Regiment Tarente and Ga Pa

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Tarente was a horse regiment in the French first line on the right at the Battle of Ramillies.  Have to start out with a little eye candy I suppose.  I just finished the basing so wanted to get a picture posted.  Figures by Front Rank and flags by Flags of War.

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We are spoiled for choice these days with rules to choose from for gaming the War of Spanish Succession.  One could press FoG-R into service if needbe, perhaps with a few changes.  It’s a really clean set of rules aimed at the tournament gaming crowd.  We play it quite a bit, but have never actually tried using it for WSS.  We tried the prepub version of Beneath the Lily Banners.  It was going great until we got into a melee and realized we didn’t have melee rules.  I’ve since purchased version 2 of the published rules and we may give them a try at some point.  We played Captain General a few times.  It has a great period feel and we enjoyed it quite a bit.  But we seem to have settled on Ga Pa.  Thomas Arnfelts in Sweden wrote Ga Pa for gaming the Great Northern War I believe (Ga Pa is a Swedish expression for attacking I believe).  It is now on version 2 and that’s what we’ve been using.  There are army lists available that cover the armies of the War of Spanish Succession.

We played the other night and I’ll use that game to describe Ga Pa.  The thing that is most appealing about Ga Pa is the command friction that the rules provide.  I’ll get to that in more detail in a future posting.

I only have recently completed enough figures to really give the rules a run through from the ground up and we’ve done it twice now.  You start out by choosing the size of game you want to play.  Ours are still on the really small end of the spectrum.  We went with 300 points per side and I had almost all of my figures on the table for both sides.  You then choose your army.  I have two, French and Dutch, but part of the Dutch is a Danish allied contingent.   The first decision to make is how many points to set aside for generals.  We both chose to use about 75 points.  You then dice for the actual generals you will use from the army list.  Each general is rated for command, leadership, and a number of points.  The Dutch have relatively better generals than the French, mostly average in capability, and you can probably get three for around 75 points.  If the three that you dice up exceed 75 points, you still get them, but you then give points to the other side for use in Stratagems.  On this night, the Dutch ended up spending about 78 but the French blew past their 75 because they rolled Vendome as one of the generals and he’s an expensive one.  So the French ended up owing the Dutch 8 points in the end.  The French generals randomly determined were Louis Joseph de Bourbon, duc de Vendome with a leadership of 4 and an initiative of 5, Francois de Neufville, duc de Villeroy with a leadership of 2 and an initiative of 2, and Louis, duc de Bourgogne, with a leadership of 2 and an initiative of 1.   Vendome would make an excellent overall commander.  But sadly, Louis de Bourgogne is a prince of the blood, so he gets to be CnC.  At this point you divide your army up into numbered commands.  I chose to give all my good infantry to Vendome with one cavalry unit to support and a couple of light guns, the bulk of the cavalry to Villeroy with a little infantry, and left Louis with a couple of guns, but as overall CnC.  Vendome is 1, Villeroy is 2, and Louis is 3.

My army consisted of:

Vendome

3 battalions Picardie (veteran infantry)

1 battalion Clare (Irish, veteran infantry)

1 regiment Royal Cravattes (line horse)

2 light guns

Villeroy

2 battalions Sparre (line infantry)

1 battalion Royal Italian (green infantry)

1 regiment Toulouse (line horse)

1 regiment Tarente (green horse)

1 regiment Courcillon (green horse)

Louis

2 medium guns

Next step is to determine who is the invader.  French are (naturally).  Then you determine the tactical situation.  The Dutch are slightly more aggressive tactically and it’s more likely that they will attack but in this case the French are attacking.  Also you make a roll to determine what type of action is being fought.  It can be any one of Siege Relief, Rearguard Action, River Crossing, Attack, Set Piece Battle, or Meeting Engagement.  Ours ended up being a meeting engagement so everything will be deployed on the table at the start of the battle.

The defender chooses the terrain that will be on the table from the list of terrain for the area of the battle within the constraints set out for the area.  In this case there would be 3-5 pieces with a mandatory village.  The terrain location and person to place the terrain piece is then diced for.  In our case, most of the terrain came down on the defender’s side of the table.  It included a village in the center, enclosed fields to the right of it, and behind it (from my perspective), an open field to the left of it and an orchard on the left side of the field on their side of the table.

For a meeting engagement the defender fully deploys his lowest numbered command, then the attacker his, then the defender, then the attacker, and so on.

All of this setup goes pretty quickly.  We didn’t have our armies defined before we started and that’s perhaps the most time consuming piece of it all.

So here are a couple of pictures of the lines at the beginning.  The cavalry closest to the camera is not visible, but they will play a big role in my next installment so you’ll get to see more of them soon enough.  Here is the Dutch line formed and ready to move forward to occupy the village and the field next to it.

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The Dutch set up a couple of battalions of infantry on their right end of the line, slightly behind the orchard, two medium batteries deployed to their left, their veteran foot next to them behind the open field, and another battalion of line behind the village ready to move in and occupy it.  On this side of the village there was another battalion of foot and two battalions of Danish foot ready to occupy the enclosed field.  A regiment of Dutch dragoons (Dopf) are supporting two regiments of Danish cuirassiers just off camera.

I set up Vendome on the left, Villeroy on the right, while Louis positioned his two batteries where they would most quickly become ineffective in the middle.  You can see most of it here:

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On turn 1, we’ll be off and running.

WSS Dutch Slangenberg

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This is my most recently completed Dutch regiment – Slangenberg.  I’m very pleased with it mostly because there is a nice flag available for it.  Figures are by Front Rank as usual, flag is by Adolfo Ramos.

I’m basing the Dutch units wider because of their typical 3 rank formation.  So whereas the French and other units that used a deeper formation will get 3 base widths (18 figures given the way I’m basing things), the Dutch will get 4 base widths.  For figures like this in firing poses it allows me to do a few less figures per unit by having the two active grenadiers on the end.

I wish there were more high quality Dutch flags available.  Ramos only makes flags for 3 units (I so wish he would do a flag for Salisch to go with these and Orange-Friesland).  Warfare Miniatures is releasing some flags that will be suitable for Dutch but they are really oriented towards a decade earlier so there are some changes.  GMB doesn’t do flags for the Dutch which is really sad.  But you can see from the close-ups below that the Adolfo Ramos flags are really very nice.

There are a lot of GMB flags from the Seven Years War French range that work for this period.  You have to be a little bit careful because some flags changed between the periods, but many of them are suitable.

I just received some flags from Warfare and hope to get some units painted up soon to display those.  They are quite nice also.  I’ve put links for all of these folks under the supplier listing.  I should also mention Flags of War.  He has some flags that are suitable and was nice enough to knock off some custom flags for me.  You’ve seen one already on the Regiment Toulouse in a previous post.  Very nice indeed.

Here are a couple of close-ups:

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They are that striking grey/white with red again and it looks good.  Salisch has the same combo.  They would look really great side-by-side I think.  I have the lead, hopefully I can get a nice flag for them.

Great blogs

What makes for a great blog?  I guess that’s pretty hard to say, but there are a couple of things that stand out to me.  I don’t really aspire to have a great blog, but I’d like to have one that folks appreciate and get something out of.

One blog in particular has inspired me to do one of my own, and that’s Martin Kelly’s Befreiungskriege blog (http://befreiungskriege.worpress.com).  I found it many years ago when I was spending a lot of time on Napoleonics.  We are both big fans of Calpe Miniatures and were focusing on gaming the 1813 campaigns.  What makes his blog great?  A few things keep me going back – unique insights, useful information, great eye candy, regular updates.  Martin has unique insight through his knowledge of what is going on at Calpe.  He handles the Calpe website and has regular contact with Peter.  So periodically he will provide insights or rumors about what is happening at Calpe.  The site provides useful information.  Whether it’s painting techniques, photography techniques (I need help there), or reviews of figures or paints, there is useful and interesting info there.  There’s regular updates which is important.  One doesn’t need to post that often to keep me interested if the info is useful, but if a blog regularly goes for long periods without anything new, I just stop checking.  And Martin is a great painter so there is great eye candy to inspire one.  Another great blog like that closer to the period is the rampjaar blog (http:http://rampjaar.blogspot.com/).  It’s created by a guy in the Netherlands with a lot of unique information based on local research mostly in Dutch.  But he posts in Dutch and English so it’s very accessible.

I hope I can provide eye candy and regular post, and perhaps some interesting stuff about rules and gamings, we’ll see.  Befreiungskriege has a great layout too with lots of useful links to other interesting things.  I’ve started doing the same here today adding links for suppliers and interesting blogs.  I went through a bunch of different templates to find one I really liked here (and for free).  This one is ok.  I wish the comments appeared under the heading for the post, but I can’t seem to find that along with customizable menus on the side, so you’ll have to scroll to the end of posts to see folks comments.  I’m sorry about that.  I’ll keep checking templates and perhaps will find another one.

This theme features a header picture.  Perhaps they all allow that, but it’s kind of apparent here.  It started out with a river as default, but I decided to put in another of my units.  This is the 1st battalions of Picardie.   I pictured another one earlier I believe with a pic of the three battalions together.  They fought in and around the village of Ramillies at the battle.

Regiment Toulouse

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The regiment Toulouse was brigaded with Royal Etranger at Ramillies.  This is a nice looking regiment.  I love the combination of gray/white coats with red facings.  While that was the standard combination of color for French cav regiments at the time, the front line of cavalry at Ramillies has only one with this combination.  This regiment, like Royal Etranger, was slightly behind the French right.  The second line of French cavalry will have many regiments with this combination.  I suspect it will look very impressive.

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The regiment was composed of three squadrons, all depicted below.  Once again figures by Front Rank, but the flags are by Flags of War.

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Royal Etranger

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And now for some cavalry.  This is the first squadron of the regiment Royal Etranger.  It was present at Ramillies on the right flank, a little behind the first line in support.  It was composed of 3 squadrons and brigaded with the Regiment Toulouse.

I guess I could also call this the premier regiment OCD.  To answer my question from the first blog, yes, I will go back and touch up figures after I photograph them and see obvious flaws.  I did that with this regiment.  This was the first cav regiment I painted.  Looking closely at it to touch up some of those flaws, I was experimenting with flesh colors back then so my current flesh pallette doesn’t quite work.  I picked up a little around the eyes, but not too much, and only using the deepest shade.  And I finished painting the bases.  I thought I had painted the edges of all the bases – how I usually do it – but the photo pointed out that wasn’t done.  So I cleaned that up too.

Anyway, hope you enjoy.   Again figures by Front Rank and flags by GMB Designs.

A couple more shots of the 1st squadron, followed by the full regiment.

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Royal Italien

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I’ve always been fond of the Royal Italien regiment.  I like the brown coats with the red facings.  It’s not very dramatic, colorwise, I guess, but it seems to be a nice combination.  This regiment had 1 battalion at the Battle of Ramillies and fought around the town of Ramillies with the regiments Picardie, Clare, and Gondrin.  Those 4 regiments will provide a nice core for my army and they are almost all complete now.  There is another regiment at Ramillies in brown and red, the regiment Provence.  Hopefully I’ll get to them this year also.  Those brown coats are easy to paint and quite forgiving.  Here are a few more pics.

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The figures are Front Rank, flags by GMB.

Bring out your dead

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We use casualty bases in many of our games locally.  Often they just show where a lot of carnage has been wreaked.  Although the particular rules we’re using for WSS just now don’t really call for tracking casualties, there might come a time when we need to do this.  I use the casualties mostly as a way to test paint schemes for units I want to paint, but there are other uses for these bases.

I asked Rich of George Bases to come up with a way to base a casualty and carry dice on the field as counters for number of dead.  If you have a system that tracks casualties closely you need some kind of roster to track the dead, or some way to mark them on the field.  Putting dice next to the units is fine, but invariably someone grabs one of the dice and rolls it for a result, or it gets knocked about when a unit is moved.  With a dice holder like this, it’s unlikely for either of those things to happen.

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This allows you to carry around two d6 allowing you to count up to 36 casualties (remember your base 6 math?) And here’s the casualty base with the dice actually being carried.

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If you’d like to get some casualty bases like this for yourself, you probably can by contacting Rich at Games Plus Hobbies in Mt Prospect (http://www.games-plus.com).  If you need some assistance you can drop me a note.  My contact info is in the About section.

Finally a pic of the casualty behind it’s unit.  It’s the 2nd battalion of Sparre.

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And the front of the same unit.

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