An appetiser

There is a Bavarian Napoleonic battalion that has almost made it’s way to the front and hence this here blog. Really!

Worryingly these lead elements will not fill any prospective commander with anything but apprehension. Where said commander would be looking for a fit, drilled and enthusiastic battalion he instead is presented with casualties. Maybe they’ll recover … given time and scarce medical resources!


The rest of the battalion will be along shortly.

Until we meet again. Soonish. Really! …

von Peter himself

Saxon grenadiers marching from Calpe Towers

A public service announcement …

In his prior post von Peter himself was more than pleased to introduce the latest five packs of Calpe Miniatures French infantry – Light infantry command for the March Attack battalions. But there’s more! Seven new packs of Saxon infantry require unveiling and von Peter himself should really get on with it for the education and betterment of The dear readers!

These packs move the Calpe Miniatures range of Saxon infantry on from purely the line infantry only as they model the Saxon grenadiers. All seven packs are rank and file. That’s 32 unique figures covering the Saxon grenadiers rank and file … and for all we know there may yet be some casualty figures to come. This is a typical Calpe’s expansive approach to a range and one of the reasons that von Peter himself is a self confessed Calpe zealot.

In list format the new packs are …

  • S24 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with covered shakos (6)
  • S25 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with uncovered shakos (6)
  • S26 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with calfskin covered shakos (4)
  • S27 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with covered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)
  • S28 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with calfskin covered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)
  • S29 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with uncovered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)
  • S30 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers head variant pack. Two with forage caps, one bareheaded and one bandaged head (4).

The bracketed number at the end of each descriptor is the number of figures in the pack. And for those not in the know all the figures in a Calpe Miniatures pack are always unique sculpts.

The grumbling grognards that make up a portion of The dear readers will have sagely noted that a Saxon grenadier battalion is constituted of more than just rank and file figures. Quite right. According to those rank and file they may sometimes be of questionable use but if nothing else the officers, non commissioned officers, drummers etc add a bit of visual interest to a battalion. From Calpe Towers …

There will be three command packs made up of drummer, Sapper and two NCOs. The NCO’s will have separate fanions which you can glue to the side of the bayonet. You can then decide whether you want NCOs with or without fanions. The three packs will be the usual covered, calfskin and uncovered shako variants. These are complete but not in moulds yet. There will also be two officer packs. One with covered and the other with uncovered shakos. Each pack will be made up of three foot officers and one mounted officer. There will be two foot officers in each pack in the grey/blue uniform and one in the white. I have not really decided on the mounted officers which are the incomplete elements of these packs. I had just established the poses but not decided on white or blue uniform for these.

Mid September was mentioned regarding the possible availability of these command packs.

Time for the picture show but first the normal caveats …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners inherent in the casting progress have been removed with a craft knife and the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent muskets etc
  • the figures have been cunningly rearranged between the front and back photographs so that the figures in the matching front and back photographs match left to right. Ahh … that is to say for example that the figure second on the left is the same figure in the front and back photos. If this has not been adequately explained then don’t worry about it as it probably doesn’t matter. Just be aware that von Peter himself went that extra step in the service of The dear reader
  • von Peter himself has ‘washed’ the figures with ‘Shader Black’ from Coat d’arms to bring out the details a little
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on the dear readers device of course!
  • The English descriptor with each pack has been ‘devised’ by von Peter himself on examining each pack. The pack code identifier is as set by Calpe Miniatures
  • ‘Click’ the photos for a larger and clearer image.

Calpe Saxon S24 Front

Calpe Saxon S24 Back

Above: S24 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with covered shakos (6)

Calpe Saxon S25 Front

Calpe Saxon S25 Back

Above: S25 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with uncovered shakos (6)

Calpe Saxon S26 Front

Calpe Saxon S26 Back

Above: S26 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with calfskin covered shakos (4)

Calpe Saxon S27 Front

Calpe Saxon S27 Back

Above: S27 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with covered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)

Calpe Saxon S28 Front

Calpe Saxon S28 Back

Above: S28 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with calfskin covered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)

Calpe Saxon S29 Front

Calpe Saxon S29 Back

Above: S29 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers with uncovered shakos. Two figures with heads turned and two with greatcoat rolls. (4)

Calpe Saxon S30 Front

Calpe Saxon S30 Back

Above: S30 – March Attack Saxon grenadiers head variant pack. Two with forage caps, one bareheaded and one bandaged head (4).

 Lovely figures but as already stated von Peter himself is a self confessed Calpe zealot.  😇

These figures and the French in the prior post are not yet on the Calpe Miniatures website but von Peter himself is sure that direct contact with Calpe Towers will result in the figures being packaged up and posted out in a most pleasing manner.

And … roll out those Saxon grenadier command packs!  👌

Calpe logo1

Calpe heraldry

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Figure and more Calpe figures

Apiata patrols down a street

Above: Willie Apiata on patrol … care of two Good Samaritans. Click for a larger and clearer image

Many moons ago Empress Miniatures had a kick starter or some such similar ‘thing’. As an enticement they offered a special figure available only as part of that kick starterish ‘thing’. That special figure looked remarkably like Willie Apiata as seen in a controversial photograph after an action in Kabul. Apiata was a member of the NZSAS and had already won his Victoria Cross of New Zealand.

“Responding in the aftermath of the January 2010 attacks in Kabul Apiata was photographed by French photojournalist Philip Poupin. Poupin, who did not know Apiata, photographed Apiata and two companions as they were leaving the “thick of the fight” because “They looked like foreign troops and they were tall and had a specific face, they looked tough and strong”.”

Willie Apiata VC in Kabul

Good Samaritan 1: von Peter himself has had a long time long distance electronic relationship with Burkhard of the dhcwargamesblog blog. We comment on each others blogs and have even been known to exchange the occasional email. Somehow Burkhard discovered the admiration von Peter himself had for both Apiata himself and the Empress Miniatures figure of him. In a fit of generosity Burkhard posted his Apiata figure to a most surprised and grateful von Peter himself. This was many many MANY years ago. Burkhard must really have wondered what was going on as a painted Apiata never appeared. Sorry Burkhard … von Peter himself works at a very ‘considered’ pace!  😀

Good Samaritan 2: von Peter himself has never painted anything like modern camouflage and scaling the real thing down to a 28mm figure so that it looked right appeared a little daunting. Fortunately von Peter himself has a good friend who has quite some experience scaling down camouflage to 28mm figures. And so the long suffering Craig undertook to paint the Apiata. In the end Craig painted and based the Apiata at the same time as he did one for himself and von Peter himself could not be more happy.

von Peter himself has no (current!) plans to collect a ‘Modern’ force. WWII is the closest to ‘Moderns’ that is planned. But this does not mean that this trophy figure is not cherished. A huge thank you to both Burkhard and Craig for their generosity. It is well appreciated.

Apiata front Apiata back

Above: Apiata front and back. And don’t forget that this is a 28mm figure


More Calpe packs

Calpe Miniatures have some new figure packs. Hurrah! Five new packs for the French and seven for the Saxons. Below are the new French packs. The new Saxons will follow shortly.

The French packs contain Light Infantry command / leader figures for the March Attack French though there is no real reason that they could not also be utilised with the Route March figures.

  • F54 – Light infantry regimental command in uncovered shakos. Pack includes Officer, standard bearer (eagle included), sapper, drummer and two eagle guards.
  • F55 – Light infantry regimental command in covered shakos. Pack includes Officer, standard bearer (eagle included … and it’s a different one to that in F54!), sapper, drummer and two eagle guards.
  • F57 – Light infantry battalion command in covered shakos. Battalion command in uncovered shakos. Officer, drummer, standard, 2 Fourier fanion guards, one senior NCO. Spear point included but not the flag or the flag staff.
  • F58 – Light infantry foot officers in uncovered shakos. Two centre company figures and two flank company officers.
  • F60 – Light infantry foot officers in bicorne. Two centre company figures and two flank company officers.

The less von Peter himself says about these figures the less he is likely to get wrong so it’s time for the pictures. First to repeat the normal caveats regarding these photographs …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners inherent in the casting progress have been removed with a craft knife and the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent muskets etc
  • the figures have been cunningly rearranged between the front and back photographs so that the figures in the matching front and back photographs match left to right. Ahh … that is to say for example that the figure second on the left is the same figure in the front and back photos. If this has not been adequately explained then don’t worry about it as it probably doesn’t matter. Just be aware that von Peter himself went that extra step in the service of The dear reader
  • von Peter himself has ‘washed’ the figures with ‘Shader Black’ from Coat d’arms to bring out the details a little
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on the dear readers device of course!
  • The english descriptor with each pack has been ‘devised’ by von Peter himself on examining each pack. The pack code identifier is as set by Calpe Miniatures
  • ‘Click’ the photos for a larger and clearer image.

Calpe French F54 front

Calpe French F54 back

Above: F54 – Light infantry regimental command in uncovered shakos. Pack includes Officer, standard bearer (eagle included), sapper, drummer and two eagle guards.The photo does not do justice to the eagle.

Calpe French F55 front

Calpe French F55 backAbove: F55 – Light infantry regimental command in covered shakos. Pack includes Officer, standard bearer (eagle included … and it’s a different one to that in F54!), sapper, drummer and two eagle guards.

Calpe French F57 front

Calpe French F57 backAbove: F57 – Light infantry battalion command in covered shakos. Battalion command in uncovered shakos. Officer, drummer, standard, 2 Fourier fanion guards, one senior NCO. Spear point included but not the flag or the flag staff. Excuse the blob of metal still attached to the spear point – von Peter himself considers that he is far less likely to loose it if it remains so attached.

Calpe French F58 front

Calpe French F58 backAbove: F58 – Light infantry foot officers in uncovered shakos. Two centre company figures and two flank company officers. The officer on the right as The dear reader observes the screen is holding a pistol.

Calpe French F60 front

Calpe French F60 backAbove: F60 – Light infantry foot officers in bicorne. Two centre company figures and two flank company officers. Once again the officer on the right brandishes a pistol though in one hand this time.

An unforgivable oversight

A couple of posts back in Birthday Bounty von Peter himself was boastfully(!) recapitulating the birthday books that he had accumulated for his birthday. As usual there was a rush to get the post written, checked and out the door. Sadly in that rush two books of a historic bent that also came in the birthday haul were inexcusably missed! And those two books were actually a present from another party and not self organised by the library expanding von Peter himself!

Time to make amends. The son & heir provisioned von Peter’s library with two volumes by C.V. Wedgwood on the English Civil War …

  • The King’s Peace 1637 – 1641
  • The King’s war 1641 – 1647.

Word has it that The son & heir risked life and limb to obtain the books by climbing a rickety ladder in an old style disorganised bookshop to get the books.

So many thanks to The son & heir for the presents — it seems that you can be trusted to shop on the behalf of von Peter himself. And most humble apologies for leaving them off the original post.

The Kig's Peace cover    The King's War cover

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Call to Arms 2016 and the religious relic carrying waggon

The local wargames convention – Call to Arms – was held on the weekend of 6 – 7 August 2016. The son & heir and von Peter himself added that touch of celebrity to the proceedings on the Saturday by participating in a Sharp Practice 2 Napoleonic game. Ray provided the scenario and the French with Dan and Michael rounding out the five players involved.

von Peter himself and The son & heir were the first to arrive from our happy band of gamers. It was a cold wintry day outside and initially not much better inside the hall so an empty demonstration table situated under some heating and by the refreshments seemed like a gift from the wargaming gods. As there were no other obvious demonstration tables about it was rapidly claimed. We later learned that it was not our designated table but some other swine had ‘stolen’ our official table so we stayed put. Subsequently we were to discover that the wargaming gods have quite the sense of humour. The temperature about our table rose … and rose … … and rose. We started shedding layers of clothing – but not passed the point of decency The dear reader can be assured! It was not just the battle that was heating up through that day.

The setting was 1814 France, specifically the town and surrounds of St Pierre wherever that is. The action was the culmination of a chase that had been ongoing in one form or another since the godless French looted the holy relics of St. Basil from a church in Holy Russian during the atrocities of 1812. Fortunately for the pursuing Russians the religious relic carrying waggon containing ‘the precious’ has lost a wheel and unfortunately for the French the local blacksmith has fled at the first mention of the word ‘cossack’. This has unsurprisingly added greatly to the difficulties of repairing the religious relic carrying waggon. And wouldn’t you know it the Russians have now appeared. Merde! Can the French repair and extract the waggon before the Russians recover their religious and pricey artefacts?

What follows is a sporadic photo summary of the game. Sporadic because when von Peter himself wasn’t playing the game he was socialising. In between these two activities he would occasionally think to take some photographs. And to add to the challenge those photographs were taken without the aid of a tripod so apologies for their quality.

But first some background for The dear readers …

  • the scenario called for more Russian light cavalry than was available. Fortunately Blücher was not adverse to lending some Prussian cavalry to his Russian allies. Anything to upset the French! Irrespective of how they looked all the Allied cavalry were played as Russian hussars. Those first rank Russian hussars with lances did not get to use them in the game.
  • the religious relic carrying waggon had its own card in the deck. Each time it appeared the French rolled 2 six sided dice and accumulated the score. Once they surpassed a score of 37(?) the religious relic carrying waggon would be adjudged to be repaired. After that the waggon would move as an infantryman on the turn of it’s card.
  • generally the Russians were men who had well learned their military trade through the wars whereas some of the French were recently called to the colours.
  • for the uninitiated a ‘Group’ is the base unit of infantry and cavalry in Sharp Practice. They have no real formation. Multiple Groups can join together to make a ‘Formation’. No surprisingly Formations have a formation, e.g. a line, column, square etc. Formations fight much better but being in set formations they are more difficult to manoeuvre around the battlefield. The terminology may be  a little confusing but it all seems to work just fine. 😃
  • whether it be a Group or a Formation nothing works terribly well without the fearless and occasionally knowledgeable and professional Leaders. Leaders of various rankings and effectiveness are crucial to the game.
  • the aim of the game is for the Russians to capture a hopefully repaired religious relic carrying wagon and retrieve it to their lines. The French are to repair and extract the wagon off their baseline and speed it on its way to Paris. Neither side were allowed to ‘damage’ the religious relic carrying wagon. The Russians in no way wish to damage the precious and priceless cargo and the French need an operational wagon if it’s contents are to avoid the Russians and reach Paris.

CTA 2016 1Above: an over view of most of the table early in the game from behind the Russian lines. Click the image to see a larger and clearer view which amy help to make sense of the following.

Starting in the bottom left corner we can see four of the six groups of Russian/Allied cavalry. Only the last of these are actual Russian hussars though the Leader to be seen here is also Russian. The lead Group out on their own are playing as a Group. The last three are clumped together in a Formation. Two other groups of actual Russian hussars were at the far end of the Russian line out of sight and they were destined to have quite a day. The Russian cavalry operated under Dan’s – or should that be Danski’s – command.

Moving left along the Russian battle line we have six Groups of Russian jagers under the Command of The son & heir. One Group is a little tardy and has yet to cross the bridge. An attached officer of the Garde Cossacks is chiding them along to join their comrades on the firing line. The rest of them have made it to the edge of the wood and have begun to take French in St Pierre under fire. The gunpowder smoke … errr … cotton wool shows that the far Formation of three groups have fired but not yet reloaded. The large rectangular stand behind the furthest jagers represents the Russians high commander who laboured was under The son & heirs control.

Further along the Russian line can be seen the beginnings of the six groups of Russian musketeers suffering under the well camouflaged military talents of von Peter himself.

The overall infantry plan was for the jagers to pin the French while the musketeers went for the far end of St Pierre or even a hook around behind it depending on that religious relic carrying wagon.

For the French we have light infantry in the fields on this side of St Pierre. They appear to have cheated and have brought along a single 6pdr cannon! Outrageous and against all the rules of the small wars. But what does one expect?!  😃

To their rear and partially obscured by the trees are four Groups of French dragoons. They were positioned centrally behind St Pierre but are reacting to the presence of the Russian cavalry on the Russian left.

St Pierre itself is garrisoned by perhaps five(?) Groups of French infantry in the various buildings facing the Russian threat. Two Groups occupy the buildings and courtyard on the nearest corner of St Pierre. A further two groups can be see lining the wall opposite the Russian Jagers and another Group lurks in the building to their rear.

In the middle of St Pierre The dear reader may be able to make out a white blob. This is a die sitting atop the religious relic carrying wagon representing the amount of repairs the French have affected.

Finally two Groups of French infantry have advanced out of St Pierre and lined the wall guarding the far flank of the town.

The father and son combination of Ray and Michael ran the French. It’s not really their fault. von Peter himself is fully aware that somebodies had to do it!!  😃

CTA 2016 2Above: The same early stage of the game from behind the French lines. The religious relic carrying wagon with its extra load of the repair counting die is much more visible here. For their first two religious relic carrying wagon repair rolls the French somehow managed to a roll ten … and then another ten! And these both under the close scrutiny of von Peter himself!! Highly suspect. You never know what shenanigans the French have pulled.  😃

CTA 2016 3Above: Oh dear but we appear to be still at the same point early on in the game. A closer up view of the almost complete Russian eager firing line. Still missing are the single Group of jagers on the other side of the bridge with the Garde Cossack officer – see the first picture. The large rectangular base just behind the jagers at the near end of the line is the Russian CinC under the control of The son & heir.

At the far end of the line is Father Disputin acting as one of the Russian commanders. Good luck keeping the fire breathing Father out of the battle. He’s come a long way to reclaim the relics and if their recovery requires the forwarding of assorted French souls to their maker then so be it.

CTA 2016 4Above: At last the game report moves on. Danski has moved the two Groups of Russian hussars on the Russian right down the flank and engaged in several melees. Prior to this image with the cunning use of four Command Cards Dan gained an extra move for his hussars and eradicated a Group of French infantry by pouncing on their flank. Almost as importantly the hussars also potted the French Leader – number two in the French military hierarchy. Huzzah!

The French managed to form a new line of infantry just in front of the lead Group of hussars in the image. Undaunted Dan drove a Group of his hussars onward and defeated these too. The remains of the French infantry can be seen further down the road cowering behind the religious relic carrying wagon. The hussars scored another French Leader by downing the top ranked French leader this time! And yes that is the religious relic carrying wagon just ahead of the hussars. HUZZAH!!

Sadly for the Russian heroes there was French infantry in the red tile roofed building just ahead and to the left. The vengeful French fire was to see the one – or was it two? – remaining hussars rushing to the rear to errr … reform their ranks! Huzzah.

CTA 2016 5Above: And some time passed. Despite ongoing alarms the French completed the repairs to the religious relic carrying wagon and started to move it away from the Russians and towards Paris. Seeing an opportunity and goading the attached Garde Cossack Leader with tales of daring do The son & heir managed to grab the religious relic carrying wagon with fast moving group of jager and their attached glory seeking Garde Cossack. The image shows the situation a little after the religious relic carrying wagon has changed hands. The Russians have turned the wagon around and desperately want it to move out of St Pierre. There are a lot of converging French around.

CTA 2016 6Above: A zoomed out view of the previous image showing the audaciousness of the Russian coup de main … and a tape measure. D’oh!

Several other points of interest for the dedicated follower of miniature military simulation. Moving along the top of the image left to right …

  • the two lance armed Russian hussars by the card deck aren’t really there. They are ex-hussars waiting to go back into their storage container as their day is done.
  • von Peter himself has managed to get his Russian musketeers sort of across the field, merged them into what he hopes is a scary looking Formation of four Groups and is looking to unleash them on some hopefully weakened Frenchmen somewhere. This is the blob coming in at an angle against St Pierre. If The dear reader is wondering whatever happened to the other two Groups of Russian musketeers they can just be made out at the far left of the image between the red tiled roof and the edge of the image. They are looking to open a second front against St. Pierre or make an opportunistic end run around St Pierre as circumstances present themselves.
  • a Formation of jagers has advanced out of the woods. This was occasioned by the French getting the wagon moving and a sense of “Holy Mother Russia!” descending on the Russian command. There was a palpable sense that the plan needed to kick up a gear. It was from this Formation that the brave Garde Cossack Leader and his jagers made their dash for the religious relic carrying wagon.
  • between the afore mentioned jagers Formation and St Pierre there can be seen a build up of smoke – alright some cotton wool! It represents the smoke resulting from “Firing Random Event”. Firing through this smoke was adjudicated with an additional minus one to hit.
  • to the right of the advancing jager Formation and behind the trees can be made out some rapidly removing themselves to the rear Russian jagers. They had been jumped by some Frenchmen on the outskirts of St Pierre who managed to sneak up and attack the jagers in the flank. To their credit the jagers have not abandoned the unconscious Father Disputin but are carrying him rapidly to the rear. One can but feel only pity for those jagers should Father Disputin rouse himself to consciousness.

CTA 2016 7Above: The scene about the religious relic carrying wagon shortly after the prior image. The religious relic carrying wagon has just been re-appropriated by the French. The Russian jagers are muttering mutterings that are best left untranslated but not so much because they have just lost the religious relic carrying wagon but because just out of shot to the right are some French dragoons aimed down the road at them.

CTA 2016 8Above: A zoomed out image of the prior scene. The blob of Russian musketeers has managed to clear the outskirts of St Pierre of Frenchmen in a most thorough and prejudiced manner. von Peter himself was dreaming of his undoubted promotion and military decoration at this point!

The French dragoons can just be made out in the top right corner.

CTA 2016 9Above: And so we have reached the end of game photos. It is at this stage that the martial vigour of French began to fail as they surveyed the scene around St Pierre. And Monsieur Ray had another pressing social engagement to attend. Sure! 😃

Although they once again possess the religious relic carrying wagon the French have yet to turn it around … and they know that this is a time intensive activity. von Peter’s large Formation of musketeers have lined up both the religious relic carrying wagon and the escorting skirmishing Frenchmen while his second smaller Formation of musketeers – bottom’ish right – is poised to attack the Frenchmen in the red tiled roofed building to keep them out of the main action. The surviving Russian jagers partially hidden by the trees to the left of the image are ready to support the musketeers. Danski’s Russian hussars survey the scene down the road at the right edge of the image.

CTA 2016 10Above: End of game 2. The Garde Cossack Leader and his hardy Russian jagers breathed a sigh of relief as their card turned before that of the French dragoons and have dived into the thatched and slate tiled buildings next to the red tile roofed building. They hope to cause the French a little pain from here and feel much safer with those French dragoons loitering on the road. And there’s still that tape measure to admire. Double d’oh!

CTA 2016 11Above: The end position of the cavalry ballet on the outskirts of St Pierre. The perplexing military conundrum here was that the stream though innocuous looking was actually a significant obstacle with steep slippery banks. To cross it would take a complete turn which in turn would leave any cavalry at a disadvantage should the enemy cavalry manage to attack them immediately they had crossed the stream. But to ignore the opposing cavalry and move elsewhere would be to invite that opposing cavalry to cross the stream unopposed. Lovely tape measure!  🚫

All in all a successful days gaming played in a stress free laid back manner. Many thanks to my fellow gamers … even the French ones! 😃 And we learned Sharp Practice 2 a little more which is a definite bonus. Several passers by had nice things to say about the game so a big thank you to them as well. It was great talking to you all.

Many thanks to Ray for sorting the scenario when the rest of us didn’t. It may have been based on someone else’s scenario in which case thank you to them as well.

Don’t forget to click on the images for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Birthday bounty

Another birthday has come and gone. And the number associated with that event has risen to become quite alarmingly large. But what can one do except begin to count down to the next even higher numbered birthday!  💀

As is the way at Neu Schloss von Peter the time honoured tradition of von Peter himself organising the bulk of his own presents was … well … honoured! Who else could possibly know the deep desires of the great man?! This year the deep desires turned out to be a benefit show for the world famous Neu Schloss von Peter Library.

The first two books may have been mentioned in this here blog before. At last they now reside in the Neu Schloss von Peter Library.

Napoleon and the struggle for Germany. The Franco-Prussian War of 1813. Volume II: The Defeat of Napoleon to give it its full title follows on from Napoleon and the struggle for Germany. The Franco-Prussian War of 1813. Volume I: The War of Liberation, Spring 1813. With the acquisition of volume II the complete set is now in the possession of von Peter himself. There is quite a marked difference in page count between the two books with the respective volumes coming in at 488 and 887 respectively. Perhaps this is not so surprising when one considers the activity pre and post the 1813 armistice.

Michael V. Leggiere has crept into the affections of von Peter himself as a favoured author and so the reading of these tomes is much anticipated. Yes – shockingly the implication of the prior sentence is true. Volume I is yet to be read. There is a backlog of reading to be read … which is why so many books have been purchased?!!  👀

Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany vol 2

As all of The dear readers should be aware the greatest year of interest in things Napoleonic is 1813 for von Peter himself. So what is one to do when a book entitled Napoleon 1813 Decision at Bautzen by a reputable author is released. Why purchase a copy of course.

Napoleon 1813 - Decision at Bautzen

Not quite Napoleonic but still Horse and Musket. When von Peter himself reintroduced himself to wargaming after his university days one of his first projects was 28mm Seven Years War. Great was the satisfaction derived from this project as Prussian and Austrian adversaries were collected. For now the figures are detained in their ‘barracks’ but their day will come again quite possibly using either Sharp Practice 2 or perhaps Honours of War. von Peter himself has heard many intriguing – in a good way – things of this Osprey published rule set. Besides – von Peter himself is ever curious regarding rule systems.

Honours of War

And now for something completely different. The most dedicated of The dear readers will be aware that von Peter himself has a Late Roman army buried in his reserves of unpigmented figures. For von Peter himself the experience of researching an ancients army is quite different to the that of researching a horse and musket army. So when a book was discovered that would perhaps enhance the local understanding of the Late Roman Army … and with the implicit permission granted to obtain said book because the birthday purchase scheme was still in operation … said book was rapidly ordered. The Late Roman Army now resides in the hobby library of Neu Schloss von Peter as do all the other books mentioned above. Now the challenge will be to get them read.

Tha Late Roman Army book cover


The Great Wargaming Survey – 2016

von Peter himself computes that this is the third time that those happy go lucky chaps and chapesses(?) at the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine have come eliciting wargamers views on their hobby. In both prior instances they have fed back their findings which if nothing else have been of curiosity interest. It took the normally indecisive von Peter himself only a few minutes to complete the survey so it is not a big investment in time … and there are inducements in the form of prizes and a 5 euro gift certificate … …

You can get at the survey from here.

great wargaming survey 3

A Sharp Practice 2 warm up game

The local Call to Arms wargames convention is scheduled for the 6 & 7 August 2016 here in Wellington, New Zealand. Raymond and von Peter himself have for quite a while had an understanding that they would host a demonstration game of Sharp Practice 2 at the convention. A couple of weeks ago it slowly dawned on us that the convention really wasn’t that far off. At least Raymond had managed to play a few games of Sharp Practice 2. von Peter himself had managed to read through the rules but had not actually played them. Obviously we needed a game so that we would at least be on the same page with the rules on the day.

Raymond hosted and we played the “Fondler’s Duke” scenario from the Too Fat Lardies “The Compleat Fondler” scenario book. This is an all cavalry affair from the Hundred Days Campaign. Our hero Dick Fondler is with the Brunswick Hussars and is trying to make contact with the Prussians. The Prussians are trying to keep the road running the length of the table open so that Wellington’s Army can march to their assistance as agreed – good luck with that! 😄 The French have orders to take the village of Thyle – through which the afore mentioned road runs – and detect any allied activity in the area. As mentioned every figure in the game sits astride a horse.

Four – rising to five – of us played the game. The son & heir, Dan and eventually Michael were the misguided French dancing to the tune of that emperor. Raymond and von Peter himself waved the flag for the good guys. The game had its ups and downs for both sides but at the end it was ups for the French and down for the Allies. As one of the last acts of the game von Peter himself arranged for Dick Fondler to lead a decisive charge of the Brunswick Hussars into some French dragoons. The French were decisively beaten with many slaughtered … but unfortunately and not part of the plan so was Dick Fondler. Oops!

The game had been fun and most importantly the rules – to some degree at least – learnt at the practical level of pushing figures around the table. Now to sort the scenario for next weekends convention game.

Sharpe Practice 2 at Rays

Above: Nearing the end of the game at Raymond’s. The infantry are dismounted cavalry recently pushed back from the banks of the river. Unbeknown to himself Fondler is breathing his last few breaths just on the other side of the river as he readies the Brunswick Hussars for a glorious charge. Oops!


By the way – it’s not too late to send birthday presents. von Peter himself is not so proud as to have a cut off date for their receipt!  😄

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Listening while going native

Three … two … one … GO …

Podcast Corner

A couple more podcasts have been added to the listening roll of von Peter himself.

The History of Byzantium 

Not surprisingly this is …

A podcast telling the story of the Roman Empire from 476 AD to 1453.

Its creation was inspired by the “The History of Rome” podcast which is another fine podcast in case you missed von Peter’s earlier recommendation on the prior blog of von Peter himself.

The bad news is that von Peter himself is just a little late to the party on this one with the first episode published on 1 May 2012! On the plus side there are many episodes (114?) to listen to without having to wait for new episodes to ‘drop’. And new episodes are still dropping.

von Peter himself gets his episodes from iTunes or you can visit the The History of Byzantium site.

The history of Byzantine


Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy Podcast

The chaps from the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine have started a lively podcast described as …

An irregular podcast looking at wargaming.

von Peter himself is a little more up to date with this one as their first episode dropped on 13 June 2016.

Most of us at the WS&S offices spend at least some of our free time painting minis – and when we do, we like having something to listen to. There are already quite a few great wargaming podcasts out there, but that’s doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more, so we’re happy to introduce the brand new Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy podcast. Each episode will be short (30 minutes) and thematic (like our magazines). Our pilot podcast is already available for download via iTunes. Please have a listen and let us know what you think. Since we’re just starting out, feedback is much appreciated. It will help us build the perfect show.

wss podcast


Paramount Chief  – for 5 minutes – von Peter himself

As presaged in the prior post von Peter himself and Fraulien von Peter herself took themselves off to Kerikeri way up at the top of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands for some richly deserved rest & relaxation. Fear not – there is no way that the leisure loving von Peter himself is going undo all that rest & relaxation by documenting this most recent of travels in excruciating detail for the entertainment of The dear readers. Suffice it to say that the time away from work – and The son & heir 😎 – was fully enjoyed and not long enough.

There was one event of note that must be telegraphed around the world however – the raising of Paramount Chief von Peter himself. Well Paramount Chief for at least 15 minutes anyway.

The site of this honour was the Waitangi Treaty Grounds …

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s most important historic site where in 1840 New Zealand’s founding document was signed: the Treaty of Waitangi.

von Peter himself and Fraulien von Peter herself paid a visit to the Treaty Grounds and signed up for a Guided Tour and a Cultural Performance. The former was we’ll lead but it is the latter that is of concern to us here Dear reader. The Cultural performance was conducted as if the gathered audience were a Maori tribe  – the pre European occupiers of New Zealand – being hosted by the local Maori tribe. For this visit to occur a chief was required for the visiting tribe.

The astute eye of our hostess was cast over the assembled newly minted visiting tribe looking for a man of distinction, a man of fine carriage, of noble bearing and of general worthiness. In short she needed a chief. von Peter himself in false modesty may feign surprise but where else was her eye going to settle but on the modest von Peter himself?

And that is the story of how von Peter himself got to be a Chief – surely it must have been a Paramount Chief – for maybe 15 minutes. As such he took the Wero Challenge outside of the meeting house, remained rocklike as the Taiaha whirled around his head at times, gave a well received speech and performed a Hongi.

5 minute chief 1

5 minute chief 2

5 minute chief 3

5 minute chief 4

Eureka Maori additions

And surely it cannot be a coincidence that just after von Peter himself is raised to Paramount Chief Eureka Miniatures should choose now to start talking about extensions to their Maori range. It makes one think!  😎

Eureka Maori 1

Eureka Maori 2

Eureka Waka 1

Thanks to Eureka Miniatures for unknowingly providing the pictures above.

Standby for some figure photography in the soonish future.


Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Aspern-Essling – the rematch

von Peter himself has recently returned from a short no work to be seen or thought of sojourn in the winterless north of New Zealand. Yes, von Peter himself has been on holiday. Base camp was established in Kerikeri from which day long ‘campaigns’ were launched into the surrounding hinterland. Holiday pictures to follow in a later post you lucky Dear readers!

Before taking himself off on holiday a call to arms from the Hapsburg dynasty needed answering. The military talents of von Peter himself were required – stocks of available military talent being at a particularly low ebb – for a rematch of day two of the 1809 Apsern-Essling battle. Garage Gaming Terry and some of his Garage Gaming associates had organised a multiplayer rematch of said battle and von Peter himself and more critically his 28mm Austrians were in demand. Hurrah for Archduke Charles and his righteous ambition to throw off the unwanted shackles of French tyranny … … … and their bizarre insistence of adding garlic to absolutely everything! It’s just not the Austrian way.  😃

After the seemingly inevitable late withdrawals were withdrawn seven players remained to fight the fight with one extra substituting in near the end. The venue was kindly provided by the Wellington Warlords during one of their regular Saturday club days and Black Powder ruled the proceedings.


The forces of von Peter himself hug the edge and corner of the table field of battle. Their job – retake Essling. High command decided(?) on an indirect approach. The table behind holds the Austrian reserves and should be considered contiguous with the main table. That gap between tables can do funny things to general’s minds.


The defending French in and around Essling

von Peter himself was given the honour of commanding the Austrian left flank presumably with the aim of recapturing Essling. On the main table there was a huge central gap / hole between the forces reporting to von Peter himself and the next Austrians in the line. There is absolutely no truth to the various rumours that the Austrian high command were keen to keep the rest of the army away from the influence of von Peter himself or that the rest of the army had naturally removed itself from that portion commanded by the same von Peter himself! The French were destined to pour into this hole in one of their typical preemptive uncontrolled and undignified strikes. Where did the gentlemanly way of war go?! A back table held the Austrian reserves who were not to be held in reserve for very long lest the central hole filling French got into the flanks and rear of the main Austrian lines.


A look down the main table with the Austrians arrayed on the right showing the central hole in the Austrian deployment. This empty area was not to remain empty for long. Aspern is at the far end of the table. Our 1:1 scale models for this photograph are Brian, John and Terry. Thank you gentlemen. The sun streaming through the windows into the dark room was somewhat of an annoyance to this photographer. It’s almost as bad as the sun of Austerlitz. Mutter mutter!


The Austrian right flank and opposing French pre the nastiness of simulated warfare. The village is Aspern.

Special scenario rules and ‘stuff’:

Because they had recently been ousted from Aspern and Essling by the early morning whatever happened to gentlemanly warfare French attacks the left and right flanks of the Austrian host – those deployed along the short board edges – were prohibited from any forward movement in their first turn. This represented their reorganising after their forced evictions.

Garage Gaming Terry kept mysteriously turning cards during the game. They had something to do with the bridge(s) over the Danube in the French rear. What their effect might have been and whether anything came of the them during the game von Peter himself cannot say!  😃

The Granary in Essling was considered effectively impervious to attack … so it could not be attacked. In compensation it had restricted offensive capabilities – it could only issue one dice of fire out of each side.

Generally there were more Austrians than French but the French had much better Command & Control. In Black Powder terms for many of the French the maximum triple move was the expected result. Not so for the Austrians. In compensation the larger Austrian line battalions could absorb and dish out more hurt than their average French opponent.

The more astute of The dear readers may spot the occasional Russian unit in the photographs. These are really Austrians. Similarly some Saxon battalions are really Austrian grenadiers and Nassau battalions are really from Hesse Darmstadt batting for the French.

Time to let some pictures tell a story …


The situation from the edge of Essling looking towards Aspern at the end of turn 2(?). Did von Peter himself mention that the French were to quickly attempt to exploit the hole in the Austrian deployment. Infantry plus lots of French cavalry including their heavies. Part of the central Austrian command have advanced in a sort of double echelon formation trying to protect their flanks(?) while more of them are attacking the church in Aspern. Much like the troops of von Peter himself the Austrians coming in from the far short side of the table are having trouble moving forward. Obviously more reorganising required after their mornings eviction.


A view of Aspern from the Austrian main lines. The eagle eyed viewer will notice that it is an Austrian standard in the churchyard. Hurrah! Not for long however as the French would soon retake the church. Not for long however! The church was to change hands several times but in the end it would be the Austrians as sitting tenants.


Late mid game around Essling. The impertinent French are being pushed back having previously been much closer to the road. The Austrian battalion at the corner of the hedged in orchard / woods / gardens is about to charge said hedged in orchard / woods / gardens. Three consecutive rounds of close combat would see the Austrians bested by the French but the weee Hapsburgs held their position. The fourth round would see the French take a beating and disintegrate. In a mistaken application of the rules the Austrian battalion also performed a Break Test and disintegrated. If only von Peter himself knew then what von Peter himself knows now. The Austrian battalion immediately behind is shaken (has 4 casualty markers) and disordered (has a misaligned stand) and is totally disinterested in listening to any commands that may be issued to it. The Austrian battalion in the middle of the photo with the white flag will fail it’s order to charge the disordered (one stand misaligned remember) French battalion to its front. The Austrian battalion with the yellow flag next to the cavalry and artillery will not have an order issued due to the prior failed order and will continue to sit in front of the French artillery. Time to move on!


At the same stage as the prior photograph but on the alternate Essling front. von Peter himself seemed to have perpetual command failings here. Either he failed command / order attempts or his troops were disorganised as the result of French firepower and hence not amenable to receiving orders … or von Peter himself just plain missed opportunities while wandering around the table being sociable as a real gentleman of breeding should. For example in this photograph the Austrian battalion in column behind the two battalions in line is disorganised – remember the misaligned stand? It was part of intended bayonet attack but having been disordered it isn’t listening to any command to bayonet the enemy … or do anything! As an alternative a firing line has been set up to hopefully soften up the pesky Frenchmen. A third battalion of white coated Austrians has gotten itself left behind earlier due to a failed order and has not yet had a chance to catch up. It’s not all gloom, doom and incompetence though. The Grenz battalion dressed in brown and in skirmish formation in the left foreground of the photograph is about to advance closer to the French Battery and eventually destroy the battery with their fire. At the far end of the Austrian line 2 batteries of artillery have taken a section of Essling under continual and accurate fire. This would eventually result in there being no (living!) Frenchmen being in occupancy … and no immediately available Austrian battalion to occupy it!!!! Such are the wonders of 1809 Austrian staff work!

The end of game photographs from Aspern around to Essling …


The wooded area on the French side of Aspern is / was apparently called the Gemeinde Au and at the battle’s beginning was teeming with vermin … le petite Emperor’s vermin! 🐭 Not that von Peter himself is in anyway biased you understand! 😃 Here we see that the Gemeinde Au has been cleansed with good honest Austrians now in charge. Now what was that about not being biased?! 😎


Aspern is still a town in dispute with both sides claiming sectors with the church in a firmly pro Hapsburg state of mind. There appear to be ample Austrians in the vicinity. Not so much for the French if this and the prior photograph are reviewed.


A view centre of the battle. Through these Austrian eyes there seems to be a dearth of French compared to Austrians here as well.


The somewhat chaotic scene around Essling. With the last turn called some squadrons of the Austrian Hessen-Homburg Hussars have given in to their frustrations at sitting idle for most of the game and have attempted to charge the French battalion in line between the woods – now containing two battalions of Frenchmen – and the Danube. Of course they did not muster enough moves to get there. The Austrian battalion to the hussar’s rear is disordered as is the right hand battalion in line and the left most of the two batteries – yes it’s those misaligned stands again! 💀 The French battalion in line and the column behind the woods – both with white standards – may have been of the Young Guard. With the superior French command represented by higher commander ratings the French could reasonably reliably get triple moves for their commands. So depending on how the fight was looking brigades of Young Guard &/or cuirassiers would appear magically and just as soon depart as their services were required elsewhere. Meanwhile Austrian commanders were left jumping up and down in fury at their impotence as command rolls were failed. Much like that fateful day back in 1809 if one is to believe what one reads about the Austrian command.

Of course mere photographs only tell a portion of the tale. How battered individual brigades and divisions were and how much fight was left in them is an imponderable to The dear reader … much as it was to some of the Austrian commanders! What can be said – and it is the firm belief of von Peter himself that the Austrian commanders were unanimous in this – is that the though the French still held the majority of Aspern & Essling their army was rapidly becoming a battered wreck that would need to cede the battlefield lest it risk a complete and comprehensive destruction. And le petite Emperor would not like that one little bit. Not at all. He was already drawing up plans involving those troops for the follow up battle for which he appears to be favouring the name “Wagram”.

If this report has sparked any sort of interest then The dear reader should head on over to head organiser Garage Gaming Terry’s report. Lots more pictures and details are to be found over there.

Don’t forget to ‘click’ on the photographs for larger and clearer images.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself