Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell 2014

2014 was a very good year for Horse and Musket.  I posted 59 articles, only half of what I posted in 2013. However it generated 32,539 "hits" during the year which almost equaled all prior years combined (35,067 through Dec 31 2013). Thank you to all my followers and occasional readers. I'm glad you found the blog interesting.

2014 was of course the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War  of 1914-18. I have re posted below a picture of my Grandfather Leslie Claude Snelling as he went to War in 1914 as a Carabinier with the Hampshire Yeomanry. I was gratified to see that my article on the Hampshire's gathered 513 hits for a fourth place in most popular articles in 2014.

More importantly for me, my post enabled me to reconnect with my Welsh cousins and their children. 

A big surprise was the first place that went to the article on my English Civil War Royalist Army with 659 total hits. This was followed by the Napoleonic French 7th Hussars (614) and Saxon von Zastrows (539).

I started the year focussed on Wings of Glory WW1. I discovered the fun of 3D prints and completed a number of Shapeways 1/144 scale models which are fully compatible with the Ares models of Wings of Gory. I had fun painting the planes and learned how to work with decals using Microsol solution. This turned out to be very useful towards the end of the year when I was working with Citadelsix waterslide flag and banner sets for the Wars of the Roses which is my latest interest. Here are a few of my Yorkist magnates and their heraldic banners:

The early part of the year also introduced me to Ares' other fine line of models/game, that is Sails of Glory. I collected all of their available 1:1000 models and then directed my collecting towards Langton metal 1:1200 ships. These Langton models are much more detailed and used by serious collectors. I knew I was not skilled enough to paint and rig these beautiful but small sailing ships. However I met on-line the very skilled master modeler, Julián Fenández de Sevilla, who built a small but growing collection of fully rigged Langton ships for me. We are currently working on a 1588 Armada project in the larger 1:350 scale.

The other big interest/focus in 2014 was the American Civil War. I  now have a very nice collection of Union and Confederate Forces by Martin Robson and Leuthen Studios. 

Finally, my son William purchased a Lancastrian Wars of the Roses force from Martin Robson. This prompted me to start an opposing force of Yorkists with units by Carl Robson and Leuthen Studios. I am also painting several units myself with the help of William and Jeff Lower who has helped immensely with the faces and hands of the 28mm Perry Miniatures figures we are using. As mentioned earlier, I am using Citadelsix flags, banners and badges for all of the retinues.

So all in all, a very good collecting year with many fun Craft Days. William and I were very glad to welcome Jeff Lower back to these painting and gaming sessions after his long illness. Good to have you back Jeff!

Happy New Year to all and a special thanks to all the wonderful artists and modelers who have helped me with my collections in 2014.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Earl of Salisbury Retinue Archers: Wars of the Roses

These retinue archers were painted for me by Leuthen Studios. The Salisbury badge on the archer's livery is by Citadel Six. I have a number of retinues under way to help build my Yorkist Wars of the Roses Army. The artist, Richard, has done a great job with these Perry metal 28mm figures. Perry has a box of plastic archers/billmen. However I think I prefer the sculpting and the poses of this metal set. The livery jackets they are wearing, along with the retinue billmen, are very useful for creating the Riding Retinues of the the various magnates from the white and the red rose.

Richard Neville, the Earl of Salisbury, was of course the father of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick and known to history as the Kingmaker. Salisbury was a very important early supporter of Richard Duke of York, supplying many retainers to fight at First St Albans. In addition to the badges, Geoff at Citadel Six has created excellent banners and flags for the Earl. Highly recommended.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

1/ Regiment Nassau-Usingen Nr. 2

Here is my 1/Regiment Nassau-Usingen No 2, figures by Perry, painted for me by Carl Robson. A very large battalion with 903 effectives at Quatre Bras, represented here using General de Brigade basing with 36  foot and 2 mounted figures, plus a 6 figure jaeger detachment.

1st Fusilier Company
3rd Fusilier Company

4th Fusilier Company

Majoor J. Friedrich Sattler Kapitein Moritz Büsgen
w/ 2nd Fusilier Company

Grenadier Company

Grenadier Company

Jaeger Company

Major-General August H E von Kruse was painted for me by Leuthen Studios.

Major-General August H E von Kruse

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Armada Sailing from Ferrrol, July 12th, 1588

The second print from a painting by Sir Oswald Walters Brierly is entitled "The Armada Sailing from Ferrrol, July 12th, 1588". This was painted in 1879 and etched by David Law in 1882.

Here is a close up of the galleon which dominates the painting, probably "São Martinho" again.

"The Decisive Action with the Armada off Gravelines 30th July 1588 (Drake in The Revenge attacking Medina Sidonia in the San Martin)"

My family is the proud owner of two David Law engravings of work by the English maritime painter, Sir Oswald Walters Brierly (1817-1894). The first is "The Decisive Action with the Armada off Gravelines 30th July 1588 (Drake in the Revenge attacking Medina Sidonia in the San Martin)".

This was painted in 1881 and etched by David Law in 1882. These are artist remarqueed prints, we think from 1882. We had them restored in 2007, a painstaking process that took 11 months, by conservator, Frances Pritchett, and then reframed behind museum glass.

Here is a close up of the famous dual. The "San Martin" was in fact the Portuguese galleon "São Martinho", impressed into Spanish service when Portugal was invaded and annexed by Spain.

You will read later that I have recently commissioned a 1/350 model of the Revenge and hope to also commission São Martinho.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pike & Shot: Multiplayer

Further to my recent post, my son Will and I have played many on-line games of Pike and Shot. The Slitherine on-line interface is very well implemented and it makes for an easy gaming experience. We have not had a single error or computer glitch. We have averaged a game a day with both of just taking our turns whenever we are available.
The computer AI is very tough and makes a formidable opponent. But I'm enjoying real human-human play. We both make mistakes or misjudge situations and it is very interesting to see your human opponent react.
Still enjoying this game very much and looking forward to future expansions. The English Civil War scenarios are the most popular so far.

French Wargaming

"Morning of the Battle of Agincourt, 25th October 1415", painted by Sir John Gilbert

If you follow the excellent website,  BoardGameGeek, you may have come across the French Wargames magazine Vae Victis. I have often seen it at Brookhurst Hobby but I had never purchased it, fearing my French not good enough to deal with this all-French publication. However as a string of interesting titles has been published recently, I couldn't help but notice and finally investigate the magazine itself and thence the wargames hobby as it it is experienced in France.

The fact is, there is a very strong wargaming hobby in France, with board games well represented. Vae Victis is published by Histoire & Collections. This book publisher has released many interesting titles in French and in English on uniforms, campaigns and battles. I already owned many of their books. Vae Victis magazine has reached its 119th edition as of November 2014. Issue 98 and all issues starting with issue 100 are sold with games with professional, die-cut, counters. The earlier counter sheets have always been beautiful, but have required some work to turn the printed sheets into double-sided counters.

You will quickly find that one designer dominates the "space": Frédéric Bey. A listing of his personal credits follows:

1. Bellum Gallicum / Casus Belli n°68 et 69 / 1992 (a)
2. Rivoli 1797 / Vae Victis n°18 / 1997 (a)
3. Denain 1712 / Vae Victis n°20 / 1998 (b)
4. Alésia 52 av. J.-C. / Vae Victis n°21 / 1998
5. Les Pyramides 1798 / Vae Victis n°23 / 1998 (a)
6. Poitiers 1356 and Formigny 1450 / Vae Victis n°26 / 1999 
7. Zurich 1799 / Vae Victis n°29 / 1999
8. Suffren aux Indes / Vae Victis n°34 / 2000
9. Marengo 1800 / Vae Victis n°35 / 2000 (a)
10. Jours de Gloire Campagne I : Le Danube (Hohenlinden 1800, Austerlitz 1805, Wagram 1809) / Vae Victis n°41 / 2001
11. Canope 1801 / Canons en Cartons / 2001
12. Imperator 161-217 A.D. / Vae Victis n°42 / 2001
13. Au fil de l'épée (Bouvines 1214 and Benevento 1266) / Vae Victis n°45 / 2002
14. Montebello 1800 / Canons en Cartons / 2002
15. Jours de Gloire Campagne II : La Pologne (Pultusk 1806, Eylau and Friedland 1807, Pologne 1812-1813) / Vae Victis n°47 / 2002
16. Lonato 1796 / T&G module / C3i n°14 2002
17. Plutôt mort que Perse (Persians Wars, 492-479 B.C.) / Vae Victis n°49 / 2003 (c)
18. Jours de Gloire Campagne III : La France (Valmy 1792, France 1814) / Vae Victis n°52 / 2003
19. Epées de France (Auray and Cocherel 1364, Patay 1429, Castillon 1453) / Canons en Carton / 2003
20. Semper Victor 305-374 A.D. / Vae Victis n°56 / 2004
21. Austerlitz 1805 (sud) / Vae Victis n°58 / 2004
22. Haslach and Elchingen 1805 / Canons en Carton / 2004
23. La croix et l'épée (Las Navas de Tolosa 1212) / Vae Victis n°62 / 2005
24. Austerlitz 1805 (nord) / Vae Victis n°64 / 2005
25. Alesia 52 B.C., the Jurassian Hypothesis / Canons en Carton / 2005
26. Dürrenstein and Schöngraben 1805 / Canons en Carton / 2005
27. La guerre de Troie / Vae Victis n°66 / 2006
28. Epées Royales (Brémule 1119, Taillebourg 1242, Mons-en-Pévèle 1304, Cassel 1328) / Canons en Carton / 2006
29. Iéna 1806 / Vae Victis n°65 / 2006
30. Maïda and Castel Nuovo 1806 / Canons en Carton / 2006
31. Schleiz, Saalfeld and Auerstaedt 1806 / Canons en Carton / 2006
32. Ultimus Romanorum / Vae Victis n°74 / 2007 (d)
33. Epées et Couronne (Varey 1325, Baugé 1421, Verneuil 1424, Monthléry 1465) / Canons en Carton / 2007
34. Eylau 1807 / Vae Victis n°77 / 2007
35. Friedland 1807 / Canons en Carton / 2007
36. Epées et hallebardes (Morgarten 1315, Sempach 1386, Grandson 1476) / Vae Victis n°81 / 2008
37. Borkowo 1806 / Vae Victis Hors-série n°10 / 2008
38. Epées et croisade (Dorylaeum 1097, Ascalon 1099) / Canons en Carton / 2008
39. Medina et Rioseco et Somosierra 1808 / Vae Victis n°83 / 2008
40. Roliça et Vimeiro 1808 / Canons en Carton / 2008
41. Epées Normandes (Val ès dunes 1047, Gué de Varaville 1057 and Hastings 1066) / Canons en Carton / 2009
42. Aspern-Essling 1809 / Vae Victis Collection Jeux d'Histoire / 2009
43. Gospitch et Ocaña 1809 / Canons en Carton / 2010
44. Le Lion et l'Epée (Trémithoussia and Arsouf 1191) / Vae Victis Collection Jeux d'Histoire / 2010
45. Sphactérie 425 B.C. / Vae Victis n°95 / 2010
46. Almeida et Bussaco 1810 / Hexasim - Canons en Carton / 2010
47. Allemagne 1813 : de Lützen à Leipzig / Hexasim - Canons en Carton / 2011
48. Fuentes de Oñoro 1811 / Vae Victis Collection Jeux d'Histoire / 2011
49. Syracuse, 415-413 B.C. / Vae Victis n°103 (Special Wargame Edition) / 2012
50. Swords of Sovereignty (Bouvines 1214 and Worringen 1288) / Ludifolie Editions - Canons en Carton / 2012
51. The Berezina 1812 / Ludifolie Editions - Canons en Carton / 2012
52. Bellum Gallicum II / Vae Victis Collection Jeux d'Histoire / 2012
Not only is he prolific, Fred also caters very well to his English speaking customers, providing on his website articles, counters and most importantly, English translations of the rules of all of his games. His website is found at:
When I realized I could download the English language rules for his Au Fil de L'Epee series of games, some published by Canons et Carton, some by Ludifolie Editions  and many contained in issues of Vae Victis, I knew I had to get many of them for my own collection. Likewise Fred has many interesting Classical Greek titles to his credit. 

So far, from Fred alone I have purchased all of the highlighted titles above. I have also ordered other editions of Vae Victis with games covering the French Wars of Religion, using the same game system as GMT Games's Musket & Pike series.

I will write reviews on the games as I play them. However Marcogamer has already reviewed several of them on YouTube and through BoardGameGeek, most very favorably.

Bottom line: French board wargaming is alive and vibrant with many unique titles. The Rules and Scenarios are available in perfect English translation. Designers like Frédéric Bey have professionalized the game business with well-founded Rules and interesting topics not covered by the English/American publishers. Fred and others provide a high level of service and make the games very approachable. Agincourt will always captivate the Anglo audience and Richard Berg has covered the subject along with much of the middle ages very well in GMT's Men of Iron and  Blood and Roses series.

However, if you are interested in what happened at Patay, Formigny or Castillon, then take a look at the work of Frédéric Bey.  Highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Battle of Bosworth Field, 22nd August 1485,

Many years ago when visiting Bosworth Field, maybe mid 1980's, I purchased a print of the heraldry of the participants. It looks like it may have been copied from a water colour original by the artist Peter Russell, dated 1981. It may have been commissioned in anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the battle, and just as the battlefield restoration was in full swing with the new museum and visitor's center and flags on the battlefield.

Anyway, the Perry's new Wars of the Roses 28mm figures in plastic and metal have me thinking a lot about heraldry and badges of the principal participants. The print is somewhat fanciful with a mix of gothic armour and armour for the joust. However I thought this might be useful for modelers wishing to paint the tabards and coats of their figures in heraldry. The new Foot Knights set in particular allow this with several new models.

Anyway, with thanks to Peter Russell for this poster which I have kept on various walls for over 40 years, here are some photos of his work.

Pike and Shot

I have been playing Slitherine's latest computer wargame release for the PC "Pike and Shot" around the clock. I was so excited I wrote this up for the new Forum discussing the game:

This is the first computer game that has ever really replicated the joy of playing with miniatures and a great set of rules. The period feel of the graphics, making a Spanish tercio or pike block really look like antique engraved images, was a very good idea. 

Screen-shot from Pike and Shot

I played Edgehill like the early commanders and troops on that fateful day fought the actual battle: rather amateurishly. But after a few games I figured out how to deploy a Swedish Brigade and what to do about those annoying hedgerows. The AI is very good and very unforgiving. I found I had to go back to school and review the tutorials before I was prepared to win! And what joy when I did. 

The extra study paid off when I won at Marston Moor. I knew enough of the history of  the battle to know that The Parliamentary cavalry could undo me on my right wing. I was not going to make Prince Rupert's mistakes. My plan of holding the center and sweeping the left wing quickly really paid off. I needed those Reserves to deal with the ultimate collapse of the right wing.

I tried the Multiplayer and Online game functions, they are elegantly implemented as in some other Slitherine games. This will be easy to set up with my wargaming friends and family.

Designer Richard Bodley Scott had done an excellent job of research, game design and implementation. I'm not up to scenario design but I'm looking forward to the game community coming through as usual with some great scenarios and mods. I hope Richard will take some of his great concepts and apply them to slightly earlier periods, say Tudors back through Wars of the Roses. and perhaps forward just a little to the early Lace Wars. With a little more graphics work the game could be perfect, but I'm very happy not to have to watch anarchic sprites do their thing. Wargames figures sit still on their Litko bases until moved by the gentle hand of fate, or the Armchair General. The animation here, moving, firing, battle effects, is just right to replicate the wargame and history.

My son Douglas is studying game design at WPI and is a great artist. I realised how the design concepts can have such a profound effect on the final result. I told him how prints from the period show, in a stylized way, the warfare of the time and how Richard has incorporated the units in a pleasant colour rendition of the relevant countryside. What a simple idea but brilliant concept for the game. The author of Anglia Rediviva might approve.

Strategic plan for the Battle of Naseby, June 14, 1645; from Anglia Rediviva (1647).
Credit: © The British Library/Heritage-Images

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Generallieutenant Johann Adolf Freiherr von Thielmann's Saxon Heavy Brigade, 1812

At last I can now show the full Saxon Heavy Brigade as they were at the Moscowa, part of  Général de division Jean-Thomas-Guillaume Lorge 7e division de cuirassiers.

Saxon Kürassier Regiment von Zastrow 1812, revisited

Here once again is the Kürassier Regiment von Zastrow with some new images I took whilst photographing the Garde du Corps.

To recap, in 1812 the Regiment formed part of Generallieutenant Johann Adolf Freiherr von Thielmann's Brigade, in Général de division Jean-Thomas-Guillaume Lorge 7e division de cuirassiers.

Per Hourtelle, there were 627 effectives in the Regiment at the start of the 1812 Campaign. At the Moscowa, the Regiment fielded about 400 effectives. It is at this reduced strength that the Regiment is depicted here in four squadrons.

The unit was painted by Carl Robson using Eureka 28mm figures.