Category Archives: Altefritzenburg

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.

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:


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:


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:

20160428_185719 20160428_185739 20160428_185804

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…


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!

20160428_185411 20160428_185436 20160428_185449 20160428_185518

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!

20160428_185905 20160428_185844 20160428_185855

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


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.

20160406_173827 20160406_173833 20160406_173856 20160406_173911 20160406_173921

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.

20160406_183213 20160406_183234

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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Where did three weeks go?

Well, despite my good intentions brought about by the bright new shiny year I’ve struggled to get painting again. I’ve done a lot of prep and undercoating and have some 6mm SF, 10mm Sudan, 20mm WSS, 28mm C18th and 28mm C19th on the workbench. I’ve splashed a bit of paint on all of them but not in any productive way. So tonight I finally had an hour to work on a test figure for some cuirassiers I’ve got lined up.


Figure is RSM. Horse is Foremost. Might add some piping to the turnbacks for a bit of contrast. Looking OK overall though.

And this coming weekend is the York show which I always enjoy. Not much on the buy list so looking forward to a good natter!

Now time for an early night!

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Tyneside Wargames Club Christmas Meeting 2014

My local wargames club is Tyneside Wargames who meet on a Saturday. With working all week and family commitments at the weekend I rarely make it down for a game, often just popping in to say hello while I’m in town. But I always try and make the last meeting before Christmas where I can often arrange a game and avail myself of a steady flow of alcohol (mostly vodka!) so generously supplied each year by various members. It always reminds me what a damn fine bunch they are and how I really should make more effort to get down for games!

Sadly, this year the Christmas meeting (yesterday, 20th) was my ONLY game there  this year. I’ve managed a few weekends away (Ayton, Framlingham, Salute) all of which were excellent but it was really nice to get my troops on the table locally, of which more anon! This year there were four games running and a boardgame (and Pete painting away on the side!).

Ian, Lawrence and Richard setting up the table for our game.

2014-12-20 11.07.23While my chaps wait patiently in their boxes

2014-12-20 11.07.3315mm Impetus game. These rules are quite popular at the club. I’ve played them a couple of times and enjoyed them.

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To the right of this was a large SYW 6mm game using Might And Reason. I’ve never played these rules but the guys think highly of them and a good group of them are building forces. As my (few) SYW 6mm types are also on 40mm frontage I may be tempted to try these out one day.2014-12-20 11.53.41 2014-12-20 11.53.52 2014-12-20 11.54.00 2014-12-20 11.54.15 2014-12-20 11.54.24

Some of the guys were playing Frederick, a new boardgame. It looked interesting and comments were positive.2014-12-20 11.54.38

And finally, Pete Foggin and Co had their regular massive 15mm game using their own rules, Great Captain. These really do give the look and feel of a big ancient battle. I could never paint that many figures!2014-12-20 11.54.46 2014-12-20 11.55.20 2014-12-20 11.54.58 2014-12-20 11.55.47So with the other chaps fully occupied we come to our game. I wanted to get my 28mm SYW ImagiNation forces on the table and the nearest option was for the guys to roll out Beneath the Lilly Banners and accompanying troops. My chaps were obviously a little late but it didn’t really matter. I’ve got a copy of the rules (PDF) but have never really read them let alone played them so it was all a bit new for me. As they use three stand units on 60mm frontage I split my big battalions into three 50mm stands and my 33mm command stands. This kept the frontages pretty even and gave me two three battalion brigades. I was rather light on cavalry having only two squadrons of dragoons and three of light lancers. And I used the newly finished artillery for my Savage Swans – a 4lb and 12lb along with my Grenzers.  Ian was facing me with two similar brigades, a large field gun and six squadrons of cuirassiers.

So as battle commenced my brigades were in the distance to the right, facing Ian, which my ally, Richard was facing Lawrence in the foreground.

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The Swans deployment was a little restricted due to woods on their right and the central hill so they deployed with two battalions up front and one to the rear and the advance to contact began!2014-12-20 12.25.31

The 12lb gun sat atop the hill but unable to reach the enemy to their front (who were reluctant to advance) they were eventually able to fire upon Lawrence’s troops as they advanced to their left.2014-12-20 12.25.40

As the line advanced the gap opened to the right and my cavalry were able to move forward.2014-12-20 12.44.21

Unfortunately I was unable to deploy them into line before Ian’s cavalry piled into them! One squadron was swept from the field….2014-12-20 13.27.12

My lancers now moved to support and plug the gap.2014-12-20 13.27.24

As my second squadron engaged the victorious enemy, more of them moved into support. However, I was able to wheel a battalion round and deliver a volley that was to drive off the squadron.2014-12-20 14.20.51

The lancers, now deployed into lines moved forward.2014-12-20 14.21.35

While my Grenzers hesitantly move out of the woods wherein they had been driven by the advancing cavalry.2014-12-20 14.21.46My dragoons were finally defeated and the lancers charged into the third enemy squadron driving them back in disarray!

2014-12-20 14.53.062014-12-20 15.22.462014-12-20 15.42.12Meanwhile, the main lines closed upon each other, my two units not savoring the prospect of the first volley from the three units they faced!2014-12-20 14.53.16  And closer… The first volley was bad but not devastating but the odds were against them and with no room to deploy the reserve battalion it was touch and go if the line could hold before the fresh enemy cavalry drove off my lancers and exposed my flank. 2014-12-20 15.23.19  Although the brigade to the front of the Swans had finally begun its advance I was able to wheel a battalion in support of the firefight.2014-12-20 15.57.15It was at this point we called it a day. My allies had been victorious to my left but my shortfall in cavalry was really my undoing. If my line had held I could maybe have deployed a reserve to hold off his cavalry and I think my Swans would have defeated their opponents but I fear my line was too fragile and it was only a matter of time…

I was lucky in that I was given a Skillful commander which enabled me to issue more orders each turn and my command dice were always quite good. Ian suffered a little in this respect, hence the delay in the advance of his other brigade. I quite enjoyed the rules. Infantry are a little slower and more restricted than I’m used to and I really need some heavier cavalry! But it was fun and good to get the chaps on the table again. Thanks for Richard, Ian and Lawrence for accommodating me!

There are a lot more pictures in the 2014 Gallery and for details on the action on the other half of the table go to Richard (Herkybird)’s blog.

Some Progress

As I knew I needed smaller units for this game (and also for the AMG game at Partizan) I decide to try and get second command stands painted up for the Swans and the Altefritzenburgers. The smaller units for BTLB meant I only needed three stands plus command and allowed me to group the grenadiers separately. Shockingly it meant the flags were NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE UNIT! However, for Partizan the grenadier stand will rejoin and all will be well! This means my two big units now become four!

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I’d also finished painting the artillery contingent for my Savage Swans, a 4lb and a 12lb valliere. I’ve still to do the limber for the 12lb.2014-12-20 16.06.11

For the second battalion standards I didn’t want to spend ages on them as they will only see limited use. The ‘regimental’ flag is a symmetric cross with a white cross and the coat and facing colours in each quarter. Now, before I started painting I checked the BOTH flags I had already done and noted that the facing colour appeared in the upper hoist. And I painted them. And I checked again. And I put them on the table and immediately noticed the Altefritzenburg one had been done the wrong way round!!! I’m not changing it now!2014-12-20 16.06.25 2014-12-20 16.06.39

The 2nd flag, more of a national flag (or the Legion flag in the Swans case) was quite fiddly for both of them so for the Altefritzenburg I just went for a plain flag in the facing colour. For the Swans I couldn’t resist adding a swan in the canton.2014-12-20 16.06.48Still more to paint. And cuirassiers have just moved up the list!

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