Wargame Rules


I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible yet capture the character of the 1790s. Accordingly, most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies.


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Scratch Built Mediterranean Houses

Not much painting of figures lately, but I was interested to try my hand at using some corrugated cardboard which had arrived as packaging, and I had kept aside for about six months. The idea was to put together some smaller farm buildings which could serve in the French Revolution, or for many other conflicts in southern Europe over several centuries. Working on and off over two days, completed three buildings, and improved the roof on another older model.

Friday, 13 October 2017

British Corps of Marines at Greenwich

In addition to wargaming the French Revolutionary Wars, I also founded and run a living history group portraying Captain Pellew's Landing Party, being a detachment of Royal Navy and British marines c.1793. Earlier this year we were commissioned to support, over four days, a tall ships event in London. Those visiting the event must have numbered tens of thousands, and some fine photos were taken of our living history display. Imagine the surprise when having a chat with a wargaming friend, Chris Gregg, it turns out that he had spent some time photographing our portrayal with neither of us being aware of each others attendance. Here are a few photos taken of this event, including some by Chris. May I also invite followers to visit his own blog as he has a reputation for painting military subjects, and special commissions can be negotiated. (See Links)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Scratch built Windmill 14th to 18th Century

Finally decided to build a generic windmill, suitable for use in several periods. This is based on the type that appeared in Spain in the 14th century but continued as a popular style for many centuries more. The basic wood cylinder was originally part of a sugar container picked up in a charity shop for £1. My plan included, however, the incorporation of a Swiss music box that was previously part of my late mother's jewellery box, which also included a spinning ballerina. The tune being a fairly well known Spanish melody. With no intention of keeping the jewellery box, I could see a fun potential if I could include it in my windmill model; music and moving sails no less.  Pleased to report, it works, and I can't help smiling each time I wind the key inside the cylinder.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Legion des Allobroges, all three sections form up

Among my recent castings are some cavalrymen for my Allobroges Legion. And I have also just put together a few artillerymen to operate the legion's own artillery section.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A Surprise Night Attack in Flanders, 1793

With a guest staying over on Friday night, we decided it would be nice to have a small scale war-game set during the French Revolutionary Wars. The simple scenario comprised a town in Flanders held by a brigade of Republican troops. Although the garrison was of mixed quality it was well fortified in their positions. Now the Allies besieging the town outnumbered this garrison but time was against a prolonged siege and so, a brigade of elite Allied troops with several gentleman volunteers would make a surprise night attack against a key redoubt. As silence was vital to the likely success of this action it was decided that flints should be removed from all firelocks to stop misfires. It would take a full stationary move to replace these flints, but only if the enemy had become aware of this assault, and they were so ordered.

The garrison commander had wisely established several outworks where company strong units had been posted to forewarn of any likely attacks. And, every MOVE, the garrison commander would dice to see if they fired a flare (dice 5 or 6), if this occurred, any unit within 24" of the Allied column should also through a dice to see if they spot the approaching column (dice 5 or 6).

Movement by the allies would be difficult, good or bad there was to be no moonlight for this surprise attack. The Brigade was to comprise a column of three battalions, each formed up in line. A dice would determine the move distance for each battalion.

For the record, the ALARM would comprise shouting for that MOVE, firing could only occur on the following MOVE. A charge move is not determined by dice (8") but usual reductions for terrain may apply, and a dice must be thrown by the garrison to see if the alarm is given during the charge. Or were the sentries fast asleep?

At the agreed time the column set off towards the objective. But the ground was exceedingly boggy and movement was dreadfully slow. The two rear battalions also fell somewhat behind as the ground was now a quagmire. (After four moves the column had barely covered six inches.) The first flare appeared in the sky, but no further reaction. A second flare followed on move six, and a company of grenadiers in a local barn reacted. The total alarm now spread quickly, even the dark could not limit occasional casualties as the column received fire on both flanks, and a battery of 8pdrs opened up on their front. With all hope lost of taking the official position, George, commanding the column, advanced two battalions at the right flank outpost Not particularly fortified and manned by the Batave Legion infantry and some Paris National Guard chasseurs, their musketry could not stop a fair charge, and after a brief melee left the field in a rout. But with casualties mounting, and with no hope of securing the official position, George decided to pull out. Now the French commander, Chris, saw this as no such conclusion, and pursued with his white-coated grenadier company and several companies of Foot Gendarmes. Here, at least, the 18th Regiment of Foot about faced and delivered a volley which scattered the French grenadiers, and the Allied column returned to their camp. Casualties for the Allies on a 1:25 ratio were as follows: Loyal Emigres 500 strong (300 K+W),  Light Battalion 500 strong (100 K+W), 18th Foot 500 strong (25 K+W). The Garrison lost: French Grenadiers (50 K+W), Batave Legion (125 K+W), but a further 425 are reported as missing during the night. So, the surprise night attack failed, but that is fate (and Chris is peculiarly lucky with war-games dice!). A special prize to the gallantry of the Loyal Emigres,  forced to retire with over 50% casualties but never routing, and also to the accuracy of the French artillery crews.

NOTE This game had two objectives. Firstly to capture some of the stress in carrying out a surprise attack. Secondly, to fight a game which would take no more than two hours to actually set up and play. Both were fully achieved at 1 hour, 57 minutes.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hussars of Death c.1792

Recently completed this unit of French cavalry. At least two revolutionary units of hussars wore black uniforms. This one, raised in Paris, mustered 130 to 190 men, formed into one squadron of two companies. It only had a brief service record but was quite active, mainly in the North, before being incorporated into the 13th Chasseurs. These are my own castings on Hinchcliffe horses. There are several variations given for the uniform, such as a black wool shabraque, but supply issues could explain these differences.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

French Cavalry c.1792 FIELD DAY

My original collection comprised six squadrons of cavalry, with a modest total of 36 troopers. With my adoption of a 1:25 ratio, and linked to typical field returns, the corps of cavalry has been increased and also revamped. Here are photos of some of the units now ready for active service, with guidons having been issued. Those in green/yellow are the 4th Chasseurs, the green/pink belong to the 7th Chasseurs. Next is the 5th Dragoon Regiment. Those in grey/red belong to the 3rd Hussars, those in blue/red belong to the 4th Hussars. The unit with mirliton hats and green/pink coats are the Moselle Legion Hussars (aka Kellermann's). Most of the above are Dixon Miniatures, but the Moselle hussars are my own on Hinchcliffe horses.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

News from the French Camp, cavalry guidons and standards have arrived

Decided to paint up a batch of French cavalry guidons for the 1792-6 period. Eight are now pretty well complete, and a flag was also issued to a light battalion. Surviving examples indicate a basic design for the various cavalry arms but these were then ornamented in a regimental or idiosyncratic manner.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The French Cavalry are in a total mess!

I mentioned to CB, recently on this page, that my French Revolutionary cavalry are in a very bad way. That I was not only raising new units,  but reconstituting and increasing others. That this plan was to involve casting some of my own specials, and purchasing quite a few more from Dixon. Truly, my little collection is in a total mess. Hope those that follow this blog will not be offended if I prove this point with a photograph. I know the real Revolutionary cavalry were reported as being often in an irregular state, but this is ridiculous. So now the work can begin.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Old Royal Army have a field day c.1792

Having risked an entire battalion with paint remover, I'm pleased to report that the 8th Regiment has now received their new uniforms, colours and weaponry. Thought it was time to muster the five Line battalions, one grenadier battalion, and some depot companies of another regiment. In all, 140 whitecoats mustered for the inspection. Also attending were the infantry of the Batave Legion, and colours were duly presented.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Naval battery of 18pdrs, ready for service

Just completed a naval battery of 18pdrs. Although painted up as Royal Navy, this unit could just as well represent American, Dutch, and perhaps even French if I add a suitable commander. It could also cover both the American Revolution or the early years of the French Revolution. Most of the figures are Dixon Miniatures but other makes have been drafted. The guns are from Hinchcliffe.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Wargaming the French Revolutionary Wars, another site

Just a quick mention here. Colin Ashton has a war-game website which includes some superb photos of his 28mm French Revolutionary armies, including British and Russian armies. Do have a view. I'm still trying to put a permanent link to his site but it won't upload to my sidebar, for some reason.

Saturday, 29 April 2017


Two more wagons were completed yesterday. With their loyal militia attendants, these will be attached to my British AWI troops. Another three wagons are just awaiting their drivers to be painted and they will be serving with my British FRW army. I'm rather pleased with the cart as this is my own casting using up some spare wheels. MGB

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dutch Artillery Battery for 1793

Some time back I picked up these artillerymen roughly painted up as French. When I decided to repaint them I also felt they would look more appropriate in my Allied army, serving as Dutch. More recent acquisitions which I have just completed are the two Prussian cannon and, originally, an ACW cart which I have converted into something more 18th century, moving the axle and replacing the shafts. I think it now looks quite suitable.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

French Pontoon Wagon c.1792

This is my latest addition to my French Revolutionary army 1792-98, a pontoon wagon with several members from that corps serving as guards, and a civilian driver. Fighting in the Low Countries, this is a vital piece of ordnance. I decided to paint it in blue, appropriate to it having been previously part of the Royal army, and now serving the republican cause. The French have also gained a small cart, which is one of my own castings. (The mounted guards are Police Legion dragoons.)