Friday, June 23, 2017

Club game night

How does this thing work?

I want to start this by thanking Ed for the generous use of his pictures from his blog.  While I did take some pictures, I deleted them in error!  I have a problem with technology.  He kindly came to my rescue and offered the use of his pictures. So all pictures in this posting are from his blog.  Thank you Ed!  Now on to the story.......

  Friday was club game night at the Northern Conspiracy club.   I participated as a guest of Ed from Ed's Meandering War games (  .  As is usually a wonderful time was held by all and great games were put on in three decades different time periods.  Interestingly all three were in 25mm ( or is it now 28mm?) Scale.  In my past 15mm were very popular but now it's 25mm.  Due to age or eye sight?

  Charlie put on a striking Napoleonic game played to his rules.  A beautiful army of Austrians vs French.  Great looking figures on a wonderfully terrain table.  As Ed played in this game I would suggest a trip to his blog for a write-up of the details.  But from across the room it looked like all were having fun.

AJ, from AJ's blog  ( put on a interesting and fast paced WW2 action.  The rules were I believe Iron cross.  I am not a big player for modern type games but it did look interesting and is with all of AJ's games had incredible beautiful terrain and equally beautiful figures.  Please see his blog for a write up.

I played in Peter's game.  This saw the British in the Sudan vs the Madhi.  A column of troops had to March across the blazing sands to relieve a city (rescue Gordon?).  Naturally the forces of the Mahdi were there to stop them.  Rules used were "800 Fighting Englishmen" and figures were 25mm.  It was a fun low stress game and my fellow players Mike, Don and John kept it light hearted and fun.

I was on the British side and commanded the infantry (4 battalions) a screw gun and three Gardner guns.  John took the hussars and camel corp (Guard Camel Corp old boy).  Although we were supposed to March across the table the Madhi and his forces came to us.  Mike threw waves of cavalry and infantry against me.  I formed line and with a clear field of fire mowed down the enemy to my front.  John and Don engaged in an epic mounted battle with every mounted unit thrown at the Guards Camel Corp being routed back!  The Corp was finally done in by advancing across the dervish front and being surprised by hidden units.   At this point the game ended as although the British done well, they had gotten no where near the city. Poor Gordon was not to be rescued yet again.

A very fun night was had by all.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hunting shirt infantry

Most of my American regulars are in standard uniforms.  But nothing says Rev War like figures in hunting shirts so I just had to paint some.  And I must say they were great fun to paint!  So much so that I intend on doing another regiment like it.

These figures represented  continental or state line infantry.  They could also stand in as militia.  So this is a very useful regiment. I have added some diversity in the look by adding a few figures with non standard equipment or head gear as well as blanket rolls.  A very nice look to a useful regiment.

Figures are all Fife and Drum miniatures.  Flag by the Flag Dude.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

17th Light Dragoons

I almost added the 17th light Dragoons  to my blog post about the British Legion.  That was because throughout the southern campaigns a troop of the 17th Light dragoons  was usually attached to the Legion cavalry.  But, I considered this just not right.

   Why? According to tradition, while campaigning the uniforms of the 17th became worn and patched.  Offered replacement green coats like the legion wore the the 17th to a man refused them and clung to their red coats which marked them as regulars.  So I gave them their own post, just to be right!  One item which marked this troop as campaigning down south is the white turban around their helmets.  In the south the usual red one was replaced by a white (sheepskin?) Turban.

  Figures are from Fife and Drum miniatures. And wonderful, easy to paint and dramatic figures they are.
Interestingly, the 17th are one of those regiments I have done for the table top in more then one time period.  I have their grandsons my Crimean army as the 17th Lancers.  I also have the 23rd RWF and 33rd in both Rev War and Crimean.  I am curious how often other gamers do this?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

British Legion 1780

The British Legion was raised in New York in 1778 in order to merge several small Loyalist units into a single force, a "legion" that combined infant, cavalry and artillery. The infantry consisted of the Caledonian Volunteers, a partially mounted and partially foot unit raised in Philadelphia in late 1777 and early 1778, Ritzema's Royal American Reformers, the West Jersey Volunteers, and  the Roman Catholic Volunteers. The cavalry consisted of  the New York Dragoons, the Philadelphia Light Dragoons, Emmerich's Chasseurs, the Prince of Wales' American Volunteers, and some volunteers from the  16th Light Dragoons.   Although the  Legion was commanded by William, Lord Cathcart, as colonel; it's actual field commander, and
the man who is most identified with it was its Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

Sent south in late 1779, Tarleton and his legion took part in the siege and capture of Charleston South Carolina.  His victories against American cavalry at Monk's corner and luend ferry all but eliminated the American cavalry and sealed the city of Charleston off to reinforcements. It also set a precedent for bold action, forced marches and surprise attacks against unsuspecting foes.  His ruthlessness at the Battle of the  Waxhaw against Virginian continentals under colonel Buford created the Bloody Tarleton legend. The Legion cavalry troopers killing of surrendering soldiers after the fighting had ended created the expression "Tarletons quarter" and forever branded him as a ruthless foe who gave no mercy. While this reputation may or may not be deserved, it did unite the country against Tarleton and the British.  Scores of men joined the state militia forces.

   The legion played a key role at the Battle of Camden, and latter against the partisans Marion and Sumter.  While Tarleton never caught up with Marion, he did fight several actions against Sumter.  But it was the defeat at The Cowpens which changed the Legion.  The cavalry never recovered their reputation and in the future performed poorly and timidly.  The infantry, and artillery were destroyed and not reorganized.

Following Cornwallis into North Carolina and later Virginia the Legion cavalry fought at numerous actions.  In Virginia it almost captured Thomas Jefferson at his home.  At Yorktown it fought a most colorful and interesting battle against Luzan's legion at Gloucester point.  This would provide a colorful and exciting game!

The British Legion consisted of six troops of cavalry, five companies of infantry and an attached light three pounder gun.  At its largest the legion numbered over 450 rank and file with about 250 Cavalry and about 200 Infantry at the Cowpens.  While the uniform and organization of the cavalry is very well documented the infantry appears to be the poor step child.  Not much is known, and there is considerable conjecture concerning them.

  Uniform documentation on the infantry is rare. The little I have found over the years is not much.    An orderly book for the legion infantry while on long island in 1779 suggest they were issued overalls.  As returns for the equipment list dragoon helmets and later infantry caps I suggest the infantry wore some sort of light infantry cap rather then the more famous dra goon style helmet.  An inspection  report quoted in Lawson's Uniforms of the British army suggest the infantry had short green coats with black collar and cuffs and a green waistcoat. The waistcoat may have been laced. This is how I have painted my legion Infantry.  But there are other  interpretations of the infantry out there.  I have provided my documentation so you can see where I am coming from.

On the table top my Legion is made up of figures from Fife and Drum miniatures.  They have excellent dragoons and even a portrait figure of Tarleton himself. For the infantry I used guards flank company figures in caps.  The tiny three pounder is a work of art and comes with a nice limber.  For battles I have the infantry mounted these figures per stand rather then the usual six figures for regulars. This way I can use them as skirmishes as well as in  line.  The cavalry  are organized into three squadrons of two troops each.  There is also the light gun. In all a great command on the table top.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

89th Regiment of Foot 1814

  Another hard fighting British battalions added to my collection.  The 89th fought at Chrysler field 1813 and Lundy s Lane 1814. They are dressed in Belgium shako and regulation uniform.

In painting them I thought the black facings look really nice.  It set off against the red and the white lace in cuffs and collar highlight look good.  The regimental colors are from Flags of War are great as is usual for this company.

I had included another mounted command officer  I have just finished from Knuckleduster miniatures.  He is a gallant fellow who leads from the front "Follow me lads!"

Friday, June 9, 2017

Upper Canadian militia

Not strictly correct for the 1814 Campaign.  The militia of Upper Canada were to be issued green coats faced red with bluish trousers in 1813.  By 1814 they mostly had red coats and grey trousers;  although many still had civilian clothing. So it would be very unusual to have a complete green coated battalion on the Niagara in 1814.

  But, being a war gamer I wanted yet another different unit on my table.  And they do look splendid! Although one friend has already started referring to them as the "Royal Christmas Regiment of Foot".  Some people!

Miniatures are from Knuckleduster and are part of their regimental deal.  You get 24 figures at a discount from their already reasonable prices.  I wish more manufacturers would do this, offering prepackaged regiments.  No colors for this group being militia.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Regiment von Bose

From a 1789 uniform book

   In keeping with tradition, all Hessian Regiments were named after their commander.  The Regiment was commanded by von Trumbach until 1778 when Major General C. von Bose became the commander.   The regiment set sail for American on 23 March and arrived on 15 August 1776 at Sandy Hook, New Jersey as part of a large fleet of troop transports with other Hessian units.

   The Regiment participated in numerous actions in New York.  They transferred south in November 1778 and participated in the capture of Savannah, Georgia and the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina and  the capture of Charleston, South Carolina in May of 1780. The Regiment was later assigned to Lord Cornwallis’s Field Army and participated in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in March of 1781.  The Regiment marched with  Cornwallis into Virginia and were part of the army who surrendered at Yorktown October 1781.

My Regiment von Bose is from RSM miniatures.  They fine old miniatures are still available from the Dayton painting Consortium.  Please check them out at

Although listed as Seven Years War figures I think they fit in nicely with the Rev War as there is very little difference in uniforms worn.  By late in the War Hessian regiments would have been wearing gathered overalls.  I painted the regiment in the brown winter garters issued to British troops.  The regimental colors are from GMB designs.
Regimental color detail from above drawing.
Update:  the von Bose was not at the Battle of Stono Ferry.  My error in confusing it with another regiment.

Monday, June 5, 2017

War game afternoon with Jim

In range!

Once a year, my friend Jim has us all over his house for a day of games, grilling food side, watching movies and more games.  It is a fun day and one I look forward to all year.  Many of the folks there I do not most of the years so that makes it doubly special.  It's a nice time to get together with friends and roll dice and play games.
I think we are safe here.....

   This year was a world war affair. Jim is a big buff on the War, with a fantastic book collection and he also does WW1 reenactments. So he is really into this period.   His collection of figures is outstanding with not only British, French and Germans but also Russians, Check legion and Germans in Africa.  He has numerous buildings, trenches, tanks and a armoured train. Jim's games are in 25mms and are big skirmishes.  So when one games with Jim you do not know what or where you will end up. I am not a big fan of skirmish games and especially modern games (anything after 1900) but Jim's games are fun and entertaining.   Unfortunately I was having so much fun I forgot to take pictures until the end so I am only sharing little details.

I fired my mortar at the Germans and ......

There used to be a big group of Germans here.....

The first game consisted of a Russian attack on a Austrian stalled train.  Which just happened to have a Austrian grand duke aboard.  A squad of Germans made an appearance late in the game to help their allies.  The Austrians died almost to a man to save the Duke, who finally got the train moving in time to make his escape!  The second game  was a big battle between French and Germans in a devastated town.  No quarter was asked or given.  Not sure how it ended as there were few troops left on the board at the end!  Throughout the day movies were played in the background including Dawn Patrol, Twelve o'clock high and Gunga Din.  Great fun!

Thanks Jim!  It was a great time and I had a ball.  Look forward to next year.

"Tanks", Jim! 🍻

Sunday, June 4, 2017

3rd Continental Light Dragons 1781

When one thinks cavalry during the American Revolution one thinks of Light Horse Harry Lee or Tarleton. This might be because both men write and published their memories after the war.  Both books should be read with caution as both men tended to write about themselves, as Shakespeare said with "advantages."

But to me, the premier commander of cavalry during the War was a more humble man who never put pen to paper or blew his own horn.  William Washington was a humble man, who soldiered on through good and bad times and got the job done.  Not flashy but solid.  He played a important role at Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Hobkirk hill.  He worked well with local militia (which many continental offices did not) and no one had a harsh word about him.

 One of my favorite regiments of the period, and judging by how many others have them painted popular with others too.  The white and light blue uniform is very pleasant.  This is based on two period paintings of officer of regiment.  The colors carried were according to legend made for Washington by his fiancee Miss  Jane Elliot from a deep red silk damask curtain.  No matter true or not it is a good story and I have added it to my rendition of the dragoons.

 Figures are by Fife and Drum, and Miss Elliott's flag is courtesy of  GMB flags.

For more information (and an enjoyable read)  I recommend Daniel Murphy's "William Washington American Light Dragoon."  An excellent read With interesting insights.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Southern militia 1781

At the surrender of Charleston South Carolina the entire South Carolina Continental line were taken prisoners.  Local militia were soon adopted into a State line and many battalions saw extensive service for the next two years.  

  Although not uniformed they were reasonably well drilled and equipped. Most wore civilian clothing, or the traditional hunting shirt.  Equipment varied but interestingly both muskets and rifles saw service together (which must have been a quarter masters night mare).  

   On the battlefield they might not have the disciple of regulars but could still give a good accounting of themselves.  Many battalions were in the field for long periods of time so should be thought of a almost regulars, perhaps a level below them. They did have a habit of coming and going, but on the whole they were a valuable addition for Greene's army and a force multiplier. 

Rather then traditional hunting shirts I have my militia in civilian clothing.  Gives a nice look to them.   I have added flags but I have no period documentation for them. As with many things on the table top they are there because they look nice.  

  For an interesting read I would recommend; "True for the Cause of Liberty: The Second Spartan Regiment in the American Revolution." By Oscar and Catherine Gilbert. 

 Figures are all from Fife and Drum miniatures while flags are from Flags of War. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Loyalist brigade

  Getting ready for my campaign, I have been fiendishly painting and finishing up my Rev War forces.  Number one in my projects have been my loyalist forces.  Often down played in the history books, the various loyalist forces (American Establishment, regulars, militia and refugees) played an incredible role in the south from 1779 to 1783.  Yet, with little and often contradictory information out there they are a misunderstood organization and their uniforms poorly documented.  Because of this there is not much historical documentation for my loyalist brigade, but lots of conjecture. Both of my regiments are long service veterans who are members diverge American Establishment. As one gamer said, they are more British then the British.

New York Volunteers
(3rd American regiment)
One of the very first loyalist fighting regiments.  They served at Long Island although "dressed in rags."  Sent south with Colonel Archibald Campbell in 1779 they fought in Georgia and South Carolina.  After their defense of Rocky Mount their commander Turnball suggested they were given a standard.

My uniform is based on returns in 1782 which suggest they wore red coats faced blue. Prior to that it is very unclear and contradictory.  As part of the American Establishment they received yearly clothing and equipment like British regular regiments from the same sources.  So I have used regular British figures.  The gray round hats is purely fantasy as I like the illustrations in Mollo and McGregor "Uniforms of the American Revolution."  I can find no contemporary source for this and admit it is conjecture. But they were one of my favorite regiments of the period and I wanted to make them stand out.

Volunteers of Ireland
(2nd American regiment)

Here I have flown in the face of conventional wisdom and interpret the volunteer differently.  Most modern depictions suggest the Volunteer of Ireland look like this Trioni illustrations .
This is how the perry brothers have modeled them.  I believe this is due to two items.  One  a contemporary return suggesting caps trimmed silver for sergeants in 1782.  The other is a engraving of Rawdon with a possible drawing of some of his soldiers.  Here is the drawing:

While these interpretation might be true I am not sure.  The coat and illustrations of Rawson were done after this time period.  The illustrations of the soldiers suggest almost grenadier miters caps not the low light  infantry type cap.  I can find no returns before 1780 for the coats suggested.  In fact returns from 1780 and before suggest regular uniforms and equipment issued. As to the caps were they for the Light company?

  So I have painted my version of the Volunteers of Ireland in red coats faced green and given them round hats (much more comfortable in the heat of the south and better documented).

Again, I am saying this is my interpretation.  It is not more right or wrong then what others have done.  It is my interpretation based on the evidence I look at.  As with so much in history please read your source material and draw your opinion.