Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019.. a review...

So as we say every year... "here we go again"...

Still not really a 'blowing the trumpet', 'review your triumphs', etc etc type of person (I leave that to the business corporate types I work with), but like my 'end of the year' review on the sailing blog it is kind of nice to cast my eyes over the year gone and remind myself of the ups and downs.... and besides everyone else is doing the same thing...

So by way of a joining up of the threads, and a bringing to a close of the last year, let's push on...

First, how did I do against my expectations [clicky]?? Note: I never, ever, make 'resolutions', just 'set  expectations', and thus when I inevitably fail to meet them yet again, it is not too demoralising or depressing an event...

1/. Try to keep up my painting efforts..
    I would say I did "more than OK" with this one! - as is usual with me, my painting months are beginning and end of the sailing season (and besides it's too hot in the loft during the summer) but unlike last year, this year I had a good end to the year... there's 294 points worth here, which compares with 82 points in 2018... BANG!  
    English Civil War heavy as you would expect given that was this years new project, but a few other items in there as well....  as with every resounding success that makes it more difficult next year, but there are more ECW units required so that is an added inducement

    Date (click to go to post)Item descriptionPeriodMakeScalePoints Value/Total Pts
    3/1/19Dismounted 17th Light DragoonsAWIEagle Miniatures25mm4 @ 1pt for 4 Pts
    9/1/19Replacement terraceWW2/WSS4Ground15mm15 pts
    16/1/19Dismounted 4th Continental Light DragoonsAWIEagle Miniatures25mm4 @ 1pt for 4 Pts
    8/2/19 Charles Gerard's Regiment of FooteECWPeter Pig15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    20/2/19Colonel Charles Essex’s Regiment of FooteECWPeter Pig15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    8/3/19Sir Lewis Dyve's Regiment of FooteECWPeter Pig15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    18/3/19Lord Fielding's Regiment of HorseECWPeter Pig15mm8@2pt for 16 pts
    11/4/19Sir Henry Cholmley's Regiment of FooteECWPeter Pig15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    11/5/19Lord Brooke's Regiment of FooteECWFreikorps15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    17/5/19Artillery ECWPeter Pig15mm16@1pt for 16 pts; 4@3pt for 12pts
    5/6/19Colonel John Innes Dragoons - mountedECWPeter Pig15mm8@2pt for 16 pts
    21/7/19Colonel John Innes Dragoons - dismountedECWPeter Pig
    15mm9@1pt for 9pts; 4@1.5 for 6pts
    16/8/19Hangers onECWPeter Pig
    15mm6@1pt for 6pts
    24/8/19Col. James Wardlowe's Dragoons - mountedECWPeter Pig15mm8@2pt for 16 pts
    7/9/19Col. James Wardlowe's Dragoons - dismountedECWPeter Pig
    15mm9@1pt for 9pts; 4@1.5 for 6pts
    17/12/19Sir Ralph Duttons Regiment of FooteECWGallia15mm24@1pt for 24 pts
    25/12/19Replacement terraceWW2/WSS4Ground15mm15 pts

2/. complete the Sudan re-basing, 
    An abject failure I'm afraid - I have to admit to having forgotten I still needed to do it - possibly because there was again no game in the Sudan this year to act as a reminder? I'll carry this one over, and I need to remedy the game situation!
3/. re-boot the English Civil War project, 
    From zero to errr...  more than zero, in a year ...15mm was the solution, and at least initially the exquisite Peter Pig figures... I'm enjoying trying other ranges but none of them so far meet the bar that the PP's set..

    Horse Sir John Byron's Regiment [clicky]
    Colonel John Innes's Dragoons [clicky]
    Peter Pig
    Peter Pig
    Foot Charles Gerard's Regiment [clicky]
    Sir Lewis Dyve's Regiment [clicky]
    Sir Ralph Dutton's regiment [clicky]
    Peter Pig
    Peter Pig
    Artillery Two Medium guns [clicky] Peter Pig
    Horse Lord Fielding's Regiment [clicky]
    Col. James Wardlowe's dragoons [clicky]
    Sir John Gramson's Regiment [clicky] - NB. Fictional..
    Peter Pig
    Peter Pig
    Peter Pig
    Foot Sir Charles Essex's Regiment [clicky]
    Sir Henry Cholmley's Regiment [clicky]
    Lord Brooke's Regiment [clicky
    Artillery Two Medium guns [clicky] Peter Pig

4/. continue reading more non-fiction... 
    A reasonable success - slightly down on last year, but the quality was outstanding four  "absolute belter's" got a hallowed 10..  the Hastings Vietnam book was brilliant, but if I was forced to choose it would be between Chickenhawk, and the book on Crete..  unputdownable...

    Score (out of 10)
    Kindle bargain...  see review [clicky]10
    A good but short introduction to the major battlefield organisation changes of the late 16th to mid 17th centuries, giving an overview of the Dutch, Swedish, and composite German methods and how they were utilised in the 30 Years War, the Bishops War, and the English Civil War. A damn good primer..8
    A bit of a whistle stop apologia for the actions of the Earl of Essex while in charge of Parliaments main field army at the time.The authors are well known (especially for their Edgehill book which is a must read on my project) and they specifically state that the coverage of the earl's battle is deliberately kept short as there are plenty of other books (including theirs ) available that do it in more detail. it's an interesting book that left me with two thoughts - one they really did need a little more detail on the battles, and two, for an apologia it had the reverse outcome of what the authors actually wanted. I got to the end of it and couldn't help thinking that Essex came across as a bit of whiner..  he was overly attentive of his position as commander in chief, spent a lot of time bickering with both his political masters, and his fellow generals over questions of position and status, and at the end of it I was left with a far poorer impression of him than clearly his soldiers had - it may well be of course that he just had two sides, but I didn't warm to him..  even his strokes of tactical genius as described by the authors seemed to me to be a bit, errr, lucky..  good book, some decent background, fails in the objective but still worth reading..8
    This was a Kindle bargain a while ago and having had an interest in this particular war since my youth (when I first read Homage to Catalonia, For Whom the Bell Tolls, As I Walked Out One Summer Morning etc.) it was a "must buy". In much the same way as the English Civil War has always sat in the back of my mind as a potential wargames project this has also done the same...  I am fascinated by the possibilities of those inter war armoured vehicles, planes, Moroccans, and most of all the International Brigades. I still may very well do this one day (also either Wellington in India or Bonaparte in Egypt). This is the expanded version of the book that first came out a number of years ago, and is huge - but just over half the book is notes and bibliography. Covering from the very beginning of the war to well after the fighting ceased in mainland Spain, this is a huge old read - took me two weeks - it's also not an easy read...  The Republicans (and it's not always made clear, but they were the elected government at the time hostilities broke out) seemed doomed to fail from the very beginning - every shade of red (politically), yet none trusted the other and their ability to cooperate doomed them to failure from the beginning. What won the war for the Nationalists/Franco was
    • a singularity of purpose, 
    • the support of the western world who distrusted "Bolsheviks" almost as much as they wanted to appease Hitler/Mussolini (and thereby also stopped all means of waging war reaching the Republican armies except from Russia), 
    • the support of Hitler who used the war as a test bed and provided the Condor Legion (which was not just air force, but tanks/artillery/infantry as well),
    • the support of Mussolini (who almost bankrupted Italy with the cost of the support provided)
    • the support of the Roman Catholic church - which among many other things influenced the US not to provide weapons to the Republicans as a result of lobbying by Roman Catholic pressure groups within the US
    Points of interest for me - how much Russia and Germany gained from the war - the Spanish republican government transferred their gold reserves to the Russians as a way and means of continuing to get the arms and ammunition they needed to continue the war - the Russian accounting method was very "interesting" in their favour. The Germans on the other hand got (if I remember rightly) 15% of the Spanish output of iron and steel as payment - set back the Spanish economy by years. In a practical way the Germans learnt how effective the 88 was in a ground attack role, how good the Stuka was (ditto), how they needed to urgently replace the Pz I as it came up against heavier Russian tanks, how to make fast/effective attacks with all arms..  the list goes on, and then there was Guernica.

    Stunning book - well worth reading - and that project will come to fruition one day!
    Following on in his periodic fascination with the Vietnam war (old hippy, what can I say) I first read this as a considerably younger Steve the Wargamer, I till have a hard copy on my book shelves, but it must be 20 years since I last read it..  this popped up on Amazon as one of their occasional bargains so I snapped it up purely because it was too cheap not to, and then having finished the previous book, and sat in the pub with nothing to read I spotted this in my Kindle library, and I off I went..! What a stunning book, the biography of a Huey helicopter pilot with the "Cav" flying 'slicks' (the troop carriers) roughly '64 through '66..  it is an amazing read, I absolutely galloped through it...  the author is honest, human, insightful, and it is an amazing narrative that covers all aspects of the helicopter war in Vietnam. Very much recommended..
    What a superb book...  last read it more than 10 years ago and had forgotten what an immensely readable account of the history of the island in WW2 this is - history is the right word by the way as the book covers all three of the periods - pre invasion, the German air assault phase, and then the post invasion/resistance phase...  some of this was fresh from my reading "The Cretan Runner" last year (and we do meet him in the book). I particularly enjoyed the assault phase of the book, and realised again how very close the Germans had been to be being defeated - some fairly fundamental errors on the Allied side, and at that phase of the war almost a psychological sense that we weren't good enough to beat the Germans (but try telling the Maori's that!). Much recommended..10
    What an excellent and readable history of the period this was - despite the title by the way this is far more than a history of the long summer of air battles by the RAF over Britain..  Holland chooses to cover the period from the BEF and their retreat at Dunkirk, up to the end of October 1940 after the RAF was seen to be the acknowledged winner of the air battle. He sets the battle in the context of Hitler's overall war strategy, and also in the context of the battles by coastal command, the Navy, and all the other myriad organisations (observation corps, LDV/Home Guard, etcetc). He gives a very good overview of the organisation of both air forces, supply chain, plane design, etc. He also describes the contrasting tactics, and shows how the utterly inept handling of the Luftwaffe by Goering undoubtedly made a very hard battle win'able by the RAF. His depiction of Dowding, Park, and behind them all, Churchill is excellent..   Stunning book...  recommended.10

5/. Salute is just over the horizon, and I really should go... no really...
    ...mission accomplished [clicky]  a most enjoyable but tiring day...  missed Colours this year as DG couldn't make it and I couldn't summon enthusiasm to attend on my own but I did enjoy visiting Warfare..  next year I already know I'm away for Warfare so will miss it's first year in a new venue..  will get t Colours by hook or crook, and although DG is less than likely to go I may go to Salute again to keep my hobby fix up..
6/. Read the whole of the Maigret series
    There was never going ti e any expectation that this would be completed - Simenon wrote over 70 books featuring the Parisian detective, but I did enjoy a significant number of them this year and am up to #11. The current Mrs Steve the Wargamer also got me the next three for Christmas - so I'm already off and running on 2020
....and the rest were all "failures" - abject failures - oh, hang on, these were only expectations, so lets ignore them and carry them over...  

7/. Tangmere visit

8/. Edgehill walk - unlikely but if we don't aim, we don't even shoot... (just call me Confucius the Wargamer....)

9/. Spend less time on Facebook - it's wasted time, and it's too easy to lose an hour that I could use doing something else

10/. Lose 3 stone - fed up being a fat bastard... 

11/. HMS Victory - been years since I last went ..

...there you go... you may beg to differ, but as it is my blog I can once again report that all targets and goals were achieved ...! Hurrah!!

In summary?? I've got to say that on the personal front 2019 was not the best year..

Not in any priority at all..... work continues to gobble up increasing amounts of what used to be down time, and a change of work location has added an hour to my commute time; while delightful, and I wouldn't have it any other way, the family and grandson also deserve time; there were worries about the boat (had an outboard engine stolen); a new car went into the garage for 3 months two weeks after I bought it... so all in all, I'll not be missing 2019, and yes, I know and accept others have it far worse....Having said that, however, this is still (a hugely enjoyable) hobby, and I still managed a fair number of good things, so on the hobby front I'll say it was an OK year...  the trip to Salute with DG was a good day out, there were a few games, and a lot of good books..

There were 49 posts in 2019 including this one (c/w 35 in 2018, 45 in 2017, 58 in 2016, 69 in 2015, 68 in 2014, 84 in '13, 85, in '12) which is better - the downward trend is halted. I continue to be happy with Blogger, I like to write and it suits my ordered mind. Facebook is great but it seems more ephemeral and throw away. I don't post their, just comment, but it's a good way of checking the trends in the hobby (my view of 2019? smaller games, out of the box, Saga/dark ages skirmish on the downturn, WW2 still top banana...), finding out what people are doing - it's also a handy way of keeping track of the manufacturers, and what they are doing, but like last year I have an increasing feeling that I spend too much time on it, so that will continue to be one of my intentions this year... 

Four table top games in 2019 (c/w six in 2018, and eight in 2017) which is atrocious;
  1. ACW Naval - "Blockage Runner... Setup and Game"
  2. AWI - "One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 18 - "Counter Attack" - Game - The John Corrigan 2019 Memorial Game
  3. ACW - "One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 19 - "Blow from the Rear" - Set Up and Game(s)"
  4. ECW - "One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 20 - "Fighting Retreat" - Set Up and Game
....the "One Hour Wargames" book continues to be the best £10 I ever spent - oodles of small and immensely playable scenario's, and this year a lot of fun mucking about and tinkering with the rules, we had a good'ish range of periods this year (tick, but DG, the next games need to be Marlburian and Sudan ), two solo games (#1 and #4) the rest face to face with DG, and all games excellent..

...apropos of absolutely nothing (I only have the number as I like to put reviews on the blog), 55 books were read in 2019, compared with 43 in '18, 52 in '17, 54 in '16, and 46 in '15 - despite distractions aplenty I had a hugely enjoyable reading year..

Favourite books this year?

Fiction - these were my 'perfect 10's' of the year

Score (out of 10)
The Christmas 2018 Dickens.... not often I  get to start the year in such a high but such is the case with this one...  it is my tradition every Christmas to read a Charles Dickens, and in previous years have read David Copperfield (good), Nicholas Nickleby (exceptional), The Old Curiosity Shop (OK), Tale of Two Cities (disappointing), Olive Twist (good), and Christmas Carol (short but good) I was looking for options when I remembered that this book had formed the basis of one of the main plot lines in the much enjoyed "Dickensian" BBC drama of a few years ago..  decision made....so we have the story of the foundling boy Pip, Mrs Haversham, Satis House, the truly horrible but turned nice Estella, his Uncle Joe (lovely depiction), the lawyer, Jaggers (WAY better than the depiction in "Dickensian") and over all Magwitch the escaped convict. Stunning piece of work, laugh out loud funny in places, irritating in others - cracking read and I was genuinely a bit depressed when I'd finished it - the sign of a good book...10
So everyone is probably well aware that Robert Galbraith is actually JK Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) but that should be abundantly clear the moment you pick the book up purely because she is such a consummate story teller..  she writes books that you hate to put down until you find out the final twist, and at the same time you feel a physical disappointment when the book ends...  this one is no different..  HUGE book but wholeheartedly and completely recommended - chock full of plots and sub-plots (not the least of which is the continuing disintegration of Robin's personal life, and her relationship with Strike)..  10
Hard to believe this is #21 in the Kydd series...  they've all been good, there were a run of a couple where I thought they were a little below par, but with the last two or three Stockwin is well into his stride.. this one is a cracker..  quite possibly up there with Inferno which has been my favourite to date... so...  Kydd is in the Mediterranean on the coast of their new ally Spain, bringing confusion to the enemy in conjunction with fellow crack frigate captain, Cochrane...  the action then switches to the Atlantic French coast and the Brest blockade.. along the way there is a brush with a new venture in Lloyds of London, and his friend Renzi is embroiled in skulduggery for the British government in the world of high finance... it all ends with a cracking naval battle..   superb! 
One of those books that when you finish it you feel physically sad that the experience is over.. the mark of an outstanding book in my view. So many questions prompted by the reading of it though, I really must read a little more about the Greek Civil War and the years of the Colonel's, and also the history of the takeover by the German's once the Italian's surrendered.. it's a fairly common view that atrocities by the German's during the ware were almost always as a result of actions by the SS, Cephalonia (and Poland) would indicate that the Heer (regular army) were just as ruthless. The massacre of the Italian troops on Cephalonia [clicky] was as big an affair as Katyn...  hugely sobering, and dealt with at length in the novel...  No need I think to describe what the book is about - you'd have to have been a hermit not to have seen the film or heard about the book, but it is not just about an Italian mandolin playing artillery officer, it is also about Greece, the spirit of the Greek people, life on an island, how that changed post war, and about the waste of war (to all sides)..  brilliant book - if I could give it 11, I would do...10

I've been waiting over a year for this and I was not disappointed... another absolute tour de force, the depth of imagination is on a par with Tolkien and JK.. in this the second volume Pullman goes forward 20 years from the events of La Belle Sauvage, chronologically, we are in the period after the first trilogy.. Lyra is a 20 year old, a scholar at one of the minor Oxford colleges, protected up until now by scholastic sanctuary, but with the death of the college master the Magisterium begin to isolate and remove her protections. When her daemon leaves her, Lyra goes in search of a mysterious hotel that apparently homes human'less daemons.. in the meanwhile the Magisterium is consolidating power, and what is the source of the conflict over rose oil - can it be linked to dust? Stupendous...10

..so an absolutely outstanding year for good stories - out of those, it was a close call but on on balance I think the Bernieres book takes it, with Pullman a very close second..  Correlli was monumental I thought, and total depression followed when I finished it... Pullman is a genius, the breadth of imagination for me is up there with JK, Tolkien and CS Lewis in his ability to imagine an entire world, and then populate it with people of that world, with the behaviours and habits of that world... stunning really...

For non-fiction, this was also a standout year ...  but see above for the winners...

The worst lowest scoring book was still better than anything I could write, so I refuse to comment here on it..  authors work long hours, and they don't need someone like me who has never created a book, to 'diss' their efforts..  

This year?? Well I intend to
  1. play more games
  2. try to keep up my painting efforts.. 
  3. complete the Sudan re-basing, 
  4. continue reading more non-fiction... it is the heart and core of the hobby..
  5. Salute and Colours...
  6. Tangmere visit
  7. Edgehill walk - unlikely but if we don't aim, we don't even shoot... (just call me Confucius the Wargamer....)
  8. Spend less time on Facebook - it's wasted time, and it's too easy to lose an hour that I could use doing something else
  9. Lose 3 stone - fed up being a fat bastard...
  10. HMS Victory - been years since I last went ..
So finally, Happy New Year to all my reader - may the dice roll as required, your brushes always keep a sharp tip, the beer be hoppy and bright, and the books all page turners...

Friday, December 27, 2019

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 20 - "Fighting Retreat" - Set Up and Game

What can I say? First game for the new project..  whoop whoop... 

So it was that on Boxing Day, when all was grey wet and windy outside, the entire crew of the good ship Steve the Wargamer were out, he found himself in the Loft-waffe with an empty wargame table, "Master and Commander" on the video-box, other hobby related items completed ("Wargamers Newsletter" #175 is scanned and on it's way to the repository [clicky]) and all was nice and quiet and he could finally put troops on table for a little shuffle around, as I believe I have at last almost reached a critical mass for games..

With no rules set of choice yet for the project*, I decided to use the rules "as is" from One Hour Wargames, they're quick and bloody but hey, the clue is in the title of the book and I just wanted a fun hour pushing my little metal men around so they could get the 'first engagement luck' out of the way.. 

*(this is not unusual for Steve the Wargamer, the look and feel of the thing is always the most important aspect of the project and rule choice often comes along afterwards..  and in some cases is still undecided after 10 or 15 years, WWII for example!)

I am up to scenario #20 now and this scenario, somewhat serendipitously, has mismatched sides; as you're aware my Royalist force is currently outnumbered by the Parliamentary forces, so it would allow me to play the scenario as is, with the Royalists using the smaller force/side..

Buy the book if you want more detail but in summary a numerically superior force is pursuing a small force who have been raiding locally - the raiders win by occupying the hill at the top of the following picture..

...this is about end turn 2 (above) and the pursuing forces are yet to appear..  I have divided my Royalist force in two, one infantry and cavalry unit per bridge, which are the only crossing points for the river..

The regiment of Sir Dennis the Menace, sorry Ralph Dutton, cross the mere to join their colleagues in the dragoons..  waited down with booty they have their eyes on the prize..
...and some more gratuitous close ups...

Gerard's do the same,  Sir John Byron's regiment of cavalry covering the advance..
Thomas differentiates the cavalry into errr..  'cavalry', or 'reiter'...  in ECW terms the cavaliers of the Swedish style, or the cavalry versed in the Dutch style... for this game I made the dragoons on either side 'reiters', and the others 'cavalry', Thomas doesn't represent a dragoon unit type and reiter seemed closest (dismounted they would be unit type 'infantry')

The pursuers enter the field..
For the Parliamentary force in pursuit I decided to weigh one flank heavily with the hope of pushing through quickly.. horse in advance chased Dutton's over the bridge only to be met by a stinging volley and held in their tracks (fundamental schoolboy error here - never ever ever use cavalry to assault formed infantry, especially over a bridge, and where the other force are defending the river bank)

...there then ensued a ferocious firefight as all three Parliamentary regiments not engaged directly on the bridge, had the ability to fire..

On the other flank the same schoolboy error had been made, where instead of sending in the foot regiment of Sir Charles Essex, the novice commander (me) sent in Lord Fielding's regiment of horse who were badly handled...

...back to the other flank and the Parliamentary horse were destroyed in fairly short order, and it was time for the 'Butchers and Dyers' to take the bridge at push of pike and butt of musket

...ferocious fighting with no quarter given or taken...

...this is without a doubt my favourite picture of the game...
...and not surprisingly given they had already faced the cavalry, Dutton's melted away leaving the bridge open, but not before they had mortally wounded Brooke's...  on the other flank similar events were unfolding, but with the left flank open Fielding's horse detached, and moved quickly to block the advance of the Parliamentary horse (picture following)..

...but after the damage they had taken earlier were no match, and were dispatched in time for the Parliamentary force to gain their objective, and win the game on the last turn!

...that'll be a win for old Old Robin [clicky] then
Post match analysis:

  • Thomas doesn't have an artillery unit type in his rules - his thinking is that they were largely static, largely limited to a brief bombardment at the beginning of the battle, which was largely ineffective, and therefore they don't need to be represented...  fair enough, but I can't help thinking that there was a bit more to them than that, or those boys wouldn't have dragged them all over England through mud up to their waists...   within the mechanics of the rules there is a way they could be represented and I like the rules enough to see that they have some merit, so will tinker further..
  • ditto a Dragoon type, but that's fairly easy to fix as well...
  • His thinking on hand to hand fighting is most interesting and deserves more thought, but did open up a few questions..  in his rules only the 'reiters' and 'infantry' unit types fire, but cannot close to hand to hand to hand until they have run out of ammunition...  which prompts the question, what do they do if they are firing away at an enemy unit who run out of ammunition before they do, and charge them...   do they continue to fire, or do they engage in had to hand?? I played the latter..
  • He has a natty little mechanic for 'low on ammunition" which I like and will use going forward...  throw in the dice mechanic for which unit moves first, that DG came up with, and used in the last game [clicky] and we have a good starter for ten I think.. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

More terrain...

Happy Christmas to all my reader...  trust Santa was kind... 

All has not been quiet in the loft-waffe since Sir Ralph's went to their storage box..  in the black Friday sale I managed to get a trio of 15mm buildings suitable for use in western Europe, primarily for the WW2 skirmish project, but these will also be usable for the Marlburian games, I think.. 

I love these kits...  bit of PVA, a brush to apply, 45 minutes of your time, and you get a superb model at the end for a very reasonable amount (and even more so on a black Friday!)... they are also stupidly well made and as a  result hugely therapeutic to put together..  

First one then, is this one..  15S-EAW-104 - the semi detached 2 story...  no mods to speak of except that I mixed the right colour to paint in the edges of the tabs on the roof edges and ridge, but I left the walls as I like the effect of the interlocked bricks...

Second floor... roof removable...

..as is the second floor...

...more to come..

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Sir Ralph Dutton's Regiment of Foote

Time for the Royalists to gain some reinforcements..  no idea how it happened but even though I usually paint one for one, the Royalists suddenly find themselves far behind Parliament in terms of unit numbers..

Before the paint brush was wielded then, the Royalists stood at two of foot, one of horse, one of dragoons and some artillery. Parliament however, stands at three of foot, two of horse horse, one of dragoons and the same amount of artillery..

This unit then will re-attain equality in foot for the Royalists, and represents Sir Ralph Dutton's Regiment of Foote. Not a lot I could find about the regiment (by far and away the best source is the ECW Wiki - link below - by the way) but they have the honour of being only the second regiment of foot raised for Charles at the start of the war...  they are described as arriving at Nottingham for the standard raising by Charles, 800 strong and with colours (that's them above) flying...

So they were there from the very beginning, and under their Lieutenant Colonel (Sir Stephen Hawkin), who took over the regiment approximately 1644, they served until the end of hostilities when they surrendered at Oxford in 1646.

In between they were present at the major engagement of Edgehill, Turnham Green, Bristol, first Newbury, Cheriton and the reliefs of Basing House and Donnington. All in all then, a veteran regiment of the Oxford Army, though at the time I have chosen to depict them - newbies, like most of the other regiments on both sides.. 

At the time in question little or nothing is known about uniform - the next year they may have been supplied with either all red, or all blue uniforms, while in garrison at Oxford. Much later in the war they are shown to have been uniformed all in white, but at Edgehill little or nothing is known. There's a really good and coherent argument on this forum [clicky] to indicate that Edgehill was so early in the war  that very few of the regiments may have had a uniform issue, so probably they were dressed in their normal civilian clothes (with the exception of armour etc) - it could also be argued that Dutton (and other colonel's) was known to be rich, and therefore may have made attempts to provide some kind of uniform look for his regiment...  I have gone for a mix of both views, with the men in largely brown trousers, and grey jackets, the kind of civilian type clothes I imagine it would have been possible to buy in numbers...

Speaking of which, Sir Ralph Dutton (of Stratton to differentiate him from the other branch of the family) was born about 1570-1580, and knighted by James I at Woodstock in August 1624. He was married to Mary the daughter of Sir William Duncombe by whom he had four sons and a daughter..  
  • William, the first, died 3 days after birth in 1593
  • Anna and John were both born c.1596 (John emigrated to America)
  • Thomas was born 1619 (an interesting gap between births - it's not clear but I think Sir Ralph may have re-married at some point!)
  • Ralph was born 1645 (created a baronet on the 22nd June 1678).
Sir Ralph died in 1646 said to have been wrecked and cast ashore on Burntisland possibly whilst travelling into exile. Interestingly, he compiled a manual of prayers for the use of the regiment.

Figures are mostly Gallia 15mm, the standard bearer is Freikorps, painted November '19..