Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Warwick or bust!

Following the battle of Thoroton in the North, it's time now to look South for the latest of developments in the Wars of the Roses. The Queen's invasion is closing on London, with Warwick poised to defend both king and capital.

Good news for him at first is that his uncle Fauconberg arrives from Calais, bringing badly-needed reinforcements to meet the oncoming Lancastrian host. Marching out to meet the Queen's advance, he takes Henry VI with him as a rallying-point for his own troops and to add a good dose of legitimacy to his own claims that he's loyally defending the king from evil councillors.

Warwick bases himself north of the river Thames so he can monitor the crossing-points to hopefully engage the Lancastrian host piecemeal, cutting the numerical odds he faces.

Unknown to Warwick however, things were not about to go his way. First the Duke of Buckingham advanced with unexpected haste and rushed the outposts on the Thames before Warwick could react, ruining his plans to engage them while they were split. Warwick hurriedly retreats to his camp and begins to fortify it, in line with the conventional military thinking of the day. Little does he know, however, that treachery threatens within his ranks...

From the summary above, it's probably worth putting a little bit of game-based flesh on the bones of the narrative. Part of Warwick's army is made up of the Calais Garrison, the only body of troops that could even vaguely be compared to a permanent national army. These would be under the command of the talented Captain Andrew Trollope, a figure about whom it is worth saying a little bit of background info.

Historically, the real Trollope was the Master Porter of Calais under Warwick's captaincy there. When Warwick went to England in 1459 he took Trollope & the garrison with him, only for Trollope to reveal his pro-Lancastrian tendencies in the most dramatic manner possible by deserting to the enemy right before Ludford Bridge and compelling the Yorkists to flee. Trollope then played a major role in Lancastrian victories like 2nd St Albans and Wakefield, which he apparently helped to plan, before meeting his end on the field at Towton.

In my re-play of the Wars however, the Yorkists in 1459 triumphed before Warwick and Trollope could reach a battlefield - which means that it'a now 1460, Trollope is still in Yorkist ranks and awaiting his moment to switch, and now it's come to the day of battle! Trollope is marked as 'Treacherous' under the 'Coat of Steel' rules, which means he could well sit the whole thing out or switch sides mid-battle. This latter option is pretty close to the historical record as not only did Trollope himself switch sides historically, but in the same year as I'm now recreating (1460) Warwick won the battle of Northampton by means of an enemy force switching sides, and destroying a prepared defensive position. Now we shall see how Warwick fares when he finds himself on the receiving end of this move!

Warwick's CoS card allows 'Artifices' to be used, such as defensive works, so it seems only sensible to use this. I end up picking a London borough for the title of the battle, roughly equating to St Albans in the historic manner but for an advance from the south-west. I ended up going for Gerrard's Cross (as the name also slightly echoes Mortimer's Cross, so I quite liked it.) Wikipedia advises that Gerrard's Cross got its name in the following centuries, but I decided to overcome this by simply not caring - works a charm.

The last detail is the speed of Buckingham's advance. In the Richard III campaign game rules, the river Thames should force the Lancastrians to begin with only three of their four blocks/commands in play, making them introduce the fourth one in a later round. However, the Lancastrians played the 'Surprise' card which raised the limit to allow all of their force to engage immediately. Suited me, as I wanted to fight a battle over a fortified camp, and not a river-line.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Update on 2012

Excuse the change in appearance, but I have only now gotten round to looking at the alternative designs on Blogger and discovered I can change my layout - the design may alter a little as I sort out my final preference, fix up photos for any background, etc.

Anyway, wargaming-wise, what's been going on? Over Xmas & New Year, I have gotten a copy of 'Hail Caesar' which I hope to try out soon. With this in mind, I have also launched my final push on completing all of my Wars of the Roses figures - around 50 to go, then a mass-varnishing & basing session remains!

Waterloo-plastics are progressing, and I have managed to get them all sprayed with the base-coat to prepare the plastic for painting.

In other plans, I have recently been toying with the plan to get into the WW2 rules 'I ain't been shot mum' for a company-scale WW2 fight, probably using the Plastic Soldier Company's cheap deals.

One bit of news in The Real World is that the plan for me and my wife to sell our flat and move to a house. While good news in itself (could I finally have a permanent spot to paint & game?) it does mean a lot of disruption as we tidy the flat for putting on the market and selling, so painting and gaming opportunities are likely to be scarce for a little while. I shall post whatever I can, however!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Anglo-Allied Army List

I have, at present, three different sources for Waterloo army lists. First is the original Horse Foot & Guns (DBA-style) rules by Phil Barker which give lists for all three armies; next is the Waterloo Companion book which is far more detailed and complete; and finally there is the Wikipedia page giving the lists for all troops in the campaign. In going through these three even in my own casual style, it's swiftly become clear that nobody quite agrees! Typical...

So, I have gone through it myself and adapted the HFG lists as I feel suitable, to fit with the Waterloo Companion lists which are far more detailed and therefore I suspect as being far more accurate. I imagine the original lists may have been compiled with a balanced 'points total' in mind, but I am not too big on points for wargaming.

Ignoring any historically accurate 'technical' nomenclature, and simply calling all bases 'Brigades':

The list for the Anglo-Allied Army:

The reserve was under Wellington's direct command, so he is listed as the corps command unit here as well as being the army commander. The divisional level has been skipped out here, and troops are generally grouped by nationality.

Brilliant CP - Wellington
Bay[short for Bayonets, i.e. Infantry] (British) - Kempt's Brigade
Bay (Highland) - Pack's Brigade
Bay (British) - Lambert's Brigade
Inferior Bay (Hanoverian Landwehr) - Vincke's Brigade
Inferior Bay (Hanoverian Landwehr) - Best's Brigade
Light Infantry (Brunswick) - Rauschenplatt's Brigade
Bay (Brunswickers) - Specht's Brigade
Bay (Nassauers) - Kruse's Brigade
British Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Drummond
Hanoverian Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Braun
British RHA Smoothbore Horse Artillery - Ross/Beane
Supply Base

Below is the list for the 1st corps - mostly pretty clear-cut, except that the Dutch brigades are in some cases so large they have to be split up. Large brigades with components of a different nationality have been split along these lines to give a chance for recognising the different countries and maintaining a bit of 'colour'.

CP - Orange
Superior Bay (British Guards) - Maitland's Brigade
Superior Bay (British Guards) - Byng's Brigade
Bay (British) - Halkett's Brigade
Bay (KGL) - Ompteda's Brigade
Bay (Hanoverian) - Kielmansegge's Brigade
Bay (Dutch) - Bijlandt's Brigade
Bay (Dutch) - Saxe-Weimar's Brigade (partial)
Bay (Dutch) - Detmers' Brigade
Bay (Dutch) - d'Aubreme's Brigade (partial)
Bay (Belgian) - d'Aubreme's Brigade (partial)
Bay (Nassauer) - Saxe-Weimar's Brigade (partial)
British Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Adye/Williamson
Dutch Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Opstal
Dutch Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Smissen

Next, 2nd Corps. There are some modifications here. The original list by Phil Barker gave two bases of KGL Bayonets while I could only identify one brigade, and seemed to skip Lyon's brigade out. The Waterloo companion listed Lyon as being a brigade of Hanoverian Landwehr, so I decided to switch the second KGL unit of Bayonets to Hanoverian Landwehr and use them to represent Lyon's Brigade. As done elsewhere, I listed the Landwehr as 'Inferior' quality.

Identifying the Light Infantry was also a bit awkward. I went in the end for Mitchell's brigade, which did at least contain a regiment listed as light infantry. The other one was pretty easy to
guess as Adam's Brigade as it contained the famous '95th Rifles' of the Sharpe novels. Adam also got represented by a second base of regular Brit Bayonets however, as it contained the 52nd Regiment - noted as the numerically strongest unit in the army, and therefore well worth
representing with another base.

CP - Hill
Superior Light Infantry (British Rifles) - Adam's Brigade (partial)
Superior Light Infsntry (British) - Mitchell's Brigade
Bay (KGL) - Du Platt's Brigade
Inferior Bay (Hanoverian Landwehr) - Lyon's Brigade
Inferior Bay (Hanoverian Landwehr) - Halkett's Brigade
Bay (British) - Johnstone's Brigade
Bay (British) - Adam's Brigade (partial)
Light Inf (Dutch) - Anthing's Brigade
Inferior Bay (Dutch Militia) - de Eerens' Brigade
Inferior Bay (Dutch Militia) - d'Hauw's Brigade
British Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Gold/Hawker
Dutch Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Wijnands
Dutch Smoothbore Foot Artillery - Riesz

The Cavalry Corps got listed by Phil Barker as having two fewer units of cavalry than I could find brigades listed. So, I simply added them in! Not sure exactly which ones got skipped, but the two British Light Cavalry bases I added got tentatively identified as Vivian's & Arendschildt's brigades.

CP - Uxbridge
Superior British Heavy Cav (Household) - Somerset
British Heavy Cav (Union Brigade) - Ponsonby
Inferior Dutch Heavy Cav (Carabiniers) - Trip
British Light Cav (Hussars) - Grant
KGL Light Cav (Hussars) - Dornberg
British Light Cav (Lt Dragoons) - Vandaleur
Hanoverian Light Cav (Hussars) - Estorff
Dutch Light Cav - Ghigny
Dutch Light Cav - Merlen
British Light Cav (Hussars) - Vivian
British Light Cav - Arentsschildt
British RHA Smoothbore Horse Artillery - Bull/Webber-Smith/Gardiner
British RHA Smoothbore Horse Artillery - Whinyates/Ramsay/Mercer
Dutch Smoothbore Horse Artillery - Petter/Pittius

So, no small amount of work there for 2012!