Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Building your forces - Part Three

Cavalry were the most problematic arm to decide on as the figures photographed in Charge do not appear to be available any longer. So I had to make some compromises here, still capturing the essential Classic look. I confess to feeling that the Stadden horses are rather large for my tastes (albeit they are actually properly proportioned). And in Charge, other than some of the Staff Officers, I’m not sure any of the Cavalry are Stadden figures. In fact I’m pretty sure they're not, and the cavalry depicted look rather smaller than the Stadden infantry, so I decided to begin with a regiment of Holger Erikkson figures.

So, first up… The Marchmont Dragoons, which are as close in terms of pose as I can get to the cavalry regiment shown in the book.



above: The Marchmont Dragoons
Note: extra officer included to bring the organisation up to 30 all ranks. It seems far neater to have each squadron having an individual officer, and the Regimental standard accompanying the CO and Trumpeter.

and below, in Black and White for those who prefer.



A word of warning, however; these figure castings are no longer in the best state, and in reality do not represent value for money. They are very fragile at the legs, and require a lot of cleaning up. The detail is not very clear, making painting less than enjoyable, so I resolved to apply a very basic style to simply enjoy the finished spectacle.
For variety, my next cavalry regiment will be something different, and will be shown here in due course.

And, onto Light Infantry, The Garde Jaeger:





Above: The Garde Jaeger, Light Infantry company.

These are a copy of the figures used in Charge for the unit of the same name, being of course Napoleonic Russian Pavlov Grenadiers! Again, if this seems anomalous to you, and you wish to create light infantry more consistent with a specific army or time period, for example by creating some genuine Grenzers or Jagers for the mid 18th century, there is no shortage of such figures. You may even wish to incorporate a company of The Black Watch, or The Arquebusiers de Grassin. The choice is yours.

As I indicated previously, I felt that in Charge the Light Infantry were too powerful for my tastes (my preference being more 18th century than Napoleonic), and particularly when operating 4 company mixed regiments of the Line, where one of the companies is a Light Company. This would put too many light infantry on the table for me, and probably prevent players adopting linear tactics, and edging more towards a Napoleonic style game. I therefore decided to field my Light Infantry in individual companies, rather than as the 2-company battalions shown in the book (although I may also use the full 2-company regiments when suited to a specific scenario). To further diminish the impact of the Light Infantry, I may also limit their operations and firepower within the rules, but this is again a purely personal preference reflecting my desire to have my Light Infantry as a “nuisance arm” rather than “battle winners!”.


and for comparison, here are the relevant plates from "Charge!"

Note the plate showing a “regiment of light infantry” appears actually to be two separate companies of Light Infantry (note one half have dark gaiters- these I believe to be one company of the Garde Jaeger LI regt- and one half have white gaiters, and I suspect the latter is the Light Company of the Erbprinz Regt as it comprises 16 privates, reflecting the organisation of Light companies of Line regts in the book).

More next time.

19 comments:

Capt Bill said...

Nice eye candy as usual! Just received my cope of The Wargames' Annual, what a wonderful addition to my library. Great photo and how to articles. I really need to add barges to my pontooniers. Keep up your inspirational work. Thanks...

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello there Phil,

Your Holger Eriksson dragoons really make me want to get going with mine that I purchased while in Germany last summer. Lovely figures, but you are right about the amount of preparation they'll need before painting can commence in earnest. The metal Spencer Smith cavalry figures too seem to suffer from the same problems you note in this morning's post -- i.e., lots of cleaning necessary and very weak at the ankles. A real shame as I'd love to add more to my armies, but they don't do well via airmail.

Best Regards,

Stokes

Der Alte Fritz said...

I have seen a number of Suren/Willie cavalry figures in the Charge book. The cuirassiers are definitely Suren figures as is the cuirassier officer charging on his galloping horse.

The Suren SYW Prussian dragoons and cuirassiers are still in fairly good condition. You have to be careful with the Suren horses and choose the ones that have at least 3 points attached to the base. (W6 and W12 horses come readily to mind as good examples). the more energetic horses tend to break off at the ankles so I wouldn't recommend using them.

If I do a second Suren dragoon regiment, I would use the Stadden H2 walking horse instead of any of the Suren horses.

Peter said...

Phil,

would you mind telling us something about the trees in the picture of the J├Ąger?

Pjotr

Bluebear Jeff said...

Phil,

I absolutely agree with you on the Light Infantry. When I played CHARGE! I was shocked at the effectiveness of the so-called "light infantry".

Yes, tone them way down. They are not representative of even the best of 18th century lights.

And your figures look marvelous . . . which does not surprise me at all.


-- Jeff

Phil Olley said...

Perhaps, Jim, you could tell us the difference between the Stadden Prussian cuirassiers and the Surens. Are the latter more slender? And what pose are they in? shouldered sword or charging?
Any info would be most appreciated, as I may just have to invest in a regt.

Peter, the trees are some plastic ones I had lying around which look a little like those pictured in Charge. I think some are Britains.

Phil

Phil Olley said...

... forgot to mention: thanks for the feedback on The Wargamers' Annual, Capt Bill. Much appreciated.
Phil

Der Alte Fritz said...

Phil, the difference is easy. Stadden did not make SYW Prussian cuirassiers. The only SYW cavalry that they made were Prussian hussars in both mirliton and busby and British household troopers in tricorns and horse grenadiers in mitres.

So if you see cuirassiers and dragoons, they were most likely Suren figures. The Old Masters of Wargaming may have put them on Stadden horses though, if they, like me, were disappointed in the fragile nature of some of the Suren horses.

Der Alte Fritz said...

One other thought, Stadden made mounted colonels for the Prussians and British. I have long thought about converting the Prussian colonel into a dragoon, but I'm just not up to the task of converting 36 to 60 figures

Phil Olley said...

Ah, of course Jim. Thank you.
Phil

abdul666 said...

Exciting eye-candy as usual!

Some of Eureka Tyroleans (in short leder hosen) could make an original Gebirgsjaeger, but I'm afraid the flat-topped hats have to be filled / sanded down to round-topped ones to look 18th C. rather than 19th C.?

abdul666 said...

Hopefully the Chevaliers de Rouen and Kanterbrau Cuirassiers will reappear here for our pleasure, if under other names?

Peter said...

Everybody seems to know their Stadden from Suren, so with somewhat red cheecks I ask a small, but very practical question: Stadden minis are available as Willie and Suren's as Tradition chez Spencer Smith Miniatures? Is that correct? Are there other retail sources for these classic miniatures?
Okay, that were three small questions...

Pjotr

Der Alte Fritz said...

Staddens are the 30mm figures that you see at the top (header) of Phil's blog. Mr. Stadden also made some nice 25mm figures that go by the name of Tradition figures.

Ted Suren, the sculptor of, what else, the Suren range, also called the figures "Willies" named after his son, from what I have heard. So Suren and Willie figures are the same thing.

You can purchase both ranges of figures from Spencer Smith Miniatures and from the Tradition store in the UK. Or, you can also purchase them directly from Sweden, Tradition Scandanavia.

There used to be a USA distributor, but the gentleman passed away in 2009 and as he was looking to get out of the business anyone, the distibutorship was not continued by his wife or passed on to anyone else.

Peter said...

Thank you for the clarification. Very helpful indeed.

Pjotr

Phil Olley said...

Thanks for answering the queries ref figures Jim. I've been unable to find time to even visit my own blog for a day or so! Nice to know the patrons occasionally feel comfortable hopping over the counter to serve drinks for themselves and each other while the bar-tender is away! That's the mark fo a frinedly convivial tavern in my book.

I've added links to the Tradition website, and Spencer Smith website, where many of the figures are pictured and available.
Phil

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,

some lovely stuff here once more both in the words and the pictures. I was delighted to see the old bridge as I am sure I had one long long ago. Perhaps it's Timpo or similar?

As for the Light infantry I favour the fiction of using these gentlemen in pairs - one notionally loading and the other firing. This halves the effect of the little blighters. I use the word fiction because each figure, one way or another, represents more than one man. Perhaps conceit would be a better word than fiction.

Duke of Baylen, Patron of the Tiradores de Cadiz

Phil Olley said...

That's exactly what I have in mind here, Duke of Baylen, and in fact have trialled with The Wargame rules. Works well.
Phil

Andy Mitchell said...

There's an issue on the topic of horse sizes that's exercising my mind: light cavalry should be mounted on smaller horses than the heavies. Whatever the historical basis for doing this, I just don't like the visual effect. Have you thought about this yet?