Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Pils-Holstein Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, this part of the collection (the mid-18th century) is a major project, and I have a very detailed order of battle for the protagonists listed out.


Above: the Pils-Holstein brigade - Regts Leibgarde, Kronprinz Grenadiers, and Oldenburg.
Below: a recent battle in full flow.


In terms of adding more infantry I am planning:

  • 1 more fictitious Pils-Holstein battalion
  • 4 more battalions of Prussian infantry
  • 5 more battalions of French infantry
  • 1 more battalion of Astrovian (Hungarian) infantry

Flags are done and already in stock (thanks to Mark Allen's work a few years ago - I stockpiled them in advance).

Most of the figures are also in stock.

Whilst I do have a list of 'must have' horse regiments, I have a looser approach to adding more cavalry, but I will over time be able to keep pace with the infantry additions I hope.

Artillery requires some attention too... somehow it's always this arm of service which seems to get left behind in the planning. Apologies to any gunners who are reading this!

The plan is to put this on as a display game once it's all finished, probably in around 5 years time (once I've completed the other projects first - namely Wars of Vaubarian Succession, TYW, and Successors).

Thanks to the many people I met up with at Partizan who said how much they were enjoying the recent posts about my plans for my various projects. Much appreciated.

On that note, Partizan was a terrific show. I took a few snaps, but nothing that you won't have seen elsewhere online. There are lots of blog reports and videos and Facebook posts circulating should you wish to see more. All told it was a good day out, and I spent much of it chatting to old friends and chewing the hobby fat. 

Finally, thanks to those who have been commenting and showing appreciation of my recent posts. 

More to come...


Wednesday, 18 May 2022

The Pils Holstein Project

Continuing my overview of the Warcabinet collection, and plans for the various projects...

In many ways, the Pils Holstein project, set in the mid 18C, is the centre-piece of the collection.

It occupies far more shelf space than any other project, and I have a significant pile of lead awaiting the paintbrush over the coming years.

Although, I haven't done much on it of late, I do have plans to expand it significantly. I even have a number of flags painted by Mark Allen which will be awarded to the units I have in my intended orbat as they are completed.

The figures are my own, not commercially available, and give the collection some uniqueness. The mix of imaginary and real countries adds to the flavour too, I feel.

I will go into the expansion plans in a future post, but meantime here are a few pics, taken in Aug 2017 at Partizan, which is the last time the collection was shown in full...









Talking of Partizan, hope to see a few folk at Newark this coming weekend...


Sunday, 15 May 2022

What is 'Finished'?

Thanks to those who've been commenting on my past couple of posts about the various projects I am working on - The Grand Warcabinet "Tractor Plan".

Just thought I would follow up on the subject of the TYW and look at what I want to do to get this project "finished".



For the Swedes:

I do have some cavalry conversions that Brian Rigelsford made for me so want to paint those. I could do with a couple more regiments of Swedish cavalry in total.

I also have a rather nice Rigelsford command vignette of Gustavus Adolphus that will look great at the head of the army.

And one more unit of infantry for this army would be good too... possibly a Scots unit in Swedish service.

For the Imperialists:

A couple more cuirassier regiments would give more 'heft' to the army, and maybe another large infantry tercio.

The artillery for both sides needs some attention, and I have most of the figures I need to do this.

There are loads of special vignettes that Brian made that are lovely groupings of figures. These really add to the flavour of the display and will bring it to life.

All told, it probably amounts to around 300-350 'painting points' to do.

Then it will be "Finished"... I think!!!

At the moment, my plan is to tackle this over the two years once the 1704 Wars of the Vaubarian Succession project is complete.

Of course, every wargamer knows that "finished" is a will o' the wisp...


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

The TYW - a Display Project

The Thirty Years War collection hasn't featured much on this blog for the past few years, but many readers may remember The Breitenfeld Blog which was devoted purely to the project.

The Thirty Years War is one of those periods that many wargamers seem to love, but very few actually 'do'. I may be mistaken in that (and I am sure there are many devotees of the war who are absorbed in the recreation of it on the tabletop), but it is my overall impression that it is not much played.

Anyway, here are a few taster photos of my own set up.




I should perhaps explain what I mean by "Display Project".

The rationale behind this collection right from the outset was that although it could be wargamed with, the emphasis was on the aesthetic. I wanted big units, lots of big flags, and lots of vignettes that added nothing to the gaming, but told the story and contributed to the narrative I was portraying.

It is interesting that most wargame shows include games that are described as "Demo Games" and "Participation Games" (in the UK at least). I believe there is a third category... The Display Wargame. Not so much a game, but a display of modelling, painting, and all the aspects of the hobby we know and love. Some might turn their noses up at such things, exclaiming that these are more like static dioramas. But, I believe they played an important part in the evolution of the modern hobby, and continue to do so. After all, it was such Display tables that adorned the pages of the magazines under Duncan Mac's stewardship in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and which inspired so many. 

A "Demonstration Game" may have high aesthetics too, but it is primarily a demonstration of a full wargame, being played out as such.

A display collection is not a diorama, as it includes wargames units, based and organised as such. It looks like a snapshot of a wargame in progress... and it may even be played as such. But its "raison d'etre" is to display the art of a wargame... the figures, painting, modelling, terrain to produce a visual feast, first and foremost.

Anyway, given that this Thirty Years War project is primarily for Display, and given that it has only had one outing at a show (Falkirk), possibly 10 years ago, I think it's time it came to the fore again. My plan is to put it on at a show sometime over the next couple of years.


Sunday, 8 May 2022

Sunday Morning Blog Housekeeping and Updating

"It's about time" I hear you shout! 

Yes, I have been meaning to tidy up some of the project pages for a while, especially those projects which have stalled, been sold off, and are no longer part of the grand plan. "Grand plan?" Yep... believe it or not, there is one!

This morning, listening to Sibelius 2nd symphony (an old favourite), I decided to get cracking, and you will notice the pages related to my wargames projects (links on the right) have been rearranged.

So, the Colonials, Back of Beyond, and Napoleonics photos have been moved into the Archive Gallery and since those projects have been moth-balled the individual pages have been removed.

This means the blog is now a better reflection of the projects that are ongoing - mainly:

The Pils Holstein campaign (mid 18C)

Wars of Vaubarian Succession (c1704)

Thirty Years War

Rise of Macedon and Successors Wars

Thanks to those who have commented on recent posts, and to those who regularly pop by for a look at the blog.
Following a telephone chat with John Ray yesterday evening, I'm inspired to tell a little more of what I am up to. So over the coming weeks I will outline some of the plans I have for the next steps in these particular parts of the collection, and in general post a few more updates.

All the best for now.


Sunday, 24 April 2022

The Action at Taubental

As promised, here is a brief update and a few snaps from yesterday's game.

Andy Moran came over for his first taste of Horse and Musket gaming, and I think he might be hooked!

We did have a great game, Andy taking command of the Astrovian forces (with Pils Holstein allies) whilst I handled the Vaubarians!

Here is a reminder of the map layout:



The forces were as follows:

Astrovians (deployed on near edge of table to left of river)

Commander Reichsgraffen General von Schwarzenatter

Astrovian Infantry Bde commanded by Brigadier von Jung - Regts Frankl; Schrodinger; Wittgenstein

Pils-Holstein Infantry Bde commanded by Brigadier von Wagner - PH Leibgarde; Wolfsheim; Braunschweig

Irregular light infantry: The Karavani Croats

Cavalry - commanded by Brigadier von Trapp - Klammer Kuirassiers; Czardas Hussars

1 Field Gun


Vaubarians (deployed on top edge of table to right of river)

Commander Markgraff Karl von Orff

1st Infantry Bde commanded by Brigadier Schweinsteiger - Leibgarde; Dremel; Breitner

2nd Infantry Bde commanded by Brigadier Maier - Electoral Grenadiers; Ratzinga

Dismounted Dragoons - Muller (begin game in the farm)

Cavalry - commanded by Brigadier von Hoeness - Vogts Cuirassiers, Podolski Hussars

1 Field Gun

I decided to have a very slight difference in the make up of the forces to create some tactical problems. The Vaubarians fielded only 5 infantry battalions, against the combined 6 battalions of Astrovians and Pils-Holstein. This was slightly offset by one of the Vaubarian battalions being Grenadiers and thus classed as elite. In terms of light troops, the Vaubarians were also better quality - the dismounted dragoons being trained regulars, and the Karavani Croats being raw irregulars.

In both cases, the hussars began the game off table and their arrival (time and position) would be diced for from turn 3... in the end, both arrived in a similar position, the Podolski Hussars on the northern table edge just above the farm, the Czardas Hussars a couple of turns later in the gap between the woods and the farm.














The game swung to and fro and a gentlemanly draw was finally declared at the end of 12 turns, with both sides severely battered and neither in a position to force the issue and seize all key features of the field. So both would withdraw under cover of darkness, to fight another day.

The casualty returns were as follows:

Astrovians lost 69 infantry and 6 cavalry.

Vaubarians lost 39 infantry and 12 cavalry.

This includes figures routed/ retired and from the table.

On paper, it looks like a Vaubarian victory, but the position certainly to a degree favoured the Astrovians at the end, although they had yet to cross the river at any point.
Andy grasped my embryonic rules rather well, and got to grips with the tactics of the era very quickly, so that's a very positive outcome... and augurs well for future games.


Thursday, 21 April 2022

Time for a bit of Action!

It's time for a game.

The terrain is set out on the table for an outing for the forces of Vaubaria and Astrovia in the 1704 campaign, The Wars of the Vaubarian Succession.

Here is the sketch map for the game which will be played this coming weekend. 


Table is 6x5.

North is to the left hand table edge.

The Vaubarians will arrive on table from the east (upper table edge), deploying on the south side of the river.

The Astrovians (who will have an allied Pils Holstein contingent to bolster their ranks) will arrive from the west (near table edge), deploying north of the river.

A brief battle report will follow ...