Saturday, May 29, 2010


..Oakapple Day!

To be honest I'd never hear of the phrase before, but happened to be reading the Times today and they made mention...

Oak Apple Day, or Royal Oak Day, was a holiday declared by parliament to celebrate the restoration of King Charles II in May 1660.

"Parliament had ordered the 29 of May, the King's birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King's return to his Government, he entering London that day."

The reason I'd never heard of it before of course was because it was repealed in 1859 - shame!!

Loads more information here - - ever one to jump on a bandwgaon, I wholeheartedly and shamelessly used the day as an excuse to have a pint of good English ale - here's to His Majesty!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Black Hat Miniatures sure do...

...give excellent service!

In my recent parcel I had a couple of figures with broken barrels on the muskets; the rigours of the British postal system, despite the bubble wrap, had done for them.

So I popped them in the post and asked if Mike would mind swapping them - there were only two, in fact I only sent them because I had a spare envelope sitting round.

Well yesterday back comes a box from Mike (Lewis) at Black Hat with a little bag with my two replacement musketeers..... and a whole load of officer figures, drummers, and a few more musketeers as well!

I've met Mike at the shows, he's a friendly bloke always willing to have a chat with this particular wargaming geek; he'll always have my business - suggest my readers consider doing the same..

The regiment in the original box is destined to become the French Regiment Saintonge (white uniforms, light blue cuffs, white hat lace) - no progress yet I'm afraid, it's been sweltering over the last few days, and the loft (even with the velux open) is like a sauna - the paint is drying even before it hits the pallet!

To be honest I've also been distracted, not only by the weather, but also with the travails of getting my boat fixed - I think we may be getting close to a denouement however, so fingers crossed [click here] that that particular distraction is resolved soon...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Regiment de Foix

As promised, I recently decided that I needed to add to my war of the Spanish Succession forces as somehow I had managed to get out of balance, and the French were lagging behind their opponents by a couple of regiments...

So - the first of the two regiments is the Regiment de Foix, who were formed in 1684 as part of the huge expansion in the French army requested by Louis XIV in that year. Altogether 62 battalions of foot joined the army (31 regiments) that year, and all in all 133 battalions were raised between 1684 and 1701!

The regiment de Foix comprised two battalions when it was established on the 14th September.. my usual sources seem to be at odds as to what the uniform was for this regiment but I've gone with the description as per Grant.. white coats & leggings, blue waistcoat, red cuffs and collar. Grant also seems to agree with the Osprey book on the armies of Louis XIV - a slightly later period but presumably mostly unchanged...

I'm assuming the regiment was raised in and around the town of Foix, which is about 30 miles west of Carcassonne and about the same distance south of Toulouse - it lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees..

At the time of Blenheim, the regiment was commanded by Joseph de Mesmes the Marquis De Ravignan. According to truly excellent book entitled "Histoire de l'Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint-Louis, Volume 2" (which is available free and online here [click here]), Ravignan (who received said order in 1737) had an interesting and exciting life... the book is in French so the following is courtesy of an online translator and what I can make out (as the French is old style)!

He started his military career in the Musketeers, before leaving a few years later to join a regiment of Dragoons in which regiment he served at Steenkirk (1692), and the bombardment of Charleroi (1693).

Promotion followed with service in the French Guards, and in 1696 he was given the colonelcy of the Regiment de Foix.

The regiment was at both Munderkingen (13 July 1703) and the battle of Hochstad (20th September 1703) - both French victories, and Ravingen performed well enough that he was promoted Brigadier.

He further proved himself in the sieges of Lille and Tournai where Bouflers singled him out specifically to command a number of sorties.. a brilliant attack on entrenched troops at the Chapel of Magdelaine is specifically mentioned and got him a promotion to Maréchal de camp (Field Marshal).

For his exploits he was also made second in command of the defence of Tournai, but when it fell he rejoined the army in time for Maplaquet.

Afterwards he led a contingent of Grenadiers, Dragoons and infantry against a more heavily escorted Allied convoy, which he managed to burn, destroying a huge amount of powder, and then returned to Ypres with 20 prisoners.

He was captured in the fall of Ypres and served the rest of the war as a prisoner of the allies.

After the war and his release, Ravignan went on to serve in Italy in the capacity as Lieutenant Général during the war of 1734, at the end of which he was given the Grand Croix in the Order of Saint Louis.

He was also employed in the war of Austrian Succession. He eventually became sick & died in Straubing, after fifty-three years of service.

Only one word for that - wow!!

These figures are a right bunch of odds and sods - all 15mm of course - mostly Minifigs, but there's one British infantryman in there, and four (I think) Essex figures with those hideous tiny bases. The officers are also a hodgepodge - the standard bearer & drummer are Dixon I think, the enthusiastic gentlemen giving the Allies the benefit of his pistols is Peter Pig...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Is there ANYTHING finer...

...than a parcel dropping onto the mat as you get ready for yet another week at the coal face???

Look what's arrived today.... reinforcements for the Duke of Marlborough and King Louis...

...there's enough in there for a battalion of foot for each side (the eagle eyed among you will be wondering about grenadiers for the British, and officers for both... I already have those) plus a couple of guns and some crew which I plan to use for abandoned artillery positions.

Now I get to start planning what regiments they'll be - but first, I have a battalion of "odds and sods" to paint. They'll end up in the armies of King Louis, and comprise mostly Minifigs with a few oddments of Peter Pig and Dixon to make up the numbers as I didn't have enough Minifigs to make the entire regiment...

Monday, May 03, 2010

67th Ohio Volunteer Infantry..

I'm indebted the following excellent sites [click here] and [click here] for a lot of the following... credit where credit's due and all that!

Unidentified Comrade 67th OVI<br />Courtesy of and Copyright © L.M. Strayer CollectionThe next regiment in my ACW project represents the 67th Ohio Volunteer Infantry...

The Regiment was organized by consolidating the parts of two other regiments, the 45th and 67th, and originally was under the command of a Colonel Otto Burstenbinder (now that my friends is a name and a half - all you fellow wargamers commanding armies in various Germanic imaginations may well want to borrow it!) but was soon succeeded by Colonel Alvin C. Voris.

National Colors 67th OVI"The regiment left Columbus, Ohio, for the field January 19, 1862, going into Western Virginia, under General Lander. With the exception of a march to Bloomrey Gap, the greater portion of the month of February was spent at Paw Paw Tunnel. On the 5th of March the regiment moved to Winchester, General Shields commanding the division, where skirmishing was frequent, on the picket-line, with Ashby's cavalry.

On the afternoon of March 22nd the regiment reported to General Banks in Winchester, and soon engaged the enemy, driving them till past nightfall, as far south as Kearnstown (sic). The regiment lay on their arms all night, and on the next morning were the first to engage the enemy. After the infantry fighting had been fairly opened the Sixty-Seventh was ordered to re-enforce General Tyler's brigade; to do which it was necessary to pass over an open field for three-fourths of a mile, exposed to the enemy's fire. The regiment executed the movement on the double-quick, and came into action in splendid order. The regiment lost in this action fifteen killed and thirty-two wounded".

After Kernstown they were then transferred to the army of the James (Union armies were named after the rivers that the army mostly served near) under McClellan, and shared in the Peninsula campaign, but in the December it was transferred to North Carolina where in the following April it took part in the assault on Fort Wagner with heavy loss.

After much more service, the regiment and was present at the final surrender and continued in service until December 12, 1865, when it was mustered out.

Colonel Alvin Coe Voris

Colonel Alvin Coe Voris enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company H, 29th Ohio Infantry on October 2, 1861. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 67th Ohio Infantry on October 3, 1861. He was wounded July 18, 1863 during the assault on Fort Wagner. He was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General on December 8, 1864, then to Colonel on September 1, 1865, and then to Brevet Major General on November 15, 1865. He mustered out with his regiment on December 7, 1865 at City Point, Virginia - a survivor!


Would love to have been at the following - must have been some cracking stories to hear!


All figures are Newline Designs, in 20mm... I have no idea where the dog came from, but having found it, it was crying out to be used so I decided to make him the totally a-historical regimental mascot, "Rufus" (don't ask - my spuds named him!)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Regimental Fire and Fury Templates

Well - if ever there was proof in this world that wargamers are the salt of the earth the following are proof of it..!

I happened to compliment AJ [click here] on the fine work he'd done on a template for "Flames of War" (which you can see here: and then we got talking about the play test I was doing of the Regimental Fire and Fury rules..

...and before you know it these arrived in the post! To say I'm impressed is an understatement of grand canyon proportions, but then I checked out the workmanship and build quality... and my appreciation went up even higher. These are really nice - crisp, thick, well made, clear..

Very impressed! Steve the Wargamer gives these a very definite 9 out of 10 (gives AJ a tantalising room for improvement opportunity! )

AJ tells me that he's thinking of making these available via his commercial website - if you're interested contact him at