Saturday, November 26, 2016


The Usual Suspects at play on our November Game Night
This is a delayed post of the club game night held on Friday, 18 November.  There were three games: An American Civil War Mississipi River Naval Action, an American Civil War Fire and Fury game in 15mm (Gettysburg, Day 03 Cavalry Action), and a Napoleon's Rules of War 1809 French vs Austrian game (28mm).  I opted for the third, Napoleonics, taking up the side of the White Menace (aka, Austrians).  For another report on the game night, you can go to fellow Club Member AJ's Blog .   For those with the time, and the stomach, you may continue reading the reports below....(as usual, clix pix for BIG PIX). First up, I'll cover the two games I didn't play (these will necessarily be a bit general).  

American Civil War River Action:
A bit of naval banter between experts to get things going (Ross, on left, and Pete, on right--John jumps in from out of frame).

The game in progress.

Although I didn't catch the result, this game moved right along and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. It featured some splendid eye candy in Pete's brown water flotillas..

ACW, Gettysburg, Day 03 Cavalry Acton:

All roads lead to Tom, who co-hosted the game with Paul.
John M getting "in the mood" if not necessarily in key.

 This game featured an impressive array of 15mm cavalry units, and from what I could see, the action was heavy...

Napoleon's Rules of War: Austrians v French:

Charlie explains the rules while a thoughtful Dr. Dick looks on....
This was an asymmetrical scenario. The French anarchists (boo hiss) were outnumbered by the forces of law and order, the Austrians (hooray!).  The Austrians had a lower starting break point, but would gain points back by taking objectives (signified by "pink slips") which were placed in depth in the French position. Thus, the French had to withdraw while holding as long as possible and the Austrians had to press them and take the objectives to maintain steam. Simple...
The Austrians from left to right: Kevin, Bob, AJ. Kevin would run the Austrian right, while Bob and AJ would share the center.Not pictured is the stellar commander of the Austrian left, your humble correspondent... 
The French, from left to right: Ralph, Earl, and Dr. Dick; troublesome fellows, one and all.

 Our plan was ingenious, worthy of Wiley Coyote (super genius!)

We would pressure the French in the Center and assault them from the right center and right. On the left, your humble correspondent would press them, using 4 of our 6 cavalry squadrons  to draw French forces away from the main effort. Thus, we would empty the egg and then crush the shell!  

The maneuver on the Austrian left will be studied in Vienna for decades!
The left's march approach was splendid; as if on the Marchfeld...
...the left magnificently delployed for action in the face of the enemy!
...the left's masterful positioning!  Bravo! Promote that man!
Unfortunately, the troublesome French right wing commander, Ralph (aka, Gen'l d' Bde Gero), wasn't so impressed and stubbornly refused to capitulate...don't these upstarts know when they're beaten?

Meanwhile in the center...
The White Menace in the center Overruns the first pink slip and continues to roll...

 Meanwhile, on the Austrian Right, progress is bogged down by terrain, but continues to move...

Losses are mounting for the Austrians, but the French are at the point of crisis--pinned down on all fronts, giving ground in the center....time for your humble correspondent to deliver a "telling maneuver" from the Austrian left to finish the French...
The Moment of Truth Arrives on the Austrian left. The French square falters; the French cavalry dare not maneuver; the French infantry wavers.  Now, now is your time! Strike hard, Austrian left! The Order is given!
...And the decisive blow is struck! And the Austrian Grenzers go "poof"...

...and the Austrian Army reaches its break point and collapses like a white balloon (pfffffffffffffft!).

Well, there's always next time!  It was a great game. Thanks to Charlie for running it and to the gracious (pugnacious) French players who stymied us and to my comrades from Vienna who fought the good fight, regardless.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016


A Circumstantial Narrative of the Campaign in Saxony, in the Year 1813: Written Originally in German  by Fran├žois-Jean -Philibert Aubert de Vitry, Alfred John Kempe, Ernst Otto Innocenz von Odeleben  Published 1820

2 Volumes: Available in the Internet Archive:  Volume 1  Volume 2

I find myself with a few minutes to kill before heading out for the holiday travels, so I thought I'd share my current read. I'm only partially through it, but it is quite entertaining and informative. Written by a Saxon Officer in 1820, it has fresh insights into the Napoleonic Wars.  Although the author does not clarify his position, it is clear that he was present in Napoleon's Headquarters as an allied officer.  As such, the narrative is not a military history, but told from the perspective of an eyewitness to events.  The preface:

 The Preface:

It is full of observations of Napoleon and the functions of the Headquarters, like the below moment during the Battle of Lutzen...

Of Napoleon's "Ha!"...

 Of Napoleon's "Horsemanship"...

Various insights and editorial comments, like this one on a claim Napoleon made to the King of Saxony on the eve of the Battle of Bautzen...

It is doubly interesting given that it is being told, post Waterloo, by a former ally. 

Highly recommended.  


Monday, November 21, 2016



If you look just below the blog's title image, you'll see a series of blue boxes that link to  content pages of this blog.  I've received a note that someone has experienced an issue with access to the pdfs on the Nine Year's War Page (the comment has since been posted in the comments section there).  I've tried to replicate the problem, but have been unable to do so (everything works as far as I can tell).  If anyone else has visited the content pages, especially the Nine Years War page,  could you please let me know if there have been any issues with seeing or downloading the content.  I would appreciate it. You can comment here or on the page in question.  

One thing, the comment setting on this blog has them being moderated after 30 days (one way to fend off spam).  On the main page, each post has its own clock (so there is no moderation unless the post is over 30 days old).  The content pages, on the other hand, only have one comment box, which was created when the pages were formed. Thus, they are all over the 30 day limitThis explains why there is moderation there and not on posts on the blog (in case you were curious).    

I'll be travelling for the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the US.  Back on Friday. I'll be able to check the blog while I'm on the road, though. 

Sorry to distract from the serious business of toy soldiers for this sort of thing, but Black Jack can be a forceful fellow sometimes.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Men at Work: a  Prussian sapper bashing a breach through a wall during a game of my (heavily modified) Napoleonic version of Brother vs Brother
As usual, clix pix for BIG PIX...
As I was working on my next conversion unit for the Chocolate Box Wars project, I was fretting over the delay.  I had hoped to have posted an update on them by now (but the last figures are at last on the way...). I was musing over the number of conversions that I had done recently, and then it occurred to me that I had broken ground on figure modification before, only without really realizing it (albeit in a very modest way).  I have two Napoleonic game systems that use specialty figures--like sappers; one is a Volley and Bayonet Napoleonic wing scale variant and the other is a heavily modified Napoleonic Brother Against Brother variant.  I have French and Prussians for both in 28mm (and I'll eventually be posting those rules in the content pages of this blog).  Sapper figures for the French are no problem.  For the Prussians, that is another story. Calpe makes Landwehr sapper figures, which are excellent. And one of my sappers is a Calpe Landwehr.  But I didn't want all of my sappers to be Landwehr, which brought up an issue. Nobody makes Prussian regular sappers--because the Prussians did not officially have them....

 Westfalia Napoleonic Saxon Command Sets, With Sappers

 ...Instead, the Prussians simply distributed the axes and such to troops in the unit (not a popular assignment).   I found a slim reference, however, to at least one regiment (the 23rd) which formed an unofficial stand-alone sapper detachment on the French model; they even marched at the head of the column behind the colors.  That was good enough for me.  What I then needed was a likely figure in a Prussian shako that I could use as a sapper. Converting French sappers was not a good option given the headgear (bearskins).  Originally, I was going to modify a Prussian line infantry figure by adding an apron with green stuff and replacing the musket with an axe.   Then, I stumbled across the Westfalia Miniatures Saxon command sets (pictured above), and the problem was solved. Each of these has a sapper--and the sculpts fit in with my Calpe Prussians very well.  I modified them by reshaping the headgear.  I clipped the pompon in half and then molded green stuff at the front/top of the shako to render the signature peak of the Prussian oilskin-covered shako (see below) and painted them as Prussians.

Now the Prussians have a corps of sappers to deploy on the table...

Given the interwoven (albeit sometimes strained) history of the Saxon and Prussian armies, it is somehow appropriate that these Prussians hail from Saxony (but let it be our secret).


Wednesday, November 16, 2016


This post might be a bit redundant with some recent posts with these units, but I decided to do it anyway given that this will complete the record for the "Pass in Review" of my Chocolate Box Wars project, showing all the units I have ready to go at this point.  These are the volunteers and what I am calling foreign auxillary troops. These aren't included in the national army categories, and as such weren't pictured with the Danes or the Prussians. Some are more generic than others, which are based on actual units that were associated with a specific force.  I'll use them as such, but also be able to plug them in to others given my army list approach. 

Rear, Left to Right: German Legion, German Legion (generic), Garibaldists (generic). Front, Left to Right: Von Der Tann Volunteers, Bracklow's Volunteers, French Foreign Legion
The Germans: Bracklow's Volunteers in the back (Schleswig Holstein), converted Perry British Intervention Force British Inf in Straw Hats.  In Front, left: the German Legion (Hungarian Revolution) and a German Legion (generic) loosely based on an image of German Volunteers in the 1st Schleswig Holstein War.  These two are conversions of Perry ACW Iron Brigade figures. 

Van Der  Tann Voluneteers (left) and French Foreign Legion (Right).  Both of these are Perry Carlist Wars FFL figs (see the recent post on the French Foreign Legion for more details).

I'm starting on the Honved Army of the Hungarian Revolution.  I'm in the midst of a conversion of Murawski Napoleonic Poles into Polish Legion infantry, but all momentum has been sapped while I wait for a backorder to come through.  I look forward to posting those as soon as they are done!

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