Friday, 21 August 2015

A New Project

I have long been interested in this particular period and have tried to game it several times, without success. Trying to find a set of rules that give a realistic "feel" of the American War of Independence has been a frustrating search. A while back, I bought a set of the excellent Two Fat Lardies large scale skirmish rules: Sharpe Practice. Like all Lardy rules, they are ingenious, well thought out and fun to play. Many AWI battles were little more than very large skirmishes, with less than 1,000 men per side and I wondered if it might be possible to amend Sharpe Practice to larger games than they were designed for. Although still very much a work in progress, I felt confident enough to buy enough figures to get the ball rolling and worry about the rules later.

For those not familiar with the rules, units in Sharpe Practice send to be small (6 - 12 figures), but can be combined together to form larger ones, which share any casualties and disorder amongst the constituent parts, making them better able to absorb the effects of battle. I thought that by having a standard 12 figure "company" at a 1:5 scale, heavy units, as opposed to skirmisher types, could be represented by 2-6 companies (24-72 figures). This would make up battalions of 120 - 360 men. Companies could still be detached if desired to face a flank or do something different, thus providing a great deal of flexibility and the feel of a large scale skirmish. Leadership and troop quality are also, of course, very important. The amended rules are still very much at the embryonic stage, but as I am pretty busy with other things and only have a few figures actually painted at the moment, I can view this as, what politicians are apt to call a long range aspiration.

So far I have completed four companies of American Militia - a small beginning but you have to start somewhere. The first two pictures shows both "battalions" each of 24 figures (120 men). The figures are mainly Perry Miniatures with the added luxury of hand made Mark Allen flags.

This picture shows a battalions of 3 companies (36 figures or 180 men), deployed in line.

Here is a battalion of 2 companies deployed independently. This way they can operate separately, performing different tasks. They can always re-combine later on if desired.

Although my Grand Alliance and WWII collections are getting the lion's share of my painting time at the moment, along with terrain boards and drop on pieces, I hope to be able to make some progress with this period as and when time permits.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

High Command

I have also managed to get a few command bases done recently. Should need about one base per 2-3 cavalry or 3-5 infantry units. They are pretty interchangeable on the whole, although a few do have specific flags attached. Brigade bases are usually a couple of mounted figures, or perhaps a single mounted figure and one or more foot figures. Doesn't really matter as long as it looks nice. This one will serve as a CinC base as it is somewhat larger. The chap in white is actually a cavalry standard bearer with an added map, rather than his flag. The rest are brigadiers.


Apart from the Dixon's engineer officer skulking behind the gabion, all the figures are from the excellent Warfare Miniatures range.

Monday, 3 August 2015

First French cavalry brigade

When considering where to start with the "Great Cavalry Upgrade", I realised that a number of the French regiments were dressed exactly the same. This has meant that the first brigade is a bit of a freebie, as I have simply amalgamated and re-based existing regiments. The Royal Cravattes, a 3 squadron regiment, has simply absorbed the Royal Etranger; all I had to do was discard the extra standard bearer and replace him with a casualty figure to make a 24 figure unit.

I also had no less than 4 regiments (48 figures) of French horse with the same facings and saddle cloths. Allowing for the discarding of superfluous standard bearers and trumpeters, this has allowed me to create 2 regiments of 16 and a third regiment which needs an extra couple of troopers to finish it off.

So, for not too much effort, here is the first French cavalry brigade in the new format. In the first line are the regiments Rohan (left) and Boufflers (right), with the Royal Cravattes in the second line.

The hard work starts now though, as most other units will have to be upgraded by adding extra figures. I have bought another 18 troopers, which are under paint at the moment. These will upgrade the third French regiment with the two necessary troopers, whilst the remaining 16 figures will finish off my 4 Dutch line regiments. After that, there are still more units to do, so a big job. Hopefully, it will be worth it!