Thursday 26 November 2015

Loyalist plans

My last two posts have been about loyalist units and I mentioned that I've been doing some thinking on how to build up the loyalist part of my collection.   So I thought I'd set out my plans - this post might be useful to some people and I'd certainly appreciate thoughts and suggestions from others.  Most AWI gamers will know the basis "rules of thumb" for loyalist uniforms.  Many of the loyalist troops who were properly uniformed started out in green coats and then changed to red ones around 1777/78.  The uniform coats probably didn't have button hole lace, although some of the larger units did in their "red coat" incarnations.  For that reason, it's common for gamers to use "Continental" figures for loyalists rather than "British" ones.  Many units seem to have worn round or slouch hats.  Some of loyalist units adopted a light infantry-style of dress, with leggings or full gaiters and caps.  Gaitered trousers/overalls seem to have been very popular, as opposed to breeches and half-gaiters. 

With the figures currently available in 25mm you need to make a few compromises.  For example, if you want 25mm infantry in unlaced coats and full gaiters, like the Don Troiani Prince of Wales Volunteers here, then you're currently out of luck (I suppose you could use the Perry Hessian garrison troops, with a bit of conversion work).  Ditto if you want cut-down uniform coats, Indian leggings and round hats, like the Don Troiani Jessup's Corps of Loyalists here (you'd need to use Perry Saratoga figures and do some head swaps).  However, if you want unlaced coats, overalls and slouch hats, like the Don Troiani King's American Regiment here, then I think there are two ways to go at present: Perry plastic Continentals with hats from the British plastic set or the Fife & Drum British Guards figures (which don't have lace).  The former option isn't ideal because only half the Perry plastic Continentals wear overalls.  If you want figures that aren't in a marching pose, then it becomes more difficult and my solution is to use the Perry British plastics, even though they have lace.  I'll also mention King's Mountain Miniatures, as they have a massive range of separate heads which include several sets that are suitable for loyalists.  A further option is to be mega-creative and mix up all kinds of metal figures, as Steve Jones did with his South Carolina loyalists.

So the decisions I've made are within the contraints outlined above. I admit to not being particularly fussed about button hole lace - what's more important to me is the overall look of the unit and whether the head gear and poses suit the look I'm after.  I've also tried to double-up some units to increase their use, and that usually requires further compromise on particular uniform details.  The list isn't finite - for example, I've yet to decide what to do about Butler's Rangers and the infantry element of the Britih Legion.  As usual, references to battles are to the 4 Caliver/"British Grenadier!" scenario books.  Also worth a mention is Steve Jones' "Rebellion" supplement for the "Black Powder" rules, which contains an excellent section on loyalists and their uniforms. 

First, there are the well-known units for which particular figures have been made by Perry.

- Queen's Rangers (Brandywine, Monmouth, Germantown, Whitemarsh, Springfield, Gloucester Point).  20 figures will see you through most scenarios.
- Volunteers of Ireland (Camden and Hobkirk's Hill).  

Secondly, there are a number of other units which I propose to model with (largely) Perry Miniatures' plastic figures. These vary in size and follow the units involved in the scenarios.  There's nothing wrong in my view with painting up 24 figures in green faced red coats, or red faced blue coats, and having them stand in as generic loyalists for each and every scenario.  That would obviously save on money and painting time.  But I'm rather anal when it comes to the AWI and I appear to have accumulated several boxes of Perry plastics, so I'm going to have a stab at painting up several units which try, insofar as is possible and practicable, to be reasonably close to what the units may have looked like.  I haven't included "loyalist militia", which appear in a couple of scenarios (which I painted up last year).

- green coats faced blue, tricornes: Emmerich's Chasseurs (Indian Field, Hudson Forts), Prince of Wales' Volunteers (Newport) -  12 figures; Perry plastic Continentals; see here.

- green coats faced white, round hats: King's American Regiment early uniform (Hudson Forts, Newport) - 30 figures; Perry plastic British.

- green coats faced orange, tricornes: King's Orange Rangers (Hudson Forts) - 12 figures; Perry plastic British; see here.

- green coats faced red with green lapels and slouch hats: King's Carolina Rangers (Savannah) - 8 figures; Perry plastic Continentals with British slouch hats.

- green coats faced red, tricornes and Saratoga caps for the light company: King's Royal Regiment of New York (Oriskany) - 28 figures; Perry plastic British.

- green coats faced red, slouch/round hats: Loyal American Regiment (Hudson Forts) - 16 figures; Perry plastic Continentals with a mix of British and American hats.

-  red coats faced blue, white slouch hats: De Lancey's Regiment (Eutaw Springs; Savannah) - 18 figures; Perry plastic British.

- red coats faced blue, slouch hats: New York Volunteers (Hudson Forst, Hobkirk's Hill, Eutaw Springs), North Carolina Volunteers (Stono Ferry, Savannah, Camden) - 16 figures; Perry plastic British.

- red coats faced blue, tricornes: New Jersey Volunteers (Springfield) - 12 figures, Perry plastic British.

- red coats faced olive green, tricornes: King's American Regiment later uniform (Hobkirk's Hill) - 16 figures; Perry plastic British.

- red coats faced green, slouch/round hats: Queen's Loyal Rangers (Bennington) - 12 figures; Perry plastic Continentals with a mix of British and American hats and some metal militia.

- red coats faced yellow, slouch/round hats: South Carolina Royalists (Stono Ferry; Hobkirk's Hill) - 16 figures; Perry plastic Continentals with mix of British and American hats. [I might copy Steve and mix in a few metal militia types.]

I'm sure some will disagree with the above.  For example, should the King's Royal Regiment of New York have red or blue facings?  You can read a discussion about that on the re-enacted unit's website.  I decided to follow James Kochan and go with red, largely because I love the Don Troiani painting of the Battle of Oriskany which shows members of the regiment in light infantry caps and red facings.  There's a fair amount of work to be done in painting up the units listed above.  If I run out of plastics I might have to treat myself to some Fife & Drum Guards.  I'm already working on the King's Carolina Rangers and next in line will be the New Jersey Volunteers.

Monday 23 November 2015

Emmerich's Chasseurs (2)

This is the infantry component of the loyalist corps raised in 1777 by the German soldier Andreas Emmerich.  For the cavalry troops see my previous post here.  Emmerich raised a rifle company, a light company and three companies of "chasseurs".  As a representation of all these infantry troops I decided to use the Perry hard plastic Continental infantry rather than mess around with British light infantry figures or attempt conversions.  In any event, the uniform is similar to that of the Lefferts painting, save that these plastic figures don't have full gaiters.  A lot of illustrations of loyalist infantry show the men in either full gaiters or Indian leggings; however, as yet there aren't any Perry AWI figures you can use to represent this uniform other than the metal Saratoga British, which of course have their particular style of headwear.  The two officers are metal figures.  The one in front, who is supposed to be Emmerich himself (at the age of 40/41 he has a bit of grey hair) is from Foundry; the chap in the second row waving his hand is by Perry Miniatures.

I wrote in my previous post that Emmerich's Chasseurs were disbanded in late 1779 due to internal friction and recruitment/retention problems.   After the war Emmerich returned to England and in 1789 he published "The Partisan in War", his thoughts on the American Revolution and the use of light infantry (see a pdf here). He then had plans to publish a five-volume autobiography entitled "Histoire Memorable de la vie du Lieutenant-Colonel-Anglois Andre Emmerich", but that didn't progress very far.  Emmerich had grown up in Hanau, a town which from 1736 (the year before Emmerich was born) formed part of the state of Hesse-Kassel. In 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was disbanded by Napoleon after his victory at Austerlitz and the Confederation of the Rhine was created in its place.  The following year, Hesse-Kassel became part of the new Kingdom of Westfalia, over which Napoleon's brother Jérôme was appointed king.  Emmerich, always in pursuit of adventure despite being in his 70s, became involved in an insurrection against the new French regime.  He was captured in June 1809 and executed by a firing squad in Kassel on 19 July, 1809.

In terms of scenarios, Emmerich's Chasseur appear in units of 4 figures for the Hudson Forts and 12 for Indian Field (in addition to 4 cavalry).  However, I also intend to use these figures for another loyalist outfit, the Prince of Wales' Volunteers, who appears as a 12-figure unit in the Newport scenario (August 1778).  The PoWV are also recorded as having green faced blue coats, at least in the early years of the war.  The paintings by Don Troiani have the PoWV with white rather than black cross belts and white tape on the tricornes (see here and here).  I confess I should have painted white lace on the hats, not least because that's a good way of distinguishing between loyalist and patriot troops.  I've been giving loyalists a lot of thought and research recently, as I'll be focussing on them over the next couple of months.  If anyone's interested, I can post a list of the units I intend to do, with notes on figure and uniform choices.  Currently on the painting desk are the East Florida Rangers (mounted) and its successor unit, the King's Carolina Rangers (foot).  The latter will be the last Perry plastic Continental infantry figures I paint for a while.

12 figures.  Painted October/November 2015.   


Thursday 19 November 2015

Emmerich's Chasseurs (1)

Captain Andreas Emmerich (sometimes "Emmerick") was a professional soldier from Germany and a veteran of the Seven Years War, who early in the AWI proposed to the British that he raise a corps in Germany for service in America.  Those proposals were rejected and Emmerich then lobbied General Clinton instead, who allowed Emmerich to form a more modest unit of 100 "marksmen" from men currently serving in various loyalist regiments, under Emmerich's command.  This was in August 1777.  The unit's performance in the attack on the Hudson Forts later that year was impressive and Emmerich was allowed to expand his force.  So the following year, Emmerich added two troops of dragoons, one light infantry company, one rifle company, and three "chasseur" companies (presumably also infantry or mounted infantry) to his original company of riflemen.  Emmerich was promoted to lieutenant colonel, in charge of what was effectively a "legion" but which is referred to in contemporary documents as a "corps of chasseurs".  A recruitment notice has survived, and it reads as follows:

To all Gentlemen Volunteers,
By Virtue of a Warrant from his Excellency Sir HENRY CLINTON, K. B. and Commander in Chief of all his Majesty's Forces in North-America, bearing Date the 30th of April, 1778.
Lieut. Col. Commandant EMMERICK,

Is now raising Six Companies of Foot, to consist of 360 Rank and File, and Two Troops of Light Dragoons, to consist of 100 Men, who will receive immediately their Bounty before attested; their Pay, Provision, and Cloathing regular, and agreeable to the King's Allowance, without clipping or deduction. To any that bring Horses fit for the Service, the Price will be paid immediately. ------- For which Purpose proper Officers will be stationed in New-York, on Long-Island, Staten-Island, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. The Refugees who are single Young Men, and out of Employ, should particularly manifest their Zeal on this Occasion, and shew that they are in Reality Friends to his Majesty.

Whoever knows EMMERICK, knows that his Soldiers live like Gentlemen, and that all such as behave well, he treats like a Brother.

God Save the King

The force went on raids around New York and elements of the force seem to have been present at the battle of Monmouth.  What happened internally to the corps during 1778 and early 1779 isn't clear, but the officers in the legion seem to have fallen out with Emmerich and/or each other.  Desertion became a bad problem and the corps was dissolved on Clinton's orders.  Some of the cavalry troopers were sent to serve with the British Legion and others together with the infantry went to other well-known regiments such as the Volunteers of Ireland, De Lancey's Brigade and the Queen's Rangers.  Emmerich remained in service, but without his own command.  I'll add some details about his further adventures in my next post.

These are the Eureka Continental dragoon figures again, which I've used to model the mounted element of the corps.  I see no reason why these figures can't also be used for loyalist units and I'm already working on a second one (the East Florida Rangers).  The mounted troop of Emmerich's Chasseurs only appears in the Indian Field scenario, as a 4-figure unit.  So Emmerich's Chasseurs are never going to be a priority for an AWI wargamer, but it's not often one has an excuse to paint up loyalist cavalry and it doesn't take long to do 4 figures.  And they look pretty.  The uniform of a dark green coat faced dark blue with black tricorne follows an illustration by Lefferts (see here).  When the unit was first raised in 1777, it is probable that the recruits wore the uniforms of the regiments from which they were drafted - so green coats faced white, blue of red as was customary for loyalist troops in the war's early years.  It appears that new uniforms were obtained in autumn 1778, possibly red coats as the loyalists began to be re-clothed into red coats around this time.  I liked the combination of green and blue so decided to go with Lefferts.  I followed this uniform through for the infantry element of the corps, which I'll write about in my next post.

4 figures.  Painted October 2015. 


Tuesday 10 November 2015

2nd Continental Dragoons

The 2nd regiment of Continental Light Dragoons was commissioned by Congress in December 1776, with Colonel Elisha Sheldon in command (the regiment was also known as "Sheldon's Horse") and with men recruited largely from Connecticut at first, and then New Jersey and Massachusetts.  The regiment rarely acted a whole, and instead elements and/or troops were allocated to various duties as required.  In addition to carrying out reconnaisance, patrolling, supply-raiding and courier activities, the regiment was present at many of the larger battles of the war: Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Saratoga, Whitemarsh and Yorktown.  At the end of the Saratoga campaign, the 2nd escorted General Burgoyne to Boston after his surrender.  In 1781 the regiment was re-organised along "legion" lines, so it combined mounted troops with dismounted infantry.  George Washington's chief of intelligence, Benjamin Tallmadge, was an officer in the 2nd Dragoons.

These are more figures from the Eureka Continental Dragoons range.  I've been painting a lot of the "ragged" figures as militia, Legions and other irregular troops recently (see here for all previous American cavalry posts), but you can of course use the non-ragged, "uniformed" figures as Continental Dragoons themselves.  Since the Eureka cavalry were released the Perries came out with their own American cavalry, and they have made specific figures for each of the 4 Continental Dragoon regiments.  I don't have any of those yet, but will probably use the Perry 1st and 4th Dragoons figures.  In the meantime, however, I'm more than happy to continue with the Eureka range.  So these are all the smarter Eureka figures in uniform coats with brass helmets.  The 2nd Dragoons appear to have worn dark blue coats faced white or buff and brown/buff breeches.   I wasn't entirely sure whether to paint the helmets brass or black; I went for the former because it looked better.  Also, I decided not to reverse the coat of the trumpeter.  I'd already decided to put him on a white horse and I thought that reversing the coat would make him look a bit too...white.  In the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, the 2nd Dragoons appear only in the Whitemarsh scenario, as a 4-figure unit.  I thought I'd paint up 6 as I like to have cavalry units of at least 6 figures even where that's a bit more than the scenarios require.  The rather fancy flag is by Adolfo Ramos.  The 2nd had a blue regimental flag, as shown here, and then a separate flag for each squadron (coloured green, red and white).  The central device, repeated on all of the flags, depicts ten bolts of lightning emanating outwards from a winged thundercloud. The Latin motto underneath is thought to be an appreviated form of "Patria Concita Fulminent Nati", which roughly translates as "the fatherland exhorts its sons to strike like lightning".  The regiment had a further national flag that was captured by Tarleton in 1779.

There is an excellent website of the re-enacted 2nd Dragoons here.  This site is top class and really worth a look - it even has a Powerpoint presentation!  It was the source of much of the information in this post, particularly on the flag.  Next up will be more Eureka cavalry, but this time painted as loyalists.  

6 figures.  Painted September 2015.  Flag by Adolfo Ramos.

Thursday 5 November 2015

"British Grenadier!"/AWI scenarios volume 4

Just a short post to remind people that the new volume of AWI scenarios is available from Caliver Books (or On Military Matters in the US).  This collection has been compiled by the usual "British Grenadier!" team of "Eclaireur", Brendan Morrissey and John Ingham, but it should be usable with any AWI rules.  I can't really write an objective review of this book, given that my mates wrote it and I provided many of the accompanying photographs.  AWI supremo Steve Jones has a review on his blog here.   However, while I saw the proofs some months ago (to show me where photos were needed) my hard copy arrived this morning and I thought I'd add some observations. 

First, it has some great photos!  A conscious effort was made to provide photos that featured units relevant to each scenario, although I wasn't able to set up the scenarios themselves.  That said, there are a couple of pics from the Stono Ferry playtest (see here) and a game the Perries put on of Weitzel's Mill.  The Perries provided some further more generic photos too.  Setting something up for the Cuddalore scenario proved challenging, given that it is set in 1783, outside a town on the east coast of India, and involves British and Honourable East India Company forces attacking an entrenched French and Mysorean army.  All I could think of was gathering together some Foundry Darkest Africa Baluchi figures and AWI French infantry and using some Sudanese-type buildings from Touching History to suggest troops marching through the streets of Cuddalore on their way to the fortifications outside.  Not a bad bit of improvisation, I thought!

Secondly, the scenarios themselves are a good mix of "theatres" and scales.  In all 4 books in this series, one aim has been to ensure that each of the main periods of the war is represented and that there are large and smaller-scale actions.  The books also often have a "what if" scenario and/or one that is set outside of the AWI mainstream.  So in the 3rd scenario book, for example, there is the attack on Fishguard of 1797 and the Deluxe edition of the "British Grenadier!" rules has a scenario from each of the F&IW and the War of 1812.  In this 4th volume, the "hypothetical" scenario is the attack on the Dorchester Heights near Boston that Howe planned at the beginning of March 1776.  The attack was called off as bad weather meant the assault force could not be ferried to its starting line.  This is a middle-size scenario, with 10 or so units per side, that gives the British player another crack at a Bunker Hill style assault.  The full list of scenarios, with some thoughts on the ones not already mentioned, is as follows:

1. Dorchester Heights, March 1776.

2. Pell's Point, October 1776 - a 1:10 ratio battle, where 4 battalions of Continentals try to hold up a force of British light infantry and Hessians.

3. Bennington, August 1777 - a large scenario involving 2 separate tables for the main action and the Brunswicker relief column; use here of some more exotic troops, such as Brunswick dragoons, a baggage train and Canadian auxiliaries.

4. Whitemarsh, December 1777 - historically, this was essentially a series of skirmishes between elements of Washington's and Howe's armies, before the latter decided to withdraw.  In the scenario, the full orbats are provided so a massive British attack of 3 divisions can be made.

5. Briar Creek, March 1779 - a small-scale, 1:10 "Southern" action, with the 71st Foot, lightbobs and loyalist militia attacking NC militia.  Some interesting units to model here, such as the loyalist Florida Rangers.

6. Stono Ferry, June 1779 - see my playtest report here.

7. Springfield, June 1780 - back in New Jersey, Hessians, loyalists and British Guards under General Knyphausen attack a large American force.

8. Weitzell's Mill, March 1781 - can the militia buy enough time to enable Continental battalions to escape from Tarleton and Cornwallis' superforce of the 23rd, 33rd and 71st Foot regiments and a 32-figure Von Bose?  This looks like a quick, exciting game.

9. Yorktown, October 1781 - this is the storming of Redoubts 9 and 10 by French troops and American light infantry.  The scenario allows for a British counter-attack to re-take the forts, which Cornwallis didn't bother with on the night.

10. Cuddalore,  June 1783 - I'm sure this would look pretty spectacular. I wonder if the Perries could be persuaded to release HEIC infantry and Mysorean troops...

Each scenario comes with historical notes, full orbat and terrain details, a colour map, some uniform guidance, tactical tips and, where required, special rules.  Also included are some colour paintings by the late Bob Marrion (whose illustrations will be much missed in future Caliver publications) and a points system for "British Grenadier!".

So there you have it!