Call to Arms 2015 part the second … and some sadness

If von Peter himself were to be honest [shock horror] he might admit that the Call to Arms 2015 report was never meant to be a multi part undertaking. Rather late one night after working up the report a little further von Peter himself decided to preview that work to-date to check it for presentation, stupid errors etc. and save it for further work. Somewhere along the line of switching between the preview and the blog contents von Peter himself inadvertently published the update to the whole world! An “oh bother” – not the actual words used at the time 😀 – moment. An out of character rapid command decision was made. The post would stand. More unaccustomed rapid activity to remove some unwanted text and add the “To be continued” epitaph and the deed was complete.

Such is the sad background of gross incompetence to this continuation and conclusion of the Quatre Bras game …

Quatre Bras 4 von Peter's 2 brigades

Above: the two brigades of von Peter’s command for the game. Up front we have Pack’s four British battalions – two lining the hedge adjacent and a little in front of Quatre Bras and the two Highland battalions who have just leapt the hedge to get at the French as old gumboot (Wellington) wanted to apply some pressure on the French in this sector. Behind them are the Hanoverian militia battalions of Best’s brigade. Three battalions can be seen here as Picton has already removed the fourth to the flank where they would remain for the rest of the game.

Once the potential outflanking of the Allied line by the French had been thwarted (see here for the details) the worst of the battle was over for the allies stationed on the left though they did not yet know it. Monsieur Rhys tried heroically to puncture the line but it was not to be. Then again he may just have been foxing to keep allied troops away from the centre and allied right. Damned dastardly cunning those Frenchmen can be! By the game’s end the Allied left was advancing across the field trying to break the French brigades as much as taking ground. As the historical records recount their efforts were in vain as Monsieur Rhys proved to be a dab hand at surviving Break Tests and though his brigades may have been sorely tested none broke [mutter mutter].

A rare visit by von Peter himself to the Allied right delivered quite the surprise. There didn’t seem to be an Allied right flank. Whatever had gone on over there it was not good for the Allies. There was precious little standing between the French and Quatre Bras.

Thankfully the scenario timed out before the French could storm Quatre Bras. A moral victory for the Allies but a summing up of the scenarios victory points gave the game comfortably to the French. Time to fall back to that ridge we spotted near Mont St Jean. With any luck the Prussians will join in to add that victorious touch to the Allied efforts!! 😀

Quatre Bras 5 von Peter's 2 brigades up close

Above: a close up of the prior scene

During the battle the left flank of the Allied Army had no cavalry support and but a single battery. True there was a battalion of British Rifles which the (British!) writers have decided were supermen with plenty of special rules. Not that the special rules stopped them from blundering and running to the rear. 😀 They didn’t unduly affected the battle. And the much famed and feared British first fire turned out to be nothing more than a grave disappointment.

The true heroes on the left were Best’s Hanoverian militia who fought like lions all day. And their brave commander von Peter himself is totally unbiased in this. They invariably rolled high when required and low when required. Whether it was going toe to toe with the French in a firefight or surviving a flank charge by French Cuirassiers they managed it all with the aplomb of veterans. It must be their red caps … or the inspired leadership. 😀

All in all a good time was had. The same seemed to be true of the convention as a whole – at least on the Saturday that von Peter himself was in attendance. There were several other demonstration games and the hall was full of competition gaming in several gaming systems. There were even some visiting public who wandered in with varying levels of understanding of what we were doing. They were all ready and happy to talk.

von Peter himself appears to have ceased taking photographs after the couple above. But never fear – for a bunch more photos of the game garage gaming Terry has posted about a gazillion of them at …

Call to Arms 2015 – Part 1 and

Call to Arms 2015 – Part 2.

Meanwhile at home several painting sessions have moved forward the 3/4th East Prussian Landwehr Regiment as modelled as a shot up firing line – Calpe Miniatures figures of course. Perhaps a progress report photo next time around.

Good bye dear friend

Sadly – such an inadequate word – we had to put Laelaps “to sleep” today. This came totally out of the blue.

Thank you Laelaps for being such a fantastic and integral part of The Family. You were a gentle dog who invariably did your best to please … though it must be said that there was the occasional mischievous moment! You are and will be missed. It was The Family‘s great pleasure and honour to run as part of your pack.

Laelaps

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Call to Arms 2015

The weekend of the 15-16 August 2015 was the appointed time for the Wellington Warlords to host their annual convention this year entitled Call to Arms 2015. von Peter himself used to be a regular attendee on a demo table of one sort or another but the convention has been sadly bereft of von Peter himself for several years now. 2015 was the year of the return of von Peter himselfGarage gaming Terry was organising a game of Quatre Bras for the 200th anniversary year thing. Black Powder were the rules, the scenario came for one of the Black Powder supplements and four players aside it was to be.

Quatre Bras 2 The view from the east

Above: the view across the Quatre Bras battlefield from the east a turn or two in. The British and Hanoverians are desperately trying to form a defensible line. The French – under the dastardly Rhys – have not read their history books and have almost got a brigade around the allied left. Sacré bleu! von Peter himself is feeling quite pleased with himself as his two brigades have managed to form up as directed immediately to the side of Quatre Bras. Of course he had less distance to cover than Daniel’s (arms folded at the far end of the table) troops who are stacked up behind each other as they march to their assigned positions. Old Gumboot (Wellington played by Paul) in his favourite uniform check shirt surveys the scene in the west with some disquiet.

Participation could not have been simpler for von Peter himself. None of his Prussians, Russian, Austrians, Bavarians or Saxons were required and what French were available – a single battalion! – was not required either. Some trees and hedges were taken along but they were not utilised on the day either. Absolutely brilliant!  😀

Quatre Bras 1 The view from the west

Above: the view across the Quatre Bras battlefield from the west a turn or two in. On the left Nassauers, Dutch-Belgians and Brunswickers hold the line up to Quatre Bras which sits on the raised ground. von Peter himself is staunchly defending some ground on the far side of Quate Bras.

Quatre Bras 3 The view from the east

Above: the view from the east a turn after the first picture. Potential disaster has been averted on the allied left but not without some alarm. Thankfully the flanking French brigade – bottom right of the picture – having raced across the table chose now to advance at a rather more sedate pace. von Peter himself fancies that he spied their commander jumping up and down on his bicorne in a highly frustrated and agitated manner … or it could just have been a bug wandering across the lens of his telescope!  😀 British battalions have managed to form lines to the French front sealing off the previously open flank. Just as Allied commanders were calming down a Royal artillery battery comes racing around the end of the line but fails to unlimber as planned leaving it limbered and open to the French. The allies don’t have many batteries and to loose one without it firing a shot just too much. Luckily Picton (one of von Peter’s personas for the day) sees the danger and taking control of a Hanoverian Militia (red flag bottom right of the picture) battalion screams “Follow me” and leads them to a position between the French and the battery.

To be continued.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Rose tinted memories

SYW Journal V5-4 V6-1

Moving abode from Schloss von Peter to Neu Schloss von Peter involved the packing, moving and unpacking of more than a truck load of accumulated possessions. And in case there is any thought that the many many boxes of hobby related contraband moved may have been included in that above total the answer is a most definite NO! There should be absolutely no doubt that all those years decades of collecting was going to be entrusted to anyone other than von Peter himself and one or two understanding and trusted confederates.

The son & heir obviously had a degree of understanding of the stakes involved … not to mention a certain degree of self interest. We two made several journeys with the car stacked full of the precious cargo in the days leading up to the move. The vendors of Neu Schloss von Peter had kindly provided a storage area for such early arrivals and we took full advantage. The second trusted confederate was Terry who not only assisted with the remaining few precious possessions but also took a days leave from work to provide general assistance with the move. This act of self sacrifice deserves some sort of medal as von Peter himself was of limited use on the day as his hips weren’t really ‘into’ the whole moving thing … and we really weren’t fully ready / packed. Thank you Terry. You were a life saver.

What a load of drivel the dear readers are probably rightly thinking but the point of this drivel is that one of the long lost items rediscovered in the move was von Peter’s stack of Seven Years War Association Journals. The Seven Years War Association used to publish their journal and hold an annual convention in the USA. von Peter himself is not sure whether the journal is currently being regularly produced but it would appear that the convention is still held on an annual basis. von Peter himself would have eagerly attended one of those conventions. Especially one of those conventions featuring Christopher Duffy.

Long before the internet was the all pervasive beast that it is today von Peter himself would receive a journal in the mail with much excitement. He would proceed to feverishly read and re-read the issue many many times. Initially they were just back and white eventually moving up market with colour. The memories of von Peter himself would rate the old black and white ones as the ones most enjoyed.

SYW Journal V8-4 and members

As a nod to (his own!) nostalgia von Peter himself presents a few of the journal covers here. Click on them for a larger and clearer view to reveal the headline contents of each edition.

SYW Journa V10-2 and 3

And we’ll conclude with a couple of the colour editions …

SYW Journal V11-1 V14-3

Truly does von Peter himself have fond memories of these journals.

Part of the reason that the Seven Years War Association Journals were so avidly collected was that when he returned to the gaming fold after his university years von Peter himself was captured by tricornes, mitres and Christopher Duffy’s Seven Years War books. It didn’t hurt either that the Front Rank Seven Years War range was being cast under licence here in New Zealand which made the collecting much more convenient and cheaper. And so Prussian and Austrian armies were started, later to be joined by a few units of Hanoverians and French.

The two images below are from a game played on the 26 May 2007 which is well past the heydays of the Seven Years War gaming of von Peter himself. It featured Prussians – with a few Hanoverian leader ring-ins! – squaring off against a combined Austro-French force who started with a few units holding terrain while the rest of the army approached.

SYW1

 Above: an overview of the initial stages of the battle

SYW2

Above: Kuirassiers clash with a couple of battalions of Prussian grenadiers advancing in echelon. An Austrian commander top right and some Hanoverian(!) commanders bottom left

Pavlov Grenadiers get Reinforcement Packs from Front Rank

The Napoleonic Russian Pavlov Grenadiers with their mitres proudly worn may not have realised that the era of the Seven Years War was gone yet wargamers love them for their idiosyncratic look. Front Rank Figurines have now indulged these gamers with the release of three Reinforcement packs for this iconic regiment. The good people at Front Rank provide the option for officers wearing the mitre or the kiwer. von Peter himself has no idea whether the choice is defined by year or by officer – or gamer! – preference.

RNRPK13

Above: RNRPK13 Mixed Russian Pavlov Grenadiers in mitre, marching

RNRPK14

Above: RNRPK14 Mixed Russian Pavlov Grenadier Command in mitre advancing

RNRPK15

Above: RNRPK15 Mixed Russian Pavlov Grenadier Command in mitre, officers in Kiwer advancing

Despite his interest in the Seven Years War von Peter himself is planning to eschew the mitres having already selected the two Russian grenadier regiments that he hopes to one day field …

3rd (Grenadier) Corps: Generalmajor Raevsky

1st Division: Generalmajor Sulima

Brigade: Colonel Acht

  1/St. Petersburg Grenadier Regiment

  3/St. Petersburg Grenadier Regiment

  1/Tauride Grenadier Regiment

  3/Tauride Grenadier Regiment

von Peter himself has some of the metal salted away for these units and that metal is sourced from Front Rank albeit pre the Russian reinforcement pack days.

Besides by the time period that von Peter himself has chosen to model his Napoleonic forces on the Pavlov Grenadiers had been elevated to membership of the Russian Guard. Far to rich on the elitist scale for von Peter’s poor overworked Russian infantry.

More Russian Reinforcement Packs are yet to come … marching out of the east!. Infantry in greatcoat are due in late August or September 2015. Hurrah! Take that you Bonapartists!!  😀

Murawski Miniatures release their Baden range

Murawski Miniatures have released the beginnings of their Baden range. Stolen Appropriated from their August Newsletter …

Launch of the Baden figures!

New Range

I am pleased to announce the launch of a range of 28mm Baden figures. These have been designed to fit in with the existing Murawski Poles and are an excellent match for Perry figures.

The first figures are in the long tailed coat and helmet and are suited for the period 1809-1812. First releases are:

1. Commandpack – 6 figures

2. Grenadiercompany – 3 figures

3. Voltiguercompany – 3 figures

4. Skirmishers – 3 figures

5. Fusiliers – 6 figures

These are priced at the same levels as the Poles.

Murawski Baden & Poles

Above: Some Murawski Badeners flanked by a couple of their Poles

Murawski Miniatures also have a Summer Sale under way. Contact …

enquiries@murawskiminiatures.com

for details. von Peter himself hopes he has the correct contact email address!  😀

Victrix French Artillery 1805 – 1812 now available

After some delays due to some “minor fill and flash errors” during test casting Victrix Ltd have released their hard plastic artillery set. The set provides “Lots of head and arm options allow you to create crews in bicornes, shakos and guard bearskins.”

Victrix French arty 1804-12

The Waterloo that keeps on giving

The Waterloo 200th anniversary thing certainly keeps on giving.

The actor Sean Bean who played Richard Sharpe in the television series based on Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books presented the two episodes for The History Channel. These totally passed von Peter himself by but fortunately they can be viewed via the good offices of the internet

Episode 2 is still to be fully viewed by von Peter himself but the standout scene so far has been the reconstruction of the effects of a musket ball hitting, penetrating and wrecking a leg. Most sobering.

Of course there is also the Blackadder – Waterloo for a slightly different look at the history of the Battle of Waterloo.

A new blog – in a garage – on the block

We started with Terry assisting with the big move and so we shall finish with Terry’s new blog – Terrys Garage Gaming. Terry is currently coming to grips with this new fangled blog technology and getting blasted photographic evidence out of (his daughters!) fancy camera and onto that new fangled blog but he’ll get there.

He has a very busy and successful gaming operation run out of his garage while his car lives permanently outside – we all need to make sacrifices!

Head on over and take a nosey now and in the future. He already has a backlog of posts to produce and publish. And don’t be put off if some of the heading pictures look familiar to the dear readers. They are being used as place holders and will be replaced with more indigenous ones in due course.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Silvery French and dastardly muttlies

In his previous missive – Opening the Goodies bag – von Peter himself showed images of the latest six packs of later Napoleonic Saxons from Calpe Miniatures. This time it’s the turn of the French with the latest four packs of 1813-15 French.

To repeat the few words on the photographs first …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners consequential to the casting progress have been removed with 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
  • normally von Peter himself would ‘wash’ the figures with a dilute black paint / ink / wash to bring out the detail. This has not occurred for these figures. Apologies
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on the dear readers device!
  • The english descriptor with each pack may yet change, though the pack number is unlikely to alter.

Calpe French F50 front

Calpe French F50 back

Above: F50 – Mounted chefs in bicorns

Calpe French F51 front

Calpe French F51 back

Above: F51 – Mounted headquarters staff – mix and match pack

Calpe French F52 front

Calpe French F52 back

Above: F52 – Flight of fancy pack one – Tete pack – Drum major, drum corporal, Sapper NCO, Adjutant NCO

Calpe French F53 front

Calpe French F53 back

Above: F53 – Flight of fancy pack two – Tete pack – 6 man, Grenadier drummer. Voltigeur bugler bugling, two sappers, two centre co. drummers

Sadly not the most illustrative images of the voltigeur bugler but the dear reader gets the idea.

The two sappers of F53 are similar though different. Their posing matches the sapper NCO from F52 and one wonders whether Mr Calpe has thoughts of having them posed together as a group / gaggle / flock of sappers. Of course the posing also fits in with the March attack and Route March infantry poses so perhaps von Peter himself is over thinking things.

And there are now so many French infantry musicians available in the range that the appearance of the drum major and drum corporal were a given! 😃

Hound of Neu Schloss von Peter delays Calpe package and appropriates pizza

To the shame of New Zealand Post the hands of von Peter himself did not clasp the package of new Saxons and French from Calpe Miniatures for a full two days after the day that they should have. What?! … and why?!! To understate the situation such a delay is obviously serious. The arrival of a package from Calpe Towers is not an everyday event and to have that day delayed by two days needs understanding. Painstaking investigations reveal that …

  • the package was despatched from Calpe Towers as an International Tracked & Signed package
  • New Zealand Post have seen fit to add another sticker to the package saying “Your mail has been held for the following reasons:” and then they have ticked the option of “Dog loose on property”.

Presumably the postal worker was intending to enter the property of Neu Schloss von Peter to obtain the required signature in exchange for the far travelled packaged when he spied the hound of Neu Schloss von Peter.

The hound of interest would have been the venerable canine Laelaps – a 12 year old Curly Coated Retriever. Despite many coaching sessions and inducements he has never shown any inclination to sink his admittedly impressive chompers into anyone. Much more likely is a vicious slobbering which while a little distasteful has yet to harm anyone.

A bad month for the dog. The Son & heir had decided to prepare for himself a breakfast of pizza. He had consumed half of said pizza when Fraulien von Peter herself “persuaded” him to paint a portion of the hall ceiling. Leaving Mr Pizza on the sofa The son & heir went off to paint some ceiling fully intending to return to his now half round meal. The photo taken by a somewhat put out The Son & heir illustrates what happened next. The blurry thing at the left (as the dear reader views it) rear of Laelaps is a very happy but a little worried tip of a tail swaying side to side! The dog got to keep his prize and The son & heir reminded for the millionth time not to leave food unattended on the sofa. What is one to do with young conscripts?!

Laelaps - pizza thief

 

Battlegroup Kursk available as a pdf

von Peter himself knows of several gamers who he greatly respects that seem to enjoy their WWII gaming with the Battlegroup Kursk ruleset from Iron Fist Publishing. This has aroused an intermittent interest in the ruleset from von Peter himself but nothing ever came of it as the rules had been out of print. That situation has changed. The rules can now be had as pdf versions …

  • Battlegroup Kursk campaign supplement PDF for £10.00
  • Battlegroup ruleset PDF ENGLISH for £5.00

The Kursk and other campaign supplements are available from The Plastic Soldier Company.

Battlegroup Kusk cover

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself … still that self confessed Calpe zealot

Opening the Goodies bag

von Peter's Saxon army -  2/ von Rechten and 1/Prinz Maximilian. The next line infantry will be faced with green

Above: von Peter’s 1813 Saxons to date – 2/von Rechten and 1/Prinz Maximilian. Must do better! Click for a larger and clearer view.

Calpe Miniatures celebrate the birthday of von Peter himself with some new packs

Yes it’s all true … well sort of true! Yes the birthday of von Peter himself was recently celebrated. And yes Calpe Miniatures have recently put several new packs of Saxons and French into production moulds. But it is perhaps a little bit of a stretch to claim a cause and effect relationship here. Perhaps correlation is the more accurate term … maybe!  😃

Whatever the truth of the matter von Peter himself has managed to arrange for the delivery of the new packs to himself as a birthday treat. Not that it was overly difficult – the figures are in production moulds and available to order. They do not yet appear on the website as they await painting and photographing before appearing on the Calpe website.

The new releases are as follows …

Saxons (all 4 man packs)

  • S8 – Advancing rear rank (porte arms) hairy shako covers
  • S9 – Advancing rear rank (porte arms) uncovered shakos
  • S10 – Head variants for advancing set. (forage caps and bare heads)
  • S11 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, covered shakos
  • S12 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, Hairy shako covers
  • S13 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, uncovered shakos.

French (all 4 man – and horse where applicable – packs except where noted)

  • F50 – Mounted chefs in bicorns
  • F51 – Mounted headquarters staff – mix and match pack
  • F52 – Flight of fancy pack one – Tete pack – Drum major, drum corporal, Sapper NCO, Adjutant NCO
  • F53 – Flight of fancy pack two – Tete pack – 6 man, Grenadier drummer. Voltigeur bugler bugling, two sappers, two centre co. drummers

As with all of Calpe Miniature figures these figures are all portrayed in campaign attire.

In homage to the new figures – and as an ego inflating world premier perhaps – von Peter himself is proud to present some cheap and nasty cheerful images of the new Saxon packs. A similar treatment will be meted out to the new French packs in the next post.

A few words on the photographs first.

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners consequential to the casting progress have been removed with the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent muskets
  • 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
  • normally von Peter himself would ‘wash’ the figures with a dilute black paint / ink / wash to bring out the detail. This has not occurred for these figures. Apologies
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on the dear readers device!
  • The english descriptor with each pack may yet change, though the pack number is unlikely to alter
  • If you are wondering what happened to the advancing rear rank covered shakos (non hairy variety) pack fear not. It has already been released as the six figure S7 – Six advancing musketeers, muskets held at high porte. Covered shakos pack.
  • There are twelve photos provided below. If they are of no interest then scroll down the page for further topics.

Calpe Saxon S8 front

Calpe Saxon S8 back

Above: S8 – Advancing rear rank (porte arms) hairy shako covers (front and back)

Calpe Saxon S9 front

Calpe Saxon S9 back

Above: S9 – Advancing rear rank (porte arms) uncovered shakos (front and back)

Calpe Saxon S10 front

Calpe Saxon S10 back

Above: S10 – Head variants for advancing set. (forage caps and bare heads) (front and back)

Calpe Saxon S11 front

Calpe Saxon S11 back

Above: S11 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, covered shakos (front and back)

Calpe Saxon S12 front

Calpe Saxon S12 back

Above: S12 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, Hairy shako covers (front and back)

Calpe Saxon S13 front

Calpe Saxon S13 back

Above: S13 – Head turn/blanket roll variants for advancing porte arms, uncovered shakos (front and back)

Calpe logo1

That’s enough visual feasting for the time being. Next topic please …

 

Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany – The Franco-Prussian War of 1813. Volume 1. The War of Liberation, Spring 1813

Quite a mouthful of a book title. It does come with two built in redeeming features however …

  1. It’s written by Michael v. Leggier who has become one of the favoured Napoleonic non fiction authors for von Peter himself,
  2. It’s topic is the Napoleonic struggle in Central Europe during 1813. A favourite topic of von Peter himself.

It is published by The Cambridge University Press whose website at says …

This is the first comprehensive history of the campaign that determined control of Germany following Napoleon’s catastrophic defeat in Russia. Michael V. Leggiere reveals how, in the spring of 1813, Prussia, the weakest of the great powers, led the struggle against Napoleon as a war of national liberation. Using German, French, British, Russian, Austrian and Swedish sources, he provides a panoramic history that covers the full sweep of the battle for Germany from the mobilization of the belligerents, strategy, and operations to coalition warfare, diplomacy, and civil-military relations. He shows how Russian war weariness conflicted with Prussian impetuosity, resulting in the crisis that almost ended the Sixth Coalition in early June. In a single campaign, Napoleon drove the Russo–Prussian army from the banks of the Saale to the banks of the Oder. The Russo–Prussian alliance was perilously close to imploding, only to be saved at the eleventh-hour by an armistice.

  • The first comprehensive account of Prussia’s war of liberation against Napoleon in spring 1813
  • Provides a follow-up to the well-known subject of Napoleon’s defeat in Russia by examining a less well-known, but equally catastrophic, segment of Napoleonic history
  • Combines analysis of military operations, diplomacy and the experience of battle

The same website also lists some positive reviews.

All of the above explains why von Peter himself has added a copy of this tome to his library under the pretence of a birthday celebratory present.

Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany vol 1

 

The Great Wargaming Survey 2015 Edition

They – Karwansaray Publishers publishers of several magazines including Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy – did it for the first time last year with the 2014 Edition. Now it’s time for The Great Wargaming Survey 2015 edition.

After last year’s resounding success with the Great Wargaming Survey 2014, we decided to provide a follow-up. After all, some questions can only be answered by running a survey over and over (such as “Is the hobby greying” – a snapshot can answer if it’s grey, but it’ll require several to determine whether there’s a trend). So we’ve tightened up some questions, added a few new ones in, removed a few (that might return in a year or two) and we proudly present the Great Wargaming Survey 2015. Like last year, it should be doable in 5-10 minutes and, as before, if you leave your email address you’ll have a chance to win some very nice prizes. And again, there’s a 10% discount coupon for everyone who completes the survey.

We fervently hope it’ll be at least as great a success as in 2014!

Go to The Great Wargaming Survey 2015 Edition for details and a link to the survey. The 2014 Edition came out with some interesting data and this 2015 one will be interesting not only of itself but also as a comparison to the 2104 Edition.

wargaming survey 2015

 

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself … self confessed Calpe zealot

 

 

Life after Waterloo 200

After the excitement of the Waterloo 200 refight it’s back to a more normal outing this time around. Sorry!

Waterloo 200 – the ongoing story

For better or worse we can’t yet leave Waterloo. von Peter himself presents for the dear readers education and entertainment bits and pieces from around the web on that Waterloo anniversary.

The Waterloo Waterloo reenactment

There was of course the big reenactment on the actual field of Waterloo with reenactors firing lots of blanks – of the gun power variety thank you! Some professional quality photos of the event can be seen here.

Of course there are not nearly enough Prussians represented in the photographs. Where Is Peter Hofschröer when you need him?!  😃 The size of the busby’s worn by some of the cavalry never ceases to amaze von Peter himself due to their large size!

In an attempt to bring some class to the proceedings a New Zealander was given a prominent role … and some Austrian Kuirassieres seem to have got lost and found themselves at Waterloo. The Austrians weren’t the only misplaced unit present. But they are Napoleonic of nature AND they would have added mass to the spectacle AND many people would not have had a clue that they were even looking at Austrians OR that any Austrian units at Waterloo are geographically challenged and living in a fantasy land. But then these latter thoughts perhaps lead too far down the button counter path. No real harm done.

18mm Waterloo 200

Falkirk and District Wargaming Club refought the Waterloo scenario in 18mm. von Peter himself mentions this one because not only was it a spectacle in itself but they really did crack on when playing the game. By comparison the Wellington refighters were a slow pedestrian bunch. See the following video clip for dedicated men hard at work …

The wonders of time lapse photography. Why was this not implemented for the Wellington game? Time for a witch hunt! 😃 For more details on the 18mm game including pretty pictures and more video see Waterloo 200 Anniversary in the General de Brigade forum forum.

Post Waterloo …

Even before the Wellington Waterloo game had started there was worrying word of a Wagram refight for 2016. With all those white uniforms reflecting the light at least photography may be a little easier.  😃

Victrix French Napoleonic Foot Artillery 1804 to 1812

Now if von Peter himself is honest he is not 100% sure if this new Victrix Ltd set is still on pre-order or if they are now available to order. But if it is the former then it won’t be long until they move into the latter category. For £24.95 you get 3 cannon of various denominations and 15 crewmen once again of various potential denominations all in 28mm hard plastic. As they say – you pay your money and you take your chances.

Victrix French Foot Artillery1

Yet more plastic goings on

And just in case there is a dear reader out there who is unaware Perry Miniatures have their plastic Napoleonic British Light Dragoons available for pre-order. A little late for all those Waterloo refights unfortunately. Apparently …

The box covers the Peninsula war as well as the Waterloo campaign uniforms 1808-15. However with a simple paint job (or modelling job) you can add a queue and take the date back to 1800.

The image below shows some of the options available based on the trooper frame.

Perry plastic British light dragoons

The Rheinbund Contingents 1806-1813 Volume 2

The History Book Man have released their latest e-book “The Rheinbund Contingents 1806-1813 Volume 2” covering Anhalt, Lippe, Reuss, Schwarzburg, Waldeck, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg & Frankfurt. From the release notification email …

This new edition brings together three earlier volumes which were published in 1979 and 1980 and an unpublished manuscript from 1984. The original work has subsequently been substantially revised is now illustrated with the original colour artwork which was not used in the earlier monotone publications and selected illustrations many of which are drawn from the work of authoritive established or contemporary artists. This volume looks at the 5 – 7 Regimenter der Rheinbund during the era of the Confederation of the Rhine and the War of Liberation 1813-1814 plus the Armies of Oldenburg and Frankfurt.

270 PAGES

At £3.99 these e-books are great value to the mind of von Peter himself. Sadly another topic which is not really of much interest to von Peter himself. Eventually an e-book of interest will come along and another will be added the collection of von Peter himself.

The Rheinbund Contingents 1806-1813 Volume 2

For those Modern types out there

There are some new rules – three of them if the picture is to be believed – on the horizon for the modern gaming period.

See the Greater Queeg’s Blog for details … and some pretty pictures of trial games.

hoq-modern-rules

 

And lastly a Waterloo themed freebie – you did get it didn’t you?

Those kind folks over at Karwansaray Publishers publishers of several magazines including Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy ran a wonderful promotion for a few days or at least a short period of time around the anniversary date of Waterloo. In short …

You can download these three issues about Quatre Bras, Ligny, and Waterloo at our website for the magnificent price of GBP/EUR/USD 0.

To translate you could download three pdf versions of magazines … for free. See “Can’t Make It to Waterloo?” Have Some on Us! for some details.

von Peter himself managed to cash in – hurrah!! He passed on the information to others … who missed out – hurrah! oh dear.

So smart moves to those of the dear readers who managed to get their free magazines. Life sucks to the other dear readers who didn’t …. or have only just now found out that they missed out! Brew-ha-ha! 😃

WSandS Waterloo mags

That’s just about it for this time around. Next time around there will perhaps be news on what the birthday fairy delivered for a certain distinguished gentleman. Hopefully a book on matters military in 1813 and some new Calpe Miniatures products. It’s all in the hands of the international postal service. HELP!!

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Waterloo 200th anniversary refight

eight_col_Napoleon_-_can_we_have_this_as_a_seperate_shot_for_the_main_web_sory_and_then_a_gallery.

Steve Sands as Napoleon at Waterloo 2015 in Wellington. It’s obviously hard work herding the French commanders into something approaching a winning team! 😃 Image from the Radio New Zealand website

The weekend of the 13th & 14th June 2015 has passed meaning that the local 200th anniversary refight of Waterloo has passed into history … just as the original has.

To recap – one did not need the brain the size of a planet to realise that there would probably be one or two refights to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the epoch ending Battle of Waterloo. But there was only one refight that was being held in the Grand Banquet Room at the Wellesley Club in the city of Wellington … both of which names have distinct associations with the battle.

von Peter himself and The son & heir had both managed to inveigle their way into the game and with extreme good fortune had both been allocated Prussian commands. As gentlemen we could both rest easy that we had been cast on the side of the angels!  😃 von Peter himself was cast as Major General von Ryssel overseeing the operations of the 14th Brigade while The son & heir masqueraded as Cavalry General Prince William of Prussia commanding the Reserve Cavalry of the IV Army Corps. Luckily for The son & heir his last university exam of the current batch had been on the Friday immediately preceding the game and he was available to play.

The game involved around 40 gamers some of whom had travelled from around New Zealand for the event. Over 8,000 28mm figures were used to represent the three armies of the battle. The Black Powder rules were used to adjudicate the game. A set of rule amendments, clarifications etc had been supplied to all involved along with the scenario setup, orders of battle, victory conditions and administrative details for the weekend.

waterloo game map

Four tables were set up as per the graphic above. However only two – ‘La Haye Sainte’ and ‘Plancenoit’ were actually fought over during the game. ‘Mont St Jean’ and ‘La Belle Alliance’ were used as staging areas for the reserves.

An interesting aside: The following pictures show the base cloths bespoke for the game … and that these clothes are covered in a patch work of differently coloured fields. Apparently a British officer surveyed the terrain of the battle environs noting the different fields and the crops growing in them. Paul Goldstone had discovered this and used the information to replicate the fields including researching the colours of those different crops in June and getting the colours right. Brilliant! And then our troops arrived and marched and stomped unceremoniously all over them. What can you do?

The organising committee had excelled.

von Peter himself will now present a series of photographs of the event with an only slightly biased commentary based on the little he has gleaned from those parts of the game where he was not directly involved. Unfortunately these are not technically the greatest photographs one will ever see. The lighting could have been better. To add to this challenge it was discovered that the lights were turned down via a dimmer during the first day … d’oh! The strategy used was to snap a scene several times with the hope that one of them would be ok! Explanations of each photo follow that photo. Each photo is clickable for a larger and clearer view. Onwards …

Waterloo1 - T1 from Allied left flankAbove: Ready for the starters cannon. Looking down most of the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table with the French on the left, and Wellington’s army on the right. Out of shot in the bottom left corner is ‘La Haye’. Looking up the table ‘Papelotte’ is the first building to see followed by ‘La Haye Sainte’ and then ‘Hougoumont’. The dear reader may be familiar with some of the names. 😃

All the buildings were produced by Alan Hollows who has been concocting paper/card buildings for decades and has become quite the artisan with them. They have all been sized as required for the game.

Waterloo2 - T1 from Allied right flank

Above: A view of the same table but from the other end.

The starting positions for the armies was historic but after that anything went … and they certainly did. The French lead by Steve Sands acting as – and dressed as for the first day – Napoleon decreed that the major attacks would initially occur on the flanks of the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table. As a result the area between ‘Hougoumont’ and the table edge – bottom of the photo – became a veritable maelstrom of units firing, hacking, slashing bayonetting and dying.

Waterloo3 - T1 Hougoumont

Above a close up of ‘Hougoumont’ and immediate surrounds.

Waterloo4 - T1 La Haie Sainte

Above: The view from behind the Allied lines in the central sector of the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table showing ‘La Haye Sainte’ itself prior to the starting cannon being fired. The ‘Plancenoit’ table can be seen in the background.

Waterloo5 - T2 Plancenoit table

Above: The view several turns in of the ‘Plancenoit’ table. The Prussians have started arriving on the near edge of the table and the village on ‘Plancenoit’ can be seen way in the distance. Neither von Peter himself or The son & heir have yet put in an appearance which suited them just fine as they were free to wander around, chat, admire the game elsewhere and reacquaint themselves with the rules. In fact the game play on this table was so quick for the first few turns the Prussians went out for a coffee military planning meeting for the commanders.

To replicate the troubles of marching to the battle and to get the Prussian players involved from the beginning the French and Prussians started at the extremes of this table. The Prussian brigades had their order of march and would form a procession marching on. The catch was that while the infantry were able to march on through the woods the artillery and cavalry had to use the single road. This created traffic jams on the road and the dice rolling for movement often resulted in a miserly one move advance – even with the route march modifier applied. The nadir came with a blunder that had the whole column move backwards! Obviously a wheel had come off a cannon which had then rolled backwards!! 😃

The Prussian advance fell behind what the organisers had anticipated. This was later remedied by allowing all units on the ‘Plancenoit’ table a free two turn move to speed up the action.

Waterloo6 - Plancenoit

Above: ‘Plancenoit’ itself. This is the only close up of the town that the dear reader is going to see. Before a single Prussian boot was to make a mark on the table Lobau’s Corps, a Young Guard Division and the Guard Light Cavalry Division were striding down the table … presumably to welcome Grouchy’s arrival.  😃

As a result the action on this table would take place around the middle of the table … which suited the Prussians just fine. The fighting would come quicker, the soldiers would be less foot sore and there would be no attacking into ‘Plancenoit’.

Waterloo7 - Prussians changing tables

Above: Half of the leading Prussian brigade takes the road to ‘La Haye’ on the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table.

Because the Prussian brigades were so large – more like the divisions of the other two armies – and because the Prussian army and a habit of ‘kampfgrupping’ off portions of them to perform particular tasks the Prussian brigades were allocated an extra commander and the ability to divide their brigades as they saw fit. In this case Mark Conroy had broken his 15th Brigade in two and was sending half of it to aid the extreme left flank of the Allied army on the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table. If the Allied army broke then the French would be adjudicated the winners . This would obviously be a travesty for western civilisation and could not be allowed to occur. Supporting the Allied army was the Prussian armies chief concern.

Waterloo8 - Prussians changing tables2

Above: The Prussian 15th Brigade seen exiting the ‘Plancenoite’ table in the previous photograph appears on the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table to succour the hard pressed Allied left flank. ‘La Haye’ itself is under attack and beyond that building the French can be seen pushing through the woods.

Kerry Thomas – aka Valleyboy – had travelled down from Tauranga for the game and had betrayed his heritage to take the roles of Jaquinot and Durutte for the French on this extreme flank. von Peter himself is sure that he appreciated the extra attention the locals lavished upon him!  😃

Waterloo9 - Hanoverians will advance

Above: Action in the middle of the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table a few turns in. With the French attacking on the flanks their centre between ‘La Haye Sainte’ & ‘Hougumonte’ was not as strong as it could have been. This induced a Hanoverian brigade – Keilmansegge? – to advance off the ridge. Not all of the allied commanders were thrilled with this idea but that is one of the beauties of a game with a large cast of players. Command and control confusion is built in. You never know quite what is going to happen.

Waterloo10 - Allies behind Papelotte

Above: The scene around ‘Papelotte’ a few turns in. The French are coming.

Waterloo11 - Rockets too near La Haie Sainte

Above: Meanwhile back around ‘La Haye Sainte’ the action is heating up … literally!

Terry Swain was one of those who had organised the weekend’s activities. As a reward for his efforts he had been assigned a three way split personality. Simultaneously he was …

  • van Trip with the Dutch-Belgian heavy cavalry,
  • Uxbridge overseeing the Allied cavalry,
  • William, Prince of Orange as whom he was expected to dish out the occasional bizarre order to add a little colour to proceedings.

When talking to Terry during the game you always had to look deeply into his eyes to fathom who was talking back!! 😃

As such an important personage he was given the honour of firing the British rockets for a turn … and it is the expectation of von Peter himself that he was never asked to do so again. He managed a direct hit … on ‘La Haye Sainte’ and set it on fire!! Rumour has it that Napoleon himself granted a military award for such a sterling effort on behalf of the French! 😃

von Peter himself is unaware of whom had created the firing rocket but it was quite spectacular on the table.

Waterloo12 - The big French push on their left flank

Above: The mincer gets underway as the French attack on the flank beyond ‘Hougumont’. The mincer was destined to mince for the two days. There must have been many tales of daring do here but sadly von Peter himself was not privy to them.

Waterloo13 - French push between Papelotte and La Haie Sainte

Above: French advancing between ‘Papelotte’ and ‘La Haye Sainte’. At some stage the French stripped the Allied guns from the sector nearer ‘La Hatye Sainte’ in preparation for a later significant attack. Perhaps this is the attack that did the stripping.

Around 4:30pm the gaming, err … reenacting for the Saturday ended for we had an appointment at the War Museum. Rhys Jones had organised for us to get into the museum a little late in the day so that we could see the Gallipoli diorama that had been created care of the assorted inputs of Peter Jackson, The Perry twins, Weta Studios and a bunch of New Zealand Wargamers. See the Mustering the Troops site for more details on that project. Some of the players had contributed their painting to the project and were keen to spot their contributions. Good luck with that were the thoughts of von Peter himself with such a large diorama and so many figures. The task was easier for those who had painted some of the specialty figures.

Dinner was hosted at the  Leuven ~ Belgian Beer Cafe. What choice did we have? Of course dinner had to be in Belgium!

Sunday naturally followed the Saturday. Unfortunately The son & heir fell prey to the weakness inherent in his generation and crashed with a bad head-ache and was unable to take his place in the firing line. For all the doubters this was genuine. He had enjoyed his Saturday and he had been present of his own free will not because of an overbearing paternal parent.

Waterloo14 - Plancenoit table about to get murderousAbove: Back on the ‘Plancenoite’ table the French and Prussians are about to collide … and the congestion on the road shows no sign of abating.

Waterloo15 - Prussian direct entry to the La Haie Sainte table

Above: Alan Hollows wonders what fool put his lovely ‘Papelotte’ so far across the table.

Waterloo16 - Scratch 3 French cavalry regts

Above: The Prussians and French have commenced their deadly work on the ‘Plancenoite’ table. The significant features of this photo are what the dear reader cannot see. In an attempt to clear the three Prussian batteries three French cavalry regiments had charged them. It is a testament to the courage and skill of the Prussian artillerists that all three of their batteries are still to be seen but none of the French cavalry remain in the frame. Much lamenting will be heard from the wives, mothers and orphans of those brave cavalrymen! 😃

The more educated of the dear readers will have noticed the presence of two Saxon battalions and one from Nassau amongst the Prussians. By way of explanation the Prussian orbit required many MANY battalions of landwehr and they were just not available. These battalions helped make up the shortfall. And besides there were Prussian troops at Waterloo still in their old uniforms from Berg, etc so a few oddball uniforms was not totally unhistoric.

Also to be seen in this photograph is the French Guard Light Cavalry – the Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde and behind them the Dutch Lancers. Earlier the Dutch Lancers had pounced on a foolish brave unit of landwehr cavalry that was in march column and way in advance of any other Prussian units. The expectation was that there would quickly be a finely sliced and diced landwehr cavalry regiment fertilising the battlefield but to everyone’s surprised they survived the first round of combat inflicting a casualty … but sadly not the second yet they did inflict another casualty(s?).

However it happened the Dutch Lancers were Shaken which in Black Powder terms meant that they were vulnerable. On the road at the top of the picture can be seen a unit of Prussian dragoons. These are sitting there in a disorganised state because of an audacious plan von Peter himself had dreamed up. With The son & heir’s non appearance due to illness command of the cavalry reserve had fallen to von Peter himself. A follow me order was issued and the dragoons had attacked the shaken Dutch Lancers. The dragoons had ended up throwing nine D6s – six sided dice – needing threes to hit and the Dutch Lancers hit back with ten D6s needing fives to hit. von Peter himself would happily take those odds on most days and the chance of removing the dangerous Dutch Lancers was well worth the risk. Sadly the dice were not with the good guys and the dragoons had bounced to where they can be seen here … and from where they would eventually be removed from the game as control of them was never regained due to ongoing disorders until they ceased to be. Sigh – a chance at an Iron Cross or better had gone begging. 😃

In the bottom left of the picture are some the Prussian troops that have started to chew their way through the French Young Guard Division.

Waterloo17 - Plancenoit table

Above: the same scene from down the table. Another brigade of Prussian heroes has appeared and still the road is a congested nightmare. At least the brigade artillery of von Peter’s 14th Brigade has finally made it onto the table … even if it is still stuck in traffic.

Waterloo18 - overview of La Haie Sainte table

Above: In the foreground the Prussians of Steimetz’s – who looked suspiciously like Rhys Jones – 1st Brigade are making a statement on the ‘La Haye Sainte’ table. Further along the table a life and death struggle continues as the French desperately try to break the Allied army before the Prussian wrath is applied. And the Allies are not that far off breaking Napoleon declares … or is this just one of those bulletins for which Napoleon is renown?

Waterloo19 - French breaking the line

Above: Apologies for the picture  – click on it for a larger and clearer version – but this is the sort of image that gave the French heart. French Guard infantry in bearskins hats supported by Cuirassiers and line infantry on the ridge which the Allies are meant to be holding. If only there had been Allied artillery left in this sector.

Waterloo20 - fear the landwehr cavalry

Above: Perhaps von Peter himself may get his Iron Cross after all. A French brigade tried to deploy so as to bar the way forward for the Prussians but blundered and advanced on the Prussians instead. Seeing a limbered French battery leading the way von Peter himself bravely placed himself at the head of a Prussian landwehr cavalry regiment – yellow and red pennants in the image – and charged. The cavalry came up with five dice to roll in the melee and the image records the result of that throw … btw sixes are good! Fear well lead landwehr cavalry!! 😃

Waterloo21 - Prussian pressure on La Haqie Sainte table

Above: Steinmetz goes to work on both sides of ‘Papelotte’.

Waterloo22 - French guard on the ridgeAbove: Those French chaps in their bearskin hats consolidate on the ridge.

Waterloo23 - bewtween La Haie Sainte and Hougoumont

Above: And it doesn’t look a whole lot better for the Allies on the other side of ‘La Haye Sainte’ either!

Waterloo24 - end game Plancenoit table

Above: The end game on the ‘Plancenoite’ table. On the Prussian left a division of French Young Guards has been consumed and the French are attempting to use their cavalry to cover for their lack of infantry.

On their left the Prussians are trying to reorganise themselves for a push into the woods where the French are ensconced. A series of single moves and disorders – and no doubt some inefficient decisions! – are making this a frustrating exercise for von Peter himself. The infantry supporting the Prussian central batteries have also been released by the high command to aid in this endeavour. The French have created a grand battery which dominates the area between the woods and the Prussian battery. At last the 14th Brigade’s supporting artillery has cleared the chaos on the road and has nearly reached the front. The first battery up is the newly painted 12 pounder battery. The plan was to have it felling lumber and Frenchmen in the wood. Note to self – should paint the limbers.

Waterloo25 - end game ... and still the road is clogged!

Above: The same position but looking down the table. The road is still chocked full of artillery while more infantry march to the sounds of the guns … unlike certain Frenchmen that could be mentioned. 😃

A National Radio consequence

On the Saturday Simon Morton from Radio New Zealand’s program This Way Up was in attendance with his microphones and easy conversational ways. As a consequence of this visitation the forty minute “Waterloo 200” has resulted and will be broadcast on Saturday 20th June early in the afternoon at 12:11pm.

Currently you can hear the program as a podcast here … for now. I’m not sure where it will be hosted in the future. 😳

Crutches

The weekend came three weeks after the infamous left hip replacement. Fortunately the recovery went about as well as could be expected. von Peter himself was able to hobble around either unaided or later in the day with one crutch or even later in the day with two crutches! A generous regime of pill popping helped. 😃 A big thanks to all those that helped out moving troops etc to and from cars for von Peter himself as he was unable to do so for himself. Also thank you Terry for taking care of von Peter himself once the Sunday gaming finished and the Fraulien von Peter herself was delayed collecting von Peter as she was out at a very nice eatery with friends!

Other sources

Given the significance of this game and the wide cast of characters involved von Peter himself is not the only blogger to record their thoughts on the refight. At the time of going to press von Peter himself is aware of the following ‘reports’ …

And as alluded to way back at the beginning this was not the only 200th anniversary Waterloo reenactment game played over the weekend. There were two note worthy efforts in Australia. These can be checked at …

Did history repeat?

Having suffered through so much the dear reader may be curious as to the result of the battle. To win the French needed to break the Allied army. To do so they needed to break 15 of the Allied army’s brigades. 13 had been broken when time was called. Conversely the French would loose if 21 of their brigades were broken and they too had lost 13 brigades. But because of the inroads being made by the Prussians and because the Allied army had not been defeated in time the game was officially adjudicated as an Allied & Prussian victory … by a nose. As in the original 200 years earlier a damned near run thing.

Good times played in a good spirit backed up by good organisation. A big thank you to all involved.

As always don’t forget that you can click on any of the pictures to see a larger and clearer view of them.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself