I was able to play a quite enjoyable game of M&R this weekend. I really do need to get some pictures of my Spanish force up onto the blog. Maybe I’ll find the time over the holiday weekend to do a bit of photography…
The game involved an Average Spanish General against a Good Turkish General. Unfortunately the Spanish were still outnumbered!! The board we played on was amazingly sparse, with with a small trickle of a stream on the Spanish left. With so much open ground and so many Turkish light troops the Spanish were forced to deploy most of their army behind the river. This led to a less than thrilling engagement as the Spanish bunkered and tried not to be flanked by all of the light cavalry (calvary for Barry). I did stick a large unit of Spanish horse outside of the bunker so that I would have something to do. Naturally this was a mistake as they failed to activate twice in a row AND I could not roll better than a 2 on all combat rolls. Highlights included the amazing Spanish musketry which, contrary to the cavalry’s performance, decimated a number of Janissary and Turkish Levy units. Had we had a bit more terrain on the board the Spanish could have had a much better showing. Being forced to bunker was a real drag, but my 5 SP infantry can not fight of enemy cav when they are flanked for a -3 modifier for all combats.
Pics are missing because the camera was left at home.
The Spanish core are all primed and ready to go. Having received my copy of Lasalle I noticed that the number of Militia necessary has dropped from 3 to 2. No problem as I’ll be able to pack the bases a bit denser than I originally planned. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am only going to paint the front rank of each unit. Then over the course of a few months I can add in the second rank. Like ever other gamer, I just love to push lead around on the table. I am torn between painting these unit by unit, just banging out the entire army in one go, or painting all of the similar things (faces, muskets, cartridge pouches, hats, boot, etc.) of ever unit and the going back in to finish the uniforms. Opinions?
British or Spanish….which should I choose? I can let a cat out of the bag and tell the 4 people that rad this blog that Lasalle army lists (the ones in the book, not future ones that may be published via the wiki) do not offer any provision for creating a British army with Spanish allies or a Spanish army with British allies. Those of us looking to enjoy a sea of red, white, brown, and blue uniforms will have to settle for either red or brown/white/blue.
Over the past few days I have built the army lists using figures from various manufacturers, thought about whether I want a sprawling horde of unperdictable troops (led by those stout veterans of the Regiment de Irlanda) or a compact hammer in the form of the Light Division, and debated if those Victrix light brigade heads are really worth £10.00 + shipping. All of the “hemming and hawwing” has led me to one conclusion.
Viva la Muerte!
First up are three units of militia. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Spanish militia. I’m not picturing well dressed and British supplied men in a wall of freshly made blue uniforms, brass buttons polished, moustaches trimmed. I’m picturing a farmer, a cobbler, and a thief standing near one another. Each is armed with something that fires at least one lead projectile at a time. If the going gets tough these guys might stand and put up one hell of a fight. They might just as easily have a foot race back to whereever home is. If they ever had one of those freshly made uniforms they were sure to pick off the buttons, sell them, and drink the profit before some Frenchman could steal them from their corpse. Now that we’ve got a picture we need to get some figures to represent this downtrodden (but not beaten) group.
Remember, we are looking to build three units here and we aren’t looking to spend ever list dime we’ve got. We also know that life is way too short to paint old glory figures.
Here is our cast of characters:
Someone to lead these guys. Two units get standards, 2 different units get musicians, and 2 units get officers. Not too bad to start.
These guys are all going to have twins. They might dress different, but we need some filler on these stands. With 12 of these (6×2) we’ve got a total of 18 figures spread over 12 stands.
Once again twins. Something to think about: Not everyone needs to face forwards. Isn’t that nice to say. Some of the runners will be running towards the fight, others will be looking for some Tapas in the baggage train. Total # of figures: 30 over 12 bases.
Last but certainly not least we’ve got these chaps. This is the second horse and musket Spanish army I have done (SYW being the first) and I want to start a tradition of including men of the cloth in some way. Total # of figures: 36 / 12 bases.
Some readers might be crying fowl right now for a number of reasons. First off I’ve got 30 figures filling the space set aside for 60 figures in Sam’s nice basing diagrams. Get over it. These will look a lot nicer than those little circles in his book. Once the basing (fences, water features, rocks, wagon wheels) is added those bases will look packed. Not shoulder to should Froggy packed, but Spanish militia bring most of what I own with me packed. Secondly these are from a Carlist wars range. I don’t know about you, but they look like “non-uniformed volunteers” with firearms.
Just waiting on the other stanrdard bearer and three grenadiers to arrive from Triangle Miniatures… These guys were a blast to paint. Painting these has me rethinking my Napoleonic project. Originally I planned to do the light division with some attached KGL horse. The lack of appropriate light division troops at a reasonible (ready Perry plastics) price and the great deal of enjoyment I have just looking at the guys above mean that I will probably be doing a brigade loosely based upon Picton’s 3rd at Fuentes with a few attached Spanish brigades. Now I know that the few SPanish units that arrived late to Fuentes were not actually involved, but I could honestly care less. These guys will look terrific when bulked out to a 24 man unit.
With triangle miniatures really dragging their feet I am left with a mix of units to paint. I can start on 9 of the Spanish line in bicorne. I am still waiting on 3. I can start on 7 of the 12 Spanish line in top hat. Still missing 5……
I prefer to paint in larger batches as I often mix colors. Even with a color swatch and recipe in a journal, I find it chalenging to exactly match a figure that was painted even a week before. In the interum I have been doing some research on the Spanish army. I am not painting them for a specific scenario and therefore have the freedom to pick and choose between the more extravagent uniforms.
The spanish line in bicorne will be painted as the battalion from Llanes. To the left is the information provided by “Spanish Armies of the Napoleonic Wars (2) 1808 – 1812”, published by Osprey.
I found this link that offers the first bit of information I have been able to find about the Battalion Llanes:
New Infantry Units
The bulk of the Spanish regular army was destroyed in 1808 in battles with the French (Sapherson, 1991). Local juntas went about recruiting their own armies by adopting any surviving regulars and raising new volunteer units (Partridge & Oliver, 1998). Catalonia and the Basque country had the advantage of a tradition of local armed irregulars – the miqueletes and somatenes – but other communities also raised troops. Even the universities contributed staff and students to the cause. The lack of horses in Spain meant most of these new units were infantry. By 1809 there were over 100 new infantry regiments contributing at least 150 new battalions. Many of these units had a short life span as they dispersed for lack of supplies, suffered in battle and siege, and/or were amalgamated with other units. Sapherson has a list of units in existence by 1809 including the number of battalions, but does not list units raised subsequently. The list isn’t complete but it is a good starting point.
This new source shows that the Battalion Llanes existed from 1808 to 1809. It was most definitely raised by the local Junta in Asturias.
Painting on 2 SK (skirmish) bases for Honour is finished. I finally got to paint a few of the Front Rank guerrillas that I have been coveating for years. Basing and sealing still to be finished.
These guys will be stading infront of either the Regimento Irlanda, as skirmishers, or a yet to be decided upon militia unit.
The bases are intentionally small. It is optional to even represent SK bases on the table top and in the few test games we have played they are often shuffled out of the way.
Two guerrillas left to finish a pair of SK bases. I am still waiting on a few replacement figures from Triangle Miniatures. Hopefully they arrive soon. Once the guerrillas are finished I will start on the Polish Lancers that I have…… I am still waiting on 2 that were missing from the last order as well as an arm for one that came damaged.
A few more WIP shots. One of Jose de Espin, a famous guerilla chief. He is right out of Osprey’s Man-at-Arms # 332: “Spanish Army of the Napoleonic Wars (2) 1808 – 1812”. The second photo is of a casulty marker. I still need to seal the base, add basing materials, and secure the mini. He is just placed on at this point. I will make one casulty marker for each regiment that I do. Let’s hope the Perry Brothers bring out British Casulty figures soon.