Accounts of international co-operation from the archives

Look what happens when one blows off the dust and one looks back through the ancient records. What was meant to be a quick paragraph has turned into a full blown post. Sacre bleu!

From the archives

This delve into the archives drags The dear reader back ten years to February 2007 which is when von Peter himself sent his locally recruited fusiliers off to be amalgamated into the Kapiti Fusiliers … … …

The Friday Night Fusiliers was – and still is albeit currently hibernating – a forum based in Yahoo Groups – all the rage back then – and by 2007 had been humming along successfully for several years. Initially based around a few gamers in the Wellington region of New Zealand it had morphed into a happy and vibrant grouping of international wargamers with actively contributing members in the UK, US, Australia, continental Europe and who knows where else. Non competitive, aesthetically pleasing and comradely collecting and gaming were the guiding principles. Horse & musket gaming predominated. Members were referred to as The Fusiliers.

Somewhat contemporaneously there was a “Kapiti Fusiliers” website which Roly maintained with some input from various Fusiliers but mostly generated by Roly himself.

 

In May 2004 one of The Fusiliers – Fusilier Mike MacGillivray from the US – came up with the highly suspect idea of creating a group painted wargames unit. Fortunately nothing concrete came of it. On the 4 August 2006 a second attempt on the Friday Night Fusiliers  …

Mon General,

The following proposal is being submitted on behalf of your fusiliers, who wish to create our battalion/regiment in miniature.

As we have both the esprit de corps and painting skills to produce a fine replication, it is proposed that the Fusiliers will create a miniature battalion/regiment of themselves – to be used in Napoleonic wargames, and designated as “The Kapiti Fusiliers” (replacing an historical battalion/regiment).

– Several members have already indicated their willingness to paint. It is suggested that each purchase 5-6 of the new Perry French to re-create a company, and paint them to depict the French army during “The 100 Days”.

– It is suggested that each painter have liberty in style, to show unique authorship for each company.

– A company shall consist of 100-120 men (5-6 figs on a 1:20 scale).

– All figures should be completed by the end of October, and for the outposts, mailed to a TBD depot.

– The staff in New Zealand will be responsible for mounting them,
creating terrain, and providing a permanent display setting.

– Our general shall assign who will paint the officers and/or casualties.

Various lunatics now thought this to be a grand idea and before any sane person could intervene further refinements to the build had been made – the companies were reduced to around four figures each in line with the common build amongst the New Zealand Fusiliers – and figures were being bought and painted. In the end Front Rank Figurines were the most used figure manufacturer. Subscriptions to the idea were so popular that two battalions were eventually created though it should be noted that a few particularly “ill” Fusiliers contributed two companies. Completed companies were sent to Roly who based them and is the guardian of the creation to this day. The 28mm Kapiti Fusiliers even get out to fight occasionally.

Above: the 1/Kapiti Fusiliers. Photo care of Roly

Contributors to the first battalion left to right are (hopefully!) …

  • grenadiers – Roly Hermans (New Zealand)
  • von Peter himself (New Zealand)
  • command – Roly Hermans (still New Zealand!)
  • Mark Case (USA)
  • Chris Kendrick (Australia)
  • voltigeurs – Scott Bowman (New Zealand)

Above: 2/Kapiti Fusiliers. Photo care of Roly

With any luck the contributors to the second battalion left to right are …

  • grenadiers – Michael McGillivray (USA)
  • Phil Roberts (USA)
  • Scott Bowman (New Zealand)
  • Mark Temple (Australia)
  • Chris Kendrick (Australia)
  • voltigeurs – Eric Veitl (France)

It was an immense surprise to von Peter himself when he found himself contributing a company to the build. von Peter himself can hardly paint any of his own figures let alone paint figures to just give away! The contribution was the second fusilier company for the first battalion thereby sporting striking sky blue pompons. A less regimented look was desired showing something a little different so a fusilier in greatcoat, a fusilier with covered shako, a fusilier taking a sip from his canteen and a fusilier advancing head turned to look at the aforementioned drinking fusilier were ordered. All were in campaign dress as opposed to full or parade dress. A little surprisingly they were the first Napoleonic French infantry that von Peter himself had painted. Ever!

Above: The four fusiliers and Fusilier ADC Peter immediately before being despatched on the 25 February 2007 to Roly for basing

 

But two battalions will be in need of command

Being the mature, sensible and fun loving hobbyists that we were the The Fusiliers went through a stage of allocating military ranks or positions to some of The Fusiliers. The group’s founder Roly became The Fusilier General or as von Peter himself preferred The Fusilier General Sir!. Along with Eric Veilt (from France) von Peter himself had become a moderator to help Roly administer The Fusiliers. For this we both became Fusilier ADCs – and for von Peter himself in particular Fusilier ADC Peter. While chatting about the group painting project with Roly – The Fusilier General Sir! himself – von Peter himself jokingly raised the idea of creating a Fusilier ADC Peter figure. Davout’s head – modelled by Front Rank bareheaded with male pattern baldness & glasses – would be attached to a hussar type figure to create a miniature me – a distinguished looking chap with male pattern baldness and glasses! The idea took hold so Front Rank were contracted to supply the Davout figure and a dismounted French horse artillery officer who is dressed in the hussar style with pelisse etc. Fusilier Greg was commissioned to perform the head swap – he enjoys this sort of thing and is rather good at it – and all von Peter himself had to do was create a uniform. In the end it was quite a conservative uniform with only several kilograms of gold thread to show that the figure represents a particularly important ADC to a particularly important Fusilier General Sir! Some may opine that the glasses have a rather heavy steam punk look to them. von Peter himself would spin the line that they authentic for the time and provide a rather fetching look. von Peter himself would of course be wrong!  😊

Above: The Fusilier ADC Peter figure was based as part of the International Kapiti Fusiliers command base along with the mounted Fusilier General Sir! and the falling – hopefully just slipped in a cow pat! – Fusilier ADC Eric figure. Photo care of Roly.

 

Finally Roly created a tricolour standard for the Kapiti Fusiliers personalised with their war record

Above: The standard of the International / Kapiti Fusiliers with two honours. Both honours were won in battles fought in a campaign played in 2007. “Segensburg” was earned for victory over a Russian battalion and “Biburg” for taking and holding the town of Biburg in the battle of the same name. Nice artwork Roly.

 

Epilogue

The Friday Night Fusiliers Yahoo Group still exists but has been dormant for several years now. RIP. Although it is effectively consigned to the annals of history von Peter himself owes it a debt of gratitude as he has made several good friends around the world due to the bonds forged when we were The Fusiliers.

The Kapiti Fusiliers website has long since ceased to be. Roly posted a notification on The Miniatures Page in October 2011 along the lines of …

The increased popularity of personal blogs over the last year or two has resulted in the Kapiti Fusiliers website not being updated for some time.

As we’re paying for a domain name for a site that we no longer keep up, we’ve decided to let it lapse. This means that from a week or two’s time, any links to the Fusiliers website will no longer work.

The site itself will still continue exist, but not under this domain name (I’ll find out what the actual host name is, and post it here soon).

Even though it will no longer maintained, the site is still a valuable repository of many inspiring articles and photos.

And although it was given another year or two of life thanks to various Fusiliers – including the normally parsimonious von Peter himself – donating the required money the end eventually came.

 

Many thanks to Roly for supplying photos and other details that needed dredging up from the archives and our poor old human memory banks!

The above has mostly been generated by a steadily degenerating brain. If it needs any correcting then please let the author know.

 

And in other news

Just in case you’re interested the TooFatLardies have released Episode Five of the TwoFatLardies Oddcast. Get it here or if you’re a YouTuber here.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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2017 – the last word?

The year is almost spent. Perhaps there remains enough time for one last post to get date stamped “2017”. Can von Peter himself bestir himself out of his holiday stupor and get his act together? What are the chances?  😃

 

The History Book Man gets his act together

The  The History Book Man is one who has managed to get one more product out the door in 2017.

If you’re on the hunt for an unusual unit or two to add to your Napoleonic French Army then the latest e-book from the The History Book Man could be just the inspiration you’re looking for. “Foreign Regiments In French Service 1798-1814 Volume Two: The Mediterranean & Balkan Regiments” is 238 pages worth of a potted history, organisational information and the all important uniform details with plenty of colour illustrations of the “Troupes Etrangere”, or foreign units, that fought for France from the Mediterranean and Balkans.

The official blurb …

Previously published in two volumes in 1976 and 1983 both have been out of print since 1984.  

This new revised and enlarged e-book edition now includes the Regiments Etrangere from Italy, Greece, Croatia  and the Balkans, and is illustrated with all new colour artwork and illustrations by well known authoritive and contemporary artists.  

As always a real steal at £3.99.

 

Notorious French agent Mademoiselle Keela strikes again! A Christmas horror story

That dastardly French sympathising Keela has been plying her trade again in a misguided attempt to assist that most petite of emperors! This is her second crime as reported in this here blog.

It was the day – or two but who’s counting – before Christmas. von Peter himself was not working and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Ahhh. It is late afternoon. Yawn stretch. Time to feed the fish in the outside ponds. But what is this von Peter himself spies in his path on the path just outside the sunroom door. Oh the horror!! It is a mauled 28mm outhouse from the stock of locally held 28mm scenery items.

“K-E-E-L-A” – the air is rent with a terrible wailing – “where art thou you deceitful conniving ill spawned agent of evil mongrel dog?”.

Somehow the bitch dog – she is a female dog after all! – had got hold of the small outhouse model as created by Mark Strachan and sold by Military Miniatures long before they transmuted into Battlefront Miniatures. It has taken its place in many a battle over several decades and now is in need of repair.

Thankfully the concoction of resin, plasticard, pva glue and paints does not seem to have been to Keela’s taste The damage is mostly to the base which has been chewed away at the front. A few chips of paint accounts for the rest of the damage. It is fixable.

To aid all gamers around the world a mug shot of the recalcitrant bitch – she is still female dog – follows so that appropriate steps can be taken to protect our most precious hobby possessions. This is her second crime as reported in this here blog. See Wagram II for the first misdemeanour. You have all been warned!  🐕  🚫

 

There has been some holiday activity

von Peter himself has been in idle mode for just over a week now on his Christmas holiday break. Of course the “idling” has not been as idle as he would have liked as the good Fraulien von Peter herself has been a hard task master ensuring that the Christmas lunch for eleven was suitably prepared for including Neu Schloss von Peter looking spick and span.

As for hobby “stuff” … there has been the normal surfing of the ‘net. No painting to report as yet though – tsk tsk. A game of Sharp Practice has been played with Tho son & heir and it was looking quite good for von Peter himself … until it wasn’t looking so good … and then it looked really REALLY bad! And this afternoon von Peter himself is off to Garage Gaming Terry’s for a four player Napoleonic game. Not a particularly flash report card so far.

What von Peter himself has managed to achieve is progress on his vonpeterhimself.com  website. Nearly all the action has taken place around the Army Inspections and The son & heirs pages/sections.

These sections are a record of units collected with associated notes and explanations. Many of the images have been seen previously in various blogs, websites and even the occasional publication. The website corrals them all together in one place. There are some new pictures and there will be more as the stock pictures of units are either not up to standard or just don’t exist. For example there was no reasonable image of the 3/Chirvan Infantry Regiment from the Napoleonic Russian Army. This has been rectified – click the image below for a larger and clearer viewing.

The website build will continue at a meandering pace. The latest update is notified on the front page and the decision has just this very moment be taken to change this to hold the notifications of the last few updates.

It really is just a vanity project but perhaps The dear reader will gain some pleasure and insights from the occasional perusal.

The build has been both a little planned and a little haphazard. Please feel free to provide feedback either as comments here or emailed to vonpeterhimself@gmail.com.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

The media edition

A media centric update for any of The dear readers who may be interested enough and savvy enough to take advantage!  😃

Podcast corner

Those rule writing men of TooFatLardies are now podcasting oddcasting. From the announcement blurb …

Looking to keep abreast of what is happening on Lard Island?  well, here’s a new way to do so with the Lardy Oddcast, a semi-regular show hosted by international wargaming celebrity and well known washing-line Commando, Sidney Roundwood.  This show, recorded in the Lard Island Broadcasting Studios on London’s Drury Lane, focusses on telling us what we can expect in future and talking to the two men behind TooFatLardies, Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner, and asking them to give their view on what Lard means to them.

You can see the official Lardy announcement here. And for The dear readers convenience von Peter himself provides the direct link to the TooFatLardies Oddcast One.

 

Old school wargaming with some famous identities

Way back in 1978 a six part half hour television program was made entitled Battleground. The were narrated by the actor Edward Woodward and showed some wargaming luminaries fighting some famous battles from history.

von Peter himself remembers Edward Woodward as Callan from the series and film of the same name. von Peter himself has vague memories a of a wargame featuring somewhere along the line …

Woodward was a wargamer and hosted a series of programmes for Tyne Tees Television in 1978 about the hobby with fellow enthusiast Peter Gilder, who built and owned the beautiful Gettysburg diorama used for one of the gaming scenes from the 1974 film Callan.

The Battleground series features some rather well known wargamers some of whom are sadly no longer with us though their names live on in the books and inspiration that they have left to us. It’s nice to observe them in action … though von Peter himself feels sure that they are on their best behaviour for the camera!  😃

Four of the Battleground episodes are available on good old YouTube – Edgehill, Waterloo, Chalons and Gettysburg.

The Gettysburg episode features Peter Gilder and Paddy Griffith. A better quality version of this episode is available …

 

Grab yourself some popcorn and avail yourself of some wargaming history … and nostalgia.

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Valleyboy’s lament

Possibly because The family does not get up there very often The family still retains some friendships around the Tauranga area of New Zealand. With The son & heir due back at Neu Schloss von Peter for one of the seemingly incessant holiday breaks to his tertiary education the decision was taken to lumber him with responsibility for the dog and the house and flee to the supposedly sunny north** – in this case meaning Tauranga and surrounds – for a few days rest & relaxation. The question to be answered – could the friendships survive actual face to face meetings?  😇

** ‘supposedly’ because the weather in the home base of Wellington was better than that in Tauranga and surrounds during the visitation. Typical!

Many thanks to those who put us up by providing accomodation … or just put up with us! But those poor souls are of no interest to The dear readers here on a wargaming blog. We will be focussing on the re-aquaintence with one Kerry T – aka Valleyboy – and also Anthony M.

In which von Peter himself gets educated, well provisioned and generally spoilt at Valleyboys ranch

Some history: von Peter himself had made Kerry’s and Anthony’s acquaintance over the internet on some forum or other. Some years ago the North Island Wargames Convention was held in Tauranga. The Republic to Empire Napoleonic rules had not long been out and Kerry and Anthony – both living in/around Tauranga – were going to be hosting a two day game utilising said rules at said convention. Craig and von Peter himself travelled up from Wellington to take part in the game. Friendships were formed.

Kerry and his better half Nicki have built themselves a swanky home on a lifestyle block near Tauranga. Designed as a four bedroom house it is in actuality a three bedroom plus wargaming room house. Brilliant! It was to this room that von Peter himself was invited for a game come lesson of General d’Armee using a small portion of the in-house 15mm armies. Kerry favoured his guest by deploying a Prussian army for him to use while Kerry fielded French. The Prussian army was larger but contained some landwehr rated as recruits. In contrast the French fielded a smaller force but contained more veteran / elite units. Unfortunately we had to abandon the game with quite a bit of play still in it because dinner guests arrived. But von Peter himself enjoyed the game and Kerry had managed to impart quite a lot of information re the rules. Some images with accompanying commentary from the game …

Above: the table with the troops deployed. Brave freedom fighting later Napoleonic Prussians to the left. To the right are the troops of the would be continuing oppressors – the French. Note the reflection of the photographer in the large central picture on the back wall. Artistry at its finest!

Above: a couple of moves into the game. In the foreground the Prussian cavalry brigade of a kuirrassiere and a dragoon regiment are trying to get the jump on the hopefully outmatched French light cavalry brigade of a hussar and a chasseur a cheval regiment. The French have spotted this ploy and have activated their reserve heavy cavalry brigade of two cuirassier regiments which have made alarming progress to the scene thanks to the cunning use of ADCs to spur their forward march.

Above: a few turns in on the Prussian left. The Prussian battery deployed next to the hill in the distance have been distracted from causing pain and suffering on their opposites by the posturing of a French light cavalry brigade. Battalions have been rushed to shore up the artillery’s position and the reserve brigade of one uhlan regiment and one horse battery – to the left of the image – have been despatched in their general direction.

In the end the French cavalry felt it had to charge the guns in a now or never move. An interesting touch and go situation spiced up with a generous helpings of canister and supporting infantry fire had the cavalry failing to charge home. A pass for the rules. As an amusing finale to this action we then realised that the cavalry brigade was “Hesitant” and therefore the cavalry charge could not have taken place! Mine ever gracious host Kerry pronounced that the result should stand as a monument to some steadfast military actions from both sides.

Above: the scene on the Prussian right at the same time as the previous image. By one of those gruesome military coincidences the artillery of both sides lined up opposite one another … and then proceeded to target each other in a most sanguine manner. All very pleasing to the infantry in the area one imagines!  😃

Above: the centre of the battle lines. From the Prussian perspective the damaged building – damned French vandalism! – separates a brigade of four recruit classed landwehr battalions to the left and a regular brigade to the right. von Peter’s original cunning plan was to hold the landwehr back a little but during the course of the battle an opportunity seemed to arise where the brigade might be able to gang up on a single French battalion deployed in line. Nothing ventured nothing gained and in the interests of giving the rules a decent run through the landwehr were duly launched in the general direction of the French battalion. The canny Marshal Kerry divined the Prussian plan and prepared to launch a spoiling attack on the landwehr with some of his infantry. This image shows the situation before the action ‘went down’. The French battalion with the blue ‘1’ die behind it charged the landwehr battalion to it’s front. The landwehr’s musketry failed to halt the Frenchmen and they were pushed back taking the (rear) supporting landwehr battalion with them. This left just one landwehr battalion – with another in support – to charge the French battalion in line. You can just see the lead landwehr battalion besides the command stand on the left of the image. Sadly this depleted force proved insufficient to move the Frenchmen.

FYI the little numbers on display keyed the units to a printed order of battle which greatly aided any players … cough  cough von Peter himself … who may not have been familiar with the model army they commanded.

Above: The Prussian Silesian Cuirassier – Prussian unit of the day. They spent much of the game involved in charges, counter charges or melees. They saw off two light cavalry regiments and a French cuirassier regiment and were still in play – if a little battered – when the game was called. And all this despite von Peter himself playing them as regulars rather than the veterans they should have been for most of the game! D’oh!! The supporting dragoons in their brigade could only sit back and applaud!

Not that luck has much to do with it but Kerry is a truly lucky wargamer to have his dedicated wargames room. Included in the room is a cunningly designed wargames table that shrinks & expands as required and provides copious storage for armies and terrain. Also included is a glass display case for the flaunting of a small portion of Kerry’s impressive painting output. The images below hopefully give a flavour of the mighty fine toys historic replicas currently on display. More and better – d’oh! – images on Kerrys blog.

Above: an overview of the display case

Above: Seven Years War Prussians. What a sensible man that Kerry is!  😃

Above: a shelf of Napoleonic Poles underneath a shelf of Napoleonic French

von Peter himself mentioned the post game dinner for a reason. It was wonderful. Mrs Valleyboy – Nicki – produced a gourmet meal that was consumed with great enthusiasm by all present … as was the fine wine selection!  🥂  All present included the additional dinner guests Fraulien von Peter herself, Anthony from that first game all those years ago and his wife Karen. A great evening that has left the residents of Neu Schloss von Peter well and truly indebted.

Die Kriegskunst 2

“Die what?” I hear the less well travelled Dear reader exclaim. Die Kriegskunst are a set of rules based on the General de Brigade rules for gaming the (European hosted?) battles of the Seven Years War.

It appears that there is to be a Seven Years War version of General d’Armee by the author of  Die Kriegskunst – Angus Konstam.

From the beginnings of a game report

This week we were off to High Germany, for our first proper playtest of Die Kriegskunst 2, or Son of Kriegskunst, or whatever we’re going to call it. Essentially the rules are a modified version of Dave Brown’s General d’Armee, with a lot of the original Die Kriegskunst thrown into the pot.

The SYW figures of von Peter himself have lain dormant for a while now. Hmmm! Play testing is expected to run “well into next year”.

 

Perry Napoleonic Swedes

From the latest Perry Miniatures newsletter …

Alan has started work on the Swedish Napoleonic Army and these are the first greens.  He is concentrating on the 1808-9 period first but will cover earlier and later uniforms too.

From the viewpoint of von Peter himself the later uniforms sound like the favoured 1813  period will be covered for anyone who would like to raise some of Bernadotte’s Swedes for the Allied Army of the North. Not that Bernadotte ever really put them in harms way as he played his own longer game in 1813.

 

Garage Gaming Terry’s Wagram II update

The one time Archduke Charles has posted another missive on the Wagram II game imaginatively entitled Wagram 1809 – Part 2.

 

A Clash of Eagles

As to that Garage Gaming Terry – von Peter himself has within the last hour or two exchanged military goods with him. From von Peter himself to Garage Gaming Terry went a set each of Austrian and Russian dice from Dice of War. Coming back the other way was a copy of the recently released A Clash of Eagles from Warlord Games. The latter is the Black Powder supplement covering the 1812 campaign in Russian. Some of the The dear readers may have a passing familiarity with that campaign!  😃

I’s a reasonably hefty publication coming in at 200 pages. A quick flick reveals …

  • an overview off the campaign
  • overviews of the armies involved including many of the French ‘allies’ that provided components to the Grand Army
  • some new rules for Black Powder
  • six scenarios and ideas for pick-up games
  • army lists
  • Appendix 1: An overview ofNapoleonic warfare
  • Appendix 2: Bibliography
  • lots of wargames porn – pictures of gaming figures and units.

The author is Adrian McWalter. von Peter himself believes that the is is very same Adrian McWalter who authored the Napoleonic rule set Over the Hills and the Napoleonic skirmish rule set Forager. A man of many talents and activities our Adrian!  😃

von Peter himself looks forward to disagreeing with some of the content re nationality and unit ratings etc. von Peter himself always does find something to disagree with and this keeps him most happy and content!!  😇

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Snippets #6

The third post in a calendar month. An outstanding effort … even if von Peter says so himself.  😃

 

Trees

von Peter himself has ‘grown’ his first pack of 4Ground trees. For the record the pack was “4 Young Chestnut Trees”. Some lessons were learned along the way. Nothing major and mostly to do with the holes on the optional sabot base and the plastering around them. Hopefully the building of the  next packs will benefit from the  learnings.

The plastic branches are bendable so the shape of the tress can be modified. In this pack there were two larger trees of approximately 11.5cm and two smaller of approximately 9.5cm.

Above: three of the young chestnut trees in their sabot base and one individualist who is not.

 

Wagram II – the game that keeps giving

Archduke Charles – aka Garage Gaming Terry – has posted a couple items regarding the Wagram II game on his a Garage Gaming Terry blog with more planned. To date he has created …

There are more articles to come.

And then there were a couple more photographic recreations of the Wagram II game …

Above: This picture shows the extent of GdK von Peter himself Freidrich Hohenzollern’s Austrian II Army Corps. Oh … and the bodies in the background are the Saturday Wagram II crew. Motley covers it!  😃  Photo care of John H.

Above: a shameful scene from the Sunday. Two Saxon battalions in front of Austrian artillery – and the rest of the Austrian army! – being used as some sort of ablative armour for the ‘brave’ French troops wearing bear skins behind them. The 1/Prinz Maximilian Infantry Regiment – white flag with red border – appears to be formed in some sort of square arrangement while the 2/von Rechten Infantry Regiment – yellow flag – is in line. Yet more shoddy treatment of the Saxons by their French allies / overlords!  ⚠️  Photo care of John H.

 

Eagle dice

Yet more dice have arrived at Neu Schloss von Peter from the dice peddlers at Dice of War. The drip feed of national dice continues with eagles being the theme this time around. Austrian dice in yellow and Russian dice in green.

Bavarian and Polish dice are left to collect for the armies with barracks at Neu Schloss von Peter. The completist in von Peter himself is singing a rather fetching and compelling song. The completist is obviously a stark raving mad thing …. but von Peter himself is a grown man who plays with toy soldiers so don’t write off the chances of seeing pictures of Bavarian and Polish dice on this here blog. We loves getting pressies in the mail we do!!  😇

 

If von Peter himself can get the photography sorted there will be a “The Heroes of Wagram” or some such presentation upcoming. This will present the newly formed Austrian troops recruited for the Wagram games and perhaps some of the refurbished troops as well. But hopefully not next time. Next time von Peter himself will be reporting on an event he is very much looking forward to. Hopefully!

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Wagram II

Wagram II has come and gone. Gone several weekends ago in actuality. von Peter himself really should write up something about it!

Why Wagram II? Because Wagram I had been fought a few weeks prior. If this is news to The dear reader then details can be found here. Wagram II was enlarged in almost all respects over Wagram I …

  • Paul W had confirmed his particular brand of madness by expanding his custom terrain
  • more units had been added
  • the game was to be played over two days rather than just the one
  • more terrain and more units of course meant more players.

For the record Wagram II was played over the weekend of the 5 & 6 August 2017 at the Wellington Warlords annual Call to Arms convention in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wagram II may have been scheduled for two days but von Peter himself was scheduled for Day 1 – Saturday – only. von Peter himself would be reprising his GdK Freidrich Hohenzollern role as commander of the Austrian II Army Corps. It was fervently hoped that at the end of Day 1 there would still be a II Corps to hand over to Ray H who would take over on Day 2. Fortunately only a single battalion had been lost from II Corps by the time of the hand over. Admittedly some of the other units were a little battle worn … but this was war. What does one expect?!  😇

Above: the extension to the playing surface at the extreme right of the Austrian line. A burnt out Aspern at the near table edge and Essling at the far edge are on display. The scene before the battle commenced.

Above: The extreme left of the Austrian line shows more additional real estate in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. This image from the end of day 1 – Saturday. The gentleman stooped over the table is Garage Gaming Terry who herded the cats to make the game an actuality. Most people had already left the convention for the day. Only a few fools left!  😃

Above: early action in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. Grouchy – Brian S – commanded the troops at this extreme end of the French line and by all accounts his command rolls were the worst ever seen by the the surrounding players. Failed command rolls and blunders were to be Grouchy’s constant companion over the two days of the game. It is to Grouchy’s great personal credit that he suffered these continual disruptions to his plans with good humour and sangfroid. A fine example of gaming etiquette to us all.

And before any unfortunate rumours should start the stain / wet patch on the table between the opposing lines was a donation from a spectator who leaned over the tale with his cup of coffee!  ☕️  🚫

Some more pictures from the end of Day 1 …

Above: the French have finally claimed Markgrafneusiedl at the bottom left of the photo though the tower remains Austrian territory. The fall of Markgrafneusiedl has meant that  the adjoining French have begun their attacks over the stream.

Above: the central battlefield. One of the first actions in this sector was the powerful French cuirassier command blundering and disappearing off the back of the table … and not coming back until near the end of Day 1! Shame!!  😃  Rumours circulated around the Austrian command that many a French brigade had been chewed up and spat off the table in this sector.

Above: Aspern has just been reclaimed for France. The Austrians had made a lightening raid down the table to claim Aspern despite the off board French batteries from across the Danube. Napoleon released several formations including the Bavarians, cavalry and some guard artillery from his reserve to hold and then push back the brave Austrians. Not that Archduke Charles was as thrilled as one might expect. The charge down to Apsern had meant charging past the open flank of the main French line. A quick left turn and an even quicker piling into that open flank had been the Archduke’s plan! The joys and unpredictability of multi player gaming.  😃

Unfortunately this is where the photography ends. von Peter himself arrived near the end of Day 2 to see the final moves – and recover his figures! – but there was an almighty rush to pack away the figures, terrain and tables once the final dice had been rolled.

From the keen observations of von Peter himself throughout Day 1 the game had been a success on several levels …

  • the game had spurred on the painting output of several gamers
  • there seemed to be many gamers having fun playing the game and the related social intercourse
  • quite a few spectators spectated over the game. Some making multiple visits to keep abreast of the proceedings. Some were even lucky enough to engage in verbal dialogue with von Peter himself and they were universally complimentary in their comments.

As to the result … not that it really matters with the hobby being the winner etc etc etc. Once the points for brigades lost, commanders lost, terrain features lost and held had been totted up the Austrians were ahead by a whole 3 points. Given the scale of the game this was an amazingly close result and some would argue not without reason – and mostly with a French accent! – that it really was a draw. There are many reasons to agree with such a politically correct sentiment but we – the victorious Austrians – know differently!!  🏆  😃

Idiots corner – the latest rendition

So there was von Peter himself on the Saturday morning of the game all ready to travel from New Schloss von Peter to the field of battle. Those unbearable over reaching and overly smug French required a damned good kicking for the honour and glory of Austria. They were due! von Peter himself was planning to do his bit by (hopefully!) holding his portion of the line whilst other Austrian commanders garnered the glory by crushing their opponents … or at least not suffering too severely. It’s always good to have a plan!

Fraulien von Peter herself had most kindly “volunteered” to play the part of the Austrian Transport Corps and deliver von Peter himself, troops and assorted supplies to the venue. The carriage car was loaded and we were all set to leave on the big military adventure. But something didn’t quite feel right. von Peter himself set his sights on a quick final check inside New Schloss von Peter to make sure that nothing had been inadvertently overlooked. However upon trying to reenter New Schloss von Peter the evil and apparently French sympathising Keela – the local Irish Terrier of ever growing ill repute – managed to escape her incarceration and make a dash for freedom or at least the grounds of New Schloss von Peter. After much cursing and cajoling the errant still a puppy thing was finally restored to the prison that is the inside of New Schloss von Peter. Crucially no check had been made of the internals of New Schloss von Peter. (The Keela thing could now relax. Her job was complete. Surely that Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur would now be hers!)

“Have you quite finished and can we get going?” enquired the uppity transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself. She had many plans for her day once she had divested herself of her toy soldier playing spouse. A still muttering von Peter himself clambered into the carriage car and good time was made to the venue as we beat the worst of the traffic. A quick unloading of the contents of the carriage car and a much relieved Fraulien von Peter herself finally made her escape to her own day.

After some obligatory socialising – well you’ve got to really don’t you – the task of unpacking and setting up the troops began. This was going swimmingly with the usual associated banter until someone asked for von Peters Austrian dragoons that they were to command. Immediately von Peter himself had a good old fashioned heart stopping “Oh bugger!” moment. The tray of Austrian cavalry had not made it into the carriage car. The Austrians would be down a unit each of hussars and dragoons … and two units of kuirassiers!

On the plus side of the ledger the evil Keela had been outed as a French agent by her dastardly actions of distraction. On the minus side those four Austrian cavalry units were required to help see off the French and their minions.

In the end all was put to rights. The cavalry literally came riding to the rescue thanks to the good offices of transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself who wasted a further two hours of her finely tuned day on an extra return journey in an ever increasing morass of traffic to the venue. Not that she was totally happy about it. Not that you could blame her. A big thank you to the Austrian transport drivers who put in a battle saving performance on the day.

Now … where did that Keela get to? We have some business to discuss … again!!!  🐕  🚫

If any more pictures of Wagram II come to light they may get posted in the future. And there is an accumulation of bits and pieces that await dissemination that similarly await a future post. For now this is von Peter himself signing off.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Snippets #4

Wagram II … it’s nearly time

The second coming of the Wagram game is on this coming weekend – 5 & 6 August 2017 – at the Call to Arms convention in Wellington, New Zealand. This iteration will be played over two days with an expanded battlefield / tabletop, a few more players, a few more troops and a few tweaks to the game itself. von Peter himself is expecting a more torrid time than the cake walk the French gave him in the first game. Sob!

Since the first Wagram game von Peter’s Austrian forces have been busily recruiting and have welcomed …

  • a second grenadier battalion
  • a command stand for the grenadiers
  • a couple of ADCs.

With the probable exception of the ADCs the rest will have their introduction to simulated warfare in the upcoming Wagram game. Here’s hoping that they manage to avoid the anecdotal fate of all new units in their first game, i.e. to flee in disgrace at the first opportunity! The potential for a shameful display is definitely there but it is thankfully offset by the the all important and redeeming feature that they will not be under the command of von Peter himself! 😃

Pictures of the newly pigmented figures in a later post when some photos are taken.

 

Foreign Regiments in French Service Volume 5: The Polish Legions 1798-1814

The History Book Man have released their latest e-book “Foreign Regiments in French Service Volume 5: The Polish Legions 1798-1814”. The blurb …

THE POLISH LEGIONS 1798-1814 Was originally published in 1974 and was on of the earlier r titles in the ‘Armies and Uniforms’ series of books written by W. J. Rawkins. This new E-book edition has been substantially revised and updated with a wealth of new material which was not available or was incomplete in when originally released. The original black and white line drawings have been replaced with new illustrations in full colour and the volume now contains many illustrations from contemporary or authoritive sources.
235pp

The Dear reader may be aware that von Peter himself is a huge fan of The History Book Man’s e-books. Still £3.99 and still an e-book bargain.

 

General de Brigade scenario Book #7

This new scenario book arrived reasonably promptly. It’s full colour on glossy paper and though von Peter himself has only had a quick skim read the scenarios themselves seem to be of interest.

Unfortunately the skim read quickly betrayed the fact that the book was written in Italy – by the good folks of the Milan Wargames Club. Of course this of itself is not a bad thing but what is a bad thing is not having the English version properly edited. The text at times betrays its non English origins and the maps have not been translated from Italian to English at all.

None of this means that the scenarios will not provide good games but it is a shame. And none of this means that von Peter himself wont pore over the contents of the book … but it is a shame.

 

Prussian dice

What’s life without a little frivolity? Dice of War make a range of … surprise … dice such that one can have dice to match one’s army. They do this by making the dice in a colour suitable for the army and by replacing the spots on the ‘6’ face with a graphic appropriate to the army. von Peter himself has started an assault on the Napoleonic Dice range. All of a sudden it seems to be a fantastic idea to have matching dice for each of the armies collected.

The Austrian dice were to be the first purchased for use in the Wagram games but agents of the cursed French have obviously infiltrated the supply chain and these were out of stock … as fyi are the Russian dice. D’oh!  A fall back nation was required for the first ‘trial’ purchase. Obviously it had to be the Prussian dice but this was not so straight forward. Two varieties of Prussian dice are on offer. One has an iron cross shape and the other a Prussian Eagle. von Peter himself chose the cross as it is more immediately obvious as to the nation – ok, it could be generic German dice but lets not get too picky! – and several other nations have a variety of eagles so staying away from an eagle seemed like a good idea.

The dice have appeared and where I was expecting 10 dice 12 arrived which is a little bonus …

A second order has been placed for a couple of sets of French Dice – one for von Peter himself and one for Garage Gaming Terry – and a set of the newly released Saxon Dice. Once again the French Dice come in two varieties – one with a ‘N’ surrounded by a laurel wreath and one with a French Eagle. We are getting the ‘N’ dice.

Time will tell how long this fascination with army specific dice will run. von Peter himself has Austrian, Russian and Bavarian armies as yet without their own dice plus an unpigmented and likewise diceless Polish army. von Peter himself can sense their quartermasters raising requisitions for dice to call their own.  Ah … the luxury of frivolity!  😎

The Great Wargaming Survey 2017

It’s that time of the year again. The good folks at Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy magazine magazine are after the holy grail of what makes wargaming and wargamers tick. And their tool of choice –  The Great Wargaming Survey 2017.  Apparently …

filling out the entire survey shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes, and we’re taking responses until August 19th, 2017

… and …

As before, and thanks to our gracious sponsors, we have quite a few prizes to be won. Leave your email address at the end of the survey to be entered into the raffle. Entering the contest does not automatically mean we’ll subscribe you to any communication. That is a separate question which does not influence the raffle in any way.

..and even better …

As a thank-you for taking part, everyone who completes the survey will get a €5 gift code for the Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy / Karwansaray Publishers webshop. Though it does not apply to shipping costs, this code can be used for any (combination of) item(s) in the shop apart from our Premium and Digital subscriptions.

Really you’ve not got much to loose … apart from 5 – 10 minutes of painting time.  😃

 

But for now von Peter himself must leave The dear readers and prepare to don his best Austrian general’s uniform in preparation for the weekend’s Wagram game. There is a real concern that all the feasting celebrating the successes of the last Wagram game may have resulted in a little judicious letting out of the uniform being required!  😇

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself