SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 04/08/18

What's Off the Workbench today, Saturday  04/08/2018?


Its been a long time coming this latest 'Off the Workbench' post, as ever I have excuses - busy at work and latest I've been scrambling last couple of weeks to put on the first two Texas Revolution games. All major time drains, that eat into painting and modelling time.

But I have kept busy on the paining side of things with a wide range of items churned out in the last few weeks - but not so many pictures to show for it. 

I finished the 28mm Warlord Games Janissaries, re-basing the musketeers, after a rethink on how the units would operate on the tabletop,  I have gone for a composite Regiment of Musketeers and Swordsmen. Pleased with the way that these have come out and would certainly consider getting more to bulk out my fledgling Ottoman Army.

28mm Warlord Janissaries

Azab Musketeers
Azab Archers
Similarly I have now completed 5 bases of plastic musketeers, converted as before from Gripping Beast Arabs, with a sixth base nearing completion - albeit that I have run out of figures temporarily and will have to get some more to complete this unit and the Archer unit of Azabs that now stands at 3 bases.


28mm Hinchcliff Sipahis
Finally on the Ottoman side of things I acquired some Hinchcliff 28mm Ottomans and ave painted up the first six of these to represent a unit of Ottoman Sipahis. These figures are from eBay and there were 25 in the lot so more units to come.

Away from the Ottomans I also completed a unit of Kentucky Volunteers for the latest Texas Revolution game - will need to wait until that completed to get a photo out on these guys, believe it was about 18 figures painted to represent the The Newport Kentucky Rifle Company, ​lead by Colonel Edward Burleson. These had all dark blue uniforms with white trim, dark blue peaked caps and a fetching white flag with 'Lady Liberty' on it.


Polish Winged Hussars
Also got the Polish Winged Hussars finished...

The final items that I completed were another half dozen or so Norman foot soldiers to join their comrades, waiting for a chance to re-fight 1066 and all that!


What's On the Workbench today,

Trimming Pile
Currently I am just trimming and filing 12 x Hinchcliff 28mm Ottoman Sipahis, I'll make this into two more units for the Ottoman Army. Some minor conversion work - adding a trumpet to one figure and hopefully a sword to another will provide a clear musician and officer figure.




The unfortunate French Musketeer duo are still languishing on the workbench - just can't get the enthusiasm together to get these fellows done.
28mm Polish Cossack Officer

Almost finished, bar 'dipping' and basing is the commander for the Polish Cossack unit, made fro Gripping Beast Ara Light Cavalry plastics set. And yes it seems it wasn't just the Winged Hussars that had wings in the Polish army at this time, seems they were a more general  indication of rank than previously thought.

There's also a 28mm Reiver Castings mounted General to be painted....



Battle of Egypt Crossing,1836

Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar

Background
Game Map
The Alamo has fallen and Texican units are scrambling eastwards to rally with Houston's army - where ever that was and make a stand against the advancing Mexican forces. A series of rearguard actions are being fought on the way, one such action was at the Egypt settlement and the nearby bridge over the Colorado River.

The Game
Played on 3rd August and to be extended to a second week by popular demand - sees five Mexican battalons plus supporting troops pitted against three Texican battalions plus their support. Game was put on by Mike W, with venue and scenery supplied by Mikey N. Figures are 28mm and a mixture of Boothill Miniatures, 1st Corps and Wargames Foundry, whilst the rules were revised the Texas Glory set used last week for the Battle of Conception game.

Steve, Mikey and Dave played the advancing Mexican hordes whilst Phil and Rupert opted to put up a stalwart Texican defense. Player numbers were somewhat impacted by the call of duty by significant others to view 'Mama Mia 2: Here we go again!'  Ironically, one of the big musical numbers is set during the Texas Revolutionary period - I'll let you try and guess which one...

How it played out...
Texican Cavalry Company
The Plans 
Dave took command of the Mexican left flank, commanding the Mexico City and Vera Cruz battalions,his force began an advance across the Colorado River to sweep into the Egypt settlement form the north.

Mikey N,took the left flank, commanding the Mexican Cavalry, the Yukatan battalion and the independent Zapadores company. His task was to cross the river way south of the Egypt settlement and then sweep north to envelop the rebels.

Finally, 'El Supremo' Steve, commanding the Tres Villas and Matramos battalions plus artillery and a company of independent Cazadores held the centre. His strategy was to hold unnil the flank attacks stretched the defenders and then strike home with an unstoppable surge.

The Egypt Crossing
Meanwhile on the Texican side Rupert was put out on the left flank and centre ground with the Texican cavalry plus a battalion of infantry to hold up any enemy advances in that area.

Phil concentrated other Texican troops (two infantry battalions plus some independent companies, including the Texican artillery) in and around he Egypt settlement to defend the bridge and town.

Week One
The Mexican advance started almost immediately and went to plan until about turn 2 or 3!

Texicans opposing Mexican advances
on their centre & left flank
On the Mexican right, the Zapadores were caught mid stream as the crossed the Colorado river and took two casualties, forcing Mikey to re-think his bold approach and  regroup and continue advancing more cautiously, which he did to good effect grinding out each step through the forested areas and forcing the defending Texicans to withdraw, whilst harrying the Mexicans with fire each step of the way.

Finally by the end of the evening the Texicans had been pushed out of the woods and on the extreme right of the Mexican lines  each side had two Cavalry companies facing off of a potential melee in week two. Rupert had played his part well - delaying and delaying the Mexican advance to the south of Egypt.

To the north of the Egypt settlement Dave drove his Soldatos forwards across the river, the terrain was much more open in the river valley on this flank, though closer as it nears the town. Phil had deployed two companies of veteran Tennessee backwoodsmen in the forest areas on this flank and their marksmanship began to take a toll on the advancing Mexico City battalion.

Calm before the storm at Egypt Township
More fighting on Texican right flank
First one company and then a second company broke and ran under their withering fire. luckily the first company of routers was rallied by their colonel, the fate of the second is still in the balance! Facing such unexpectedly stiff opposition Dave decided to regroup his forces and move to a more central position to support Steve who by the end of the evening was in a position to mount is own attack on the settlement.


In the Mexican center,Steve held back his battalions whilst he used his artillery to engage with their Texican counterparts, this artillery duel lasted most of the evening with crews taking casualties sporadically until finally first one the the second Texian gun was disabled by Mexican fire. This was the signal for Steve to launch his assault on the town, the outcome of which will be in week two.

Egypt Church, with disabled Texican Artillery
Sergento Óliver Andino
Honorable mention must go to Sergento Óliver Andino, a sniper the Tejano company under Colonel Carter's command, who advanced ahead of the Texican lines and engaged the Mexican 12lb Gun crew, killing two and taking out a Grenadero from the company sent out by Steve to protect the guns. Brave Óliver fell to a concentrated volley from those same Grenaderos.

Week Two
The battle continued with hoe sale changes n personnel on the Mexican side as John & Nigel entered the fray and Steve slacked off. Additionally the Texicans were bolstered by Mark joining their numbers.

Events on the Texican southern flank continued in much the same way as week one, with building Mexican pressure the Cavalry gave ground until finally forced into a 'Death or Glory' charge. Unfortunately it was the latter, with the US Deserters charging Regular Mexican Presidial Guard lancers, although outnumbering them the lances made short work of the sabre carrying Americans and routed them. This left the Tajano cavalry to hold the fort on the southern wing - an isolated position as the Texican infantry withdrew to the township - so the Tejanos slipped away off the table to save their numbers for another day...

To the north John was driving the Mexican columns who mounted a concerted attack across the bridge,capturing the church and driving into the town square where they met the town defenders. Further north the Vera Cruz militia attacked again and were repulsed with heavy losses.

The game ended,without a clear result - due to time constraints - mechanics worked pretty well. Feedback on saving throws and making the officer hits easier to handle have been taken on board and rules will be adjusted accordingly. as will the role of NCOs.




End Piece


Now we're old and grey Fernando
Since many years I haven't seen a rifle in your hand
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though we never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Battle of Concepción - October 28, 1835

Brief Summary of the Battle of Concepción
ContemporaryMap

On October 11, 1835, Stephen F. Austin was elected commander-in-chief of the Army of the People, also known as the Army of Texas. Austin wanted to take the Texas capital, San Antonio de Béxar, and drive the Mexican military out of Texas. To this end he took his men and began his approach from Gonzales north towards San Antonio, sending out scouts before each move and trying to ensure that his somewhat disorganized group of volunteers would not be caught by surprise. By the time he was encamped at the remains of Mission Espada his force had increased by about 1/3 as new volunteers joined along the way..

It was from Espada that the following order was written:

Head Quarters, Mission Espada, October 27th, 1835. Colonel James Bowie, Volunteer Aid: 

" You will proceed with the first division of Captain Fannin's company and others attached to that division and select the best and most secure position that can be had on the river, as near Béjar as practicable to encamp the army tonight, keeping in view in the selection of this position pasturage and the security of the horses, and the army from night attacks of the enemy.
You will also reconnoiter, so far as time and circumstances will permit, the situation of the outskirts of the town, and the approaches to it, whether the houses have been destroyed on the outside, so as to leave every approach exposed to the raking of cannon.
You will make your report with as little delay as possible, SO AS TO GIVE TIME TO THE ARMY TO MARCH AND TAKE UP ITS POSITION BEFORE NIGHT. Should you be attacked by a large force send an express immediately with the particulars."

S. F. Austin By order. P W Grayson, Aid-de-camp 

Bowie and Fannin with 4 companies moved north along the River San Antonio. They decided on a place where a large bend of the river west of Mission Concepción formed a natural cul-de-sac about one hundred yards across. The river was about 6 to 10 ft. below the relatively flat plain that extended east to the mission.

Mexicans Advance
Because of the lateness in the day, Bowie decided to camp there for the night, instead of returning to Espada, as he had been ordered. He placed Fannin’s company along the southern portion of the bend and Colman’s men along the northern curve, enabling them to provide crossfire across the plain. Aware that his position left him vulnerable to a surprise attack from the forces of General Martín Perfecto de Cós, commandant of the Mexican forces in San Antonio, Bowie placed pickets drawn from each company and posted a sentry in the tower of the mission.

The morning of October 28, 1835, the countryside was wrapped in a dense fog. Despite the limited visibility, General Cós elected to move upon the small force before they could be reinforced by the main body of the army. He dispatched Colonel Domingo de Ugartecha with a total of about 400 men and two cannons. Infantry approached from the south and east, between the Texans and the Mission, while cavalry were placed along the west bank of the river to cut off retreat. The Texans crouched below the protection of the river bank, which formed a natural trench, while musket balls, canister, and grapeshot swept the pecan trees over their heads.

Mexican Artillery
Sharpshooters with Texan long rifles devoted their attention to the gunners and quickly silenced the artillery. As Fannin’s position began to draw heavy fire, Bowie manoeuvred Colman’s men into position to offer them aid. Faced with the additional firepower, the Mexican force faltered. The infantry attempted to bring pressure, but bullets from Texan rifles were hitting them long before their smoothbore muskets were in range. The Mexicans began to fall back. Taking advantage of this retreat, Bowie led a headlong charge against them and was soon able to turn one of their own canons on them. The first conflict of the Siege of Béxar ended. Only one Texan had been killed.

Austin, in his official report, claimed 16 Mexican soldiers were left on the field with reports of as many more carried away. Bowie claimed the number was about 67. A count of 27 bodies with about 20 believed to have been carried away or thrown in the river was given in a report that is by far the most interesting contemporary account of the battle.

However many Mexicans soldiers were killed in the battle there can be no doubt that the result of the battle made a great impression on both the Texans and the Mexicans. Texans had been outnumbered roughly 3 to 1, yet still, the battle had been won by the smaller force.

The Battle
Game Map
Our game was put on by Mike W, on 27th August, with his collection of 28mm Texan Revolution
figures, using a home made set of rules called Texas Glory.

The Texans had 5 companies in three commands under Bowie, Fanning & Coleman - ably commanded by Rupert & Phil.

The Mexicans had 4 battalions of infantry, commanded by Nigel, Mikey & Steve, whilst Dave had overall command as well as direct command of the Cavalry. One gun was given to Steve and Nigel's commands.

The game played out well enough for the first outing of these new rules, though a few changes will be made around morale, artillery movement & melee mechanisms.




Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 12/07/18

What's Off the Workbench today, Thursday  12/07/2018?


Seems that Football isn't coming home....
That means I can get back to doing some painting and modelling and telling everyone about it!

So what have I been able to do in the last month or so since I last posted - a number of things in actual fact! I'll try and cover these in historical order.

28 x 28mm Plastic Norman on foot, all painted and based, I found a part
built box of these little fellows and decided I would get them painted to allow another step towards the Battle of Hastings project I have in the back of my head. Still a long way short of having a viable Norman army but it all helps...

Conquest Games -28mm Norman Foot Soldiers
Next, in order of history, is the completion of another 7 x 28mm Warlord Polish Hussars. These were tricky chaps to get done, I had a bit of a mental block getting the leopard fur done and also concentrating on these long enough to make progress as England was progressing through the World Cup Group stages.


Warlord Games 28mm Polish Winged Hussars
Along with the Poles were the addition of another 8 x 28mm Gripping Beast plastic Arabs painted up as Azab musket and bow armed infantry. These will be used on the Vienna 1683 project that is starting to take shape, others will be added in due course.
8 additional 28mm plastic Gripping Beast Azabs,
with previously shown stand of 4 Azab Musketeers
Also keeping the Ottoman theme going, I completed 12 x Warlord Games 28mm Janissaries, armed with sword and buckler,this represents half the box of 24 figures,the other half are musket armed.


Warlord Games - Janissary Infantry
2 x 28mm Reiver Castings Generals
Another 2 x 28mm Reiver Castings Generals
Finally on the figure front, 4 x 28mm 1680s Generals, believe these are Riever Castings figures, again I found them lurking in a box and decided to finish them off and press them into service.


What's On the Workbench today,

Redoubt Musketeers
Remaining Warlord Ottomans
Well the two French Musketeers are still waiting to be completed,no idea who manufactured them, a bit large even for 28mm figures. Have a a suspicion, thinking about it, that these may be Redoubt Figures.
Rendera Chevaux de Fries

As noted above there are the additional Ottoman Janissary Musketeers to be painted up, see right...

Other work in progress is terrain based, I got hold of a packet of Rendera 28mm plastic, Chevaux de Fries and the models do exactly what they say on the box! I had tried making some myself but I thought - life's too short - the results look good and will be used very soon, when based!

The other really big item was the 28mm MDF model that I will use as the Conception Mission in a forthcoming game to be featured later this month.

Still only art built, the model will get it's finishing touches over the next week or so.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Battle of Bautzen, 21st May 1813

This is the 2018 'Mega-Napoleonic' battle that the club seems to try and put on every year or so. Hosted by Rupert and aided and abetted by John we see a French Army attacking an Allied Prussian and Russian force on the second day of the battle. The game is being put on in 15mm utilising Shako 'Large Battle Rules' rules.

By the time of the battle Napoleon had over 200,000 men available to him east of the Elbe.

Tabletop Map
On the first day of the battle,Ney had 84,300 men, split into III Corps (Ney), V Corps (Lauriston), VII Corps (Reynier), II Corps (Victor), Chatel's light cavalry division and the 2nd Cavalry Corps. However Reynier, Victor and the 2nd Cavalry Corps were delayed by Napoleon's confused orders in the days before the battle, so he was only able to commit Lauriston's V Corps and his own III Corps.

Napoleon had 119,000 men, split into IV Corps (Bertrand), VI Corps (Marmont), XI Corps (Macdonald), XII Corps (Oudinot), Latour-Maubourg's 1st Cavalry Corps, one division of the Old Guard and two of the Young Guard. Prince

The tabletop its-self,
French Left wing bottom right
The Allies had four Russian corps (Miloradovich, Gorchakov, Barclay de Tolly and Grand Duke Constantine and three Prussia corps (Kleist, Yorck and Blücher). General Bennigsen was also present on the Russian side.

The Allies decided to place a screening force on the Spree, but concentrate on defending the valley of the Blösaer Wasser.

The game is scheduled to run for 3-4 weeks, a total of 30 game turns, more to be added here as it happens!
Alied rear, Centre

Week One: - Saw a French holding force, commanded by Nigel, move into contact on their right wing. On the French Left wing a corps advanced to cross the river and then try and flank the Prussian
army.

Allied rear, left flank
Whilst in the centre MacDonalds and Oudinot's corps there moved to attack and hold the Prussian held heights.

Late on the John & the French Guards arrived in the centre, forming an on table reserve as MacDonalds and Oudinot's Corps continued their attacks. On the extreme left wing, behind the Prussian army's flanks Ney's command made it's initial appearance.

Attacking the heights in the French centre
Week Two: - And the attacks in the centre pressed home, with hard fought struggles, particularly impacting Dave's Oudinot's Corps, who by the end of the evening had almost cleared the heights of Prussians. Meanwhile MIke W's MacDonald's Corp was pushng on over the heights and began engaging the Russian Guards units positioned just behind the heights.


Another view of the fighting on the heights

Tje French Guards arrive
Meanwhile the French Guards push onwards looking to support the centre, and by end of the evening had taken the town to their front.

The French right flank, continued to hold its position, whilst on the left, Neys' forces continued to arrive and move into the tabletop to engage the Prussians who had had plenty of time to face their advance.

Ney was ably supported by the French Corps which had crossed the river, and pressing their attack.

Ney's slow advance from the left flank
Week Three: - Saw Phil, playing Marshal Ney, and his command continue to arrive and grind their way very slowly across the back edge of the table, moving from the French left. The Prussians on that flank put up an extraordinary fight to constantly slow down Ney's advances.

Ironically, Ney. seemed to be hampered by the nature of his force having a high proportion of cavalry, instead of sweeping advances, Warren's Prussian squares obstructed the way and each square had to be tackled by infantry as they could be brought forward.

MacDonald & Oudinot advance on centre,
seen from the Allied side
Ney's infantry won every melee with the Prussian infantry but the Prussian Cavalry won every cavalry melee, Ney is working to get his heavy cavalry engaged to break the Prussian forces against him and clear the way....

Elsewhere Oudinot's forces pushed on and on, driving the Prussians from the hill in front of them, they survived two morale tests as their casualties began to mount but late on in week three, they reached their arrowhead goals.

The Guard continue to advance
MacDonald's forces fared less well, approaching their arrowhead target they were counter attacked by Mikey's Russian Guards units and although fighting stubbornly they failed their second morale test badly and routed.
The French extreme right, shift left!

The Guard pressed on and will be engaging with Russian troops next week in a meaningful way and further to the right  the French line has been moved left to support the guard's advance.

Week Four and Five: - Ney's Forces grind onwards into the Prussians, forcing them to gradually give ground. Ultimately numbers tell and the Prussian Corps crumble and dissolve, only to be replaced by Russian allies who have been able to move to their right flank in the time that he Prussians earned with their blood.

On the French' main front, things stagnated, with few corps available to fight  - it is left to the guard to hold the line along with a single other corp (Marmont) to their immediate right. Finally in week five, the Guard lash out and start inflicting serious casualties in their opponents, although Marmont's Corp is finally broken.