Thursday, December 31, 2009

SYW BAR Battalions For Sale

Stadden 30mm Prussian regiments IR7 Bevern (front) and IR13 Itzenplitz (rear)

I am offering six of the core battalions in my Seven Years War Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (or "BAR") infantry battalions for sale. Each unit contains sixty figures painted by Der Alte Fritz Himself and is ready for immediate transfer to your own army. Each battalion is a Prussian unit that fought in the SYW, although one could easily use them for fictional Imaginations' armies. Flags are either GMB Designs flags, or in the case of the two Stadden units, they are hand painted on a cast lead flag that is a part of the standard bearer figure.

The price per battalion is $500.00 plus shipping costs with a 10% discount for the purchase of two or more units from the collection.

If you are interested in acquiring any or all of these fine 28mm/30mm wargame units, then leave your contact information either in the comment section of this posting or send me an e-mail at for more information.

Stadden Group:
The two Stadden figure battalions are IR7 Bevern, in a classic march attack pose, and IR13 Itzenplitz, in a firing pose. Both battalions have served me well in my SYW campaigns, particularly the Itzenplitz regiment, which has earned an "elite" rating due to its prowess on the table top. The two regiments are depicted in the picture at the top of this page.

RSM Group
The two RSM battalions are fusilier regiments IR35 Prinz Heinrich and IR42 Markgraf Friedrich. IR35 has GMB flags while IR42 has the lead flag cast as part of the standard bearer casting and thus is hand painted by me.

IR35 Prinz Heinrich (RSM figures) fusilier regiment.

IR42 Markgraf Friedrich (front) and IR35 Prinz Heinrich (rear), both are RSM figures with a few Stadden NCOs mixed into IR42.

Elite Miniatures Group

Heyden Grenadier Battalion (19/25) - Elite Miniatures
The Heyden Grenadier battalion consists of two grand divisions of grenadiers from IR19 (straw yellow breeches and waistcoat) and two grand divisions from IR25 (white breeches and waistcoat). Thus there are 30 figures from each regiment in this converged grenadier battalion. Grenadier battalions did not carry colours/flags into the field.

IR25 Kalckstein musketeer regiment (Elite Miniatures)
These figures are in the newer "march attack" pose that Elite Miniatures added a year or two ago and carry GMB flags into battle. Its grenadier companies are included with the Heyden Grenadier battalion, show further above.

2009 Year End Musings

I finished six more French 1806 foot artillery crew figures earlier in the afternoon and this brought my December painting points total to 98 for the month. My total number of Olley Painting Points for all of 2009 was 1,386 points, or an average of 115.5 points per month. This is well above my target of 72 painting points per month.

As you may recall, a cavalry figure or mounted general counts as two points since it has two components: a horse and a rider. A foot figure or artillery piece count as one point. I would estimate that the total number of figures painted easily topped one thousand. This is probably the largest number of figures that I have ever painted in one year.

I wish that I had kept better track of the actual units that I painted over the course of the year, but I cannot find the data right now. My recollection is that about 40% of the total was devoted to the 1806 Project, another 30-40% was devoted to the Seven Years War, and the remainder was largely British Colonial figures.

Looking Ahead to 2010
I would imagine that the coming year will continue to see me painting more 1806 Napoleonics as I edge closer to completing this project of building French and Prussian armies for Auerstadt at a 1:10 figure ratio. I might add a few Russian units too, but I am contemplating shipping the Russians, or at least some of them, to my nephew Alex who is a very very good painter. Alex has surpassed my brushwork a long time ago and I am reminded that I should post some pictures of the Redoubt US Marines circa 1900 that he recently completed.

The Minden Project will also earn some of my attention. I would like to have enough Prussian and Austrian infantry and cavalry units completed in time to run a game at the 2011 SYW Association convention featuring an all-Minden pair of armies. This seems like an attainable goal for the coming year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1806 Playtest Results

General von Schmettau, division commander of the Prussian army, meets with his staff in the village. Buildings and tents by Herb Gundt. Figures are mostly Elite Miniatures, except for von Schmettau and the hussar ADC which are from the Foundry range.

Keith, Bill and I did a moderate sized play testing of the BAR Napoleon rules on Tuesday afternoon and I was pleased that some of the important changes seemed to work under actual game conditions. The outcome of the game did not really matter as we were mostly interested in trying a few things out, being less concerned about winning or losing the battle.

Brigade of Prussian dragoons: DR3 von Winning (Elite Miniatures) in the front line and DR5 Koningen (Imperialist Miniatures) in the second echelon. I haven't had time to base the dragoons yet, so they are still in black primer on metal stands.

Prussian (left) versus French (right) dragoons encounter each other in melee.

Two squadrons of von Winning Dragoons attempt to break through a French battalion in line.

The cavalry versus cavalry melee rules are basically the same as thosed used in our SYW BAR rules, so there were no big changes here except for a few modifiers to reflect the different types of troops. The cavalry melees went off without a hitch.

The biggest change though was cavalry versus infantry melees: we borrowed an idea from In The Grand Manner and employed the "breakthrough" rule, i.e., cavalry does not melee with infantry, it only determines whether or not it can break through the infantry. So Bill obligingly kept one of his French infantry battalions in line, while I charged two squadrons of von Winning dragoons into his line. Bill still had his first fire bonus of +5, which really stung the Prussian dragoons, but they passed their morale check and barreled into the French line of infantry. Now I had to roll three D6 and get a score of 10 or better to break through the line. Alas, I rolled a combination totaling "9" and so I failed to break through the infantry line.

We then assumed that the dragoons had succeeded in breaking through and assessed the damage to the infantry. Initially, each cavalry figure breaking through killed one infantry man (with no saving throws for breakthrough casualties). We decided that this let the infantry off too easily without enough of a penalty. So we bumped up the casualties to "two" infantry for each cavalryman passing throught the line and liked these results better. The French line took a morale check, and failed, therefore routing away. The dragoons rolled pursuit and failed to pursue or else did not want to pursue, I can't recall which one. At any rate, we rather liked this phase of the game and will keep it in the rules.

The infantry skirmish rules seemed to work well. We just roll a D6 and assess the damage on short, medium and long range fire with scores of (4,5,6), (5,6) and (6) required to hit, respectively. This was easy to do as far as we were concerned.

Here are a few random pictures from the game:

French battalion in close column of divisions.

Prussian 6-pounder foot artillery battery.

Bill's brigade of French infantry - these are mostly Dixon figures in bicorn.

Keith's infantry brigade is preceeded by a light cavalry brigade, an example of combined arms attack in the Napoleonic era.

Well, that is all for now. I have a few little things to tweak in the rules, but I think that they will easily handle a larger battle once we get more figures painted. I had six battalions of Prussians, two dragoon regiments, one cuirassier regiment, and two SYW hussar regiments recruited into the 1806 army for this game.

The French had 8 battalions, one dragoon, one cuirassier, one chasseur regiment and some drafted SYW French hussars in mirliton.

Monday, December 28, 2009

1806 Game Is On Again

A brigade of 1806 Prussian infantry, featuring IR23 von Winning in the foreground, supported by IR19 Prinz von Oranien in the background. Additional supports include a 6-pound battalion gun and two five-man groups of scheutzen to provide some skirmish capabilities. All figures are Elite Miniatures.

We rescheduled the play test game for the 1806 Project for Tuesday December 29, 2009 at Schloss Fritz. Bill Protz and Keith Leidy will provide the opposition and probably command the French forces (8 battalions, a battery of 6 guns and 3 cavalry regiments). They might have as many as 10 battalions, depending on how the game ebbs and flows.

I will command a mixed force of Prussians (6 battalions, 6 guns and 3 or 4 cavalry regiments) and some Russians (2 battalions and maybe 4 horse artillery pieces). I was busy basing up the Russians this evening, gluing them to their 3/4 inch square bases and then affixing them to magnetized movement trays, holding 12 figures on five stands.

I am looking forward to seeing how the the new changes to the BAR Napoleon rules work out under game conditions. We have adopted the "Breakthrough" concept from In The Grand Manner with respect to infantry versus cavalry melees; i.e. the two do not melee, they simply roll dice to see if a breakthrough is affected by the cavalry. The infantry will not be able to make any saving throws for casualties caused during the breakthrough process. So this provides the infantry with a significant incentive to form square.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

French 1806 Pictures

Two sections of French 8-pounders ready to fire. Elite Miniatures guns and crew. Front Rank limbers in the background.

What do you do when you have the big game table set up and no game to play? Well, you set up some figures for a photo shoot. So that is what I did this afternoon. Click the pix to enlarge the view and check in on the progress that I have made with my French army circa 1806.

French limbers deploy behind the firing line. I will eventually add more supply wagons. You can see an Essex French caisson on the left side of the photo.

Eventually, the French artillery battery will have six artillery pieces (4 x 8pdrs and 2 by howitzers) and a limber for each gun model. I may add some unharnessed caissons and position them directly behind the artillery piece, followed by the limber models. Yes, they take up a lot of space on the table top.

French battalion deployed into line. Skirmishers are still attached to the parent battalion.

Both battalions of the 12e Regiment de Ligne deployed in column of divisions with the two voltigeur companies deployed forward to skirmish.

OK, here's the nub of it all. Take a closer look at the picture above and try counting all of the figures that comprise this "cloud of skirmishers". One regiment can deploy up to 24 skirmishers by sending out the two voltigeur companies that are in the regiment. Now you start to get a feel for how this might have looked to French opponents. There are scads of them coming right at you, followed up by two columns of infantry.

Now multiply this picture by a factor of two because you will command a brigade of 2 regiments or 4 battalions and you will be able to throw out a skirmish screen of four companies from each brigade. That is 48 voltigeurs screening the advance of your brigade. This is why I like to wargame at 1:10, especially for Napoleonic wargaming.

Here you can see the intervals between the "grand divisions" that comprise the French column. There is enough of a gap to allow for a speedy change of formation to square, to repel cavalry, or to deploy into line so that the maximum number of muskets can get into the fire fight. The voltigeurs would then fall back and take their place on the left flank of each battalion. The grenadiers are always found on the right hand flank of the column or line.

The heavy French cavalry, epitomized by the spectacular cuirassiers, now arrive on the field and prepare to finish off the opponent or provide a shock attack on their battle line.

The cavalry is still very much a work in progress. I have painted 40 dragoons and 32 cuirassiers and 24 chasseurs a cheval for the French, so far. I want to have a lot more light cavalry since I will be wargaming at the brigade and division levels. Hence, not much need for heavy cavalry at this point. On the otherhand, who could resist painting some of the fashionable cuirassiers and dragoons in the French cavalry establishment? I for one, could not resist the temptation.

Tomorrow: the 1806 Prussians

Saturday, December 26, 2009

1806 Game Postponed

Prussian forces defend the town of Altenzaum. Click the picture to enlarge the view.

We had to postpone today's play testing of the BAR Napoleon rules at Schloss Seewald today due to the weather conditions and a series of unfortunate events that seemed to plague all of the participants. Hesse Seewald eventually had twelve inches of snow today, which would have made travel very difficult. So we postponed the game around 9AM after several conference phone calls.

As for the events, Randy's father was in the hospital, my back was aching rather badly, but it was still serviceable (and I'm happy to report that the basement is completely dry now) and then later in the day, Bill reported that his son was ill and in the emergency room. Mrs. Fritz had to rush off to the ER as well for a condition, but fortunately things turned out well for her. Finally, I heard that Stokes Schwartz's wife, the Grand Duchess, had a nasty fall down the stairs in Stollen Central. It seems that bad news was hitting everyone here in the midwestern US.

Meanwhile, the basement was sufficiently in good order and so I allowed myself a little bit of painting time to make up for all of the hard work on Christmas Day. I hauled out some Minden Prussian musketeers and started applying paint to the first battalion of 30 figures that will eventually comprise the IR1 Winterfeldt Regiment. Since I have most of this week off from work, I hope to be able to finish the first battalion this week, get based and flagged, and ready for a photoshoot by the end of the week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas at Schloss Fritz

The family Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas everyone from Der Alte Fritz and all of his family in Hesse Seewald. It was truly an exciting day full of surprises -- and not all of them good ones. The day started bright and early at 8 AM as Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe rousted everyone out of bed for the ceremonial ripping open of the packages. She was quite happy with her haul of electronic gadgets (digital camera and photo frame), music CDs and clothes. Mrs Fritz was surprised to find a new iPhone under the old Tannenbaum so she was very happy with her Christmas.

We had a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and waffles as my Mom joined us for breakfast at the old castle. Then I scrambled down to the basement to apply the finishing touches to some 1806 dragoons for my game tomorrow.

No sooner had a finished the figures and placed them on the wargame table, I turned around and noticed that the carpet behind me was turning a dark grey in color. What could that be? I wondered. It turned out to be water, and lots of it. The sump pump had failed and after all of the rain that we had overnight, the ground was saturated and water was seeping into the basement at an ever growing rate.

I donned my pair of Wellies and went to work, moving things off of the floor and out of harms way. Fortunately, I had moved most of my wargame items into the adjacent part of the basement for our game tomorrow. My normal smaller area holds a 6ft by 12ft table, but I needed Lady Emma's larger side of the basement for the Napoleonic game (a 6ft by 17ft table). Had we not scheduled the game, then most of my terrain would have been sitting on the floor getting wet.

A view of one of the towns that we will fight over.

A long view of the 17ft long wargame table that we will be playing on tomorrow. Prussian dragoons and cuirassiers, circa 1806 are seen in the foreground.

A regiment of the 12e de Ligne (two battalions of 72 figures) arrive on the new table, ready for the pending battle. Baden jagers cover their flank. The obligatory wind mill, by Ian Weekly, crowns the hill in the background.

I fired up the shop vac and quickly filled up the 16 gallon container. Guess what? 16 gallons of water weighs a ton. So I had to empty the shop vac using buckets, and then hauling the buckets upstairs so that I could empty the water outside. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fritz was calling every plumber in the phone book while I bailed water. Then my back went out of wack. The pain was severe.

We were supposed to go to my Sister in Law's house for Christmas dinner, but I couldn't leave the house with water seeping in from under the foundation. So everyone brought all of the food, some more shop vacs, and extra buckets and the whole extended family came to our house for Christmas dinner. My brother in law pitched in, as did my nephew Keith, and then finally the plumber arrived. He found that the main AND the backup sump pump were burned out. So he replaced them and with everything working the way that it was supposed to work, the water slowed down to a trickle, and then finally stopped altogether. And my back was killing me.

At last, we could relax and have our Christmas dinner. Afterwords, we opened packages and presents that we had given one another. It was great seeing the whole house full of family and everyone having a good time. That is what Christmas is all about to me: being with your family and remembering how grateful you are about all of the good things in life.

It was a memorable Christmas in many ways, one that I'm sure that I won't ever forget. Oh, and the basement seems to be OK and I'm drying things out with fans and dehumidifiers, and the game shall go on tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting Old

Der Alte Fritz is really feeling very old today as arthritis seems to have chosen this moment to rear its ugly head once again. This time I have shooting pains in my right wrist, which puts a little bit of a crimp in my painting. It will eventually go away and come again on another day. Usually it hits me in the back sometime in January. It must have something to do with the Winter Solstice. I will keep it short this evening as hitting the shift key on the keyboard hurts a little bit.

I am currently working on the third squadron of the DR3 von Irwing Dragoons for my 1806 Project. Some of the gang are coming over to my home on Boxing Day so that we can give the BAR Napoleonic rules another playtest. I blocked in the blue coats, grey on the breeches and dark red brown on the faces and probably have another evening's worth of color blocking before I can start some highlighting. I have to get these figures done before Friday so that I have time to terrain the bases.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wargaming in History - Book Review

On saturday I received a long awaited shipment of books from Ken Trotman Ltd. ( ) containing the latest book written by Charles S. Grant, with Phil Olley, titled: Wargaming in History Volume 1 The Seven Years War, Krefeld, Sandershausen and Lutterberg - 1758. This is a hardcover book of 140 pages published by Ken Trotman and promises to be the first in a series of books that are designed to emulate the old Knight's Battles for Wargamers series that were published in the 1970s and early 1980.

Here are some of the particulars: the book is divided into five chapters (An Introduction to Wargaming; The Seven Years War; the 1758 Campaign in Western Germany including the battle of Krefeld; the Campaign to Sandershausen; and the battle of Lutterberg). The text is complemented by 29 color photographs of the three battles in various stages of progress and 17 original colored drawings by noted wargame illustrator, Bob Marrion. There are also 5 campaign maps and 3 wargame maps showing the reader how to set up each of the battles as a table top action.

Each of the battles has a different and unique focus. The first one, Krefeld, is a large set piece battle that will appeal to anyone with a bias towards the big battles (you know, someone like me). The second action, Sandershausen, is a smaller delaying action that can be fought in its entirety without scaling down the historical forces in order to fit everything on the tabletop. And finally, Lutterberg is a big battle, but is an example of how to take a smaller slice of the battle and convert it into a wargame scenario for almost any table size.

Let me just come out and say it, this is the best wargaming book that I have ever seen, and read, and I think that it even surpasses The Wargame by Mr. Grant's father, Charles Grant. I am certain that ten or twenty years from now there will be wargamers who talk about how this book stimulated their interest and excitement in wargaming as a hobby. It is that good.

Mr. Grant's writing style is a pleasure to read and has a conversational style that makes the reader feel like he is there in the game room having a chat with the author. One of the things that I like about the book is the way that Grant provides the reader with the background to the battle, then he goes through the explanation of how he would wargame said battle. There follows a narrative of the game in process, with both Grant and his partner, Phil Olley, talking about how they approached the tactical problems of the game and how the outcome compared with their expectations. Sometimes a game narrative can become a plodding affair to read, but not so in these three battles. I think that many a reader will go back and want to read the accounts over and over again.

And did I mention the high "eye candy" quotient in this book? There are 29 color photagraphs, by my count, composed and photographed by Phil Olley and each picture is a little gem. Charles Grant recounts how he has had to replace his venerable Spencer Smith plastic figures, due to brittleness and breakage of the plastic over time, with RSM and state of the art Minden Miniatures figures for his French-like army of the Grand Duchy of Lorraine. Phil has opted for an all Front Rank Figures army of Prussian-like Pils Holstein infantry and cavalry. Both armies are colorful to behold and grace some simple, but fabulous looking terrain.

It is fun perusing the photos in detail and picking out some of the famous buildings made by Grant Pere that we all came to know and love from The Wargame and from countless Tabletop Teaser articles. Grant Fils is equally adept at constructing wonderful looking buildings and terrain pieces - like father like son, it is all good.

Finally, I should make mention of the color illustrations drawn by Bob Marrion. These are found in a section titled, "A Taste of the Exotic" and cover the various light infantry and cavalry that fought in the small Kleine Krieg actions during the war. Subjects include full color treatment of Prussian freikorps units, Austrian Grenzers, French light troops and some Hanoverians. Each picture would make for a suitable painting guide for any wargamer.

There are no shortage of good things that I can say about this wonderful book, so I shall conclude by simply stating that if you like wargaming (especially the 18th century), then you need buy this book and add it to your collection. Like me, you will probably find it hard to put down and you will read and reread it over and over again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Starting the Minden Project

Minden Prussians (IR34 Prinz Ferdinand) that eventually went into my BAR army as a 60-figure battalion. This gives you somewhat of an idea what the smaller 30 figure battalion will look like, except that the figures will be deployed in 2-ranks instead of 3-ranks. These were painted back in 2008.

I started working on my "Minden Project" for 2010 this evening with the cleaning of the figures with rubbing alcohol and the gluing of the figures onto temporary cardboard bases for the priming and painting process. I did the same with a dozen Prussian artillery crewmen. Tomorrow night I will prime the figures with black primer and tuck into them over this coming weekend.

So what exactly is the Minden Project, you might ask. It will consist of two armies: Prussian and Austrian scaled at a 1 to 20 ratio of figures to men. This means that my battalions of infantry and my cavalry regiments will have 30 figures. These figures will not be used for BAR rules/games, but rather, will give me a core set of 12 battalions and 4 cavalry regiments per side that I can use for either solo wargaming at home, or for smaller convention games on the road. I think that participation players want to get in a game that will be over in 3 or 4 hours, so it is my intent to keep the armies on the small side. Furthermore, I already have SYW armies at 1:10 (more than I can possibly use at any one time) and 1:30, so why not fill in the gap with 1:20?

Given my painting production, it should be relatively easy to build up the armies as 12 of these units are the equivalent of 6 BAR sized 60 figure battalions, and I know that I can easily paint 60 figures, or two battalions worth in a month. Maybe 3 or 4 units in a month if I'm really pushing the production into overdrive.

Organizationally, the figures will be based in a conventional 2 ranks with 6 figures per stand and five stands, for a total of 30 infantry figures. I have decided to paint both battalions of a Prussian regiment (60 figures per regiment) and also paint a separate mounted colonel for the regiment. Each stand will have about a 3/4-inch frontage per figure or close to 60mm wide. Georgo Bases happens to make a 60 by 40 stand from MDF wood and these will have a nice finished look to them. The first battalion will have the liebfahnen and the regimentfahnen while the second battalion will have the two colored regimental flags. All flags will be GMB Designs, as these are simply the best flags on the market.

The Prussian army will consist of the following items:

IR1 Winterfeldt - 2 btns
IR23 Forcade - 2 btns

IR13 Itzenplitz - 2 btns
IR19 Markgraf Karl - 2btns

1/23 Wedell Grenadier btn
IR6 Grenadier Garde btn
IR15/III Lieb Garde Grenadier btn
Jager Battalion

Each brigade of 4 musketeer battalions will have two Berlin Zinnfiguren 12-pounders with complete limber teams and either RSM or Front Rank horses pulling the limbers. The grenadier/Garde brigade will have a pair of 7-pound howitzers.

The cavalry contingent will consist of the following:

CR1 Krockow Cuirassiers (30 figures)
CR8 Seydlitz Cuirassiers (30 figures)
DR4 Czettritz Dragoons (30 figures)
HR1 Szekeley Hussars (30 figures)

Minden already produces the Prussian cuirassiers and Frank Hammond has just announced that he has received the greens for the Prussian dragoons. I have a lot of painting ahead of me so I am not too worried about the availability of hussars just yet. I could always add another dragoon regiment or switch over to the Austrians for awhile. One possibility is to paint the dragoons in white coats for the War of Austrian Succession period. That would be a different look for my Prussian dragoons. It might also give me a reason to one day paint some of the Eureka Saxons that I bought and fight Hohenfriedberg and Kesselsdorf in 1745.

As usual, the Austrians get the short end of the stick -- I have not given much thought to what I would have in my Austrian army, but needless to say, its composition shall be similar to that of the Prussians. I received a shipment of Minden Croats this week and I am really keen to paint them too. I will probably build up a core of 4 to 6 Prussian battalions and then switch over to the Austrians for awhile. Now I rather wish that I didn't have 60 Minden Austrian infantry super glued onto US pennies for my BAR army. Maybe the old "stick them in the freezer" trick will work and I can pry them off of the pennies and paint them for my Minden Project army. Or I could just order more Austrians.

So that summarizes my Minden Project to some degree. I will start on the first two battalions over the Christmas holiday and hopefully will have the first regiment of Winterfeldt painted and based for all to see.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SYW Christmas Sale - Part II The Infantry

Two battalions of the Prussian Guard: IR6 in front, IR15/III in second rank.

Here is the listing of the Foundry infantry battalions that are for sale from my collection. Each battalion has 20 figures, based 4 per stand on a stand measuring 1.5" by 2". Textured terrain and wooden identification plaques on the back edge for each stand provide a nice finishing touch. You could pair two grenadier or two of the fusilier battalions together to form a BAR unit or use them as is at 20 figures each.

IR6 Grenadier Garde Regiment (20 figures)- Price: $160.00
This battalion is the descendant of the old Potsdam Giant Grenadiers of Frederick William, the father of Frederick the Great. Frederick effectively disbanded the regiment in 1740, releasing all of the giants and retaining a cadre of men fit for active military service. These are Foundry SYW Prussian grenadier figures.

IR15/III Third Battalion of the Lieb Garde (20 figures) - Price $160.00
The third battalion of the Lieb Garde wore silver fronted mitres with yellow mitre bags. The first and second battalions of the regiment wore tricorn hats.

Wied Fusiliers are shown in the second rank in the picture above.

IR41 Wied Fusilier Regiment - 2 battalions (20 figures each) $160.00 each.
Here is an opportunity to have both battalions that make up a regiment of fusiliers. You could put them together into one larger 40 figure battalion for other rules systems.

Freibattalion 1 - Angelini (20 figures) $160.00
This is one of the famous "double blue" regiments of freikorps units that were raised during the Seven Years War. These have a more informal appearance, with some hats askew, an NCO pushing them forward with his spontoon, and one fellow even taking a swig from a bottle!

Brigade Deal: buy all five battalions (100 figures) at 10% discount = $720.00 for the brigade.

Army Deal: buy all the infantry and the cavalry (50 cavalry, 100 infantry, one artillery battery and 2 mounted generals): $1,500.00

Serious inquiries may contact me at my yahoo e-mail box or leave a note in the comments section and I will get in touch with you: ""

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SYW Christmas Sale - Part I The Cavalry

Brigade of Prussian Cavalry features HR7 Yellow Hussars (left), the HR1 Green Hussars (right) and the CR13 Garde du Corps cuirassiers (back row). All Foundry figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

I am putting my brigade of Foundry SYW Prussian Cavalry up for sale for anyone who is interested. The cavalry group consist of 50 mounted figures (20 Yellow Hussars in mirlitons, 20 Green Hussars in busbies, and 10 Garde du Corps cuirassiers. All figures are mounted on 2-inch square bases and are finished with textured terrain/flock/ballast and a wooden identification plate with the name of the regiment affixed to the back of the base.

HR7 Gelbe Hussaren: 20 figures - Price: $400.00
The Yellow Hussars was one of the first Foundry cavalry units that I painted and it continues to be a "show stopper" every time I put the unit on the wargame table. This unit is wearing the mirliton felt hat. Three squadrons fought with Ferdinand's Allied Army in Western Germany during the Seven Years War, while the remaining squadrons fought with Frederick's army. So you can use this unit in either army.

Close up view of the Yellow Hussars - click to enlarge.

HR1 Grune Hussaren: 20 figures - Price: $320.00
This is a very nice looking hussar unit, wearing the fur colpack or busby and a dark green uniform. Details include the van dyking on the shabraque edged in white. Not as spectacular as their Yellow bretheren, but it is eye-catching none the less. The Grune Hussaren fought with Frederick's army and gained fame for its performance at Rossbach, when it lead the surprise charge into the Austrian advance guard cavalry.

Two views of the Green Hussars. Click the pictures to enlarge the view.

CR13 Garde du Corps: 10 figures - Price:$160.00
Frederick's Garde du Corps, or body guard, was only three squadrons strong compared to the standard five squadrons for the other twelve cuirassier regiments in the Prussian cavalry corps. They were usually brigaded with the CR10 Gensd'armes cuirassier regiment (5 sqds). I could paint a 20 figure Gensd'armes regiment for anyone who decides to purchase this fine regiment. Of note, the Garde du Corps carried the distinctive Roman Vexilum standard instead of a traditional cavalry standard.

Garde du Corps cuirassiers - click pix to enlarge the view

Cavalry Brigade Deal: all 50 figures for 10% off - total price: $800.00
If you are interested in purchasing the entire brigade of 50 cavalry figures (total cost of $880), I will reduce the price by 10%, or $80, for a total price of $800 for the brigade.

Purchasing Details/Contact
If you are interested in purchasing any of the units listed, then send me an e-mail at "" for more information.

Preview of tomorrow's infantry brigade sale
The Prussian infantry brigade consists of five 20-figure battalions, one artillery crew with 12-pounder, and two mounted generals. Details and close-up photos will be posted tomorrow.

Brigade of SYW Prussian infantry including 2 grenadier, 2 fusilier and 1 freikorps battalion, plus one 12-pound artillery piece with 4 crewmen, and 2 mounted generals.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Battle of Brittlestadt - December 5, 2009

HR2 Zieten Hussars at the Battle of Brittlestadt. Stadden figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

Click all pix to enlarge the view.

It was Saturday December 5th - Leuthen Day to those in the know. So I had a fairly good feeling about the outcome of today's "Light Troops Game" at Chez Protz in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. I was expecting a large-ish skirmish type game, so imagine my surprise to find 14 players and a large game featuring over 2,000 miniatures. One must learn to adapt to the circumstances of the day. Keith Leidy and I were in charge of the Western Zone of the table, which was divided into three zones: Western, Centre and Eastern Zones. The two flanking zones featured predominantly light troops, while in the centre, a traditional linear SYW battle took place between an allied force of Russians, Swiss and Saxons in French service, and French regulars versus the Prussian army, commanded by Marshal Schwartzberg.

The initial view of the Western Zone from the Prussians' point of view. Light cavalry moves forward to confront the French light infantry (Fischer's Chasseurs).

We were told that the visibility would be restricted during the first two turns, due to the morning fog. So I sent out two squadrons of Zieten Hussars to clear the way and trip any ambushes that the perfidious French might have layed. Keith backed them up with two squadrons of his own Bosniaken Lancers (Hinchcliffe SYW figures from the collection of Phil Robinson in the UK).

A side view of the Zieten Hussars (left) and the Bosniaken (right)

The Prussian light cavalry was backed up by two battalions of Prussian grenadiers: Jung Billerbeck (5/20) and Heyden (19/25) plus two companies of jagers and two squadrons of Puttkamer Hussars (HR4) and two 6 pounders. Our mission was to punch a hole through the French line and facilitate the safe passage of a certain VIP riding in a black coach, escorted by Black Hussars and Black Bosniaks. Hmm, I wonder who that could be. The VIP had to exit the table on the French edge for reasons that were not given to us (on a need to know basis, of course).

There was an "allee" that connected the Western zone to the Centre zone and it was positioned to the right flank of our Prussians in the Western zone. As we advanced in our sector, we could see some Saxon cavalry and Swiss infantry passing the exit area of the wormhole.

The Saxons decided to advance into the Allee and strike the Prussian right flank in the Western Zone. We had actually considered doing the same thing to the Saxons, but that was not a part of our orders so we let it pass. Keith quickly moved the Zieten Hussars and his Bosniaks into the Allee to confront the Saxon von Bruhl Dragoons. Here you see a squadron of von Bruhls pursuing the defeated Zieten Hussars, while the remainder fight the Bosniaks.

Prussian reinforcements arrive in the form of 4 squadrons of Hanoverian dragoons (white coats - Front Rank figures), the Zieten Hussars which rallied and returned to the melee, and the escort squadron of Bosniaken for General Keith. The overwhelming Prussian numbers proved to be too much for the Saxon dragoons, who lost all of their colours and fled back up the Allee.

The Prussian cavalry pursues the vanquished Saxon cavalry into the Allee while bewildered French grenadiers watch the swirl of horses pass them by. Prussian artillery prepares to canister the French grenadiers.

Overhead view of the Prussian pursuit. After each melee, the loser rolls a D6 to see what speed he runs away at, while the victor rolls a D6 to see if he pursues. If he pursues, then he rolls again to determine the speed. The Saxons bolted away at the canter, while the Prussians followed them at the gallop. If your momentum hits the rear of a routing unit, then the router is "evaporated" and removed from the field. The victor occuppies the router's ground and halts.

Meanwhile, back to the infantry fight...

Don Perrin commands the French infantry and observes the two battle lines forming up for the fight.

Alas, the French gain the upper hand and rout the Jung Billerbeck grenadiers (on the right of the Prussian line) and then advance to finish off the left hand Heyden grenadier battalion, which begins to fall back to the safety of the farm enclosure.

The French remember that their orders are to defend this zone, and realize that they will lose many men trying to root the Heyden grenadiers out of a walled enclosure. So they fall back to wards their table edge, and Heyden and the Black Hussars advance to pursue and open the road up for the black coach.

Lady de Winter's Coach and Bodyguard of Black Lancers (Crusader Bosniaks) advance behind the Prussian infantry attack. Milady was expecting to find the Gallian spy, Lady Pettygree in this vicinity, but it turned out that Lady Pettygree was in fact, miles and miles away in the Eastern zone. Rest assured that someone will have to pay for this misinformation. One does not cross Milady de Winter without consequence.

A company of de Winter's "Regulators" are attached to the Heyden Grenadiers to protect their flank from the Fischer Hussars, which are milling about the battlefield.

Eureka Saxon hussars painted as Fischer Hussars. Painted by Randy Frye for his own collection.

While the firestorm of battle was playing itself out on the plain below, some Prussian jagers and dismounted Black Hussars engaged in a bit of kleine krieg atop the wooded Protzen Heights, or Protzberg. The French Fischer Chasseurs pushed the jagers back and back until they ran away. Meanwhile, the Black Hussars moved to the right, descended half way down the hill, and cleared a path for Milady de Winter to cross the Protzen Heights unnoticed with two of her followers. The French fell for the ruse of watching the black coach and assuming that Milady was in the coach. She who fights and runs away, lives to exact revenge on another day.

We had fun time playing this game, as Keith and I faced off agains Don and Randy and virtually ignored all of the events that occurred in the Centre and Eastern battle zones. Save for the brief threat posed when the Saxon cavalry and two battalions entered the Allee, we were too busy to notice that the Prussians were crushing the allies in the centre. By the end of the game, both sides were fairly played out with respect to their remaining forces. I don't know whether the Prussians could have pushed through to the French table edge or whether the French would hang on and hold the road. It would have been close either way.

Coming Soon: Der Alte Fritz's Christmas Sale
I will be posting some items for sale from my own collection of SYW and ECW figures that I plan on divesting. Come back tomorrow for the first listing of Foundry SYW battalions and cavalry regiments. These are all 20 figure units suitable for a more sensible style of wargaming, as opposed to our mega-sized BAR battalions. Later in the week, I will also post some BAR sized SYW battalions that are going on the auction block.