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Friday, 30 June 2017

Irish Raiders for Lion Rampant and 100 Years War Retinues

I’m doing OK on retinues for Lion Rampant but as usual I’ve gone for the exotica, Samurai and the Bronze Age respectively. With the best will in the world these are variants rather than the rules as written.  With that firmly in mind I have bought two retinues from Donnington New Era, English and French for the 100 Years War a classic match-up. I’ll start painting them soon.

Meantime I have a bunch of the old Feudal Castings medieval Irish to hand including the now out of production Irish cavalry-lovely figures.  Most of them are painted so a little re -basing job and I’ll be good to go.  I'll opt for the retinue of the King of Leinster Art Óg Mac Murchadha Caomhanách, who we see below.


On the flat the Irish could not stand up to the massed armoured cavalry of royal expeditions from England or assembled from the colonial nobility.  All of which tends to make for a dull game.  

That said under many rules it is perfectly possible to field an Irish army that operates somewhat like a Roman legion, with double ranks of Gallóglaich, flanked by auxiliaries, fronted by skirmishers and with the cavalry in reserve.  For me, there is no fun in that, I have Roman armies and a fair idea of how the Irish tackled well-armed opponents, I think there is a better option.

All of which brings me back to Lion Rampant which I think will well reflect the small wars of raids and ambushes that now and then became small battles. Here is the retinue.

The nobles as sergeants.



Other marc slua as mounted yeomen with javelins.



Two bands of Kern as Bidowers.  More foot to follow.



And as you can see we are back in business courtesy of Imgur and the good advice available on the Wargames website which does what it says on the label.











New Photo Host Needed

Sorry for the lack of updates folks.  

I have a couple of posts ready to go but I need to find a new photo host.  I was using photobucket but they now want more money than I'm willing to part with.

Ah well now, all the images are gone from previous posts, way to go photobucket.  They will all be restored incrementally so please bear with me as it will take a while.  For the moment though it will all look a bit TMP.

Thank you for your patience. 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Lone Ranger Flees

The rangers are forging ahead but the grenadiers are stuck on the ridge and holding up the column.  But the rangers have gone too far and three of them are shot dead.  Strangely no further fire comes from the French, Howe assumes they are on the move.

The entire column moves up and this time they meet a response another two grenadiers fall; their remaining comrade makes a run for it.  Howe’s unit clears the ridge, Roger’s Rangers spot movement and fire.

While Dumas exhorts his allies, Howe gets the column moving save the last provincial unit.



The woods erupt with whoops and howls and musket fire.  Five of Howe’s unit are shot and Roger’s Rangers are reduced to a single man.  The lone ranger flees.  




Howe orders a volley into the tree line and two blue coated figures fall. Meantime Goreham’s Rangers move up, while another unit of British regulars joins Howe.  The provincials though have stopped dead.




Nothing stirs in the trees but Howe orders another volley killing one of Dumas's regulars. The French response is swift another of Howe’s unit falls bringing them to half strength and it proves too much, the unit collapses into rout taking Howe with them.

Game over and pleasingly like Monongahela.  The provincial units probably executed a swift about turn and headed home to ready for frontier mayhem.  The British regulars were likely doomed.  Although TPL is billed as a fun game, and it's all that, it can certainly generate a historical result.

Friday, 23 June 2017

March or Die

The British commander, Lord Howe, wishes to traverse the wilderness as quickly as possible.  He is quite prepared for an ambush but intends to plough through accepting casualties as the inevitable price of moving forward, Should the foe attempt to contest his passage he expects them to block the head of the column and accordingly his advance guard is formed of grenadiers and rangers backed by British regulars.  Fire-power should force the pass. He had expected Indian allies but for some inscrutable reason they have declined to accompany him.



The French plan is simple, they intend to rake the marching column from cover until it approaches a pre prepared killing ground blocked with abatis, there the entire, if small, French force, will regroup under captain Dumas and inflict deadly punishment. 


The column moves out with Roger’s Rangers scouting well ahead but close enough to receive rapid support if necessary.  There seems to be some confusion among the provincials to the rear.  Seemingly nothing stirs in the woods.


The rangers have encountered a steep narrow ridge running across the trail, it’s surmountable but it will delay each unit in turn as men scrabble up it.


Firing breaks out on the flanks of the grenadiers, first one, then another soldier drops.  The stoic grenadiers keep going forward scrambling through the difficult going.  Rogers Rangers have now cleared the ridge, and the rest of the column moves as if one body though the rearmost unit of provincials is now significantly behind its fellows.

More shots ring out at the head of the column but the rangers dive for cover and no one is hit.





The Indians are heard but not seen and another grenadier falls, the unit now at half strength continues to advance.  More soon.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Not Monongahela with TPL

Does anyone actually own enough trees for the French and Indian Wars?  I certainly don’t.  I was able to assemble four feet of leafy corridor to represent Monongahela which I hope will do the job of providing an appropriately gloomy, restrictive environment for the game.  


While we are making-do I should say that victory for the Anglo-Americans will be achieved by exiting the corridor.



For the French and Indians success is preventing the same.  



Onontio's men are heavily outnumbered.  The pre-match characterisation has produced a British commander (7 units) who is a ladies man and a French one (5 units) who is a duelist, party boys then.



As much as anything else I want see how well TPL works for this conflict.  If I'm happy I'll be trying two epic defeats one British, one French where the commanders concerned decided upon a European battle plan in an American context.  Oddly both of them were closely involved in the promotion of the new 'light infantry' tactics but opted for a traditional approach.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Aftermath

Another Spanish volley downs three more of Hamilton’s men but the tough regulars stick to it.

The Highlanders and Sir John stop to drink a toast (failed their movement test).
All of the patrol is now moving but it’s really too late.  Hamilton’s unit down a Spanish Grenadier.

The Spanish volley into their much - reduced foes killing three and routing them.  Pleasingly Colonel Hamilton survives, still surprised that the damn French turned out to Spanish.  What a world.

As for Sarsfield he is Fortuna's blessed child.


The Jacobites begin to move off as the Highlanders with Sir John disappear over the horizon . When the patrol arrives it can bury the dead.  



Game over.

So that’s TPL, a fast-moving, fun game with lots of uncertainty.  The outcomes and the story told were plausible to me so I’ll be playing more of it. As it happened my Highlander adjustments never got an outing and I’ve now re thought them, more of which anon.



In TPL terms Hamilton was characterised pre game as old wound and Sarsfield as lucky.

Sarsfield’s luck was uncanny but did not extend to the actual fighting where the results for both sides were less spectacular. His ability to roll successive sixes was another matter, the Jacobites positively bristled with newly minted heroes. Still, strange things happen in combat as the late General Flashman often noted.

Hamilton’s patrol never saw action neither did Sarsfield’s re-enforcements.

My post first game verdict on TPL?  A lot of fun and loads of potential uses. I halved all distances as I use 15mm figures.  My next TPL game will be from the French and Indian Wars but I’ll be returning to 1715.

I'm already painting Sir John Wauchope's Horse comprised of Cumbrian and Northumbrian gentlemen and their tenants.  Algernon Percy will doubtless be wearing his French coat. 


Here are the re-thought Highlander stats.

Unit:  Clan
12 Models inc’ 1 Hero
Points
5
Attack
5+
Attack Value
4+
Move
5+
Defence Value
4+
Shoot
4+
Shoot Value/Range
Only half the unit fire Hit on 4+ Max ‘9
Morale
3+
Maximum Move
‘4
Stamina
3+
Special Rules
Ferocious
No firing post charge
Counter charge v foot, wild charge, fleet footed



Sunday, 18 June 2017

Gang aft agley...

Sarsfield receives re-enforcements his luck is becoming proverbial (He threw three sixes in a row).

The patrol continues its progress but the new men cannot (poor dice) keep up the pace.

Sarsfield continues his advance into range as he does so he notices among the grenadiers the heroic Gonsalvo (another three sixes) and gives him a gallant halloo.



Hamilton’s dragoons press on while his grenadiers wait (poor dice) for the new men to catch up.

The Jacobite cavalry can now see Hamilton’s dragoons, one them, Algernon Percy, reminds his comrades of his French service (another three sixes) which is well received.

Hamilton’s grenadiers volley the Highlanders dropping three of them.  A cry of Claymore goes up.  Hamilton’s foot volley into Sarsfield’s unit killing three but, naturally enough missing the man himself.

The Spanish grenadiers down two of their opposite number.  The Spanish foot shoot three of Hamilton’s men but the Colonel is unscathed. Clan Mac Iain charge the grenadiers killing four and forcing the rest to retreat-but at the cost of three casual casualties.  



The Mac Iain frees Sir John Wauchope.


Meanwhile Hamilton’s dragoons press on while the patrolling foot pause (poor dice) to re-organise themselves.  



More soon.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Best Laid Plans

Sarsfield’s plan is to use his regulars to pin the foe in place while his irregulars attack them. If necessary he will commit the infantry while the grenadiers effect the rescue.  He will then execute a fighting retreat covered by the regulars.  He knows Hamilton may be reinforced but will deal with that if it happens.

Hamilton intends to hang on until help arrives he relies on the devastating volleys of his well- trained men to buy him time.  He will therefore fight in the open hoping to discomfort the enemies less experienced troops and even the odds.  White coats he muses, the rustic was right-Frenchmen!

Sarsfield’s grenadiers step off but the rest of the regulars aren’t ready, he does some tri-lingual swearing to help things along.

Meanwhile the new men of Hamilton’s patrol have taken a wrong turn.  Hamilton draws up his men so the cottages protect their rear.  



Sarsfield has got everyone moving and the war pipes are skirling. All quite inspiring he thinks.  The Highlanders are moving fast in a three- deep formation.  He didn’t know they could do that.


Hamilton’s patrol is now in good order and marching homewards.  There's everything to play for.

RESCUE!

As a pre-emptive strike the London Government has arrested Sir John Wauchope who they consider a likely rebel. According to confidential reports he is a Free Mason, a closet Catholic, and a secret dabbler in the occult sciences. Whatever of that he is almost certainly a Jacobite and definitely a licentious drunkard albeit popular in his locality.

Sir John is being held in a hamlet deep in the wild west of Northumberland.  



He is in the custody of Colonel Augustus Hamilton who has at his command:

6 Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope) @ 6 points
6 Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope) @ 6 points
12 Private soldiers of Smythe’s Company (Veteran Shot) @ 6 points
12 Private soldiers of Small’s Company (Raw Shot) @ 3 points
6 Dragoons (Raw Gallopers) @ 3 points
24 points in all.

Sir John may not languish long in captivity a rescue party is on its way led by the notoriously lucky Captain Carlos Sarsfield of his Imperial Majesty’s Spanish service.  



Captain Sarsfield commands:
6 Grenadiers (Forlorn Hope) @ 6 points
12 Private soldiers of Tercio Catalonia (Veteran Shot) @ 6 points
Clan Mac Iain Mhor consisting of:
6 Gentlemen of the clan (Forlorn Hope) @ 6 points
12 Clansmen @ 3 points

If you are familiar with The Pikeman’s Lament (TPL) rules you will see I have differentiated the Highland Gentlemen from their lesser equipped followers to reflect their skill with firearms. That said once the Gentlemen have charged they will be deemed to have dropped their firearms.

6 Gentlemen volunteers (Raw Gallopers) @ 3 points
24 points in all.

Colonel Hamilton is an old soldier who is taking no chances. He has sent his newly raised troops, with a stiffening of grenadiers, to patrol the tracks, you couldn't call them roads, surely. 



His veterans carefully guard Sir John. 



Earlier some yokel brought in a report of Frenchmen. Perhaps foreign troops in the king's service heading north or more likely nothing but a rural fantasy.  He'd see what the patrols said.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Highlanders For The Pikeman's Lament

I did a blog on the Highlander way of war a while back and now I’m using The Pikemans Lament (TPL) for an imaginary 1715 Rising series of games.  Highlanders are represented in TPL as Clansmen with high melee and movement factors but no firepower.  No chance then to practice a provocative volley from the gentlemen of the clan before the charge goes in.  I wanted to do that so I did a bit of tweaking to Mr Mersey’s opus.

Here’s Clan Mac Iain Mhor ready for TPL action. Two units in TPL terms the gentry in front -naturally.



The Mac Iain, a big lad from Mick Yarrow Miniatures, (Hero at 1 point) and the gentry from Roundway. Rated as Forlorn Hope but note the specials and the increased movement.




Unit:  Tacksmen
6 Models
Points
6
Attack
5+
Attack Value
4+
Move
5+
Defence Value
4+
Shoot
4+
Shoot Value/Range
Hit on 4+ Max ‘9
Morale
3+
Maximum Move
‘4
Stamina
3+
Special Rules
Ferocious
No firing post charge
Counter charge v foot, wild charge, fleet footed

The men of Clan Mac Iain. Rated as TPL Clansmen.




Unit:  Clansmen
12 Models
Points
3
Attack
5+
Attack Value
3+
Move
5+
Defence Value
6+
Shoot
-
Shoot Value/Range
-
Morale
4+
Maximum Move
‘4
Stamina
2+
Special Rules
Ferocious
Counter charge v foot, wild charge, fleet footed



Here’s the thing, the two units of the clan will always move as one as determined by the actions of the Gentry.  I'm about to find out if this will work on the table.





Tuesday, 13 June 2017

More Carlist War Compatibility

I’ve been waiting with some anticipation the release of Carlist War figures fromTotentanz.  My order arrived from Spain well within 2 weeks and I’m very pleased with what I got.

First up here are some Cristino commanders.  Three figures as you can see.  Very nice I think.


Here are three Carlist commanders who also look just right.


The big question is how do they fit with QRF’s Carlist War range.  Well, they are slightly bigger but not enough, in my view, to rule out having both on the same base.  You can judge for yourself looking at this photo, Totentanz figures in blue.


I very much look forward to the release of the cavalry and artillery from Totentanz.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Better to be hanged in Cheshire…



A proverbial saying in 16th century Cheshire was “Better to be hanged in Cheshire than to die in Ireland".  No doubt it was heartfelt for Irish service in Elizabeth’s army was notoriously hard, inadequate clothing and hunger were to be expected, pay seldom left the Captain’s purse, loot was non-existent, disease devastated whole armies and the terrain and climate were unforgiving, if you survived all that there were the Irish.



Apart from some, mostly impoverished, members of the gentry and nobility no Englishman wanted to fight in Ireland. The putative soldier was ‘volunteered’ by his social superiors at home and he didn’t like it. Most attempted to desert before embarkation although a variety of measures were taken to prevent this including removing the conscript’s clothes-naked men could not blend into a crowd and escape.


A further chance of escape presented once the conscripts reached Dublin and received their arms and uniforms, the cost would be deducted from pay on an ongoing basis, each shot fired would accrue to the debit side of the conscript’s account. He could of course sell his arms to a middleman who would sell in turn to the Irish.  That might raise the passage money home.


As a last resort, the conscript could actually desert to the Irish and sign on for a higher rate of pay with some Irish Captain and hope to survive until he could afford passage on one of the many English and Scots vessels bringing gunpowder to the Earl of Tyrone.  The language barrier meant that the best chance of doing so was to befriend the many Irish soldiers in his company and leave when they did.


Failing all that the conscript would find himself fighting in the most costly war in both money and men ever fought by the Tudor state.