had to end there without a conclusion. Rule detail, table size, numbers of figures, and discussion with members of the public all counted against a result being achieved. But nevermind, I'm sure it was a great event we will remember for a long time anyway!

Basil and other organisers did well to get quite a lot of media attention, and there was a constant stream of interested public along throughout the weekend. This no doubt slowed the game down even further as people chatted away, but I think the public relations aspect was worthwhile! I also talked to a few Napoleonic gamers who haven't been along to the club before, but did so after seeing the media reports.

Here's the crew from this refight, only about a third of the number who attended the Wellington refight, but a similar number of toy soldiers involved! I'm forth from left in the front (next to the Alan in the hat!). To the left of me is Paul (painting little soldiers blog), who did a fine job slowing the allies up around Hougoumont all weekend. Mike and Tony behind me made the surprisingly successful frontal assault between La Haye Sainte and Papelotte. Mike managed to lose two of his generals in the first turns but carried on heroically. Not pictured is Nigel who turned up on the first day for a look, and ended up taking control of a heavy cavalry corp, winnning 17 of 18 combats he managed to get going in the centre! Well done that man. David who was slowing up the enemy on our right flank, took this photo!

Here's a look at the hall we used. This is our regular gaming room. And yes we have a bistro and bar available, just as all good wargaming clubs should!

This large photocopied map on the board also got a surprising amount of attention from the public!

We also had a welcome table with a raffle for toy soldiers, some painted figures on display and a paint your own toy solider and painting demonstration section. Falk, a new club member from Germany did an outstanding job manning this table all weekend.

So all up, the weekend was bit of a failure as a game, but a great success as a wargaming event! Well done to Basil and the other organisers for their efforts at this one.

Having spent two full weekends playing Waterloo refights, and also buying a house inbetween, I'm now ready for bit of a rest! But then there is that half completed line infantry unit on the desk that needs finishing... :)