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.

Sächsische Garde du Corps, 1812

I have just received my finished commission of the Saxon Garde du Corps. They were brigaded with the Kurassier Regiment von Zastrow, GM von Thielemann's Brigade, GdD Lorge's 7th Heavy Cavalry Division during the War of 1812. The Brigade fought at the Battle of Borodino with great distinction. 

Per Hourtelle, there were 642 effectives in the Regiment at the start of the 1812 Campaign. At the Moscowa, the Regiment fielded about 450 effectives. It is at this reduced strength that the Regiment is depicted here in four squadrons.

The unit is modeled here at General de Brigade 1/20th scale strength. It was painted for me by Carl Robson. The figures are by Eureka in 28mm scale, high quality metal and some of the best figures made by this excellent company.  The Standarte was made by myself based upon research by Peter Bunde's whose excellent print for this regiment also provided all of the uniform details.

Brunswick Uhlans at Waterloo

These 28mm metal Perry Brunswickers were painted for me by Carl Robson. The lances were custom made.

The small Uhlan detachment of 246 effectives served under Major Pott, forming part of the Brunswick Cavalry Brigade in the Brunswick Division, Allied Reserve Corps.