Monday, 30 May 2011

The Battle of Fort Avila. Part 1

Fort Avila

The Battle of Fort Avila. 10th November 1808

Posties Rejects had a Napoleonic game last Saturday, I must admit, It was one of the best games I’ve ever played in and was a very close run thing, unfortunately we had to stop the game before the game had truly run its course, but we were all satisfied with the final result at the end. We started the game at 10am and finished at 430ishpm as I had to go to work!!

The sides

British - Surj, Spanish – Richard v Ray and Ian – French. The two French leaders were able to talk freely as their command bases were together, but the Allies were not allowed to talk and were only allowed to communicate by messengers.

Postie had set the game up and deployed all the troops, so there was no need for us to deploy, this saved a lot of time as all gamers will know. Postie gave both sides an order sheet, but also explained that things may happen during the game! Well what the hell’s that supposed to mean??? These “things”, caused mayhem and headaches for both sides throughout the game!!

The Battlefield

The French Orders

You have been sent to capture Fort Avila and to control the surrounding area including the coastline. News arrives that a British fleet has been sighted of the northern coast. The French also have 10 ladders they can share out amongst the troops, to attack the fort.

The Spanish Orders

The French have arrived, hold out as long as you can, do not let the French capture the Fort at all costs. A peasant arrives with news that a British fleet is anchoring off the northern coast with British reinforcements onboard. The French must suffer for every inch of land they take as they advance toward you.

The British Orders

Spies have intercepted French messages stating that an attack will be made on the vital coastal Fortress of Avila. You are in command of a small army sent to help the Spanish and secure the safety of the fort and surrounding area from the forces of Bonaparte.

The French

1st Division

1st Brigade - 1st,2nd and 3rd Battalions of 14th Line and 15th Legere,
2nd Brigade - 70th Line, Paris Municipal Guard 4th Swiss (elite) and 4th Legere (elite)

2nd Division
1st Brigade - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of 2nd Vistula Legion, 27th Legere (elite)
2nd Brigade - 4 units of Combined Grenadiers (elite) (Not on the table at the start)

2 x Siege Artillery
1 x Med Artillery
1 company of Pioneers

Cavalry Division
1st Brigade – 23rd and 25th Dragoons (Not on the table at the start)
2nd Brigade - 1st Hussars and 10th Chasseurs a Cheval

The Spanish

1st Division
Garrison in fortress - 2 Militia Battalions, Avila and Tuy
Garrison in fortress - Betanzos Militia and 1st Aragon Light Infantry (Not on the table at the start)

Cavalry 2nd Brigade - 5th Borbon Horse and 5th Villavicosa Dragoons (Not on the table at the start)

2 x Heavy Artillery
1 x Light Artillery (Not on the table at the start)

The British

1st Division
1st Brigade - 1st and 2nd Battalion of Royal Marines and 1 Battalion of Sailors (all elite)
2nd Brigade – 38th, 5th, 36th Line, 5/ 60th Rifles (elite)

1x light Artillery

The British army loading onto their boats
 Before the start of the game the British had to throw an average dice, Surj threw a 5, giving him 5 free turns to try and land his boats, each boats threw 2 average dice per move, then 1 D6, if a 1 was thrown the boat could sink, losing the landing crew or spring a leak and start to slow. Surj threw very well and everything made it to the shore apart from 1 man from the Light gun and the limber. So no real damage was done, except that Surj didn’t realise until later that most of his light artillery’s ammo was sunk along with the limber. He he!!!

Postie picked this ship up at a show a few years ago for just £30, a bargin if I've ever seen one!

Nearly there

Another unexpected action in the game then followed. The French could also throw an Average dice to see how many free fires it could take against the walls of the fort, before the game started, I threw a 3 and caused 9 hits, unfortunately we did not know the number it would take to cause a breach.

Turn 1
The French won the initiative and moved first. All the French Infantry advance toward the fortress, while the Cavalry marched off in column to try and block the bridges, to stop the British advance. The Brits moved toward both the bridges. The fortress took 1 more hit onto the Breach making 10 hits all together. The first casualty of the day was from the 10th Chasseur a Cheval, who were fired upon by Heavy gun No2 from the fort.
The French Infantry start their march to take the fort.

The French 1st Hussars and 10th Chasseurs a Chaval

The Elite British Marines and Sailors nearing the village of Nemo

The 5/60th advancing through the woods
 Turn 2

The French won the first move again and kept up the mass advance, with the Cavalry still heading for the bridges. The British 1st Brigade moved passed the small village of Nemo, just in from the coast towards the bridge. 2 more hits were inflicted on the walls of the fort, now making 12. The Spanish heavy guns inflicted heavy casualties on the French 14th Line killing 4 figures and taking out the Brigade leader as well. Even after the devastation the 14th managed to pass their morale check. The other Spanish gun took 2 figures off of the 70th Line.

A view of the Battlefield at the start of turn 2

The French advance

Here come the French

The British 1st Division, 1st Brigade 1st & 2nd Marines and Sailors

The French 10th Chasseurs a Chaval.

During the game we took far too many photos to include in one post, so I've split the battle report into three parts. Part 2 will follow in a couple of days.
Thanks for reading the post

Thursday, 26 May 2011

FIW French Marines 15mm Comparison photos

Essex, Matchlock and Blue Moon
As some of you will know, I'm in the middle of painting up both sides for the French Indian Wars. My collection is mainly made up of Essex figures, FreiKorps, MiniFigs and the recently re-released Matchlock. Then all of a sudden there's a brand new range from Blue Moon, after reading some of the reviews I was quite saddened to here that they were not that compatible with other ranges, being closer to 18mm. After admiring them for a couple of months, with a few Essex figures in my pocket i bought my first pack from Old Glory at Salute, I was going to buy the Indian villagers pack to go with my newly constructed longhouses, but for some stupid reason I forgot to go to the stand, by the time i got there they'd sold out!
Anyway I bought one pack of their Compagneis Franches de la Marine, the figures were the subject in my last post. I must say that I was very pleased with them, mostly because in my opinion they fit in well with my other figures, which is kind of bad news really, as now I might just have to buy some more!!! I've included a few comparison photos, to give you their scale against other makes.Marine

Essex, Blue Moon, Matchlock and MiniFigs

Essex, Blue Moon, Matchlock, Blue Moon and MiniFigs

I've included the next two photos to show you the leader of my French Marines, the figure is from Matchlock, I believe he is supposed to be a rendition of Captain Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Lienard de Beaujeu, better known just as Capt Beaujeu, who was the commander of the French forces at the Battle of Monongahela. He is a great figure, and is just what the Blue Moon pack is missing, an officer in undress.

 My last photo are the first of my French dead, as I'm going to use a skirmish based set of rules, I thought I better get some casualties, these figures are from another manufacturer, Irregular Miniatures. The figures are from their Marlburian range, the French uniform hadn't changed much between the periods, so I think I can get away with it!!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Recently Painted No 28 Compagnies Franches de la Marine

Another newly painted unit for my French & Indian project, these figures are from the new 15mm  Blue Moon range and in my opinion they're some of the best out there. I only found one problem with the pack and that's that the three officers have a coat on, while all the rank and file are in their waistcoats, it would have been nice to have a few officers dressed in waistcoats too, but never mind I'm sure I'll cope!!

As their title suggests, the colonial regulars consisted of a number of independent companies with a variable establishment. By 1757, a company was ordered to consist of one captain, one lieutenant, two ensigns, three sergeants, four corporals, two cadets, two drummers, and fifty-four soldiers. In fact, the companies were chronically under strength, and Governor Vaudreuil's complaint in 1757 that the colonials were 250 men short was all too typical.
Some of the companies were formed into a battalion in 1757 for service with Montcalm's regular army battalions. Twenty-four companies of colonial regulars were stationed at Louisbourg during the 1750s, although Louisbourg was not even considered part of New France, but a separate colony of "Isle Royale" with its own establishment.
The assignments of colonial regulars varied greatly. Some were posted to garrison the major fortified cities of Quebec and Montreal, while others were subdivided into garrisons for the small fortified outposts guarding the frontiers and supply routes. Small detachments were sent to protect the advance trading posts, which supplied the profitable fur trade of New France.
Officers from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine were selected to organize and command war-parties of Canadian militia and their unpredictable Indian allies, for swift raids across the New England borders. These war-parties usually included at least one company of colonial regulars to provide a dependable disciplined nucleus for the improvised units.They became experienced bush fighters and a match for the Indians in their own hit-and-run style of fighting. Their skill in moving and fighting over the rugged Canadian terrain was far superior to that of the regular army units.
The colonial regulars formed the backbone of the French push down the Ohio valley, which began in 1752 to limit the westward expansion ofthe New England colonies. In July 1755, the operation culminated in the defeat of Major-General Edward Braddock's column of British regulars at The Battle of Monongahela by a mixed force of colonial regulars, militiamen, and Indians.
From February to April 1756, about 60 men from the Compagnies franches de la Marine took part to the expedition against Fort Bull which captured and destroyed the fort. From May to August, a few companies took part to the operations on Lake Ontario where the French captured and destroyed Fort Oswego. Several companies were also left at Carillon to defend the place until late October.

From January to March 1757, 300 men from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine took part to a raid on Fort William Henry, destroying the fleet of small vessels destined to the invasion of Canada. In July and August, a converged battalion of Compagnies Franches de la Marine accompanied Montcalm's force in his expedition against Fort William Henry which was captured and destroyed.
On March 13 1758, Indian scouts located a party of Rogers' Rangers near Fort Carillon. A small detachment of the unit was among the party sent against them. They skirmished with them in what later became know as Th Battle of Snow Shoes. In mid June, some 600 Troupes de la Marinewere ordered to move to Carillon. These troops were kept in reserve at Carillon with the 3rd battalion of Berry Infanterie. By mid July, additional companies had reached Carillon and Montcalm formed 2 battalions (Valterie and Lacorne) of 1,000 men each from the Troupes de la Marine. These units which also included some Canadians were placed under the command of M. de Rigaud. Valterie’s battalion encamped near the Fall while Lacorne's battalion was posted at the head of Lake Saint-Sacrement (actual Lake George) with orders to reconnoitre this lake. On July 8, several companies took part in the victorious battle of Carillon. Additional companies arrived during the battle and immediately joined the fight. At the beginning of September, Lacorne's battalion retired to the Fall leaving only 200 men to guard the outlet of Lake Saint-Sacrement. Between November 1 and 5, the entire French army quitted Carillon to move to its winter quarters, leaving detachments from various battalions to guard the fort.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Viking Flags 7

I haven't posted any Viking flags for some time so I thought I'd post a few more today. The first flag is obviously a Longship flag, the second is an eagle flag, while the third is a generic Celt/Viking pattern,  of course these can be used for any Dark Age army of the period not just the Vikings!!
I'm not sure if I like the shields on the Longship flag I may take them off, what do you think??


Friday, 20 May 2011

Lord Wenlock WotR Banners and flags 1471

These are the second set of flags that I was commissioned to make for Greg, for the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. Once again Greg has given me permission to share the flags on my blog. The first two flags are drawn  from Hobilar booklets while the last two are alternative versions, using the same distinctions.
 During the Wars of the Roses, Lord Sir John Wenlock initially fought for the House of Lancaster in the First Battle of St Albans on 22 May, 1455, but his relationship with Warwick led him to subsequently change sides, and it was as a Yorkist that he served as Speaker of the House of Commons later that year in the parliament of 1455. By the Battle of Blore Heath in 1459 Wenlock fought for the House of York. He also fought under the Yorkist banner in the Battle of Mortimer's Cross, the Second Battle of St Albans and the Battle of Towton.
Having successfully besieged the Tower of London for Edward of York, he was part of the latter's triumphal entry into London in 1461 and was elected a knight of the garter a few days after. Later in the year he received appointment as Chief Butler of England and was made Baron Wenlock. In 1464 he helped Lord Hastings capture Dunstanburgh Castle.
He continued to undertake diplomatic missions for Edward IV, and had command of Calais for him (possibly as deputy of Warwick). When Warwick defected to the Lancastrian camp, Wenlock did not immediately follow him back, however his sympathies clearly remained with his friend, and by 1471 he too had switched sides, accompanying Margaret of Anjou back to England.
At the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4 May, 1471, he commanded the middle of the Lancastrian line. However, the Lancastrians suffered a crushing defeat, and Wenlock died on the battlefield. He was allegedly killed by his own commander, the Duke of Somerset, who blamed Wenlock's indecisiveness for the defeat. The Duke of Somerset had led the right flank of the Lancastrian line forward, and expected Wenlock to support him, but Wenlock held back (some suggest deliberately) and the Duke's men were slaughtered. After the Duke's flank retreated he summoned Wenlock and supposedly killed him with a single blow of his mace to the head. One historian goes so far as to call him “The Prince of turncoats”.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Reasons to go to Wargame shows??

3 or is it 6??? reasons why we go to Wargame shows. 

1. Is for to pick up that big order from Gripping Beast, that you placed online last week?
2. Is it to compete in a Flames of War tournament? 
3. Is it because you need to see the new releases from your favourite companies?
4. Is it just a day out for the boys? 
5. Is it to get 5 minutes peace from the Mrs and kids?
6. Is it see see the lovely ladies below???

I had to include the last picture, I've blacked out the ladies face, I hope she doesn't see it, whoever she is?
And I'll leave it at that..........

Both the photo's were taken at Salute this year, By Joe Dever. 

Monday, 16 May 2011


A big thanks to all you, my followers, my blog has reached the 300!!!! follower mark. Also a thank you to those of you who follow but don't click the follow button, you too are greatly appreciated. It's great to know so many people like my figures, flags and silly posts!!!


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Recently Painted No 27 Fitzhardinge's Dragoons 1692

The Monmouth’s rebellion scared Parliament into forming the first standing Army in 1685, among it six regiments of horse and two of Dragoons. It was constituted of six troops, raised by the honourable John Berkeley and named after him as "Berkeley’s Dragoons" it’s recruiting area for all of the troops was Wessex. Berkeley married Barbera Villiers, an intimate friend of the King’s younger daughter, Princess Anne. Thus came about the first title of the Regiment "The Princess Anne of Denmark’s Regiment of Dragoons". In October Berkeley’s Dragoons rode into London to be inspected by the King, a critical Commander, who was nevertheless impressed with them. For the next three years the regiment came to annual summer camp on Hounslow Heath. In the glorious revolution of 1688, the Regiment performed the same role as most of the King’s Army changing to William of Oranges side when the Monarchs position became untenable.

In 1689 Berkeley’s Dragoons saw their first action in Scotland fighting against those still loyal to King James. The following year Fitzhardinge took over the colonelcy from Berkeley and the title of Princess Anne’s Regiment fell into disuse. In 1692 the Regiment went to Flanders to fight against the French for six years, a tedious succession of marching and counter marching waiting to catch the enemy unawares. In 1692 they fought at Steenkirk, a badly orchestrated defeat in which Fitzardinge’s Dragoons lost 130 Killed, despite their conspicuous gallantry. The colonelcy changed again in 1693, when the Earl of Essex took over for almost twenty years. Two years later the Regiment helped to recapture the fortress of Namur. After the peace of Ryswick in 1697, Essex’s Dragoons returned to Yorkshire, a blooded Cavalry Regiment.

The figures are 15mm  by Essex Miniatures, bases are from Warbases and flags are by me! They're based up for BLB, there are 2 squadron's and two bases of dis-mounted Dragoons.

Thanks for looking