Dopf Dragoons on their horses now!

It took me a little while to find time to add the flags to the mounted stands, but here they are:

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The Dopf dragoons were 4 squadrons strong at Ramillies.  Now I have them both mounted and dismounted.  I’m not sure I’ll do dismounts for all the dragoons that were present.  I guess that would be an ideal.  On the French side I have all the dismounts for the squadrons that counterrattacked towards Taviers (and none of the mounted versions – but hopefully I’ll rectify that soon).

Here’s a picture that shows the Quindia/League of Augsburg flag better.  It’s always interesting what photography does to the appearance of things.   The photo shows way more contrast in the flag than there actually appears to be when looking at it normally.  Clarence of Quindia is producing some really nice flags.  My next units of Dutch cav will all be done around the flags he has available already.

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The photo also shows up pretty well the hazards of being careless with varnish.  You can see the varnish residue on the hat of one of the riders.  Happens when you put it on too thick.  I hate that.  And I think I’m pretty careful in putting it on, but still sometimes I find I’ve got some artefacts like that.  I’ll touch that up with a little black paint next time I have the figures out.

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Dopff dragoons

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I was very happy to get an envelope in the mail today with the flags I need to finish the Dopff dragoons.  Quindia studios and the League of Augsburg have teamed up to make flags for the Nine Years War and a bunch of other conflicts around the same time.  One of the flags is the flag for the Dopff dragoons.  I’ve had these painted for awhile and now have added flags to the dismounted guys, pictured above.  It’s a nice flag, don’t you think?  Quick turnaround time on the order also, nicely done.

You’ve seen the mounted guys in a couple of Ga Pa battle reports, without flags.  As soon as I get the flags assembled and glued in I’ll picture them here as well.  Here’s a little better view of the flag.

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And another closeup of the troopers.

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The Dopff dragoons were in the first Dutch cavalry line at Ramillies, on the extreme left of their deployment.  I was a little disappointed to discover in the new book by Robert Hall on the Dutch army that the documented uniform of the Dopff dragoons in 1696 was blue with red linings.  The next documentation is from 1718 where they are referred to as the red dragoons.  I painted them based on Hall’s earlier plate in the Ramillies series.  Let’s hope they were in red by 1706, ok?

Here’s a view from behind them, where you can see the spurs.

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Ga Pa Report (Part 2)

When we left off the Danes had charged 1/Picardie and routed them.  On their first opportunity however they rallied behind their supports as the rest of the French infantry pressed ahead!

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A couple of interesting things have transpired by this point:  firing has been heavy enough that the action is classified in Ga Pa terms as Heavy Action.  This means that visibility has been reduced to only 300 paces.  The chief impact of this is that generals who can’t see the commander-in-chief are out-of-command until they are brought into command.  Out-of-command generals can’t order their troops to do anything, and they will act as uncontrolled troops if they aren’t activated, doing what seems best to the local colonel.  (This action is determined randomly based on the units morale and circumstances using the uncontrolled actions table).  Secondly, at the beginning of each turn, you roll for random events.  Something usually comes up, but so far, and it continued for the rest of the game, nothing interesting happened!

Now, to bring a general into command, one can either move one of the commanders so that they are visible, try to put the subcommander into command through his own initiative, or the commander-in-chief can attempt to put the subcommander into command by order.  All of these things use an order execution, and each general only gets 4 of those per turn, so they are precious to use.  AND, neither command by initiative or command by order is certain.  For the French it’s pretty dicey because the subgenerals don’t have high initiative and our CnC doesn’t have much by way of leadership.

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Now as it turns out, at the start of the game, I had some extra points due to not spending them all on command so I used some points to purchase Aides-de-camp.  I used one of them to replace a lost general earlier, and now, I chose to use the other one to put the french general commanding the infantry into command, as he had lost visibility to the overall commander.  This was bad timing, as those Dutch guys coming into the field in the picture above shot and killed the commander of those dragoons.  From here on out the dragoons will act without a commanding general….

Things go well for the French infantry though as they begin to push back the Danes and dragoons in front of them.

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On the right flank, the French cavalry finally get moving.  Courcillon is decimated from shooting by the Dutch regiment Pallandt, but Royal Etranger and Toulouse start to move around the flank of the Dutch line.  The Dutch had some supporting infantry and guns extending the lines but as they advanced these lost sight of their commanding general and the local commander (using the uncontrolled move table) decided holding in place was the safest course, creating an opportunity for the French to exploit the gap.

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As things developed, on the left, the French infantry continued to push but the Danish cuirassier got into the fight and managed to defeat the 1st battalion of Sparre, leaving only the 2nd battalion of Sparre holding the end of the line.

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Looking down the length of the table you can see the Dutch infantry pushing the French dragoons out of the field next to the town while the French on the far end are pushing the Danish infantry and mounted slowly but steadily backwards.  In this case the French infantry is a little better than the foot in front of them (higher morale) and the Dutch infantry is a bit better than the dragoons in front of them (higher morale and better shooting and close combat abilities).

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But bad and unexpected things can happen.  In this case the French dragoons unleash a devastating volley and the Dutch infantry reels from the impact breaking and routing back through their supports.  At the same time the French cavalry advancing on the lone unit of Dutch infantry guarding the flanks routs it as well!

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You can see Royal Etranger looking at fleeing Dutch in front and the rest of the Dutch line beyond waiting to be rolled up.  But, alas, it’s not enough.  Toulouse who had been on their right  exposed itself to the advancing Dutch who had previously held back (remember, out of sight, holding their position) but then saw the French advancing through the smoke and moved forward to engage them.  They dispatched Toulouse which was half the French cavalry force down.  At this point all the cavalry begin to withdraw.  The Dutch on that side of the field had not quite lost half their force, so they were not forced to begin to withdraw.  In time they would be able to rally enough to finish off the dragoons in all likelihood and then take the town.  We conceded at this point that the French wouldn’t be able to hold and called it a wrap.

More painting to do, more units, more fun!

 

 

 

 

Robert Hall on the Dutch is here!

I received my copy yesterday (from On Military Matters in the US) and spent some time looking through it last night.  I just wanted to give some quick first impressions of it.  Fantastic!  How’s that for quick first impressions?

I heard about this book from Iain Stanford quite some time ago.  He is a coauthor with Robert Hall on this, as is Yves Roumegoux.  The full title is Uniforms and Flags of the Dutch Army and the Army of Liege 1685-1715.  It’s about 450 pages of text with a pile of uniform plates at the back.

I spent some time looking up regiments that I already have painted for my Ramillies order of battle to see whether there were any major gaffs.  I had used the Belaubre and Golberg works in German before and had been looking forward to a full revision and update; and also some plates that Robert Hall did in his series for Ramillies.  For the most part the units I have are in good shape.  (It’s not likely that I’d repaint anything, but if something is too far off I’ll repurpose it as something else).  I finished the Dopf dragoons last year based on the Robert Hall plate for the Ramillies series and this will serve as a good example.  In the prior plate they are depicted as wearing red uniforms with white facings.  In this work new plates are drawn depicting them according to their description from 1689 red with white facings,  in the Ath Camp as wearing blue lined red, and hypothetically based on the 1718 description of their colonel as the colonel of the red dragoons.  In the new plate the later description is interpreted as red with blue facings.  If I were starting from scratch I might go with the uniform from Ath, but I’ll stick with what I have for them being red dragoons.

One interesting first impression is that there seem to be many more descriptions available for specific uniforms from the NYW period than from the WSS period.

The authors have provided lots of drawings of flags and identified when something about a flag is speculative.  An example of this is the flag for the horse regiment Nysle.  The notes give a uniform of white lined red and a description of the flag as red, both from the Ath Camp in 1696.  On the plate it’s noted that the flag design is speculative.

For each regiment there is text describing reference material for the unit, a plate number (if there is one, I think most have them), a chronology of known commanders, a table of actions throughout the period (for Nysle it is listed as present at Ramillies with 1 squadron), a description of uniform and flag.  Very thorough.

The only ding I have against the book is that the .pdf index doesn’t provide an easy way to cross click between the text and the plate.  In the Hall book on the French cavalry one can easily click on the bookmarks on the left to go quickly between the text and the plate for any given regiment and I miss that in this volume already.

It’s a nice work with a lot to consume.  A must have for anyone interested in the NYW or WSS.

Ga Pa game report (part 1)

We started a Ga Pa game last week.  I took the French (as always) and rolled up a cadre of wonderful commanders: Villeroy, Boufflers, d’Artagnan, and, of course, the prince to command it all, Louis, duc de Bourgogne.   The Dutch had Overkirk in overall command and 3 competent subs.  We had invaded but the Dutch attacked.  I ended up with a town in the middle with a hedge-lined field just to its right, an orchard on the far right flank and a plowed field on the far left.  I don’t have a good ability to take pictures during a game (unsteady hands) but we had to break after turn 5 so I have some pics taken with the tripod at that point in time.

My opponent has steady hands, and a nice phone.  Here is a picture of the French cav reeling:

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I placed all my cav on the right flank under Villeroy.  It consists of Toulouse (here in front) and Royal Etranger (each 3 squadrons strong and trained), together with Courcillon and Tarente (each 2 squadrons strong and green).  With only Dutch foot in front they chose not to go rushing ahead on turn 1.  But the one Dutch heavy battery opened up on Toulouse and did some serious damage including killing Villeroy who happened to be attached to Toulouse and found himself carelessly in the way of a 12lb shot.  On the rest of the field the two lines advanced but not much else happened.

On turn 2, with the cav uncommanded, it reeled back during its uncontrolled movement and every regiment became disordered!  Any French cav activity will just have to wait.

I used some dismounted dragoons to defend the field next to the town.  The idea being they would just slow up the Dutch while my attack with the infantry developed on the other side of town.  You can see them lining the hedge here:

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Now with the two veteran battalions of Orange Friesland bearing down on them, they probably aren’t going to cause much of a delay.  That battery found itself in front of Pallandt:

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It did some damage to Pallandt as they advanced but the shooting from the Dutch line made short work of the otherwise unsupported gunners.  (It would have been nice to have some cav up to slow down the Dutch foot a little at least.  Maybe later.)

On the other side of the field the two lines closed and began firing at each other, with no immediate dramatic effects, but causing a lot of smoke to develop.  Here’s a close-up of the Dutch dragoon regiment Dopf advancing (I have a source for flags for them, thanks LoA, but don’t have them yet):

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And here is the French infantry moving forward.  This is the main place where I intend to attack.  The force consists of the 3 battalions of Picardie, Veterans, one of the vieux regiments, supported by Royal Italien who are green, and 2 battalions of Sparre, a trained French regiment descending from Swedes who came over to the French in the previous war.  Here they all are:

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They are shooting and driving back the Dopf dragoons and beginning to engage some Danish foot just out of the shot.  By turn 5, smoke was thick, issuing commands was difficult, but Boufflers continued to push the French forward.

But merde!  The Dutch had the initiative and sent the Danish foot to close with 1/Picardie.  Both units are disordered and Picardie should have the best of it being veteran.  But what’s this?  Picardie breaks and see them here running back through the 2nd battalion!

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We hope to finish the game later this week.  Hopefully the French cavalry will be able to contribute.  I had forgotten that I took AdCs as my special advantage and it was a couple of turns before Villeroy was replaced.  Now with a regular general they should be able to move forward and get something done.  The French infantry should be fine.  Although it was a setback to lose the 1st battalion of Picardie, they may rally and the rest of the infantry should make short work of the Dutch.

WSS Dutch IR Pallandt

This unit has been “finished” for quite a long time, but it’s still not finished until I get a suitable flag for it.

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Gray with yellow facings is a striking uniform.  I’m not sure I would use such a dark gray if I were to do it again – it’s not that dark in the Robert Hall plate.  But when I started it I had a source that made me think it was a darker gray.

One downside of doing Dutch is the need to paint the mitre plates on the grenadiers.  These came out ok.

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But I have to admit that after I photographed these the first time I had to go back and touch up the eyes.  Photographs are very revealing aren’t they!  And I’m very obsessive I guess.  I changed these from blue eyes to black and cleaned up around the eyes.  You can still see the blue eyes popping out from the other guy in the back rank on the stand with the grenadiers.  I’ve decided not to use blue for eyes anymore.  They look fine on figures, but really pop out when you photograph them.

Hopefully one of my preferred flag makers will make a flag for these guys soon.