The grenadiers already have flintlocks and plug bayonets whilst the "hatmen" still have the old matchlocks.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Well, I have actually finished another figure: my second in five weeks!
This is one of the new Copplestone Louis XIV range which depict figures from 1665-1680. French troops of this time had only just started being issued with uniforms and Régiment de Carignan-Salières was one of the very first we know about to have received them. Typically the coat would be one colour and the linings, which were turned back on the sleeves, would be a contrasting colour. It was about this time that many French regiments were being issued grey uniforms with coloured linings although this process took some time to complete and even by the late 1670s not every unit had uniforms.
Next I think I will do a couple of figures from a more traditionally uniformed unit. I've still no idea what to actually use these figures for and am contemplating something I don't usually do which is having a non-historical historical approach. These means the uniforms are right but the units I paint may never have engaged each other.
Régiment de Carignan-Salières musketeer 1665
One of the many pictures on the blog shows a soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières by Francis Back who did the pictures for the Osprey on the armies of Louis XIV, which I will try to pick up tomorrow from Foyles (although Foyles no longer seem to keep the complete range of Ospreys as they used to).
Given a determined expedition by the regiment in September 1666 the Iroquois, rather than fight, signed a treaty with the French. The regiment was disbanded in 1794.
The regiment returned to France in 1668 but King Louis XIV encouraged soldiers to remain in New France to boost the colonial population by granting estates to the officers and land and livestock subsidies to the men.
The regiment's standard
So I think I will paint this figure as above ready to fight the Iroquois. Conquest miniatures make Iroquois but most of them have flintlock muskets. I suspect bows would have been more likely at this time and they do a woodlands indian pack with bows if I paint enough for a skirmish but, as others have observed, the Copplestone figures aren't really animated enough for skirmish wargaming. Nevertheless I travel to Canada a lot and may even have to go to Quebec City again in May so a few figures from this historically important unit would not go amiss I think!
I was initially attracted to the Great Northern War by the striking blue and yellow uniforms. Some years ago for the same reason, I bought a lot of the Revell Thirty Years War plastics. As a set they probably remain the best plastic figures ever produced. I painted quite a few and even started to buy some of the Tumbling Dice 20mm ECW metals to fill the gaps (especially as regards pike men).
I started thinking about the Thirty Years War again with the announcement of the new Warlord plastic ECW figures. They claim that they are suitable for both ECW and Thirty Years War but, in fact, there are quite a few differences in the fashions of the period not least of which is headgear, baggier trousers and the length of jackets. Recently, however, The Assault Group have released some proper Thirty Years War Swedes and I have just ordered a couple of packs to see what they are like. They are sculpted by Nick Collier who did the wonderful Renegade ECW figures. I expect them to be slightly smaller than the latter as, apparently, he wasn’t that happy in being asked to sculpt them so large. I gather that the Warlord figures will be compatible with the Perry ECW figures which are much smaller than the Renegade ones. For ECW I will stay with Renegade and Bicorne, I think. I am trying to finish some of the part-painted figures on my workbench and have four Renegade Musketeers to do to complete my second ECW Regiment.
A royalist force representing Lord Hopton's army then marched down the hill (the field used for the re-enactment was a very good choice, giving good visibility).
n American reader commented on the Louis XIV site that some American Civil War re-enactors had been banned from using gunpowder as it scared the "gentle-folk", or some such politically correct nonsense. No shortage of gunpowder today, however, and Guy's grandmother didn't seem at all phased ("I lived through the Blitz this is just fireworks!").
In the afternoon, after a drill demonstation by The First Foot Guards from the Monmouth rebellion period and an enjoyable large skirmish from the Medieval Seige Society (more of which tomorrow) we had the "big battle".
By this time we were enjoying our hottest day of the year and it reached 25 degrees, meaning a lot of hard work for those members of the forces that had to supply on-field water. It started with a Royalist force marching down the hill to approach what were supposed to be the walls of Farnham Castle, Wallers HQ in 1643.
A good push of pike
This is my Bicorne Miniatures model of Robert Devereaux, The Third Earl of Essex, (January 11, 1591 – 14 September 1646) who acts as General of my rather small ECW Army of two units of foot and one of cuirassiers.
Following the accession of King Charles I, Essex became a Parliamentarian and led the Roundhead army at the beginning of the English Civil War in 1642, notably at Edgehill. He then commanded the forces at Turnham Green, which blocked the far smaller Royalist army from entering London; the Earl's forces having been boosted by the presence of the London Trained Bands and the Royalist's not being prepared at this stage, to force battle on a large group of, essentially, civilian Londoners.
His campaign in Cornwall was largely disastrous and his forces were pummelled at Lostwithiel, much to Cromwell's annoyance. He resigned his position in 1646 and died the same year. So why do I have him as my army general? Firstly, because we share a birthday and secondly his colours were orange, which was my favourite colour when I was little!
This is my largest wargames unit: the Tower Hamlets Trained Band. Sixteen pikemen and thirty-two musketeers. I modelled this unit some years ago and chose the THTB for my first ECW unit as my first job in the City was actually in an office in Tower Hamlets (just!). The flags are from Body's Banners and the figures are all Renegade Miniatures.
Personally, I don't like little signs on the wargames board so I might think about getting some wounded and dead figures to act as morale markers. Most of my figures are Renegade, with the rest being Bicorne. Bicorne do a nice casualty pack so I will pick this up and do some casulaties in the colours of my two completed regiments. The only problem we had with the rules was that we ran out of time. We played for about three hours but probably needed another hour to bring things to a conclusion. Part of this is the fact that foot only move four inches a move and cavalry eight and so take ages to come into contact. I didn't help by deploying behind a nice hedge and staying there, making Nick trudge across what seemed like miles of fields to get into contact.
Unlike WECW, casualties are small, with only one or two figures lost per unit for each round of firing or melee. Given that we had 36 man units, and loss of figures itself does not seem to trigger morale tests, the engagements turned into slogging matches. Actually, I quite like this and if we had been more familiar with the rules we would probably have gotten along faster. Other peculiarities we found were the ineffectiveness of cavalry against infantry. Because the infantry units were so much bigger they could just pound away at the cavalry and reduce their numbers move by move (or at least until they are hit in the flank by a charging unit of Dragoons, which was the fate of my cuirassiers.
Sir Arthur Hesilrige's Cuirassiers: destroyed by some motley Dragoons. It's enough to make you jump off a cliff
Cavalry, to be effective against infantry needs to have a wide frontage and get another unit to pile in in support. The other issue was that we had quite a lot of units on the table. For Parliament, Adrian and I had seven Infantry units and four cavalry units, plus four light guns. We are going to have another go in a few weeks, which would be good. In the meantime, I might fight a few test skirmishes against my little boy to get a feel for the best size for units etc. This is important as having more figures firing makes such a small difference to the hits you might have that it may be best, for example, to have three smaller units that one big one. It was nice to play a game again and has got me keen on ECW once more, so I might try to paint another unit of cavalry in the next few months.