Monday, January 31, 2011

Seven Years' War Austrians

Every now and then a new army, or multiple armies, from a "new" period comes along that I want to study, but just can't find the right information to build them up.

Back in the early 1990s, I struck that when new ranges of Austrians and Prussians from the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) suddenly appeared. I could find lots of general info about the period, but virtually nothing reliable on unit organization, and even uniform painting. So I went ahead with a "best guess" option and built an army for each.

"Murphy's Law" then kicked in, and as soon as I had "finished", the very stuff I had been looking for started to appear, telling me all the things I had got wrong, including the uniform colors of the Austrian artillery I was so proud of.

In the intervening years, I have been splitting the blame on an obviously incompetent quartermaster for ordering the wrong uniforms and the clothing factory that messed up his order, depending on my mood. This year though, with Russians and Swedes from the 1700s now also on the shelves, I've decided my major project for this year will be my armies from the 18th century.

I've started on reshaping my Austrian army first up. I've completed my two infantry regiments, each of two field battalions. (I don't really need the third "depot battalion" because that stayed back in headquarters and took care of the routine stuff like recruitment and training.) I'm going with a later Seven Years' War army, simply because I don't want to buy more figures. (In the early part, the battalions formed up in four ranks, in later years, three. Three ranks works better for me with what I have so I'm sticking with that. If I'm fighting an early war battle, then my battalions will be a little under-strength, but that happens in wartime, so I can live with that.)

One of the regiments is pictured above, although the Oberst battalion is standing behind the Lieb battalion, so you don't quite see all the figures - 84 plus officers in this shot. Grenadiers are deployed on the right flank (the left as you look at the photo). In battle, the grenadiers from each battalion were usually split off into a separate grenadier battalion, but for the photo I've kept them together.

I haven't done the battalion gun that will accompany these guys into battle yet - that will happen when I get onto the artillery.

Cavalry will be the next part of the project, as I bring my regiment of dragoons up to speed, and try to figure out whether I can use some of the hoardes of Prussian hussars I have as Austrians. Not sure yet what to do for Cuirassiers (heavy cavalrymen who still wore an armored breastplate into battle - against gunpowder, it gave no extra protection, but apparently it helped the men "feel invincible", so provided them with a morale boost, and it's always a good thing to keep the troops morale up when they're in a fight.)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Muscovites Vs Swedes - a lesson in patience!

Ugh! It took three weeks to get through that one. A combination of being busy at work and my own laziness.

The battle turned into a real, war of attrition, as the swarms of Muscovite cavalry chipped away and finally overran the Swedish positions.

I really didn't realize just how big this Muscovite army really is until I laid it out on the table. Not all the infantry I painted up was involved, but the huge numbers of light cavalry (including the Sons of Boyars pictured above) just took up so much space.

More than a handful for any opponent.

My next battle will not be a tournament scrap. I have to work on a 100 Years' War presentation for Mike Kracium's history class, so I'll be doing that next.

The next competition battle sees Japanese againnst Poles (the Poles previously lost to the Ottoman Turks and this is the first outing for the Japanese - hopefully I will have their village finished in time to use in the battle.) We'll see how the Japanese can cope, but right now, I'm thinking it will come down to Muscovites Vs Turks in the final battle.