Friday, January 27, 2017

A new addition to the War Room

The back - note the text on the cards is viewable. 

We're not at home much at present, but I came across these pictures while I was messing about on my phone.  They are from a small project that I completed before Christmas and which I'm very happy with. I was given a collection of cigarette cards by a friend some years ago, shortly before he died.  I think they belonged to his brother.  In any event, they were a complete set of uniforms of the territorial army, beginning with the London Trained Bands and finishing with the TA of 1938. I love their clean lines and bright colours, but I wanted to find a way to display them without covering up the text on the back of the cards. 

The front - a fine body of men

I ordered the mount online, as cutting windows for fifty cards seemed like a ludicrous way to spend my time.  There was also every chance that I would make a balls of it and ruin a perfectly good piece of mounting board. My plan was to get two pieces of glass cut to fit the frame and sandwich the cards and the mount between them. I wasn't sure that the frame would take the weight, but I was happy to be proven wrong.  

This somewhat Trump like construction appeared in Capability Savages garret studio recently. Whatever can it be? 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Battle of Mohrungen

Marshall Bernadotte pictured in happier days
(thieved from here)

I'm not particularly well up on the fourth Coalition - I know it in a general sense, Jena and all that.  But I must confess, I'd never even heard of the battle of Mohrungen until Lord Siskington picked it out of the book.  Though it appears I'm not alone as a google image search for pictures of the battle drew a blank and I had to settle for the picture (above) of Marshall Bernadotte as an introduction. We're staying with Mrs Kinch's parents at the moment, but I needed to visit home to collect some things and feed Sir Harry Flashman VC, so I took the opportunity to arrange a game while I was at.  Lord Siskington kindly volunteered to join me and we had dinner and a game, which was a very pleasant way to spend the evening. 

The field of Mars arrayed for battle, Lord Siskington considering his options. 

I have lent my snowfield mat to someone and I can't for the life of me remember who, so we were obliged to play this on the green fields mat. Pardon gentles all. 

The introduction from the scenario booklet. 

"In early January Bennigsen ordered the Russian Army to go on the offensive. On the 19th Ney, who had extended his line in search of provisions, was attacked and brushed aside. General Markov then advanced toward Mohrungen where Bernadotte was concentrating his forces. 

Both sides had opportunity to deploy the morning of the 25th before Bernadotte’s cavalry launched a charge against the Russian center. The Russian cavalry, with support from their artillery, drove back the attack but were in turn driven back by French artillery fire and fresh cavalry. The ensuing artillery exchange inflicted little damage. The battle began in earnest when French light infantry advanced in the center to threaten the Russian artillery and Dupont’s arriving division pushed the Russians on the left back from their forest defensive positions. As dusk fell the French were making progress all along the line. Suddenly, Bernadotte heard firing in his rear in Mohrungen. Fearing the worst, he called off the battle to retrace his steps. It was a false alarm—only a few squadrons of Russian horsemen had entered the town and were pillaging the French supply wagons. They were quickly driven off."

Lord Siskington, naturally being the guest, had choice of sides and choose to play the Russians.  I was left with the dastardly French. 

Bonaparte's Legions falling into line

On the face of it, this is a very tough row to hoe for the Russian player. The French player has cavalry superiority, the advantage of numbers and the edge in troop quality.  The only thing in his favour was the terrain and time.  There was a mechanic which allow him to move a marker at the rear of the field which would eventually bring him 50% of the victory points required to win the game.  This meant that we Frenchers could not afford to hang around. 

My opponent rolled rather well on the Mother Russia roll.  This is a special rule the Russians use, which takes account of the add hoc nature of their mobilisation.   The Russian player is allowed add infantry figures to some of his units, raise extra cossacks or dig entrenchments amongst other things.  Lord Siskington created an overstrength, entrenched battery in the centre of his line as a result. 

Lord Siskington's lovely daughter
(aka Tolstoy's Death Star)

This was a perilous looking piece of ironmongery to tangle with and I spent most of the game trying to avoid it, while the Prince Mishkin Hussars (seen the left) pinned my infantry in the centre under its guns. I spent most of my time working around on the right and keeping an eye on the clock. 

Victorious French dragoons

Fortunately,  my success on the right caused Lord Siskington to thin his centre so much that I was able to mount an attack and isolate the battery.  The French guns mounted a Talavera style "artillery charge" combined with some dragoons who managed to get around the back of the redoubt and take it in the rear.  This spelled the end of the Russian gunners. 

French infantry advancing through some curiously un-snowbound fir trees. 

Once the Russian artillery was dealt with I was able to roll up on the right and take the defence apart. This is a tough scenario for the Russian, as the statistics on the CCN website indicate as they win less than a quarter of the time, but regardless it was a good game. Lord Siskington was good company as always.  We put the world to rights over a brandy afterwards.

An evening well spent. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lifeguard Trumpeter

I've had my hands full recently, but I'm hoping to get a little painting done over the Christmas season. I'm torn between some Mahdists, which I have helpfully got based and primed or some 1/72 Zvesda Pikemen and Musketeers for Pikeman's Lament. 

In the meantime, I can spare the time to appreciate the really fine work our man in Budapest has done on this Lifeguards Trumpeter. 

The pictures here don't do this chap justice.  He's 1/16 scale and is currently guarding one of my bookshelves. An old Airfix figure, he towers over almost anything else in my collection. 

Mr. Tibi has done a very fine job on this chap. 

I particularly like the subtle tonal shifts in the red.  Painting red or white are a pain in the neck at the best of times, but he's has done it very well. 

There's been a lot on for the last few months, but hopefully we'll get back into something approximately a decent routine shortly.