Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The British Are Coming

Eureka Arquebusiers de Grassin (left) and Suren Black Watch Highlanders (right) fight for possession of the pumpkin-scarecrow somewhere in Flanders. Buildings by Herb Gundt.

Someone asked if anyone was painting British forces. Well, as long as you are asking, I thought that I might as well post the one picture that I had of my British forces. I took the picture last week, the friday after Thanksgiving. Bob Pavlik came over to Schloss Seewald to shoot some pictures of my SYW collection for inclusion in the Historicon 2008 booklet that lists all of the games. Bob set up this little vignette and provided the lighting. For some reason, it didn't occur to me to take advantage of Bob's portable lights and shoot some of my own pictures, piggy-backing off of his hard work. So here it is.

I only have a brigade of British so far, consisting of the 11th Foot (Sowle's Regt. - Staddens), the 8th (Onslow's - Staddens), the 3rd Foot (The Buffs - Front Rank) and the 42nd Highlanders (Surens). My intention is to paint and flag the units for the War of the Austrian Succession, circa the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. My meager cavalry force consists of 30 horsemen divided among the 8th Horse (Ligonier's - 18 figures- Surens) and the Horse Grenadiers of the Household Cavalry (12 figures - Staddens). I have no artillery at this time, save for a lot of unpainted Elite Miniatures guns and crewmen. Lord John Ligonier will be my army commander, but the brigade structure is yet to be determined until I get more figures painted. There will probably be at least one Guard battalion using the Suren figures and the rest will be the Staddens in the march attack pose.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Odds & Ends

IR1 (Winterfeldt) march past the Gasthaus Alter Fritz (Old Glory figures painted by Der Alte Fritz) on their way into service with the Grand Duchy of Freiburg. Buildings by Herb Gundt, terrain boards by Der Alte Fritz and trees by K&M.

With much regret I had to put the Minden Miniatures on hold this evening so that I could complete the horses for the second squadron of Prussian cuirassier regiment CR13 - the Garde du Corps. The Garde du Corps was a 3-squadron regiment that usually fought along side the CR10 Gensdarmes regiment. I am using the Elite Miniatures SYW Prussian cuirassier castings for this regiment and have completed two 12 figure squadrons in time for the next battle, this coming Saturday December 1, 2007 in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, at Chez Protz. I will post pictures after I get the figures based and ready for battle.

It's looking like tomorrow night will be devoted to playing "catch up" with all of the figures that I've painted over the past month that need basing before this weekend's game. This lot includes the 24 Garde du Corps, 12 Zieten Hussars (previously photographed on these pages) and another surprise that I can't reveal just yet. Gallian spies may be monitoring this journal, so I don't want to give everything away at this time.

I dabbed a little more paint on the second batch of 30 Minden figures last night and so now most of the basic colors are blocked in, save for the muskets. I don't know why, but I really dislike painting muskets for some reason. It's probably due to the fact that I never seem to be able to paint a straight line down the musket barrel when I apply the pewter colored paint. I recall Hal Thinglum once declaring that he hated painting cross belts on British Colonials. I guess that we all have our own personal bete noires when it comes to painting likes and dislikes. Were it not for the weekend's game, I bet that I could complete the final 30 Minden figures by next Sunday. We shall see.

The picture shown above was taken back in 2006 and is posted for no other reason than the fact that I felt that I ought to post some kind of picture with today's posting. I never get tired of looking at the marvelous buildings that Herb Gundt has built for me. The "Gasthaus Alter Fritz" is based on the real thing, located in the village of Hochkirk just across the street from the famous church where the Margraf Karl (IR19) regiment held out against the Austrian hoards and bought time for the rest of the army to escape the trap that Marshal Daun devised to snare Frederick and his army on that fateful day in 1758.

The Prussian figures have been sold to the Grand Duchy of Freiburg (Randy Frye) so they are no longer a part of my army. They are Old Glory figures and I have to say that they are not all bad. It seems that everyone paints the Winterfeldt regiment if they are building a Prussian army, and I'm tempted to repaint it with either Potsdam Miniatures or Minden Miniatures, but then our group already has two other Winterfeldt batalions so maybe enough is enough.

This evening I was looking at the white board (dry erase) that I have near my basement painting table and notice some interesting items (at least they are to me). I post the dates and locations of our group's wargames as well as a running total of Olley Painting Points year to date. We have played 13 wargames this year and so next weekend's battle will be the fourteenth of the year. That's a lot of wargaming, I guess. The game tally includes some of the convention games that we ran at the SYWA convention, Little Wars, the Big Game and Rock Con.

As for Olley Painting Points, I am up to 1,053 points as of today. The system, devised by Phil Olley of Old School Wargaming fame, is an easy way to keep track of one's production. An infantry figure or artillery casting count as one point, and cavalry figures count as two points (since it consists of a horse and a rider). I'm guessing that I have probably set a personal record for painted figures in 2007. Either I need to get a life and cut back a little bit or I'm going to start getting dirty looks from my wife and daughter. I keep telling myself that I can slow down the production line (and I target 60 to 72 points per month). But just when I think that I've got things back in balance, along comes a new line of figures (Frank, you know who I'm talking about) that truly inspires me to paint more, or else a big wargame is coming up and I just have to paint one more unit for the game.

At least my Prussian army is nearly done and I can get on to the task of painting more of the opposition Austrians. It never ends.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Guards Brigade On Review

The Brigade of Guards assembles for inspection on the village green. IR15/III (Staddens) in the foreground and IR6 (Surens) in the background. All buildings by Herb Gundt.

King Friedrich II reviews his guards and greets Prinz Moritz von Anhalt Dessau on the village green. (Front Rank ADC painted by Patrick Lewis; Elite Miniatures dragoon officer; Suren Friedrich on a Stadden horse; and Foundry officers in the roadway).

One of my readers had the great idea of featuring each of my Prussian infantry and cavalry brigades over the course of several days. I liked it so much that I thought that I would lead off with King Frederick's grenadier guards of IR6 and the third battalion of IR15. These are the mainstays of my Prussian army and I must confess that I employ them in a rather Napoleonic manner, holding them back like the Old Guard and using the brigade to plug holes in the battle line or deliver the coup de grace.

Nevertheless, they have had their fair share of table top glory over the past couple of years. I recall one battle at the Seven Years War Association Convention, in 2006, where my Stadden IR15/III battalion marched up into the face of the French Gardes Francaises, delivered a first fire at about twelve inches, and blew away half of Les Gardes with their opening volley. It was a grand sight indeed. Then, at this year's SYWA convention, IR6 quick stepped over to the right flank to plug an enormous gap in the line. Der Alte Fritz deftly played his Joker card and employed a fire, pin the enemy and charge move that totally disrupted the French attack on the flank. The first battalion of French grenadiers routed after taking a first fire from IR6 into their flank. They ran right through a supporting regiment of French cavalry which were also put to flight by my guard unit.

Yes, Der Alte Fritz has many fond memories of his guards and their actions. The brigade is under the able command of Major General von Saldern and their garrison posting is in Potsdam with the King. I have painted one prototype of a third battalion of guards. These will eventually become Die Langen Kerls, attired in red breeches, waistcoat and red cloth mitre cap, using the Stadden grenadier in march attack pose. These are, of course, modeled after King Frederick William's Potsdam Giant Grenadiers. However, they will not be silly, gawky looking giants, but rather stalwart grenadiers drafted from the grenadier companies of other Prussian infantry regiments -- good steady Brandenburg and Pommeranian troops. They ought to be ready in time for my next OSW Big Battalion Game in October 2008.

All of this reminds me of a nice little Osprey-style paperback book that I recently received from Berlin Zinnfiguren. It is titled, "Die Langen Kerls, Die Preussische Riesengarde 1675/1713-1806" and is published by Zeughaus Verlag and written by Rolf Fuhrmann. It is nearly a full color booklet, 56 pages long with many detailed pictures of the guards' equipment circa 1713, 1736, 1756 and 1806. Thus one can easily follow the evolution of IR6 up through the Napoleonic period. This is a very handy booklet to add to one's uniform reference library and is higly recommended. You can find out more information by clicking on the link to the Berlin Zinnfiguren store shown on the lefthand side of this page.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Minden Miniatures

Minden Miniatures with RSM mounted officer (painted by Der Alte Fritz). Buildings by H.G. Walls (Mr. Herb Gundt)

Here are some pictures of the first 30 Minden Miniatures figures that I painted over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. They are painted as IR34 (Prinz Ferdinand), whose inhaber was one of King Frederick's brothers. It is a sort of royal regiment, so like the guards and the Prinz Heinrich fusiliers (IR35), it wears the yellow breeches and waistcoat. I have mounted the figures onto US penney coins to gain a couple of millimeters in height so that they will see eye to eye with my Stadden figures. However, this is not entirely necessary as the visual effect of a 60 figure unit, en masse, tricks the eye into thinking that all of the figures are the same height, when comparing two different brands of figures.

I'm looking forward to finishing this unit over the next week or so. I thought that I would have them completed this week, but the need for some more cavalry for the next game, on December 1, 2007, compelled me to stop painting infantry and switch temporarily to heavy cavalry. I'm also awaiting receipt of the GMB Designs flags that I ordered from Miniature Service Center. I didn't want the Prinz Ferdinand regiment to go into its first battle without its colours.

Minden Miniatures are sculpted by Richard Ansell and owned by Frank Hammond. If you are interested in purchasing some of these little beauties, then please click on the "Kingdom of Leder Hosen" link on the left hand side of this page for more information. Frank currently has Prussian musketeers, fusiliers and grenadiers available, and a review of his blog indicates that the horses, and ergo, the cavalry are looming on the horizon. For those of you who cannot wait for the cavalry, be advised that the RSM95 figures (from Dayton Painting Consortium) will fit splendidly with the Minden figures. I placed an RSM mounted officer in the above picture to show you how compatible these two lines are. But as much as I like the RSM figures, I think that the Minden Miniatures are decidedly better. Hmm, I may have to start a completely new Prussian army at maybe a 1:20 or 1:30 ratio to go along with my big battalions. I really, really, really enjoy painting these figures.

All in all, I am very pleased with the way that these figures turned out and I give Minden Miniatures my highest recommendation. I plan to order a couple more 60 figure battalions to add to my Prussian army in 2008.

New Items From Berlin Zinnfiguren
I recently received a package of goodies from Berlin Zinnfiguren (see the link on the left hand side of this page). This consisted of some Austrian 12 pounders and 6 pounders and by golly I just can't discern the difference between the Austrian and Prussian 12 pounder models. There are some discernible differences in the 6 pounders though.

I also received two music CDs that I recommend. The first is called "Preussens Gloria" (army music of the 18th and 19th centuries) and the second is called "Preussische Armee-Marsche des 18 Jahrhunders". Both are performed by the same band: Stabsmusikkorps Berlin so the CDs are basically similar. If you only want to order one, then get the first CD as all of the same tunes are on the second CD. So you get more music with Preussens Gloria.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Grand Review

Grand Review of the Hesse Seewald Army at Schloss Fritz (please click pic to enlarge)

Following two large battles in October (Preisserstadt) and November (Dithersdorf at Rock Con), I thought that it would be a good idea to take all of my Prussians out of their storage boxes and line them up on my wargaming table in order to see how they had fared in the battles. The infantry battalions are lined up in groups of similar styled figures. For example, the first brigade in the front left foreground is my Guards Brigade (von Saldern) of IR6, IR15 and the Heyden Grenadier battalion (19/25). I'm thinking of adding another guard battalion of imaginery langenkarls in red breeches/waistcoat and Prussian blue coats. The next brigade features three battalions of my own Potsdam Miniatures (IR5, IR20 and 5/20 Jung-Billerbeck grenadiers). I intend to add a fourth battalion of IR18 (Prinz von Preussen) with their distinctive rose colored facings. The third brigade features Elite Miniatures and Surens (IR19, IR25 and IR24). The fourth brigade is the Stadden brigade (IR7, IR12 and IR13). Eventually, I will shift the IR24 Surens into this brigade and call it the "Old School Brigade". Finally, at the far end facing the camera, is a demi-brigade of two RSM fusilier battalions (IR35 and IR42). I intend to augment this group with two battalions of Frank Hammond's wonderful Minden Miniatures (IR34 and a unit as yet to be determined). I received a packet of figures from Frank only yesterday - wow, talk about fast customer service. I'm going to have to move these figures up to the top of the painting que.

The Grand Review accomplishes a number of useful things. For starters, you can inspect each battalion and squadron and artillery battery and check for battle damage. In some cases swords have been bent or pin swords have fallen out and need to be replaced. Also, some of the figures are mixed up in the wrong stands, so a sorting out process helps to get all of the lads back into their proper places.

The Grand Review also affords me the opportunity to see what I have, all at once, and then make an assessment of what types of units I need to fill out my army. One clear difficiency was the lack of some artillery crew to man some of the guns. So I will paint up some of the Foundry Prussian artillery figures that I have and add them to the artillery park (shown in the foreground). I will also gradually replace the large French 12 pounders (from Elite Miniatures) and replace them with proper Prussian artillery pieces, recently purchased from Berlin Zinnfiguren this year. The Elite 12-pounders will henceforth be used to depict Brummers, those heavy 12-pound fortress guns that Frederick employed with great effect at Leuthen in 1757.

I intend to have four infantry brigades, and each brigade will require two regimental guns per brigade. So I need to add four more battalion pieces. But wait, I've decided to upgrade my battalion pieces to 6-pounders and 7-pound howitzers, from Berlin Zinnfiguren, of course. Afterall, Frederick the Great made a similar decision, adding the howitzers as replacements for the standard 3-pound regimental gun during the course of the Seven Years War.

Preisserstadt made it clear to me that I do not have enough cuirassiers in my Prussian army, given that all the French cavalry regiments seem to be wearing iron. As God is my witness, I will never be out-cuirassed ever, ever again! (smile). I had a few extra Elite Miniatures Prussian cuirassiers lying around the wargame room and so I decided to paint these as the three squardron Garde du Corps Regiment (CR13). These were usually brigaded with the 5-squadron Gensdarmes Regiment (CR10), so an order was duly placed for 60 more cuirassier figures from Crusader Miniatures. That's a lot of horse flesh to paint, but I won't need them until next year's big OSW game in October 2008. The first 15 Garde du Corps are now completed, so I can add a squadron of this unit to the cavalry establishment.

Another change that I would like to make is an upgrade of the brigade command stands. I currently use a mix of Foundry, RSM and Stadden figures for brigade command figures. Some are mounted on rectangular bases, others on 2" diameter round bases. I have decided that I like the round bases better. I can make a little mini-diorama on the base and the round shape instantly differentiates it from any other figure stand and tells the player that it is his command stand. So going forward, all infantry brigade commanders will be the Stadden Prussian mounted officer on the H1 or H2 horse. The other figures will go back to their old armies in my other collections.

Finally, the best reason of all for having a Grand Review? It looks really cool to see one's whole collection on the tabletop at one time. I have been known to stare at them for an hour or so in the evenings. I go around the table, pick up a stand here and there and give them a closer inspection, etc. It's fun, but it seems to keep me too late in the evenings. It is a hard habit to break.

And last, but not least, a picture of a certain young lady (from the Suren 18th century range) riding side saddle in hunting habit. Some might think that this is the Erbprinzessin of Hesse Seewald, while others wonder if it might in fact be that secret agent extraordinaire, the mysterious Milady de Winter. I'm not telling.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Prussian Dragoons & Hussars

Suren/Willie 30mm Prussian Dragoons with Elite Miniatures Officer

I've been asked to post some pictures of the Suren Prussian dragoons and the Stadden hussars for the SYW, so without further ado, here are some pictures that I took this evening. The first shot depicts two 18 figure squadrons of DR2 (dragoon regiment no. 2), also known as Jung Krakow. The officer leading the parade is the Prussian mounted officer from the Elite Miniatures range of SYW Prussian infantry. Although the later is a 28mm figure, you can see that the Elite and the Suren are comparable in size. This allows one to add some of the musicians and other figures from one range to the other.

Suren Dragoon Trooper (top) and same figure (bottom) with GMB Designs flag.

The next two pictures depict the same Suren dragoon, with the top picture showing the Prussian dragoon trooper and the bottom picture showing the same figure converted to the cornet, or standard bearer. The latter figure is holding a GMB Designs standard. The white standard is the liebfahnen, or the inhaber's personal standard. The regimentfahnen has more color: predominantly yellow background with red flames. The musket is probably too long for a carbine, but it can be clipped down to the proper size. Or order the banded musket or carbine from the RSM95 range of figures via The Dayton Painting Consortium. These are nicely detailed firearms that look more up to date on these old school figures from the 1970s.

The next set of photos depict the Stadden (or Tradition, as they are sometimes called) SYW Prussian hussars in fur busby and mirliton. The hussar in the busby is painted as HR2 (hussar regiment no. 2) Zieten Hussars , whose inhaber was the famous Prussian hussar general, Hans Joachim von Zieten. They are sculpted wearing the pelise, or short outer coat, over the red dolman, which we cannot see. On campaign, the pelise was rarely worn, except when the weather was cold. So the typical picture of the pelise draped across one shoulder and flying wildly through the air is nothing more than artistic license.

Stadden Prussian Hussars in Busby painted as HR2 von Zieten Hussars.

The next set of pictures depicts the Stadden Prussian hussar wearing the felt mirliton. This one is painted as HR5 von Reusch, better known as The Black Hussars, for obvious reasons. This unit has been known to strike terror into the hearts and minds of our Gallian (French) opponents. They ran roughshod through the rear of the French lines in the 2006 big battalion game of Lunstadt, and more recently at the Rock Con battle of Dithersdorf, a single squadron of dismounted Black Hussars charged into a French howitzer battery and captured all three guns. Accordingly, they have won two battle honors, which elevates them to "Elite" status forever more. Well done lads! May you continue to strike fear in your opponents.

Stadden Prussian Hussar (HR5) on H4 horse.

The hussar in mirliton is a very elegant, well proportioned figure that is one of my all time favorites. The arm is cast straight out to the side, but with a little bit of careful bending, you can point the arm forward in the classic "en pointe" pose. The swords are a bit flimsy, so I cut them off and replace them with pin swords. Simply clip off the sword, file the hilt area flat, then drill a small hole with a pin vise tool for the first part of the operation. Then, take a common sewing pin and smash it flat with a hammer. Clip off the flat head so that your pin sword is the desired length. Now for the important part: take a small file and file away the silver plating on the pin at its base (the part where you intend to glue it into the pin hole). This gives you a bare metal on metal bond when you apply the super glue and makes for a stronger bond. If you don't file away some of the plating, then the bond is not as good and the pin sword may eventually fall out. Sometimes pin swords do fall out, particularly if they've stuck someone really, really good. (I like to paint some red on the tip of a couple of pins and then tell people that it is real blood, he, he, he...). Simply take the old pin, file away the old glue and reglue into the socket, or make a new pin sword. It's very easy to do.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Battle of Dithersdorf

Saturday November 3, 1757 - The forces of Hesse Seewald ("HS") and Gallia met once again over the weekend at a little crossroads village named Dithersdorf. Both sides had intelligence that there were considerable supplies of food and shoes stored in the town, so it was inevitable that the two sides should have a meeting engagement at Dithersdorf.

General von Manstein's HS reconnaissance in force consisted of 10 battalions of infantry (2 - grenadiers, 1 - jaeger, and 7 musketeers/fusiliers) and 12 squadrons of assorted cavalry and they approached Dithersdorf from the south. Von Manstein elected to deploy the majority of his forces in the open field to the left of the town, where he expected to deter the Gallians from entering the town. He deployed two brigades of infantry (3 btns each) and three squadrons each of cuirassiers, dragoons and hussars in this sector. The smaller force deployed to the right of the town, commanded by Colonel Hassler, included 2 btns of grenadiers, the jagers and one battalion of infantry, with 5 squadrons of hussars in support. Colonel Hassler's objective was to seize Dithersdorf and keep the supplies away from the Gallians.

The ensuing battle appeared to be going according to von Manstein's plans. Colonel Hassler captured Dithersdorf without meeting any opposition. The town had been previously secured by a squadron of frei-hussaren who claimed to have allegiance to Hesse Seewald. Once the fighting began, these naer-do-wells were seen beating a retreat from the town, escorting an impressive looking black coach. We know not who was in the black coach, but neither von Manstein nor Hassler had the inclination to challenge the occupant's credentials or papers. On the left flank, von Manstein was able to shake his infantry out into an impressive looking battle line, with four battalions in the first line and two battalions in the second line. The dragoons and cuirassiers formed a third line in reserve. Some hussars served as an advance guard and screened the deployment of the HS infantry for several turns.

The Gallians came on strong in the left flank sector. Von Manstein's own brigade mowed down the Gallians in droves, causing three battalions to rout away. His subordinate, Brigadier Lloyd, also fended off a strong cavalry charge by the Gallian Carabineers and some light chasseurs. There were a few anxious moments during this latter combat, but Brigadier Lloyd was blessed with the gift of rolling "box cars" (12s on his D6 dice) and pushed the Gallian cavalry back. Had Lloyd not passed his morale, it could have gotten very ugly as the HS cavalry commander brought his reserve too close to the infantry, leaving no lanes for routing troops to flee. Lloyd made that a rather moot point.

Von Manstein paid a brief visit to the right flank to observe the action, and it appeared that Colonel Hassler had things well in hand, with the town secured. It appeared that the Gallians had more numbers in this sector, so von Manstein released the cavalry reserve of 2 squadrons of Black Hussars to Colonel Hassler, figuring that this should be enough to hold the village.

Von Manstein returned to the action on the left flank, just in time to see a giant 72 figure battalion of the Auvergne regiment moving up on the HS position. A "first fire" bonus of +5 from this lot could prove devastating, so von Manstein had his brigade retire one hundred paces to the rear and reform. His two battalions in the front line were rather shot up by now, but they gained the fire initiative and whittled Auvergne down to less than 60 figures before they could reply. The ensuing musketry caused the Schwerin regiment (IR24) to run away while reducing the Bornstedt(IR20) to 25% of its original strength (without routing, I might add). Von Manstein's reserve unit of Alt Braunschweig (IR5) moved forward after Auvergne had shot its wad and poured a first volley into the plucky Gallians, causing them to run away too. This opened up the field for the Gallian cavalry (Saxon cheveau-legers) to come bounding up and charging into Alt Braunschweig. The infantry was pushed back a few paces, but von Manstein had the presence of mind to attach himself to IR5 to give it a little extra metal in its spine, and the move paid off, for his personal charisma (+2) proved to be the difference between Alt Braunschweig holding firm or routing. The Gallians were played out in this sector with all of their infantry in a state of rout or retirement, and some still dangerous (but much reduced in numbers) cavalry. They would not be able to hold off the two fresh HS cavalry units plus two fresh fusilier battalions.

But it didn't matter... For while this was going on, the Gallians had overwhelmed the defenses of Dithersdorf and were in firm control of the village. It seems that Colonel Hassler was caught between a rock and a hard place. He could defend the village and probably hold it, but then the Gallians would be able to seize his line of communications off the board and capture 3 terrain points. Or, Hassler could detach some troops to defend the line of communications and put the village defense at risk. Hassler chose the latter course, and when he sent a battalion of infantry (IR7 Bevern) out of the village to cut off the Gallian attack on the road, the French stormed and overwhelmed the battalion of jaegers who were defending the village. Von Manstein didn't have enough infantry units left to recapture the village and keep the other Gallians (in the left flank area) at bay, so he conceded the town and victory to the Gallians.

It was a well-fought battle by all the participants. We had 10 players in all, of which 4 were experienced with the rules. The 6 newbies seemed to pick up on the rules fairly quickly, which was a good thing to see. We sold a few sets of rules and picked up a couple of new recruits for future battles in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. I regret that I haven't posted any pictures of the battle. There was a large, bright light directly over our table and it was so bright as to wash out most of my pictures. I only took 3 or 4 photos as a consequence. I will have to down load them later and see if any are suitable for posting. The convention was held in an athletic field house, so you can imagine how large and bright the overhead lights were. Sigh...

Friday, November 2, 2007

On To Rock Con!

It is off to Rock Con tomorrow for an afternoon Big Battalion BAR convention game for 10 to 12 people. Bill and I have come up with a smaller BAR game scenario that looks to be a lot of fun. The premise is that the town of Dithersdorf is chock full of food and other supplies and both the Gallian advance guard and the Hesse Seewald rear guard would like to be the first to get to Dithersdorf and said supplies.

Oh, and to complicate things a little bit, a certain black coach with an armed escort of black hussars has arrived in the town ahead of everyone else. It seems that Milady de Winter's gang of cut throats has reason to believe that a certain Gallian spy, Lady Pettygree, and her party are also converging on Dithersdorf. Will Milady finally capture Lady Pettygree and turn her over to the mysterious Patron and secure the release of certain hostages? Only time and some lucky die rolls will tell the story.

The game table will resemble a giant "X" in terms of the layout of the road network. Each quadrant of the X will have a covered approach of forests so that the armies, who will arrive on each of the four road entries to the table, will not be able to see one another at first. Dithersdorf is located in the center where the roads converge. It is sort of variant of the old Sawmill Village game scenario, only this time there are four entry roads instead of two.

The respective armies will feature a larger proportion of light cavalry and infantry than we normally use in our games. This is a sort of kleine krieg, if you will. I think that I have around 10 to 12 battalions of infantry and maybe 150 cavalry, of which half are hussars. There are a minimal number of cannons in the scenario, so it should come down to a firefight. The brigades will also be smaller than usual, with three battalions making up the average infantry brigade. So this should speed up the game considerably. Also, brigade commanders will have different objectives in the game, and sometimes their objectives may clash with those of the army commander.

It has been a bit slow on the painting front this week. I painted one Suren mounted figure to represent Milady de Winter dressed in 18th Century riding habit. I also started a squadron of 12 Stadden Prussian hussars in busbies. These will become HR2, the Zeiten Hussar regiment. The first couple of figures have turned out rather nicely, which gives me a lot of incentive to get the rest of them done after Rock Con.

Have a good weekend everybody. I will post an update on the game probably Sunday.