Friday, 23 August 2013

WSS Blue Moon 15mm Infantry

There are various options for War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) period figures in 15mm (or Marlburian period, if you want to be all anglocentric) including Essex, Dixons, Minifigs, Irregular, Roundway, Lancashire Games, Black Hat and Freikorps to name but a few.  Actually that's quite a lot of choice if you think about it!
Infantry Officer
However, for my WSS project I decided to go for the Blue Moon (Old Glory) figures which are 15mm from the sole of the foot to the eye so, are actually probably more like 18mm figures.
Infantry Officer - Reverse
These troops don't have that stocky look that some figures have (so are similar to Minifigs in that regard) and are very nicely detailed I think, with only slighty visible mould lines and with flash usually only in the awkward gap between the sword scabbard and the leg.
Infantry NCO
Infantry command packs contain 10 figures and comprise two different officer poses, two different NCOs (when I compared two separate command packs there are at least three NCO variants), two drummers, and four ensigns.
Tricorn Infantry
Standard infantry packs contain 30 figures and there are slight pose and head variations in each pack.  I favour the march attack stance over the Minifig style of lunging forward precariously, or other odd postions that some manufacturers come up with, so the marching pose plus the variations available made these the obvious choice for me. 
Tricorn Infantry - Reverse
These are the basic Tricorn Infantry Marching (15MBN102) but there other types of infantry available including French with fuller coats and front-mounted cartridge box (could be used as Spanish), various types of grenadiers and "Infantry with Tricorn in Open Coats" (for summer campaigns presumably, or possibly for use as Prussians).

Nice figures I think and certainly more detailed than some of the competition.  If only my painting skills were up to it....

Friday, 16 August 2013

The WSS Project

Remarkably there has actually been activity on the War of the Spanish Succession front this summer.  The main achievements have been that a) some "15mm figures" from Blue Moon arrived (actually Old Glory Minatures UK Ltd) and b) I've decided what I am going to paint them as (well, the infantry at least).
Blue Moon 15mm Marlburians
When considering the WSS project my first thoughts turned to British and Dutch forces but Geoff has already got some Dutch regiments up and running (in addition to his French and Bavarian) so my attention turned to the Allies.  Although Marlborough led the Allies' campaigns there were troops from quite a number of other nations, which in fact often outnumbered the British contingent.

Looking through the OOB for the Battle of Blenheim, for example, it occured to me that the Danish brigades might be an interesting force to start with.  So my plan initially is to recreate Bielke's Brigade and Rebsdorff's Brigade under Lieutenant General Scholten, that formed part of the Allies' Austian right wing commanded by Eugène himself.  Note that I'm not aiming to copy the OOB for a particular battle, it's just that I like a bit of structure to what I'm planning.

Bielke's Regiments were:
  • Regiment of Foot Prince George (light grey coats, orange breeches, facings, etc.) (there were two battalions at the battle, but I'll just have one)
  • Regiment Dansk Den Kongelige Livgarde til fods (straw yellow coats, carmine red breeches, facings, etc.)
  • Regiment of Foot Prince Carl (light grey coats, grey breeches, yellow facings, etc.)
Rebsdorff's Regiments were:
  • Fynske Regiment of Foot (dark grey coats, green breeches, facings, etc.)
  • Sjaellandske Regiment of Foot (light grey coats, dark blue breeches, facings, etc.)
  • Regiment of Foot Christian Ulrich (light grey coats, grey breeches, crimson facings, etc.)
Uniform details are from CS Grant's excellent  The Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough's Wars Vol 1 (Partizan Press).  I also have ideas for some additonal regiments - probably British, as well as what Danish cavalry regiments to do.  I want to prepare a few Bourbon regiments as well, to supplement Geoff's French and Bavarians.  More of that, as well as the proposed rule set and basing, later.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Claymore 2013

Well, I managed to achieve something since I last posted and that was to get to Claymore 2013 in Edinburgh.  It's been somewhat of a tradition since our school days and Geoff and I must have been going to it since at least 1980 when it was held at Adam House in Chambers Street, through the Meadowbank years (I had a tenement flat right across the road at the time) and now at its current home, the Edinburgh College campus in Granton (on the old gasworks site).

Anyway, some interesting games were on (with fewer Very British Civil War offerings than previously).  A bit too many odd space battles in evidence though (surely that is what computers are for?): I'm afraid I take the historical wargamer bit seriously.  Anyway, here are some highlights.  First are some pictures from the 15mm SYW Zorndorf refight put on by the Gourock Wargames Association (GWA).
Prussian cavalry cross the Langer-Grund on their right.
Cavalry action in the woods.
View from behind Russian centre.
View of Prussian centre.
View of Russian centre.
Cossacks in the woods.
Overview from the Russian's right flank (the Zabern-Grund in the foreground).
Prussian artillery and infantry.
Figures were a mixture of Old Glory (mainly Prussians) and Essex (mainly Russians).  The GWA was using the Piquet ruleset and it seemed inspiring enough for me to go off and buy a copy afterwards (added to the pile, but more of that later no doubt).

The next game that caught my eye was the Glasgow and District Wargaming Society's 28mm WW2 scenario Raid on Tito, depicting the botched attempt by the Germans to mount a combined airborne and ground attack on Tito's headquarters near Drvar in what is now Bosnia.  Rules were Bolt Action and this game was particularly interesting to me as I have recently been reading Fitzroy MacLean's Eastern Approaches (amongst other things).
Tito's forces threaten to over-run the German LZ and glider.
Tito's headquarters.
Panzerschrek in the marsh.
Germans infiltrate the woods.
Partizans defend Drvar.
Overview of Drvar
Another interesting game was the Charge of the Light Brigade public participation event put on by Kirriemuir Wargames Club.  Rules were apparently based on the Tennyson poem of the same name (sub-titled Anyone for Tennyson?).  The aim, as you might expect, was to get (the remains of) your squadron to the 'safety' of the Russian guns at the far end of the Valley of Death.
What's that you say, Nolan?  Those guns over there?  Righto!
It'll all end in tears.
"Very interesting, but stupid."
Hurry up lads.  If we don't get there in time the pubs will be all shut.
Other games included some sort of barbarian attack on a Roman fort put on by Claymore Castings (excellent figures):
Oi, leave that testudo alone.
The Tyneside Wargames Club with a massive Great Captain rules demonstration:
And RAF Leuchars' participation game Banzai!  Looked like fun - although I thought the guy in the foreground moving the aerial sea urchins on sticks around had escaped from the kitchens at Pizza Express.
Met office forecast - Divine Wind, gale force 10, backing easterly.
The traders were out in full force and apart from impulse buying a copy of Piquet Field of Battle 2nd edition to try out (1700-1900), I added to my collection of unpainted Blue Moon 15mm Marlburians and got a copy of the Osprey book on Peleliu 1944, just for interest.  Anyway, overall not too bad and thanks again to the SESWC for keeping this show on and growing all these years.