Wednesday 26 May 2021

Peninsular War: Fucilieri 4a Fanteria di Linea

The final bunch of troops (for the time being) are three groups of Italian Fusiliers for the 4th Line. 

I wanted these troops to look like more campaign weary so I used the covered shakoes that come in the Perry French Napoleonic Infantry Battalion 1807-14 box as well as adding a handful of infantry in greatcoats from the French Napoleonic Line Infantry 1812-15 box (the greatcoats conveniently hiding the Bardin 1812 uniform coats!)

Unlike the previous conscripts I wanted these guys to looks like they had been in the Peninsular for some time so in addition to the covered shakoes and greatcoats, some were painted with the locally produced brown cloth trousers.

Basing wise I have gone for my 'Mexican' look as I thought that was pretty similar to the hot dusty plains of Spain! 

I also painted up a Sergente as one of two Leaders for the formation (the Capitano will hopefully be finished before I head off to BIG tonight) and a drummer. The latter was somewhat problematical as it was hard to find a definitive answer to his uniform, finding examples in white, green and red coats. In the end I went for red for the contrast to the rest of the 4th Line's white, but am not certain it is correct.

Next up should be the Foot Artillery and some Cacciatore (Chasseur) cavalry but not before these guys are pitched against the might of Spain...

Peninsular War: Volteggiatori 4a Fanteria di Linea

I managed to finish the basing on two groups of Voltigeur skirmishers for my Kingdom of Italy line infantry last night and varnish them first thing this morning as the weather was nice...

The figures are some of the more active (ie. non-marching) ones from the Perry Elite Companies, French Infantry 1807-14 set, something of a mix of running and loading/priming/firing poses.

Unlike the Conscript Fusiliers and Grenadiers I posted about yesterday, these guys are more campaign worn with oilskin covered shakos (apart from the Primo Corporale and Corporale leader figures who have uncovered shakos), some also having the quintessential locally sourced replacement brown cloth trousers worn by both sides in the Peninsular War.

Just the basing left to do on three groups of Fusiliers to be ready for BIG this evening, hopefully the weather will hold so I can get them varnished before I head off...

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Peninsular War: Granatieri 4a Fanteria di Linea

Next up for my Kingdom of Italy Sharp Practice force are two groups of Grenadiers from the 4th Line Infantry Regiment with an officer...

These are made up from the Perry Miniatures Elite Companies, French Infantry 1807-14 box set which has a mix of marching and more active poses, for the Grenadiers I wanted them to be marching resolutely on the enemy!

As with the conscript Fusiliers I went with regulation uniform. I did toy with painting some in non-regulation trousers (as I am doing with the other Fusiliers and the Voltigeurs) but decided their Tenente was a bit of a stickler for his men being properly turned out so went with the full white uniform and bearskins, painted up using the same technique as the conscripts.

Next up (if I get the last bits done this evening) some Voltigeurs skirmishing...

Peninsular War: Coscritti Fucilieri 4a Fanteria di Linea

For the best part of some three decades I have always fancied raising a Kingdom of Italy Napoleonic army. I can't recall why but somewhere in 'Lead Mountain' is the start of a Battle Honours 15mm Italian line regiment, perhaps it was the white uniforms... Fast forward 30 odd years and the release of the Perry pre-1812 French rekindled the fancy and having decided to take part in a Peninsular Sharp Practice event at BIG in June (and having no 28mm Napoleonics!) I thought the time had come!

Whilst I only need 85 points for the event I have planned out over 100 to allow for some options and also with a view to maybe play some Napoleonic Rebel & Patriots games. With a month to go to the event I thought I needed to get some Napoleonic practice in (with Andy volunteering to blood them against his Spanish) and have broken the back of the army finishing the first groups this morning.

First up are two groups of Fusilier conscripts from the 4th Line Regiment made up from the Perry French Napoleonic Infantry Battalion 1807-14 box.

With the plan to have some more campaign weary Fusiliers that will form the core of the army, these two groups of newly raised conscripts have uncovered shakos and are in regulation uniform. That said they are supposed to be in the field so they are not parade ground in appearance.

To get the final look of the uniforms I painted Army Painter Soft Tone dip over a white undercoat but took care not to allow it to pool too heavily in any folds or creases before carefully dry brushing Vallejo White Grey on any cloth areas and pure White on any leather. I think this has worked nicely giving the uniforms a nice linen look.

The officer was painted up in a (not untypical) non-standard blue undress coat and green breeches (a nod to the uniform worn previously by the troops of the Kingdom of Italy).

Next up some Grenadiers...

Thursday 20 May 2021

Sharp Practice: Take Up Our Arms and Go With Speed...

HARK, hark, the sound of war is heard, 
And we must all attend; 
Take up our arms and go with speed, 
Our country to defend. 
(War Song, 1776) 

So after an enforced winter break to our AWI campaigning, Andy and myself met up at BIG to restart the adventures of the infamous Lobsterback Lt. Carlyle, Esq. and his attempts to extinguish the flame of liberty! 

We decided to play the 'Escort Mission' scenario from the main rulebook to allow Andy to field his new cart he'd painted up during lockdown with a table similar to the Georgetown crossroads but with Andy's lovely new Charlie Foxtrot farmhouse taking pride of place on the table. 

In the scenario the whole escorting force enters the table on turn one and gets a full turn of movement. Lieutenant Carlyle's Redcoat Line and Light Infantry Skirmishers being supported by a group of Tory Militia Skirmishers and some recently raised Tory Provincial Line.

The noble Continental Line next entered the field of battle, the dashing Captain Blackmore flashing his blade dramatically to catch the eye of a young lady standing on the porch of the farmhouse...

These were followed by a group of Patriot Militia Skirmishers under the command of Corporal Hughes who moved across the fields to protect the Continentals flank from the machinations of the British Light Infantry Skirmishers.

Under the command of Ensign Harrow, supported by Sergeant Brown the Light Infantry Skirmishers moved swiftly across the green fields of the colonies...

Whilst Lieutenant Carlyle advanced up the road with his right flank protected by the Tory forces...

Having moved quickly up to the fence line the British Light Infantry Skirmishers engaged the Rebel Skirmishers in the fields, killing one.

However Captain Blackmore, looking to impress that young lady no doubt, moved his force swiftly up to the crossroads, snapping into line and blocking the British advance. Sing of Liberty boys!

Lieutenant Carlyle attempted to move his Line Infantry off the road into the woodland alongside, but they make something of a pig's ear of it due to some poor dice rolling by Andy.

Meanwhile the Continental Light infantry arrived and moved up the American left flank to take on the Tory Provincials and Militia...

Having reached the crossroad first, Captain Blackmore ordered his troops to present, then fire!!!

Musket balls fly into the ranks of the redcoats killing three and inflicting Shock on all the groups. Not as decisive a volley as I'd hoped for.

Rather belatedly the local Rebel Militia arrive under the command of Lieutenant Lord with orders to advance across the fields and cover the Continentals right flank.

Waiting for the Militia Line to arrive, two groups of Militia Skirmishers exchange fire with the Redcoat Skirmishers, Corporal Hughes' group rashly moving up to the rail fence line to engage the enemy at close range.

This proved too tempting a target for Ensign Harrow who ordered his men to charge across the road throwing tomahawks at the rash Rebels!

Despite the protection of the rail fence the Rebels were annihilated with four being killed and Corporal Hughes fleeing with the other survivor. The American Force Morale took a bit of a hit here.

Meanwhile on the American left, Lieutenant Paice charged his Light Infantry up to the Tory Militia Skirmisher position...

And whilst they took a couple of points of Shock from the enemy fire on the way in...

They routed the Tory Skirmishers and wounded their commander Corporal Jackson!

Crossing the rail fence into the orchard the Continental Lights came under fire from the Tory Provincials under Lieutenant Savage who inflicted a couple more points of Shock on the Americans.

Meanwhile back in the centre the battle was about to take a decisive turn. Realising his flank was now exposed to the British Light Infantry, Captain Blackmore detached one group of Continental Line who charged in bayonets fixed. Whilst they pushed back one group and wounded Sergeant Brown in the process, the Americans were counted charged by the other group of Lobsterback Lights the combat seeing the American group reduced to half strength, taking with Shock and being forced back...

Meanwhile Lieutenant Carlyle managed to sort out his Regulars who Presented and fired a Crashing Volley (which doubles shock) into the Continental Line!

Four more Americans fell to the British fire and Shock was piled on them.

The British Lights charged the detached group of Continental Line who took more Shock, broke and ran away though the other Continental groups loading more Shock onto them!

This calamity saw the American Force Morale drop to precarious levels!

Before they had any chance to retrieve the situation (if indeed it was retrievable) Ensign Harrow charged his small group of Light Infantry Skirmishers into the flank of the wavering Continental Line...

Who promptly collapsed, one soldier falling dead, the remainder fleeing leaving behind Captain Blackmore who had been knocked down to be captured by the British! 

And that, was that and the American Force Morale plummeted to zero...

Well that was something of an unmitigated disaster which is all Captain Blackmore's fault for trying to impress that young lady at the farm and nothing to do with my generalship! :D 

Seriously the six month 'winter quarters' must have addled my brain as I forgot to do some of the basics here like 'consolidate your force', 'protect your flanks' etc. and my use of the powerful Continental Lights on the left flank rather silly - I should have put them up against the British Lights.

Hopefully I will have shaken off my early season rustiness before I cross swords with Andy again...

Saturday 15 May 2021

Maximilian Affair: Viva Juarez!

I'm really not quite sure where the last two months have gone... I have not been slacking and a Kingdom of Italy army for a Sharp Practice event at BIG at the end of June is coming along nicely (expect photos soon) and money has been splashed on Stargrave. The easing of lockdown rules next week means that Tuesday will see my first gaming in six months, hopefully I'll remember the rules!

One thing I'd like to get up and running, over the summer possibly, would be some Maximilian Affair games using Rebels & Patriots and I was excited to see yesterday that The Virtual Armchair General has released two sourcebooks called Viva Juarez! which given the mass of information in their Sudan volumes I just had to have. Unfortunately the TVAG website is not (shall we say) very 21st century and whilst I was not put off by the $30 and $40 price per volume (given the excellent Sudan volumes) the probability of another $45 for postage and Lord knows what the Post Office would bill for VAT, duty and their "admin fee' was off putting (and I couldn't find an order button to push on the TVAG website!)

My 'Eureka' moment was recalling I'd picked up the Sudan volumes off Amazon and whilst not expecting them to have them yet (or at all) I was pleasantly surprised to find they had both Volume One (for £21.45) and Volume Two (for £28.60), post free.

They will be in my hands tomorrow... :-)