Framlingham 2018 Day 1

The background…

1895 – Following his gallant stand at the Coldstream bridge, Sir William Hullough-Casting was forced to retire towards Berwick before the Russians completed their encirclement of the town. With British forces in Scotland neutralised by Russian occupation, and Crown forces in the South and West, much reduced in number and fending off incursions by French marine raiders, the situation looked bleak. Ireland was in turmoil, and British forces there were committed to fighting a Fenian uprising which was taking advantage of the international crisis, and fomented by agents of the Kaiser.

The only reserves of any note were being gathered in the east of the country, with troops being mustered from whatever source possible. Active and energetic in this, Brigadier Inigo Hardly-Standing had brought together a field force from several disparate elements, including two celebrated units of the Indian Army who had been in London as part of that year’s Royal Tournament. Thanks to his Herculean efforts Hardly-Standing formed the Eastern Command Field Force, and following a flurry of telegraphic communication with Sir William Hullough-Casting this force prepared to march to the relief of Berwick. Sir William agreed to meet the Eastern Command Field Force at Scarborough.

So the field force was entrained at Ipswich to head northwards. However on reaching Boston in Lincolnshire railway authorities reported to the Brigadier that the lines had been cut outside Grimsby. Dispatching mounted scouts Hardly-Standing learnt that a large French force had landed at Skegness and had joined with a Russian naval force which had landed and taken Grimsby three days earlier. Other, unknown military units had been reported supporting the Franco-Russian army which was now marching eastward. Hardly-Standing could not be sure as to the purpose of this landing, it could be the Russian intention to cut off the Midlands and East Anglia from the north, or even march on the south and London. He was the man on the spot and in command of the only sizeable British force that could deal with this new threat. There was good news however.

In response to appeals for help, a small expeditionary force comprised of troops from the minor German principalities had landed at Kings Lynn. This coalition had been formed to oppose Prussian expansionism, and being aware of the real powers at work in this crisis had offered their help to Britain, an offer which was gratefully accepted, the British being desperately short of trained troops at home.

Hardly-Standing posted piquets and vedettes on the approach roads to Boston whilst he organised his forces to meet the threat. With this new influx of forces he was able to put a comparable force into the field against the Franco-Prussians and their lackeys.

Such were the events leading up to the great battles that took place this weekend in The Crown Hotel, Framlingham. Tim Hall and Simon Tonkiss had done a great job organising the event and providing most of the troops. Others (Tim Waudby, myself, Iain Burt, Paul Bright, Mark Philips and Dave McUmphla) had supplied some of their own to greater or lesser degrees. Day 1 saw me facing Mark Philips (Peeler) on the right of the line. My small force was combined with a larger Russian force:

And faced a strong British force who unexpectedly arrived down the road on the flank rather than at the opposing base line:

I tried to advance rapidly to seize the hedge line before the British force could deploy but this did not happen and my central troops only reached the field.

With my cavalry deployed to the right I was faced with either standing and waiting for the British guns to start taking their toll or try and attack the troops now at the hedge. And having not really read the rules properly I mistakenly thought my Guard Cuirassiers might stand a chance against what turned out to be the Grenadier Guards!

It didn’t end well…

Simon was most upset…

This really marked the end of my cavalry action on that flank. The remaining heavy cavalry and cossacks were not happy and retired and milled about, unable to risk getting close to two full battalions and a field gun. They did however stop these units influencing what was a rather bloody battle across the central field as Russian marines, jaegers and a machine gun did battle with British riflemen and cavalry!

This fight was to prove inconclusive.

Meanwhile, on the left my Savage Swans and Jaegers finally advanced to entice forward the two regiments of light and heavy cavalry there. The jaegers running forward and shooting and then shooting and retiring.

Evenually this goaded the cavalry to attempt a charge to run them down. They evaded back through the Swans and the heavy cavalry, not having the move to make contact, stayed where they were but the lancers charged onwards and in. Only to be seen off!

It was at this point we called time. The overall battle had been decided on the other three sections of the table where a British victory was declared. However, it was decided (by me and Paul Bright) that my troops had stopped the British on that flank and could claim a success or at least a winning draw. Peeler, unsurprisingly disagreed! 🙂

Here are the rest of the pics with a few from other parts of the table.

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The rules used were Howard Whitehouse’s upcoming A Gentlemen’s War rules. These are aimed a toy soldier type games but have some great and fun mechanics. We really enjoyed them!

Day 2 coming soon…

We need bigger Swans!

Needless to say, for the coming 42mm Shiny game this weekend, I needed to do the Savage Swans in yet another scale! I’d done them in their C19th FPW’ish incarnation for previous Ayton games so it seemed sensible to do the same sort of figure for the 42mm versions. I used the same Spencer Smith STS Prussian marching figure. I do find this a bit of a pain to paint because of all the extra equipment and may see if there is a similar figure I could use with less… And for the Swans I went for the head with the plume! So, here are the Swans! Again… And commanded by Oberstmajor Johann Patrick von Donovan.

I needed to add a scabbard for him and used some thin card to make the straps for it. Then soaked them in super glue to harden them.

So we have the final little contingent for the game. Only two units of foot and some Jaeger but nice to get something done for it.

There will be pics of the game after the weekend. It’s going to look very lovely and shiny!

 

Big Small Battalions!

OK. Gaming weekend coming up in Framlingham. I didn’t think I’d be able to go. That changed. As with many of these events there was no need to paint anything as other people had the troops but you know how it is… 🙂 So the theme for the main game is 42mm Shiny Toy Soldiers. Something I had no intention of EVER doing! Here’s the first units…

Based on my ImagiNation of Altefritzenburg (which exists in several scales and periods already) here are the 1st Altefritzenburg Regiment and the 1st Jaeger Battalion. Figures are from the Spencer Smith STS Range and are based around FPW variants, Nice figures. A little fiddly to fit together and I wish I’d picked a body with less equipment! Varnishing was a pain. I had a bottle of Humbrol Clear Gloss. This was THIN!!! I’d applied three coats and there will still parts of the figure that weren’t shiny enough… So on Tim W’s recommendation I bought a bottle of Humbrol Gloss Cote. MUCH better! One coat on top of all the Clear coats sorted the main unit and two coats on the Jaegers did them. Mounted on steel bases (from Precision Wargames Supplies) and with the Goat Major recommended Warboss Green for the base paint.

Only one more unit to do and two weeks to go. I WILL resist buying any more…for this game… Maybe just one or two units for any game next year…

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RUB’ing up the right way

Having used assorted box files and storage boxes over the years I’ve finally conceded that Really Useful Boxes (RUBs) are the way to go. For some projects I’ve just lined the boxes with non-slip rubber sheet (the woven type stuff you get for putting in the bottom of drawers etc.). This is cheap and for most things stops stuff sliding around. But all my 28mm stuff is on steel washers or MDF with steel paper on the bottom so I’ve lined some boxes with cheap magnetic photo paper. This if fine for the multi figure bases but the 25mm washers get a bit untidy…

Now, Warbases (and others) do assorted inserts for RUBs (https://warbases.co.uk/?product_cat=rub-inserts) either as potentially layered boxes (which I think may still be an option for my 6mm Modern stuff…) or the giant sabot for taking single based figures if various bases shapes/sizes. To be honest, I’m less keen on storage ‘refinements’ that cost more than the box but these do work well and keeping toys safe is good! So, what I wanted, and what Martin at Warbases supplied me, was just the top part of the big sabot.

So I just lined the bottom of the box with the photo paper and stuck the sabot on top!

This gives me the added benefit of keeping the figures in place a little more securely. Here are the Saxons.

The issue I have is the ‘leader’ figures on 30mm bases. As a temporary measure I took another washer and stuck steel paper on one side and mag paper on the other. This fits flush in a slot and lets me hold the figure in place. Not as secure as IN a slot but OK for now…

And there we are sorted. With the bulk of my Normans in another box.

The final issue is the mounted figures on tablet bases. I’m thinking I could either request a full insert sabot for the correct base type or get a half large sabot and a batch of the top parts of the tablet sabots and make up a little montage to fill the space and fit in as many as I can… I shall speak to Martin about the options. But until then they will have to remain in the old box…

I now need more of the magnetic photo paper! You can get it on Amazon/eBay but the best deal is when some of the Pound shops have them…

 

Emerging from the Dark Ages!

After a few months of cracking on with my Dark Age project I hit a break point while we went on holiday to Cornwall for two weeks (and after the hottest summer for decades we were only slightly annoyed that the weather was shit…) and when I came back I felt I needed a little change  before resuming the project. But I wasn’t sure what… 

Over two years ago I started painting the next of my C18th ImagiNation Altefritzenburg regiments. This was intended to be the as then BIG battalions with 36 musketeers and 12 grenadiers. However at the time I had decide to move to smaller units so rather than paint the 12 grenadiers I had primed I prepped 6 musketeers and paint them and 6 of the grenadiers. These sat on table and workbench for a looooong time. Every few months I would dust them! At some point I prepped the 18 figures I needed to make up one of the smaller regiments (30 figures) but again these sat there and got dusted every few months… Until my return from my hols when I decide it was time to finish them! It took about a week but they form the 2nd Altefritzenburg Regiment.

As ever, intending to just finish the prepped figures I felt the need to do the battalion gun and crew and a brigade command stand. The bulk of the figures are RSM (I really like the figures!) with command coming from the Minden range. 

For the battalion gun I wanted to try and emulate what John Ray had done with some of his and have figures pushing the gun rather than crewing it, which looks a little weird when the rest of the unit is striding manfully towards the enemy! I don’t have John Ray’s sculpting skills so just took two of the RSM gunners and bent the arms a little and stuck them behind the gun! You can also see the other 6 grenadiers I had prepped painted as a test stand for what will become the 3rd Altefritzenburg Regiment.

I also regretted the fancy Altefritzenburg flag which is a bugger to paint! What I’ve done is scan the pre-cutout flag and will try and print that for future units and add painted highlights. We shall see….

I’d also wanted to do a brigade stand. The mounted officer is a Minden Austrian and the chap in the greatcoat a Crann Tara artillery officer and the ADC at the back a Crann Tara early French hussar office. Both are lovely figures.

It was nice to get back to something for this project. It’s unlikely the C18th chaps will see the table before Ayton 2020 but it has got me thinking about exactly what I want from the project so I’ll be sorting what units I want to do (eventually) and offloading the surplus. It was quite scary the amount of unpainted C18th lead I have….

So what next? More C18th? Return to the Dark Ages? Or something a little (or not so little) different? 🙂

Musings of an easily distracted wargamer