Wargame Rules


RAISING MINIATURE ARMIES FOR THE LATE 18TH CENTURY

I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible yet capture the character of the 1790s. Accordingly, most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies.

Followers

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Scratch Built Mediterranean Houses

Not much painting of figures lately, but I was interested to try my hand at using some corrugated cardboard which had arrived as packaging, and I had kept aside for about six months. The idea was to put together some smaller farm buildings which could serve in the French Revolution, or for many other conflicts in southern Europe over several centuries. Working on and off over two days, completed three buildings, and improved the roof on another older model.
MGB





Friday, 13 October 2017

British Corps of Marines at Greenwich

In addition to wargaming the French Revolutionary Wars, I also founded and run a living history group portraying Captain Pellew's Landing Party, being a detachment of Royal Navy and British marines c.1793. Earlier this year we were commissioned to support, over four days, a tall ships event in London. Those visiting the event must have numbered tens of thousands, and some fine photos were taken of our living history display. Imagine the surprise when having a chat with a wargaming friend, Chris Gregg, it turns out that he had spent some time photographing our portrayal with neither of us being aware of each others attendance. Here are a few photos taken of this event, including some by Chris. May I also invite followers to visit his own blog as he has a reputation for painting military subjects, and special commissions can be negotiated. (See Links)
MGB






Sunday, 24 September 2017

Scratch built Windmill 14th to 18th Century

Finally decided to build a generic windmill, suitable for use in several periods. This is based on the type that appeared in Spain in the 14th century but continued as a popular style for many centuries more. The basic wood cylinder was originally part of a sugar container picked up in a charity shop for £1. My plan included, however, the incorporation of a Swiss music box that was previously part of my late mother's jewellery box, which also included a spinning ballerina. The tune being a fairly well known Spanish melody. With no intention of keeping the jewellery box, I could see a fun potential if I could include it in my windmill model; music and moving sails no less.  Pleased to report, it works, and I can't help smiling each time I wind the key inside the cylinder.
MGB

                                 






Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Legion des Allobroges, all three sections form up

Among my recent castings are some cavalrymen for my Allobroges Legion. And I have also just put together a few artillerymen to operate the legion's own artillery section.
MGB





Monday, 11 September 2017

A Surprise Night Attack in Flanders, 1793

With a guest staying over on Friday night, we decided it would be nice to have a small scale war-game set during the French Revolutionary Wars. The simple scenario comprised a town in Flanders held by a brigade of Republican troops. Although the garrison was of mixed quality it was well fortified in their positions. Now the Allies besieging the town outnumbered this garrison but time was against a prolonged siege and so, a brigade of elite Allied troops with several gentleman volunteers would make a surprise night attack against a key redoubt. As silence was vital to the likely success of this action it was decided that flints should be removed from all firelocks to stop misfires. It would take a full stationary move to replace these flints, but only if the enemy had become aware of this assault, and they were so ordered.

The garrison commander had wisely established several outworks where company strong units had been posted to forewarn of any likely attacks. And, every MOVE, the garrison commander would dice to see if they fired a flare (dice 5 or 6), if this occurred, any unit within 24" of the Allied column should also through a dice to see if they spot the approaching column (dice 5 or 6).

Movement by the allies would be difficult, good or bad there was to be no moonlight for this surprise attack. The Brigade was to comprise a column of three battalions, each formed up in line. A dice would determine the move distance for each battalion.

For the record, the ALARM would comprise shouting for that MOVE, firing could only occur on the following MOVE. A charge move is not determined by dice (8") but usual reductions for terrain may apply, and a dice must be thrown by the garrison to see if the alarm is given during the charge. Or were the sentries fast asleep?

WELL THAT DIDN'T FOLLOW THE PLAN AT ALL
At the agreed time the column set off towards the objective. But the ground was exceedingly boggy and movement was dreadfully slow. The two rear battalions also fell somewhat behind as the ground was now a quagmire. (After four moves the column had barely covered six inches.) The first flare appeared in the sky, but no further reaction. A second flare followed on move six, and a company of grenadiers in a local barn reacted. The total alarm now spread quickly, even the dark could not limit occasional casualties as the column received fire on both flanks, and a battery of 8pdrs opened up on their front. With all hope lost of taking the official position, George, commanding the column, advanced two battalions at the right flank outpost Not particularly fortified and manned by the Batave Legion infantry and some Paris National Guard chasseurs, their musketry could not stop a fair charge, and after a brief melee left the field in a rout. But with casualties mounting, and with no hope of securing the official position, George decided to pull out. Now the French commander, Chris, saw this as no such conclusion, and pursued with his white-coated grenadier company and several companies of Foot Gendarmes. Here, at least, the 18th Regiment of Foot about faced and delivered a volley which scattered the French grenadiers, and the Allied column returned to their camp. Casualties for the Allies on a 1:25 ratio were as follows: Loyal Emigres 500 strong (300 K+W),  Light Battalion 500 strong (100 K+W), 18th Foot 500 strong (25 K+W). The Garrison lost: French Grenadiers (50 K+W), Batave Legion (125 K+W), but a further 425 are reported as missing during the night. So, the surprise night attack failed, but that is fate (and Chris is peculiarly lucky with war-games dice!). A special prize to the gallantry of the Loyal Emigres,  forced to retire with over 50% casualties but never routing, and also to the accuracy of the French artillery crews.

NOTE This game had two objectives. Firstly to capture some of the stress in carrying out a surprise attack. Secondly, to fight a game which would take no more than two hours to actually set up and play. Both were fully achieved at 1 hour, 57 minutes.
MGB











Monday, 4 September 2017

Hussars of Death c.1792

Recently completed this unit of French cavalry. At least two revolutionary units of hussars wore black uniforms. This one, raised in Paris, mustered 130 to 190 men, formed into one squadron of two companies. It only had a brief service record but was quite active, mainly in the North, before being incorporated into the 13th Chasseurs. These are my own castings on Hinchcliffe horses. There are several variations given for the uniform, such as a black wool shabraque, but supply issues could explain these differences.
MGB


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

French Cavalry c.1792 FIELD DAY

My original collection comprised six squadrons of cavalry, with a modest total of 36 troopers. With my adoption of a 1:25 ratio, and linked to typical field returns, the corps of cavalry has been increased and also revamped. Here are photos of some of the units now ready for active service, with guidons having been issued. Those in green/yellow are the 4th Chasseurs, the green/pink belong to the 7th Chasseurs. Next is the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Those in grey/red belong to the 3rd Hussars, those in blue/red belong to the 4th Hussars. The unit with mirliton hats and green/pink coats are the Moselle Legion Hussars (aka Kellermann's). Most of the above are Dixon Miniatures, but the Moselle hussars are my own on Hinchcliffe horses.
MGB