Legio Wargames

The Legio Blog

By smacdowall, Jul 21 2019 12:27PM

Having just moved house I have not had the time to post much of late. However the games room is sorted and the painting table set up so I have been doing a bit of painting in between unpacking boxes and sorting furniture.


I will endeavour to post some pics of the latest troops to march off the painting table. First up are Dutch Horse Guards from 1709 — ready to join the Prince d’Auvergne’s squadrons on the Malplaquet battlefield.



I have painted the unit to represent the 1 squadron of the Life Guards of Nassau-Ouwerkerk (red coats) and the 2 squadrons of the Blue Guards who fought brigaded together at Malplaquet.


All flag references I found dated to the reign of King William III and carried his cypher on a blue ground. I decided on a similar design but substituting the coat of arms of Holland which seemed plausible for the post William era.


The Life Guards in front are a converted command group from Minifigs French Musketeers. The officer is wearing a cuirass which the Dutch attempted to have all cavalry wear from 1708 although without much success.


In William's day the Life Guards rode grey horses. I decided also mount the Blue Guards on greys as it makes them stand out and look more impressively 'guards-like'.



In the 1690s each of the three troops of the Blue Guards was distinguished by its men wearing red, yellow or green feathers in their hats. Not having many models with feathered hats I decided on using Minfig French troopers with shoulder knots and painting them in two of the distinguishing colours (red and yellow). The life guards do have tricorns adorned with feathers (taken from French Musketeer miniatures) and I decided to paint them green which was also the allied army’s identification colour.

By smacdowall, Mar 16 2019 09:41AM

Returning to my Battle of Malplaquet project it is time to test out the table set up, deployment and rule mechanisms for the cavalry actions in the centre and on the French left.




Previous test games have played out Schulenburg and Lottum’s assault into the Bois de Sars and as the storming of the French entrenchments by the Dutch.


In this game we wanted to see what might happen if the French abandoned the redans in their centre and the allied horse to attempt a break-through (as both did historically) . We also had Miklau’s cavalry and Withers’ foot arriving on the French left flank in an attempt to turn it.


The game action was set to began at 12 noon on the day of the historical battle. By this time Schulenburg and Lottum had made it through the Bois de Sars with significant casualties only to see entrenched French infantry waiting for them.



French, Irish and German troops withdrawn from the redans
French, Irish and German troops withdrawn from the redans

We assumed that the Dutch attack on the French right prevented any reinforcements from that wing. Villars had withdrawn his French, Irish and Germans from the redans to block the allies in the woods — possibly to counter-attack.



Overview of the table looking west  to the French left.
Overview of the table looking west to the French left.

We played the game on a 6 x 4 foot table with 15mm miniatures in brigade sized units. Ground scale was 1” representing 100 paces. We ignored the action on the French right except for the Gardes Suisses and Françaises holding the far left of the entrenchments, with the Maison du Roi in reserve.



The Allied cavalry advance
The Allied cavalry advance

The game opened with the allied howitzer battery lobbing shells into the massed ranks of French Horse. Then Auvergne’s Dutch horse advanced on the empty redans with Bülow’s German horse.


The centre of the battlefield, the Bois de Sars on the right
The centre of the battlefield, the Bois de Sars on the right

The French Horse moved up as the Dutch split their formation to pass through the gaps between the redans.





Imperial Dragoons of Miklau's command
Imperial Dragoons of Miklau's command


The Royal Carabiniers move up to engage Miklau.
The Royal Carabiniers move up to engage Miklau.

Miklau’s German cavalry, including several squadrons of Imperial hussars, arrived on the second turn (tanks to a good die roll) at La Folie on the French left flank. The French advanced the Royal Carabiniers to counter them. Against the odds, Miklau’s men held their own against this elite enemy brigade.


The Champagne brigade leads a French counter-attack.
The Champagne brigade leads a French counter-attack.

Villars organised a counter-attack against Lottum’s Prussians and English in the Bois des Sars. Led by the Champagne brigade this succeeded in driving back Lottum’s first line defending the edge of the woods.


A fluid cavalry action develops as the Allies pass through the redans
A fluid cavalry action develops as the Allies pass through the redans

A fluid cavalry battle developed in the centre. The Dutch horse rode through the ranks of the lead French brigade to come up against the second line.



The English Foot Guards assault the Gardes Suisse in the entrenchments.
The English Foot Guards assault the Gardes Suisse in the entrenchments.

Meanwhile Marlborough ordered Orkney’s men to storm the French entrenchments. Led by the English Foot Guards, supported by a battery of guns, they succeeded in driving the enemy back and taking the position. This mirrored the historical battle when the Gardens Suisses and Françaises put up little resistance when they were attacked.


The French counter-attack stalls
The French counter-attack stalls

The French counter-attack into the woods came up against the second line of Prussians and English as Gauvin’s Hanoverains, recently arrived from Mons, moved up to support them. Eugene, commanding this sector, ordered the Danish foot guards from the Prussian left flank to move in to join the fray.


A huge cavalry melee develops
A huge cavalry melee develops

More and more horse from both sides were fed into the action beyond the redans as the action swayed back and forth. The huge resulting melée ended up with the lines separating.


We called time after about 3 hours of play. The result was a bloody draw favouring the Allies. Although initially successful, the French counter-attack in the woods had bogged down. The action around La Folie on the French left was stalemated but on their right Orkney’s English had taken the entrenchments. Two brigades of Hanoverians were moving up to support Orkney but the French had no reserves left. Almost all of the French horse had been engaged but there were several lines of British and Imperialist cavalry following up behind the Dutch and Germans. At this point Villars would probably have ordered a withdrawal as was the case in the actual battle.





By smacdowall, Mar 8 2019 05:00PM

In September 1775 a force of around 2000 rebel colonists (not yet the United States) invaded Canada, led by Brigadier Montgomery. Their objective was to take Montreal and then move on to Quebec. They were checked at Fort St. Jean on the Richelieu River which was garrisoned by 750 men of the 7th and 26th Foot as well as local militia and ta detachment of the Royal Highland Emigrants. Mohawk Indians led by Guillaume, Chevalier de Lorimier, also took an active part in the defence.


The death of Montgomery at Quebec
The death of Montgomery at Quebec

There were a number of small scale encounters during the three month siege which offer good wargaming potential. I devised a game based on the capture of a British re-supply convoy from Montreal by 80 Americans under John Brown. This resulted in a 200 man sortie from the fort, commanded by Major Charles Preston, which in turn was attacked by an American relief force of New Hampshire men led by Timothy Bedel.



Brown's men come under fire
Brown's men come under fire

The game started with Brown’s New Yorkers coming under fire from Lorimier’s Mohawks and local Habitants. Brown’s objective was to keep the captured supplies out of enemy hands. He sent out a skirmish line to hold off the Mohawks to give him time to destroy the supplies rather than attempting to take them with him to his boats on the banks of the Richelieu.


The British column advances
The British column advances

Major Preston advanced along the road, his column led by a company of the 7th Foot (Royal Fusiliers), his right flank protected by a light infantry company and the Royal Highland Emigrants, a company of the 26th Foot (Cameronians) following on behind.



The Americans attack the farm
The Americans attack the farm

Taking fire from the habitants occupying a farm house to the north, Brown detached a small number of men to clear the farm to give time for his other troops to destroy the supplies. This resulted in a desultory fire-fight with neither side inflicting any damage on the other.



The fusiliers deploy
The fusiliers deploy

Preston’s fusilier company deployed to engage the Americans from the south as they were fending off the Mohawks to the east and habitants to the north.



The British light infantry attempt to recapture the supplies
The British light infantry attempt to recapture the supplies

The British light infantry company rushed forward to re-capture the supply convoy but by the time they reached it there was not much of left. Anything of value ended up in the knapsacks of the light infantry who reported back that everything had been destroyed.



The Mohawks attack
The Mohawks attack

Then Lorimier’s Mohawks emerged from the forest...



The Americans head for their boats
The Americans head for their boats

... sending Brown's men off to the safety of their beached boats.



Timothy Bedel's relief force arrives
Timothy Bedel's relief force arrives

Meanwhile Bedel’s relief force had landed and the British had to turn to their flank to face them, giving Brown’s men time to escape.



Steady lines of British regulars
Steady lines of British regulars

Faced by the steady ranks of British regulars, Bedel did not fancy his chances in a close fire-fight. He used a skirmish line of the Green Mountain Boys to delay the enemy to buy more time for the rest of the American force to reach their boats and escape.



The Green Mountian Boys are surrounded
The Green Mountian Boys are surrounded

One company of the Green Mountain Boys ended up surrounded by British light infantry, Mohawks and Habitants. The British accepted their surrender but the dice decided that the Mohawks and Habitants were not so inclined. The resulting massacre ,no doubt, handed the Americans a useful propaganda victory.


We played the game using Andy Callan’s Loose Files and American Scramble rules with a few modifications, reducing the scale to one base of 3 miniatures representing 10 men and 1 inch representing 10 paces. On victory points the Americans won as they had successfully kept the supplies out of enemy hands despite fairly high casualties. Although the British had failed to re-capture the supplies before their destruction, they had reason to feel pleased with the result. They had managed to drive off the Americans and inflict serious casualties without loosing a single man.






By smacdowall, Mar 6 2019 02:04PM

My latest troops off the painting table are a bit of a departure from the norm.


This because I am running a small game based on the American invasion of Canada in 1775. A key unit in the defence of Canada was the Royal Highland Emigrants, later 84th Foot, raised from veteran Scots of the French and Indian War who had settled in Quebec. A second battalion was raised in Nova Scotia.


My AWI troops are 1/72 scale plastics
My AWI troops are 1/72 scale plastics

My AWI collection is all 1/72 plastics — a mix of Airfix and Revell. I am rather fond of them and have no desire to replace them with more modern metal miniatures, despite the excellent ranges now available. Raising a highland unit from plastics would, however, take more difficult conversion work that I was inclined to undertake.



Irregular Miniatures 20mm AWI Scots
Irregular Miniatures 20mm AWI Scots

So I looked to see if there were some metal figures that might fit in with my plastics. With some trepidation I ordered a small number of 20mm Irregular Miniatures’ Scots. My trepidation was down to the fact that some Irregular castings are, well, somewhat irregular. I was reassured by the fact that the website says this range has been designed to fit with the plastic figures currently available, and the photos (above) looked OK.



My unit painted and ready for battle
My unit painted and ready for battle

I was more than happy with the result. The miniatures are well cast, with an old school charm — their size and proportions indeed fitting well with 1/72 plastics. They were a joy to paint and I think the final result gave me just what I was looking for.


Royal Highland Emigrants 1775 uniform
Royal Highland Emigrants 1775 uniform

The 1775 uniform of the Royal Highland Emigrants was a typical loyalist green coat. It is likely that they did not yet have Scottish distinctions but I wanted my unit to stand out from other loyalist troops — hence choosing figures with Scottish bonnets.



The original regimental colours
The original regimental colours

I based the unit’s flag on an original held in the Fort Ticonderoga museum. Judging by the writing on the flag, it may be at this time the regiment was known as the Royal Emigrants rather than the Royal Highland Emigrants. On the other-hand this may have been nothing more than limitations of space.



My painted version of the colours
My painted version of the colours

I copied the original photo into my computer, added a copy for the reverse side, scaled it to fit, printed it and then painted it over. I find over-painting a printed flag looks so much better. Otherwise it looks too much like what it is — a computer print out — rather than colours that blend with the painted miniatures.


By 1778 the Regiment was in full highland dress
By 1778 the Regiment was in full highland dress

Later the Royal Highland Emigrants were kitted out in full highland dress with red coats and government tartan kilts, as shown in the above contemporary print from 1778.






RSS Feed

Web feed