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Thursday, 30 June 2022

Shinyloo 4- Shinymanca !

Now ensconced in our new venue a band of 4 stout members convened for a game  this month.

 I was in the chair and decided to get the shinies out since it has been more than a few months indeed years since this collection of retro models has seen the light of day. Indeed I checked back and it has been  Three YEARS since thse fellas were last on the table. 

The scenario would be based very very loosely upon the battle of Salamanca - or so I thought when I laid out the terrain  but well - as you shall see it wasn't.

Part of the British force.

So the scene was set the beer was pulled - well lager actually but Moretti is very drinkable on a warm June day and Young and Lawford's Charge was to be used for the fighting - with no amendments simply because I wanted to re-familiarise myself with the rules as they were written before I started fiddling about. So very retro old chap. 

Some of the French.

 The forces were somewhat larger than earlier games because I had been adding to the collection over the last 3 years. The French especially were stronger in cavalry but this would in Napoleonic terms still be a small action rather than a battle. In round numbers the French had about 140 foot 40 cavalry and 3 guns. The British 150 foot 20 cavalry and 3 guns. All retro 30mm figures mostly Stadden but with a few Willies rather more Minot and a small number of Minifigs 30mm. There were a few Hinchliffe gunners too and a sprinkling of Connoisseur which while being a tad small fitted in in terms of style  and movement which is far more important than mere millimetres.

Andrew the Tekkie took the French and Theatrical Steve the British. Mechanical Shaun arrived late  having been unavoidably detained but would later join the French.

More of the French- from their rear. Note the very retro Merit trees from the 1960s

The fight opened with artillery fire which didn't actually do any damage at first but then first blood went to the British when they killed a couple of the newly painted Lancers . The Brits then advanced a rifles company on their left to counter a wood full of voltigeurs and a little popping fight began which again did little harm to either side.

British Artillery. A mix of Hincliffe and Stadden Horse artillery and Minifigs 30mm foot artillery.

 Now at last the French began to move. They massed their cavalry in an attempt to smash through the British centre. Very Marshall Ney- especially as they didn't see fit to support the attack with any of their infantry who simply stood about looking pretty.

Don't fire till you see the shine of their varnish !

 The resultant carnage was definitely a case of Magnificence  rather than war. Cuirassiers and Lancers fell to British artillery and musketry and although the Chasseurs of the Guard made contact and caused casualties amongst the 44th Foot they didn't do enough harm to cause the British more than a slight inconvenience.

 The rebuff of the cavalry charge seemed to unnerve the French who simply repaired to the bar after calling the game over, which whilst a bit premature perhaps was almost certainly the correct decision as will almost no cavalry left they would have been at the mercy of a British counter attack had Steve got around to it.

Other points. I should have used a bigger table but since we are still finding our feet at our new venue I underestimated the number we would need- more are available- and the next time this lot come out the table will be twice the size. Also although I like Charge  I may try other retro rules here such as Grant or maybe Featherstone . I even have a set of the very old London Wargames Section Napoleonic rules which are at least 50 years old. Of course I could also use In the Grnad Manner of General De Brigade if I so choose. That is the advantage of non  rules specific armies.

 Thanks must go to Andrew the Tekkie's Dad Norman for  allowing the use of the venue.

 We'll be back .

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Time was when .......

 Got a shipemt in from the USA  today - unpacking it so  now stopped for a breather.

 It occours to me that not too many years ago this would have only taken a long morning to unpack the 8 large boxes. Now it takes me most of a day.

 This is because.

 I need to answer emails .BU it mainly takes longer because it bloody well hurts more crawling about the floor  than it did 10 yer ago.

 Ah well if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined ! 

Friday, 27 May 2022

Wargaming De Boigne's Campaigns Part One.

While I was at Partizan it came up in  a conversation  about my book- 'Their Infantry and Guns Will Astonish You that there aren't any ranges  available to wargame the campaigns out lined in the book.  Well that is both true and false. 

True there aren't any dedicated  RANGES for these fascinating campaigns.

 FALSE because there are plenty of figures out there if you look about yourself and stop being a lazy chap expecting to be spoonfed. After all building such an unusual army is part of the fun of this hobby.

The first place to look of course is any 'Wellington in India ' range, which of course you will understand when you have read the book.

One of DeBoignes battalions with its 'gun company' .Figures are First Corps with Old Glory AWI  command figs which have been give Spare Redoubt sepoy heads. 

 Redoubt have a good range in 28mm as do AW Miniatures though personally I'm not keen on the AW cavalry. In terms of size the 2 ranges are  fairly compatible  unless you are one of those anal dudes with a case of '3mm angst'. These 2 ranges will take care of most of the regulars but I also use some of the First Corps SYW Indian troops too. They do a couple of nice sepoys  but you will have to source other command figs. These are smaller than Redoubt 

Assorted Irregular cavalry - all models are Old Glory either from the Sikh Wars range or the Renaissance Persians

Foundry and Empress also do plenty of useful models  for the Mughals and other more irregular troops. Empress also have some useful  carts waggons and baggage items geared to Indian armies. 

 Old Glory do plenty of the irregular types  hidden in the Sikh Wars and Indian mutiny ranges - some of their Pathans are doing duty as Rohillas in my slowly growing collection. .

 If you can source them Indus miniatures do some useful figures but beware some are, rather oddly, left handed.

Perry have a few Bombay sepoys hidden in their British Napoleonic and their plastic Afghans are a useful source of spares parts for conversions - as are the Wargames Atlantic plastics.

 Eureka in Australia have some very useful 28mm in their Golconda range  but they seem to be a little difficult to source.

A mob of Irregular Infantry again all Old Glory models  from the Indian Mutiny or NW Frontier ranges - with a couple of  Muslim Militia from the Crusades range for good measure. 

I have seen some rather tasty 20mm/1/72 scale models from Schilling Miniaturen - a German company  worth a look  certainly  as they are very sweet indeed. 

Elephant towed 24pdr gun  by AW miniatures.  Although from their Indian Mutiny range with earlier crew this piece will fit neatly into earlier campaigns .

Rohilla matchlockmen from Old Glory - actually out of the NW Frontier range. 

British gun and crew of the Bengal Artillery. Crew are AW gun is a Sash and Saber model

In 15mm Minifigs do a Wellington in India range - never seen them in the flesh but the pictures look OK. Freikorps 15 used to have a warfare in India range but no longer sure who owns these now.

 In the tiny sizes Irregular do some useful stuff in 6mm .

So building armies for these campaigns is very possible with just a modicum of effort.

Once you have the armies then you can think about rules.... More on this when I have had a little think .... 


Thursday, 19 May 2022

In the Shine again ....

 I've been up to my armpits in India recently - well as far as figure painting goes anyway  so I feel as if I have rather neglected 'shinyloo' and indeed other retro-wargaming projects.. I've done the odd figure or two but no new actual finished units. But I simply can't leave the shiny dudes alone ! 

When I look at my 'shiny' collection it covers three periods 

 ECW which is probably the largest of the three and  is still - very slowly- growing or at least is intended to grow as I have some Hinchliffe cavalry  to finish as well as about a regiments worth of foot- some to be added to units I received in the big bundle of shiny ECW my wife bought me for Crimbo some years ago and to which I have added quite a few bits to since, more cavalry for both sides mostly . Still some reconditioning to do  and 'painting in the style of'  to finish units. About 500 figures and far far too many guns.

A pair of very aged 30mm Minifigs after a bit of TLC. These are the only examples of these particular models that I have  but then I do rather like them. 

Napoleonic. Shinyloo' of course which is mostly a 30mm collection  and has posts of its own. Still being added to. At some point in the future I would love to do a 'shiny-demo' at a show . A pastiche of wargaming in the 1970s .... wonder if I still have a kipper tie ! This collection is now knocking on the door of about 350 finished figures and still growing Loads more to do at least 3 and a bit shoeboxes full oh and a veggie box full of limbers and guns and well ; stuff. ..

Two Stadden 30mm  Mamelukes. These will join the Chasseurs A al of the Guard. 

Old Glory Bavarians  for 'Shinynine' when it gets properly off the ground. 

I also have some more modern Napoleonics - Old Glory of course  for 'shinynine' an 1809 project in the same vein as 'shinyloo' , This hasn't really got off the ground yet as I have only done a few French and Bavarians and a single Austrian Uhlan unit.

Napoleon Shinyparte ! Boney is a Willie  but on a Stadden Horse

Finally 'shinyrev' The AWI in 30mm using mostly Stadden models with a few Willies. Still less than 100 models rebased and shined up  but more to do. including a good number that  are already painted, some by Dave Jarvis when he was much younger than he is now ! Most need a bit of TLC and rebasing as they fought through the 80s and 90s and even into this century and nice new shiny coats. These were the first 30mm I ever bought back in the 80s. I've added numbers since . I've 2 shoeboxes full of unpainted castings

An Finally a few Stadden  30mm AWI

Oh ... and just to be clear I have plenty of armies that are not shiny. Shiny does not suit everything. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

First De Boigne Battalion.

  So here is the first battalion of the First Brigade of the Army of Hindustan in about 1792 or thereabouts.

First Battalion First Brigade. Army of Hindustan .

 Models are First Corps with Old Glory AWI command  with some head swaps. The gun is an old Minifigs 30mm piece - which they probably won't keep.. Each battalion will have its own 'gun company' as in the original. So each model battalion of 24-30 figures will have in addition a gun and grew representing the 4 guns and a howitzer of the prototype. 

By 1803 there were 5 'brigades' in this army each of 10 battalions, more or less plus  cavalry  backed by hoards of not always useless irregulars horse and foot. In addition there were other 'trained brigades'  who would also fight the British and  give Wellington the fight of his life at Assaye..

Closer view - each battalion had its own integral artillery..

 The British- with more than a touch of paranoia often  called the recruiting grounds of this army in Northern India 'The French State' - which it wasn't but Boney did attempt contact with Pierre Cuiilir Perron the French Officer who succeeded De Boigne in command of the Army.

The period  fascinates and there are some decent books on the subject - by Helion naturally,

 Josh Provan's excellent 'Bullocks, Grain and Good Madeira' gives a fine account of the Second Maratha War from the British perspective with plenty of info on the battles and a lot of fine stuff on the difficulty of supply . I heartily recommend this book.

First of the British opposition. European artillery . AW miniatures figures with a Sash and Saber gun.

 As for the other side a little toot on my own trumpet here as my own study of the Maratha forces 'Their Infantry and Guns Will Astonish You' is also published by Helion. This covers in detail the formation of the Maratha regular forces which would oppose Wellesley at Assaye and give His Noseship  some tough memories of battle for the rest of his remarkable career. 

 Napoleonics in strange parts of the world ....

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Catching up on my Reading -12

 Wargames Soldiers and Strategy.

 I have not reviewed any magazines for a couple of years. That is mostly because I don't see that many these days but also because those I do see often have so little content once you get past the sometimes useful  product reviews.

 So it was with no little pleasure that I discovered WSS no 119 actually had something to read in it once I got past the useful product reviews.

The featured subject this issue is Napoleon's Imperial Guard and the mag has 6 articles which feature various aspects of the Guard . These 6 include 3 scenarios for Napoleonic games none of which patronise me or treat me as if I was 14, this in itself is a major plus point as frankly I get seriously tired of magazine articles that assume I need fingers for the long words. The article on the Battle of Hanau was particularly interesting - an excuse to use Bavarians in an historical context.

    Other articles include one on early Tudor armies US Paras in Normandy and a nice  one on the Welsh Marcher Lords - actually Normans of course with a scenario for fighting the Welsh..

 All of these articles had a little historical intro to set to scene and introduce a little context  before getting into the scenario - if one was included  which for the 'how to' on the Tudors it was not.

 As usual the mag is filled with eye candy - all in the 'received style' but mostly none the worse for that though perhaps  some different styles of modelling and painting could be included once in a while - mind you the tiny 2mm(?) Romans and Germans were certainly different. Still it would be nice to see some 15mm , other than tanks, once in a while.

 Rick Priestley's 'This Gaming life' column  definitely struck a chord - much of its purport was on the use of Umpires - which is something I have been in favour of  since at least the 1990s- all the games featured on this blog are Umpire controlled and I wrote and article on Umpiring for MW several years ago now. Nevertheless  it is nice to see someone else advocating a similar set of methods. 

If I had a complaint it would be that on the whole the articles were on the short side - but then that seems to be the prevailing fashion these days. Some seem to find more that a couple of thousand words too much for the brain.

Still a fine mag indeed. Best mag I have seen for some months. . Recommended 

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Old India Hands ....

 Regular readers will know I'm a fan of 30mm model soldiers- specifically those of Stadden and Suren - but other makes too such as Barry Minot.

 Now most of my 30mm collection is Napoleonic - see the numerous 'shinyloo' post on this blog- but I also have a number of colonials  from the same makers- Stadden and Suren that is, I don't have any of Minots 30mm Colonial output yet.

I've picked up various Stadden colonials over the last few years  to go with the small number of Suren models I already have(but that need rebasing and a bit of TLC to get them back on the table as they were painted about 30 years ago).. Definitely old India Hands . These old chaps have a movement and style that is  lacking in many modern over produced models, even if sometimes detail may be lacking- after all you can paint that, style is not. Also you can tell one make from another . These days that is often more difficult  with the upsurge in perryclones and 'received presentation'. Whatever happened to individuality?

 Stadden 30mm Sikh  troops  though the mounted officer is a Connoisseur figure on a Stadden horse. 

A single Stadden 30mm sepoy. These match with most'modern' 28mm.

Close up of the Officer,

 All of these were for the 1897 Pathan Revolt or indeed for other North West Frontier campaigns and over the years I've added units using Old Glory models as well almost all for the British- Indian army. All I need now is to paint a load more Pathans 

A pair of old Willies- yes I have used that line previously but they are.
 These were painted about 30 years ago and are now up for rebasing and refurbishing.

The last photo  on this post is a bit of an oddity.

 I only have 14 of these wonder what happened to the range?

 There are 25mm figures made in the late 80s /early 90s by an outfit called- I think Valiant Miniatures - but I may be misremembering. They were sculpted by a chap called Peter Rogerson  who I know is still working  as he has just made some 40mm for a client of mine. These 2 are 'French Sepoys'  and the range   as I recall had several Indian figures in it  for the  late 18th/ early 19th centuries- Wellington in India in wargamerspeak- Madras Sepoys and Bengal Native cavalry  as well as a few irregular types. They were British when I knew them but migrated to the USA - possibly under another name - anyone any ideas  if they still exist?