History


Dutch Fleet update and Medway 1667 mini campaign

To say I have been totally absorbed by my new obsession for 1/2400 scale 1650-1720 period ships would be the understatement of my hobby life time. Not since my Ost Front Microtanks phase of the late 1990s have I been this driven to finding information and being productive on an industrial scale.2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th rates plus Fireship and Heoker - a cross section of my growing Dutch Fleet for the Medway fight of 1667I am already working on a mini-campaign covering the spectacular 1667 Tocht naar Chatham (The journey to Chatham). This has been inspired by the campaign itself, Mark Backhouse's spectacular 2mm scale Siege of Portsmouth and Tumbling Dice's ship models.2nd Rate (80-90 guns) - the largest ships in the Dutch Admiralties - this one is De Ruyter's flagship De Zeven ProvincienThe campaign will be a combination of scales: 1/2400 Tumbling Dice models for the ships, 2mm Irregular Miniatures for the board movement of troops, Brigade Models 2mm buildings which actually seem to suit the 1/2400 ships better tha

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An NCO and a Gentleman OBE

As I was lying reading 'Normandy 44' by James Holland last night a name came up which I had heard before, Ken Tout, whose book of being a tank crewman during WWII I had heard was a great read and a classsic. I went on to Amazon to see if the book was still available and popped Ken's name in the Search, several books came up and one popped out at me 'How Modest are the Bravest', I suddenly realised I had drawn the maps for that book at the end of last year. I had conversed with Ken, albeit by email, not realising who he was, a real Normandy veteran, Ken is still writing at 95! I feel honoured to have drawn the maps for his book, thankfully he was very happy with my efforts.I think that is Ken second from the right.A celebrity at the Tank Museum.I have enjoyed Holland's book so much that I spent my Fathers Day book token today on two more of his books, I had wanted 'Burma 44' but am happy enough with what I got, I can wait for Burma. I can thoroughly recommend his Normandy book. A few years back I drew the maps

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Blood & Cutts Part 3

The final part of a piece on one of the country's forgotten Lions...An appraisal of England’s fire eating general Cutts probably did not get into the heat of battle at Blenheim but his commanded a large body of the army.Cutts on the table topIn a skirmish game John Cutts would be a fearless leader with a nose for danger. Fond of impetuous charges, close combat and impossible odds. A character who scorns death and needs no morale tests. He will win or fight to the death trying. As a colonel leading his regiment whether that be in Ireland against the Jacobites or Flanders fighting the French, he should count as a talismanic figure adding both combat and morale bonuses. Particularly in offensive situations, Cutts should add the highest possible command modifiers if attached to a battalion.As a brigadier or major general he should continue to add top level modifiers where directly attached to a unit. His wider command ability should perhaps model a man who finds it difficult to change tack when confronted wi

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Blood & Cutts! Part 2

The second part of my piece on Lord John Cutts of Gowran.An appraisal of England’s fire eating generalEnglish hero - for sure, Subject of Swiftian satire - definitely!What he did bestHis speciality was leading assaults into the breach. Many of his wounds were received in such situations. He seemed to gravitate towards peers and superiors with a similar disposition to his own. One such, Thomas Tollemache, a rival of John Churchill and another fire-eater, died after being hit in the groin by a cannonball during the disastrous Camaret Bay amphibious landing. Cutts himself performed insanely reckless feats there yet, lived to tell the tale.Man on the make - Cutts at 24 leading Transylvanian locals against the hated TurksBeing point-man or any man for that matter, during the storming of a breach was generally recognized as a suicide mission. It was a task normally assigned to an army’s biggest, baddest head-bangers – the grenadiers. Tooled up with flintlock muskets, bags of hand grenades, hatchets, occasionally be

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Blood & Cutts! Part 1

This article appeared in issue #379 May 2019 or Wargames Illustrated. I am publishing it on the blog in three parts as it is fairly long.An appraisal of England’s fire eating general     John Cutts painted by Wissing around 1687, aged about 24Who?Like many notable men of his era, John Cutts is difficult to define in terms of good or bad, wrong or right. If considered only by his military deeds it is easy to be seduced and never get beyond the evocative sobriquet of Salamander - the man who can be found where the action is hottest and the danger most parlous. For wargamers, this may be enough. A Hector on the field of battle with more tales to tell in a single life than many others combined. Job done.Read about his political career and the portrait loses some of its lustre. Driven by chronic financial problems, the story of a wheeler-dealer, schemer, and petitioner involved in countless intrigues emerges to cast shadow across a previously sunlit vista. A hero who became the subject of Swiftian s

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Hamburger Hill - 50 years on

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Hamburger Hill, 20 May 1969. Over 10 days men of the 101st Airborne assaulted the heavily fortified Hill 937, Dong Ap Bia, The Mountain of the Crouching Beast.  The NVA fiercely resisted, with the attacking paratrooper companies sustaining 50-75% casualties, including 72 KIA and 370 WIA, before they took the hill on 20th May.  This casualty rate earned the Hill its nickname, echoing Pork Chop Hill from the Korean War. The action was made particularly controversial because the US quickly abandoned the position after the engagement, generating public outcry in America of what was seen to be a senseless battle in an increasingly unpopular conflict.

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Battle of the Skull Mound 1677: The Scenario

1677.....The Ottoman Empire, allied with Crimean Tatars is pushing north on the west bank of the great Dnieper river into the Ukranian territories. The first line of defence is offered by Cossacks on both sides of the river.A strong Turkish force composed mainly of infantry has been given the objective of capturing a small Cossack settlement near an ancient Patzinak burial site known locally as Skull Mound. The Cossacks have fortified the village and built temporary defensive works atop the skull hill. A large combined force of infantry and cavalry is rushing to block the advance of the Turks and their Tatar allies........The Ottoman force prepares to attack Skull Mound Ottoman ForceCommander: Skilful. 2 squadrons of Timariot Sipahis. Drilled with lance.1 squadron of Tatars. Raw with bow3 field guns - 1 with Master gunner.1 unit of 12 Archers - Drilled3 units of Sekban infantry. Drilled with matchlock muskets.4 units of Janissaries. Veteran with flintlock muskets.2 units of Guard Janissaries (8 &

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Breaking the surface.. news on the GNW supplement

Mass charge by Polish cavalry 1683My snorkel has just broken the surface as I come up for air before submerging again into SALUTE 19 on Friday and Saturday.Brunswick-Celle infantry 1690sI have not been blogging with regularity over the last three weeks simply because I have snatched every waking hour to finish off the last photos for the new GNW supplement for Beneath the Lily Banners.The shot pool now stands at 307 pictures considered and about a further 200+ rejected for various reasons.The defence of Vlasivka 1709 - from the Battle report in the bookOf the 190 shots which appear in the book, 183 are finalized and in place. I have 7 little troublemakers to complete three of which should be done by the time this post appears. Taking wargaming pictures is great fun but very intensive. I remember watching Duncan Macfarlane do it about twenty years ago without the benefit of a digital camera and Photoshop. You really had to get it right then.Janissary columnNow at least, my process involves:1.Set up.2.Test shot

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A most remarkable army.. Kuruc 1703-1711

An Osprey style compilation of Kuruc forces on the march mixing phases of its existenceThe by ways of the late 17th century and early 18th provide magnificently juicy brain food for wargamers. Although I had in passing, read about the Kuruc Rebellion in Hungary during the first decade of the 18th century I had gone no further than a quick skim of what it was all about.During the compilation of material for the new GNW Supplement for Beneath the Lily Banners, I did a little more digging and was delighted with the gaming possibilities. This post focuses on the Kuruc forces and how gamers may be tempted as a side project, to construct a Kuruc table top army.This compilation shot shows Tatars, Poles, Bulgarians, Ottomans, French and Swedes on the Kuruc march...Rákóczi Ferenc was a Hungarian noble who fought to free his country from Habsburg rule during the first decade of the 18th century. France, at war with the Grand Alliance in the War of the Spanish Succession, recognized the weakness of the Austrian position

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The Army of the United Provinces 1660-1687 Book Offer

For members of the League of Augsburg blog here in another attractive offer from Helion:WARS AND SOLDIERS IN THE EARLY REIGN OF LOUIS XIV. VOLUME 1 - THE ARMY OF THE UNITED PROVINCES OF THE NETHERLANDS, 1660-1687 by Bruno Mugnaihttps://www.helion.co.uk/war-and-soldiers-in-the-early-reig…from now till the end of March £25 post free within the UK, at cost shipping for the rest of the world.To order the book please send me an email to charlesjsingleton@yahoo.co.uk with THE ARMY OF THE UNITED PROVINCES SPECIAL OFFER in the header bar.In the main text section please add your address and add the email you use for PayPal transactions, this speeds up thing. Note- you do not need to have a PayPal account to pay by PayPal. If you don't like the shipping costs, simply cancel the invoice.I'll be reviewing the book on the blog soon

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A Visit to Hillwood Estates

Last Saturday, my family and I went on a field trip to historic Hillwood Estates, the home of Ms. Marjorie Post, the American socialite that was a compatriot and confidant of Presidents, Premiers, actors, and gardeners.  Much could and has been written about this formidable woman.  She was a collector and patron of the arts, with a penchant for collecting the very best from 18th century France and Russian arts and artifacts.  In later life she took steps to convert her splendid Washington DC mansion and grounds into a permanent museum housing the treasures and art she collected in her lifetime.  I could write a very long blog post just about Post herself, but I will let Wikipedia do the talking this time.  Suffice to say she was as close to a Dowager Duchess as America has produced. It being a brisk yet bearable day, we drove up to Upper NW to the estate, which is north of the Zoo among the wealthy riffraff and about as far as you can get from the hoi polloi and still be inside the confines of the District of

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Book offer from Helion 'Mark Allen's work'

Helion is offering to followers of the League of Augsburg Blog: Armies and Enemies of Louis XIV Volume 1 by Mark Allen which is a super, illustrated compilation of his work on the period 1660-1720 first run in Wargames lllustrated LAST CENTURY!  The offer price is £20 ex shipping. The RRP is £26.96 making this an attractive offer. If you want to order: email charlesjsingleton@yahoo.co.uk. It is essential to include MARK ALLEN BOOK OFFER in the subject line and a delivery address and paypal email address in the text body for invoicing.OFFER CLOSES JANUARY 31 2019As a taster, here is the preface in full, written by some bloke....When Duncan Macfarlane, the perspicacious proprietor of Wargames Illustrated commissioned Mark Allen to write a series of articles beginning with a four parter on The War of the Grand Alliance followed by another twenty odd feature pieces, it was as if the rains had finally come after almost perpetual drought. Since that issue of th

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One to One wargaming - table top reality

A real life soldier! Musketeer Sean of a Jacobite regiment in Ireland circa 1689. Copyright B Hilton.Figure gaming usually falls into some broad categories in terms of scale. Firstly there is the model scale and secondly, the model to man ratio.Typically 40mm, 28/25mm, 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, 6mm are the most common categories for the former. Of course there are several intermediate scales and some excessively large and small ones however, we are talking here neither of using hair rollers to represent the Imperial Guard nor of Action Man hiding in the begonias of your back yard to ambush Combat Johnnie. Let's stay with the more common and thus majority scales.Re-enactors in a single rank with modest space between each. Copyright B.Hilton.The second scale refers to how many models represent how many men and horses. This spectrum covers at one end: one model is one man and at the other end: where one model is perhaps one hundred men.Chopping out the Glitterati style games often featured in hobby magazines and focusin

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One to one wargaming: expanding the idea

Three 48 man companies of musketeers from the garrison of Derry. A company of Mountjoy's Regt at the centre.I was very pleased that the first post on this subject was popular and that visitors were stimulated to consider the implications of frontages, deployment, fire methodologies and movement around the battlefield and its table top imitation.A battalion of Jacobite Foot based for Beneath the Lily Banners and representing between 500- 800 menTo continue, I thought it might be useful to reflect on what we are currently using as tabletop representations and the suspension of disbelief necessary to imagine it can be in any way realistic.It calls to mind innumerable conversations over the years revolving around what I call 'nippy battalion syndrome'. That is, where gamers attempt to squeeze formations of 28mm models through gaps in their lines barely 25mm wide in order to replace worn battalions with fresh ones.Or, those tedious discussions around.. "why does it take a full turn or even two turns to deploy out

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