Thursday, February 28, 2013

Regiment de Ligonday

Took me a little longer to get round to these guys, but herewith another unit ready to join the forces of Louis XIV at Blenheim. As per the recent Allied cavalry, when choosing which unit to paint I decided to focus on completing a brigade, though in this case it's a big brigade and I'm some way off, either way welcome a squadron of the Regiment de Ligonday.

The regiment doesn't even feature in Grant, but was 2 squadrons strong at Blenheim numbering about 100 men in total - the following section of the Order of Battle is from Wikipedia, and is what I normally use as my reference..... I now have one squadron from each of the regiments in the brigade (I must have a group photo at some time!)

Marechal de Camp, the Duc d'Humeries Merode-Westerloo's Brigade (Spain)
Comte de Merode-Westerloo
  • Regimiento de Gaetano (two squadrons, 214 men)
  • Regimiento de Acosta (two squadrons, 200 men)
  • Regimiento de Heider (two squadrons, 200 men)
la Valliere's Brigade
Marquis de la Valliere
  • Régiment de Bourgogne (three squadrons, 360 men)
  • Regiment de la Valliere (two squadrons, 136 men)
  • Regiment de Noailles (two squadrons, 200 men)
  • Regiment de Beringhen (three squadrons, 783 men)
Silly's Brigade
Marquis de Silly
  • Regiment de Orleans (three squadrons, 165 men)
  • Regiment de Montreval (two squadrons, 110 men)
  • Regiment de St. Pouanges (two squadrons, 100 men)
  • Regiment de Ligonday (two squadrons, 100 men)

The Franco Bavarian horse ; more horseflesh than a cheap supermarket beef burger!

With no uniform source, the thoroughly knowledgeable chaps over at the Early Linear Warfare Yahoo group agreed that my suggested colour scheme of grey with red cuffs was sound - it seemed a no-brainer given that at least 80% of the French cavalry was similarly accoutred!

So what of Ligonday??  Not much information - but some really interesting original sources gave me the following..... and his name has various spellings; I've seen Lizondez/Ligondes/Ligonday

I like the grey second from the left...  quite pleased with that...

I know his full name was the Chevalier (Sir) Michael de Ligonday (I'll stick with that though I think this is an Anglicized version of his actual French name Ligondès), that he was a Knight of Malta, and a member of the House of Auvergne (the same family as the noted French general the Vicomte de Turenne).

From the Histoire des chevaliers hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem ..., Volume 7 - year 1689

"Michel de Ligondès le 22 juillet: d'azur semé de mollettes d'or, au lion rampant de même. Combraille"

..which is the reference to when he was knighted (22nd July 1689), then his coat of arms, and that he came from Combraille (about as central as you can get on a map of France)

He was captured after Blenheim and sent as prisoner to Britain.

While here it would appear he married the widow of the 5th Viscount Killmorey, Frances (maiden name Fowler); this was her third marriage as she'd also previously been married to Theophilus Earl of Huntington (who died 1701)

"thirdly the Chevalier de Ligonday Colonel or Horse one of the French Prifoners taken with Count Tallard at the Battle of Hockstet (Blenheim)....

I found a reference on-line to an extract from "A brief historical relation of state affairs, from September 1678 to April 1714" as follows:

Gaspard du Ligondes
"April 1706 The following 7 French prisoners of war are come hither from Nottingham, having obtained her majesties leave to goe for France on their parole of honour, to return in 6 months, the chevallier de Ligonday, marquesse de St. Second, marqaesse de Marivaux, marquesse de la Masselir, marquesse de Armigny, marquis de Valsene, and the count de Tallard"

..the marriage was sometime before July 1706 so occurred while he was on parole - there is also the following interesting statement:

"This marriage was regarded by the Government and the Queen as a grave "affront done to her authority." see The Complete Peerage vol. 6 p. 660"

He was the second son of Gaspard du Ligondes
(1633-1709) and according to the only web site I've found that has information on him he was:
  • commisioned as a cornet in the cavalry regiment Mestre de Camp in 1690
  • lieutenant in 1691, 
  • captain in 1692, 
  • major of the regiment Ligondès in 1701
  • colonel of the same regiment in 1703
  • he was given the regiment by his father on May 10, 1704, "after several brilliant actions". 
Ligonday died in 1717, and Frances died December 27th 1723 (while taking the waters at Bath)  so they were married just 11 years before he died - but despite her being 42 when they married, they had two children Jean & Marie Antoinette, but from what I can tell only Antoinette survived.

Figures are 15mm and from Freikorps [clicky](they are actually sold under their Seven years war range but at this scale the later period is hardly noticeable) - simple paint job..  I went with azure blue saddle cloths and pistol covers in homage to the Ligonday coat of arms which has an azure blue background..

Monday, February 18, 2013

Definition of "Old School"??

old school  (Noun); Used, usually approvingly, to refer to someone or something that is old-fashioned or traditional.

Lots (and lots) of discussion among my fellow bloggerati about the merge of Miniature Wargames and Battlegames - which in the grand scheme of things (ie. anyone other than a wargamer) is of little (errrrr.... no??) interest... but among the many brilliant posts and comments there seemed to be a theme developing that Battlegames equalled "Old School" TM () which in some cases was a good thing, and in some cases was a bad thing...

Now I've considered myself to be an "old school" wargamer for some time, but it gave me cause to think about what that actually meant...  so here for your delectation is my definition. It'll be interesting to see if I'm close, as for what it's worth, I don't think there is a clear definition of "old school" - it's many things to many people..

So let's start with what it's not...
Picture courtesy Ilkley Old School blog
1/. It's not "Imaginations" - setting up you own 18th Century country set in some small German state-let, with a back story containing characters of your own invention, home designed maps, and wargame units wearing uniforms of your own design does not make you an Old School wargamer - what it makes you is a wargamer with a vivid imagination... 

I've always taken the view that real history is fascinating enough, but some of my fellow wargamers enjoy campaigning in an alternative 18th Century central Europe - we're a broad church - but their desire to do that doesn't necessarily make them old school... they could be, but it's not a foregone conclusion

2/. It's not Stadden/Tradition/Prince August figures - nope...  a number of wargamers seek to recreate the look of the games that featured in "Charge" or "The Wargame" - their figures are sourced from the original manufacturers, they are painted in faux toy soldier style, gloss varnished, single based, on plain bases painted "that" green (see picture above for what I mean!).. Their desire to do that doesn't necessarily make them old school what it tells me is that there wargaming hobby started in a particular period, and that the impact of those early books was such that it has informed their wargaming ever since...

3/. Featherstone/Young/Grant or nothing.... a number of wargamers came to the hobby via the seminal works of these august gentlemen - I count myself among them - but that doesn't necessarily make them old school... they could be, but it's not a foregone conclusion, because the key lesson one learns from the classics is a mode of thinking not a mode of doing. If the only thing one picks up from the books is that the rules and ideas outlined in them are the only way to do it, then the crux has been missed - because the original giants who helped shaped our hobby were all about guiding their reader to their own path, be it scale/period/choice of terrain/choice of paint/choice of rules etc. not telling us that theirs was the only way.. Old School wargamers are original thinkers.... which is a positive......

So how about a few more things that it is???

~ Old School wargaming is about the enjoyment of doing original research into the history of the period that you choose to wargame - our history doesn't come from the latest Annexe, or Supplement to our chosen rule set. The Osprey is not seen as the be-all and end-all - just a helpful starter, a pointer to other books we want to read....  Old School wargamers like to do research..  they like to read weird and interesting facts about our favourite periods in history...  an Old School Wargamer will have large bookshelves full of military histories, books about uniforms, tactics, organisation and strategy....
They look Old School... My thanks to Donogh for
this piccie of one (two?) of the grand masters at play
Ties/cravats no longer de rigeur by the way

~ Because of their research Old School wargamers understand that what happens on the table top bears no resemblance to the horrors of what happened on the actual battlefield - it is not just a game, it is a representation, and while bearing no resemblance, the Old School wargamer will attempt to model some of the specific historical or military elements he has read about

~ By and large, old school wargamers are not tournament players (I've found) or rules lawyers - I prepare to be corrected but on the whole the tournament rule jockeys, and Old School, simply do not co-exist....

~ Old School wargamers would not think twice about taking the weaker side or playing an unequal scenario, they have an interest in seeing if they can turn the tables, or come up with a result that is not expected - and if they don't, then they enjoy the game for what it is - an intellectual exercise between two or more like minded people....

~ By and large, old school wargamers behave in a courteous/gentlemanly/ladylike manner (I've found) - playing a wargame with an Old School Wargamer should involve copious libations (hopefully alcoholic), lively good natured badinage,  and an agreement to meet each other half way - disagreements are quickly resolved with the D6

~ Old School wargamers have a practical, do it yourself, ethos...  if the thing you want can't be bought, or is too expensive, we make it ourselves - we write our own rules, make our own scenery, and get great enjoyment from it....

...but most of all, Old School is a way of life .... you just....    are.... 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Battlegames merging with Miniature Wargames... who'd have thought it....

..indeed....  'bear with' for some navel gazing of a wargaming bent....  all of the following of course is purely in my view..  as you'd expect on my blog

So "Battlegames", my favourite wargames magazine of the current crop (not of all time...yet... ), is going to merge with my least favourite magazine, "Miniature Wargames"...

A lot of my fellow bloggeratti are fairly bullish, and up about it - Henry, the editor of Battlegames is in his usual ebullient form (see here [clicky]) but I'll admit to being slightly worried....

I'd say that a cynic would have seen the writing on the wall the moment Battlegames moved to Atlantic publishing just those few months ago...I couldn't see how there wouldn't be a conflict of interest - one publisher, two wargaming magazines, limited market....  it wasn't difficult to see....

Miniature Wargames has a circulation of 37,000 (they quote that themselves) but despite the bandied around title of the 'grand old man' of wargaming magazines has seemed to me to be a bit of a dead man walking for some time... poor fantasy articles, science fiction, and re-hashed history with a face saving paragraph at the end on how you can wargame the period in question is not my idea of fun....  it seems to be better lately (I browsed on in the local newsagents a month ago), but it's main problem is I suspect there are many like me, who had it on a regular basis in the past and remember how disappointing it was. The new editor (anyone have an idea on where/what he will do now?) clearly has done a lot to improve it, but essentially it is the same magazine....

So Atlantic have brought in Henry to re-design it, and then merged the two magazines with him as editor...  very clever move....  they have saved themselves the cost of supporting two magazines, they have also solved the problem of how they get people 'back' to Miniature Wargames...  keep the name but make it look like Battlegames which I'm guessing they see as the lesser "brand".... (anyone remember "Military Modelling with Battle" by the way??) a subscriber to Battlegames since issue 1, I'm an enthusiastic supporter of it's style/substance/ethos - I am not an enthusiastic supporter of Miniature Wargames...  I will give it more than a fair crack of the whip...  but yes, I'm a little worried about exactly how much Henry will be allowed to change it, and what we're going to end up with...  at best it will be Battlegames with a new name, at worst it will be a diluted Battlegames......  let's hope for the former.....!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2nd Squadron Wyndham's Horse...

Steve the Wargamer is in a veritable painting frenzy this year - seriously, I'm really enjoying it, so I'm pushing it while the painting mojo is still with me...

Either way, here is the next unit to leave the painting table this year - they represent the second of the two squadrons of Wyndham's horse who served in Palmes' Brigade at Blenheim.

The brigade comprised the following - I've put links in for the other squadrons I've already painted:
  • 2nd/Wood's Regiment of Horse [click here] (4th Horse), Major General Cornelius Wood (one squadron, 155 men)
  • The King's Carabiniers (9th Horse) [click here for the 1st Squadron], Lieutenant General Hugh Wyndham (two squadrons, 311 men)
  • The Duke of Schomberg's Regiment of Horse (8th Horse), Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of Schomberg, 1st Duke of Leinster (two squadrons, 270 men) (I have one squadron of Schomberg's painted but they must have been one of the first regiments I painted as I never did one of my unit histories - I'll save that for the second squadron..)
Either way - I've already done a unit history for Wyndham's, so I thought that for this post I'd focus on the Brigade commander, Brigadier General Francis Palmes (that's him, top right). Palmes was another one of those really interesting people that this project has continued to throw up as a result of my research..
His career started in 1688 with a captain's commission in Cavendish’s Horse (the 7th Dragoon Guards) who at that time were commanded by the eldest son of the Duke of Devonshire - a supporter of William - which probably means Palmes supported the revolution as well.
  • 1693–4 he was captain in Schomberg’s Horse
  • 1694 he was Lt.-Col. of Wyndham’s Horse (6 Drag. Gds.); and after Wyndhams death he was their colonel from 1706–13 
One report of Blenheim claimed that ‘hardly anyone was more instrumental to the success of that day’ than Palmes, and his endeavours appear to have attracted the attention of the Duke of Marlborough

He quickly became associated with William Cadogan and Thomas Meredyth, two other Irishmen serving in the English army who received rapid promotion in the mid-1700s thanks to Marlborough’s patronage.
  • 1704 promoted brevet Colonel of horse; Brig.-Gen. on Marlborough's recommendation
  • 1707 promoted Major-General. 
  • 1709 promoted Lieutenant General
His advancement was such that it was reported in 1705 that the Dutch allies and ‘others’ were concerned that Marlborough "does not advise so much either with the officers of experience and in the highest characters of his own and the States army as with two or three favourites whom he himself has raised such as Brigadier Cadogan, Brigadier Palmes and Brigadier Meredith". Clearly a go-er...

Though Marlborough was unable in 1705 to secure for Palmes the governorship of Berwick-upon-Tweed (that needs some investigation - I wonder why he was recommended, and why Marlborough was involved?), the following year he was appointed Colonel of Wyndham's and in 1707 was promoted to major-general.

Palmes and Marlborough were clearly close, there was a rumour he was to marry Marlborough's illegitimate daughter but this turned out to be exactly that, and Palmes never married..

He stood for parliament in January 1707, and was returned as the member for West Looe but parliamentary records show that he made no significant contribution..(!) He did not stand for re-election.. instead, his role increasingly became a diplomatic one on behalf of Marlborough..

From February 1708 he travelled extensively, undertaking missions to the United Provinces, Hanover, Prussia, Vienna and Savoy to keep military relations on track.

Clearly he did a good job, as he was promoted in 1709 to Lieutenant-General, but the political thunderstorms were beginning to gather by 1710, with a concerted opposition to Marlborough gaining pace.

Palmes remained in Vienna on diplomatic missions until March 1711; he returned to England in April but received no further diplomatic appointments - Marlborough's star was waning.

In April 1713 he was forced to sell his regiment (broke??)

Palmes again found favour following the Hanoverian succession and in 1715 was chosen to be master of Kilmainham hospital in Ireland; following his arrival in Ireland he was also elected to the Irish parliament and appointed to the Irish privy council.

In 1716 Palmes was given the colonelcy of a new regiment on the Irish establishment (later the 21st Regiment of Light Dragoons) which was disbanded in 1718 when he was appointed envoy to Poland. He arrived at Dresden in October, and died there early in the new year, on 15 January 1719 leaving what little he had to his surviving brother.

Read more here - it's thanks to that short stint as the MP for Looe that we still know so much about him so maybe the contribution was greater than he knew! 

Figures are 15mm and by Warrior [clicky] from a sample selection I bought right at the beginning of the project - I have to say I was a little dismissive of them in their bear metal, but they've painted up very nicely.. riders are still a little small and hunched though...

Friday, February 08, 2013

Siege artillery...

....a veritable frenzy of paint brush action in the loft at the moment...these are the latest to leave the painting table...

....this time some heavy artillery - one gun for each side..

...first off, the French - my trusty copy of the Grant book [clicky] told me that at the time the artillery transport was civilian, but the artillery crew (or cannoniers) wore red breaches and stockings, blue coat and red cuffs...

...the gun's were brass/bronze (tick) but the carriages were red or blue depending on your source, and I certainly did that for the medium guns I painted previously, but decided to go with a sombre olive green for these...

..and as usual they're based so that the guns can be removed... that way the gun crew can rout leaving the gun as a marker.... the British..

..really happy with how the guy in the shirt came out... (cream for the shirt, dry brush white, chestnut ink wash, highlighted the kerchief white afterwards)... helps of course that he has a hugely characterful face.... I think he looks like a drinker...

...the three above are Black Hat Miniatures...

...the two at the back are Minifigs..

So, some Black Hat crew on the British gun, the guns are from them as well (& they're lovely), the rest of either crew are Minifigs.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Books for your Kindle... #5

Time for another update for you Kindle readers out there .... 

I've recently downloaded the following - they were all free when I got them but the prices change often!

The Boston Massacre,March 5, 1770, Its Causes and Its Results by Frederic Kidder

Only 32 pages, as this is a synopsis of Kidders book of the same name, first published in 1870.If ever there was a good précis of the events in Boston that kick started the War of Independence this is it... 

The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: from Marathon to Waterloo by Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy

Published in 1851 the book covers the following and is quite interesting for what it misses rather than what it covers.....  not read it yet, and I suspect I will dip into specific battles rather than reading it cover to cover, but it looked interesting..
  1. The Battle of Marathon, 490 BC
  2. Defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, 413 BC
  3. The Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BC
  4. The Battle of the Metaurus, 207 BC
  5. Victory of Arminius over the Roman Legions under Varus, AD 9
  6. The Battle of Châlons, AD 451
  7. The Battle of Tours, AD 732
  8. The Battle of Hastings, AD 1066
  9. Joan of Arc's Victory over the English at Orléans, AD 1429 (no Agincourt/Crecy??)
  10. Defeat of the Spanish Armada, AD 1588
  11. The Battle of Blenheim, AD 1704
  12. The Battle of Pultava, AD 1709
  13. Saratoga, AD 1777(not Yorktown??)
  14. The Battle of Valmy, AD 1792
  15. The Battle of Waterloo, AD 1815 (really? I would have thought Salamanca, Borodino, or any of the bigger battles, but I guess that in terms of outcome, this battle had the more profound after effects..)

Sparta's Shame: The Battle of Sphacteria and Pylos by Charles R. King

Only 15 pages - an analysis of one of the pivotal battles in the Peleponnesian War....  following the Battle of Pylos and the failure of subsequent peace negotiations, a Spartan army was stranded on the island of Sphacteria. An Athenian force attacked and forced them to surrender.....  this took in Navarrino Bay just around the coast from where I was on holiday a couple of years ago...

Last of all - one of my fellow bloggers posted a link to these two by the historian J B Bury - these links are for the US Amazon, but they're also available on the UK Amazon (and free on both at the moment)..  I've always had an interest in the Punic Wars so have downloaded the first one to read at a later date...   reviews I've seen say his writing is "scholarly and accessible to the layman"

A History of the Roman Empire from Its Foundation to the Death of Marcus Aurelius (27 B.C. - 180 A.D.)

History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian

Trust you find something to enjoy there.. either way you can't argue with the prices!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Random new year resolutions ... #1

I will read "War and Peace" this year....