The Waterloo Project: The next stage?

From the end of February to the middle of August last year a large chunk of my time was taken up with my Waterloo Project. It culminated in what I termed a ‘A Grand Review‘, and at the time I had plans to add a few more figures to the collection as and when I could. (These included figures some from Del Prado’s RELIVE AUSTERLITZ that I managed to buy via eBay.) To date I have made no progress in either adding the additional figures or using the ones that I have varnished and based in a wargame … but I have acquired a lot more figures thanks to Stuart Asquith and Tim Gow!

Back in early March I visited Stuart Asquith and took delivery of his collection of Del Prado RELIVE WATERLOO figures, and in the middle of the month Tim Gow managed to buy one hundred and fifty figures for me from the ‘bring-and-buy’ at TRIPLES. I have yet to take delivery of the latter, but during a lull in my current model ship building project I finally managed to have a serious look at the figures I got from Stuart … and these can be seen below:

By the time I have varnished and based all these additional figures, my collection will be much larger than I ever envisaged it would be … and I really will have start wargaming with them!


The London Wargames Section

My recent bit of wargaming ‘detective’ work rekindled my memories of the rules produced during the late 1960s and early 1970s by the London Wargames Section. I certainly owned copies of some of them, and used them for a time.

From what I can find out, they produced rules for the following:

  • Modern
  • Napoleonic
  • American Civil War
  • Greek Naval
  • Napoleonic Naval
  • Samurai
Image © Noble Knight Games.

The writers included John Tunstill, Bish Iwaszko, Ed Smith, Sid Smith, and Ken Smith, and were quite innovative for their time.


A bit of (wargaming) detective work

In his most recent blog entry, Wargame Hermit pondered on the rules used in the famous wargaming episode of CALLAN: ACT OF KINDNESS.

I have watched that episode many times, and a quick look at the scene of the programme where Heathcote Land and Callan meet at a wargame competition refreshed my memory; …

… the rules were the Napoleonic ones from John Tunstill’s book DISCOVERING WARGAMES.

This really wasn’t much of a surprise as his magazine – MINIATURE WARFARE – was featured in an earlier scene and both players were using order sheets and average dice. A still publicity photo for the episode was even featured on the cover of the magazine at about the time the episode was first shown on TV.

A neat bit of wargaming detective work on my part, even though I say it myself!


The 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot: A short history

The 44th Regiment of Foot was originally raised in 1741 as James Long’s Regiment of Foot. It first saw action during the Jacobite Rising (1745-46) – where it took part in the Battle of Prestonpans – before being sent to Flanders. The regiment was originally ranked as the 55th Regiment of Foot, but in 1748 it was re-numbered as the 44th.

The regiment was sent to North America in 1751 and took an active part in the French and Indian War as well as the American War of Independence. During its time in North America it took part in:

  • Braddock’s defeat (1755)
  • The Battle of Carillon (1758)
  • The Battle of Brooklyn (1776)
  • The Battle of Brandywine (1777)
  • The Battle of Monmouth (1778)

In 1782 the regiment was given a county designation and became the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot.

During the Napoleonic Wars the regiment fielded two battalions. The 1st Battalion saw service in Spain during 1814 and from 1814 to 1815 in the War against the United States of America. During the latter conflict the battalion fought at:

  • The Battle of Bladensburg (1814)
  • The Battle of North Point (1814)
  • The Battle of New Orleans (1815)

The 2nd Battalion also saw service in Spain, and took part in:

  • The Battle of Fuentes de Onoro (1811)
  • The Siege of Badajoz (1812)
  • The Battle of Salamanca (1812): where the Imperial Eagle of the French 62nd Regiment was captured

It then took part in the Waterloo Campaign and fought at the Battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo.

The 2nd Battalion was disbanded in 1816.

The regiment then began a period of colonial service. From 1824 to 1826 the regiment took part in the First Anglo-Burmese War, where it helped capture Arakan Province. It then played a part in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–1842), where it took part in the infamous Retreat from Kabul. During the retreat the regiment fought a running battle with the pursuing Afghans, and by the time it reached Gandamak it had been reduced to only forty men. They refused to surrender, and their Last Stand became famous.

Only two officers of the regiment survived the massacre. They were:

  • Captain Thomas Souter, who saved the regimental colours by wrapping them around his waist
  • Surgeon William Brydon, who carried the news of the battle to the British garrison at Jalalabad.

The regiment was completely rebuilt, and in 1854 it was sent to the Crimea as part of the Anglo-French army that was tasked with capturing Sebastopol. Whilst there it took part in:

  • The Battle of the Alma (20th September 1854)
  • The Battle of Inkerman (5th November 1854)
  • The Siege of Sebastopol

Once the Crimean War was over, the regiment embarked on a further period of colonial service, this time in Madras (Chennai), India. During the Second Opium War (1857 – 1862) it helped to capture the Taku Forts (21st August 1860), where Lieutenant Robert Montresor Rogers and Private John McDougall both won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery. In September 1860 the regiment became part of the Shanghai Garrison before being moved to Hong Kong in November of that year. It remained in Hong Kong until the following October, when it returned to garrison duty in India.

As part of the Childers Reforms of 1881, the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot was twined with the 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot to form the Essex Regiment.


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.


My birthday celebrations

First of all I would like to thank everyone who sent me birthday greetings … including Google!

The first thing that I do most mornings after getting up, feeding the cat, and making my wife a cup of tea is to read my emails … and the long list of them from friends and regular blog readers who wanted to wish me a happy birthday was a great way to start the day. (The cat joined in the celebrations by bolting down its breakfast and then ‘revisiting’ it all over the carpet outside our home office. It certainly brought me back down to earth with a bit of a bang.)

My personal celebrations began on Friday when Sue and I went out for lunch in the Mark Masons’ Hall Carvery Restaurant, St James’s, with some friends. We sat by the window in the beautifully decorated restaurant, overlooking St James’s Street and the entrance to St James’s Palace. The food was excellent (an hors d’oeuvres trolley, followed by a selection of roast meats with all the trimmings, a dessert trolley or cheese selection, and tea or coffee to finish up with) and including wine it cost just over £33.00 each. The quality of the food was more than matched by the company, and the three hours we spent over lunch seemed to zip past and was a great way to begin my celebrations.

After reading my emails on Saturday morning, Sue and I went to Café Rouge in Bluewater for a full English breakfast, followed by a bit of light retail therapy. We got home just after 1.00pm, had a drink, and then I opened my birthday cards and presents. The latter included INLAND WATER TRANSPORT IN MESOPOTAMIA by Lieutenant Colonel L J Hall (Originally published in 1919; re-published by The Naval & Military Press Limited in association with FIREPOWER, The Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich (ISBN 1 84342 952 7]). This was sent to me by my old friends and fellow wargamer, Tony Hawkins.

After lunch I sorted out some of my Prussian 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic wargames figures so that I will be able to begin basing them later this week, after which I began preparing for my birthday celebration mini-campaign. The idea for this was stolen wholesale from the campaign section of the PLAN B: RUSSIA 1941 wargame rules on the NUMBERS, WARGAMES AND ARSING ABOUT blog that is written by Old Trousers. The campaign works very simply, and uses a linear system that links together scenarios from Neil Thomas’s ONE-HOUR WARGAMES.

For the sake of simplicity – and because Old Trousers has done all the preliminary work for me – I am also setting my mini-campaign in Russia in 1941. I will be using my own draft modern (i.e. World War II) rules to fight the battles, although they are currently just a mishmash of my PORTABLE WARGAME: MODERN rules and my MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) rules … with a few bits added.

Just after 8.00pm Sue and I went to the Saray Restaurant in Welling for my birthday dinner. The restaurant describes itself as being ‘Mediterranean’, but the food has a very strong Turkish element to it … which is something that I like. The food and service was excellent … and the experience was made all the better by the discovery that the restaurant was owned by the family of a young man that used to teach. The young man – whose name is Metin – even organised for my dessert to be delivered to our table with a lit candle in my baklava whilst ‘Happy Birthday’ was played over the restaurant’s sound system.

The perfect end to a perfect day.


The Shed: The box of mainly painted figures

One of the first boxes that I found when I began sorting out the shed contained a number of painted figures. I recognised some of them as being old Minifigs and some as being Hinton Hunt figures that I bought back in 1968!

I have now had the opportunity to begin sorting out the contents of the box, and what I found surprised me.

In one corner of the box were a number of Crimean Wars Minifigs that are – I understand – old ‘S’ Range figures. I have no recollection of buying them, but I suspect that I may have made the purchase in Eric Knowles’ shop in the early 1980s.

Also in the box were some old Minifigs ‘S’ Range Prussian Napoleonic figures that I bought and painted in my late teens (i.e. the late 1960s). They look rather dark in colour … but they seem to have survived their incarceration fairly well, and here has been little damage to their paintwork.

There were also a number of badly painted Hinton Hunt British Crimean War Guard and Line Infantry figures (and a very odd looking Lancer!) …

… and they are accompanied by some equally badly painted French Crimean War Infantry from another of the early figure manufacturers … Douglas Miniatures.

The final figures that I have sorted out are an odd collection of badly painted metal Napoleonic figures that may well be early Minifigs … with the odd Hinton Hunt figure thrown in for good measure. I have yet to sort out the remaining figures in the box … but I will write a further blog entry when I do.