Thursday, April 19, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe: Win Some, Lose Some

French flank turned at Fort Carillon
from Grid Based Wargaming
While the British July offensive has run its course (see Peter's accounts of the Battle for Fort Stanwix and Battle for Fort Carillon), the French are not done for yet.  In the Battle for Fort Stanwix, the Loudoun led British are repulsed with the loss of one regiment of British Regulars.  Loudoun withdraws back into the woods to reconsider his options.  At Fort Carillon, the battle is a bloody affair as the British under Monckton outflank the French defensive works and capture the fort.  Each combatant loses one regiment of Regulars.  Dieskau withdraws into the woods. 
British July campaign results
Since the combat at Carillon involved at least four units each and a leader, the fall of Fort Carillon represented a Major Victory for the British.  With the Major Victory and the loss of Fort Carillon, the Political Track is shifted three spaces to the right in favor of the British. 
For the French July operations, more than one activation is needed pressuring the French to take a chance by rolling on the Command Table.  The result is two activations.  That is enough to take care of immediate needs.  To avoid having to forage in the wilderness, Dieskau, as expected, leads his defeated force back to the safety and food of Fort Isle aux Noix.

While Loudoun ponders his next move, Drucour takes the initiative and marches his force of two regiments of Regulars on an attack against the lightly garrisoned Fort Oswego.  Abandoning Fort Stanwix will likely lead to its recapture by the British.  For the French, eliminating British influence on the shores of Lake Ontario seemed a better gambit.  History will be the judge of Drucour's decision.
French maneuvers July 1757
The Illini are successfully recruited to the French cause and advance upon the ungarrisoned Fort Duquesne.

Battle of Fort Oswego
British: 1 x 3-5 Militia
French: Drucour (A0D1), 2 x 5-6 Regular regiments

Can Drucour wrest control of Oswego from the militia?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Scenario: Combat at Foz de Arouce, 15MAR1811

French drawn up to defend Foz de Arounce
Having recently finished work on a Spanish church and not having the 28mm Peninsular War collection out on the gaming table in a long while, this weekend will see an historical action in Portugal recreated on the gaming table.

Combat at Foz de Arounce
In Massena's retreat from Spain, the French Army of Portugal made a night march on the 14-15 March 1811 to place a flooding river between itself and the pursuing Anglo-Portuguese Army under Wellington.  Having safely crossed to the right bank of the flooding Ceira River, Massena allowed his troops to rest on the heights overlooking the small village of Foz de Arouce.

Ney, commanding the French rear guard, had been ordered to destroy the bridge at Foz de Aource after having passed his troops over to the right bank of the river.  With little regard for Massena, Ney disobeyed orders and kept three brigades on the left bank of the Ceira.
The battlefield
Held up by fog and the burning town of Miranda de Corvo, the 3rd and Light Divisions did not reach French positions near Foz de Arouce until four in the afternoon.  Thinking it too late in the day for the British to launch a successful attack, Ney remained on the left bank of the Ceira.  Hoping to surprise the French, Wellington launched his attack at 5:00pm. 

The stage is set!

Scenario Details:
Ney's rearguard is situated on the high ground south of the village with Mermet drawn up across the main road while Marchand has taken up positions in and around Poisao.
Initial deployments
Wellington has deployed Picton opposite Mermet while the Light Division advances upon the French right.

The combat begins at 5:00pm and ends at midnight.  From 7:00pm on, night rules are in effect.

Only the Anglo-Portuguese Army receives reinforcements in this scenario and no French having crossed over to the right bank of the Ceira River may re-cross.  The Ceira River, swollen by recent rains may only be crossed at either the bridge or the ford.  Only leaders and cavalry may use the ford for passage of the Ceira.  The Order of Battle for combatants is detailed below with each box represented one BMU (infantry battalion, cavalry regiment, or artillery battery):
Victory Conditions:
At the conclusion of the final turn, Victory Points are awarded as follows:
2 VPs each for control of Poisao, Foz de Arounce, left bank of the bridge, and left bank of the ford.
2 VPs each for each enemy infantry, cavalry, or artillery BMU destroyed.
1 VP per enemy BMU still on table and routing.
1 VP for each French BMU in good order on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end.
5 VPs if no French BMUs are on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end (Anglo-Portuguese only).
5 VPs for each Anglo-Portuguese BMU in good order on the right bank of the Ceira River at game end.
Victory Point Objectives
The player scoring at least 7 more points than opponent is victorious.  Otherwise, the battle is a draw.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Genova Heavy Horse in 1859

Off the painting desk today are four squadrons of the Genova Heavy Horse Regiment.  This dozen Sardinian lancers are from Mirliton miniatures from Italy.  I continue to believe these are some of the best cavalry in 15mm for the 1859 period.  Great figures.
With the current emphasis on churning out 15mm/18mm figures for at least part of 2018, expect more work on this project.  Looking into The Lead Pile, enough Sardinian cavalry can be found to field all of the horse regiments seen in 1859.  Well, if not, close!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Spanish/Italian Church

For a change of pace, off the workbench is a bit of terrain today.  This rather large church is from Old Glory's Pirate range of buildings.  This piece was ordered near year-end and only now makes it into the painting queue.  

With a coat or two of paint and stain, the church now is ready for use.  A dramatic transformation from the before photo shown below:
A battalion of 28mm Elite Miniatures' 95th Rifles stands guard in front of the church.  The comparison between figures and church provides an indication of the church's footprint.  It is rather large.  This fine building will likely see service not only in Spain during Peninsular War battles but with be at home in Italy for Renaissance gaming.  A versatile piece!  I may return to Old Glory for addition buildings in this series.
With this fine church ready for the table, the pull to draft a Peninsular War battle is strong.  I better get busy before that sensation dissipates.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Boeing's Museum of Flight - WWI

Albatross DVa
Having been a supporting member of the Museum of Flight for more than a dozen years, I finally paid my first visit to this wonderful aviation museum while stationed in Seattle this past week.  I regularly travel to the Puget Sound for work and a recent office relocation took me only a few blocks from the Museum of Flight.  With time on my hand, I stopped in for a three hour visit on a Sunday afternoon.

While the museum has aircraft from all eras, on this visit, most of my time was spent in the WWI wing of the museum.  With my resurgent interest in WWI aerial combat, why not take this opportunity to examine some of these famous aircraft up close?  I could not resist.

Below are a selection of photos from the WWI wing of the museum.  The display is dark thus some of the photos are not as photogenic as expected.  A wonderful display, nevertheless.      
Aviatik DI
Caproni Ca 20
Fokker DRI Triplane
Fokker DRI Triplane
Fokker DVII
Fokker DVII Lozenge pattern
Fokker DVIII
Fokker Eindecker
Nieuport 24bis
Nieuport 24bis
Nieuport 27
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Triplane
Sopwith Triplane
Sopwith Triplane

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Four Russian Guns for Suvorov

 Four Russian guns for Suvorov.  Two foot batteries and two horse batteries.  
The foot batteries are composed of Eureka Saxon Napoleonics pressed into service as Russian gunners.  To me, they work well.  Besides fitting the need for early Russian gunners, these Eureka Saxon gunners are splendid sculpts.  Great looking figures with crisp detailing.  I have used Eureka Saxons as Russian gunners, Piedmontese infantry, and French cavalry.  A very versatile group!
The horse gunners and all four guns are from AB Miniatures.  Fine sculpts as expected AB with easy, pre-painting clean-up.  Comparing the two groups of gunners in this display, I prefer the Eureka gunners over AB.  I know, heresy in many places.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Montcalm & Wolfe - The July Offensive

Braddock attacks le Boeuf
Grid Based Wargaming
Peter resolved the battle of Fort Le Boeuf and Bougainville could not hold off Braddock.  The fort falls and Bougainville marches out to Fort Presque Isle.  See Peter's account of the battle at Battle of Le Beouf.

May 1757 sees a large number of British troops arrive from England.  Reinforcements from England include six regiments of Regulars and one regiment of militia is raised.  Two regiments of Regulars go to Fort Cumberland, two Regiments of Regulars go to Fort Edward, two regiments of Regulars travel to Fort Oswego, and the militia marches to Albany.
British Reinforcements
The French receive reinforcements too but not in the quantity that their opponents called up.  The French muster two regiments of Regulars and one regiment of Irregulars.  One Regular travels to Fort Presque Isle to bolster Bougainville's garrison and discourage Braddock.  The second regiment of Regulars and the Irregulars travel to Isle aux Noix.  Dieskau, seeing the build up at Fort Edward, abandons William-Henry and retires to Fort Carillon.
French Reinforcements
June 1757
With Fort William-Henry abandoned by Dieskau, Monckton marches his large force to garrison the fort.  Only one regiment of militia is left behind to garrison Fort Edward.  Johnson successfully recruits the Cayuga to the British cause.  The Cayuga warband immediately sets off toward Lake Ontario.  For the early summer maneuvers, the French are content to ferry one regiment of Regulars from Isle aux Noix to Fort Carillon. 
June 1757
July 1757
With a fresh batch of reinforcements in the right place at the right time, the British go on a July offensive.  In an attempt to hit strength with strength, Loudoun attacks Fort Stanwix while Monckton attacks Fort Carillon.  A reinforcing regiment of Regulars marches out from Fort Cumberland. 
Double British Attack
Battle of Fort Stanwix OB:
British: Loudoun (A0D1), 4 x 5-6 Regulars
French: Drucour (A0D1), 2 x 5-6 Regulars

Battle of Fort Carillon OB:
British: Monckton (A2D1), 5 x 5-6 Regulars
French: Dieskau (A2D2), 3 x 5-6 Regulars, 1 x militia 

Two important battles for the summer '57.  The battle at Carillon is a Major Battle which means the Political Track will shift two in the winner's favor.  These twin battles have the possibility of changing the outcome of the war.  I anxiously await the results.

Over to you, Peter!
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