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Friday 30 June 2023

Catching Up On My Reading 17.

 Dragoons and Dragoon Operations in the British Civil Wars  1638-1653. by Andrew Abram.

 Helion- Century of the Soldier series no 99.. Softback 334pp.

It has bee a while since I have done a book review on this blog- mostly because I have been writing rather than reading but I picked this one up at the Partizan show in May and have finally got around to reading it.

Another big chunk of a tome from Mr Abram  and a pretty dammed good chunk it is.

 There are twelve chapters which take the reader through all they might need to know about dragoons during the Civil Wars. in England and Wales- Scotland being only mentioned insofar as Scottish troops in England are concerned. These mounted infantry were a vital tool in fighting the campaigns of the mid- Seventeenth century.

There is plenty of detail here.  Arms, dress, horse management, and unit organisation are all covered in detail as are methods and operations. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the Civil Wars will need this adding to his library.

 As with his previous books I found Mr Abram's research impressive down to the officer and sometimes lower ranks of individual dragoon companies. 

 This book will repay careful study.

Niggles- well yes . Illustrations are on the thin side, and some of them seem a bit incidental such as the covers  of pamphlets that are-very usefully- quoted from. There are no maps nor any colour plates other than the cover. This one is for military historians rather than wargamers, but that is as it should be and these niggles do not really detract from an otherwise excellent book. 



Monday 26 June 2023

Finished- well more or less.

 OK That is the Sikh wars book finished more or less- Text completed anyway along with the maps and some of the illustrations.


25BNI. A Foundry unit painted by my Co-Author James Main. 

This should be out before Christmas this year or so I'm told. I do still have a bundle of photos to take though I have about a dozen or more already in the bag. Still more to do though.

Sikh Regular dragoons Old Glory models painted by me. 

 Those in this short not will not be amongst those in the book.


Sikh High command . Old Glory figures painted by me. 

Right off to the photo 'studio' .

Tuesday 6 June 2023

The Second Battle of Fiddlers Rise June 1459

Early in the day. The Yorkist assault force.

 So once again the  Tantobie Warfare And Tactical Society meet in their new(ish) venue for a game. We had a total of five members this month and I was in the chair so decided upon a 40mm Wars of the Roses game. Shaun and new member Paul taking the Yorkists with Andrew and Steve taking up the sword for the House of Lancaster.

Early in the day. The Lancastrians occupy their palisade in the centre
Their right is on the hill of Fiddlers Rise.

Forces are currently quite small with  less than 200 models on the table for both sides . Rules are Tony Clipsom's set 'Foray' as our guide and your gentle author as Umpire..

 The scenario was based very loosely on the Battle of Blore heath- but without the mass of Lancastrian cavalry. Indeed the roles were reversed as the Lancastrians were on the defensive and the Yorkists had more troops so the attack was in their hands.

As it happened the fighting developed into a bit of a grinding match with neither side using anything resembling subtly, but then this was 1459.

The Yorkist cavalry advance.

 The game began with some mutual cannonading , each side hoping the others bombard would explode in an inconvenient manner which this time neither sides actually did though the crews suffered soem casualties and  one Lancastrian crew fled the scene early in the day.

The Yorkists decided on a full frontal attack using their Longbowmen to 'shoot them in' In the event this was less than successful as the Lancastrian defenders had more archers and used them- though with mixed results.  On the Lancastrian right the Yorkist assault was led by a contingent of Warwick's troops under Sir John Conyers. These chaps did not have a good day. After a bout of archery the ragged staff fell and Conyers was killed. The unit did not rout but halted and while not willing to run played little further part in the action other than archery, their attempt to close with the enemy resulting in a half hearted melee which  neither side actually won before a mutual breaking off..  This flank also saw the only cavalry action of the engagement. The small band of Yorkist horse charging the tiny contingent of the Earl of Exeter( not painted many of these yet)  Although Exeter's men were routed the Yorkist banner fell and rather than pursue the routers they fell back to 'consider their position'  and again took no further part in the action. 

Arrows fly.

In the centre the bulk of the Lancastrian archers stood behind their palisade and shot it out with the Yorkists not infrequently to little avail on either side though the Lancastrian artillery was silenced early on by a combination of Yorkist archers and their 'comedy bombard- which was not funny at all in this game.

The Yorkist advance grinds to a halt. 

With their momentum exhausted the Lancastrians did not look able to storm the Yorkist position but then neither did the House of York look capable of doing any more than staying put. Both sides had suffered significant losses with the worst  being on the side of Lancaster so this one was declared a bloody draw.

I as umpire need to tweak the rules a little- making 'counter battery' fire impossible- not merely inadvisable and tightening up some morale situations and command rules. Though most of this is simply organisation. I shall return to the 15th century later in the year . The Hoses of York and Lancaster will battle it out once more across the table.

 Thanks to Norman Oyston for the use of the venure and to Ros for the excellent hot beef - or indeed Pork sandwiches to sustain the innner wargamer !