Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nice work chaps! Warfare Minis Guest Gallery 1

Note: when I first got the idea to do this post I thought it might be a one off. In the end I had enough photos (with many left over) to do a series of 5 posts. I really enjoyed looking at what gamers and painters have done with range.....

Swedish Kalmar Regiment by Jim Masson

I thought it would be nice to show off some of the lovely work that other painters do on Warfare Miniatures and so this post features just that.

An eclectic and lovely mix of work by some names you may recognize and some you may not!

Regardless, these are all super examples of how to do it!

These look very much like the King's Foot Guards to me! By Jez Griffin

Jez Griffin is a very talented painter and makes his living from commissions. I am unsure whether these models were for Jez's own collection or for a customer but they are cracking pieces of work.

Lovely dragoons - Leveson's I believe (or possibly Jacobite - Clare's Dragoons). Jez Griffin again

He paints extensively for many manufacturers websites and his work features in the most popular hobby mags too.

Nice close up of the Guard's Command stand - Jez Griffin again

Jim Masson's Kalmar Regiment from a different angle

Jim Masson has a style that is very gentle on the eye and he likes to do a bit of conversion work too.
He has some family connection to the Kalmar Regiment but I'll let him tell you about that!

A few conversions in here by Jim Masson

Some rascally looking Scots Horse from Jim Masson

Being a Scot, Jim has more than a passing interest in Scottish history. Here are some of his wonderful grey dragoons.

Jim Masson's version of Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard - Dumbarton's Regiment

Jim Purky's  Ostgota Cavalry Regiment

Jim Purky needs no introduction here. He has a wonderful blog full of top quality content and is prolific both on the convention circuit and with his own miniatures range. He has done some sterling work on Warfare stuff and I am very proud o feature his painting here.

Der Alte Fritz's 1st Battlaion Uppland Regiment

The Uppland Infantry regiment 1st Battalion by Jim Purky

The Swedish cavalry unit is superb.

Another shot of Jim Purky's Ostgota Cavalry Regiment

Jim really gets the miniatures to look the way they were designed to - lots of movement and flair!

Soren's base work is outstanding.. the figures are pretty good too!

Soren Christiansen is living in the enemy camp - a Dane who lives in Stockholm! He is also a very talented painter who has completed some outstanding work with Warfare minis.

Soren's level of detail really makes the figures look outstanding

Soren was working hard on an Skane Wars project and did troops for both the Swedes and Danes at the battle of Lund

Soren Christiansen's Swedish Life Guard (he's painted them like is actually a Swede!)

Toggy Bob did these lovely Saxon Garde cavalry

And he did these too!

Augsburger Toggy Bob Talbot is not just interested in 18 wheelers, strawberrys and KFC, he is also a cracking painter and here are a couple of units of Saxon Garde Horse he did for another friend of the Blog, Gunter Heim.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some time to reflect

Plenty of space to let my mind wander here....24.8062° N, 56.1254° E

Being somewhat averse to the sun I have used much of my time this last week to catch up on written projects safely indoors and away from it. I realized that I have a lot of these projects.

This bizarre battlefield duel did take place between two allies at 18.0193° N, 76.9758° W

I spent a good chunk of the week organizing the October gaming weekender and sorting out all of the details and plot twists. The narrative of this campaign is pretty extensive and the fact that our players assume the characters allows the whole thing to take off in a way that makes putting the pieces together into a coherent story much easier.

Compagnies Franche de la Marine will make an appearance in October at 20.0549° N, 72.7925° W

The collateral varies from the objective, statistic based  OOBs, casualty stats, routs and triumphs to the more subjective perspectives of what actually happened. Over the piece, which has so far involved eighteen people, eleven tabletop battles and much behind the scenes activity, many details have had to be created.

Building the story around the Nieuw Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie was fun!

There is a very fine line between fact and fantasy and my extension of the facts is I hope, mostly grounded in logical hypothesis and projections rather than an alternative universe. In creating these additional data it has become clear that much of it could be used by other gamers who wish to explore the possibilities of the period beyond the historical battles which are easy to find on Wikipedia.

English and Dutch forts in Ghana in the 1700s - Komenda Wars

My own need to enhance the detail of the Caribbean theatre operations has lead me to find information on the Komenda Wars in Ghana between the British and the Dutch at a time when the countries were combined under William III! This nugget merits automatic inclusion in the next but one iteration of our expanding world of Jacobite v Williamite!

Jean Baptiste du Casse - will appear in October in Dumfries!

I discovered Jean Baptiste Du Casse - French Governor of Saint Dominique - how could I have missed this guy before? Another immediate inclusion. Add that to colonial struggles in Brazil, Madagascar, Pondicherry and Bangkok and my head is exploding with painting projects and scenarios.

This island features prominently in our October weekend

Team Harrison & Hilton are ideas rich but time poor. We have more output than we can cope with and this inevitably leads to delays in our material surfacing. The balance is creative control versus volume and at the moment we are losing the fight.

Jacobites and Williamites fight over near 54.8274° N, 7.4633° W

We are very conscious of the numerous requests for publication of things that we have mentioned on blogs and fora but currently cannot meet the demand.

We are trying to find compromises to unblock the log jam. Apart from BLB3/WTK we have the regimental level version of the same rules finished. We have texts for 12 new uniform pdfs, we have a Crimean and and ACW version of Republic to Empire finished, there is the Donnybrook Dark material which could pretty much go now, there is the Billy Bunteresque Victory without Quarter and a further regimental set of rules which I penned for the GNW but which now may be superseded by BLB3 Regimental level.

How to get all this stuff out there? Cloning? Hiring? Giving up what we do currently to concentrate on the hobby(attractive but not commercially viable).

In October there is trouble brewing near 56.6826° N, 5.1023° W. I know, I've been there!

My own thoughts are to  plough on, keep creating and work towards a system that allows us to get more out there quicker.

I have decided that the collateral from the campaign is meaty enough to be compiled into a wargaming guide for like minded should who want a bit of a dip into the period. I am working on that right now.

I have enjoyed my Busman's Break at the laptop. It has been fun and creative. More to come....

Amongst other places, we'll make it here in 2018.. 15.2993° N, 74.1240° E

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Guest post: On the trail of the Jacobite War in Ireland Part 3 - The Fort

Friend of the blog Peter A shares his some of his Irish campaign experiences from Kinsale 1690....

The Fort – Kinsale
Kinsale at 7.30am on a Sunday morning. Clear, bright, cold. Sun rising over the remains of the old James Fort. The harbour still and quiet – waiting for the day.

That peace – an enchanted moment – the sea and the shape of the hills is a view untouched for a thousand years – any modern intrusions fade away - what we see today is what they saw in 1690.
And the memories of that time flood back… the old Fort was taken by the Dane General Tettau at the head of 800 men. The garrison was far more numerous than had been reported by deserters – suggesting only 150 men. In fact, there were 450 but as the assault went in an explosion amongst the barrels of powder killed many of the defenders and the Fort was quickly carried – 220 Irish were killed and the rest made prisoners… some tried to escape across the water in boats to the New Fort. But the tide was against them and shot from the shore despatched most of them.

And so to Charles Fort. The new Fort. One of the best-preserved star Forts in Europe. It followed the principles of Vauban in terms of the ramparts, the bastions and the covered way. However, it was adapted to the uneven topography of the site and its principal role was seen as a coastal defence Fortification to prevent foreign naval forces entering Kinsale harbour. Since sieges rather than field battles were by far the most common form of conflict in our period, it is exciting to visit a place that witnessed a real siege in 1690. History seeps out from the massive walls…

The best way to appreciate the shape and scale of a Vauban-style Fort is from the sky. This photo hangs in the gatehouse – which now serves as the entrance to the museum. The white gravel walkway from the carpark across the bridge to the main gate is at the bottom of the image. The huge bastions and grassed walkways look strong and not to be easily conquered…

Once inside there are stunning views out to sea. What a vantage point! Head straight south and you would eventually hit Brest on the Brittany peninsula and then the Bay of Biscay and Spain. From beyond that horizon, James first arrived in Ireland here in Kinsale - full of hope and expectation of the recovery of his English throne.

The sheltered nature of the wonderful deep harbour is clear – an attractive anchorage for an enemy fleet. When the Fort was built, the threat was anticipated to come from this sea – essentially from France…! It was constructed in the early 1680s, and Charles Fort was the most expensive Fortification in Ireland. William Robinson, Superintendent of Fortifications was the designer. The Earl of Orrery laid the first stone and when the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Duke of Ormond visited the site in August 1681, for obvious diplomatic and sycophantic reasons, he named it after King Charles II.

The key weakness of the place - as is seen in these pictures beyond the scaffolding and the close-up view -  is the rising high ground where a besieger could look down on the Fort, bombard it with cannon and mortars and chose his point of attack. Despite its seemingly massive strength, the new Fort was in fact vulnerable to attack from land-based forces.
The sheer labour, the danger and difficulty of besieging a Fortification is brought to life in these models in a display in one of the garrison buildings.

This siege map of the order of battle of the Williamites forces – attributed to Thomas Philips who did many drawings of Irish harbours and Fortifications - though frustratingly faint - is a great illustration of where the troops were camped and where their trenches ran.  Philips felt the new Fort was badly-sited being overlooked by the high ground inland. The English and the Danes prepared to make two attacks. As we look we see the Danes under the Prince of Württemberg positioned on the right or East– and the English on the left or West.
After his first success with the taking of James Fort, my Lord Marlborough now sent a summons to the Governor of the substantial New Fort. Sir Edward Scott was no pushover. He answered coolly that ‘it would be time enough to capitulate a month hence…’. Marlborough lacked the necessary siege equipment and artillery which was on its ponderous way from Cork. Once the batteries were in place however, the Allies expected to effect a breach in a few short days…
Trenches were opened and the saps which can be seen in the jagged red lines - headed steadily towards the counterscarp - while the heavy cannons were hourly anticipated.

The Danish high ground, the covered way and the Cockpit bastion

A guerite – a sentry box – one of my favourite Vaubanesque architectural features!
Here is the high ground where the Danes were encamped. They sapped from this ground towards the Cockpit or East bastion – aiming to make a breach in ‘the long wall’ that ran from here to the seaward Charles bastion on the cliff edge.

The Irish tricolour – it is April 2016 and memories and notices referring to the centenary of the Easter Rising are everywhere. Here is another brick sentry box on the outermost point of the Flagstaff bastion. Also note the musket firing platforms. The Flagstaff is the largest bastion and designed to be used as a citadel if needed as a last refuge.

A good view of the gun platform, with the grass ramp up to the firing position. The area alongside the ramp was used as a parade ground. The platform has commanding views and just like the casemated seaward facing Devil’s and Charles bastions, its job was to defend the harbour from enemy intrusion.

The dénouement came with the arrival of the cannon from Cork and the establishment of the batteries. A breach capable of being assaulted was soon made by the Danes in the long East wall in front of them. The saps there were now in pistol range of the covered way and the troops were ready to attack. The siege had lasted 13 days and the last 5 days had witnessed continual cannon fire. Sir Edward now felt that the honours of war had been satisfied and he opened negotiations with the Earl of Marlborough on surrender. The white flag was raised and the chamade was beaten.  Good terms were agreed and the Governor and his feisty wife Lady Scott led the garrison out through the breach – she in her coach - with drums beating and flags waving. Twelve hundred survivors marched out from Fort Charles and headed for Limerick.

                                             the Cockpit bastion. They exited here.

Final views of the Fort, the covered way

Kinsale in the background. Beyond the bridge and entrance point across the dry ditch. After the surrender, Brigadier General Churchill, Marlborough’s brother, became Governor of the Fort.
James Fort is visible on the brown promontory in the middle distance and the port of Kinsale and its landlocked, deep safe harbour is on the horizon.

These defeats closed the access to the south of Ireland for French shipping and support. It was the beginning of the end. James had landed here in Kinsale in 1689. And now also from here he scuttled away down these steps and into his lonely boat. ‘ Will ye no come back again…?’

James leaving Ireland

Friday, July 14, 2017

Battle for Britain - inside the Caribbean forces

Creole infantry in action!

The Caribbean theatre started as a one off idea but the more I researched it the more I got hooked by the scope, scale and generally bizarre nature of what the European superpowers got up to there.

Our first outing centres on Jamaica - previously Spanish, now English and very recently declared for King James and not King William.  Challenging possession of the island is an unholy alliance between the displaced Spaniards, now operating from the much larger territory of Cuba and their Protestant allies - the Huguenots and a distinctly commercial concern the NGWIC (new Dutch West India Company)

This post is about the forces and not the action so here they are with a little explanation of each on the way:

General Dominic Sheldon's Irish Expeditionary Regiment of Foot

Sheldon's Irish Regiment is a composite force of ten companies drawn from the regiments in England and Ireland. There are three pike companies (how useful this weapon would be in the Indies remains to be seen), five musketeer companies, one oversized grenadier company and an independent fuzileer company. Two light guns accompanied the force. The commander is Englishman, devout Catholic and loyal servant of King James - Dominic Sheldon. Total compliment 650 men.

General Torres Spanish Force from Cuba

The Spaniards want Jamaica back. King Carlos has agreed to support the Williamite invasion in order to win a chance of regaining the island )although how this is to be achieved is not certain). The Spanish force is composed of experienced Tropical service soldiers from the Cartagena Tercio.  Six musketeer companies and one pike company are drawn from this regular formation. In addition, Torres has brought a body of 60 cuirassiers under Don Ramon and a further 60 volunteer Horse. Since Jamaica was Spanish until relatively recently many Spanish born men on the island have rallied to a secret call to arms producing two large units of Spanish- Jamaican militia amounting to over 200 men. The Spaniards also have two large field cannons. The total Spanish force exceeds 740 men.

NGWIC Forces - Dutch West India Company troops out of Sint Maarten.

I looked into the Dutch West India Company a little. I did not find definitive military organizational information but I assumed a military presence and put together seven companies of musketeers, one of Grenadiers, two volunteer companies of Protestant Irish Planters who will not swear fealty to King James and two light guns. In command of the force is the Scottish aristocrat Lord George Hamilton, recently commander of Enniskillen forces in England. The destruction of his command at Ripon was rewarded with a large shareholding in the Dutch India Company and an immediate posting to supervise military operations in the Caribbean where King William wished to open a new front. Clarence kindly created the flags which are the genuine design. I had high hopes for these Dutchmen.

Governor Kirke's Lambs - used to the heat after Tangier

General Piercy Kirke, controversial, blunt, combative, corrupt, brutal, coarse (and these are only some of the complementary adjectives used to describe him!) has escaped two murder attempts to be promoted to Governor of Jamaica. He has been able to take with him most of his veteran regiment, The Lambs. His force contains four companies of musketeers one of grenadiers and two of pikemen. These are supported by two volunteer companies of Irish Catholic Planters from Jamaica, one troop of volunteer gentlemen planter cavalry and a very large field piece called 'Long Sal'.

Colonel Hylton's Creole Regiment and Jamaican volunteers

The English had Creole regiments in the Caribbean. One such is led by Bartholomew Hylton. The regiment has six companies of matchlock armed musketeers. In addition, Jamaica has raised the militias of Port Royal and Spanish Town together with citizen volunteers from both settlements. The army had sent selected grenadiers to form a composite company of English elite troops. Further support came from three troops of volunteer Horse drawn from plantation owners and workers. Local fortifications had several naval guns available. There were nearly 800 men in the Jamaican force.

Le Marquis de Ruvigny's Huguenot and Native force

The French Huguenot Marquis de Ruvigny has been sent to the Caribees by King William but the motivation is not totally clear. a core of Huguenot regulars is the heart of the force but there are several unusual elements including Huguenot planters from Martinique and Gualdeloupe, Haitian Freemen who belong to some sort of cult known as Kil nan lanmò (Haitian Creole), several groups of Maroons( freed or escape English slaves) known as the Warria and Smuggla and small bands of Tainu natives from Jamaica and surrounding islands. This force created some of the most interesting, weird and comic incidents of the invasion. 

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