Saturday, February 6, 2021

Blenheim: the refight, part I

The battle starts following the historical plans: Eugene and Cutts attacking on the wing, then Marlborough pushing at the center. 

Here the Imperial cavalry crossing the  Nebel to engage the Franco-Bavarians:

Cutts and the Palmer cavalry crossing the Nebel towards Blenheim:

The cavalry battle developed with a see-saw evolution which will last nearly to the end. At the first stages the Imperial are at disadvantage since they must stop to cross the Nebel being penalised in melee:

Eugene infantry moves to attack Oberglau (to make things easier I removed the village to arrange troops inside)

Lord Cutts has crossed the Nebel without any French reaction and closes on Blenheim. The French choose a defensive attitude, with Clereambault being careful to not be sucked into the battle for the village: at the end this will prove a costly error.

The cavalry battle still rages without a clear winner, to this moment


Clereambault unleashes the Maison du Roi on the flank of Cutts, with Palmer's cavalry closing in support

The situation becomes hot in Oberglau, the garrison commanded by Blainville puts up a stiff resistance and Eugene infantry must retire with losses to reorganise


Under Cutts pressure Blenheim falls, despite a spirited counterattack of Clereambault, which arrives too late to prevent the disaster.

On the Franco-Bavarian vs. Imperial side, the Confederate are slowly taking the edge:

This is the situation at the end of the 5th move: Tallard and Marlborough are still idle, waiting for the battles on the wings. Maybe Tallard should send reinforcements to his right.

To follow.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

 Just for fun: Blenheim with Juniorgeneral

Blenheim is one of the battles I like more: I have three boardgames dealing with it (Blenheim, 3W 1977 form the Wargamer magazine, by J. Hind; Marlborough at Blenheim, West End Games, 1979 by D.S. Palter and A Famous Victory, 1995, by R. Berg) and by looking at Boardgamegeek there are many others.

There are also many scenarios for miniatures, also for the rules I use, V&B and Maurice. However these scenarios require more miniatures than I have and furthermore I don’t have French and Confederate armies in my collection.

So i decided, just for fun in this cold and wet lockdown January sunday to refight Blenheim by using simple rules and proxy armies. As far as the rules are concerned i decided and ha to try those given in the website Juniorgeneral, which has also a scenario dedicated to Blenheim (  In these rules any unit is comprised of six base on two lines. The frontage of infantry is 2.25 inches (57 mm) whereas that of cavalry is 4.5 inches (114 mm). I fudged a little the basing and any infantry unit will be formed by two 40 mm bases (80 mm, a little larger) whereas the cavalry is on three 40 mm bases (120 mm). The rules prescribe base removal: i stick with the V&B philosophy of losses as combat capacity reduction so i shall simply put beyond the units a number which gives the current force. The original rules provide for unit removal when it is reduced to one base, here the unit is removed when also last point is destroyed.

Another modification is the following. In the rules the Franco-Bavarian cavalry fires with a charge bonus of +1, whereas the confederate doesn’t fire but has a charge bonus of +2. Following the suggestion of Richard Berg, for the French cavalry alone the first time the unit charges a dice is rolled: on 1,2,3 they follow the fire discipline, on 4,5,6 they charges at cold steel and have a +2 bonus. This choice is maintained for the whole game.

Now the proxies: the French are proxied by my GNW swedes whereas the Conferate are proxied by GNW russian and danish (some danish regiment where indeed at Blenheim as mercenary unit for the Maritime Powers). The most eye-sighted between you shall detect also some napoleonic french artillery proofing confederate artillery. I beg your pardon, sirs.

Now let’s look at the battle (woods and hills are just to add variety).

A general view with the town of Blenheim, the village of Oberglau and the muddy and marshy-banked Nebel Bach.

The Franco-Bavarian wing of Marsin and the Elector of Bavaria (3 units Infantry, 3 units Cavalry, 1 unit Guard Cavalry, 4 Guns)

The French center under Tallard, overall commander (3 units Infantry, 2 units Cavalry, 1 unit Guard Cavalry, 4 Guns) and the Oberglau garrison, Blainville with 2 units of infantry

The French right wing of Clerambault with the Blenheim garrison (4 units Infantry, 1 unit Guard Cavalry, 1 Guns plus 2 infantry units in garrison)

The Imperial army of Prinz Eugen (3 units Infantry, 1 unit Guard Infantry, 4 units Cavalry, 1 unit Guard Cavalry, 3 Guns):

The Center under Malborough (overall commander) and Holstein-Beck (4 units Infantry, 1 unit Guard Infantry, 4 units Cavalry, 1 unit Guard Cavalry, 3 Guns):

The left wing under Lord Cutts (3 units Infantry, 1 unit Guard Infantry, 1 unit Cavalry):

So, let’s play! A  battle report will follow soon.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year. 

Last post of this strange 2020, with more GNW Russian Dragoons.

The Life Regiment in its 1708 uniform. The regiment was raised in 1707 from men of Zybin’s Dragoon regiment (disbanded in 1706). The first uniform was with a red coat. It was at Holowczin, Lesnaja, Poltava and Perevolotjna. Then at Riga 1710, at the Pruth disaster in 1711 and finally in Poland 1711-18. From 1719 it becomes the St. Peterburgski Dragoon Regiment.

The other newcomers are the dismounted dragoon from the Zvedza box (with some Strelets added). They are not intended to represent specific regiments, rather act as war-games “tokens” to represent the dismounted status of a unit.

That’s all for 2020. I wish you all to have a happier 2021.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

On the road again

A new post after a long time. I was unfortunately enough to be caught by the lockdown far from my house. So I didn’t  spent all my quarantine time painting minis or playing wargames and boardgames as many of you did.

Back home at the end of June I finally took brushes  again to complete the doubling of Danish cavalry: here you can see the result (yes, many bases are still unfinished because in the meantime I  also finished the Vallejo texture…). All the details about the regiments were given  in older posts.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cossacks and other gentlemen

A Great Northern War army can’t stay without Cossacks: there were the Russian ones, the Polish, the Swedish Allied Mazeppa’s and the Swedish Valacker which collectively are all Cossacks. My idea is to have a suitable numbers of them and then add a base with a Polish flag or a Swedish officier in blue to represent Polish Cossacks and Valacker respectively, whereas all the other not identified units would represent Russians.

Thus far I painted the 12 miniatures from the Orion box. The only fault of an otherwise very nice set are the horses: never Cossacks dreamed of such beautiful horse like those sculpted by Orion. Aside form this remark, the miniatures are well cast and detailed and it was a pleasure to paint them. Browsing Pinterest of other websites I found many images, painting and reenactor pictures to have a basic guidance to the dress of riders and horses.

With 12 figures I painted 6 bases which can represent when paired twice three V&B irregular Cavalry units, or one and half Maurice unit. The wild bunch:

A closer view of the bases:

On the more responsible side of the army, another Russian dragoons regiment, the Archangelgorodski in the yellow coat in use in 1705. The regiment was raised in 1703 in Jamburg from men of selected regiments as “Field Marshal Sheremetiev dragoon battalion”. In all the major campaign from 1704, at Poltava, then in Pomerania 1711 and in Poland 1716-17.

I finish with two command bases were I was able to use some weird figures from Strelets boxes. The first base represents a generic general in white coat: with him the giant kneeling figure from the Strelets Swedish artillery box. 

The second base represents Prince Menshikov: with him one of the many Semeonovski grenadiers I was left with and the weird surrendering Streltsi from the “Streltsi Bonus collection” series.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Swedish temporary foot and Danish cuirassiers

To add some variety in my Swedish army I added two “temporary units” in gray coats.

The first one is the Smaland Tremannings. It was in Livland and then with the Lewenhaupt army. After the disaster at Lesnaja the survivors were placed in the Livgardet. According to Hoglund the coat was blue but the “gray vadmal pajrock” with yellow linings and cuffs was in use for the privates. The second regiment is the Södermalands (och Östgota) Tremannings (blue lining). It was a short lived unit, broken in 1703 after the Colonel Putbus death, one battalion transferred to Livgardet, the other to the Upplands Tremannings. Reraised in 1712 with an history of reraising and breaking till 1721. Miniatures are the usual mix of Strelets and Mars.

As it can be seen in previous post, the Danish cavalry for Helsinborg was painted with one base for each regiment. However, as I did for the Swedish and Russian cavalry all the regiments will be double-based. In this way two bases can be used as “regimental base” for V&B and a four-bases unit for Maurice will represents a two-regiment brigade.

The first regiment I put in full strenght is the 1st Jyske (Jutland) Cavalry Regiment in its “vintage” XVIIth century cuirassiers attire. The ensign has a converted hat from a tricorne into the old-fashioned one wich is depicted in the Snorranson article on the Danish Army, whereas the cuirassier in the other base had an head-swapping with another miniature.