Sunday, March 29, 2020

New Recruits

French dragoons, Apchon Regiment
Figures are Zvezda Swedish Dragoons.  The drummer and standard bearer are from the Zvezda Dragoons of Peter I.

Hessian infantry, the Erbprinz Regiment with grenadier company.  Always, wanted to have an Erbprinz regiment like Peter Young's in "Charge!" but because all my units are based upon historical units, I decided to go with a Hessian unit. 

A Bavarian howitzer battery.

Hanoverian 6 pounder battery.

French sapper unit.  Mix of Revell Austrian artillery figures and conversions of IMEX American Pioneers, with tricorn hats added.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Rules Update

I have updated my Old School Rules, incorporating some feedback received on TMP.  I have cleaned up the formation diagrams, added a summary table for musket and artillery fire, and added some details to hand-to-hand fighting especially around the procedure for firing at a charging unit.  There is now only one cavalry line formation, a line in two ranks.  After play tests, this seemed the only formation that made sense for a variety of reasons, mainly allowing for reinforcements during melee and space considerations.   I have updated the links.

Old School Rules

They remain a pretty basic framework and don’t address details such as passing fire, and a bunch others, but I think still provide a good basic framework to add details and tinker with.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Finale Action Near Bergen - The French Take Nindorf

Reinforcements arrived on both sides, a Saxon battalion to support the French and a regiment of Prussian cuirassiers for the Allies. The French sent the Saxon infantry to support the center of the main attack.

The Allied cavalry reinforcements arrive on their extreme right behind the village of Nindorf.  They are sent immediately into action against the French flank.  The French send two squadrons of dragoons to counter this threat and a great cavalry melee begins.

At the same time, a squadron of hussars charges through the village to check the advance of the French infantry.

Meanwhile, the Hanoverian infantry on the Allied right exchange musketry with the French regulars and the Chasseurs.  After, suffering heavy casualties, the Hanoverian infantry are charged in the front and flank.  Losing the resulting melee, they are forced to retreat. 

Meanwhile, the dragoons and cuirassiers engage in a melee which is inconclusive so each side reinforces their first line with reserves from the second line and continue the fight.  The cuirassiers suffer more casualties and lose the subsequent morale check and are forced to retreat.

Finally, in the center the French Gardes and the British engage in a firefight.  Neither side gains the advantage but with the defeat of the Hanoverians, the Saxons threatening the center, and the defeat of the cuirassiers, the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick’s position becomes untenable and he prepares to withdraw.  The Hessian Grenadiers and Von Ruesch Hussars will cover the retreat. 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Reinforcements Arrive at Nindorf

Two new units arrived to support the action near Bergen.  The Hereditary Prince calls up two squadrons of Brandenburg Cuirassiers to threaten the French left flank.

This unit was a conversion made from Zvezda Napoleonic Saxon Cuirassiers with heads swapped for Zvezda infantry heads wearing tricorn hats.  

The French commander, Saint-Germain, brings up a unit of Saxon infantry, Grenadier Battalion  Kurpinzessin.  Three companies wear new tricorn hats but the fourth is still in Mitre.  

Finally, French Dragoons (Zvezda GNW Swedish cavalry) (uniforms loosely based upon the Languedoc regiment) advance to challenge the Cuirassiers.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Action Near Bergen

I set up a small action to test and refine my Old School Rules.  There terrain mat is scratch built using the method pioneered by WarArtisan, using housing caulk as an adhesive on a canvas and then pressing a variety of Woodland Scenics flock into it.  The method works great and I have made a number of different mats using this technique.  The houses are also scratch built.

The small battle was between the French and Allies circa 1759.   A blocking force led by the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, consisted of two regular infantry battalions, a grenadier battalion, a light infantry unit, an artillery unit of two guns and two squadrons of hussars.  A French force led by Saint-Germain, had three infantry battalions, a unit of light infantry, a unit of artillery and two squadrons of dragoons.  His task was to clear the blocking force and secure the village of Nindorf, opening the route to Bergen for the Duc de Broglie.

                          The Hereditary Prince orders the Legion Britannique to secure the village.

The initial dispositions.  Allies in the foreground, Hanoverian infantry, Von Scheither on the left, British artillery in the center, British 4th (King’s Own) on the right with a Hessian Grenadier battalion in support.  Toward top of page in background are the French: Conde infantry and Gardes Francaises in line formation and a column of La Marine infantry advancing on the village.

View from the opposite side of the field, Conde infantry in the foreground, flanked by the Chasseurs de Fischer in the woods, facing the Von Scheither battalion.  

Here are closeups of the Chasseurs (in Mirliton), Gardes Francaises, and Conde infantry.

British artillery fire causes the first French casualties.  

Hanoverian’s take heavy casualties from the regulars and the Chasseurs....but the French are starting to feel the effects of close range artillery fire.

Legion Britannique rushes to meet Attack from La Marine infantry.

La Marine advances to take Nindorf.

The British and French engage in a firefight on the right flank of the village. Two squadrons of French Dragoons prepare to support different parts of the Attack. 

The Legion Britannique, who have not utilized the strong defensive position of the village, are suffering heavy casualties from the French Attack. 

A squadron of Prussian Von Ruesch hussars moves up to support the hard pressed Hanoverian light infantry.

The town’s refugees continue their flight.

More to come...............

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Nations, Real or Imagined

I have been working on building two mid eighteenth century armies to use with old school type rules, the ones highlighted in my last blog post.  While the various campaigns and battles between the “imaginations” of the Emperor and the Elector have been a primary inspiration for this project, this hobby has always been a vehicle for me to explore military history in greater detail.  The campaigns in Western Germany during the Seven Years War have always held special interest given the numerous states involved, the wide variety of uniforms, and the numerous engagements both big and small.

However, having decided to use 1/72 plastic figures to build these armies, compromises have had to be made given the lack of figures for many of the troop types prevalent during this period.  The goal has been to create units based on the actual units that may have fought in the War of Austrian Succession or Seven Years War.  In many cases, this has required a loose interpretation of the appropriate uniform details and the use of paint and conversions to create certain units.  The result so far has been a growing number of units based on actual historical battalions and regiments, even if some require a liberal dose of “imagination.”

The latest unit is based upon the French infantry regiment Conde.  The figures are from Zvezda Russian Infantry of Peter the Great.  The mounted officer is a modest conversion (pistol removed) of a figure from the Russian Dragoons of Peter I also by Zvezda.

Here is the entire unit, 32 musketeers in four companies of eight with additional officers, ensigns and musicians.

A close up of a company.

And a rear view of the same unit.

More to come.....

Monday, December 23, 2019

Old School Rules

I have created a set of horse and musket rules inspired by the classics such as those by Grant and Young as well as a one pager titled “Universal Rules for War Games” published in 1958 and authored by A.H. Saunders.  I found this last one online but can’t remember where and unfortunately I do not have any information about the author.  Anyhow, I wanted something more economical than the classic rules and ones that could be easily modified so have been making my own. My initial goals were:
  1. Old school feel: units with individually based figures
  2. Brevity: core rules limited to two sides of one page
  3. Simplicity: something intuitive enough for a novice to grasp quickly
  4. Economy: minimum number of dice rolls and modifiers to get a result
  5. Morale: simple but something better than last man standing
I have attached a copy of the rules for those interested.

Old School Rules

Unit sizes and movement rates have been sized to accommodate time and available space.  Infantry units are 32 soldiers with additional officers, ensigns, etc. as shown here.

I also tried to make the combat rules, such as musketry, less “bloody” than the classic rules and have less steps.  I accomplished this by having one die roll serve as the “to hit” roll as well as the “casualty” roll.  The mechanism is to roll a certain number or less to hit and have that number also equal the number of casualties caused (per group of eight firing soldiers).  This allows for distinctions by range and a unit’s “first fire” in a single die roll without the need for additional modifiers.  

Morale rules are simple but prevent units fighting to the last man while allowing for the possibility that an “under strength” unit may carry on, at least for a little while.  Again, these rules are a distillation of various old school mechanisms with changes to suit the goals listed above.  They are not comprehensive by any means but easily amended and perhaps useful for those familiar with the classic rules but who want a concise set to use as a base for their own amendments.