Sunday, October 31, 2010

CAPITAN 1813-1814 Released

Great news from  CAPITAN GAMES, the 1813-1814 variant for Capitan has been released.

From their announcement:
Capitan 1813 - 1814 new units released
We have released the new supplement for our Napoleonic small units game CAPITAN.

New units and officers to play the Liberation Wars 1813, and the Campaign of France in 1814. Napoleon against all the Allies, units from Prussia, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Wutemburg, Bavarian, Hanover, British Freikorps,  German Minor States, and the new French Guard Units, and the veterans of the Russian campaign. A total of 392 ¡¡¡¡¡ new units.

This is excellent news, the timing is just right with WG having released the Landwehr a few weeks ago, Perry expected to release some metals shortly, ahead of their main plastic release next year, and then promises of plastic Austrians from Victrix early next year, 1813-1814 should be the 'hot' period for Napoleonics for the next year.

The rules are the same as for Capitan but with new Unit Card's.
These are broken down as follows.
French (96)
Austria (40)
Prussia (64)
Russia (64)
Bavaria (40)
Wurttemberg (24)
Hanover (16)
British (32)
Sweden (16)

For those that don't know Capitan is a 'large skirmish' level game for miniatures, originally focused on the Peninsular War and 1813-1814 is a supplement to that version. The game revolves around the 'unit' rather than the individual 'character' as with some other skirmish games. A 'unit' may represent a single figure or a group of figures, though most often it is a group of figures, each unit has its 'Unit Card' which gives you all its strength and capabilities. It can be played with a very small force on a very small table ('official' scenarios are often targeted at a 4'x4' table) but equally it can be used for larger forces and large tables (my preference).

The rules and cards are free to download, you then print out the cards, cut them up, laminate them if you like, and your ready to go.

If you want a professionally printed version of 1813-1814, Capitan-Games now have a 'Project50' scheme where you email them expressing your interest to buy the printed version, then once they have 75 people signed up they will ask you to pay via their online shop and then arrange for them to be printed and sent to you. The 'printed' game consists of all the unit cards printed in full color on card board and laser precut, plus the rules which maybe in color or b&w (Capitan was b/w). I am already 'signed up'.

If you want any of their games printed, simply send an email to

The original Capitan was available printed (and still is, I bought a copy, the quality is excellent), as they had printed up a lot of copies ahead of the release and this new scheme is I assume a reaction to their experiences with that approach and is fair I think to both sides when the demand is unpredictable and the company is small.

The rules and unit card's are  available here.

Now it's been released I will start to publish a few scenarios for it, 'Ambush At Schwegnitz' should be the first and I hope to get that out in the next day or so and also I hope to provide a bit more focus on the 1813-1814 period.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steve Barber Models 28mm Pavlov Grenadiers - Part 2

If you don't recall these see last week's post here.

Well the package arrived today from Caliver having placed the order last Thursday, excellent service as usual from the guys!

Ok, down to the figures, 24 Pavlov Grenadiers from Steve Barber Models , consisting of 10 NR34 Advancing low porte, 11 NR35 Advancing high porte, and one each of NR36 Officer in bicorne, NR37 Drummer and NR38 Standard bearer. These were on offer from Caliver GBP17.00 post free world wide.

The figures are 'Foundry' sized, by that I mean a perfect match to the British, though taller than the (very short) Austrians, say about 28mm to top of head, thats a noticeable couple of millimeter shorter than the Perry Miniatures figures which are 28mm to the eye ball. Bulk wise they are similar to Foundry, that's a little bit 'fatter' than PM but not such a big deal.

Quality wise they are pretty good sculpts, even if not spectacular, again pretty much in line with Foundry but not quite up their with PM at their best.

If you collect Foundry then these are well worth taking a look at, actually an absolute bargain, I have no hesitation in recommending them. On the other hand if you are into the PM/Victrix/WG 'slim' 28mm then Victrix's new Russians are probably a better match size wise though they work out at double the price which is something to bear in mind.

Still waiting for the Perry Carlist civilians, it's been a week since the Brunswickers, ordered the same day, arrived,  think I will have to email them to see what has happened, though I have yet to loose a package in over 10 years. Unfortunately Caliver's were out of stock on the 95'th decals

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Secret Mission - 15th March 1813

A small mission near Castalla in eastern Spain in 1813 recounted by Private Ewart of the 27th.

Food for a Sharp Practice scenario I think.

On the 15th, however, orders were given for the light company, the grenadiers, and two battalion companies of the 27th, to stand to their arms soon after night-fall, and to proceed under the guidance of certain spies, on some secret expedition to the front.

We obeyed, of course, and found ourselves, about nine or ten o'clock, paraded under the beams of a full clear moon, and conducted by roads, on which the snow lay thick and firm, we did not know whither. We were in excellent spirits, as is always the case with soldiers when an air of mystery appears to hang over their proceedings; and we trudged along, pleasing ourselves with speculations on what the morrow might bring forth.

And so we penetrated through Bancai, a large straggling village, long before its inhabitants had begun to rouse themselves, the word having been previously passed, not only to keep silence, but to step as lightly as possible while traversing the street. But as the morning came in, our difficulties began to accumulate upon us. Though the nights were very cold, the sun possessed great power, and his rays soon melted the snow which had heretofore supported us; so that we sank at each step deeper and deeper in the mire, and became, by degrees, seriously impeded in our movements.

The consequence was, that, instead of arriving at Biechar, where we were expected to surprise an enemy's plundering-party at dawn, we did not reach the outskirts of the town till the morning was considerably advanced, and were therefore unable to accomplish more than the seizure of fifty-nine mules, all of them laden with booty; for the French, having contrived to obtain intelligence of our approach, retreated in good time to save themselves; and even of their plunder we should have failed to get possession, had we not made extraordinary exertions to push on.

Great was the rejoicing among the Spaniards when we marched into the town; and greater still their amazement when they beheld the use to which our success was turned. Instead of appropriating the booty to himself, and carrying it back to head-quarters, the commanding officer caused the Alcalde to receive the whole into his keeping; and then collected the heads of families by proclamation, into one place, in order that each might identify his own goods, and reclaim them.

I never saw men more strongly affected by sentiments of admiration and gratitude than these poor Spaniards. Some of them went so far as to shed tears; whilst the amount of wine and provisions, which they sought to press upon us, was so abundant, that had we accepted the whole, we should have been in bad plight to execute our homeward march, or indeed to perform any other species of duty. Moreover, they implored us not to leave them. They would submit cheerfully to any amount of requisition, if we would only remain and protect them from the French; but this was out of the question.

Wherefore, having halted about an hour, and taken as much both of bread and wine as sufficed to recruit our exhausted energies without affecting our sobriety, we stood to our arms once more, and fell back to Bancai.

Our movement in advance, though fatiguing enough, had been executed under the excitement of anticipated service; our retrogression, a great deal more toilsome in itself, had no such principle to lighten or sustain it. As the sun's power increased, the roads became more and more heavy, till by and by we plunged at every step ankle deep into the soil. Then followed the breaking of gaiterstraps, then the coming off of shoes, which few had time, and fewer still patience to redeem; for the foot being dragged out, the shoe was left behind, and the mud closed over it irretrievably.

Great, therefore, was the measure of our rejoicing when it was announced that we should not proceed further than Bancai that night, and cordial the expression of our satisfaction when, having been formed up in the market-place, we were desired to go and occupy, each man for himself, the best billet that we could find.

It was my fortune to establish myself, together with the four men of my squad, in the house of an old couple; they either had no provisions of any kind, or judged it expedient not to share them with us. But some Indian corn we did discover in the course of our investigations, and out of that, fried in olive oil, we contrived to make a tolerable supper. Moreover, two of my party, by name Dodd and Crichton, being noted for their skill as foragers in similar situations, contrived, while rummaging up some fagots, with which to feed the fire, to bring to light a cask of excellent old wine. From this we made no scruple of drawing as much as our immediate necessities required ; and filling our canteens, over and above, as a preparation for the morrow. Yet, let me do justice both to myself, and to the light company in general. There was not a drunken man among us ; and when an hour before daylight we mustered next morning under arms, we were all, much to our new captain's satisfaction, sober.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Napoleonic Books

Over the last 3 or 4 months I have probably bought more books than in the last 20 years. The driving force behind this sudden splurge was a "discovery", though in reality a discovery of the obvious.

I have looked at and bought books off Amazon for many years, both for hobby interest and for my work but for some reason I had never clicked the links which show the "used" books, I guess because I imagined they would be chewed up, knocked about, with pages missing or covered in personal "notes".

However when researching for a post on this blog someone suggested I read a section of a book, I couldn't find the book in my local library and I was not going to spend the $50 that Amazon wanted just for a blog post, but then I saw I could pick up a used copy for $5, it's condition was stated as "very good" and it was a hardcover edition, well that was doable.

So I placed the order.

When it arrived I was surprised, well more amazed, I was expecting a well worn book, not that I was concerned by that, after all I just wanted to read the passage, I didn't care about the condition I just wanted "cheap", however the condition was excellent, to quote my father, "it looked like it had been read once and put back on the shelf"! That got me thinking, and I started looking at other books that I had heard of or looked at before but never been able to afford to buy.

Since then I have been regularly picking up cheap, used, good condition books from Amazon, the sort of books I would never consider or could never afford if new. All have been in fantastic condition, occasionally there has been the odd ex-library book but even these are in great condition just with the usual stamp in the front cover.

For example this week I bought "Historical Maps of the Napoleonic Wars" by Simon Forty for $2.46 that's around GBP1.50, pretty amazing I think. Then a couple of months back there was "The Fall of Napoleon, The Allied Invasion of France, 1813-1814: Volume 1" by Michael V. Leggiere which was $4.00 or GBP2.50. Or how about "The Exploits of Baron de Marbot" for $4.00 or GBP2.50 which was another one I picked up this week.

All these were hardcover, personal preference, I like hardcover books and they look good on the bookshelf. If you look at the Amazon bookshelf on the right (towards the bottom of the page) you can see some of the book's I have been buying. In a short period of time I think I have built up quite a "library" for next to nothing.

I created an Amazon store here , no I am not looking for you to buy from it, but I found it was a simple way to create a bunch of categorised list of books that I could easily go back to, I am maintaining the lists so as I get time I will subcategorise books for convenience.

Oh and if you need ideas for xmas gifts, well in the summer, after making this discovery, I bought half a dozen books for my father's birthday on Steam Trains, his passion, he was well stoked, and which was where his quote came from, if I had just bought new he would have had maybe one book,as it was I was able to give him an interesting selection including one on Scottish Railways where he was holidaying at the time.

Also I created a "wishlist" of the books I want to buy and have let my wife and kids know if they want to give me something for xmas a cheap used book will be more than appreciated, much better than have them buy me another belt and even my kids can afford a $5 book LOL!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Steve Barber Models 28mm Pavlov Grenadiers

Earlier this month Victrix launched their metal Russian 28mm range which included 1805-1808 Pavlov's, so I don't think it can be a coincidence that today I received an email from Caliver, 24+(?) Pavlov Grenadiers from Steve Barber Models GBP17.50 world wide post free! On the SBModels site all the Russian's are marked as 1812-1815 so not direct competition to Victrix.

You can't complain about a price like that can you?

Ok so this is a range I wasn't aware of or had forgotten about, just took a look over their site, the figure are a bit hit and miss, there are some great looking figures but also some not so great unfortunately.

These look great.

As does this.

But then these are not so hot.

Then there is the question what size are these, big 28's, small 28's "Perry" size?
They look to me without anything to measure them against, so I could be way off, "Foundry" sized.

.. and can't find a pic of the Pavlov's anywhere...

but the price is tempting...

So do they look like this, short or tall mitre?

Basically for me at this price it's worth picking up if they fit in with Perry sized 28's.

So anyone out their know what size they are, any comparison shots?

NorthStar buys Helion's 1866 Range!

A while back I posted about that wonderful "Seven Weeks’ War of 1866" 28mm range from Helion. I was keen on buying some of their figures for xmas but sadly as DuncanRogers of Helion informed me at the time, he would not be developing the line further and was actively looking to sell the range off.

That sort of killed of the idea of starting an 1866 project and took away the excuse to buy that 1866 book!

Well, great news today, NorthStar have announced they have purchased the range from Helion!

That should assure the future of the line, hopefully we will also see it developed further, in particular it was in need of some artillery to make the range viable. Not only that but NorthStar is a great company to deal with, easy for o'seas "customers" like me to deal with and their service is excellent. When I buy online although my first choice is Caliver, second is NorthStar.

I noticed a comment posted by Nick from NorthStar on TMP:
Last week I took ownership of the 28mm Seven Weeks War range from Helion.

The range isn't on the North Star website yet, I want to go through the moulds, get things organised and hopefully have it all photographed before putting them online.

But if you are a customer looking for reinforcements, please drop me an email at I can get figures cast for you now before we get the stock built up and re-launch the range officially. I will also keep to the Helion price, unfortunately when they join the North Star website there will be a price rise.

Any feedback on the range from existing customers is very welcome, I do intend to add to the range, I'm already talking to a sculptor about artillery.

If you've seen the prices on the Helion site, a price rise is maybe not a surprise I guess, NorthStar don't do "free world wide postage" so for a start so that +20% .... I guess we are looking at Crusader/Artizan level of pricing, though I hope they will keep the discount for larger units. Bad news and good news you can say...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feels like xmas - The Prussians Arrive

Well yesterday the man delivered by spanking new iPad, so I got to play with that for a while before my boss told me to start getting productive with it.

Then today the postman turns up with 3 packages no less, two from Caliver and one from Perry. That's 4 boxes of WG Landwehr, a box each of Perry Dragoons, Hussars and British Infantry and last but not least 12 Perry metal Brunswick Hussars.

There was a note to say that the WG-PRU-WGN21 metal Prussian command would follow ASAP, so that leaves my 40 odd Perry Somatens somewhere in the air I guess.

The Perry metals were fairly well bashed, the horses were at least, and not in transit either, it's taking a fair bit of deft pressure to get the horses straightened out, careful not to end up breaking the legs in the process. Otherwise, an excellent set which I am looking forward to painting, especially after seeing this video, if only it were that easy.

The Landwehr box consists of 3 pack's of 3 sprue's, each with 3 figures and 2 sabre briquet's (wonder whether an axe would have been a better choice), so that's 27 foot, and one pack of 3 metal command, an officer, drummer boy and standard bearer (with pole and finials), to make up the total of 30 foot.

There is a four page flyer included in the box, covering the background of the Landwehr and brief details on facing collars. This sheet also contains 11 flags, and is printed on thickish paper, well thicker than the Perry sheet's.

The metal's are very nicely sculpted and cast, as good as anything the Perry's might turn out on an average working day. I like them.

The plastic's are so 'Perryesque', if that's even a proper word, even down to the little circular base, to be honest if someone told you they were from Perry you wouldn't really argue with them. However this set aims squarely at the gamer rather than the modeler, each figure is a single part, not the multipart's we have seen so far, and as such they are simply perfect for the average gamer, a little bit of cleaning up to do where they were cut from the sprue and then these will be ready to undercoat.

That not to say there isn't some downside to producing single part figure's, apart from the obvious lack of variety  imposed by not be able to pose a single part figure there is also an impact on the casting. Front and back the detail is excellent no complaint's, side-on however, as with any and all plastic's, then detail is lost, these figures hide that, to some extent, as these areas are under the arms, covering the side of the pack and part of the torso. Also, as an example, the bedroll on top of the backpack should curve down in an arc to the neck but that would cause an 'undercut' which you can't have in a plastic figure so it cuts straight from the top of the pack to the neck, making it look a bit 'blocky', this problem could be side stepped if, like the other sets we have seen so far, you had produced the backpack as a separate piece. The other issue which has been noted before is the 'boxing glove' hands. It is true they are a tad oversized and combined with some loss of detail they do look a bit 'boxing glove' like. I will say it is nowhere near as bad as it looked in the original pics, though its hard to understand why it wasn't fixed, but it's not really a big deal. All this said put them together in a unit and you will not notice any of these issue's at all and that is the point with this set.

I do wonder though whether the 'gamers' who clamored for the single piece figure may change their mind's somewhat when they see the end product.

One thing to note here, the set does not come with the Renedra bases as all Perry figures do, so you will need to provide your own. For me this is not an issue as I use my own bases anyway, so the Perry's bases have been superfluous.

In terms of their objective to produce a set of Landwehr for the gamer to get on the table in short order I would give this set 10 out of 10. They may lack in the variety of poses we have come to expect of plastic's but that was intentional and will be welcomed by some. I would liked to have seen more variety at least with separate heads but to be honest the forthcoming releases from WG should take care of the need for some variety in battalion unit's. FYI as Paul mentioned yesterday about the forthcoming releases, 'Some of the metal Prussian models will be released before Christmas - if not everything you've seen so far (and some you haven't!).'

I don't believe these are a challenge to Calpe, the difference in size/bulk alone in my opinion precludes using them to replace Calpe, however I would and will gradually phase out my Foundry Prussians as WG and Perry fill out their ranges. If 'Perry' sized Napoleonic's has a place on your gaming shelf then I would say this set is a must have.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Victrix Updates - Lots of Austrian Greens

Hmm so there was me saying on Friday that they wouldn't be released until June and today they show some greens, actually quite a lot of greens!

From their announcement:

These are some first photos of master models for our upcoming plastic Austrian sets.
 Austrians in helmets

Austrians in shakos
Austrian grenadiers

Austrian Landwehr
The sets will comprise of 36 or 48 figures, (this is to be decided so please send us your views on this) Some customers have already commented that they would prefer the 48 man size units for some rules sets as Austrians did field larger Battalions than most other European nations.

The main position will be march attack pose as this is the most frequently requested position. However there will be extra arm postitions to add the character and conversion possibilities you have come to expect form our figures.

The command sprue will be separate on these sets so you dont have any command figures left over. As well as a great looking officer, standard bearer, drummer and sergeant options we have included a fantastic mounted officer. The arms of the foot and mounted officer are interchangeable so you can get lots of variety of pose.

The figures are having a few minor changes done to them at present and then we will update you again with some more photos.

 No exact release date for these at present but we are looking at early 2011.

"early 2011"
Do I have to eat my hat?
Well if they do meet that target I will be seriously impressed and will promise to buy twice as much as I would have intended.

If I was running Victrix, and I am not, I would drop everything else and make sure these get out on time if not early, they are the first thing they have produced to date that has both a market and someone hasn't already produced the same thing, but then again what do I know about anything!

As ever these are great sculpts, that has never been the issue has it, I hope we see them as '3 piece' figure's so they are easy to assemble but have some variety, and YES to big battalions. The Austrians in helmets are mainly for the earlier period to match the Russian, by 1809 there were only a few left in helmets I believe, and its really 1809 onwards that we are interested in but the shako are good from then on. It looks to me like we are looking at two basic body poses in the picture, I assume we will get one or two sets with lots of different types of head so you can do helmet's or shako's as you desire?

It would be nice to mix some of the Perry/WG Prussians units up with Austrians, I think we are going to have to because whilst I assume Perry will come up with Cavalry and Artillery I am not sure about Victrix doing the same for the Austrians any time soon but you never know.

For Victrix I will get all excited about this news, though in reality we need to see a lot more than a couple of March Attack figures to complete an Army but if not eat my hat I will take my hat of to them, though I still fear that my June date may be nearer reality than their early 2011, unless things have really turned the corner at Victrix.

Anyway great stuff guys, just keep it up!

Oh and do the Limber Team........

Friday, October 15, 2010

An update from Victrix

Victrix have cleared up where they are at on various projects from their announcement:

This is just a quick update to keep you informed of our current production schedule.
We are a bit behind on our release date for the Old Guard Chasseurs at present and the 2 sets of French 54mm, Grenadiers and Voltigeurs. We were expecting the Chasseurs to be out in September but we had a few unavoidable delays during the summer months. We are currently a week or two away from getting test shots of the Chasseurs and 54mm test shots should be following a few weeks after that. We think mid November will be a realistic release time for the Chasseurs and late November for the 54mm.

These delays have had an inevitable knock on effect with the release dates of the Greek Hoplites and the Austrians. The Greeks wont be out this side of Christmas, we are looking at getting them out as soon as possible in January. The Austrians are next in the queue after the Greeks but no firm date yet. Disappointing news I know for all of you have been waiting eagerly for the Greeks to be released. Even more disappointing for us! But rest assured they are being released and they will be some great sets, full of character and positional options.

We will be showing off some pictures of the Austrians next week. The sets are looking great and we can’t wait for these to be released, Bob Naismith has done a really lovely job on these miniatures.
There will be 4 initial releases for the Austrians.

1)      Austrians in Helmets. These can be used from 1805 to 1809
2)      Austrians in shakos. These can be used from 1806 to 1815
3)      Austrian Grenadiers. 1805 to 1815
4)      Austrian Landwehr. These are in Corsican hats and can be used for the Volunteer battalions, Landwehr and Militia of 1809 to 1814.

These sets have a battalion of 36 in a box plus a plastic mounted field officer and flags. We have chosen to do these in March attack poses and have a nice balance between easy assembly whilst retaining the options for adding character to your units.

We will look at Hungarians in future releases.

We are currently working on the metal Command packs for Russian Grenadiers and Pavlovski command plus flag sheets for the Russians

Being positive about things for a moment, the Austrian specs. sound very good, covering the mid/late period, there is I am sure a huge demand for 1806-1815 Austrians, I certainly will build an entire army if they release them. Line, Grenadiers and Landwehr are a good start but we need more, much more, cavalry, artillery etc. but good to hear at least Hungarians are planned though how many years in the future? Not much to say on Chasseurs,we have seen the Grenadiers early in the year and these are just really a variant of those, a good set, excellent sculpts one of the best infantry sets to date.

It's also good to see that Victrix have heard people's views on the 'assembly' issue but are still trying to seek a balance between speed of assembly and customization, hopefully they will steer clear of the WG style 'one piece' design but I think two or three piece is fine.

However I guess reading between the lines we shouldn't expect the Austrians until June next year and Victrix are just so horribly unfocused you wonder if you start building an army with them will much of it ever appear.

Example, for 6 month's now we have been waiting for a limber team to accompany their British Artillery set but to no avail, and I for one will not buy even one set of their's until they do have the team available. Tell me just how much and how long does it take to produce 6 horses and two riders ? If they hadn't produced the limber I wouldn't be complaining but they did and it makes the current set a 50% waste of money and leaves a lot of existing customers well and truly stuffed. I will admit a couple of month's back I did consider having someone sculpt the team for me but that's shear madness! How can anyone have faith in the Victrix line if you are just going to produce bits of units and then move on to something else and maybe leave people with half complete units for several years.

Last xmas I bought some of their 54mm British, I thought it would make for an interesting skirmish game, and they spoke about producing 54mm version for all their sets going forward, so I waited for the 'opposition' and waited and waited, now here we are 12 months later the second set finally appears and my Brits are still packed in their box, I would sell them but I doubt they are worth the postage, I have long since lost interest in this project and faith in Victrix so I won't be buying the new set.

How can you release some early Russians infantry one moment and then the next moment announce you are working on late Austrians, and in so doing dash any hope on seeing an expansion to the range for at very least a couple of years. Even though I think early Russians were the wrong choice in the first place having done so they should be expanding that range to at least enable you to build a viable force, I can only see them shooting themselves in the foot in just releasing a random and unconnected unit every 6 month or so.

It would be different if the figures were compatible with other ranges but they are not really compatible with either Foundry or Front Rank style figures, these small 28mm Napoleonics of Perry, Victrix, and WG are only compatible with each other and as such it makes it important that a range is coherent with at least some cavalry and artillery early on, otherwise people wont buy the infantry as they have nothing to make up an army to play with.  Just look at WG, they release something and very quickly there are 'add ons' available and you know they are hard at work trying to round out the range as quickly as possible

But not Victrix, hopeless is the word that springs to mind when I think of Victrix these days!

What makes all this so frustrating is that the work that Victrix does release is so good, really excellent sculpts and well executed in plastic. If this was Wargames Factory I wouldn't care, their quality is by and large so poor that you wouldn't want to buy it anyway but that isn't the case with Victrix, you actually do want to buy their stuff, your just put off buy the way the company apparently runs it's business.

I know it can't be easy establishing a new business and there must be reasons for them doing what they do but I can't see it, and I don't think they are making the best use of the obviously limited resources they have in hand.

The only hope is that they some day see the light....

More Prussians coming from WG

Warlord Games have previewed some new Napoleonic Prussians to go with their recently released Plastic Landwehr:

Oh, come now – you didn’t think we’d stop at plastic Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr did you? Take a butchers at the new sculpts for this range which are due for release in the not-too-distant future…

These dynamic casualty miniatures are just the thing to mix in with your regiments for a gritty dose of reality. The poor fellows have been knocked off their feet! These would also make for excellent elements in a cinematic diorama. In the pack will also be two dead landwehr – great to use as casualty markers in your games of Black Powder or to add to your bases for even more atmosphere.

Check out our Landwehr at trail – the separate right arms gives you bags of variation whilst retaining a uniform look to the unit. We also have Landwehr pikemen on the way too…

Well great news!!
They look very interesting to me, great looking sculpts, and interesting to see that after the 'one piece' design of the first set these are multipart, well at least two piece's anyway, but that's enough to give you a lot of scope to make your units look more life like and not just a bunch of robots. If I recall correctly the Pike armed Landwehr would only be appropriate for some of the units and the first half of 1813 only, by the middle of the year they were all properly armed with muskets.

Personally I like this compromise between the 'one peice' design of the first set and the mega multipart design of say Victrix's sets, though I think on balance I still would like separate heads as being able to slightly change the head position adds a lot.

Of course it's a trade off isn't it, the more pieces there are in a figure the longer they will take to assemble and some of those Victrix sets seem to take forever to assemble, but they do also allow you to create a variety of poses and make units look more life like. The 'one piece' design is quick to complete ideal for the wargamer who wants them on the table today but they don't really allow for much opportunity to customize.

I think this set has it 'just about right', I am impressed and surprised in a way, I sort of expected WG might just settle with the one box for now and then release a small bunch of really expensive metal figures as they tend to have done in the past, well I can't wait for the 'not-too-distant-future' to come around!

But I guess it will be after xmas.... but you can always hope!

Anyway I am still waiting for my Landwehr sets to arrive, hopefully they will be here in the next day or so, however I did receive the Prussians Flags today that I ordered from Solway Crafts, these are their new 'linen' flags, I will post about them in a day or so and hopefully put up some pics.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What's in a name?

I should be back up to speed with the blog by the weekend, a work project is almost over.

I am currently mulling over a change of name for this blog.

It appears that Google for some reason doesn't like my blog name and says I am a 'cybersquatter', though they won't be specific and say exactly why they think that, just that I am one, frustrating!

I can only assume either they mean the MW magazine but they have their own site which is not the same as this, or maybe they mean a domain currently not in use but up for sale at only $2,800!!

Whichever it is or if it's for some other reason Google don't like it at all, and as it's hard to find someone at Google to appeal for some commonsense I am not sure whether caving in isn't the best option.

Not a decision to take likely as it changes the url of the site, which means this blog effectively dies and reappears as a new one though the content will be saved.

So what to call the new blog? Hmmmmm...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Renegade - Pics of Napoleonic Cavalry

First pics of the new Renegade Napoleonic cavalry are up on their site.
As I suspected the horses are EBob licensed, 3 poses are shown, the figures are distinctly Renegade, sculpted to be size compatible with Perry and  cheap! The cavalry are not as yet up in the Regiments section, so maybe email them if you need to order now or wait a little while longer and I am sure they will appear.
Work getting in the way of blogging these last few days, will try to do a proper review of these later. I already have an order on the way with the WG Landwehr and the Perry Spanish/Catalan Guerrillas so hopefully will be able to show those next week.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

WG Prussian Landwehr Now Shipping!

Seems they're here at last!

NorthStar have them already, so I assume that Caliver does as well, and that all the small orders will be shipping as well in the next day or so.

Here is where being o'seas is a pain as I will have to wait a week or so before having them in hand.

BTW I noticed today Caliver are doing a 4Box deal for GBP57.50 free shipping world wide, worth taking a look at if WG's 6Box deal is too much for you.

At the same time WG are releasing some complementary metal figures. Below is a 3 figure command pack which retails for GBP5.00, from what I understand this is different from the 3 metal command figures that come in the box with the plastic set. Click the image for more details.

The Bridge at Rábade - 9th/10th January 1809

This looks at the 'real' history behind yesterdays post "Blow the bridge".

From the 6th to the 8th January 1809 General Moore halted his retreat on Corunna at Lugo and offered battle to Soult, whilst the British regiments recovered something of their discipline and collected many of the stragglers. The French Marshal hesitated to attack, and, on the night of the 8th/9th, Moore, who had no more than one day's supplies remaining in Lugo, resumed the retreat. The army reached Betanzos on the 9th, and on the night of the 11th the main body entered Corunna.
As the army prepared to slip away from under Soult's nose at Lugo Captain Gordon of the 15th Hussars records:
Orders were accordingly given to withdraw the guns as soon as evening closed in sufficiently to mask the movement, and the troops began their march about nine o'clock.

Watchfires were left burning on the ground we had occupied , which were kept up during the night by the picquets, who remained to observe the enemy's motions.

The different columns retired with the utmost regularity, and in such perfect silence that the French did not discover our evasion until after daylight. The night was extremely dark, which favored this manoeuvre.

Out route to the town lay over broken ground and though intricate lanes; the country was also intersected by dry stone walls, enclosing fields and vineyards, which made it difficult to keep the squadrons together, as no man could see his own horse's head, much less his file leader.

Out regiment was destined to form the rearguard as usual, and halted under the walls of Lugo, near the Corunna Gate, at eleven o'clock, to allow time for the infantry, who had not yet come up, to join the line of march.

During this interval the left squadron was ordered to the town-house to take charge of 35,000 dollars, which must otherwise have been left as a prize for the enemy. Sealed bags, each containing 500 dollars, were distributed to the troopers, and in this manner GBP8,000 was saved to the nation; but our poor horses were much oppressed by the addition of nearly two stone to the weight carried.

Some of the columns lost their way, owning to the darkness of the night and the mistakes of the guides, so that it was nearly two o'clock before they got clear of the town.

Some 8 miles north-west of Lugo the main road to Corunna crosses the Rio Miño at the village of Rábade. The bridge is a typically solid stone Spanish structure dating from medieval times.

We followed soon afterwards, and on crossing the Miño found the Engineers employed in mining the bridge. It was natural to suppose that, after so many failures, they had acquired sufficient experience to enable them to accomplish their object, and in this instance success was particularly desirable, as the river was not fordable.  The steam is broad and rapid, the bank rotten, and the neighborhood does not furnish material for making even a temporary repair. The destruction of this bridge was therefore expected to throw considerable impediments in the way of the enemy's advance; but our hopes were again disappointed. The powder exploded, the bridge remained uninjured, and the French crossed the river within a few hours. It is an extraordinary circumstance that our Engineers, who bear such a high character, should have failed so frequently in one of the most simple operations of the science.

However from the French perspective, Le Noble states:
The French entered Lugo on the 9th, where they took 18 pieces of cannon and 100 caisson destined for the army of Romana. Marshal Soult assigned Franceschi's division to the avantgarde and sent him off in pursuit of the English. However the General found that the enemy had blown up a pillar on the bridge at Rabade where the main road crosses the Miño, two leagues from Lugo. Colonel Garbe having under his command the engineers and sappers of the regiment was able to restore the bridge sufficiently during the night (9th/10th) for infantry and cavalry to pass and by the following night it was strong enough to allow the artillery to cross.

Once across the Miño, Franceschi's cavalry pushed on rapidly trying to prevent futher attempts to blow other bridges on the Corunna road:

Our avantgarde arrived in time to stop the destruction of the bridge over the Ladra, and we executed a charge in which five hundred English prisoners were taken.

The cavalry continued to pursue the enemy, the same day, they forced a passage of the bridge over the Mendeo and pushed up Montefalquiero. On this occasion, General Franceschi twice charged the enemy's cavalry, and captured a thousand men, five guns, two of them French, from the time of Louis XIV, many boxes of ammunition and baggage, and among which was the carriage of the general commanding the rearguard.

Blakeney of the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment also noted the losses on the 9th and 10th and the dismal performance of the Royal Engineers:
During the disastrous march from Lugo to Betanzos more men had fallen away from the ranks than during the whole previous part of the campaign. The destruction of several bridges was attempted, but failure was the invariable result.

However not all the skirmishing seems to have involved the rearguard that day, as Blakeney continues:
Directing our attention towards the stragglers as soon as day dawned, we discovered them formed in tolerably good order, resisting the French cavalry and retiring up the road to where we were in position. General Paget saw the whole affair, and perceiving that they were capable of defending themselves, deemed it unnecessary to send them any support ; but he declared in presence of the men, who from a natural impulse wished to move down against the cavalry, that his reason for withholding support was that he would not sacrifice the life of one good soldier who had stuck to his colours to save the whole horde of those drunken marauders who by their disgraceful conduct placed themselves at the mercy of their enemies.

The stragglers by this time became formidable ; and the enemy's cavalry having lost some men, and seeing the reserve strongly posted, declined to follow farther this newly formed levy en masse, who, true to their system, straggled up the hill to our bivouac.

Battle of the Panniers
Blakeney recalls how the action that day between the stragglers and the French came to be known as the Battle of the Panniers amongst the men.

A soldier of the 28th Regiment, really a good man, who had the mule of Doctor Dacres, to whom he was batman, having fallen in the rear because the animal which carried the surgeon's panniers was unable to keep up with the regiment, stopped at the houses mentioned ; and, getting up before daybreak to follow the regiment he was the first to discover the enemy as they advanced rather cautiously, no doubt taking the stragglers for our proper rearguard. The doctor's man shouted to the stragglers to get up and defend themselves against the French cavalry ; bat before they could unite into anything like a compact body, some were sabred or taken. He then gallantly took command of all those who, roused to a sense of danger, contrived a formation, until, to use his own words, he was superseded by a senior officer, a sergeant, who then assumed supreme command ; upon which General Panniers, with his mule, retired up the hill to where the reserve were posted. I understand that the sergeant got a commission for his good conduct among the stragglers ; but the poor batman was neglected a not unusual instance of "Sic vos non vobis" in the British army.

FYI This last action was covered in a previous post as well, the Battle of the Stragglers a scenario for Capitan.

Futher Reading:
A Journal Of A Cavalry Officer In The Corunna Campiagn 1808-1809 - Captain Gordon
Memoires sur Les Operations Militaires Des Francais en galice, en portugal er dan la valee du tage en 1809 - Le Noble
A Boy in the Peninsular War - The services, adventures or Robert Blakeney

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blow the Bridge - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #3.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)

Blow the Bridge

In January 1809, as Moore's retreated to Coruña, he halted for three days at Lugo before deciding on the 8th of January to continue his retreat, the Royal Engineers are given the task of blowing the bridge over the Rio Miño at Rábade 8 miles northwest of Lugo, the cavalry outposts of General Franceschi are hot on their heels and time is running short.

The River Minho runs east to west across the board, 50cm from the western edge is the Rábade bridge, quadrant 2 contains gentle rolling hills, while quadrant 4 is a sparse forest. From southwest to northeast, passing over the bridge is the road to Lugo. In quadrant 3, there is a small farm.

300 points in command units
1 unit Dragoons (500 points).
1 unit Chasseurs a Cheval (500 points).

Captain Hill of the Royal Engineers
250 points in command units
1 unit Engineers (300 points)
1 unit Hussars (350 points)
1 unit 95th Rifles (350 points)

Anywhere along the east side of the board no more than 10cm from the edge

Engineers and their command on the bridge.
All other troops can be placed anywhere once the French have been deployed, but no closer than charge distance to any enemy units.

If the French prevent the blowing of the bridge add 200 victory points.
To blow the bridge, at least four engineers must remain on the bridge for four turns without moving, without fighting, without being shot at or shooting.

Miniature Design Studios Warbands are back

OK so this is a Napoleonic's blog but about once a month I end up doing one 'off-Topic' post and this is the one for this month!

Miniature Design Studios are a fairly new producer of 28mm white metal miniatures, exclusively focused on ancients. They first appeared on the scene, if I recall correctly, about 18 months ago and had these great 'Warband' deals which worked out around 50p per figure and with their postage being only GBP5.50 worldwide they were an absolute steal, a complete no brainer. Last year the range was also expanding very rapidly and they seemed to have some momentum behind them.

Anyway the figures are all the 'small' proportionate style 28mm, actually very similar in size to the WG plastic ancients, that also should make them compatible with GB's and Immortal's new plastic ranges I believe. Overall they are a pretty good quality, I see them mainly as a cheap way to bulk out an army, whilst perhaps not being the best they are good enough for that purpose. The Achaemenid Persians, Sassanid Persians, Berbers, Celts and Saxons were excellent, I don't think you can find fault with them, the Picts and Greeks were IMHO howlers. I also quite like the Berber cavalry, I would have preferred to see EBob horses but these are not terrible. To be honest these days any 28mm producer who needs horses should just licencee them from EBob, you have less work to do, we getter better horses who can complain.

Then at the beginning of January they abruptly announced a new pricing model and the end of the 'Warband' deals, it effectively meant that prices had doubled overnight and ever since they went very quite with no new releases, I had started to think they were probably dead.

Well just as abruptly I have noticed this week that the 'Warband' deals have returned and once more you can buy their range for 50p per figure. Not only that but they have announced that they will soon be adding new figures to their range, with Hittites, Celts, Picts, Saxons and Israelites getting specific mention.

If you are in to ancients, or want to add some variety into some of the new plastic ranges take a look, at GBP25.00 for 50 figures the 'Warbands' have to be worth at least a try don't you agree?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

la Guerra de la Independencia en los tebeos

A while back I posted about Spanish Napoleonic Comics, well here is a second dose!

If you can read Spanish there is an excellent (and long) article about this exact subject here, there is a wonderful shot of a squadron of Curassiers mounted the wrong way round! You can see it below if you don't want to download the article, the officer is calling his men a bunch of cowards and threatening them with being sent to Russia for the winter! The article originates from the magazine Researching&Dragona, nº6

The first set of pictures here are from a post on the GUERRA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA 1808-1814 blog, the second set of 4 are from the 'Asterix' era and came from this blog which is dedicated to Spanish 'classic' comics in general. The bottom picture is from a pamphlet for a 2008 exhibition the original can be found here. The artwork on the Talavera piece was by Dionisio Álvarez Cueto who some of you will be familiar with, if not you can look here.

All these are sadly just a single pictures rather than the actual comics, but here is a link to one comic  that you can download or read online, this one is about Dos de Mayo and Goya, more an educational piece than a 'Sharpe' style adventure.

In the Asterix style

Or next winter you will be in Russia!

Historietas sobre la Guerra de Independencia

The Battle of the Stragglers

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #4.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)

The Battle of the Stragglers

Another picturesque episode in the retreat of Moore to Corunna, occurred when a group of British stragglers, is attacked by pickets of the vanguard of the French cavalry. A sergeant in the British 43rd Infantry Regiment tries to organize the stragglers so they can confront the cavalry and maybe save themselves.

A road runs from west to east across the board, in quadrant two, along the center of the board and near the road should there is a group of houses (heavy cover), quadrant three is open forest (light wood), and in quadrant one there is a hill (steep hill).

250 in the command units
1 units Dragoons (300 points)
1 unit Hussars (250 points)

Sergeant Harper of the 95 Rifles
250 points of Rifles
300 points of Line Infantry or similar
100 points of Grenadiers

Deploy anywhere along the northeastern edge of the board, at no more than 10cm from the edge.

The British deploy first.
All troops must be deployed within 15cm of the houses.

For every British figure that exits the west edge via the road, the British player receives double the normal victory points.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Action at Benavente

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #2.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)

Action at Benavente

In late December 1808 the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Imperial Guard, led by General Lefebvre, seeing Moore's troops withdraw, decided to launch an attack on the cavalry pickets of Lord Paget's rearguard, just outside Benavente. It was a great shock, when they found themselves overwhelmed and defeated by the British Hussars, who also captured General Lefebvre in the action.

Place a group of houses in quadrant 3 simulating Benavente, with a main street and adjacent streets. Quadrant 2 is crossed diagonally by a stream that is fordable by cavalry.

General Lefebvre
2 units Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde (800 points total)

300 points in command units
2 units Hussars (800 points total)

The Chasseurs enter through the northeast side of the board and can move a maximum distance of 15cm on their first turn.

A command unit and one unit of Hussars remains in Benavente until the end of the third turn.
The remaining troops are deployed after the French, at a maximum of 70 cm from them and no closer to each other then 60cm.
The French deploy first.

Defending the bridge over the Cua - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #1.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)

Defending the bridge over the Cua

On January 3rd, 1809 the British troops of General Moore were retreating towards Corunna. Protecting their rear were the 95th Rifles, the 43rd Light Infantry Regiment, and the 15th Hussars which formed the rearguard under Lord Paget. The French vanguard was led by Generale de Brigade Cölbert, commanding the 3e Hussars and 15e Chasseurs, who decided to attack without waiting for reinforcements. At the start the situation seemed favorable to the French, but the intervention of the English cavalry produced a counter attack that routed the French troops, and as they withdrew Generale de Brigade Cölbert was killed.

From north to south there is a river that runs across the board, and in the center there is a bridge. The river is fordable by the cavalry for 20cm from the southern edge of the board. In the southeast quadrant there is a group of houses extending to a maximum of 20cm from the board edge. In quadrant 2 there is a gentle hill. In quadrant 3, there is open forest and in quadrant 4 there are 3 stone walls.

300 points in command units
2 units Hussars (400 points)
1 unit Chasseurs a Cheval (500 points)

300 points in the command units
1 unit Hussars (400 points)
1 unit 95th Rifles (500 points)
1 unit Light Infantry (200 Points)

The French Hussars and Chasseurs are deployed with in 10cm of the west edge of the board.

The Rifles are deployed no more than 40cm. from the bridge.
The Light Infantry are deployed anywhere in quadrant two.
The British Hussars are deployed within 10cm. of the east edge of the board, after the third turn.
The units are deployed on the table using initiative rolls.
The British are deployed first.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Cochrane takes Mongat Castle - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #5.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)

An alternate version of this scenario can be found here 'The taking of Mongat Castle – a raid of Lord Cochrane' - (First published in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy)

Cochrane takes Mongat Castle

In 1808 Captain Thomas Cochrane commanded the frigate HMS Imperieuse and was the scourge of the Spanish east coast, one of his most famous actions was the taking of Mongat Castle, aided by a band of Spanish guerrillas.

Place a fortified building (stone building) representing Mongat Castle in quadrant 3, quadrant 4 is dense forest (heavy woods), in the remaining two quadrants place scattered groups of trees (woods). A road runs from the castle to the north.

300 points in command units.
1 unit Gendarmes (400 points).
1 unit Grenadiers (500 points).

300 points in command units.
1 unit Marines (500 points).
1 unit crew of HMS Imperieuse (400 points).
1 unit Guerrillas (400 points).
Captain Cochrane.

Anywhere in quadrant 4 including in the castle, the French are placed first.

The guerrillas are placed with 10cm of the northwest edge, all other troops are placed within 10cm of the northeast edge.

If the British occupy the castle they earn 200 extra victory points.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The disgrace of the Vistula Lancers Los Yébenes 24 March 1809

This prestigious body of light cavalry was made up of about 1000 men, all of Polish nationality, distributed in four squadrons of two companies, commanded by Colonel J. Konopka. Although the name of Vistula Legion was given to them by the Emperor on the 2nd March 1808, in fact its origins went back to the 8th September 1799 when it was created as the "Regiment of Lancers of the Polish Legion of the Danube", which in 1801 took the name of the "Regiment of Polish Lancers" and in 1807 that of "Lancers of the Italian Polish Legion".

Its showy and unmistakable uniform consisted of trousers and short jacket of turquoise-blue cloth, with yellow collar, facings and lapels and silver-plated buttons. Their helmets were the typical Polish chatska, in this case yellow, and each lancer carried a small arsenal consisting of his lance with red and white guidon, sabre, two pistols and a carbine.

As far as the regiment’s standards went, it continued using the four republican standards of the Polish Legion which it had received in 1800 in Italy from the hands of the then First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. They had refused to replace them in 1805 with new ones which were in conformity with the new imperial iconography.

The Lancers in Spain

The Lancers entered the Peninsula via Roncesvalles on the 28th May 1808, arriving at Pamplona on the 31st. They left on the 5th June, heading in the direction of Zaragoza with the French punitive column detailed to occupy this city and punish its rebellious inhabitants. En route they overcame the Aragonese successively at Tudela, Mallén and Alagón on the 8th, 13th and 14th of June, and on the 15th were able to gallop into the city of Zaragoza, but were ejected from the city the same day. They then joined the beseiging troops until the 14th August, when they all withdrew in the direction of Navarre. On the 23rd November they fought again at Tudela, and after this victory the bulk of the regiment was transferred towards the centre of the country, leaving before Zaragoza, during its second siege, only a detachment of thirty-three men and horses who were detailed to form Junot’s escort and later Lannes’.

The Disaster of Los Yébenes

On the 20th March 1809 the Lancers left Toledo with the rest of General Sebastiani’s troops en route for the Sierra Morena, and on the afternoon of the 23rd they arrived at the town of Los Yébenes, while the infantry and artillery were near Mora.

That night the sentries heard suspicious sounds and informed the Colonel, "but he calmed all his officers, assuring them that the enemy was several days march from here, near the Guadiana river", but he was mistaken, since facing him and hidden by the fog was the new Army of La Mancha, commanded by Count de Cartaojal, who at seven in the morning mounted an attacking front against the Lancers, who at that moment had just got out of bed.

Lancers of the 5th company engaged their enemies at once. The rest of the regiment was forming in disarrayed squadrons by the church in the center of the village. Suddenly the fog lifted and the Poles caught sight of dense ranks of the Spanish cavalry, and two batteries of horse artillery as well. The Colonel managed to form his men at the entrance to the town, but as soon as he realised his clear numerical inferiority he ordered the withdrawal of the whole regiment by the only road possible, which was a climbing, narrow and winding track which led to Orgaz. Shortly before this the carts and baggage of the Regiment had started to retreat along this road, being unaware that that the Carabineros Reales of the Vizconde de Zolina’s cavalry had been posted on this road, waiting for them.

Their march had hardly begun when the Lancers encountered their own wagons returning in disorder pursued by the Carabineros, and in this situation, attacked at the front and in the rear on a narrow road, the Colonel had his men make a desperate charge.

Soon the lancers, led by Konopka, met two regiments of the Spanish cavalry. Konopka cried: "Forward, boys!" and then the foremost 8th company men leveled their lances attacking furiously. It was the Carabineros Reales, one of the better regiments in the Spanish Army who blocked the narrow road on the edge of a precipice without any chance to go forward or back

It was a merciless fight. Lancers were prevailing with their lances, and carabineers, armed with swords, were – from the very beginning – condemned to defeat. In the terrible melee, where only few soldiers could fight back the attacking Poles, the carabineers, pressed between their attackers and the following Spanish regiment, had no chance. Some hurled themselves in despair into a stony river while others tried to climb the rocky slopes above. Those on the road died.

The lancers' attack completely surprised the Spanish soldiers, who moments before were absolutely sure they would prevail. Now, seeing their front lines smashed by the enemy, they began to move back, and those in last ranks started to retreat. The lancers were pressing, and soon they hewed their way to a wider part of the road. There, separated from the Spanish soldiers, they went into gallop.

Colonel Konopka, along with Major Ruttie and dozen of lancers, left the regiment, which finally reached the open field, and began to form defense lines to repulse the Spanish cavalry, which flowed out from the canyon. The Polish colonel safely reached Mora, where the main forces of General Valance stayed, convinced that the regiment was lost. The regiment however, led by one of the squadrons' COs, Captain Telesfor Kostanecki, fought its way through the enemy's lines, and in a roundabout way – by Consuegra – arrived few hours later in Mora, although without their carts, which were left on the road.

Shortly afterwards General Valence’s Polish infantry arrived from Mora to help him. At the moment both forces met, the following scene took place, which is related by one of its direct participants, the officer Wojciechowski:

"When I jumped off my mount, I took Kazaban to one side and asked him why our Colonel, always so brave and perspicacious in all the previous combats, had completely lost his head today, and was complaining to our General about how our regiment was lost. He did not understand these complaints, because he was sure that the whole regiment was out of danger. Kazaban took a deep breath, took my hand and said to me,

You are probably right, and our regiment is out of danger, but nevertheless something worse has happened. We have lost the standard of our regiment, the emblem we received in Italy many years ago during the French revolution. The emblem that Napoleón wanted to change when he became Emperor and the regiment opposed, because it felt so strongly about it: this emblem was our four standards.’

What the devil are you telling me?’ I shouted. ‘I am sure that we left them in the depot at Madrid!

Yes’, he said, ‘the covers and the poles have gone, but I put the standards with my own hands, in the greatest secrecy, in a saddlebag that was in the Colonel’s wagon. That wagon was left on the other side of the big mountain and I am sure it has been captured by the Spaniards’.

I was stunned. I knew the consequences of this accident for the whole regiment. In this case our regiment would merely exist, and we Lancers, no matter how brave we might be, would be deprived of all reward or promotion

Indeed, the Regiment had lost its four standards, which was serious enough in itself, but to make matters worse we had disobeyed a superior order, according to which they should have been left in Madrid in a safe place. As a result of this the Regiment was deprived of the right to receive new standards, even after Albuera (16-V-1811), at which it managed "heroically" to take six British infantry flags in the course of a “legendary" charge.

The Regiment merely existed in this way in Seville, by Imperial decree of the 18th June 1811 serving as base for the new 7th Lancers Regiment (Chevaux-Légers-Lanciers).

In the action at Yebenes the regiment of Polish Lancers suffered significant losses. Lieutenant Stanisław Moszyński (Molzinski) was killed. Captains Jan Szulc and Kajetan Stokowski, as well as Lieutenant Stawierski and surgeon Jan Gryll, all wounded, were taken prisoners (the retreat was so difficult that the regiment could not evacuate its wounded). Overall, between 8 March and 15 April the regiment lost 89 men. Subtracting from that the 47 who were taken prisoner and noting that subsequent losses of the regiments were negligible if any, the remaining number of lost lancers was 42, which was probably the number killed in the clash of Yevenes.

The regiment also lost all of its wagons of the supply train, and along with them all four squadrons' banners, gifts from Napoleon's wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais when the regiment was still in Italy in 1802. The loss of the banners was recognized by lancers as an infamy. They decided - for honour's sake - to wash it away as soon as possible. The lancers' defeat became known all over Spain. It was probably the only defeat from the Spanish forces during all Peninsular War that truly hurt them, and dented their fame. In the nearest future "los infernos picadores" with all their impulsiveness and bravery would try to regain their former reputation among the ranks of the Armée d'Espagne.

Extracted from the Napoleon Series/Wikipedia

The standards of the Vistula Lancers
Battle of Yevenes
The Peninsular War, Charles Esdaile
Michał Karpowicz, Mirosław Filipiak, Elita jazdy polskiej
Stanisław Kirkor, Legia Nadwiślańska 1808-1814
Marian Kukiel, Dzieje oręża polskiego w epoce napoleońskiej
A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1814, Charles W.C. Oman
Kajetan Wojciechowski, Pamiętniki moje w Hiszpanii, Warszawa 1978
Andrzej Ziółkowski, Pułk jazdy legionowej, Pułk Lansjerów Nadwiślańskich 1799–1815