Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Peter Laing Reinforcements

      While camping I got a little painting in. The Man of Tin blog has me thinking of using my Peter Laing figures in more skirmish wargames. Th figures were some of my WSS Peter Laing marching figures and homecast Indians. The  marching figures were painted to represent militia of the French and Indian War. I have also been thinking of using Battle Cry dice with Chris Salanders' H&M 2.0, but haven't have the time to test them out.

    I also managed to buy a lot of Colonial Egyptian Minifigs and Peter Laing figures. With the cavalry I can now have two full Egyptian cavalry units. There was another PL figure I don't think I have yet. It looks like it is a Renaissance horseman, although it seems to be painted to be a native horseman. There was also an officer on horseback that isn't a Peter Laing or Minifigs figure that is a mystery to me. If anyone knows the manufacturer of the figure I would like to know. I enjoy this figure, and believe he will command the colonial Egyptian army.
Some of the PL militia.

The two new Egyptian cavalrymen. They will keep their current uniform.

The two "native" cavalrymen, that I believe are new figures to me.

The colonial officer, who seems to be mounted on an old nag!

If anyone knows the manufacturer, please let me know. I'm thinking maybe Essex? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1812 Militia

      When the United States was founded, instead of having a large professional army, it decided to depend on the citizens for the defense of the new nation.  After the Revolution, as most of those who served had belonged to militia, the popular believe was that the militia had won the war.  Every state had their own way to address militia service. In Massachusetts every male once they turned 18 was considered part of the militia. Twice a year towns would have "training days", where the militia was turned out for drill. Each member was expected to have a musket, bayonet, and shot bag.

      As time went on,  volunteer companies of militia were formed. These were usually better equipped and had some form of uniform. These units were usually formed along the lines of a social club and tended to be tradesmen, as the cost of belonging to a volunteer company could be quite expensive. Volunteer companies would meet regularly for drill. The volunteer companies would be named, using such terms as grenadiers, light infantry, guards, and other military terms.

    The wealthier states had more elaborate militia units. Boston had a troop of Hussars and a troop of lancers, the National Lancers. The National Lancers exist to this day, being a ceremonial unit which is still part of the state militia (but is not part of the National Guard).

     So many states actually had two militias; the volunteer militia, and the enrolled militia. The enrolled militia was basically every other male who didn't belong to a volunteer company.  Once again, in a state that had a more organized militia,  usually the enrolled militia would belong to a numbered company, the company would belong to a numbered regiment, and the numbered regiment would belong to a numbered brigade. On paper this could look impressive. In 1812 New York had 159 infantry regiments divided into 40 brigades, and 9 cavalry regiments divided into 3 brigades. However, militia units only had to serve in the United States itself. In 1812 when the United States launched an attack at Queenston, Canada, very few militia crossed into Canada. Once the fighting began, most of the militia invoked their right not to serve outside of the US, thereby turning a so far successful battle into a defeat.

    Last time I looked at Massachusetts law, every male between 18 and 45 is considered part of the "unorganized militia".

      I did something I haven't done since I started working; I took two weeks of vacation time. My wife and I are leaving for 10 days of camping. On Monday, which was a holiday, my wife worked so I did some painting. I started painting some of my Minifigs militia as "enrolled militia".  It was fun painting each figure in different clothes. I'm looking forward to using these figures when I get home. I have started working in my mind a "narrative campaign" using these figures based on the Shay's Rebellion.

      While working on this posting, I remembered a militia training manual and roster sheet  that I had bought years ago, long before I was on the internet. It dates from 1824. I took some pictures of it. One interesting point on the company roster sheet is a check list of what each member should turn out with.
My enrolled militia. They just need some final touchups.

Some of the more "dapper" members.

A group of volunteer militia.

A volunteer rifle unit.

The cover of the "Militia Instructer" from 1824

Back cover of the "Miltia Instructer" showing other military manuals available from the printer.

The annual return roster for a militia company.

The check list of what each member should be equipped with.

Back of the Annual return.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Wargames with Airfix and Peter Laing

    With little time for the hobby right now, I use the time painting and trying to get games in; the blog is now secondary to my gaming.
     My wife had to work late one night, and went to a cookout with coworkers, which she kindly let me out of going to. So each night I played a game. For some reason this week I was thinking of my old Airfix Afrika Korps and 8th Army figures (the 1st edition).  I got them out and used Bob Cordery's "Memoir of Modern Battle" rules. In this game I do not use the grenade symbol as a hit on any unit. Instead, both sides got two grenadier figures. If the grenadier figure got to an adjacent hex next to the enemy, then the grenade symbol counted, to simulate a grenade attack.

    Once again, I wasn't going to report on either of these games, but found them rather enjoyable, even without terrain features.

Among the 8th Army were the last 3 surviving members of one of the first Airfix sets I bought back in the 70's.

The British machine gun draws first blood.

The Germans are causing heavy causalities to the British..

The British left flank is pushed back, while on the right a unit is overrun.

Closeup of the right flank; the old veterans are overrun.

Closeup of the left flank; the German grenadier took out the machine gun; two British units are routed.

The British on the left flank counterattack. On the left flank the British pull back to consolidate the line.

The Germans move forward one machine gun for support.

The British counter attack.

On the left of the picture the British grenadier has eliminated a German unit.

Close up of the grenade attack. I think using the grenadiers make for a more enjoyable game. As a kid one of my least favorite poses (next to prone figures) was grenadiers. Using the grenadiers this way I now have a new appreciation of the figure.

For this game I used slightly modified Battlelore rules. For picking the armies in this game I used 18 Army Points.  When I make random Battlelore armies, the system I use is: light infantry counts as 1 AP; medium infantry and light cavalry counts as 2 AP; heavy infantry and medium cavalry counts as 3 AP; heavy cavalry counts as 4 AP. This game it was an army of peasants vs the Persian Army. I started taking pictures about half way through the game.

In all games using the Persians I always make sure to include the Blue Persians.  This unit has consistently  stood out in games. The Blue Persians are the figures to the left with red trimmed tunics.

The Blue Persians are hit from three sides, but still hold. 

Two peasant units close on the Persian General; they fail to kill him.

At this point in the game the Persians have lost half their units and the battle. On the left of the picture  can be seen the retreat of the Blue Persians. They were surrounded. The peasant slingers and archers concentrated their fire on the Blues; however only "retreat" dice came up, which allowed the Blue Persians to escape annihilation. The yellow arrows show the missile attacks on the Blues.

Closeup of the attack.

The Blue Persians survive to fight another day.