Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

War of Spanish Succession Dutch (4)


Rather a calamity this week, I ran out of figures to paint for this project, so it was more a case of finishing off what was on hand before the next order arrived from the UK.

Two more squadrons of horse join the Hoomberg Regiment.





I added the Dutch Generals command stand, three smart fellows in orange sashes.



Another field piece and a large mortar for if we ever decide on some siege action



Finally a load of dead and wounded markers for using as casualty markers, disorder markers or just laying around the battlefields for scenic effect.


On Tuesday the Osprey Campaign Ramillies 1706 book arrived, plenty of thought for some games in there.


And on Wednesday, much needed reinforcements from Baccus, some of these are already on the painting table and hopefully next weeks update shall be rather more stuff, I've already got a battalion of foot and two squadrons of horse very close to being based.


I plan to add two or three more battalions of Dutch foot and four squadrons of Dutch horse then I think it's time to make a start on some French.

The Andalusians get a first outing


We convened a meeting of the Madison Sunday Tea & Crumpets Wargames Club, Drew, Bruce and Josh came round to mine and we put almost all the El Cid collection on the table for a huge bash. I've been adding a few Andalusans to the collection of late and last weeks game was an opportunity to put them on the table.

Victoria has bought a light-box of late and set the scene accordingly while we enjoyed a pre-game cup of tea and cake.


The two forces I had picked were roughly equal. Drew and Bruce took the Spanish.

The Spanish
Commander (leadership 8)
  • One unit Caballeros Hildagos Knights - heavy cavalry with spears and/or javelins (Tough fighters)
  • Two units Caballeros medium cavalry with spears and/or javelins
  • Two units Jinetes light cavalry with spears and/or javelins fielded as small units (Feigned flight)

Commander (leadership 8)
  • One unit Caballeros Hildagos Knights - heavy cavalry with spears and/or javelins (Tough fighters)
  • Two units Caballeros medium cavalry with spears and/or javelins
  • Two units Andalusian Jinetes light cavalry with spears and/or javelins fielded as small units (Militia, 
  • Feigned flight)


Commander (leadership 8)
  • Two units Mercenary Heavy Infantry with spears (Drilled)
  • One unit Mercenary Light infantry Retainers with crossbows
  • One unit Skirmishers with Bows fielded as small units

Commander (leadership 8)
  • Two units Peone medium infantry with spears and or javelins and bows (Militia)
  • One unit Andalusian medium infantry with spears and or javelins and bows (Militia)
  • One unit Pilgrim  medium infantry (Militia, Levy)
  • One unit Skirmishers with Javelins fielded as small units
  • One unit Skirmishers with Bows fielded as small units


Josh and had I the Almoravids

Almoravids

Commander (leadership 8)
  • One unit Hasham heavy cavalry guard with spears (Drilled, Tough fighters)
  • Two units Light cavalry Berbers with spears and/or javelins fielded as small units (Marauders, Marksmen, Feigned flight)

Commander (leadership 8)
  • Black Guard medium infantry with spears (Tough Fighters, Stubborn)
  • Four units Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of spears and/or javelins and bows (Stubborn)
  • Two units Skirmishers with javelins fielded as small units
Commander (leadership 8)
  • One unit Mercenary medium infantry with spears (Tough Fighters, Stubborn)
  • One unit Berber medium infantry with mixed ranks of spears and/or javelins and bows (Stubborn)
  • Three units Berber light infantry with bows
  • Two units Skirmishers with javelins fielded as small units
Commander (leadership 8)
Four units Light cavalry Berbers with spears and/or javelins fielded as small units (Marauders, Marksmen, Feigned flight)

The Berbers took the first turn and as is seemingly normal with our games  although the light troops all moved the heavy infantry centre refused to budge!

Things went even worse for the Spanish, both of Drews commands blundered and then both rolled a '1' taking the entire Spanish left straight off the table!


Un-perturbed Bruce stuck to his plan, advancing and inclining his horse to the right to head towards the softer units of Berber bowmen deployed there.

The Caballeros Hildagos smashed into the bowmen and easily won the combat, but a double six for the morale test saw the Berber bowmen holding in by a thread! Double sixes were becoming a feature of this game already.


As may be expected the Christian horse were more than a match for the Berber archers deployed on our left and were soon dominating that flank, but not without considerable casualties of their own.

The Spanish left had now regained the field, but it looked like the outcome was already settled without their presence.

Josh took the Amir and his Hasham Guard cavalry in an attempt to stem the flow. The fanatic horsemen crashed into the Caballeros Hildagos, forcing them back but failing to break them.


The combat continued and both sides were now spent but fighting furiously, until disaster for the Moors, a round of combat was drawn and as both units were Shaken both needed a test, The Berbers rolled a double one - bugger


The game was truly up for the Almoravids now, despite a stout defence in the centre, pushing back the returning Christian horse they now had marauding Caballeros on their flank and rear.

Some brave but futile fighting by the Berber foot saw the battle draw to a close, a resounding victory for the forces of Castille.


A great game, but I think that although theoretically about even forces the Christians seem to have a big advantage in these games. I had made all the Berber foot stubborn based upon previous experience and they did hold their own in a straight fight, maybe upgrading the units of bowmen from light infantry to medium infantry will make them less fragile.





Sunday, 19 March 2017

War of Spanish Succession Dutch (3)


More Dutch troops joined the contingent this week, with another battalion of infantry, two squadrons of horse and two troops of dragoons.

First up is a battalion of foot from the Von Pallandt regiment, nice yellow cuffs and waistcoats made a nice change and it's always good to read that a unit did not have a lace trim on their tricorns, it's probably the part of painting these that I like the least.

I need to print off a standard for these, fortunately there is a very good one on warflag.com




Two squadrons of horse from the Hesse-Cassel Regiment, again the bonus of no lace trim on the tricorn. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that I've changed the painting style this week. Rather than 'brown-lining' with Windsor & Newton Peat Brown, I've gone for an all-over with Tamiya Smoke varnish, the added benefit being that they get a tough coat to help with any rough handling they may get.




I've also painted up two troops of dragoons from the Van Schlippenberg regiment, the red coats make a nice change from all that grey and grey/white. The mounted models though are horrendous, many miscasts on both the head and tails of the horse. I think Baccus need to work a little more on that mould.

These are the mounted bases.




The dismounted dragoons, very nice figures in an active firing and loading pose, while one chap tends to the horses.




I've also added a couple more generals to the force. With the four battalions of foot, eight squadrons of horse and two troops of dragoons it was time to add more to the command structure.



I'm pretty much out of troops to paint now, but I had a notification that my last order shipped about a week ago so hopefully they will be in Wisconsin soon.

Big Chain of Command Spanish Civil War


When I arrived in Madison I put out some feelers trying to find like minded individuals who played Chain of Command in the area, I was fortunate to receive an message back from Phil who lives in north-western Illinois, a two hours drive away a mere jaunt in the local parlance.

Phil and the chaps normally meet on a Friday evening, but as it was likely a bit for to travel kindly rescheduled a game for the Saturday. After some too-and-fro we decided on a Spanish Civil War game using the Big Chain of Command rules. I'd bring my collection of figures and Drew would accompany me from Madison.

Phil's house was very easy to find and we were there around mid-day, so after dropping off the figures we met up with Mark and headed out to Brands for some lunch, I had the very tasty house salad and a pint of Blue Moon. Arriving back at Phils' we were met by Ed who had set up the table and bought along several boxes of his own Spanish Civil War collection. After some discussion it was decided that Phil, Drew and myself would play the Republicans with Drew and myself each commanding a column of International Brigade and Phil with a supporting trio of T-26 tanks. 

Ed and Mark would defend the village, Ed with a platoon of Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie and Mark with a Secciones (platoon) of Guardia Civil.

Rolling for Force Morale, Drew with his column of Internationales from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was on a nine, myself with a column from the Commune de Paris Brigade was on a terrible eight while the Soviets supporting us in their tanks were on a ten. The CTV and Guardia were both on nines.

After a hotly contested patrol phase we all deployed our jump-off markers, mainly pushed to the left of the battlefield but some on the right ready to take up positions in the gullies. We would have 16 points to spend on supports, so both columns of Internationales were upgraded with their full complement of light machine-guns and 5cm mortars, a 75mm artillery piece would work in direct fire support and two armoured cars would hopefully entice out the enemy. We did consider a preliminary bombardment, but as the Nationalists started with two full Chain of Command dice it would likely have been a waste.

Last year I painted some of the Artizan Spanish Civil War characters so one of my sections was led by Eric Blair and the 75mm gun was commanded by Ernest Hemmingway!

The Republicans started the attack and pushed forwards both armoured cars and one of the T-26 tanks. On my flank I deployed both the light mortars and the 75mm gun in a gully, putting them on overwatch to cover any Nationalist counter moves.

The Nationalists remained in their cover so I deployed a section of Internactionales in front of my position, putting them in a tactical stance with the aim of pushing them into another gully just in front of my position. A shot rang out from behind the village wall and Eric Blair fell:

"There seemed to be a loud bang and a blinding flash of light all around me, and I felt a tremendous shock - no pain, only a violent shock, such as you get from an electric terminal; with it a sense of utter weakness, a feeling of being stricken and shrivelled up to nothing."


Yes, the first casualty of the game was my section commander - bugger! A section of the CTV had deployed behind the village wall along with a 47mm anti-tank gun that plinked ineffectually at one of the T-26 tanks.



The stricken section just had to make a dash for the gulley before them to get into hard cover, but next phase they rolled terribly and the shock was soon mounting. What was worse was that they were blocking the fire from my 75mm gun that was no unable to provide supporting fire.
The Republican Bilbao edged towards an elbow in the wall, if it could get into a good position its fire could sweep devastatingly along the Italian line. A brave team of Guardia Civil armed with petrol bombs broke cover (using a Chain of Command die to ambush ) and their bombs shattered on the hood of the armoured car. Little damage was done, but the crew fled abandoning the vehicle whose tyres started to burn and the machine-gun ammo started to cook. Things were not going well for the Republic.

The firefight intensified, more Guardia Civil joined the Italians at the wall and the fire was brisk, shock soon mounted to uncontrollable levels on the isolated Commune de Paris section and they eventually broke and ran back somewhat panicking the mortars deployed in the gully behind them. Things looked better on the Republican left though, both sections from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were pushing forwards, albeit rather cautiously and with the shattered Commune de Paris section out of the way it was now time for punishment to fall on the Nationalist lines. 



Having little effect on the Soviet made tanks the CTV turned its attention to the remaining UNL-35 armoured car and a dangerous hit to the hull caused the Spaniards manning the vehicle to abandon it and flee, both armoured cars were now out of action, happening right in front of the Commune de Paris position this had a detrimental effect on the moral of my troops in the gully.

Commanded by Hemmingway the 75mm gun exacted great carnage on the Guardia in the elbow of the wall and the Italian 47mm was unable to do any significant annoyance to the T-26 platoon who added their fire to the fray. To counter the moves of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade the CTV advanced a section into a gully in front of their lines. 



One section of the Americans poured fire into the gully while another moved to flank the Italians, but it was too little too late, the fragile morale of the Frenchmen soon saw their platoon break taking the remains of the Republican morale with them.

A great game in excellent company. We featured troops representing the USA, France, Spain and Italy, probably the most international Spanish Civil War game I've ever fought. We plan a further follow-up action at Little Wars in Chicago at the end of April.

More images from the game.