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!

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Battle of Concepción - October 28, 1835

Brief Summary of the Battle of Concepción

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.