David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday 29 August 2019

Kentucky Mounted Militia

These are the very first Knuckleduster Miniatures I have owned or painted. Most of my War of 1812 collection is from Foundry, mainly the range sculpted by my chum Aly Morrison supplemented by some Perry sculpted Peninsular War era British infantry sporting the Stovepipe shako. I would have preferred to stay in house so as to speak but to acquire 6 of these by Foundry would have meant buying six packs of Militia at £72! Clearly the pack structure has more to do with moulds than with a knowledge of US troops and uniforms for the period!
I can't say I much liked the figures when I first cleaned them up, and undercoating did little to change my view. However, I started on them eventually and I have been pleasantly surprised at how they have turned out. The sculpting style is more Old Glory/Elite than Foundry, but I believe they will do. You can see for yourself anyway ~

On the back of my experience with these examples I made a second order to Caliver for Canadian Militia in round hats. Sadly only one pack has arrived so far, the remaining packs having to be ordered in from the USA. If I'd have seen they were not in stock I might not have bothered!
Anyway, at The Other Partizan earlier in August I bought four packs of British infantry in round hats and overalls from Perry Miniatures' Egypt range. They will also do duty as Canadian Militia when their moment comes. If I like the Knuckleduster Canadians then I will risk a further Caliver order for a couple of units of their US militia in round hats, perhaps one in hunting coats and one with turn back coats. More as and when.
After finishing the Mounted Militia I've also completed a Perry Miniatures mounted Colonel, to lead my one unit of 1812 British Light Dragoons. Now he is done a change of era and manufacturer to some Casting Room Miniatures Early Italian Wars Light Cavalry, as Phil has started his own version.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

As night fell...

...only the moans of the wounded and the dying disturbed the silence across the plains of Peenedeforde. Or rather it was the final turn in a SYW battle fought here in GHQ with Lord Rawnsley (Phil) and the Comte du Merde (moi) failing to force a victory over 12 Turns. As is usual now, I'll let the pictures and captions give some feel for the action ~
The French right is held by the Gardes Francais & Swisse,
supported by the Cavalry of the Maison du Roi.
The cavalry of the Maison du Roi advances boldly to attack
the British Household Cavalry brigade.
The Comte du Merde watches as the Infantry in the centre
March forward slowly. The ground must have been softened
by heavy rain.
The British infantry are finding the going very slow in the
early stages of the battle. In the foreground the Horse Guards
sweep boldly forward to the attack.
The British infantry find firmer ground and begin their
advance, aiming to occupy the farm before the French can
reach it.

The solid ranks of French infantry move steadily forward. The
Wild Geese in the foreground supporting the French line

The French are attacking in echelon hoping to turn the British
out of the occupied farm and isolate the British right wing. The
French cavalry, out of shot, wait impatiently for their moment!

On the French right disaster strikes! The Cuirassier du Roi are
driven back and the Gendarmes are Routed! Mon Dieu!

The French reserves arrive in the centre and are immediately
dispatched by Du Merde to shore up the Guards on theFrench
right flank.In the centre the British have finally cleared the soft
ground and close with the stalled French infantry.

The last of the Maison du Roi cavalry flee in rout! The Garde
Swisse are attacked by the Dragoon Guards, but drive them off
with a devastation volley and the bayonet! Huzzah!

The British Household Brigade is Broken, despite its heroic
performance. The Garde savour the moment and prepare to
advance once again!

All along the front the Battle rages.Although the Cuirasier Du
Roi have rallied, the Brigade is Broken and so they cannot
exploit their opportunity! Merde!!!

The far is still in British hands! Meanwhile, the French left
wing of cavalry of the Line and the Hussards de Bykli await
the order to Charge!

As night falls {Turn 12 ends the game!} the French have failed
to press home their attacks. Both sides have fought valiantly,
but to no avail, and will withdraw to lick their wounds, bury
their dead and carouse the night away!
A hard fought battle and no mistake with both sides bloodied but unbowed as night fell (Turn 12 ended of course.) For both sides Command Rolls were unusually poor restricting movement in the earlier phases of the battle. The ground must have been soft and wet I thought! French powder was also damp it seemed resulting in exchanges of fire which favoured the British without ever delivering a knockout blow. Both the Household cavalry Brigade and that of the Maison du Roi were Broken, while on the opposite wing the Brigades of Line Cavalry cancelled each other out. The British could not be driven from the farm they had occupied early in the battle, restricting the advance of the French centre. Despite it all though a grand and exciting tussle! Time for supper ~

More Militia for the AWI

Things have steadily returned to their regular rhythem, at least for now, here in GHQ. I've been progressing a second unit of South Carolina militia for our AWI games. Again the figures are by Perry Miniatures, with the flag from Clarence Harrison's former free downloads and bases from Warbases of course. The figures making up this, and the previous unit of militia, are from four codes: obviously the advancing Command Pack in shirtsleeves supported by figures from the pack marching in shirtsleeves; advancing in a less formal style; and men of color marching. What it really helps with in this combination is that no figure over two units is replicated, so I only had to worry about the colours to use for clothes and equipment and not how to arrange each base to keep similar coloured figures apart! Anyway, a few pictures to give a feel of the overall look ~

Next on the painting desk are a few Knuckleduster Miniatures for my War of 1812 expansion. They will serve as Kentucky Mounted Militia. I would have preferred the Foundry version, but the pack contents made it eye wateringly expensive. I picked these figures up on a visit to Caliver Books, well worth a visit if you are within striking distance in my opinion. I've ordered some more figures, Canadian Militia in round hats marching. At The Other Partizan last week I picked up some Perry Miniatures from their French in Egypt range, the British infantry in round hats together with a pack of mounted Colonels. These too will be repurposed as Canadian Militia. If I like the Knuckleduster Canadian Militia when they are painted up I'll probably order their Frontier Militia packs too to bolster the US forces in the game. We shall see.

Sunday 18 August 2019

T'Other Partizan

I went to The Other Partizan today with Matt and Phil. It was very busy and a tad on the close side of warm, but folk seemed to be having a great time. There really is no better event for seeing, and joining in with, inspirational wargames. I took just a few pictures to try to convey what was provided for our pleasure. First up, a Sudan War game by my chums Kevin and Peter of the Iron Brigade, all the way down from Aberdeenshire ~

There were very many other fine demonstration and participation gf Ames on show. A selection of pictures to try to convey what was on offer to inspire the visitor, even an old codger like me ~

I hope the pictures will give a flavour of what the Partizan shows can offer at their best, so many fine displays and games to play in. Of course, the trade is well represented, especially for the historical Wargamer. It would be hard indeed to come away with nothing...
My modest purchases included some fencing pre-ordered from The Last Valley, some Perry Miniatures figures to be repurposed for the War of 1812, some brushes and a new pallette, a few MDF bases from Warbases, and finally, some 15mm vehicles for next year's on/off project, just in case.
Another splendid aspect of the shows is the opportunity they provide to meet friends and put the hobby and the world to rights. I enjoyed long chats with many friends: Duncan, Kevin, Peter, Colin, Robbie,Dave and Aly. I must make a special mention of Aly who quite unexpectedly game me a large box of figures. Getting home I opened them to find a fully painted and bases Austrian Infantry unit of Eureka figures for the FRW & s similar French unit undercoated and with some base colours already done. What a gift out of the blue! I'm lost for words really.

Saturday 17 August 2019

Brother against brother...

...or rather father against son. Matt is up for the weekend to go with us to Partizan tomorrow, so what better opportunity for an ACW game using Black Powder, as Matt and his fellow club members in Brecon are building ACW forces to play the game. Matt chose to be the Union before seeing the set up, leaving old Jubal E Bykleigh in command of the Confederate forces.
The game lasted 10 of the alloted 12 turns before the Rebs were finally defeated, with three Broken brigades out of five a sorry reflection of the boys lacking any real fight when it mattered!

We have to be up bright and early tomorrow to travel over to Phil's, as he has gamely volunteered to be the driver for our day out, or perhaps my driving bothers him! I have a small list for the event, mostly MDF bases from Warbases and terrain features from The Last Valley. If any readers see a bemused old chap wandering about, do come up and say hello!