Category Archives: Altefritzenburg

Something a little bigger – 20mm Les Higgins

I’ve been Tweeting about my progress with these and have finally finished a unit! Towards the end of March is ShedCon 2018 – an event/game to christen the new Shed/Man Cave/Games Room of Essex Boy. To that end six of us will be gathering to play a large 20mm WSS(ish) game using mostly EB’s collection but with some supplemental stuff from Gary Phillips large collection. The last time we played was way back in…2014 at the first Framlingham gathering. An excellent weekend! Just for the game I painted up my ubiquitous Savage Swans in yet another scale and period!

These are altered Les Higgins figures done by EB and christened the ‘Yomper’! And I’m hoping to do another unit with this figure at some point…

Anyway, both EB and Gary have all the figures we need for the game but it seemed highly sensible with Ayton approaching in May that I should actually try and paint up a full brigade! I have one unit of Altefritzenburgers nearly done (using a different figure) and another one or maybe two to do. And unit of Irregular Miniatures dragoons. And a gun and crew. The dragoons needed dismounted versions so used a Les Higgins figure with the horse holder converted by EB. As a gentle start to get myself in the swing following painting all the tiny stuff I started with these…

These form part of what in the mid-C18th are Von Donovan’s Legion but will likely be brigaded with other units in the game as a ‘legion’ as such doesn’t really work in the game (using modified Rank and File rules). So they are started…

The gun crew are done and await the gun and limber…

And next up is to finish off the first Altefritzenburgers!

I’m rather enjoying doing these and it’s getting hard to not buy some more!!

Cheers for looking

A

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Ayton 2016 Day 2 – AAR

And so we come to day two. Having failed to score a resounding victory on Day 1 the Grenouissian allies were forced to retire and converge their forces outside the city of Lit de la Riviere. Having retired to the east my own forces and those of Whyeydia were pursued by Medetia and as a major battle loomed my Altefritzenburgers formed the left flank, again facing Medetia, while on my right the battered but brave Whyeydians now faced off against the massed forces of Lord Peeler’s Aytonia!20160501_102650

It is impossible to recount the events elsewhere on the table. Too much going on and too many troops to keep track of! I have created a gallery of ‘other’ pictures and left the comments open so if participants wish to comment on their own events they may. And the bulk of the pictures from Day 2 are in this gallery – Ayton Day 2 – Left Flank

Now, back to the left flank. Dave and myself made similar agreements to Day 1. Artillery would be halved and batteries not massed. And as we also had lots of cavalry (some newly raised) we decided the open ground to the left was the ideal place for a gentlemanly cavalry ding dong! I also had the small Grenouissian contingent on that flank and I was to be very grateful for them too!

These allies were to push up along the far left, then my own cavalry supported by the Grenouissian dragoons and guns occupied the main open ground. And in the centre, left to right, were Braunschweig, Savage Swans and Altefritzenburg infantry, screened by jaegers while the rest of my light troops (Grenzers and Natives) rushed to occupy the small wood in the centre of our right flank. Whyeydian jaegers were to do the same.20160501_102703

I shall deal with the action from left to right as that is roughly the sequence in which ‘action’ was concluded.

The Grenoussian chasseurs pushed into the woods on the far left and after a small skirmish pushed the Medetian skirmishers out and eventually inflicted such loss that the enemy retired. They outnumbered the enemy so I expected this outcome. The Grenoussian gun battery on the small hill was to play a very useful role in damaging the advancing Medetian cavalry, while the infantry were able to help cover any possible breakthroughs.20160501_113519

First into action were the Braunschweig Kuirassier. Slightly depleted from the losses in the previous battle, they charged headlong into the first Medetian cuirassiers. Sweeping away the first squadron they ploughed into the second but were by now spent and a catastrophic melee that lasted 3 turns finally saw them dispersed.

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Meanwhile, the newly raised 1st Altefriztenburg Kuirassier piled headlong into more Medetian cuirassiers. Again, they swept through the first squadron but hitting the second did not end well. As their second squadron joined the fray they were not to be so successful and a catastrophic dice roll saw them flee the field! The curse of the newly painted unit strikes again!

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My dragoons tried to move to the right to threaten the enemy infantry but artillery and volleys saw them off with great loss…

To plug the gap in the cavalry line the Legion lancers charged but despite getting a strike in first they were no match for the dragoons and forced to retire and reform further back.

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It was now the turn of the Grenouissian dragoons to charge. They punched right through the remaining Medetian cuirassiers, and though the dragoons to their rear but then, faced with light cavalry, and much depleted they too were forced from the field.

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The Grenouissian guns and infantry fired on the enemy cavalry when able and were to do great service in halting the collapse of the flank. The last remaining Medetian dragoons charged for the rear but were stopped by infantry and the reformed Legion lancers.

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At this point the remaining Medetian cavalry were blown. Two squadrons were at almost 50% loss and any further advance would be under the Grenouissian guns and their infantry who were now deploying to secure the flank. The cavalry action was over, the slightly stronger Medetians claimed the day but were unable to exploit their victory. The battle would be decided in the centre…

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I had two lines, three battalions wide advancing. Initially partially screened by jaegers. And facing three lines of Medetians except on the left where there was only one. But the Braunschweig troops attacking these would do so under the gaze of the Medetian heavy guns on the hill. Although the batteries on either side would cause some casualties on the advancing troops once the line of site was blocked they again would engage in counter battery fire, and again, my guns proved the more effective at this.

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As the rightmost two blocks met there were a series of volleys from both sides, some significantly more effective than others. The first Altefritzenburgers battalion suffered great loss and was unable to advance against the Medetians facing them and had to retire in disarray. The second battalion went forward and was eventually able to drive off the first line.

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The Swans had a similar fate. Trying to advance and fire they took heavy loss in the first round and never really recovered. However, the second line were most effective and the other Medetian front line battalion was driven off.

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It was now that the devious Medetians revealed there second line to be elite grenadiers! The first volleys wrought carnage with the first battalion of Swans thrown back. But the line held and a serious fire fight ensued!

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Meanwhile the Braunschwieg troops advanced. As expected the first battalion suffered from the guns and were finally driven back by disciplined volleys. And as the second battalion formed up they spotted Grenouissian infantry advancing on their left in support.

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On the far right our respective light troops rushed to occupy the small wood in the middle. The Medetians got there first but I advanced my feared native troops who charged into the woods whooping and hollering! Unfortunately, the Medetians having encountered them before were little afraid and the ensuing melee saw them get the edge on the natives. Realising that they could be exposed to great danger if forced from the woods into the open ground of a formal battlefield the natives decide to retire to safer ground and begin scouting avenues of retreat should they be needed. And leave the formal battle to the regular troops. And it was nothing to do with rolling double one for the reaction test!

20160501_111147 20160501_113534The enemy were eventually dislodged from the woods and my Grenzers and jaegers took up occupancy.

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As the volleys were exchanged in the centre with neither side really gaining the edge my troops looked to their right where the forces of Whyeydia were suffering greatly at the hands of Lord Peeler (not a pleasant experience!) and it was clear the field could not be won. After a gentlemanly discussion with the Medetian ADCs both sides decide to draw back as further loss would be pointless on both side. My troops had fought on longer than they should have but it was clear the Medetians had the edge. However, we both felt that no one could claim victory though the Medetians would soon claim the field. The remaining Medetian cavalry were blown and fragile and would suffer at the hands of the Grenouissian troops if they chose to advance. My infantry, though badly mauled in their attack could retire under the cover of their guns and the Medetian infantry, though still with fresh units would suffer from those same guns should they choose to press forward.

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And newly promoted and famous Brigadier Weisswurst was left to ponder the fate of his cavalry brigade!

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And things had not fared well along the whole line. The armies of Granprix had secured enough of a victory to force us from the field. Although not in disarray it was clear the invasion had failed and Grenouisse and her allies would retire across the border. Until the next time…


It was great game again and I was content with the result. The Medetians had the edge (in numbers and quality) in both the cavalry and infantry battles but were unable to exploit that. And my troops had attacked for longer than sensible for a campaign game – but where’s the fun in holding back! And as ever, Dave was a great opponent.

And what did I learn from this game? NEVER buy dice from Paul! On the Sunday morning I bought two small black D6 from his box of goodies! I wanted some distinctive dice to roll all the command and reaction tests. They were to be my doom! Twice they rolled double one (seeing off my natives and cuirassiers) and managed a few threes on other occasions which didn’t help! My guns performed well and in the volleys and melees we both had some killer results with Dave maybe having the edge on those. But the dice weren’t horribly skewed in anyone’s favour and it was a good old fashioned clashing of the lines where in the end numbers and quality told. But occasionally the dice gods chuckled…

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And so another Ayton is over. It was a pleasure seeing all the chaps again (even if my liver and kidneys are still protesting!) and also seeing the new troops people had acquired since the last C18th game. And thanks must also go to Henry for running the campaign and giving us something to fight over!

Next year we will adopt our usual alternating of periods but rather than the C19th Gary Philips will be running a large Lion Rampant campaign for which the Swans and Altefritzenburgers will be making an appearance in yet another era!

Hope you’ve enjoyed the reports and pictures.

 

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Ayton 2016 – Day 1

What a great weekend! This was our 6th Ayton gathering and it is testament to the pleasure it brings and the friendships that have developed that we all keep coming back. Occasionally ‘Real LifeTM’ gets in someone’s way and they miss a year (this time it was Essex Boy’s turn) but we’ve had a core of regular attendees. EB was much missed (we told him that at least! :)) as were his fine Gateway Alliance troops. And last year our Ayton host Mr Peeler was carted off to hospital and so missed the weekend. Good to see him back this year.

The last couple of blog entries detail what I painted for this years game and this year the size of our forces was restricted and there were no sillies or exotic troops.

This year’s participants were:

The Grenouissian Alliance comprises:

  • Paul ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Bright, Lord Drumcharry, with the forces of Dal Riata
  • Ken ‘MarshalNey’ McGarry, Viscount Gascoigne of Gateshead, with the forces of Whyeydia
  • Andy ‘Count Belisarius’ McMaster, Oberstgeneral Seamus Gunter von Donovan, with the forces of Altefritzenburg
  • Gary Phillips, General von Slivovitz, with the forces of St Paulin  and in overall command.

The Army of Granprixian Revenge consists of:

  • Mark ‘Peeler’ Phillips, Lord Peeler, with the forces of Aytonia
  • Peter ‘Purps’ Mark-Smtih, Marèchal de Camp le Duc du Flappe, with the Margraviate of Cress
  • Dave ‘World2Dave’ Hall, General Amore, with the army of Medetia
  • Dave ‘Buff’ McClumpha, Otto von Weeze, with the expeditionary force from Borscht
  • And Simon ‘Goat Major’ Tonkiss, Generalmajor von Hauptzeige, with the Diplomatic Enforcement Corps from Prunkland(Prunkländischediplomatischedurchführungskorps)

And Messrs Hall and Waudby (The Two Tims) were doing their own 54mm loveliness. I would have loved to have taken more pictures as both their games looked lovely (especially the AWI game) but you can see a few here: Ayton 2016 Other Games.

This year we returned to the C18th and Henry Hyde ran a campaign following on from the previous games and placed within his Wars of the Faltanian Succession Imagination milieu. You can read about the build up and see they lay of the land over on Henry’s blog along with Henry’s very pretty map. Hopefully later this year/next year Henry is releasing a book on Wargames Campaigns which I look forward to.

Depending on the map moves for the campaign we usually have 2-3 games on the first day which gets us back into the flow of the rules and sets the scene for Day 2. My opening game saw myself (with the forces of Altefritzenburg), allied with Ken’s Whyeydian army assaulting the army of Dave Hall’s Medetia as they marched East along the hills while we marched West in the valley and then faced off when we spotted each other. We initially had slightly confusing orders from our CinC sending us West. Which to me seemed a good plan so I penned orders to that effect and was joined by Ken and his Army. Unfortunately our CinC meant East! But the die was cast and battle commenced! Simon (Goat Major) was to take command of some of the Medetian forces as he awaited his own troops arriving on the other table.

I’ve created a big gallery with lots of photo from all of Day 1 but this is how our game went.20160430_105051

The forces of Whyeydia deployed on the left. While my infantry took the centre with my cavalry on the right, supported by a small but very useful Grenouissian contingent. The Medetians chose not to deploy their cavalry on our right. Although fairly evenly matched they would have been isolated from their main force by the intervening wooded high ground. This however left them facing Whyeydia who only had one (admittedly very pretty) hussar regiment. I deployed the famed Savage Swans in the centre to assault the right side of the town while Whyeydian took the left, and the blue coated Braunschweig troops would cross the river and attack the Medetian troops on the hill.

20160430_105126First blood went to neither of us! As we had been scouting the area prior to the enemy arrival we had Jaegers in the right hand woods. Unfortunately they immediately fell foul to an annoyed bear! Losing two figures before acquiring a new rug for the officers’ quarters!20160430_113239My batteries were deployed along the line to support all attacks but as the Medetians had two batteries of heavy guns covering my infantry assault I engaged in some counter battery fire. This was to prove most effective as by game end I had driven off two of his three batteries with heavy loss!

20160430_15363420160430_122419 20160430_153654In the woods our assorted light troops were to spend the entire game skirmishing to no real advantage to either side. As my cavalry had no real opposition I began to manoeuvre them towards the centre to try and support and exploit the infantry assaults. However, on turn 5 a contingent of local Borgenmark troops arrived (along with my remaining light troops and lancers) and they were forced to re-deploy to face this threat. Although my lancer squadron launched a charge against the superior enemy they were driven off. But the flank was secured and both forces faced off to no clear conclusion.20160430_140759

20160430_142436The real action was to take place in the centre and left. Emerging from the town in the centre the Braunschweig brigade advanced across the river screened by their Jaegers. They took some casualties from the enemy guns but these in turn were silenced by their own guns who were to inflict much punishment on the waiting Medetian infantry.

20160430_105227The Jaegers swarmed across the bridge to harass the enemy and cover the battalions crossing the river. As a unit of hussars appeared they were forced to evade and the hussars crashed into the first battalion and suffered heavily as a result. This delayed the river crossing and by game end the Braunschweig troops has just started exchanging close range volleys. Medetia still held the high ground.20160430_12154520160430_12153820160430_14550820160430_151652Once the infantry had advanced the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers advanced into the centre, taking some casualties from enemy guns, but once these had been driven off by their own guns they advanced rapidly to assault the newly exposed infantry to the right of the town. Unfortunately, the losses suffered advancing, charging uphill, and a volley as they went in left them a little weary and a fine defence by the enemy infantry saw them thrown back in disarray! Sorry Tim! 20160430_12223720160430_161818My main force advanced in four lines, the Swans leading the way. They took casualties from heavy guns in the way in and a fine first volley from the defenders saw the first battalion retire. The second exchanged volleys at close range but the wall was to be the decider and they too retired to redress the ranks.20160430_11272120160430_143329_00120160430_150425It was now the turn of the Altefritzenburgers but they were to fare little better. Often taking fire from two enemy battalions the first battalion was to retire as well and at game end the final full strength battalion was ready for its turn, with the Swans now reformed to its rear.20160430_15170020160430_165144

However by now events on the left meant the day was not to end well.

The massed infantry of Whyeydia advanced valiantly but artillery and heavy volleys were to drive them back from the assault on the town.

20160430_105432Meanwhile on their left the massed Medetian heavy cavalry descended on the them and although they fought valiantly they were gradually driven back on the far left.

20160430_14582520160430_105140The hussars attempted to rescue the flank but were no match for cuirassiers!20160430_151718With their left flank driven back this expose their centre to cavalry charges and as they day close it was clear the assault had failed…20160430_154551The Medetians had put up a solid defence.
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Their guns had taken a battering but they held the high ground and their massed cavalry, with room to deploy and no cavalry to oppose them were to decide the affair on the left. And if I learnt one thing about assaulting infantry behind walls it is this: NEVER let Ken roll any of your saving throws!!! 🙂

At that point we declared. Battle still raged on the other table and again did not go too well for our troops. We were eventually driven back and our combined forces were to meet on the open plains north Lit de la Rivière. But that tale will be told later…

We were using Henry’s Shot Steel and Stone rules (as we have always done for C18th games) but this year both myself and Dave were using smaller battalions. Mine being five stands with an added battalion gun to bring them up to six. Six is the minimum for a Normal size unit as I needed to avoid any Small unit reaction test penalties. What we found in the first couple of turns were that a two gun heavy or medium battery firing at advancing infantry were hitting on a 5,6 with 10 and 8 D6 respectively. And the target needed a 6 to Save. Once the heavy guns got to medium range they only needed 4,5,6. Despite a new rule giving a -1 if you have just changed target in covered arc with an additional -1 if outside this often saw a unit taking 5-6 casualties in a shot! One casualty per base triggers a reaction test with potentially a -6 for casualties that turn at least! This saw my first unit recoil quite swiftly! Myself, Dave and Ken decided to halve the dice for guns. Work them out as normal and then halve and round up. We found this made the guns still quite effective but not a killer for our smaller units. It also meant I had a chance to get across the open ground before I lost a stand and became a Small unit. This worked so well that we adopted for our second game (of which more anon) and on Day 2 Henry adopted it generally for all players. It made a BIG difference to our games. We also agreed not to mass guns against a single unit.

So that was Day 1. A most excellent a fun game and played in great spirit. I can’t really comment much on the other game other than that it looked good, had massed cavalry and flank attacks!

The evening, as tradition demands, was spent feasting in the Forge pub and then trying to stay there all night! They eventually kicked us out at 2am….

More soon…

 

 

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‘Twas the night before Ayton…

And for once I am NOT painting and basing!!!

I had fairly modest plans for adding to the forces for this years C18th ImagiNation game that Henry Hyde is running for us (see Henry’s Wargaming Journal for the campaign build up) . Henry had placed some restrictions on the size of our forces to curb the Ayton Arms Race. This was also going to be a more traditional Horse and Musket game so less ‘exotic’ units – my Indians will be there but the Altefrtitzenburg Anti-Elephant Battery are in barracks breeding more pigs!

To make up a suitable force in terms of number of units I decided to field my ‘half’ regiments – splitting my 48 figures units and adding an extra command stand. This gave me a 5 stand unit under Henry’s Shot, Steel and Stone rules which is a little fragile. So I decided to add battalion guns to each unit to give something like:

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I also needed to do the second command stand for my ‘split’ Braunschweig regiment. The original flags were done for me by Tim Hall – seen here:

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But I wanted to do the new ones myself. I had the required Minden command figures (French I think) and spent some time with the GIMP and a template from Not By Appointment to come up with my plan for Braunschweig standards that fitted in with what Tim had already done. Each regiment carries a national flag with the central emblem with the national blue colour. The second standard, regimental, carries a I or II for the battalion (when split) on a background of the facing colour. Tim had reversed the colours of the cross which I think I wish I had done too – and may still do! Anyway, here they are:

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Way back last year as part of the excellent AMG game at Partizan I added a unit of Kuirassier to my Altefritzenburg forces. This was only 12 figures plus an officer. I had hoped to do a full 24 figures unit but time, work and family…

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For Ayton I really wanted to finish this unit. It’s only 12 cavalry I thought! Plus a couple of officers. And a two figure command stand! And cavalry take AGES to paint!!! Lots of little bits and when you think you are nearly done there is still the horse to paint! 🙂 But I got them done. The original squadron had red shoulder straps, hair bow and red cockade. I wanted to differentiate the other unit so again, if I split them and do another command stand, they will be a little different. So instead of red the new squadron is green. Quite enjoyed doing the flag as well! Big is good!

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Annoyingly I forgot to add the main officer figure (seen with the original unit above) in these pictures…

And finally, the first action of this year’s campaign was a brisk cavalry action  which Henry has written up on his blog – Ambush at Ubbynedre and fought as a real action with figures and all! As part of this Henry created a commander for my cavalry – Brigadier Weisswurst – who performed rather well. So as a last minute thing I decided I needed a figure for him. I wanted someone dashing so used the Fife and Drum Tarleton figure. And I may use the uniform for my next unit of cavalry!

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And now the troops sit in their mobile barracks as I await doing battle with sleet, rain and snow to get there tomorrow!

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It promises to be yet another excellent weekend and I’m really looking forward to it.

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Battalion Guns!

In preparation for Ayton I needed to paint up five battalion guns to add to my ‘smaller’ battalions. I already have one gun with the Savage Swans but needed another and two each for the Braunschweig and Alterfritzenburg battalions. My existing gun was based on 50x50mm to match the infantry bases which was fine when the gun was more of an attached gun rather than integral to the unit.

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Iain Burt (Essex Box), the Picasso of basing, suggested that a narrower base, matching the four figure command stand (33mm x 50mm) would make the integral gun more a part of the unit. Less space in the line. Seems to work.

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Having recently seen pics of John Ray’s battalion guns I wish I had done them with crew pushing them along as it looks very good (assuming I can find the right figures!) and I will probably do this with the next lot.

And the Workbench currently has four command figures in progress and 14 kuirassier. Not long ’til Ayon now! 🙂

 

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