Legio Wargames

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By smacdowall, Nov 3 2020 05:10PM

Having made great inroads into my medieval lead mountain, I am now tackling the even larger Thirty Years War one.

There is, however, a problem.

I have some of this and a few of that but try as I might I cannot find exactly the right matching miniatures for the units I wish to build.

This is compounded by the fact that a friend has alerted me to some excellent new European manufacturers of Thirty Years War figures; namely 1898, Tercio, Avanpost and Bohemian Miniatures.

There is no other solution. If I wish to reduce my Thirty Years War lead mountain I need to order more miniatures!

This is better. Being painted now is a unit of German arquebusiers for my Spanish army. Some Perry and Warlord Games figures from the lead (and plastic) mountain have been added to by newly purchased (and wonderful) Avanpost resin miniatures. In the background are unpainted pikemen (mostly 1898 miniatures).

The pikemen will be the basis of a new Spanish Tercio based on this painting of the Battle of Rocroi.

So, like Sisyphus, no matter how much painting I do, the lead mountain remains just as high as before!

By smacdowall, Oct 27 2020 10:56AM

Here are my recently completed dismounted Musketeers.

I think I have just about got away with the mix of dress styles from the 1630s-60s. Swapping various heads about seems to have blended the styles reasonably well.

As gentlemen of means they would have kitted themselves out much as they pleased, only the blue cassock being 'issued' by the King.

By smacdowall, Oct 23 2020 05:16PM

In the early 1980s I was living in (what was then) West Germany. Once, when my young children were going outside to play, I overheard my German mother-in-law warn them not to stray too far from the house “or the Swedes will get you.” She had no idea of the origin of the saying, it was just one of those things that had passed down the centuries from the trauma of the Thirty Years War (1618-48).

A couple of days ago I was one of those Swedes as we re-fought the Battle of Lützen (1632), appropriately socially distanced on the tabletop and via Zoom.

Wallenstein’s Imperialists had a strong centre protected by a ditch (represented by earthworks on the table). Their right was anchored by the town of Lützen but their left was relatively open.

Our plan was to pin the imperialist centre with a thin line of foot.

Refuse our left.

Strike hard and fast on our right with a large cavalry force led by Gustavus Adolphus himself, supported by a brigade of German, Swedish and Scottish foot.

We knew that Pappenheim would be arriving with Imperial reinforcements at some point but neither we nor the Imperialist players knew when. An average die was secretly rolled at the start of the game and kept under wraps until the 6th turn. We were lucky. When the die was revealed it told us that it would take another 5 turns before Pappenheim arrived.

The cavalry action on our right was fast and furious, swaying back and forth as lines of horse passed through each other. Turn after turn almost every unit on that wing was engaged in one way or another. Leading charge after charge, Gustavus was wounded but managed to stay on the fight (unlike the historical Gustavus who was killed).

The Imperialist had the better of the initial cavalry clashes but the tide turned when a unit of Imperialist cuirassiers, led in person by Heinrich Holk, was charged from two sides, The cuirassiers were routed and Holk was killed. This broke the morale of the Imperialist cavalry and advantage passed to the Swedes who began to turn the enemy left flank.

Meanwhile the Swedish foot attempted to close with the Imperialist foot holding their left. Met with a withering fire from guns and muskets, the first line of Saxons were driven back. The second line of Swedes met a similar fate.

As the third line of Swedish foot closed on the ditch, the Swedish cavalry had cleared enough ground to allow two additional battalions to start to work their way around the flank.

The Imperialists sent in a regiment of cuirassiers to block the gap but they were destroyed by a combination of fire from the Scottish foot and a flank attack from Swedish horse.

The Swedish cavalry on the other wing were roughly handled by the Imperialist cavalry. Bereft of cavalry support, the Swedish foot moved to successfully refuse their left flank.

As Pappenheim’s reinforcements finally arrived the Swedes had managed to turn the Imperialist left.

At this point Wallenstein decided that it was time to withdraw from the field of battle and King Gustavus lived to fight another day.

By smacdowall, Oct 18 2020 04:30PM

My mounted Muketeers for Louis XIV's army are now complete. Their dress is appropriate for the early years of his reign after he re-formed the unit in 1657 (just in time for the Dunes campaign). I agonised over whether to paint their boots and horse harness in black (as they would have been in the 1670s) or natural leather as they would have been in the 1640s before they were temporaily disbanded. Since I will use them for Rocroi (1643) I decided on the latter, even though their dress is not quite accurate for the 1640s.

I decided to mount them all on grey horses as les mousquetaires gris. In 1664 the Musketeers were reorgaanised into two companies, the first on grey horses, the second on black. As I will be fielding them in earlier campaigns I thought the grey horses best, also I like the combination of colours.

I am rather pleased with the flag which I painted based on an example in Standards and Uniforms of the French Cavalry under Louis XIV by Robert Hall, Giancarlo Boeri and Yves Roumegoux.

The miniatures are all from Northstar 1672 range. The designs on the cassocks are cast-on which makes painting them so much easier.

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