Sunday, November 20, 2011

Battle of Lago Bosque

Date: 19 Noviembre 1810/2011
Location: Campo Lago Bosque {Field of Lake Forest}
Situation: The Battle And Aftermath
See Previous Dispatch:
The dispatch to Major General Pettygree of the 17th. instant stated the French were breaching the defile at Lago Bosque with an Advance Guard estimated at four battalions, eight squadrons and a battery of eight pounders. Though outnumbered, the Britannian Observation Corps hurried to block the defile where was fought....

{Lake Forest}

The first to arrive was a three section Royal Horse Artillery Battery of 6 Pounders. The battle opened with their first salvo into French light cavalry causing the latter to break into open order. {Elite Miniatures from the collection of Der Alte Fritz}

The RHA Battery is just off screen to the right in the above image. A Shore Party of Royal Marines occupied a walled hacienda whilst the Light Company of the 83rd Foot was posted between the guns and the walled enclosure.

The Grenadier Company of the 83rd Foot protects the right flank of the RHA. In the distance the remnant of Britannian Hussars flee from the oncoming wall of French after having scattered all the French light cavalry. Their charge caused the French advance to pause and bunch up.

The French response? Bring forward the 8 Pounders and settle the affair. As a result the RHA Battery prolonged to the rear past a covering rise of ground to their limbers before being shot at.

Soon the roar of cannon fire shook the area as round shot battered down the front wall of the hacienda. Debris flew amongst the Royal Marines who luckily lost not a man. Covered in dust the Marines withdrew over the back wall. 

Britannian units were allowed hidden deployment. A surprise might pop up anywhere. Indeed the hill at the top left of the image bristled at first with a company of riflemen and later with half of the 83rd Foot. A French battalion has just given fire at the riflemen above the top of the image.

Britannian riflemen did not survive the French volley and while the French climbed the hill, the 83rd Foot departed believing it would be better to fight another day. They had done as much as could have been expected to divert French forces from exiting the defile quickly. Indeed the French advance had been slowed though not stopped.

At this point there was nothing left to trouble the French. Cries of "En avant, vite, vite, mes Amis!" were heard. {Advance, quickly, quickly my friends!}

French cavalry pour out of the defile supported by a battalion which had struggled mightily to ascend and descend the steep slope at the upper right the image over the wreckage of another Britannian rifle company.

Where is the rest of the Britannian Observation Corps? If we back up a moment in time....

Here is Lord Paget's Light Cavalry Brigade calmly waiting for orders. Unseen behind the light cavalry is the rest of the 83rd Foot. Also unseen is a significant body of French cavalry and another battalion of infantry just exiting dense woodland to the oblique right of the upper right-hand Britannian Squadron.

{Note French battalion previously mentioned atop the steep hill before its descent.}

There was no way to properly engage the foe coming from the flank and soon also from the front. With the approval of Major General Pettygree, Lord Paget bellowed, "BRIGADE! BY SQUADRON. BY THE LEFT WHEEL. MARRRCHHH!" You see the brigade after the wheel; fun to do at 1:10. Observe proper intervals to do this!

The whole force was taken off the battlefield.

Here we see the 2/16th Light Dragoons in retreat.

Both squadrons are now in view. 1/16th is leading.

The regimental commanding officer observes the procession. Later....

Major Bollinger: "Colonel! May I have a word?"

Colonel Shackleton: "What news Major?"

Major Bollinger: "Lord Paget's compliments Sir and he would be obliged if you would hasten back to our base at Pueblo Marrón Ciervos. {Village of Brown Deer}
He desires you to take charge of evacuation of all possible supplies and lingering personnel. Destroy what can not be gotten off. The rest of The Observation Corps will be your rear guard."

Colonel Shackleton: "It's that bad Major?"

Major Bollinger: "I'm afraid so, Sir. Boney's marching hard with a small Corps d'Armée. No way to stop 'em just now."


1.See Der Alte Frit'z blog for more images and information.

2.Pettygree's Orders: "Slow the French and cause them to disperse by clever use of concealed units suddenly arising to trouble the foe."


12 Cavalry {Bill P.} + 25 Infantry {Earl K.} = 37.

9 Infantry {Keith L.} + 22 cavalry {Jim P.} = 31.

4. Comments welcome below.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Opening Gambit In Iberia

Date: 17 Noviembre 1810/2011
Location: Near Pueblo Lago Bosque (Lake Forest)
Situation: ALARM!
Der Alte Fritz (Jim P.) and I experimentally modified Batailles les de l'Ancien Régime {BAR} for our 1:10 Napoleonics three years ago. In June 2011 we somehow spontaneously decided to move from central Europe to Iberia. In my case I never forgot the intriguing articles about the campaigns in Spain written by Donald Featherstone. As it turns out, Jim has been interested similarly. Permit us the honour therefore, to present our....

Courier Lieutenant Bell: "Take this to Marrón Ciervos Sir? I mean Brown Deer?"

Major Hyde: "Yes ... take that dispatch to divisional headquarters there ... but ... wait for this next one I'm writing as well. The general has got to know."

Indeed, the general does have to know. The enemy is breaching the defile below. 

In earnest it seems.

Later that morning an officer wearing an undress coat quietly walks his horse from a stall of the Posada de Marrón Ciervos. (Brown Deer Inn)

Major General William Justinian Pettygree.

Moments later Lieutenant Bell arrived with dispatches followed by....

Major General Lord Henry Paget

Pettygree: "The French are a foot. Time to assemble your Light Brigade, Sir."

Paget: "Very good General. Confusion and defeat to 'em and all of Boney's blighters."

An hour later the brigade assembled. The 15th Hussars are formed in the lower right whilst the 16th Light Dragoons are posted near the top of the image. A shore party of Royal Marines is also preparing to march. 

Pettygree: "Lieutenant Bell. Ride fast with that dispatch to Colonel Eddrington. Get his 83rd Foot and the Rifle contingent on the road to Lago Bosque. They must march at once."

Pettygree: "Lord Paget, Sir! ... If you please, ride your brigade to Lago Bosque picking up the RHA battery along the way."

Paget: "Aye General. There's not a moment to lose!

Closing Remarks:

1. You Sirs are invited to ride vicariously with us, if you please.

2. Will Pettygree, Paget and Eddrington stop, slow or be repulsed by the forces of Bones-Apart at Lago Bosque?

3. The tabletop game scheduled on 19 Noviembre at Jim's hacienda will answer that interrogative.

4. Your comments are welcome below.

Bill P.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Painting Challenge Ends


The sixty day self-imposed painting challenge ended at midnight on 5 November 2011. The first two images show what was planned and completed for the challenge by me. Two hours before the deadline....

Major General William Justinian Pettygree (center) conducts an inspection near Corunna, Iberia {Spain}. Leftmost is Chief of Staff Colonel Hyde, the courier is ADC Captain Siggins whilst the hussar officer is Major General Lord Henry Paget. Paget commands the Light Cavalry Brigade.

Miniatures on the left are Elite Miniatures. Front Rank castings are on the right.

The new unit is the 15th Hussars of two squadrons; 25 Elite Miniatures.

The 15th Hussars appear at the lower right of the image. The 16th Light Dragoons are assembled at the top center. The latter are Elite Miniatures too. A shore party of Foundry Royal Marines are on parade at a hacienda owned by Der Alte Fritz. Major General Pettygree and staff observe all from a rise of ground on the left.

Closing Remarks:
Have you ever experienced a so-called "painting funk?" It is the inability to start and/or complete a painting project. Is a unit needed for a game? Has a particular something languished for years? Is the paint brush hiding?
Our rules were:

1. Sixty days to finish....

2. Whatever one wanted to complete by type and number and....

3. Changes in Rule #2 were okay at any time during the sixty days.

It worked for several challengers in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA.

What reward? A completed unit and personal satisfaction.

The above units will be in their first game at Der Alte Fritz's hacienda on 19 November. Perhaps I will be able to add one troop of 7th Hussars as Paget's personal guard and brigade reserve. Time will tell.