Category Archives: Altefritzenburg

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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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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An update at last! A bit of everything…

Since the Ayton game in May I’ve been right off painting. Distinct lack of mojo. I think the regular annual stress of getting everything painted for the weekend was a little too much. Always worth it for the game but it can be hard to get back into the painting routine afterwards. And it has taken a while. But as ever, a deadline has provided the spur!

This coming weekend sees a gathering of some of the Ayton gamers and members of the Loose Association of Wargamers forum gather in Framlingham, Suffolk for a weekend of gaming, beer and good company. There are a number of games planned (which I’ll report on next week) but for once I didn’t need to paint anything. Which of course, meant I had to do SOMETHING! And as my plan for the Saturday was to take part in a 20mm WSS game being run by Iain Burt (Essex Boy) this seemed the obvious chance to do the Savage Swans in another scale and period! I had hoped to do a small brigade but, as you’ll see below, I was working on other stuff as well so in the end just did the main unit and an officer.

The figures are Les Higgins 20mm customised by Iain Burt and are done in the traditional buff and green of the Swans.

swans20mm01 swans20mm02 swans20mm03 swans20mm04 swans20mm05I have to admit I found the 20mm quite hard to paint. The techniques I use on my 15mm and smaller didn’t quite work, and the 28mm style seemed overkill. But they got there in the end.

Long terms plan is to do the dragoon contingent and a couple of units of Altefritzenburgers

So, having done those, what else?

Well, following the pummeling my troops took from the massed enemy guns at Ayton I decide the Swans needed their own artillery battery so to start that I present Die Große Eingelegte!

swansgun02 swansgun03 swansgun01The gun is a Fife and Drum 12lb Vallieres generously given to me by Jim Purky in my last order. It is a lovely big model! I have a two horse F&D limber to do at some point but for now the limber is an Irregular Miniature model. The figures are RSM. For my other guns I had done the marching figures fixed to the gun ‘base’ but have decided single figure basing is better. The curved base done especially for me by Martin at Warbases.

I have two ways of deploying the gun. Using a large textured base (idea stolen from World2Dave!) I can slot the figures in and have spare slots for markers, barrels, cannon balls etc.

swansgun08 swansgun07 swansgun06 swansgun05 swansgun04The alternative is to just use a loose gun and single based figures:

swansgun09 swansgun10 swansgun11The gun crew are Fife and Drum Continental gunners. I have all my gunners and engineer types with read waistcoats and trousers. The others have black leggings which tempers this a bit but these chaps are going for the whole red leg look! And it is great news that Fife and Drum and an increasing number of the Minden range are now available in the UK from Crann Tara Miniatures

I will add a second gun (smaller) and eventually use this limber for that and the big limber for the 12lb’er

And that is not all!

I’ve recently just finished reading two novels and two novellas by Marko Kloos which fired up my 6mm SF interest. And while searching for 6mm figures I came across Microworld Games and after contacting owner Steven Salotti ordered some sample packs of their Foundationist infantry. Steven kindly threw in some vehicle samples as well. They are lovely little figures. A little smaller than my existing ex-Adler Dark(est) Star but the right style I wanted.

I’ve only painted a couple of squads and some support but will be doing others and I have plans for a couple of dropships to go with them. Painting was simple. Mid-grey undercoat, black wash, lighter grey dry brush and weapons. I’ve painted each squad with a different colour shoulder pad to help ID on the table.

naccorp01 naccorp02 naccorp03 naccorp04 naccorp05My 6mm SF is based around powerful corporations and these represent the NACCorp – North American Commonwealth Corporation.

So I’m quite pleased with that lot and looking forward to this weekend where I hope I will take lots of pictures!



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A little blood and bilge and a lot of balls…

Escape from Pescadrix

Following the defeat before the gates of Pescadrix the negotiations for peace went on for many weeks. The perceived treachery of the Braunschweig contingent was a shock to all concerned but taken very badly by von Donovan and the Altefritzenburg troops who had accepted them as allies following the recent campaign in nDunaland. The negotiations seemed to have stalled and von Donovan felt it was time to take matters into hand. The presence of General Ayton Wittering (uncle to the Legion’s Major Huffington) of His Britannic Majesty’s Army was to provide a solution. General Wittering had arrived at  Prescadrix on HBMS Goliath to discuss trade and alliance with the, then current, rulers of Granprix. The Legion had a long history of service with Britannia and von Donovan  called upon this to arrange transport with His Majesty’s Navy back to Altefritzenburg. General Wittering advised that two transport ships (the Inflexible and the Dictator) were due in port and that in return for past services rendered passage could be arranged for the Legion and troops of Altefritzenburg.

Two weeks later the troops embarked and escorted by the Goliath they set sail, heading east under full sail through the sandbanks on the southern coast of Prunkland.

2014-06-18 17.43.24Several hours into the voyage two sails were sighted coming from the coast to the north. Clearly ships of the line they appeared under half sail and looked ready for action.

2014-06-18 17.43.35The enemy soon announced their intentions by opening fire at long range but causing little damage. The Goliath, the ship and crew at the height of their training, returned fire with a heavy broadside and proceeding at full sail then delivered another, fires springing up on the rear enemy ship.

2014-06-18 17.43.49The Goliath and her transports forged on at full speed, temporarily taking them out of gunnery arc. Faced with two ships of near equal strength to the Goliath her captain decided to maintain full sail and with the wind behind them make a run for the open see, with the Goliath covering the escaping transports.

The enemy moved to full sail and sped ahead bringing all guns to bear… causing damage to sails, guns and hull on the Goliath. It was now that the ships were identified. The von Hall lead the way, followed by the von Richter. Both flying the flag of Braunschweig!

2014-06-18 17.58.35The transports pulled away while the Goliath dropped to half sail to cover their escape.

2014-06-18 18.15.03 2014-06-18 18.19.26The von Richter crew tried desperately to bring their fires under control but failed and finally the Goliath brought her guns to bear on the lead ship, the von Hall.

2014-06-18 18.40.14The enemy sped ahead, the lead ship having no choice as the crew try to repair damage to the steerage. The transports kept at full sail and made a run for safety while the Goliath let loose another broadside causing more damage to guns and hull…

As the von Richter and von Hall frantically repaired damage the von Hall took another devastating broadside form the Goliath

2014-06-18 18.45.42 2014-06-18 22.21.29 2014-06-18 22.28.17The Goliath pulled close to the enemy ships and carried out hasty repairs but then had to take a reduced broadside from the von Hall which was still enough to take out her forward mast. As the Goliath slowed the enemy ships pulled either side of her.

2014-06-18 22.34.16 2014-06-18 22.38.17Trapped between the enemy ships the Goliath jockeyed for position to engage but soon took a catastrophic broadside from the von Richter and explosions ripped through the ship killing dozens of crewmen and officers.

As the transports sped to safety it was not looking good for the Goliath… with the enemy ships either side another mast was lost and the crew all but wiped out, including master gunners and officers…

2014-06-18 22.58.31With no crew left to carry out any repairs and with her gun compliment reduced the Goliath was on the verge of surrender when the enemy ships, showing no mercy, delivered the killing blow of two more broadsides and the the Goliath finally struck her colours as the enemy ships drew alongside to claim their prize.

Although their target had been the transport ships carrying the troops of Altefritzenburg, the prize of an 80 gun ship of the line was a fine trophy that after repair would join the new Braunschwieg fleet. How his Brittannic majesty would view this unwarranted attack on his navy was yet to be seen… And how the small state of Braunschweig had acquired such powerful ships was as yet unknown…

The Rules


On a recommendation from Henry Hyde I picked up a copy of Blood Bilge and Iron Balls by Allan Abbey and available from Pen and Sword books. These are a straightforward and fun set of rules for the Age of Sail. Everything you need to play is in the book, including a set of ship counters, and everything (and extras) can be downloaded from the Pen and Sword site.

The game turn is controlled by cards. Each side (and you can have more than two) has a Sailing, Repair and Firing card and these are drawn at random so you can finish the turn on a broadside and then get to deliver another at the start of the next turn! This can make for some fun! Damage is determined by dice to hit and then a deck of cards is used to allocate damage to crew, hull, sails, and guns etc. in varying degrees of severity. This is all recorded on a ship record sheet.

shipsheetAs damage is crossed off and fires recorded you can allocate your crew (or what’s left of it!) during the Repair Phase to fix the damage but as the cards randomise the sequence you may take damage more quickly than you can repair. There are rules for hits on the Ship’s Gunner, Sailing Master, Carpenter and also to steerage and the command structure: all of which affect how well your ship performs.

I kept the first game pretty simple and at least had the wind behind most of the ships which made life simple but overall it played out well. I only have a 4ft square playing surface so placing a blue throw over this and then just shifting everything over a foot as needed seemed to work fine. The rules are very ‘ship’ based so I’m not sure how many ships one person could comfortably control (more so as I’m playing solo) and although the card drawing for damage seems a little time consuming it is quite fun.

I’ve never been a big naval gaming fan (and no doubt I’ll get terminology wrong) but this was good fun and I’ll be trying it again as part of my Imagination gaming. The counters work fine but I’ll no doubt be tempted to acquire some ship models! It’s a fun way to add a naval aspect to your C18th (and Napoleonic) gaming and at £4.99 for the Kindle Edition (which with the downloads is all you need) it’s a bargain!









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