Friday, September 15, 2017

De Cluttering the Closet O' Lead

The Dumpster: the contents of a 20 foot long dumpster after a week's worth of throwing things out.

With the Heiress off to college and having lots of time on my hands, I thought that now was a good time to start decluttering the house and throwing things away. So I hired a 20-foot long dumpster and parked in my driveway for a week and filled it with things in the garage and basement that were either never used or not currently needed. I used the one year rule: if it hadn't been used over the past year, then I would throw it away.

Once this part of the project was finished, it was on to decluttering the dreaded Closet O' Lead, which was a disasterous mess.

The "Before" picture. It's almost embarrasing to show this.
As you can see, the room was a complete mess and it was getting difficult to find things. The righthand side was full of wargame armies in the long plastic bins, and lots of unpainted figures that I've collected over the past dozen years, and never used.

The lefthand side shelves hold my Minden and Fife & Drum inventory. The pile of bags on the floor are from a new shipment of castings from Griffin Moulds that need to be put away. The grey double box thingy is my indoor paint spraying booth (note the fan on the left side). I only use this on days that are too humid, so as not to get Fuzzy Primed Figures. The back table, now cleared, held my workbench, which was never used because it was too small and I didn't like working in a cave.

My plan was to put a new shipping and packing table inside the Closet O' Lead so that I could be closer to the figure inventory of Minden and Fife & Drum figures. I did a little measuring and found that I could put the 6-foot packing table in the room while still having space for the four other shelves that hold my painted figures and unpainted castings for project.

The problem is that one can't move the shelves with all of that lead weight, so I had to remove EVERYTHING from all four shelves. That was an exhausting chore in and of itself. I was reluctant to do it, but once I pitched into the work, it went fairly fast.

First I had to remove all of the boxes of figures from each shelf so that I could move them around.

Next, I started the assembly of the work table. I bought the 6-foot table from ULine and they delivered it this morning. I had ordered the attractive maple top and this weighed a ton. I had to put it on a hand cart and carry it around to the front door. At this point, it was a two-person job and so Mrs. Fritz helped me to pick of the table and nudge it through the front door and into the hallway. We slid the table on a rug, which was Mrs. Fritz's idea, and then let gravity do the work of taking the table top down to the basement.

The assembly of the legs was easy enough, but attaching the table top was a monster of a job. I had to turn the surfac upside down and then screw 16 wood screws into pre-drilled holes in the underside. I started with a large screw driver, but eventually each screw needed a wrench to finish the job. This was very tedious and difficult. However, after about four screws, I had the method down and the job became easier.

I bought a new shipping/packing table from ULine and began to assemble it. The maple top weighed a ton and nearly did me in trying to move it from the driveway to the basement.

With the table all assembled and upside down, I somehow had to turn it rightside up and shove it into its final place. Recall that the table top weighs a ton, add to that the weight of the legs and supports, and you can see that righting the work bench would require Olympic Weight Lifting prowess. I was able to turn the table onto its side, don't know where I got the strength for that, and then placed some shims (in this case, a couple of hammers) under the table edge. This gave me some leverage to lift the table onto its feet. Again, I don't know how I found the strength to do it, but I did.

Now it was just a matter of sliding the table into its place. I used the cardboard sheet that the table top was shipped in as a means of sliding the table around the floor. Take a look at the picture below - can you spot the problem?

The shipping table is now assembled an in place. Can you spot the problem with this picture?

Yep, the backside of the table was facing out and so I had to turn it around 180-degrees, a chore, but not too difficult.

I did a little more fine tuning position of the figure shelves and then began refilling the shelves with all of my figures.

Finally, everything was finished and I ended up with a very clean and useful storage and packing room in the Closet O' Lead. It was hard work, but well worth the effort. The work bench is really great because I can now store my shipping supplies underneath the table on a shelf. And because it is higher, I no longer have to bend over to pack figures or bag sub-component parts into finished goods bags.

The Closet O' Lead is now cleaned up and reorganized and I now have a nifty packing table right next to all of my figure inventory. The higher table (30-inches) is much easier to work on because I don't have to bend over to pack the figures.
Then to top things off, I place a framed poster of the uniforms of the Prussian army, post Seven Years War, atop the bench so as to fill up the cold looking concrete wall with something more cheerful and colorful.

After taking a couple hours of well deserved rest, I started clearing off the old packing table, outside of the Closet O' Lead, so that I could move my finished goods bagged inventory closer to the packing table. Now I can pick an order and carry it a few steps to the packing table and get the order packed and ready to ship. I feel sort of professional now.

Finished goods inventory bins.
But there is still more work to be done.

My Game Room
Some of the clutter in the game room is stuff that I removed from the Closet O' Lead and so it needs to be stored away in the garage, probably, now that I have lots of space in the reorganized garage. There is still a lot of clutter underneath the tables that I would like to deal with, but that is a job for later. I deserve the rest, I think. The tables have a game set up for Reichenbach, which I still need to play.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Sands of the Sudan

A quiet and isolated desert oasis, teaming with fanatical Dervish warriors of the Mahdi. (click on all pictures to enlarge the view)

This past weekend Keith L. played host to our group so that we could fight the Dervish in the Sudan once again. Keith is the owner of Peter Gilder's Sudan collection that was featured in Wargames World Issues 1 to 4 in 1989. Given the provenance of the collection, it is a real treat to play the Sudan at Keith's house (although some would say that we really attend so that we can eat the sumptuous lunch that is always served by Donna, Keith's better half.

The gamers all gathered in the basement to take in the vastness of the game tables, which seemed to stretch on endlessly, much like the Sudan. Then, from out of nowhere, loomed our host to greet us. We were caught off guard to find that our game judge was wearing the Dervish Jibbah and some wondered if their dice would have favorable rolls throughout the game.

Our host, Keith L., attired in period Jibbah of the Dervish.

We were using The Sands of the Sudan rules which are basically the Peter Gilder rules that he used at the Wargame Holiday Center. The Dervish forces are usually programmed by card draw and dice throws, and commanded by the game judge, so all players are on the home team running brigades of British and Sudanese/Egyptian troops.

Fritz Pasha going Old School by climbing up on the huge table in order to push his troops forward (short legs, wide table).

One of the advantages of staging a game at Keith's house is that he has a HUGE basement that is large enough to accomodate three 6ft wide by 26ft long game table. The aisles between the tables are virtual and do not exist. One simply hops one's troops from one table to the next.

The vast terrain of the Sudan is remarkably recreated across an endless vista over three game tables, each 6ft wide by 26ft long.

Four brigades of British deploy across a 26 foot long table.

The action commenced promptly at 9:30 AM with four British brigades stepping off smartly from the baseline of the lefthand table. Their objective was to attack the village of El Teb, an important gathering point for the Dervish armies. The left flank cavalry force was commanded by Protz Pasha, who was ordered to skirt around the jebel in front of El Teb and make an dash for the oasis two tables away.

Chuck the Lucky was in the left center and his orders were to follow Protz Pasha around the jebel with his infantry brigade. General Earle commanded a British brigade in the center and his orders were to demonstrate in front the jebel and keep the Dervish attention focused on him. And finally, my alter ego in the Sudan, Colonel Archibald Sinclair, commanded a Brigade of Highlanders and Sudanese troops with orders to skirt the right flank of the jebel and lead the dash into El Teb. A brigade of British Hussars and Indian Guides cavalry were also attached to Sinclair's task force.

The Dervish had built fortifications on a jebel that blocked access to the village of El Teb.

Almost immediately, Dervish started popping up seemingly out of the ground and attacking the Imperials. Protz Pasha seemed to attract the largest group of hostiles (the poor chap) on Turn One and would continue to fight them off for the whole game. A hoard of mounted Dervish nearly overwhelmed Protz Pasha's Camel Corps, but while severely cut up, they survived due to the timely intervention of the Bengal Lancers.

Peter Gilder's Dervish horsemen bear down on the unfortunate Protz Pasha.

Meanwhile, Chuck the Lucky did not live up to his nickname today as he had to face down this hoard of Dervish fanatics.

Colonel Sinclair was having some early success, having sent out his hussars ahead of the brigade in order to trip any ambushes that were hidding in the rugged Sudan terrain. The Highlanders brushed off a small group of Dervish horsemen and bull dogged forward onto the second/middle table. At that point, the sands seemed to erupt with thousands of screaming Dervish intent on wiping out the English dogs. At one point, Sinclair's aide de camp, Cavendish, looked at the looming hoard of warriors and declared to nobody in particular, "we are doomed".

Sinclair's Highland Brigade sees off the charge of the Dervish camelry.
The Highlanders calmly held their ground and tumbled the Dervish back to where they came with the loss of only three of the Good Guys. Said Cavandish, "I knew that we would see them off!"

Osman Benson can't believe that his war band was repelled by the Highlanders, so time to check out the rules just to be sure.

There seemed to be an endless supply of Dervish war bands everywhere we looked.
I don't know what was happening in other parts of the table, because I had my hands full and did not have the time to wander off to the other end of the table. The Highland Brigade was about to traverse the middle table to the third table, when the Dervish let it be known that they had had enough for the day.

The Prime Minister shall be pleased.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Battle of Reichenbach - August 16, 1762

Prussian defense of the Fischer-Berg at the Battle of Reichenbach.
This afternoon I cleared my table of Fontenoy terrain and set up the terrain for Reichenbach in 1762. The battle was a part of the Prussian seige of Schweidnitz. 

Game Table Logistics
I wanted to fit everything on to 6x10 feet table, but decided that I needed more depth and thus added the side tables for the game, giving me an extra 2 feet of depth on each side of the table. The map below shows the layout of my war game table, absent the two side table which will run parallel to the horizontal edges of the table. The area of the map where you see woods along the horizontal axis of the table represents one of the side tables. The area of deployment for Lacy's and Brentano's corps represent the side table along the lower horizontal axis.

Map showing the proposed Austrian attack on the Prussian army deployed on the three bergs  (light brown shapes). Click to enlarge the map.

For the purposes of my scenario, I will not be using the Austrian forces of Brentano and Lacy because they never launched their attack on the Prussian position. There was, however, a rather large cavalry action on the open plain to the right of the Prussian position. I wanted to recreate this part of the fight in my scenario so there is an extensive flat part of my game table that will accomodate the cavalry fight simultaneously with the infantry action on the Prussian left.

If you prefer to keep the game on one single table or, more likely, you do not have the space in your gaming room to accomodate side tables, then you could "shift the terrain" downwards such that the Fischer-Berg is nearly at the lower table edge and shift the wooded area where Beck was making his march behind the Prussian position onto the main table. In this manner, the bulk of your fighting will represent the point in time where Beck's troops emerged from the woods and were counter-attacked by the Prussians in the Schrober-Grund. I might try this after fighting the game as I have initially set up the tables.

Historical Background

In August of 1762, the Prussians had the important Silesian fortress town of Schweidnitz under seige and the Austrian commander, Marshal Leopold von Daun, endeavored to come to the aid of the garrison and lift the seige. If the Austrians could hold onto Schweidnitz it would be an important bargaining chip in the inevitable negotiations to end the war. Both sides understood the liklihood of the war winding down within the year, so the stakes were high at Schweidnitz.

Daun's strategy was to make a wide sweeping move around the Prussian army and come into Schweidnitz from the east, via the broad Richenbach plain. Frederick, anticipating this possiblity, positioned a blocking corps of 9,000 troops under the command of the Duke of Bevern in the wooded hills overlooking Reichenbach. The map below shows the relative position of Bevern's army in relation to the town of Reichenbach as well as some of the key troop movements prior to the firing of the guns.

Annotated version of Christopher Duffy's map of Reichenbach, from his book, "By Force of Arms" pages 364-365.

Daun proposed to attack Bevern from multiple directions, a tactic that had become fairly standard in his bag of tricks. The Austrian attacking force was thus divided into three columns: Beck (14 btns, 5 cavalry regiments) on the right, FML Brentano (8 btns, 4 cavalry regiments) on the left, and Count Lacy in the center. The plan called for Lacy to demonstrate in the center while Bevern's position was attacked on both flanks by Beck (on the Austrian right/Prussian left) and Brentano (on the Austrian left/Prussian right). O'Donnell's cavalry brigade was detached from Brentano's and Lacy's corps as the Austrians anticipated a cavalry action with their Prussian counterparts.

The War Game Scenario

The scenario involves an Austrian Corps commanded by Beck moving through the woods around the Prussian left flank and then attacking Bevern's army in the rear while Brentano's Corps attacked from the front; or typical Austrian tactics of attacking a position from multiple directions at the same time.

War game table top for the Battle of Reichenbach. Annotations indicate the key terrain features of the battlefield.

Considering that neither Lacy nor Brentano were involved in the attack on Bevern's corps (more about that shortly), we are only going to game the part of the battle involving Beck's corps.

Prussian Forces - Bevern
Bevern had 11 battalions of infantry, including 2 of grenadiers, and three dragoon regiments and one hussar regiment. For the war game, Bevern's army will consist of 7 battalions of infantry, 3 dragoon regiments, and 1 hussar regiment. There are also two 12-pound cannon and two 3-pound cannon.

Prussian War Game Forces

Girls-Berg Defenders:
 2 battalions of fusiliers

Fischer-Berg Defenders:
 1 battalion of musketeers
 2 12-pounder cannon

The gap between the Fischer-Berg and the Spittel-Berg:
 2 battalions of musketeers
 1 3-pounder cannon

Spittel-Berg Defenders:
  2 battalions of grenadiers

Lentulus' Cavalry Brigade on the Left Flank:
  3 regiments of dragoons
  1 regiment of hussars

There is a possiblity of Prussian cavalry reinforcements later in the game.

Austrian Forces - Beck
Beck divided his corps into three columns. The right most column was to swing around the Prussian left flank and fall on the rear of Bevern's position. For this task he had 14 battalions of infantry, 18 grenadier companies (representing approximately 2 battalions), 5 cavalry regiments, and 1 hussar regiment. Beck further divided this column into two groups, with a force of 3 Croat battalions and one grenadier battalion attacking a piece of high ground known as the Girls-Berg. The remaining 11 battalions were to march through the woods beyond the Girls-Berg and emerge from the woods in the rear of the Prussian army.

The Austrian war game commands are as follows:

Beck's main column:
  2 battalions of regular infantry
  1 battalion of elite grenadiers
  2 battalions of Croat light infantry
  1 3-pounder cannon

Beck's second column attacking the Girls-Berg:
  1 battalion of elite grenadiers
  1 battalion of Croat light infantry
  1 3-pounder cannon

Beck's lefthand column (optional as it was unengaged in the battle)
  2 battalions of regulars - Simbschen's brigade
  2 regiments of dragoons - St. Ignon's cavalry brigade

O'Donnell's Cavalry of the left flank:
  2 cuirassier regiments
  1 dragoon regiment

Austrian tactical plan to attack
Beck's column marching through the woods during their flanking movement.

General Beck watches as the tail end of the column passes in front of him. Note the Croats who are flankers protecting the march column.

The third section of Beck's corps was on his left and provided a screen for the flanking movement of the other two columns. The left column consisted of three regiments of cavalry commanded by GFWM St. Ignon (1 cuirassier and 2 dragoon regiments) and three regiments of infantry commanded by GFWM Simbschen. The left column was not engaged in the battle, so it could be left out of the war game scenario entirely.

The Grand Cavalry Battle
Another part of the battle was one of the largest cavalry battles of the SYW in the open plain on the Prussian right flank. Austrian and Prussian cavalry tumbled back and forth until finally Frederick, realizing that a major attack is hitting Bevern, sends cavalry and infantry reinforcements that arrive in the nick of time to win the cavalry battle. You may have seen the painting of Frederick riding to the rescue surrounded by Hussars. It's this battle.

Frederick II leading his cavalry at Reichenbach

Brentano's attack never happened because of the cavalry action that took place on his left flank, so Beck was left to his own devices. Both cavalry brigades start the day with three regiments of horse. The Austrians have three regiments of cuirassiers and the Prussians start with three regiments of dragoons. The Prussian cavalry contingent builds up throughout the day so more units, Prussian cuirassiers and hussars, and even Bosniaken can be added to the order of battle.

The Battle of Reichenbach will be fought as another one of my solo games, using my own Der Alter Fritz rules, which you can download for free from the Fife & Drum Miniatures web site Free Rules

I hope to refight the battle over this coming weekend and post a lot of pictures on this blog.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Starting a New Minden French Army

Regiment Orleans - click to enlarge the picture.

I have decided that it is time for me to begin building French and British/Hanoverian armies with the Minden Miniatures range of figures. I have enough Austrians and Prussians to suit most of my needs so I need a new project and the SYW in Western Germany is it.

For my French army, I think that I will be able to use all of the RSM French cavalry that is already in my collection and concentrate my build on the infantry and artillery, using Minden French figures and equipment.

I thought that I would treat myself to some special figures, so I commissioned Leuthen Studios to paint the two battalions, Orleans and Diesbach, that you see on this page. The German regiment Royal Pologne will be the next addition to my French army.

Independently of this, I plan on painting the Grenadiers de France and a couple white-coated regiments so that I ultimately have 8 battalions organized into brigades of four battalions.

I had the Orleans flags from GMB Designs on hand so I was able to flag that regiment. I don't have the Diesbach Swiss flag so that unit will have to wait for its flags and basing. I want to attach the Diesbach flags to the poles before I glue the figures onto the base and start terraining it with Spackle compound. Otherwise it would be very difficult to attach the flag into a confined space without being able to shift and move the standard bearer.

Swiss Regiment Diesbach
My French and British battalions will use the 32-figure, closely spaced, basing system from the start so I will not have to change the basing in the future. Check the blog link  Here for a description of the basing system that I will be using.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Basing Conundrums

British 8th (King's) Regiment
8th (King's) Regiment shown with GMB Designs Flags.

NOTE: click or double click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Like searching for the perfect set of game rules, so too is it impossible to come up with the perfect way of basing your troops. I am sure that we all want to tinker with our basing system from time to time, and horror of horrors, once in awhile this leads to the decision to rebase a whole existing army.

I finished a 32-figure unit of British SYW figures, painted as the 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot. This has caused me to rethink how I want to base my figures going forward. I like the look of the figures packed in closer together in the proposed new basing system for 32-figure battalions, taking up a frontage of eleven inches. My existing basing system has 30-figure battalions with a frontage of twelve inches.

Please inspect the pictures below that compare the old system with the proposed new system.

My current basing system places six figures on a 60mm wide base.
The complete battalion has a frontage of about 12-inches.

A proposed basing system has a frontage of about 11-inches for 32 figures.

The proposed system (top) has 32 figures with a frontage of 11-inches, compared to the existing system that has  a 12-inch frontage. So the smaller frontage of the proposed system actually holds two more figures than the existing system.

I like the basing for the Highlander battalion and so when I decided to paint another British regiment, I went for the 32-figure arrangement. I would like to use this system for all of my infantry going forward. I like the shoulder-to-shoulder look of the 32-figure units. Perhaps my favorite thing about the new system is that there is room on the end bases to place 9 figures, rather than 8, on the base and have the ninth figure being a drummer that I can place out on the flank of the battalion, where it would have been historically.

I would take the time to rebase all of my Prussian infantry battalions (7 of them) and Austrian battalions (8 of them) but for one little problem: I used Super Glue to attach the metal bases of the figures to an MDF wooden base, and as God is my witness, I cannot remove the figures from the old base. I have tried prying the figures off with a wedge shaped Exacto blade; I have tried putting the base in the freezer to help break down the glue. This trick normally works, but not on the test figures that I used.

So rather than painting just two more new figures per regiment and rebasing, the inability to remove the figures from the old bases means that  I would have to repaint and rebase 15 battalions (30 figures per battalion) or 450 new figures. Thus I would in effect be repainting both of my core SYW armies of Prussia and Austria and probably selling off all of the old figures. I don't know about that idea.

Another solution is to keep the old units based in the old manner, but paint any new units in the new format of 32-figures. I compared the frontages of the two basing systems and found that there is only a frontage difference of one-inch in the two system. So I could keep both old and new battalions because they have near-identical figures and frontages so as to be compatible on the game table.

I would like to hear your thoughts and comments on the basing conundrum, which you can post in the Comments section below.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

SYW Prussian Brigade Forcade

Forcade Brigade
IR15 Guards and Wedel and Kremzow Grenadiers
NOTE: click or double click on all pictures to enlarge the view.

Continuing with my series on the SYW Prussian brigades in my Minden Miniatures armies, I present to you the elite Forcade Brigade. The brigade consists of 2nd and 3rd battalions of IR15 Guards and two grenadier battalions: Wedell (1/23) and Kremzow (17/22).

The brigade commander is Lt. General Forcade de Baix, Colonel von Saldern - Guards Regimental Colonel, but there is no colonel of the two grenadier battalions.

Brigade commander Forcade de Baix and the color parties of the two guards battalions. Grenadier companies did not have colors and so it follows that the grenadier battalion carried no colors.

The Guard Regiment had three battalions, labeled in Roman numerals as I, II, and III. The first battalion was the ceremonial parade ground unit and it only fought in one action during the SYW, at Kolin. The second battalion's distinction is that it wears tricorn hats, while the third battalion wears a mitre with a yellow bag. All three guards battalions wore yellow breeches and waistcoats - the color yellow was the designation of all of the royal regiments in the Prussian army (IR34 - Prinz Ferdinand and IR35 Prinz Heinrich being the other regiments).

The second and third battalions of the IR15 Guards regiment. The regiment was commanded by a colonel, and each battalion was commanded by a Lt. Colonel.

Second Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their tricorn hats.

Third Battalion of IR15 Guards - noticeable by their grenadier mitres.

The Guards Regiment
The two Guards battalions were always a part of the "King's Army", that is, the army that was personally commanded by King Frederick II. Their grenadier battalions were told off to the converged grenadier battalion (15/18) von Kleist.

Leuthen was the most notable battle of the two Guards battalions, as they stormed the town and the walled church yard and drove out the Austrians. The cost came at the lives of 501 rank and file and 17 officers, including one of the battalion commanders, Lt. Colonel von Diericke. Six Pour-le-Merite were awarded to the regiment for their heroism at Leuthen.

Grenadier Battalions
The Prussian grenadier battalions in the army were made of two grenadier companies from each of two regiments. Prussian infantry regiments had two battalions for the most part and each battalion had five musketeer or fusilier companies and one grenadier company, Thus the two grenadier companies from the two battalions were hived off from the parent regiment and converged with two grenadier companies from another regiment.  Thus the two numerals, separated by a slash, designation that shows the components of the battalion. For example "1/23" tells you that the grenadiers in the battalion came from the IR1 and IR23 regiments. Grenadier battalions were of a single battalion and named after the designated Lt. Colonel. Thus the Wedell Grenadier Battalion, as it was officially known, had grenadiers from the first and twenty-third regiments.

The Wedell and Kremzow Grenadier Battalions on the parade ground.

The Wedell Grenadier Battalion (1/23)

Wedell Grenadiers (1/23)
The Wedell grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadiers from each of IR1 and IR23, described by Christopher Duffy as "a famous battalion, used for a variety of dangerous enterprises in the Seven Years War."

The Kremzow Grenadier Battalion

Kremzow Grenadiers (17/22)
The Kremzow grenadier battalion consisted of two companies of grenadirs from each of IR17 and IR22. Christopher Duffy cites Warnery who says of these grenadiers at Prague, "the only ones who did not open fire, but pressed home the attack at bayonet point. After all, they are Pommeranians...who are beyond doubt the best infantry in the world."

Monday, August 28, 2017

SC Turn 7: Cornwallis vs. Gates at Cheraw

Turn 7 Map Moves. Click to enlarge.

The Main Event: Cornwallis versus Gates at Cheraw
Well, we finally have the match that all of the civilized world has been waiting for: a battle between Horatio Gates and Lord Cornwallis at the town of Cheraw, along the Pee Dee River. Hopefully, Cornwallis won't make the same mistake that Webster did by attacking an American army in a defensive position on the other side of a river. I doubt that this will happen.

Gates Makes a Tactical Blunder
On the other hand, it looks as if Gates could be in a serious pickle because not only does he have to engage Cornwallis in battle, but also, Tarleton is probably going to capture the Rebel supply base at Hillsboro, North Carolina, which is only three dots behind Gates. Thus, should Gates lose this battle, he would lose an additional SP for retreating, be out of supply with Tarleton in Winnsboro, and  have nowhere to retreat, possibly haveing his whole army captured by Cornwallis.

The Undercard in the Match
But wait, there's more!

DeKalb marched west from Catawba Town with 6SPs headed directly towards the British fort at Ninety Six. He has been reinforced by 2SPs from Sumter's force that was based in Augusta, Georgia. Also, the Rebel garrison at Fort Charlotte, just west of Ninety Six, has marched to join DeKalb's army, So with all three forces converging on Ninety Six, DeKalb will have an army of 9SPs surrounding Cruger's garrison of 3SPs. I will have to check my siege rules, but I think that a 3:1 advantage for the besiegers results in an automatic capitulation by the garrison. An American victory at Ninety Six would open up the whole string of British forts along the Santee River (Forts Granby, Motte and Watson) to DeKalb's army. Perhaps he could even make a move on the main British supply base at Camden, while Cornwallis is cavorting around in North Carolina, or even take the ultimate prize of Charleston.

Cornwallis is not Stupid
Lord Cornwallis left a small garrison of 3SPs at Camden while he took 8SPs with him to chase down Gates' army at Cheraw. In case things turned out badly for him, he ordered Rawdon to march from Charleston with a force of 4SPs and head for Camden. Rawdon will only make it as far as Nelson's Ferry on this turn, but by Turn 8 he will arrive in Camden and thus increase the force at Camden to 7SPs. Leaving Charleston garrisoned with 1SP carries some risk, so Stewart is transporting a force of 4SPs from Savannah, Georgia to replace the same number of SPs that are marching to Camden with Rawdon. This leaves only 2SPs in Savannah, under the command of Archibald Campbell, but there are no direct routes for any of the Rebel forces to close in on Savannah, at this moment.

Where Are the Partisans?
Once again, there was no Partisan Uprising in South Carolina, so we are still awaiting the activation of Thomas Pinckney's forces. Sumter sent two of his three SPs from Augusta to Ninety Six to assist DeKalb in taking that important fort.

Meanwhile, we still have Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox roaming around in the Tidewater region with 3SPs. After his failure to bluff the Georgetown garrison into surrendering, he fell back to Kingston. While he did not capture Georgetown, the mere threat of his doing so resulting in his tying down of 4SPs that could certainly come in handy for the British army elsewhere. You will note on the campaign map that one of the roads is a dotted line rather than a solid line. Only irregular partisans can travel over these roads whereas the regulars have to use the main roads.

Time Table for the Turn 7 Battles

I expect to lay out the terrain for the battle at Cheraw within the next couple of days with the aim of solo gaming it over next weekend. Ninety Six will follow the main event at Cheraw. This could end up being the most significant turn of the campaign for either side, based on the outcome of the battles.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

SYW Prinz Moritz Brigade

The Prinz Moritz Brigade

Continuing with the grand review of my SYW Prussian army, I present to you the Prinz Moritz Brigade, comprised of Minden Miniatures Prussians. The brigade commander is Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau, one of the Old Dessauer's sons.

My infantry brigades include two regiments, each having two battalions, two 3-pound battalion guns, and one battalion ammunition supply wagon. I am considering adding a regiment baggage wagon as well, but that is a project for the future.

Itzenplitz in front and Prinz Moritz regiment in the rear.

The two regiments in the Prinz Moritz Brigade are the Itzenplitz Regiment (IR13) and the Prinz Moritz Regiment (IR22).

The brigade is deployed in battle formation - each line consists of one of the regiments
 with both of its battalions deployed side by side.

The brigade in a column of battalions. The two battalions at the front of the column (right) are from the Itzenplitz Regiment and the two rear battalions are from the Prinz Moritz Regiment. Trailing the regiments are the two battalion guns (3-pdrs) and the regimental ammunition wagon.

Itzenplitz Regiment ("IR13")

The Itzenplitz regiment was one of the premier regiments in the army of Frederick the Great. It was also called the Donner und Blitzen regiment, so you know that they had a sense of humor way back then. Its inhaber was Major General August Friedrich von Itzenplitz, who took over the regiment in 1750, refined it and led it in the most important years of the SYW.  MG von Itzenplitz died of wounds from the battle of Kunersdorf in 1760, but the regiment retained his name.

The Itzenplitz Regiment of two battalions and one battalion gun. The colonel leads the regiment from the front, where he was expected to be.

The regiment distinguished itself at Lobositz and Prague, where it dislodged the Croats from the Lobosch and created the gap in the Austrian lines, respectively. The regiment also fought at Rossbach, Leuthen, Hochkirch, Kunersdorf, Liegnitz and Torgau. King Frederick always had a high opinion of the regiment due to its steadfastness and ranked it and the Winterfeldt regiment (IR1) in priority after the Guard regiments.

The regiment was stationed in Berlin.

Prinz Moritz Regiment ("IR22")

Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau, one of the sons of Leopold of Anhalt Dessau (" the Old Dessaurer") became the inhaber of the regiment in 1741 at the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession, serving with distinction at Mollwitz, Hohenfriedberg and Kesselsdorf. Prinz Moritz was severely wounded at Hochkirch in 1758 and invalided out of the army, dying 18 months later.

The Prinz Moritz Regiment of two battalions.

During the SYW, the regiment was a regular part of the King's army from Lobositz to Kolin, where it suffered great losses in the latter battle.  From there, the regiment was in the Pommeranian based army that fought the Russians at Zorndorf and Paltzig. It rejoined the King's army in 1760 and fought well at Torgau and Burkersdorf.

The regiment was stationed at Stargard in Pommerania.

Next Up - the Guards and Grenadiers

Friday, August 25, 2017

SYW Winterfeldt Brigade

The Winterfeldt Brigade in Formation. Click or double click all pictures to enlarge the view.

My SYW armies are organized into brigades of two regiments, each having two battalions, thus four battalions in each of my brigades. For every regiment of two battalions, I assign one 3-pound battalion cannon. The brigade also has one munitions wagon - in my Der Alte Fritz rules for the SYW, I limit the amount of ammunition that a battalion of infantry or a gun section in an artillery battery can fire before it runs out of ammo. The unit can replenish its ammunition by spending one full turn attached to the wagon. It can do nothing else while it is replenishing ammunition.

Each of my Prussian brigades has a brigade commander and he lends his name to the name of the brigade. Thus, my Winterfeldt Brigade is commanded by Major General Hans Karl von Winterfeldt. The Winterfeldt Brigade is comprised of IR1 - Winterfeldt and IR5 - Alt Braunschweig. During the SYW the regiments were only known by the inhaber's name. The "IR - Infantry Regiment" designation came about well after the conclusion of the SYW.

My regiments consist of two battalions. They are distinguished from each other by the flags that they carry (by the way, all flags shown on this posting are made by GMB Designs in the UK). The first battalion of a regiment carries the Colonel's predominantly white colored flag (Leibfahnen) and the colored regimental flag (Regimentfahnen). The second battalion in my organization carries two colored regimental flags. In actuality, the battalion would have carried five flags, one for each of the five companies that were in the battalion. However, like many wargamers, I have chosen not to use all five flags in my battalions.

The picture below shows the brigade's officers with the brigadier mounted on a round base and the two regimental officers mounted on the rectangular bases. The command stands are also shown below. Each of my battalions has five stands with six figures per stand.

General Winterfeldt (center) and his regimental commanders and color bearers.

The picture below illustrates the full brigade in a column of battalions. The Winterfeldt regiment is at the front of the column (on the right in the picture) and the Alt Braunschweig regiment at the back of the column.

The Brigade in a column of battalions.
The colonel of the regiment, called an Inhaber, gave his name to the regiment. The Inhaber would not necessarily be with his regiment while on campaign. For example, Major General Hans von Winterfeldt was commanding higher troop organizations of the army, such as a wing of the army, rather than his own regiment. In some cases, the inhaber title was given as a ceremonial gift as a courtesy to someone important or influential.

For example, Prinz Georg of Darmstadt was the ceremonial inhaber of IR12 during the SYW, but he was aligned with the Austrians. Crown Prince Peter of Russia, the future Tsar Peter II, was made the inhaber of one of Frederick's regiments to curry his favor.

The Winterfeldt Regiment (IR1)
The Winterfeldt Regiment  (IR1) was the senior infantry regiment in the Prussian army of the 18th Century. Coincidentally, it was the first regiment that I painted when I was creating my Minden Miniatures Prussian army. 

The regiment was held in high regard by Frederick the Great:

"It's true, I always considered the Winterfeldt regiment as brave, but today it has surpassed all my expectations. I shall never forget it."

[Frederick at Hochirch]

The Winterfeldt Brigade.

The Alt Braunschweig Regiment (IR5)
The Alt Braunschweig Regiment (IR5) is the second regiment in the Winterfeldt Brigade and Frederick rated it as a "good" regiment. Notably, the 15 of the regiment's officers were awarded the Pour le Merite medal for their bravery and conduct at the Battle of Rossbach. The regiment was garrisoned at Magdeburg during peace time and its inhaber was Lieutenant General Ferdinand of Brunswick (later promoted to Field Marshal).

IR5 - Alt Braunschweig Regiment

This concludes the summarization of my Prussian infantry organization in my Minden Miniatures army. My Prussian army has two other infantry brigades: Itzenplitz (IR13 and IR22) and the Guards & Grenadiers Brigade. A fourth brigade is a work in progress with only one regiment, IR49 von Diericke, painted and ready to fight on the wargame table for now.