Monday, May 28, 2018

March to the Sound of the Guns!

It is time to add some artillery to the small, but growing French and Allied armies I am creating, so that we will finally have all three arms present. 

To Start, in the absence of any French gunner figures, I will build a Dutch-Belgian battery.  They will have to stand in for the French until I can find some French gunners (if anyone out there can help me with a French crew or two, I  would be grateful). 

Dutch-Belgian Artillery 1815
DN/51 gunner with port fire
DN/53 gunner holding cannonball
BN/54 gunner with handspike
DN/55 gunner running with ammunition bag
DN/52 gunner with rammer

Yesterday I primed them black, and they are ready to don their uniforms.  The figures are original Hinton Hunts, the gun is from John Cunningham.

To oppose the French (Dutch) gunners are some British Royal Artillerists, with what was described (by the person who sold me the figures) as a six ponder.  Does anyone recognize the gun?  Is it a Hinton Hunt  "A.2. Field Gun (British)"?:

Royal Field Artillery
BN/144 Gunner(holding hand spike for traversing)
BN/142 Gunner (ramming home)
BN/143 Gunner (holding cannonball)
BN/140 Officer pointing holding map

They are all original Hinton Hunts, and were primed this afternoon. 

One battery each will do until I have "Phase I" completed.

"Phase I" will end with each army having the following: 
One cavalry regiment (French 7th Hussars, elite squadron and line squadron; and Prussian 3rd Silesian Lancer squadron and an as yet undetermined lancer squadron);
Two infantry battalions;
One unit of skirmishers; and
One artillery battery. 

At that point, a small affair will be fought in celebration.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thoughts on Muskets and Marshals 6.1: The Rules Revisited

Thoughts on Muskets and Marshals 6.1:  The Rules Revisited

This is a rewrite of a prior post, now that I have more information about the rule sets involved and have been able to ask the author of Muskets and Marshals some questions regarding the rules.  I have also re-run the numbers, now that the ground scale and figure scale is known:
I have been looking at a variety of rules sets and have decided to use Muskets and Marshals for my Hinton Hunt project.  I have not yet played with these rules, so my comments are based only on several readings of the rules, including the most recent version of the rules, Muskets and Marshals v. 6.1.  Let's first look at the game scales.
Game Scale: 
The game scale is not mentioned in the rules, but I have determined a scale from:
(1) reviewing the rules set it is loosely based upon (London Wargaming Society Napoleonic Rules of 1968), 
(2) interviewing the author, and
(3) the implications that can be gleaned from the rules. 
In Muskets and Marshals, a unit of infantry is 24 figures, a unit of cavalry is 12 figures, an artillery battery is a gun model and 4 crew figures and a unit of skirmishers is 6 figures.
Reading through London Wargaming Society Napoleonic Rules of 1968, and looking at "The Napoleonic Wargame" by G.W. Jeffrey, "Napoleonic Wargaming," by Charles Grant, and using the distances in the LWS rules and those in Mr. Jeffrey's book, where he mentions frontages for the various arms and formations, I interpret the game scale for the above units to be as follows:
1 Infantry figure = 33 infantry
Infantry units are battalions of 792 Men (24 figures x 33 = 792)
1 Cavalry figure = 33 cavalry
Cavalry units are regiments of 396 men, composed of two 198 man squadrons (6 figures x 33 = 198)
1 model gun figure represents 4 to 6 guns
1 Artillery crew figure = 33 crew 
A six-gun battery and 132 crew is represented by 1 gun model + 4 artillery crew figures (and a limber).  A larger battery of eight guns should be represented by two model guns and 6 crew figures (and two limbers) placed side by side, which represents 8 guns and 198 crew.
These unit strengths (as well as the LWS Napoleonic rules) indicate that the ground scale is 1mm = 1 yard.
For instance, one stand of cavalry (two figures) represents the standard 2 lines of cavalry (two lines of 66 men and horses, one behind the other).  Mr. Jeffrey says that each horse and rider takes up between 3.5 and 4 feet.  Using 3.75 feet as the average, a line of 33 horsemen then takes up 33 x 3.75 feet, which is 123.75 feet, or 41.25 yards.  I will mount my cavalry on 40mm stands, so 40mm =  40 yards (which is approximately 41.25 yards).
The rules of Muskets and Marshals mount cavalry on 30mm stands, which is a bit more aesthetically pleasing (especially with some of the "skinnier" Hinton Hunt figures), but is slightly less "accurate" in terms of distance represented.  Here one must decide between "the look of the thing" and the math involved.  However, my two piece Hinton Hunt recast hussars are a bit crowded on the 30mm x 30mm stand (see this post Basing Dilemma), but I am sure the Prussian lancers (here) will be a bit sparse.  Here, one must make a basing choice and stick with it.  [Note: If I ever make it to England or New Zealand, bring my figures, and play a game with Stryker or Wellington Man, I hope we can come up with a compromise that will allow all cavalry to play on the same 'Field of Honor' despite any basing differences].
Artillery Batteries are mounted on 60mm stands. Per the above calculation, 60mm is the equivalent to 60 yards.  An 8-gun battery takes up about 100 yards (allowing  14 to 15 yards between each gun).  That is the equivalent to two gun models and eight crew.  8 x 15 = 120 yards, or 120 mm (60mm + 60mm).  A smaller 6 gun battery (as represented by one stand in the game) would take up about 60 yards with one gun model and 4 crew.  This works out just right at 60mm = 60 yards.
Infantry generally deployed in three lines.  In the game, a line of infantry is represented by a double row of 3 figures (so on a 40mm base, we have three figures, with a second 40mm base of three figures directly behind the first) for a total of 6 figures.  198 men deployed in three lines is 66 men per line (198 divided by 3).  Allowing 2 feet per man in line (Mr. Jeffrey allows 2 feet per man in his book) the frontage of the unit works out to 132 feet (66 men at 2 feet per man), which is 44 yards.  This is very close to 40 yards, represented by the 40mm wide stand).
Thus, I am satisfied that mounting the figures as set forth in Muskets and Marshals, with the slight modification for cavalry on a 40mm wide (rather than a 30mm wide) stand will yield appropriately sized units with realistic frontages. 
I have not analyzed the "skirmisher" formation in the same way, because I am not sure what it represents.  From discussions with the author of Muskets and Marshals, it appears to be part of a battalion deployed as skirmishers.  In a recent post on Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargame Figures Battle of Four Generals  the author has an entire battalion of skirmishers (in this case Jägers) deployed in 6 figure detached "units" that can operate independently.  In a discussion with the author, he indicated that the general (player) must decide before the game whether to deploy the battalion as skirmisher detachments (4 detachments of 6 men each) or deploy the 24 men as a unit, i.e. a 24 man battalion with 8" range (due to the men being equipped with rifles).
I noted in my former post that:  My only quibble with the formations as given in the rules, is that a cavalry regiment should be allowed to attack as separate squadrons if the player wishes to do so, i.e. not only a 6-figure frontage (with another six figures behind the first six), but also on a 12-figure frontage.  From my reading, cavalry often attacked in the two-line formation, which is represented by a single row of stands.  See General de Brigade, p. 26:  "For purposes of the game cavalry "line" includes any cavalry line formation that is two or more squadrons wide.  This was the standard formation adopted for charging."  Perhaps calling the six stand wide formation the "cavalry line" formation, and the 6-figure frontage (with three more stands of 6 figures directly behind) a "cavalry attack column” would settle the issue.
The Author of Muskets and Marshals commented on a prior post (here) that:  "The cavalry line at 6 figures was adopted purely as a space saver on the table. A 12 figure frontage takes up a lot of table space. Operating in 6 figure squadrons would be difficult to incorporate into the morale rules but may be possible with some modifications."
Get a Copy of Muskets and Marshals v. 6.1
If you would like to read the rules, and get your own free copy of the most recent version of Muskets and Marshals, v 6.1 (which I highly encourage), as well as a PDF of morale markers,  click the following link:  Muskets and Marshals

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Jagers are Finished in Record Time

I spent several hours today painting a small unit of Prussian Jägers.  This was an experiment in two dimensions.  I wanted to see if I could finish a small unit in a day; and I wanted to apply a gloss coat to the unit (I really didn't want to make a mess of my Hussars or Lancers in case I had a mishap). The results are here:

As you can see, they are still on their tongue depressors.  I left them on because the gloss takes a while to dry, and I wanted to post their photo today (since it was a one day unit challenge).

Here they are in retreat
Here is a close up of two Jägers from the front.

And in retreat.

 Wow does that stuff give off fumes.  I have used acrylics so long, that I had forgotten how strong the fumes are from non-water-based paint/varnish.  Does anyone know of a water-based varnish?  Next time I will go outside to apply the gloss.

I have applied one coat of gloss.  Is that sufficient?  Your opinion?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

On the Painting Block: A Small Skirmish Unit of Prussian Freiwillige Jäger


In order to keep up the momentum, and add a unit to the army (hopefully) relatively quickly, I will be painting a skirmish sized  unit (6 figures) of Prussian Freiwillige Jäger. 

Muskets and Marshals deploys skirmishers in small, 6 man units.  Although the fine looking shakos will be covered in the ubiquitous oilskins, they should make a fine looking little unit.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The 1st Squadron of the 3rd Silesian Cavalry Regiment, reports for duty

The 1st Squadron of the Prussian 3rd Silesian Cavalry Regiment (lancers), reported for duty late last evening.  Their uniforms finally arrived after almost a year of waiting for the quartermaster to deliver them.  We certainly hope he will be more timely with the next unit.

The full dress uniform is most impressive. 
The figures I have are what appear to be DK139 Prussian Landwehr Lancers (See The Hinton Spieler for the distinction between DK and Hinton Hunt Prussian lancers).  They are wearing oilskin protection for their lovely headgear, presumably in case it rains at Ligny, Waterloo, Wavre, or other Belgian battle sites in 1815. 

The 3rd Silesian cavalry, sporting new uniforms and lances, arrive in camp

This is my second cavalry squadron painted, and we anticipate a small cavalry skirmish with the French 7th Hussars elite squadron.  Though we will have to wait until suitable gloss has been applied to both units, and basing for Muskets and Marshals has occurred.

 Here the 3rd Silesian cavalry is practicing their maneuvers in line.

 A headlong charge at the gallop, right at the spectator. 
Imposing (even if you are in square)!

 Two half squadrons meet in a faux battle

 They gallop past the reviewing stand. 
Do you hear their hooves pounding the ground and kicking up dust, do you smell the horses? 

 A gentlemanly joust.