Monday, July 30, 2007

..back from the Redoubt...

Well I knew that it was going to be a bit of a lucky dip of a show, but in the end the show eclipsed all expectations for a number of reasons…

..first off, the weather was easily as good as it was the last time we went, which for this summer in the Britain is quite amazing – the sun shone all day despite the forecast, perfect day weather’wise.. sunny, and not too hot…

…second off, and the reason the weather is so important for this show, the traders set up outside in the main central area of the redoubt. Now I have to say that there weren’t a lot of traders present but those that were there were good, but they were mostly selling stuff I don’t game in – lots of Flames of War, plastics/20mm’s, fantasy/Warhammer, and of course Redoubt Miniatures (who seem to be mid-move for their factory so didn’t have a lot to sell..) so I was all set to go home with my money in my pocket and slightly disappointed with the show, when we then discovered that all the demo and participation games were in the actual museum!

…so third off, and for me turning the show into a bit of a triumph, was the games which were with a few exceptions (mostly parochial!), brilliant…

So, without further ado, here's some pictures of the games for your delectation:

This was the first game we saw – run by the Eastbourne Club guys - a 10mm WWII ‘set to’ in the desert – a personal favourite period of mine, just waiting a decent set of rules to get me going (I have the figures/tanks). Anyway, lots of Crusaders, Quads, 25pdr’s etc. on a lovely terrain. The rules were Charles Grant “Battle”, plus lots of mods… all ads up to a very tasty looking game! Figures were mostly Perrin’s I understand, and I think they look really nice en masse.. Recommended, as the guy running the game was also more than happy to chat to us and explain what was happening etc. so top marks..

Second game was Imperial Roman – civil war – in 25mm with oodles of Redoubt figures (I think) using DBM.. I really liked the artillery… when we arrived the “blue” cavalry had cleared one flank, but the “red” infantry were getting their own back – a tight game, very nice to look at and again the players were happy to stop and chat – in our case even mid die-roll!

Then came the piece de resistance for me, as the “Touching History” team were at the show with a 25mm AWI game which was absolutely mouth watering… they were using Perry figures – skirmish scale depicting an Indian/British raid on US settlements featuring fortified blockhouses etc. Lovely, lovely looking table… Best of all though, he was giving away Issue 1 of his magazine for free, and selling issues 2 & 3 for only £5 – I almost bit his arm off for issue 3 which contains the details on his Sudan game that I saw at Warfare last November (and reviewed here). I’ll put in a more complete review of the magazines (?? Books?) in a later post but initial perception is that they are top quality, chock full of hints and tips on how to build terrain, and oodles of full colour pictures.. excellent value when you consider issue 1 was in the order of £15 at Salute last year…!!

Last of the games I’ll touch on was a game by the Deal Wargames club representing the Allied attack across the Irrawady in Burma in WWII. Lovely muddy looking river, an excellent handout giving information on the figures and terrain (which was nice – not seen that before, usually you just get a potted history of the battle) but lots and lots of 20mm WWII figures and vehicles…. Apologies, the camera developed a blur for the Sherman picture, but the other picture should do the game justice…

There were also a number of other games including a participation HOTTS game featuring an army of “monstrous women” which gave me a chuckle… close run thing, but if you ignore the AWI game (as he is almost a professional!) then the Irrawady game was best, closely followed by the Desert game, and then the Roman’s…

I mentioned in the previous post that the Redoubt houses the regimental museum of the Royal Sussex Regiment as I was going out I happened to notice a nice booklet on the history and uniforms of the regiment so picked up one up - very nice quality - including pictures by Charles Stadden (!). The Royal Sussex were founded at about the time of the accession of William of Orange, the regiment was raised and fully paid for by the Earl of Donegal and presented to William by the Earl as a gift - quite apart from how much this must have cost the Earl, it was quite obviously a substantial, and well received gift. As a mark of his gratitude, the King gave the regiment the right to wear orange facings, the only regiment in the English, later British, army to have them..... and if that isn't enough reason to paint them as my next regiment of Allied WSS infantry I don't know what is!

We finished off the day with a visit to the “Battlegames” stand to say 'hello' to Henry Hyde - wished him well, and insisted he keeps up the good work! A genuinely nice guy, he even managed to seem pleased to see us, and at the end of what must have been a long day for him J

..and that was “To the Redoubt” for this year over with… an excellent day out and well recommended - but come on guys - do something with your advertising, and put together a show guide, even if it's only half an A4, I almost missed out on some absolute gems of games and that would be a real shame.. this is a show dieing for a little more publicity!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

...To The Redoubt...

...plans are afoot for DG and I to make a trip to a little show that's just down the road from me in Eastbourne on Sunday..

The show is called "To the Redoubt" and is hosted in the Napoleonic era fort, on the seafront called the Eastbourne Redoubt. Very small show - so small in fact that I've not managed to find any website, or advert that describes who's attending! I know that Henry from Battlegames will be there so I look forward to stopping by to say "hello", and I know that Redoubt Enterprises will be there - but that's it.... so something of a lucky dip.

The redoubt (the inside of which is pictured to the right) also hosts the regimental museums of the Royal Sussex Regiment, and The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, however, so it's an excellent day out as once you've finished looking at the wargame related events, stalls, traders etc. you can then browse around the exhibits...

This will be the second time we've attended, last time it was a beautiful sunny day and the show was well worth the trip - not the least being that I managed to find a reasonable copy of "The War Game (by Peter Young)" for only a pound ($2)! So... the weather is nowhere near as good in the UK this summer as it was the last time we visited (I heard on the radio this morning that this is the wettest summer since records began in 1750'something) but it won't stop us visiting, and given the problems elsewhere in the country at the moment this appears to be a very very minor inconvenience, and I'm looking forward to it.

On a separate subject, I sent off an order this morning, the old fashioned way (no not by owl, but by Royal Mail, involving envelopes and stamps!), to Essex Miniatures for some "fillers" for the Sudan forces... I've ordered gun crews suitable for Egyptian, British and Dervish weapons, and also limbers suitable for the Krups guns. All I need now is something suitable to transport the screw guns - think I will return to Peter Pig and order some of their transport camels... there anything more exciting than sending off money in the expectation of parcels full of little metal men dropping on the doormat a period of time later???? I doubt it....J

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

....building provenance...

...I have been asked about the provenance of the new buildings I've just taken delivery of (pictures were in the last post)...

I'm not aware that anyone else sells them, I'm certain I've not seen them at any of the miriad shows I've attended in the UK in the last 5 years, the only place I've seen them sold is on eBay, and if anyone is interested the chap selling them goes under the eBay trader name of "sellthatstuffboy" (he also sells some nice 25mm terrain as well by the way).

Usual caveats apply, but apart from the fact that his communication/administration is not always brilliant, and the delivery is also sometimes slow (and for the last order that may have been to do with the weather in the UK at the moment , though it was also slow the first time), I would recommend him without reservation... I've bought from him twice, and have always eventually got the goods, in perfect condition, and more to the point they are of very high quality, and pleasing appearance....

Monday, July 23, 2007 was a "wizard" weekend...!

..and so it was, despite the weather...

Anyway - I bought Harry Potter 7 on Saturday and to date I am up to page 150 - it would have been a lot further but I'm taking this one slowly as I don't really want to finish it. There are no more, and this is the last of the story.... but what a story - absolutely fantastic, I was reading it yesterday and was so engrossed that my beloved other half was talking to me for a whole 10 minutes before I heard her! Always a good sign... no hints or tips from me, I can't think of anything that would spoilt it more for everyone, but one of the quite major characters has already died, and I can't wait to get home to carry on reading...!

I was also a bit trepidous about the new Harry Potter movie which as per the previous post we saw on Sunday in a lovely empty('ish) cinema (we chose to go quite early... I'm very, very, picky about going to the cinema and I can't stand it when people rustle and whisper to each other...). Anyway, as I say I was a bit cagey as some of my in-laws had been to see it and said it wasn't very good - now normally they're spot on but in this instance I'm delighted to say they were 180' out... it's a brilliant film - absolutely amazing graphics (the inside of the ministry of magic was excellent - lots and lots of dark green glazed tiles), and the story is beginning to develop the adult themes that the books do, as Harry Potter matures... so, having seen all of them I would say this is easily as good as any of the others, a bit darker, but it is high on our list of DVD "wants".... J

Other than that, it was fairly quiet - biggest little'un is off on guide camp this week so there was lots of digging out of sleeping bags, blankets, mugs, cups, tarpaulins, and all the other paraphernalia - and a rush visit to Millets (outdoor clothing shop) for a pair of plastic trousers, which unfortunately, I think she's going to be wearing quite a lot this week... such a shame about the rain, they've been looking forward to it for ages, and you would have thought that in the middle of July they would be safe!

I did manage to get the recent painted miniatures output finished and based however, and for your delectation may I present the following..

  • First off these are the dismounted British Camel Corps, pictured in front of the dismounted camels painted previously... as mentioned these are 15mm Peter Pig... the Camel Corps are now complete and comprise 6 bases of dismounted, mounted, and dismounted firing - enough basically to show the unit in all it's tactical organisations..

  • Next up - and this is one for Bluebear Jeff - these are the 1st IR von Donop - a Hessian regiment destined for the American colonies as part of the British contingent in the War of Independence. I may paint a second unit of this regiment (dependant on their actual strength), but in tricorn, as my reading indicates that only a part of the regiment would have worn the brass mitre, most would have worn the normal headgear...
  • Lastly, some pictures of the new buildings that I picked up on eBay. Despite a fairly tortuous buying process (it took weeks..) and a slow delivery, I'm absolutely delighted with these - it brings to five the buildings I've bought from this guy... very clean mouldings, nicely priced (about £5/$10 each painted), and vaguely European/a-historical enough to be re-used in all of the theatres I currently have figures for in this period.... very nice.. the figures are British cavalry to show scale (they're 15mm Dixon representing Schomberg's Regiment)

Friday, July 20, 2007

...busy weekend coming up!

....bit worrying really, but having just checked Grimsby Mariners blog (see link left), we seem to be embarked on entirely (and coincidentally) similar weekends....

..first off, it's Harry Potter weekend in the UK (and I guess that it's the same all over the world) with the last book in the series being released at one minute past midnight this evening... personally I can't wait as I'm a great fan but I do understand how this may not be a moment of excitement for some! I came quite late to the books, but my little one's have always been really keen on the films so I got caught up in the whole drama that way - then a couple of years ago my Dad gave me volumes 1 to 3 in a box set for Christmas, and I was hooked.... so, as I say, I shall be queued up with the rest of humanity, albeit at a slightly more civilised time - and I shall also start to read it immediately.... I'm guessing that this may be the one that my little'uns will also want to read, so I'll have to hide it somewhere until I've finished...! no surprises there, and you may now be wondering at this point why my weekend is so especially similar....

...well on Sunday we too are (also) going to see the fourth Harry Potter film at the cinema, also as a family, and (even more frighteningly) my mum is coming with us - so although not my mother in law, she is my other half's mother in law, and this may explain my worry at how similar are life paths are this weekend!!J

While (kind of) on the subject of books, in addition to the last volume of Harry Potter, I also got the following (left) last weekend which I'm also quite excited about as it is set against a background of the War of the Spanish Succession, is by a writer I quite enjoy (he also wrote "Four Days in June" which was about the Battle of Waterloo, but from the particular perspective of a number of the actual participants) and is in the style of, quick intake of breath, "Sharpe" .. I know, it sets very high expectations, so I hope I'm not disappointed.... this is the first of a series, and covers off events surrounding Blenheim.. link to the book on Amazon here

Separately, and on the wargaming front..
  • I've half finished the basing of the figures painted last weekend - figures are now on the bases, all that needs finishing is the flocking and groundwork - then I'll put some pictures up...
  • I also finished off some artillery this week (for the Sudan), this comprises a couple of Krupp guns, and a couple of the smaller Screw Guns that they used to transport, dismantled, by donkey or camel... before I can finish them though I need gun crews - so it may be time to spend some pennies with Mr. Pig.... my plan is to make the bases so that the crews are on separate bases to the guns, but so that they slot in jigsaw style. Both sides used the same guns throughout the war - the Dervish guns being captured - so with the separate bases I can paint enough gun crews, that both sides could use all the guns (if the scenario calls for it)
  • Lastly, I finally (long story) took delivery yesterday of a further three 15mm houses suitable for use in my Marlburian set-up. Absolutely lovely pieces, very reasonably priced, but an absolute mare of a transaction - the seller is on eBay and communication (I find) is always difficult using their contact the buyer function, then the invoice was incorrect, and then the parcel took three and a half weeks to arrive (and that was first class!)... but they're here now.... and thoughts are turning to town based scenario's!

Last of all, and not least, we piled through 2000 visitors the other day.... thanks!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

..the fruits of my weekend labours... (part 2)

...well I did say it was a weekend conducive to painting! Suffice to say that after finishing IR von Donop I then moved on to one of the other items on my list of projects; this was to complete the figures required for the British Camel Corps in the Sudan - these are they, though as before these are pre varnish/basing, and still on their painting sticks... and apologies for the sorry state of my painting table which there is a limited view of in the background!

..these are the last of the 15mm Peter Pig figures I bought at Salute... and returning to the topic of painting and sculpt type - being more attuned to my painting style, I find the design of the Peter Pig figures makes them a joy to paint.. admittedly it's a limited palette of colours, but I think the end result is quite nice when you consider these guys took me no more than an hour to complete... yeah, yeah, it shows...

Monday, July 16, 2007

..the fruits of my weekend labours... (part 1)

Well - it turned out to be a "painting weekend" as the weather, although very nice in spots, was pretty gloomy - all very conducive to shutting myself away in the loft (where my painting table and wargame space is) and wielding the paintbrush...

...following the results of the informal "vote" (sole request by BlueBear Jeff!), I'm happy to report that (although not wearing tricorn's) Grenadier Regiment von Donop are now about to join the ranks of their British pay-masters in the colonies... to be honest, I'd kind of made my mind up that they needed painting after seeing those lovely examples in the previous post. Here are the initial shots with them fresh from the painting table, but pre-varnish...

..very typically Minifigs 25mm's... but to me they have a very special charm, I especially like their faces, and I like the overall proportion of the figures.... quite difficult to paint with the style of painting I like to use (lots of washes and dry brushing) but they are just made for the wargaming table, whereas the Perry's in the previous post are gorgeous but made for the display cabinet... I varnished them before work this morning and plan basing them this evening.. Either way - as is my wont, I also had a good look round to see if there was any information on the regiment and came across a superb web site run by a re-enactment group in the US. Lots and lots information here on the various "Hessian" regiments (which actually came from several states - but over time have become grouped under the title Hessian).
One thing - it's unlikely that the entire regiment would have worn the brass mitre - my reading would indicate probably only one in four, but hey, it's my wargame table, I know that they are slightly unrealistic, but I don't care.... J In summary though (and I recommend a visit to the web page), the regimental history was as follows:

  • the regiment was raised in 1688 at the beginning of the War of the Grand Alliance (1688-1697). The regiment also served during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) and was among the 7,000 Hessian's sent to England and Scotland in 1746 in the wake the Highland uprising of 1745 (I didn't know that we had hired Hessian's for the '45..). During the Seven Year's War (1756-1763), the regiment served in the Allied Army of Observation in Western Germany.
  • When the American War of Independence broke out in 1775, the regiment was part of the 12,000 Hessian troops hired by treaty to England. The Regiment arrived off Staten Island on August 12th, 1776 and during the war:
    • was present at the Battle of Long Island, sending out patrols that captured 80 Americans.
    • was present at the storming of Fort Washington, providing 50 men for part the "Forlorn Hope" that preceded the main assault.
    • was on the expedition to Philadelphia, participating in the Battles of the Brandywine and Germantown.
    • the Grenadiers were present as part of the Grenadier Battalion Lengerke at the failed storming of Ft. Mercer.
    • the regiment was part of General Knyphausen's division that was present but did not see action at the battle of Monmouth.
    • was part of General Knyphausen's expedition to New Jersey, and formed the rearguard along with the British 22nd regiment.
    • saw action near Elizabeth, NJ (in which the regimental commander, Colonel von Gose, had the cane knocked from his hand by a 3 pound cannon-ball!)
    • For the next two years they were in garrison until the regiment sailed for Europe in November 1783.
This is the regimental flag.. (from the excellent Warflag site). German regiments carried two standards, but I'll be using just the 1st..

Friday, July 13, 2007

..plans for the weekend...

It seems like I haven't lifted a paintbrush in ages... and having looked at the paint cleaning pot on my desk the other day I see it has nearly dried out - a sure sign it's been too long! Given my other half will be working most of the weekend though it seems like a more than opportune time to resolve the issue.. but what to do??

Well there's a list as always, but it tends to get skewed by the current enthusiasm of the moment (doesn't it always with wargamers?! Name me one who isn't raving about a specific unit/figure/period/battle or something or other, at any one time!).. so in no specific order, though a psychiatrist would tell you there's probably a reason they're noted in the order they are (J), I'm thinking on the following:
  • whilst browsing Will's Blog the other day (there's a link on my "Blogs of Note" list)I happened to notice he had a link to a forum called the "The Gentleman's Wargames Parlour". The Parlour is divided up into sub-groups based on period so I beetled over to the AWI section and therein I saw these:

  • These guys are painted as the Prussian Grenadier Regiment von Donop and are absolutely mouthwatering.... the guy who painted them had even gone to the trouble of building up the cartridge boxes with green-stuff to make them bigger, as the one's moulded were too small (!) There are extra pictures at the forum, (which I recommend) in the AWI section under the "Hessian Grenadiers" strand... top marks to the painter (a gentlemen with the handle "Maxim"). The figures by the way are 28mm Perry's, but I just happen to have some Minifigs Grenadiers waiting a touch up of paint and I'm sorely tempted to recreate the regiment with these .... !
  • I also have a second batch of the Peter Pig ECW range 15mm cavalry (with the Lobster Pot helmet) made up - the first batch ended up as Bavarian Cuirassiers, these I think will end up as Danish Mounted Lifeguard based on a long ago picture I saw on Grimsbymariners Blog...
  • I have undercoated the dismounted figures for the British Camel Corp in the Sudan - that would then complete the unit..

Until I saw those damn pictures of von Donop, I would have told you I was all decided but it's all touch and go at the moment... J

Monday, July 09, 2007


Well - what a brilliant weekend!!

My regular readers will be aware that I like a bit of rock music every now and again (like every day...J), usually of the "classic" variety - my favourite bands tend to be the one's I was listening to as a youngster, so Rush, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin etc. and this weekend was the long awaited appearance of one of my other favourite bands, Genesis.

They were playing at Twickenham (which is a huge stadium in London usually used for rugby) on their "Turn it On Again" tour ... I can't tell you how long I've waited for this, I've had the tickets for about 6 months now, but that pales into insignificance when compared against the fact that I haven't seen them play live in 15 years (I saw them at Knebworth in 1992) so as you can imagine I was a little excited! What was also rather nice was that my other half had also expressed an interest in going (she likes Phil Collins the lead singer, from the solo perspective), so we were both going...

Having packed the sprogs off to my mum's for the day/evening we headed up to the bright lights at about 4pm, arriving there at about 15 minutes before the show! I should only take a couple of hours but traffic was dreadful which I had planned for, but I got side-tracked onto a secondary road, which I hadn't planned for, so in the end it took us about three and a half hours... not too bad, I can't see 50,000 people getting to a stadium in the middle of London without transport, and so it turned out!

The show was brilliant, despite rain in the middle of it, these guys are such musicians, the set list was extensive and included huge chunks of my favourite albums ("And Then There Were Three", "Wind and Wuthering" and "Trick of the Tail") plus enough of the more modern stuff (which I also like) that my missus was pleased as well... the light show was superb, and the huge television screens they had put up at the side of the stage were the clearest I've ever seen.... which is just as well when your other half is as small as mine!

Perhaps the most inspiring thing was how the band, and especially Mr. Collins, managed to make it so 'inclusive' - I've never been to a big stadium before and Twickenham is by far and away the biggest I've ever been in - it is absolutely HUGE. Somehow or another though Phil had us laughing, waving, singing and doing all the other stuff, very good, very clever, a consumate entertainer!

Our seats were on the pitch, so we were surrounded on 3 sides by the banked seating, and the stage at the other end - as mentioned it was an absolute sellout, and when the people in the seating behind and on each side sang, clapped or shouted (which they did a lot of, and usually, like me, at the same time!) the noise was quite extraordinary.. fantastic atmosphere then, superb music, nice people to chat to, and all-in-all an absolutely brilliant show, well done to the guys, and please don't leave it another 15 years!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Richard Holmes and some other bits and pieces...

Yesterday evening I had the great pleasure of listening to military historian Richard Holmes give a talk on his recent book "Dusty Heroes".

The book is basically about an infantry regiment (1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment) in Iraq in 2004. At the time he had been their colonel, and had visited them in that role a number of times. He spoke about the difficulties, the heat, the complexity of the local politics, and the amazing variance of tasks that a modern military unit is called on to do in a peace keeping role - he spoke about one of the RSM's (regimental sergeant major) whose job in the war role was plotting mortar strikes, and whose peace role was to advise the locals on building projects - and that he was sometimes called on to do both roles in the same day.... he also spke about what it's like to be an ordinary, normal, frontline, regular infantryman - not a special unit, not a para, or SAS, or Guards, or Marine - just the backbone of the army... I thought it was excellent.

He's very much interested in the life of the individual soldier, what makes them tick... so very absorbing to listen to; if you get the chance to see him speak I would recommend it wholeheartedly. He has a very dry wit, a wicked sense of humour, and is amazingly understated when you consider everything he has managed to fit into his life.. lecturer at Sandhurst, Cranfield, brigadier in the Territorial army (the highest rank you could achieve in the Territorials by the way) horsemen, author of 24 books (amongst many of which my favourite is "Redcoat"). I got to meet him afterwards and have to say that he is the same in the flesh as when up on stage... definitely one of the good guys! J

In addition to that, I've also overhauled the War of the Spanish Succession Project and have transferred the content to Blogger. I've also corrected the photo's in the "Assault" post so that you can click on them for a bigger, clearer view...

Monday, July 02, 2007


It's been a while since my RWB* Darrell and I had met over the wargame table (or in any other social occasion, bar the occasional email, come to that!) so I was delighted to hear last week that he was coming down for the weekend - immediate plans were therefore laid for a Saturday night game..

Regular readers will have seen the recent post on the latest unit to join my Wars of the Spanish Succession forces, these were of a Bavarian Cuirassier regiment (Weickel or Weidel), and I was keen to see them make their entrance on the table - accordingly we agreed a War of the Spanish Succession game, and with limited time to run up a proper scenario (busy at work, visitors, and etc etc etc.) I decided on a straight forward encounter game but with a slight twist.. First however, a picture of the game set up...

* Regular Wargaming Buddy..

Table edge and sides were decided by dice and ended up as the French and their allies (Darrell) on the right of the picture, with the British and allied (me) opposite. There were no scenario objectives or rules other than that the game would end after 72 turns (12 hours in "game" terms). Winner would be the one with least losses, or who had inflicted most casualties on the enemy, take your choice.. The slight twist was to do with the size of the respective armies - over time I've got slightly out of sync with my painting activities, and it turned out the French had an extra infantry and cavalry regiment more than the allies - in the end I decided to use all the available units anyway, but reined in the extra troops the French had by making the units a strength point smaller than their Allied equivalents - in game terms this meant they were slightly less "sticky" in terms of morale, not quite so effective at firing, etc. Still a difficult enemy to beat however, as there were more units to face..

French massed horse..
Initial deployments were done on a map, and having completed, units were then transferred to the table. It was immediately clear that the relevant commanders had decided on radically different approaches... Darrell had concentrated all of his horse on his right flank, and so had I! With just a small covering force on the left, I had decided on a massive assault on my right, using the cavalry to go round the flank if I could (tricky, and a gamble as it would involve a few formation changes close to the enemy) and the infantry to attack the barn. Darrell was obviously looking for a quick win on his right, and then a solid advance on a broad front (centre and centre left) with his infantry:

French infantry in column of march..
The game started with a rapid French advance in column - given I had deployed in line, it was much faster than my own. Their infantry quickly occupied the barn, the fence line running between the barn (also one unit capacity) and the village, and also the building closest to the barn (also one unit capacity). On his right the first French cavalry quickly pushed on into the gap between the corn field and the other building.. see following..

The Allies had pushed forward the single cavalry unit covering that flank to oppose them, and a melee was soon under way. In a result that was to give an ominous portent of events elsewhere, the British cavalry routed them quickly and retired to their covering position. elsewhere the British were also advancing - two cavalry regiments had successfully changed to column of mark and advanced quickly through the defile on their extreme right flank. The closest French infantry were still advancing through the woods and were unable to counter this advance and the British & Dutch cavalry were soon deployed (formation change test was successful... whew!) and the Dutch charged the French infantry in the second line driving them off in rout (not a surprise)

These two regiments of horse then drove the French infantry in rout for three turns before finally destroying them - for a commander in charge of horse, faced with routing troops, there can be few things more pleasing... it happens rarely, but when it does.... 

On the other flank the remaining French cavalry was beginning to appear (testing terrain had slowed their advance) - see following - and yes, that's the Cuirassier's in the distance. The British cavalry continued to withdraw, so as not to be flanked:

In the centre, a fight of almost Hougemont-like dimensions had opened over ownership of the barn - the French had occupied it first and were showing no signs of vacating it in the face of successive infantry assaults by the Allied's finest (Orkney and Ingoldsby - shown in the picture following) - one assault had resulted in both sides withdrawing but before the Allies could take advantage, the French re-occupied, both sides settled to an uneasy stalemate, exchanging artillery fire when possible, but unwilling to launch an all out assault. 

Time for tea and biscuits as the next moves were puzzled over...
Events were to finally be decided by the cavalry - in summary:
  • as the French cavalry crossed the fence line to deploy, they were caught and flanked by the British covering cavalry (unfortunately the French failed a formation change test at a very unfortunate moment) and driven off.

  • The Cuirassiers had wheeled to face the advancing British cavalry (who had continued to advance following the destruction of the French infantry). Out numbered and out flanked, however, the Cuirassiers were driven off in disaray - see following:

...both French cavalry regiments were then hounded to destruction by the British cavalry - as follows:

With all their cavalry destroyed, the barn finally wrested from their grasp, and holding only the village, the French conceded the day, and the British (me!) finally realised that they'd had revenge for the drubbing in the last game!

Post match analysis:
  • It was (easily) agreed that funnily enough we'd both enjoyed the game - even DG, despite the dreadful "handling" he got from my horse! DG and I have been playing a long time now and while we both want to win, the enjoyment of the game is more important!
  • Tactically, it was agreed that the British had made the winning move with the crafty flanking manoeuvre on their right - the French cavalry had got held up in the tight terrain on their flank and as a result had arrived piecemeal and unable to bring their force to bear..
  • Infantry in buildings are difficult to dislodge - as we would have expected, no surprises, and happy with the way the rules played..
  • This was the first game where we'd had a multi-unit melee - again - we're happy with the way the rules played it, basically we agreed to combine the multi unit attacker into a single "virtual" unit where the melee factors were applied only once... but each unit does get it's own melee dice, and these are added together for the overall result. Not surprising that the Bavarian's lost..
  • Battle honours in this game then to Schomberg's who were the British cavalry on the left flank that did such damage, and to the French Bourbonnaise regiment who held the barn for so long, and again multiple assaults...
  • I've been thinking a lot about how we should represent manouevre in this period - we like the way the formation change adds a frission of doubt/risk to the game, it also helps to represent the slightly slower drill in this period.. next step is to add some assistance to the rules to help with working out wheeling distances...
  • For those of you who follow these reports you will know that an equally important element of the game is the refreshments, and this time I'm pleased to report that the tea was Twining's "English Breakfast" (delicious at any time fo the day say I!), and the biscuits were McVitie's Digestives (the emperor of "dunking" biscuits) and Fox's "Delicious Sultana Cookies" (which definitely were!)