Sunday 31 January 2010

Mollwitz Village

On the given signal,Romer [ John Reidy] brought on half of his heavy cavalry command from behind Gunnigen hill,much to the consternation of the Prussian infantry commanders.
The Austrian musketry fire was more effective than the Prussians,and their garde began to take a bit of a pasting.
The Austrian light cavalry continued to tie up the Prussian cavalry,and things were in the balance,as on the Prussian move they attempted to send the third brigade to cover the Prussian right flank. The attempt was a failure. The Prussian command was now strung out and whilst still a formidable force was not able to deploy, exploiting its strengths.
Romer elected to charge the Prussian infantry,and with a good throw was able to contact the front units of the Prussian line. In the centre the Austrian infantry continued to hang on and shoot up the Prussian garde.
Another poor showing by the Prussian infantry allowed the Austrian cuirassiers to inflict more casualities on them,which caused the Prussians to rout off table.

The battle for Langwitz marsh

The next Austrian move was slightly better as I could at least bring on the Hussars,and move to engage the Prussian light cavalry in an attempt to buy the Austrian infantry time to deploy.
The infantry were able to shake out into line in front of Mollwitz,and deploy our only gun battery.
The hussars charged the Prussian Black hussars,but lacked support from the other light cavalry,which proved to be a problem throughout the light cavalry encounter.
My hussars were turned back,but managed to at least not rout. In the centre,on the Prussian move,the garde brigade marched up to close range of the Austrian centre. The effect should have been deadly,unfortunately for the Prussians they were not able to disorder the centre units through fire,and Pauls saving throws continued.
More importantly the suporting Prussian brigade refused to move. Best of all the third Prussian brigade came onto the field of battle directly behind the centre brigades,thus leaving their right flank only covered by the gun batteries. Their cavalry brigade,continued to stand about supporting the efforts of the black hussars.

The Prussians , Hemsdorf Village

Move two caused more anguish,as I attempted to off set the Prussian cavalry be deploying the Austrian hussar command [me] near Langwitz village.These failed their command throw!
As did the entire Austrian infantry command, all I could do was stand and watch as the Prussians took their turn. In Black powder it is feasable for units to move a total of three times in a turn. All the Prussian cavalry commander had to do was hold his nerve and he could sweep the Austrian march columns away. Luckily not only did they not declare they were charging,but they also failed their command throw.
The Prussian infantry however were able to plough on and deploy into line,in musket range of the Austrians. We had given the majority of the Prussian infantry 'first fire' capability,which allows an additional dice to be thrown once in a game by the unit firing. This is most effective at close range, luckily one of the Prussian brigadiers nerve failed and they fired at long range. By judicious saving throws [well done Paul] the effect was minimal [ie no hits] and the Prussian brigade had wasted their first fire. The large Prussian battery wasnt much better,and tended to overshoot.

Mollwitz Re Fight.

Mollwitz 1.
Well today Marie Theresa got her revenge on the Prussians.
I will try not to be too gloating of a comprehensive victory for the forces of Austria, but it will be hard......
When I initially decided to use Mollwitz as a battle to try out the Blackpowder rules I was a tad concerned about the superiority of the Prussian forces.
In order to give a historic feel to the game,the Prussian infantry had to be much better than the Austrians.I really thought that this would prove decisive,as the Prussians should have been able to out manouvre and out shoot their opponents.
This was balanced by the better and more numerous Austrian cavalry.
Anyway onto the account. The game was staged at the Durham Wargames club,which has a first rate set up as regards tables,toilets and kitchen facilities. Not withstanding their lack of clocks [hello Dave] the club are really lucky to have such a resource.
The battle was fought on a 14' by 6' table,and had four players a side. I attempted to give each player at least four units to command,without the artillery. All units started off table and had to march on. Again I was concerned that the Prussians would steamroller the Austrians unless I slowed down their deployment. The Austrians were deemed to move first. True to form, the Austrian infantry failed their initial commad throws,so could only march on table due to them being in march column. The Prussians had no problem,and more worringly the Prussian cavalry deployed straight onto the battlefield on the left flank facing Langwitz village.
I had to admit that Colin [ Ashston] totally wrongfooted me here,as I didnt think he would deploy his cavalry so aggressively, well done Colin.

Monday 25 January 2010

A word on Flags, Tip 1.

Most of my flags that I use for the Seven Years War are home made, and came about after a conversation I had years ago with Barry Hilton.
I use white cotton hankies[preferably mens] which I prepare by painting with a mixture of pvc white wood glue and water.When the hanky is dry I simply cut the flag to the necessary size,and then lightly draw on the motif etc.
Painting stiff cotton is fairly easy,and with a bit of dry brushing,over the colours, gives a good texture.Again copying off Barry I tend to make my flags bigger than they should be to make them stand out,unfortunately I haven't the patience to paint them as well as Barry Hiltons. The cotton folds really well and gives a really good effect,for just a little effort.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Mollwitz Part 3.

I have listed the forces for Mollwitz which I hope to stage next Sunday at the Vane Tempest Hall in Durham city,feel free to drop in for a bit crack.
The rules are the new Black Powder ones.
I hope that I havent made the Prussians too strong,but unfortunately on the day the infantry were just too good for the Austrians.
Foot Guards;.. 2 battalions
F/F,[+1] shot on first fire.
Elite.[ overcome disorder on a 4+]
Superbly Drilled..[free move]
Steady; [pass first break test.]

Grenadiers;…2 battalions.
F/F,[+1] shot on first fire.
Elite.[ overcome disorder on a 4+]
Valiant [re roll 1 break test]

Line; 8 battalions.
F/F,[+1] shot on first fire.
Reliable [+1 command]

Heavy cavalry;2 regiments.
Heavy cavalry
[+1 combat result]

Hussars; 1 regiment
Marauders [ignore distance modifiers to command]
Unreliable. [no move on = command roll]

3 Artillery batteries.


Line infantry. 7 Regiments.
Unreliable. [no move on = command roll]

Grenadiers. 2 Regiments.
F/F,[+1] shot on first fire.
Elite.[ overcome disorder on a 4+]
Valiant [re roll 1 break test]

Heavy Cavalry 6 Regiments.
[+3 combat result]

Marauders [ignore distance modifiers to command]

1 Artillery battery.

I have had to modify the cavalry regiments to fit the rules,so they are of six stands each.

Jackdaw Figures.

I have completed my first Jackdaw Miniatures French artillery crew and piece.
I did enjoy painting this piece,and found the figures easy to work with,for most of my SYW project I have used a gloss varnish,I think really just to give them more of a old school feel,hopefully the varnish wont act in an old school way and go yellow,which used to happen very often.
Anyway Ive attached a photograph of the crew,so at least people can decide wether the figures are worth buying.I would certainly buy more.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Battle of Mollwitz,part2

The end of the month is coming up fast,and as I stated I am hosting a refight of Mollwitz,using the Black Powder rules.Normally I would use the rules that John,my long time wargames opponent put together from the ideas of Grant and Featherstone, but I was asked by the Durham Group to provide a battle to use with the BP rules.
Basing the armies around the details provided by Charles Grant I have opted for the following sized game.
Prussians; C in C.. Frederick ,I hope that this will be only a fleeting appearence,as I intend to have a special rule in place to allow the chance that he will run away,as per history
Anyway there will be 2 Grenadier Batallions [36 figs each], 2 Garde Batallions,8 Line batallions.
Using the BP ratings these will be very powerful with various abilities unfortunately.
The Prussian cavalry were miserable on the day and will be represented by 2 heavy cavalry regiments and 1 hussar regiment.There will also be 3 field batteries.
C in C;.. Neipberg
2 Grenadier batallions, 7 line batallions.Their brigadiers will have a pretty poor rating to reflect the performance.
The austrian cavalry was very good,and will consist of 4 Heavy Cavalry regiments [24 figs each]2 Hussar regiments [24 figs each]
There will also be 2 field batteries.
Mollwitz is not a large game,but has problems for both sides,so hopefully it wont be a complete walkover for the Prussians.My main aim is to have an enjoyable days gaming,with a few laughs along the way.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Wargames Magazines

I think its fair to say that most wargamers can be pretty anal.
God knows my wife thinks I am.One the many pleasures that wargaming affords me,is the ability to go to bed early and,tuck in, and proceed to read my collection of wargames magazines.I am currently working my way through the excellent MWAN,as edited by Hal Thinglum.
Hal handed the magazine on to other people over a year ago,and I think it became defunct. When Hal had control it was a great mix of rule ideas and general chit chat.The big thing was enthusiasm,which is important in any thriving hobby,and for some strange reason I always feel American wargamers are filled with it.We British seem to have adopted a more laid back approach,this is my own opinion,so I am happy to be convinced otherwise.
I unfortunately dont have a complete collection [just about 80 or so] which does drive me a bit nuts,as I am a completeist [read saddo]
Which then got me thinking to the best wargames magazines I have read/owned.
Here is my list,starting at my least favourite;
10] Slingshot [but only the early years,as I love to read the debates/arguements over the rules and of course the Rhomphia scandal]
9] The Arquebusier [ again the early years,especially the Andrew Murdin articles on the Italian wars,great to use in a refight ]
8] Military Modelling,especially the Battle supplement years.
AdditionallyCharles Grants Napoleonic wargame rules were excellent,especially when illustrated by the Gilder Waterloo terrain
7] Wargames Newsletter,you could always rely on Donald Featherstone to write an angry editorial,which I found thought provoking.
6] Wargames illustrated,again the DM years,until the last few issues,when I felt Duncan had lost interest.Great photographs,little of substance.
5] Miniature Wargames[again the early DM. years,the photographs of Peter Gilder's figures and my personal favourite,Doug Mason were really inspiring.Remember the Zastrow Cuirassiers.
4] Wargames,Soldiers and Strategy,a good informative magazine.
3] MWAN,as for the reasons stated earlier, Hal and his readership were really keen wargamers.
2]Practical Wargamer,which surprised me initially until I thought about the great cross section of articles edited by Stuart Asquith,who should be applauded for his efforts.
## 1] The Battle magazine which I am pleased to say I have a full collection of.
The Battle was a good cross section of information and ideas,I loved the Charles Grant series on Napoleonic personalities, and the visit to the SELWG with the 'famous' photograph of Bill Brewer holding up a wonderfully painted Polish Lancer,a great figure painter.
Anyway this is my first list.Discuss..................

Monday 11 January 2010

Jackdaw Miniatures

Well with the weather finally relenting a little I braved myself to start my seasons painting.
I should add that I paint in my garage cum wargames room,and it can be a tad cold,but what the heck.This year I am determined to complete my Seven Years war French and Austrian armies and at least make a start on my Hanoverians.
As usual I got a little sidetracked as my long suffering wife had very kindly bought me a French Garde regiment from the new Jackdaw Range[available from Old Glory UK]and two artillery pieces and respective crews.So I had to prepare some of them for painting.
The designer of the Jackdaw range also works for Tradition and has clearly been very strongly influenced by the Edward Suren style of figures.Willie figures are not to everyones taste,but I love them.
Anyway,the figures are big,but I would say pretty accurate,with a nice amount of detail.The infantry tend to have at least a seperate arm,sword and or bayonet.
I managed to lose three bayonets [how is it you never find the piece?]but put together my first company [6 figs].
The artillery piece is a very fine gun,with lots of detail over the barrel,the crew are in lifelike poses.I like the way Andy has included barrels,cannonballs and other bits and bobs.I would say they are as nice as the Willie range and a bit cheaper.
Andy [Copestake]has done really well to start this range,I already have one line batallion,and I am looking forward to the French Dragoons. If you like youre SYW figures,big and lively give them a try.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Battle of Mollwitz 10th April 1749

I am currently preparing a refight of the Battle of Mollwitz for the weekend of the 30th January,2010.
Although I use rules designed by John for the Seven Years War, I was invited by Durham Wargames Group to bring along our armies to have a game using the new Blackpowder Rules.
Just before Christmas I fought an ACW battle using these rules,and I did actually enjoy the experience. If anyone has used the Warmaster rules system then these rules are very easy to follow.
To be fair I probably enjoyed it more because I actually won which can be a bit of a novelty.
Anyway,back to Mollwitz,the battle does pose problems for the Austrian players as they are outnumbered and outgunned.Still life would be pretty dull if things were always fair.
The game is geared for six commands,three per side.I have taken the old Charles Grant book [The Wargame] as a basis for the orders of battle.Grant has his detractors,but I would still argue his research was very good.The Prussian cavalry on the day performed very badly and Frederick showed his true colours by legging it from the battlefield before his infantry won the day for him.So it can be argued that the Prussian cavalry will have to be downgraded,additionally their respective brigadiers will also be poor.Likewise the Austrian infantry will have to suffer a penalty and be lumbered with a poor brigadier rating.
So really both sides have problems.I only hope the snow finally stops before the end of January.In my next post I will record the number of units etc I intend to use in the game.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Who are the Independent Wargames Group?

I clean forgot to explain the title of the blog. The IWG was created? over 30 years ago in response to the trend to follow all things created by the Wargames Research Group.
There have never been more than three members [and I use that term very loosely]and usually only myself and my long suffering arch gamer John Reidy. At the present time we are back to three [Colin Ashston] but we still try to do things our way.
Over the years we have tended to go our own way,but the key for me was to create eye catching wargames,using well painted figures and quality terrain.
I attempt to put on a game at least at two local shows each year,sometimes more,just to motivate myself into painting more figures.Several of the games we played have featured over the years in the wargames press,perhaps the best being about Blenheim in the old Practical Wargamer magazine.
I am lucky in that I have a permanent wargames table and can fight whenever I want.
I hope to be able to scan our latest rules offering in the near future onto the site.

Friday 1 January 2010

Happy New Year to all

I can't believe its a new decade,and one which for me is very life changing as I am due for retirement which fills me with dread.
In theory it should be a time when I finally do things Ive wanted to do all my life,reality is always different however,still it should give me time to game more hopefully.
Anyway enough of this maudlin chit chat,onwards and upwards.
As I add photographs it is evident that I use a lot of RSM figures for my SYW armies,I was always impressed with the range by Steve Hezzlewood who was clearly a bit of a 'wrong un' but he certainly had a talent. My units are based on 36 figures per batallion and multiples of 12 for my cavalry. It is noticable that I also use Hinchliffe figures for some of my units,again I always admired Peter Gilder,who was likewise a bit larger than life in some respects.One of my regrets was never going to his enchanted cottage to game. I have been several times since his death to the sucessor in Scarborough and have enjoyed the experience,whilst not understanding the rules.Gilder was able to bring life to his castings,which upon close examination could look crude,but when painted just looked right. I particularly liked his Connisseur range,especially 'The Kings Lifeguard'.
I digress however, getting back to RSM, they are still available from the USA, via the Dayton Painting Company who are a nice group to deal with being very helpful.The range is fairly extensive for the SYW and I would recommend them. If you live in Britain,I would start with a fairly modest order or you will fall foul of HM customs.
Any way All the Best for the New Year.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating