Nugget 279

The editor of THE NUGGET sent me the draft of the latest issue on Sunday evening, but thanks to some domestic problems (i.e. dealing with the aftermath of a damaged garden fence!) I was not able to print the original copy until this morning. I plan to take it to the printer later today and I should be able to collect it from them on Tuesday of next week. I hope to be able to post it out to members of Wargame Developments on that Tuesday or on the following Wednesday.

This particular issue contains details of the various sessions that will be taking place at COW2015 (this year’s annual Conference of Wargamers) in July. It also explains the current situation with regard to booking for COW2015 (i.e. all the residential places have now gone and only non-residential places are now available).

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2014-2015 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed should do so as soon as possible. This can be done by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.

The password to open the online PDF version of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT will be sent by post and email to members when they re-subscribe.

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When the wind blows …

… the fencing will rock … and then fall over!

One of the advantages of living on top of one of the highest points around London is the wonderful view; the downside is the fact that the back of our house is very exposed when the wind blows from the west … and yesterday afternoon it was hit by very gusty winds and heavy rain.

The sound of the wind and rain was almost deafening in our conservatory, and our garden fence started to sway as the wind gusted around it … and then – at about 3.30pm – we heard a very loud crack and the top two fence posts of our garden fence snapped off at ground level, taking the top two fence panels with them and damaging a third. Once these fence posts had gone the rest of the fence began to sway even more violently in the wind, and several of the other fence posts and panels looked as if they were also very likely to go as well.

By the time that the weather began to improve it was too dark to see how bad the total damage was. One thing was obvious, however, and that was that the fence will need to be replaced as it is too badly damaged to be repaired.

I have spent this morning removing the damaged part of the fence … which is now stacked up in our driveway.

Before …

… and after the damaged part of the fence was removed.

I have already had one quote to replace the existing fence, and it looks as if it is going to cost between £1,000 and £1,200 depending upon the type of replacement posts and fence we choose to have installed.

Expensive business, house ownership!


Looking back

As my work on varnishing and basing my collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures progresses, I have been thinking about the rules I am going to use. As a result I looked back to some battles that I fought in late August and early September 2011 using part of this collection … and remembered how much fun I had had.

The battles were set in a South American imagi-nation (Cordeguay) in the period after it had gained independence, and were the result of a civil war fought between the President-for-life, General José Santa Maria, and the leader of the Constitutionalists, General Roberto Branco.

The two armies looked like this:

Presidential Army

  • 1st Presidential Guard Infantry
  • 2nd Presidential Guard Infantry
  • Presidential Guard Foot Artillery
  • 1st Cuirassiers
  • 2nd Cuirassiers
  • 3rd Lancers
  • 4th Carabineers
  • 5th Hussars
  • 1st Foot Artillery
  • 2nd Foot Artillery
  • 1st Regular Infantry
  • 2nd Regular Infantry
  • 3rd Regular Infantry
  • 4th Regular Infantry
  • 5th Regular Infantry
  • 6th Militia Infantry
  • 7th Militia Infantry
  • 8th Militia Infantry
  • 9th Militia Infantry
  • 10th Militia Infantry

Constitutional Army

  • English Infantry (British Legion)
  • Scottish Infantry (British Legion)
  • The Rifles (British Legion)
  • British Artillery (British Legion)
  • 1st (Northern) Cavalry
  • 2nd (Northern) Cavalry
  • 3rd (Southern) Cavalry
  • 4th (Southern) Cavalry
  • 1st (Northern) Artillery
  • 2nd (Southern) Artillery
  • 1st (Northern) Infantry
  • 2nd (Northern) Infantry
  • 3rd (Northern) Infantry
  • 4th (Southern) Infantry
  • 5th (Southern) Infantry
  • 6th (Southern) Infantry

The first battle was THE BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE OVER THE RIO BLANCO and involved the following forces:

Presidential Army

  • 3rd Lancers
  • 4th Carabineers
  • 5th Hussars
  • 1st Foot Artillery
  • 1st Regular Infantry
  • 2nd Regular Infantry
  • 6th Militia Infantry
  • 7th Militia Infantry

Constitutionalist Army

  • 3rd (Southern) Cavalry
  • 4th (Southern) Cavalry
  • 2nd (Southern) Artillery
  • 4th (Southern) Infantry
  • 5th (Southern) Infantry
  • 6th (Southern) Infantry

The battlefield.

The battle ended with the Constitutionalists as marginal victors as they were able to capture and cross the bridge before the Presidential Army could stop them, but were unwilling to pursue the retreating Presidential Army troops.

The second battle was THE BATTLE OF THE CHERRO RICO ROAD and involved the following forces:

Presidential Army

  • 1st Presidential Guard Infantry
  • 2nd Presidential Guard Infantry
  • Presidential Guard Foot Artillery
  • 1st Cuirassiers
  • 2nd Cuirassiers
  • 3rd Lancers
  • 4th Carabineers
  • 5th Hussars
  • 1st Foot Artillery
  • 2nd Foot Artillery
  • 1st Regular Infantry
  • 2nd Regular Infantry
  • 3rd Regular Infantry
  • 4th Regular Infantry
  • 5th Regular Infantry
  • 6th Militia Infantry
  • 7th Militia Infantry
  • 8th Militia Infantry
  • 9th Militia Infantry
  • 10th Militia Infantry

Constitutionalist Army

  • English Infantry (British Legion)
  • Scottish Infantry (British Legion)
  • The Rifles (British Legion)
  • British Artillery (British Legion)
  • 1st (Northern) Cavalry
  • 2nd (Northern) Cavalry
  • 3rd (Southern) Cavalry
  • 4th (Southern) Cavalry
  • 1st (Northern) Artillery
  • 2nd (Southern) Artillery
  • 1st (Northern) Infantry
  • 2nd (Northern) Infantry
  • 3rd (Northern) Infantry
  • 4th (Southern) Infantry
  • 5th (Southern) Infantry
  • 6th (Southern) Infantry

The battlefield.

This battle resulted in a much more convincing win for the Constitutionalists, but the actual result of the civil war was not known.

The rules that I used to fight these battles were a lashed-together amalgam of Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Musket’ and ‘Frontier’ wargames rules … and in retrospect they were fun to use even though the results were a bit extreme at times.


Some more King’s German Legion/Hanoverian troops

Another auction ‘win’ on eBay enabled me to add eight additional King’s German Legion/Hanoverian figures to my collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic figures. I already had almost enough ‘spares’ to varnish and base two additional bases of these figures, and the extra figures that I ‘won’ enabled me to increase the number of new bases to four.

I am now thinking of moving on to varnishing and basing the British figures in my collection, and with a bit of luck that should be completed by the end of April, leaving me May and early June to do the French figures.


The Battle of Riachuelo

After writing yesterday’s blog entry about the ARMIES OF THE WAR OF THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 1864-70, I remembered writing a blog entry a year ago (3rd March 2014 to be precise) about William Eugene Warner’s WARSHIPS AT THE BATTLE OF RIACHUELO. The book was written back in 2008 (ISBN 9781456314682) and can still be printed to order by Amazon UK.

The book describes the ships used by the two main opposing naval ‘powers’ – Paraguay and Brazil – and particularly those that saw action during the Battle of Riachuelo, the main naval battle of the war. Each ship is covered in a reasonable amount of detail, and each entry has a plan and side view of the ship in question.

If any of my regular blog readers is interested in re-fighting the War of the Triple Alliance, this book about the naval aspects of the war is worth buying, even though – for a paperback – it is not very cheap.


Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-70

The War of the Triple Alliance was the bloodiest war fought in South America. Over the course of six years Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay fought against Paraguay, with the result that the latter’s population was reduced by nearly 70% from 450,000 (pre-war) to 160,000.

Osprey Publishing has recently published a book about the war – ARMIES OF THE WAR OF THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE 1864-70 – written by Gabriele Esposito and illustrated by Giuseppe Rava (‘Men-at-Arms’ series No.499 [ISBN 978 1 4728 0725 0]).

As will be obvious from the illustrations on the cover of this book, the war took place at a time when uniforms styles were changing. Some of the uniforms harked back to the days of Napoleon (e.g. bell-topped shakos, turn-backed coatees) whilst others would not have looked out of place during the American Civil War and the Franco-German War (e.g. low kepis and tunics). This was also a war where both sides used steam-powered warships, including some rudimentary ironclads.

Looking through the book I was struck by how relatively quick and easy it would be to put together some very colourful small wargames armies for this war … and how it would make an excellent basis for a mini-campaign! It will certainly be something for me to think about as I continue to varnish and base my collection of Napoleonic figures.


Colonial armies

David Crook recently asked me to give him some sort of idea what multi-figure based colonial armies I had available to use with my 6 hex x 8 hex wargames board … so here they are!

British

These figures have done service as British and Britannic army troops, and comprise:

  • 8 battalions of infantry (8 x 2 x 3 figure bases = 48 figures)
  • 1 battery of machine guns (1 x 1 x 2 figure bases = 2 figures + 1 Gatling Gun)
  • 2 batteries of artillery (2 x 1 x 2 figure bases = 4 figures + 2 Field Guns)
  • 3 transport columns (3 x 1 x 1 figure + 1 mule per base = 3 figures + 3 mules)

Egyptian

These figures have done service as Egyptian, Fezian, and Zubian regular army troops, and comprise:

  • 8 battalions of infantry (4 each of Egyptian and Sudanese) (8 x 2 x 3 figure bases = 48 figures)
  • 2.5 regiments of cavalry (2.5 x 2 x 2 figure bases = 10 figures)
  • 1 battery of machine guns (1 x 1 x 2 figure bases = 2 figures + 1 Gatling Gun)
  • 1 battery of artillery (1 x 1 x 2 figure bases = 2 figures + 1 Field Gun)
  • 3 transport columns (3 x 1 x 1 figure + 1 mule per base = 3 figures + 3 mules)

Mahdist

These figures have done service as Mahdists as well as Fezian and Zubian irregular troops, and comprise:

  • 20 units of spear-armed infantry (20 x 2 x 3 figure bases = 120 figures)
  • 7 units of musket-armed infantry (7 x 2 x 3 figure bases = 42 figures)
  • 4 units of cavalry (4 x 2 x 2 figure bases = 16 figures)
  • 3 units of camelry (3 x 2 x 2 figure bases = 12 figures)
  • 2 batteries of artillery (2 x 1 x 2 figure bases = 4 figures + 2 Field Guns)