Wednesday, 27 October 2010

2nd Mahratta War

As I mentioned in a previous post I have become interested in the wars against Mysore and The Mahratta Confederacy 1799 - 1807 ish. I have therefore embarked on building forces to represent both these kingdoms and the British and East India Company troops who fought them. Looking around for suitable 28mm figures I came across the range by Redoubt Enterprises. They are, in my mind, lovely figures, nicely sculpted and full of character. I have posted a few photos to show my efforts so far. My painting doesnt do them justice but I have yet to see any other painted examples anywhere. On top of this the Redoubt website only has line drawings of a few of the figures, so it wass a leap of faith when I made my initial purchase (would I like them or not?). Well I do like them, very very much!
The first photos show some of the sepoys I have painted. These have green or orange facings and will be expanded into units of 24 figures. I hope to base my initial forces on the order of battle of Assaye.

To this I will add other troops and types to give my British some variety (and to stop me getting bored!).

Initially I will be raising Mahratta forces but I intend to use them as Mysore troops also, with a few variations. I have opted to keep it simple in terms of painting and organisation. All regular Mahratta battalions will be in white with Turban and sash in a uniform colour. This will give ease of identification on the table and also will look quite appealing.

As you can see by the photos I have based the figures painted so far but have not flocked the bases. I am still undecided on the final finish of these.

I have completed one artillery crew so far. The Mahrattas had a lot of artillery attached to their regular battalions and I will have one gun model per unit. The good news is that I will not have to paint any guns for them as I intend to use my French Napoleonic cannon.

There will be lots of cavalry to paint and I have the first unit sitting in the box waiting to get started, they are beautiful figures. Also I intend to add a couple of irregular match-lock battalions.

Well thats how far I have got so far. I will update as I progress. Thanks for looking!

Peninsular trouble

Penninsular Poser

Hi , Dave and I have decided to make a conscious effort to post more games reviews and painting items. Given that my painting is abysmal and positively geological in the time it takes in getting finished I had better type some of the games up!

John and I came up with the terrain one night and we thought it offered potential for a multitude of differing period scenarios. (I actually mainly lumped the terrain about as John used his knack for creating a testing and interesting combination of valleys, stream/river crossing points to ensure opponents have challenges rather than just wading into each other.)

The scenario was that the French were tasked with marching along the main road (lower left) and had to exit the battlefield via the far road route beyond the old hill fort (top right of pic). The river had a bridge, ford and was crossable either side of the bridge, but with a movement restriction on the ford side and without any movement restriction towards the source (lower right in the pic).

I was in command of two brigades of infantry with accompanying cavalry, foot and horse batteries. 
Graham commanded the second column with the 3rd Inf brigade and 2 battalions of Guard with Napoleon himself no less!

I was faced by the wooded hill with battery and a British battalion. Lt cav guarded the valley. The old fort had been repaired a gun protruded from the ramparts infantry was observed on the far wooded hill.

My 1st were shaken out into mixed order and art /cav covered both flanks as the assault began.

My 2nd formed column on the right & marched into the right hand valley, cleared the far right hill. Combined horse art and light cavalry brushed  aside the protecting British cavalry.

John, commanding the defending British battery had two further battalions emerge from the woods and they fired a tremendous volley into my 1st Brigade.

The rebuff of two battalions of this brigade was not a major setback as guns & the threat of the French 2nd Brg had John retiring onto his supporting Scots lining the river.

The first hill was secure!

Meanwhile, Graham's long column was
held up over the ford by his dragoons encountering
British Lt cav and horse art with an Inf Brg on the hill over the river.
It took the Cuirassiers to help out but the action grew hotter with a hard fire fight to control the heights.

His 3rd Inf formed for assault and the Guards marched around the rear of them to outflank and race for the exit.

The game ended with my 1st & 2nd Brgs redeployment from right to centre where they controlled the bridge
area & pinned John's reserves as the Guards hooked far left to overpower
John's heavy cav/horse artillery.

A brilliant defense by John had thrown us off balance a few times and slowed the progress of the columns.

The next game will again feature the same terrain with differing problems posed. Hopefully it will not be as long to publish.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Work in Progress

I eventually go time to finish the ravelin which I started in April. If you view my post from the 29th April you will see it at the halfway stage. Actually this was finished about a month ago but our official photographer, Paul, has had the photos until now. Anyway here is the finished model. It will eventually form part of a more extensive Vauban fortification.
I am quite pleased with the result of my first ever scratch built model and now I must find the time to start construction on the two bastions. As you may recall I have the gateway already (another scratch built model purchased from Phil Olley).

I have gone for a pretty rough hewn effect (more to do with my limited modelling skills than a design decision!). This will form the defences of a small fortress or town rather than the more grand defences of Lille and such like.

A view from the attackers perspective (Paul getting creative).
I hope to finish at least one bastion this month and will post pictures as and when I do. My time is torn between finishing the fortifications and building up my new project: The 2nd Mahratta war and the campaign against Tipoo Sultan. More on this when I have some photos. . . .

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Macedonians v Persians

Well once again we have had a lull in activity on the blog. The summer holidays have meant that it has been a while since our last game. John is on holiday now so no games for another two weeks! We did have a very big 40mm game a couple of weeks ago ( SYW Prince August ), with over a thousand figures on the table, and Paul is promising to do a write up on it. Come on Paul!
Anyway I found these pictures of an Ancients battle we fought a few months ago. I had already posted some photos of the initial dispositions at the time and promised a write up but failed to deliver. So here is a very belated account, written from my perspective. Any inaccuracies are honest and purely due to my fuzzy memory!
The battle was between a Macedonian army led by Alexander (me) and his general Parmenio (Paul) and the Persians led by their Great King Darius (John). The photo above shows the initial dispositions. The main terrain features were a low ridge between the armies with a ruined temple at one end and, on the Macedonian right and Persian left, a slightly higher hill which seperated the enemies.
As i have said before a picture paints a thousand words so here goes a run down of the action.
The Macedonian left wing commanded by Parmenio. Alexanders plan was to seize the central wing and hold with his left wing while attacking the Persian left centre with his Companions and right wing phalanx.

The Persian centre infantry.

The Persian left wing cavalry. John would send this powerful force forward and half would swing out left to attempt to outflank the Macedonian right wing.

The Macedonian phalanx with Thracians screening.

The right wing cavalry. Two units of Companions led by Alexander himself (Red and Blue). My plan was to swing out wide as if to out flank the Persian right wing then direct these diagonally at the Persian left centre infantry while a unit of Hypaspists advanced rapidly to block Johns left wing cavalry.

The armies advance to contact. In the right bottom corner is the Hypaspist unit.

The Persian left wing advances on to the hill.

The centre left infantry. The target for my Companions.

On the centre ridge Parmenio has advanced quickly with his Agrianians and skirmishes with Scythian cavlary and Persian archers.

Darius throws in more cavalry and elephants to dislodge them while Parmenio advances with his Hypaspist unit on to the ridge.

The Hypaspists have successfully blocked two of Darius left wing cavalry units and the Companions wheel in to attack the Persian centre. This attack would break into the infantry with a fifty fifty chance (odds or evens). I had the Red Companions following the Blue in case they failed to break in.

Aview from the Persian lines. The other two Persian left wing cavalry units are off to the left out of picture having to avoid the palm grove on the hill.

On the Persian right wing the Greek mercenaries advance.

The fight for the ridge. The Agrianians are under severe pressure but they are doing there job tying up Persian troops and blunting the attack of the elephants.

Evens! The Blue Companions break into the Persian infantry.

A view of the action along the line. The Red Companions have wheeled away as they are not needed. In the centre Alexander has ridden to Parmenio's cavalry to lead them in exploiting the break through.
Macedonian peltasts engage the Persian centre as the phalanx moves up.

Alexander assumes command of the left wing cavalry.

Follow me! is Alexanders order. The cavalry are led by a third unit of Companions.

On the right a critical moment as the Persian left wing ouflanking cavalry threaten to charge into the exposed phalanx.

On the Macedonian left wing the phalanx advances to crush the Greek mercenaries.

The right wing Hypaspists are finall y defeated by the Persian cavalry. In the background the Blue Companions slaughter the Persian infantry.

A general view of the battle at the same point in time.

Darius despatches his Red Cataphracts to counter the Blue Companions.

On the ridge the Agrianians are finally overcome but the Persians are disordered and depleted.

Viewed from behind the Persian centre Alexander can be seen leading his cavalry to exploit his breakthrough.

The phalanx crashes into the Persian centre which wavers under the attack.

The Red Cataphracts advance to engage the Blue Companions who are still mopping up the Persian infantry while Alexander pushes through the gap with the Brown Companions in the foreground.

Alexander drops off the two units of Allied Greek cavalry to shore up the right wing and attack the disordered Persian cavalry while he leads his Brown Companions on his mission - to kill Darius!

The Persian left wing cavalry finally launches its attack and collides with the disordered Hypaspists. In the foreground the Greek cavalry charges the reforming Persian cavalry. In the background (by the dice!) the Red Companions prepare to snuff out the Persian flank attack.

The Macedonians hold the central ridge.

The left wing Macedonian phalanx coninues its advance. Part of the unit is slowed by the slopes of the ridge by the temple.

Darius (in his chariot) witnesses the destruction of his centre.

The high water mark of the Persian flank attack as the Macedonian cavalry close in on their flank and rear.

In the distance Darius can be seen as he turns his chariot and flees the battlefield.

Alexander leads his Companions after his quarry.

Darius executes a hand break turn in his chariot as his centre crumbles.

Darius and his body guard flee as Alexander approaches. The Persian infantry in the centre have melted away.

Darius leaves the field of battle.

A view of the battlefield at the end of the game. Parmenio can be seen with his Generals at right centre after his cool handling of the left wing in classic Parmenio style.
This was a hugely enjoyable game of the kind which remind you just why you wargame. It felt historically "right", it could have been won by either side, and all 3 of us had smiles on our faces (even Darius!) when it was finished. John must once again be credited with setting up (its a set up!) a nicely balanced game, as he almost invariably does. I just hope he doesn't mind the bias in my report! Once again thanks for looking and I hope it was enjoyable to read about a very very enjoyable game.