Thursday, 8 September 2011
Monday, 5 September 2011
Monday, 1 August 2011
"Ti-ra-la-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!" So crows Beetle and his friends in Stalky and Co. It's clear that while Kipling's characters received a fair number of beatings, as were routinely applied to erring children of his times, they might well have both merited and benefited from a few more. For all that, I am pleased with current events and my glee is exhibited in excesses only a degree less exaggerated than those of the obnoxious Beetle. At the age of 50+ this is I accept, albeit with no great consternation, rather sad.
Sunday, 24 July 2011
The Croat Peril
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
My latest efforts at sculpting have reached the stage where they are worth photographing: the magnification in a photo can show flaws that I will all too readily miss when handling the figure. Both figures have their knees rather akimbo: but the problem is not, I hope, too pronounced, and will not be visible on a wargames table.
Officer and Croat, Interrupted
The left hand figure is a dismounted officer to help control the companies of Imperial infantry that I have already produced. The figure's right hand is empty. It is easy enough to fit a piece of beaten wire representing a sword, whereas trying to gravity cast something as thin as a sword rarely works.
The right hand figure is the return of my first attempt at a Croat. I put this to one side after my first attempt casting it resulted in little more than a vaguely humanoid blob. The basic proportions were fine, although the details that I had sculpted were very bad. But I have redetailed it to look rather more convincing than before. As usual, the musket barrel is not present, my intention being to add one made from brass rod to each figure after it has been cast.
My desire to get this figure sorted was prompted by the unhappy impact the enemy Frei Corps had upon my army in its recent defeat. My line infantry might be expected to fail me, but an Imperial army should never find itself at a disadvantage in irregular warfare while there are Croats available.
Thursday, 24 February 2011
If you are going to have a plan, it had better be a good plan. In this particular case, my plan was an indifferent one, and its implementation was equally lacking. The key to its chances lay in the performance of the left flank cavalry: Kurassiere Regt Hohenzollern. These worthies had the job of blocking the enemy's right wing when it tried to come to the assistance of its left: against whom the rest of my army was supposed to hurl itself.
Kurassier Regt. Hohenzollern Loses Badly
Unfortunately, van Erp chose the simple remedy of masking the Hohenzollern's by charging them with his own Dragoon regiment. As I had formed my cuirassiers into a single formation this left me with nothing to halt the progress of his remaining right flank units.
With both sides fielding twelve sabres in their front rank, it seemed to me that the melee between the Hohenzollerns and van Erp's dragoons was exactly equal. The dice, however, saw things differently and chose this moment to pass severe judgement on the relative quality of the forces of the Reichsarmee. The result was that I lost seven troopers in one round of melee without inflicting any casualties on the dragoons in return. While I couldn't blame the dice on grounds of historical authenticity I did feel rather let down by this turn of events.
Van Erp's Dragoons repeatedly charged, and although the Hohenzollerns held their own in subsequent rounds, they were finally forced off the field of battle, leaving the Dragoons still in fighting trim and positioned to the left rear of my crumbling battle line.
Preparing To Charge
Meanwhile, on the far right, my Cuirassiers had charged the enemy infantry battalion and had come off worse. It had taken some casualties from musketry as it charged and then failed miserably in the subsequent melee. I had never expected to overcome a full strength line battalion with a cavalry charge, but was hoping to enfeeble it sufficiently for my following line infantry to have little difficulty in overcoming it. In the event, the enemy infantry emerged almost unscathed while my cavalry had taken a serious knock. In subsequent turns I split the cavalry in two, one part charging to red ruin against the same infantry battalion to halt its progress for a moment, while the other part attempted to punish the enemy light infantry company that had advanced without any care for its flanks. Even here the dice throws were indifferent and the enemy light infantry survived.
With my attack plainly failing. My line infantry halted and attempted to make some form of defence. With van Erp's succours arriving from his right this was never going to last long. My artillery did finally show some fighting spirit, with a couple of sixes removing a full company of his grenadiers. But its supporting infantry proved feeble and at last the gun was overrun by a charge by his light infantry company, who took some hurt in the charge but showed the by now customary Hessian superiority in the melee. Having reached half strength, the Freikorps then withdrew taking the sole surviving gunner with them: Jim informed me they had spiked the gun although, with no-one left to man it, this mattered little. No doubt, adding insult to injury, they left behind a rude note too.
A Plan Unravelled
By this time there was no doubt that the battle was a decisive victory for van Erp, and so we halted proceedings. I could feel a little let down by the dice, but there was no doubt that van Erp richly deserved his victory. I shall console myself by reflecting that I had simulated the performance of the Reichsarmee only too well.