Posted by Martin on February 26, 2011
Greens of the "loading" set of Perry Prussian artillery with a British 6-pdr.
Alan Perry has posted a little more info about the forthcoming Perry Miniatures Prussian range on TMP. What do we learn from this? Well, the main highlight is that the first box of plastics will be available at Salute on 16th April 2011 so if you see a small group of men huddling in a corner poring over some sprues, it’ll be a safe bet that it’s me, Peter F, and the other Calpe Miniatures regulars closely examining the quality of the competition.
Alan has also revealed that there’s a small chance that some of the metal packs might be released ahead of the plastics. These packs will include foot artillery and, intruigingly, commanders. Whether this means command figure packs to go with the plastic infantry or personality figure generals remains a mystery. On the foot artillery front, it’s good to note that the 1815 bias of the Perry range will be supported by making the Prussians available with Prussian, British (loaned) or French (captured) ordnance. There’s also a new picture of the greens for the set of figures loading a gun which I’ve included here for your viewing pleasure.
Posted in Forward Patrol | Tagged: artillery, Perry, Prussian | 13 Comments »
Posted by Martin on January 22, 2011
Perry Prussian foot artillery six-pounder cannon.
Now the rush of New Year resolution blog posts and discussion threads has abated, I think it’s time that I got started on my hobby-related 2011. As regular BfKer’s will have heard before, I’m not one for New year resolutions but I certainly am looking forward to the year ahead. I believe there are grounds to anticipate a vintage hobby year – especially if your interests coincide with mine – i.e. “big battalions” 28mm Napoloenic figure collecting and wargaming.
Perry Prussian foot artillery seven-pounder howitzer.
Top of my list of anticipated highlights is the kaledioscope of nationality shifts we’re going to see among the figure manufacturers. My first piece of evidence for this comes in the shape of what just appeared on the Perry Miniatures “On the Workbench” page: several shots of work in progress on their metal Prussian foot artillery figures. Close analysis of the four photos there (I’ve reproduced two here) show sculpts of eight figure poses (in two sets of four: one set firing a gun and one set running up a gun) plus two pieces of ordnance – a six pounder cannon and a seven pounder howitzer. But look even more closely at these pictures: the figures are almost certainly sculpts intended for casting in metal but the ordnance look like grey plastic mouldings. Is this the sign of hybrid metal/plastic packs on the horizon? Take a look and tell me what you think.
So this is continued evidence of the Perrys moving into Prussian territory and giving us a wider choice of quality figures to place alongside the Calpe Miniatures range. What makes the year so exciting is that the traffic will also be flowing in the other direction and the Calpe range will soon include French figures to place alongside the existing Perry ones. My most recent communications with Peter F. indicate that the first set of French infantry is progressing nicely. Peter F. tells me that the fusiliers are ready and he’s now working on the voltigeurs and grenadiers which will be followed by sculpting the command figures. We really will be blessed for choice before much longer!
Posted in Calpe Towers, Forward Patrol | Tagged: artillery, Calpe, France, Perry, Prussia | 8 Comments »
Posted by Martin on May 5, 2010
Following on from last time, here’s the next instalment of me thinking out loud about modelling 1813 Prussian brigade structure for the Republic to Empire ruleset. This time I hope to tackle another type tactical unit found in a P-brigade (recall this is the terminology I’m using for the concept of a Prussian brigade to distinguish it from a brigade in other armies of the period): the artillery battery.
Let’s dive in and begin by considering the role of artillery in the conventional divisional structure of non-Prussian Napoleonic armies. I think I was initially blinded by past experience with other rulesets, particularly General de Brigade where a divisional artillery battery has to be placed in an infantry brigade or in a brigade by itself with a dedicated brigade commander. In the past I’ve sort-of blindly accepted this as the thing to do but when I cleared my mind of the influence of other rulesets and started to think of historical reality, I realised that approach was daft. Why? Well, such artillery was a divisional asset and as such would have been used at the discretion of the divisional commander rather than any one of his sub-ordinates.
Surprise, surprise, when we check Republic to Empire, we again find that historical reality is closley modelled. Divisional artillery batteries aren’t assigned to a brigade within a division but are indeed treated as a divisional asset. Of course, this means that they don’t accrue a 1 x DAv MP (Manoeuvre Point) allowance per turn like a brigade would – but why should they? Their orders come from the divisional commander, so they should draw on his pool of MPs. This all neatly translates across to the foot artillery battery typically found in a P-brigade, so we can treat it as the equivalent of a divisional artillery battery.
But we haven’t quite finished with artillery batteries yet because those Prussian commanders had a sneaky habit of splitting their batteries into two half batteries on occasion. So how would we cater for that in Republic to Empire? The artillery section of the rules (pp.71-77) is silent on the subject but some useful clues can be garnered from reading the Pierrepont Farm scenario and game report (pp.121-130). In this, a Dutch-Belgian foot artillery battery is split into two half batteries from the outset of the scenario and these half batteries are subsequently treated as two small four-gun batteries. The only wrinkle you need to remember is that, because they were split before play commenced, they do not suffer the “split fire” penalty that would normally apply to a whole battery if it elects to fire at two different targets.
I have three observations about splitting batteries like this. Firstly, if the Prussian commander wishes to do this, then I think he must state his intention before play commences. Secondly, from a tactical perspective, you need to be very sure about why you’re planning to split a battery because it comes at a cost that may not initially be apparent. In real life, command and control of two half batteries would take more effort than that required for one whole battery. The same applies in Republic to Empire because you now have two tactical units to oversee rather than one but you don’t get any more MPs to spend on them. Thirdly, as smaller units, half batteries will be more brittle than the whole united battery and less able to defend itself against attack.
Next time, I’ll take a look at volunteer jäger and other similar specialist light infantry detachments.
Posted in Rulesets | Tagged: artillery, Barry Hilton, Prussia, Republic to Empire | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin on November 23, 2009
I’ve been having an occasional correspondence with Stephen Summerfield over the last couple of months as he’s been putting the final touches to his next book. Over the weekend, I received final publication details from Stephen along with a PDF of some sample pages.
The book is entitled Saxon Artillery 1733-1827 and will be published by Partizan Press, hopefully this coming December though the run-in to Christmas might affect that date. When Stephen started on this book, it was envisaged as an 80-90 page paperback but it has grown into a 216 page hardback monster. The cover blurb reads:
The strong links of Saxony with the Polish crown caused her to become the battleground for the competing powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia for centuries. Efficient artillery was essential but in the 1740s was
neglected due to the prohibitive costs of ordnance and maintaining a standing army. This contributed by the annexation of Saxony by Frederick the Great in 1756 and the absorption of her soldiers into the Prussian Army. The remnants of the Saxon Army fought with distinction with their Austrian and French allies.
This unhappy experience of the Seven Years War (1756-63) led to the M1766 Hoyer system that was first used in the War of Bavarian Succession (1777-78). The gun carriage and elevating system of the M1766 4-pdr Schnellfeuergeschütz regimental gun probably influenced the design of the Austrian M1780 Wurst guns. The M1766 Granadstück based upon the Russian Unicorn was a long barrelled howitzer that could fire an early form of spherical case [Shrapnel].
The 1809 campaign showed the Saxon Army and its ordnance had to be transformed from that suited for 18th Century to Napoleonic warfare. The main influence on the M1810 gun tubes was the French AnXI with the carriages derived from those of the Saxon M1766 Hoyer System. These excellent guns performed well in 1812 and especially at Gross Beeren (23 August 1813) where they dismounted 9 Prussian guns.
The century of Saxon ordnance development is illustrated with 66x 1:24 scale plans, 64x 1:30 scale plans and 64 details drawn from contemporary sources. These are enhanced by 34 photographs, 38 contemporary plates and 32 uniform plates with 78 separate uniforms shown in colour. In addition there are 3 maps, 34 OOBs and 22 tables.
So you can see that the scope of this work is extensive. If the sheer scale of this book and the fact that it covers a period far greater than the Napoleonic wars puts you off purchasing, then there’s another option open to you. Stephen has been working with figure painter Ged Cronin to produce a series of colour plates/plans of Napoleonic Saxon artillery equipment. Some of ther plates are 1:60 scale and some are 1:24 scale and they come with a variety of additional notes and historical uniform plates. Contact Ged for more details.
Posted in Forward Patrol, Reading List | Tagged: artillery, Ged Cronin, Partizan Press, Saxony, Stephen Summerfield | 4 Comments »