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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

More Minifigs than ever

I now have more Minifigs than ever I had when they had a near monopoly on 15mm Gaming.  Partly I have come to appreciate their virtues and also, I cannot resist a bargain.  So here are my latest Crimean additions.


I’ve done the rosters, as we Piquet types say, for a ‘Not the Alma’ game and I’m hoping it will be a good one. 



It’s an interesting exercise in many ways. Most of the British, and some of the French are armed with the rifled musket-a huge advantage. I’m allowing a couple of Russian battalions the same but for most of the Russians effective firepower is a close- range affair. Not that they were all bad shots, they were trained to aim low and a quick look at the casualties they inflicted shows they could cause punishment.

Their artillery was probably the best of all the armies involved.  There was a draw- back, Russian standing orders forbade allowing the capture of their guns.  Accordingly, artillery units had an alarming tendency to retreat when the enemy got close, thus sparing the foe devastating canister fire. I might reflect this in the game any enemy within 200 yards and there will be a 50% chance of the Russian guns retiring.



Rating the various units is for me a work in progress, for the present Russian artillery, Zouaves,  Chasseurs and Highlanders are getting the highest rating. At the moment the rest of the British, French and Russians, and perhaps Turkish, are simply regulars. 

Command for everyone but the French is often thought woeful, I'm thinking that may be over simple so time to ponder. 

Oh, and I’ve made the Cossacks adequate fighters but quick to scarper.


I’m hoping the game will clarify my thinking especially around British Guards (Campbell more or less implied they should be shot for retreating) and the cavalry who were full of dashing courage but not particularly deadly.  The Russian cavalry were made up of good enough material but timidly used and again seemingly not very deadly in combat. The French Guards might get an uplift as might General Scarlett and some others. It’s the beginning of a learning curve as we used to say.

One thing I'm decided on is that the story of the upcoming game will be told through the eyes of the individual Brigadiers involved.

Monday, 6 March 2017

My Prussian Dragoons Are Done

Blue Moon cavalry come with enough figures for three units so of course I have three units of everything with a horse.  More than I might have chosen if I’m honest, still now they're all done.  

So here are the Von Normann Dragoons



The Von Blankensee Dragoons


And of course the Truchseb Dragoons that I finished earlier. 



That's it as far Prussian Dragoons go for me.  They do look nice though.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A Holiday Book or two

I often think good books make for good games. 


A good book packed with primary sources will tell you the actuality of how an army fought.  You know, the sort of little details that make a game genuinely interesting.

Carlists for example were like mountain goats speedily going where others could not, the Cristinos in the main were not so swift and the lads of the BAL (British Auxiliary Legion) were plodders by comparison.  It’s the sort of knowledge that gives us period flavour on the table.


I recently bought a bunch of Minifigs Crimean figures (An eBay bargain) you can see some of them on this page.  I think the Turks are particularly nice.  


So now I’m keen to play a Crimean Game and while I wait for the paint to dry I’m rereading my Crimean War Books.


So finally getting to the point of this post, if you’re interested in the Crimean War or just looking for a good read to while away a sun kissed hour I’d suggest getting either or both of the following:


The Destruction of Lord Raglan by Christopher Hibbert

The Crimean War: A Re Appraisal by Phillip Warner

Like my Ebay Minifigs they are great value and you won't regret it.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

On to Herat 2

The Qajar had been one of Iran’s great nomadic tribes prior to seizing the throne.  Naturally enough they could field a lot of cavalry in their armies. All of the following are from Irregular Miniatures.

These are hard charging Kurd armoured lancers handy enough if you could get them into the opponent’s cavalry.


Here are Qajar tribesmen happy to fire from horseback and then, if things went well to charge home with the sabre.


The composite bow lingered among some troops sometimes with a sword and occasionally with the lance too.


At various times the Qajar had access to troops from the Caucasus.


There were also irregular infantry armed with the long range jezzail which they often used with a supporting rest.  So, all in all an army with table top potential.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

On to Herat

I came late to colonial wargaming but always enjoyed reading about the period.  Eventually I came to realise that the wars were much more closely contested than Edwardian historians would have us believe and that good games were there to be had.

This led by way of India and the Crimea to collecting a Persian army of the Qajar Dynasty.  Pretty much all of the Great Powers had a go at making friends and influencing the Qajar and the imprint of French, Russians and British can be discerned on their army.



It is not one of those stand out battle winning forces but it has its points.  The artillery was good and the regular infantry could be a tough proposition.  The regular cavalry was somewhat inhibited by its European kit but comprised of good basic material.  For novelty, it’s hard to beat Camel guns and the Qajar had lots of those. As you can see they were a colourful bunch which adds to the attraction.  




There were lots of irregular troops too we will see them next time.



On a couple of occasions rumours swept India that the Shah was on his way to expel the Raj.  It has the makings of a great ‘What if? First of course the Shah would need to take Herat.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Rising Tide

We are being spoilt, and we need more of it, by manufacturers of 15mm figures for the Carlist War.  QRF have released their second batch of Cristinos in the form of command and flank company figures. You can see them here light battalion in green and line in blue.


Lots of variety as you can see.


The background wall is from QRF.


To add to the joy a Spanish Company https://totentanzminiatures.wordpress.com/ is releasing the first part (infantry) of a new Carlist War range this month.  I am hoping both ranges are going to be compatible sizewise.  That would be wonderful.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Prussian Progress

Slowly but surely Frederick’s army, or part of it, comes into view. 

Here are the Von Belling Hussars who will be getting a guidon as Frederick denied most Hussar regiments flags.  The little white dots on the Mirltons are my attempt at creating an impression of a semi reclining skeleton.


The Truchseb Dragoons below with a nice flag from Kronoscaf.



The first Prussian battery is done, two to go.


Back to the Carlist War next.