Sunday, November 16, 2008

The 2nd US Dragoons

The 2nd Dragoons are currently the longest continuously serving regiment in the US Army. In March of 1814 the 1st Light Dragoons and the 2nd Light Dragoons were combined into the Regiment of Light Dragoons with eight companies. During the War of 1812 rarely more than 200 dragoons served in one place at one time. Both mounted and dismounted dragoons are represented in my army and are shown here. The dragoons are shown in the 1812 regulation uniform in all blue. The uniform was pretty much the same cut as the 1810 pattern uniform, however, the red collar and cuffs were replaced by blue. The headgear changed the most with the high front piece and leopard skin turnban were gone. The black comb was reinforced by metal and held a white horsehair crest. There was a white over blue plume on the left side of the helmet. Note that the dismounted troopers carry their carbines at the ready and still have their high topped cavalry boots and sabers. These figures are all from the Foundry 1812 Range.

The 1st US Infantry

The 1st US Infantry is the oldest unit in the United States Army. During the War of 1812 the 1st Infantry was spread out among several outpost on the Western border of the fledgling nation. Because they were very dispersed, they were among the last units to get the new 1813 regulation uniform. Additionally, the uniforms that they did have after several years in the field were probably not as standardized as I show them in these figures. However, I have to present the oldest unit in the Army in a presentable way! The unit is shown in the 1812 regulation uniform of blue coats with red facings. The officer wears the regulation bicorne and the drummer is in the regulation red coat with blue facings. The color bearer carries the distinctive National Colors of the 1st Infantry which includes a star-burst area around the national symbol as well as a "1st US Inf" on the upper corner of the flag away from the staff. These figures were also painted by Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka. They did an outstanding job on my 25mm War of 1812 figures and 15mm Napoleonic figures that I sent them. I highly recommend them to any wargamer looking to get a large number of figures painted in a relatively short amount of time. These figures are also from the Old Glory 1812 Range.

The 16th US Infantry

The 16th US Infantry was organized on January 11, 1812 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It served at the captures of Fort York and Fort George and at the Battle of Crysler's Farm. The regiment is clothed in the 1812 regulation uniform in all green. This uniform includes the felt cylinderical shako with plume centered on the front. The US Army had a serious supply problem throughout the War of 1812. These problems led to uniforms being turned out not only in the regulation blue, but also in black, green, drab and gray. The gray uniforms were made famous by Brigadier General Winfield Scott and the troops he led during the 1814 Niagara Campaign. Note that the officer is in a completely regulation uniform. This often happened as officers provided their own clothing and could often afford to have the correct uniform to be made. In some sources, the uniform of the 16th is stated as "black" but with poor quality dyes and with fading, this would have quickly changed to some other color such as the green shown. I had these figures painted by Fernando Enterprises in Sri Lanka. I was very happy with the 25mm War of 1812 figures I had painted by Fernando. They also did some 15mm Napoleonic figures which turned out very nicely. It is a bit pricey for the shipping, so I would only recommend using such a service if you have a large number of figures to be painted. These figures are from the Old Glory 1812 Range.

The 23rd US Infantry

The Twenty-Third US Infantry was raised in New York state. It was one of the units making up a part of the Brigadier General Eleazar Ripley's 2nd Brigade of Jacob Brown's Division in the Niagara Campaign of 1814. This unit is painted in the normal blue uniform of the American infantry. This is the regulation uniform of 1813 which includes the blue facings on the cuffs and collars. Also, the headgear is the "Belgic" leather shako. The crossbelts are black leather. The color shown is the "Battalion Colors" which was a buff or yellow flag. Mine is shown with the complete National Arms. In reality, the colors included only a red scroll and at some point - usually at the upper corner of the flag closest to the staff - there would be an embroidered number of the regiment. These figures are from the Foundary Range of the War of 1812.

The American Photo Gallery Starts

To add to the US 13th Infantry the following posts will add some photos of my American 1814 army. Some are very old figures and some are from the past year or two. I have painted most myself, although I purchased some painted Native Americans and I sent figures to Sri Lanka for painting. I identify those units with my narrative on the photos. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another State Championship

Our youngest, Andrew, completed another successful football season this afternoon when the Plymouth Regional High School Bobcats defeated Laconia High School for the NH Division IV Football Championship. Andrew, a Sophomore, started on special teams for the Bobcats and did a great job during the game.

This is the fourth state title game for our sons in the past four years. Andrew's brother Marc played on the Bobcat teams which won the previous three state titles at the Division III level.

The Plymouth Bobcats are on a 44 - 0 run during these four championship seasons.

Congratulations to Andrew and all of his fellow players for another great season!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Niagara 1814 Campaign Inches Closer

The campaign rules are complete and we are getting closer to the start of the 1814 Campaign. I have secured a second player and we have some candidates for subordinates as we get into the campaign. I will give a complete run-down of the campaign details as soon as I have a moment. The first battle should be in early November.

Marc Graduates US Army Basic

My apologies for not being more faithful with this blog. I just wanted to get it out there that our son, Marc has completed his US Army Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, SC and is now undergoing Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Ft. Bragg, NC. His military specialty is Psychological Operations Specialist (37F). So far, so good. Once he finishes AIT he will go on to US Army Airborne School. He is looking forward to me giving him his "blood wings" on graduation day from Airborne School - almost as much as I am looking forward to giving them to him!! When I have some pictures of him to post I will do so.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Marc Training to Become a Soldier

Our son Marc is at Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, SC. He is in C Co., 3-13th Infantry. He is currently starting his 4th week of training - almost halfway through.
We can't wait to see him at graduation the first week of October.

The 13th US Infantry

Here is a photo of the 13th US Infantry. This is the most recent unit I completed for my War of 1812 campaign game. The reason I painted the 13th is because me eldest son is currently in Basic Combat Training at Ft. Jackson, SC. His unit is C Co., 3-13th Infantry. So this is for Marc. The unit is a pretty basic US Infantry unit for the 1814 Niagara Campaign. The troops are clothed in tan coats faced red. The officer and drummer are fairly regulation dress. The unit has a battalion color which includes a "13" to designate the regiment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How can a month go by so quickly? This has been a very busy time for us as a family and the hobby has really suffered. We had a graduation, my oldest son/middle child Marc graduated from High School and is getting ready to go into the US Army. The rest of the summer - at least until Marc's departure on July 21st - will be kind of hectic.

What little hobby time I have had lately has been spent working on a new idea. Still a very small idea, but it could grow into one of the best yet. Given the success of my Niagara Campaign and other War of 1812 games, I began to toy with the idea of a true Napoleonic, Wing Scale, Volley & Bayonet game. I began to think about all of the "Smaller" Napoleonic battles I could recall. One battle which has always fascinated me is Quatre Bras just before Waterloo. Besides, I have always wanted to have a "Black Brunswicker" wargames army so here is my perfect excuse!

I have started to research Orders of Battle and started to make up a list of the figures necessary to put on a Wing Scale game of Quatre Bras. I even bought enough Old Glory figures to raise the Brunswick force of 1815. The first troops are on the painting table and I hope to have pictures ready for this site within a few weeks.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Volley & Bayonet War of 1812 Game

I hosted a Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale scenario last night at the Northern Conspiracy game night. The game pitted relatively even forces against each other in a meeting engagement with the Americans at the top of the map and the British at the bottom. The Americans, slightly inferior in troop quality, held the objective (a farm homestead) at the beginning of the game and the British had to take it from them. The terrain between the British side of the table and the farm was several fields surrounded by fence lines which caused disorder to formed troops trying to cross them.

Overall the game was very close for the first eight turns. On Turn 9 the British finally put in a massive assault on the farm and in one great round of dice rolling (killing 7 strength points) they turned around the entire game and the Americans threw in the towel.
Both sides played the game really well. The player on the American left flank used the Light Brigade to great effect, thoroughly trouncing a brigade of British/Canadian light troops and Indians. The American Rifle Regiments were especially devastating in both long range fire and in close combat. On the British side the player on the British left flank conducted an excellent assault on the defending American brigade which left two of the regiments in complete disarray.

The quality of the British units told in the end. With a couple of morale grade 6 units and one unit with a "shock" rating, the British could close with the American defensive line and overcome it with relative ease.

Thanks to all of the players (John, Leo, Ed and Andrew on the American side and Ralph and Byron on the British side). I am glad that everyone seemed to have a good time. It was nice to get all of the newly painted 1812 stuff on the table.

British Order of Battle:

1 Brigade
41st Foot
56th Foot
90th Foot (Light)
DeMeuron Regiment

2 Brigade
93rd Foot (Highlanders)
100th Foot
5th West Indies

Canadian Light Brigade
5/60 Rifles
Voltiguers Canadians
Quebec Foot Dragoons
Niagara Mounted Guides

Naval Brigade
1 Royal Marine Battalion
3 Royal Marine Battalion
2 Glengarry Militia

4 batteries of artillery (2 field and 2 heavy)

American Order of Battle:

2nd Brigade
1st US Infantry
21st US Infantry
23rd US Infantry

3rd (Militia) Brigade
5th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Dobbins' NY Militia Regiment
Pennsylvania Volunteer Rifles
NY Mounted Volunteers

Light Brigade
1st US Rifles
4th US Rifles
Swift's Regiment of NY Militia

5th Brigade
14th US Infantry
16th US Infantry
3rd US Volunteers

5 batteries of artillery (2 heavy, 2 light, 1 howitzer)

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Start of a New Game

I have been painting over the last few months. Right now I am closing in on completion of two new units - The 5th West Indies Regiment and the 15th US Infantry. These two units will complete the core forces of both sides for my upcoming fictitious Niagara Campaign. These units bring the totals to 37 US Infantry stands, 3 Cavalry stands (Regulars, Volunteers and Militia) and 30 British/Canadian Infantry stands, 2 Cavalry stands (Regulars and Militia). Added to these are 9 US gun stands and 11 British/Canadian gun stands and numerous skirmisher stands on both sides. Each side also has the requisite Native American stands.
It has taken a few years to get all of these forces ready to go, but they are almost finished! Now if I can recruit some commanders, we can get started with the campaign! More photos to come in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Last Game of 2007 - WWII SPEARHEAD

Just a quick update on the last game of 2007. I hosted a WWII SPEARHEAD game at the Northern Conspiracy game night on December 28th. The Game is called "Home By Christmas" and it is a slightly modified version of the same scenario from the White Star Rising book. In this game the British Armored force moving up a road must link-up with an American airborne regiment holding a small town. The Germans have a hodge-podge of forces between the two allied forces.
At the game night the Germans decided to defend as far forward as possible to the British deployment. This forced the British to fight towards the Americans from the very start of the game. The Germans initially fighting the British included a motorized SS Infantry Battalion and an SS Panzerjager Battalion. These units fought a British Infantry Brigade of two battalions and an armored battalion to a standstill for about 7 turns. The Americans made quick work of the Luftwaffe training unit surrounding them and ended up attacking the German reserve of one motorized SS Infantry battalion by the end of the game. Even a regular army fusilier battalion reinforced by Stug-III's couldn't prevent the Americans from breaking out and counterattacking the surrounding forces.
While the Germans were very successful at the beginning of the game, I think that the British reserve armored battalion would have tilted the game in favor of the allies if it had played out the total 18 turns. The Americans were so successful in the breakout from the town, that they would have put significant pressure on the Germans trying to hold off the British and basically "turned the Germans" out of their defenses.
We are limited to some extent at game night by time. We completed 8 turns of the 18 turns for this game before we had to pack up. Overall, I believe everyone had a good time in this game. It was much closer than I anticipated with the Germans really making the British fight for every inch of ground along the road. The British didn't conduct a cavalry charge that one would anticipate. They were very patient in their attack using the infantry battalions to push the Germans off of some very dominant terrain.
Overall, a great game that I hope to host again at some point in the future.