Tuesday 31 August 2021

Off the bench and a big thankyou

 Today was spent on a major tidy up, my small gaming table had become an overspill area for the paint desk and general dumping ground for work in progress, items awaiting sorting etc. So this last week I was determined to reclaim it in order to return to some board gaming. 

Over the last week I’ve finished basing 100  15mm ECW infantry,

Finished painting a 20mm units of Napoleonic Nassau infantry, a 24 man unit of 30mm  Prussian SYW flat figures, 16 15mm Macedonian pike,12 x28mm FIW Hurons and a few other bits and pieces, I won’t show pics of all the figures but I pulled out some of the 30mm Prussians as I’d forgotten how much I enjoy painting them

I will get the full collection out shortly to take some more pics.

I’ve also pushed on with preparing bits and pieces for the ECW games, I bought some blank playing cards and have stuck the chaunce cards Tony (Prometheus in Aspic blog) has made available, on the other side I’ve used some coloured illustrations off the Iron Mitten blog after having got permission to use them many, many moons ago.

I’ve also started preparing some character cards courtesy of the Jolly Broom man for use in campaign games. 

Finally there’s a huge thanks to Lee from (Napoleonic therapy blog) Lee has been doing some painting for me of the 15mm ECW and he very kindly sent me all sorts of bits he no longer has use for, there’s a 6x4 terrain cloth with hex grid for use with Command and Colours figure games, 

A box full of his home made rivers and roads Ned another box with trees, fields rough terrain markers etc.

This wonderful hobby has brought me into contact with lots of people over the years and on the whole I have found the vast majority to be really friendly and supportive who just want to share their enthusiasm for the hobby with like minded individuals . So thanks Lee these will all be extremely useful.
Hopefully some gaming is planned for next week- let’s see !.

Thursday 12 August 2021

Battle of Guisborough 16th January 1643

 I recently acquired a very nicely painted 15mm ECW figure collection from Lee Gramson and I have been quite eager to get them on the table. Most of you will know I quite like the Command and Colour rules system and Tony on the Prometheus in Aspic blog has produced an ECW variant together with the requisite cards and chance cards. 

He has also produced what he calls a ramekin variant which does away with order cards and replaces them with a chit system.

So armed with these this morning I decided to take a break from the painting and treat myself to a small game. I didn’t wish to spend a lot of time with set up etc and therefore chose to refight the local battle of Guisborough with each unit representing a company of infantry or a troop of cavalry.

Tees archaeology have prepared an excellent booklet on the ECW in the region 


So by way of a brief background in late 1642 and early 1643 arms were being landed for the Royalist cause in the North East of England and these were then transported onwards to York.

Guilford Slingsby loyal supporter of the King landed in the area and returned to his estate inHemlington where he commenced to raise troops.

The Earl of Newcastle ordered Slingsby to protect the convoys and to place a garrison in Whitby thus creating access to another ports in the North East for the Royalist cause.

Sir Hugh Cholmley Parliamentarian commander of Scarborough heard about Slingsby’s activities and his intention to occupy Whitby. Cholmley with his 130 foot and his troop of horse and Dragoons was joined at  Malton by two further troops of Dragoons and he marched the 40 miles to Guisborough across the Moors - no mean feat at that time of year.

Slingsby had brought with him a troop of Dutch mercenary horse and had raised 4 companies (400 men) of enthusiastic but raw foot who were all suitably equipped .

Hearing of the approach of Cholmley, Slingsby moved out about 1 mile to the South West of the town.

I will leave it to you to read the detailed account but in essence Slingsby charged some of the mounted Dragoons driving them from the files of battle whilst Cholmley’s men attacked the four companies of Royalist foot. Accounts say that the Royalist had placed their foot ‘under hedges’ and that they held Cholmley for around two hours !

Slingsby upon seeing his foot struggling resolved to charge the enemy foot, he was badly wounded and captured and his army was broken. Due to his wounds Slingsby had both legs amputated and died three days later.

So onto the battle Slingsby’s army consisted of one unit of veteran galloper ( 4 bases rather than 3) and 4 units of raw foot ( 3 bases each -)

Cholmley had threes troops of Dragoons each 3bases)  1 troop I left mounted on the left flank to face off against Slingsby, 2 units of infantry and 1 troop of horse. The horse were Trotters and all the troops were classed as trained.

Other tweaks to the rules I incorporated were 

1. It takes two hits to remove a base ( otherwise I felt the battle may be over before it began)

2. The Jolly Broom man on his Mud Blood and Steel blog suggested  that after two charges mounted troops were classed as blown and couldn’t make any further attacks. I decided to amend this and say that whilst blown mounted troops can still make attacks but do so with half the number of dice.

3. Due to the low number of units involved I decided that each commander would generate order chits on the throw of an average dice.

So onto the battle (apologies for the photos really bad light today)

The armies deployed on the left the Royalists - Slingsby is with his troop of veteran horse facing off against a troop of Dragoons then the four units of foot are deployed across the battlefield - 3 of them are lining the hedgerows.

Cholmley’s men on the right has deployed two troops of Dragoons on foot ready to contest the hedge lines with their opposite numbers
The two units of foot are deployed and they will be seeking storm the enclosures as whilst they are equal to the Royalists in firing, in melee they have a distinct advantage to inflict casualties. Cholmley is attached to the extreme right foot unit. To his right is his troop of trotters..

The opening turns saw Slingsby charge the Dragoons who despite suffering casualties managed to hold him for a couple of rounds .The Royalist unit in the open advanced to hedge line to their front and the other units waited for the enemy to attack 
Which they duly obliged to do.

The red dice are the rolls for the activation of orders. Units more than a set distance from the Officer ( I used 9” ) can be given an order (the black chit) but then need a 5 or a 6 to activate on it.

On the Parliamentarian right their two units of foot closed in on the Royalist units whilst their troop of Horse worked the oar way to the rear of the left most Royalist unit.

Slingsby eventually defeated the Dragoons facing him and after a round of pursuit and shaking to see if he lost any men to further pursuit ( he didn’t) he brought his men around to engage the enemy Dragoons.

Meanwhile Cholmley’s foot units were engaged in melee with their opposite number ( in the rules Raw units forced to retreat ( flags on combat dice ) must fall back double distance (6”) but there was both a distinct lack of flags and casualties on either side.

Eventually Cholmley’s troop of horse also charged the Royalist unit and after inflicting casualties forced them to retreat from the hedge row ( they were hanging on from being removed)

Slingsby’s horse had charged the Dragoons inflicted some casualties and forced them to retreat but his horse were now blown and of limited value, the second troop of dismounted Dragoons had fallen back and caused some more casualties on Slingsby’s horse.

Then over the next couple of turns the Royalist left flank disappeared the unit furthest on the left was shot at and received enough casualties to remove them from the field, the unit in the adjoining field was then subject to a ferocious round of melee from the unit of Parliamentarian foot and a charge from the Parliamentarian horse who were now blown , and they to were removed from the field of battle.

Slingsby left his horse to join a unit of foot, his horse who were truly spent and on the verge of breaking withdrew towards the base line and the remaining two units of foot sought to form a line amongst the hedgerows. 

Despite some successful shooting Cholmley continued to apply increasing pressure charging Slingsby’s foot unit with both a regiment of foot and a troop of Dragoons despite Slingsby’s attempts his unit was forced from the hedgerow and forced to retreat from the field. 

At least he survived!

Overall I was pleased with the tweaks I made to the rules, putting the hex terrain down would have made life easier but I didn’t want to spend too much time on setting up for a trial game.
Certainly looking forward to another encounter.

This final photo shows endgame, Slingsby’s men have been forced from the enclosure, his unit is down to one combat dice and he is effectively surrounded by enemy and very close to the edge of the board!

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Milestone reached

 My Culloden project has dragged on for a number of years now - far too long! With the sale of Crann Tara I can now release the butterflies but primarily focus on getting Culloden finished and displayed.

I have now finished all the bases of Jacobites for the front line - 72 bases in total. Banners have been issued (edges need tidying up to remove the white edge) 

So now work begins on the second line, fortunately in between painting highlanders I painted some Lowlanders all the French troops and the cavalry, there’s still quite a bit to do but there is now some momentum.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

We have a figure jam

 It’s been one of those weeks when lots of things come together with the result that my bench has a figure jam.

Painted figures arrived from Ruaridh at Culloden Studios (50 Highlanders), Steve Allen (Clermont Prince and Canadian Militia) 15mm Confederates from Lee and a few more Georgia scouts from me as well as Kingston’s Horse moving towards completion.

So yesterday and today has seen a big push to base and clear the production line, Highlanders are done and the rest are based waiting for glue to dry. In addition I also received a great gift from the very talented Arno a painting of a Corporal from the Saxon Prince Xaver.


The next two days are assigned to Grandparent duties but the weekend will see a mustering of Jacobites and standards being issued.

Keep safe