Thursday, 21 May 2020

Maximilian Affair: Mexican Republican State Militia

A handful of new figures have been added to my existing eight Mexican State militia painted some seven years ago to give me a unit of 12 for Rebels and Patriots.

The new figures are from Gringo 40's with an odd Foundry figure I found hanging around. Again the Gringo figures are a bit taller but painted up seem to fit in ok.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Maximilian Affair: Mexican Republican Infantry

Having painted up three units for the Imperials for Rebels and Patriots I thought I better crack on with some Mexican Republican forces so painted up two units of Mexican Republican Infantry...

Their white linen field uniform was very simple, indeed the look of it is practically identical to the US Union one so a simple paint job can see ACW figures drafted in to finish off units as I have done here.

The two units are a mix of old Foundry figures (from the Mark Copplestone sculpted Old West range)....

A handful of Gringo 40's I had bought...

And some new(ish) Perry plastic ACW who padded out the unit cheaply and provided me with another officer.

There is some noticeable size difference between the manufacturers when unpainted (the Gringo figures are very tall) but with consistent painting and basing they seem to work well together.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Rebels and Patriots: The Woodhull Rumpus!

Having tried some The Men Who Would Be Kings scenarios for our AWI Rebels and Patriots games this time around George and I decided to have a look in Lion Rampant (not as crazy as it sounds) and decided to try out The Messenger scenario.

Abraham Woodhull, leading member of the Culper Spy Ring has vital information for the patriot cause! Unfortunately the British are aware and have sent Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton ahead with a fast moving force to capture the American spy. Can the local American forces escort Woodhull to the safety of the Rebel lines, or will the British ensure he sees Tarleton's Quarter?!

The set-up was table was set up as below with a fair bit of woodland.

It proved a bit hard to cram all of Woodhull's escort force in their starting corner with so many cheap Militia units! :-)

The British force was smaller with higher cost units.

As usual the American advance was chaotic with a number of units deciding to wait a turn or two before moving out.

First blood went to the Americans when I rolled a double 6 to activate one unit. A favourable roll on the table saw some hidden musket fire kill one of the Legion cavalry. Sadly it wasn't Tarleton...

My cunning plan to advance along three axis slowly took shape, with the 1st Maryland advancing past a couple of units of slow to advance Militia and the 2nd Maryland moving along the right flank.

On the left American flank a small group of British skirmishers lay in wait for any advancing Rebels...

Spotting a unit of Militia, the Skirmishers open fire from cover killing two. Unsurprisingly the Militia fail their Morale check and become Disordered.

Inflicting another casualty on the Militia, the British skirmishers fall back as another Militia unit moved up to support their comrades. Eventually the two Militia units managed to wipe out the skirmishers but it did take them most of the battle to do so.

Elsewhere the Americans slowly move across the board, spotting the 23rd Welsh Fusiliers supported by the 1st and 2nd Light Battalions blocking their way...

One of the Lights takes cover in the woods and waits...

...for the 2nd Maryland who advance towards them.

The view from above the British lines with the Lights taking position in the woods either side of Welsh Fusiliers with the Legion in support.

The American centre tries to advance, the 1st Maryland forming Close Order, but soon taking casualties...

The 23rd Welsh Fusiliers in all their glory, waiting to shoot down the advancing Rebels...

...a unit of Militia advancing in an attempt to draw their fire whilst the 1st Maryland move up in support.

Unfortunately a volley of musket fire from the Fusiliers and Lights ravages the advancing Militia and they fail their Morale test becoming Broken.

Meanwhile the Lights in the woods on the British left make use of their cover to pepper Rebel skirmishers with musket fire.

Another double 6 activation roll sees the Americans gain reinforcements in the form of two more units of skirmishers who march to the sound to the guns!

On the American right flank the 2nd Maryland and a couple of units of Skirmishers try and clear the woodland of the pesky Lights

I confess I was somewhat fixated on the battle on the right flank and became determined that I needed to clear the Lights from the wood before advancing through the centre.

As time began to run out I changed plan, using the Militia on the American left and 1st Maryland to  focus on the Lights in the wood on that side of the British position, eventually forcing them back after some bloody fighting.

On the other flank the 2nd Maryland moved beyond the enemy in the woods in an attempt to flank the Fusiliers. As you can see the American centre was badly mauled by now, though another Double 6 had seen more hidden musket fire and another one of Tarelton's boys shot down.

A final attempt to see Woodhull to safety on the American left went badly wrong as the the 1st Marlyland Routed following the loss of the American general accompanying them and subsequently the two Militia on that flank also Routing as a result, leaving Woodhull and a unit of Skirmishers caught in the open at least three moves from safety, with the British Legion drawing their sabres...

Well that went spectacularly badly! I'm not sure this was a good mission to have so many low quality Militia units in my army for, but it was a case of using what I'd painted (and I wanted to try the standard 12 figure units again, following the recent disasters with the large ones). However my battle plan was a disaster and I got fixated with mini-battles rather than react to changing circumstances and keeping focused on the mission! That all said it was a fun game and proved that it is easy to port scenarios from one 'Rampant' set to another.

Unfortunately though this is our last game for a while as George has been confined to barracks (aka working from home somewhere north of London) due to the Coronavirus outbreak and BIG has closed down for the duration. Hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, in the mean time I guess there is a Lead Mountain that needs tackling!

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Maximilian Affair: Egyptian Auxiliary Corps (19e Régiment de Ligne)

One of the most interesting units of the whole Mexican Adventure has to be the Egyptian Auxiliary Corps, a battalion of Egyptian (Sudanese) infantry who served under French command with distinction in the Veracruz region from 1863 to 67. The bizarreness of having Egyptian troops fighting under French command to put an Austrian Archduke on the Mexican throne meant I had to include a unit of them in my Rebels and Patriots Imperial army...

Whilst Gringo 40's produce some figures, they are in a marching pose and I'm not 100% sure the trousers they are sculpted in are correct (most sources I found seem to show them in baggy Zouave style ones). Also I didn't really want to spend much more money on this project so I rescued a box of Perry Miniatures plastic ACW from the attic to see how close they were uniform wise to the Egyptians.

The main difference was the ACW figures wearing the distinctive short jacket, so I carefully carved that away and removed any obvious knife scraps on the torsos by painting on some liquid cement. I'm not 100% sure the officer is correctly uniformed. It may be the Egyptian officers wore a similar white uniform as the rank and file, but I like the contrast with the officer leading them in a French style blue uniform with fez.

At the end of the day the overal result was decent enough and I am happy with this somewhat exotic unit now added to my Imperial army...

Monday, 20 April 2020

Maximilian Affair: French Régiment de Ligne

The second Rebels and Patriots unit for my Maximillian Affair project, a unit of Régiment de Ligne, who will be treated as Light Infantry in game terms.

The figures are the rest of my Foundry legionnaires, but painted up as Line Infantry. The uniforms are basically the same, the only real difference being the yellow piping rather than red. I decided with these guys to include any figures with uncovered kepis and paint their trousers in the winter red issue, as opposed to the summer white in which my Régiment Étranger are painted.

Some where painted from scratch, some just having their faces, piping and trousers repainted from the original paint job seven years ago.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Maximilian Affair: French Régiment Étranger

It's been just over seven years since I last did any work on my Maximilian Affair project, but with the enforced lockdown and much fun having been had with Rebels and Patriots, I decided to review the project and see how practical it would be to raise a couple of forces for it (and possibly Sharp Practice) from what I had.

Before moving on to other things I'd painted 15 French legionnaires from Foundry so adding what was unpainted I found I had enough for two 12 figure French infantry units. Rather than have two units of Régiment Étranger, I decided to keep one as legionnaires (with white summer trousers and covered kepis were modelled) and make the second up as regular French infantry (with red trousers and uncovered kepis if worn).

The Régiment Étranger proved the easier to finish as I had only one left in a white covered kepi to paint up, although I did repaint all the faces. It was an interesting exercise trying to recreate painting and basing techniques and colours from seven years ago, though I think I have got away with it (the middle one is the one painted this week, the two either side in 2013...).

Monday, 13 April 2020

French & Indian Wars: 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

My second Sharp Practice/Rebels and Patriots unit for my French and Indian Wars based on the Forbes Expedition is one of the two regular units that comprised part of the force, the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot.

Fortunately, despite being part of the regular army, the 60th Americans were not as fancy looking as other regular foot regiments which was great from a painting point of view (no lace, yay!). There are various sources with contradictory information on the uniforms, most notably the colour of the gaiters (dark brown/natural leather/black) so I went with what I thought looked best.

The figures are again Galloping Major and I so enjoyed painting these that I've ordered a couple of units worth of Provincials to continue the project with...

Sunday, 12 April 2020

American War of Independence: 3rd Continental Light Dragoons (Washington's Horse)

Despite the nice weather I have been cracking on painting up bits of 'Lead Mountain' over the weekend, the latest unit off the painting bench being six U.S. 3rd Continental Light Dragoons (Washington's Horse), who fought at the Battles of Cowpens, Guildford Courthouse and Eutaw Springs, for my Rebels and Patriots army.

As with the vast majority of my Patriot army, these models are from Perry Miniatures, part of their metal range.

Once again I have used Army Painter dip and then some highlights over the top on lighter parts like the tunics and facings which gives them a grubby campaign look to their normally bright uniforms.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Rebels and Patriots: Taking the High Road to Yorktown...

Having played most of the scenarios in Rebels and Patriots, George and I have taken to trying scenarios from other Rampant rulesets and this time we chose Take the High Road scenario from The Men Who Would Be Kings as that had provided some great Colonial clashes. Unlike the original scenario with its fixed scenario length we chose the variable one most Rebels and Patriots scenarios have, deciding to end the game by rolling a D6 at the end of turn 9 and if the combined score of turns and dice score was 15 or higher the game would finish.

Following the Battle of Guildford Courthouse Cornwallis decided to fall back on a defensive position at Yorktown with various British columns being chased by American forces and small battles ensuing. This inspired our game with the retreating British finding an American company already in control of a vital road junction on the line of the main army's retreat...

Spotting the Patriot threat, the British commander deploys his force...

And advances forward, though the 1st Lights decide to hang back and admire the beautiful American scenery...

The British Legion and 23rd Welch Fusiliers lead the British advance on the right flank, with the 71st Highlanders in support, urged on by Banastre Tarleton! In the woods Virginian skirmishers take aim...

Meanwhile on the British left flank, the cunning American plan swings into action - to clear that side of the British light troops and then enfilade the main British army...

The American skirmishers start inflicting casualties on the advancing British and the 2nd Maryland move up in support...

Meanwhile on the other flank, the British skirmishers start taking pot shots at the Amercian militia...

One unit of Virginia Militia is Broken having taken a casualty and badly failed its test but a second moves through and advances on the skirmishers...

It takes a casualty and ends up with a Disorder marker having failed its check...

The Broken test requires and automatic Morale check, which the Militia unit badly fail causing them to Rout. This requires other units within 12 inches to take a Morale test too and whilst the 1st Maryland Continental Line and 1st Continental Artillery stand firm, the remaining two Militia units decide to "sod this for a game of soldiers" and Rout too!

In one turn, having only suffered two casualties, three 18-man strong Militia flee the battlefield. The American right flank had disintegrated and the American plan was in tatters!

More musket fire form the British left saw the 1st Maryland Disordered and 1st Continental Artillery Broken. My dice rolling was as bad as normal!

Whilst both rallied and continued to engage the opponents to their front, the battle was to be decided on the British right were George had focussed his main attack.

Having pushed the Virginian skirmishers back, the British Legion advanced into the wood into the guns of the 2nd Maryland!

With a cry of "Maryland! My Maryland!" they shoot down three of Tarleton's Raiders and Disorder them, forcing them out of the wood  in a round of hand to hand combat!

The 71st Highlanders then moved through the Legion with fixed bayonets to dig out the pesky Continentals!

However a round of fire from the Marylanders and supporting Virginian skirmishers on the Highlanders flanks stops them cold AND shoots Tarleton dead!

Whilst the Highlanders shrug off the loss of their general (they didn't like him much anyway), the British Legion, shocked by the death of their commander, rout!

The 2nd Maryland follow this up with another round of hand-to-hand combat against the Disordered 71st  who being Disordered were fighting at half effect and unsurprisingly are Broken and forced to fall back.

This was the end of turn 9 so I rolled a dice to see if I could bring the game to a conclusion with the Americans still holding onto the junction, albeit by the skin of their teeth! Needing a 6 I rolled a 5! :D

However at the end of the next turn (10) I repeated the roll so with a combined score of 15, the game was over and the Americans victorious!

A great game that ebbed and flowed, I really thought it was over when my right flank disappeared after my awful dice rolling for the Morale checks but the brave 2nd Maryland held up the British right long enough for night to fall and secure victory for the Americans. I was fortunate the game ended after turn 10 as the British still had enough of their army left to carry the field but time was as much their enemy as the 2nd Maryland!

After the game we had some discussion about the benefit, if any, in upgrading the Militia units from a standard 12 to a large 18 which I had done to make it take longer to reach half strength and a permanent Disorder market under the rules. That did seem irrelevant given their inability to hang around on the battlefield after taking minimal casualties, so it might be better to go back to the standard size in the hope they can get a couple of rounds of fire off before heading home - two 18 strong units roll 2 x 12 dice when firing, three 12 strong roll 3 x 12 so there is a benefit if I can get them into action.