Saturday, 29 October 2016

Birthday Boy!

Yes, it’s was my Birthday this week and where the hell did that last year go. As you can see that I did get a couple of war game related items for which I am truly grateful for. In the picture on the left is the good old Conflix 28mm Merchants House and yep I do already own one of these but another one will make any village/town look even better now. It’s just a shame that Conflix have not made any more to add to this collection. On the right is from 4Ground 28mm five Mature Orchard Tress & Bases. These will be for my La Haye Sainte Farm project.

Looking at my blog yesterday I see that I have now had over a total of 27,300 hits. If you are one of these, then I thank you for your time in looking around my blog. I have a few items to put up on here but they will appear here later next month.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Lance

The lance is one of the oldest cavalry weapon and it is still in use today even though it’s now for ceremonial duties only around the world. A Lancer was a type of light cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lancers were used in mounted warfare by the Assyrians as early as 700 BC and then by the Greeks, Persians, Gallic, Han-Chinese, Nomadic and the Romans.
The lance was used widely in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by armoured cavalry, before being adopted by the light cavalry particularly in Eastern Europe. But by the mid-seventeenth century the lance had almost disappeared from warfare. The lance was mainly a Polish weapon, and by the late Revolutionary Wars to the early Napoleonic period the French, Russian and Austrian armies employed Poles and adopted their Polish style uniform for most of their lancer regiments.
The first lancers were raised in the French army in 1807. Napoleon Bonaparte was so impressed with some Polish soldiers he saw armed with lances that he decided to arm French horsemen with the weapon. The length of the lance gave the soldier the ability to stab his foes at a longer distance than he could with a sword. This made the lancer greatly feared.
The lance was 275cm long and its blackened shaft was made of hardwood such as ash or deal. The bottom has a steel ‘shoe’ to protect the wood when the lance was rested on the ground. The center of the shaft has a Hungarian whitened leather grip and a loop for the fingers called a martingale. The lance was usually decorated with a small flag called a pennon. This dove tailed shaped flag was usually red over white but other combination of colours were used depending on nation and their regiments. The steel point was made with a flattened diamond section which allowed it to easily penetrate an enemy soldier’s body. It is secured by long steel straps called langets which made it harder to chop off the point with a sword. The lance weighed three kilograms (about six pounds, ten ounces)
Lance Tip
Not all the soldiers in a lancer regiment carried the lance. It was confined to those who were in the front rank. Soldiers in other ranks carried swords, pistols and short muskets called carbines. During the Napoleonic Wars many of the nation’s Austrian, French, Polish, Prussian and Russian fielded cavalry armed with the lance. They allowed the light horsemen to hit hard during the attack and with the use of the lance they had greater reach to poke the infantry in square formation although with limited success.
In many of the Napoleonic armies the lancer regiments were called Uhlans especially in the Austrian and Prussian service and they offend used the Polish style of dress with the distinctive ‘Czapka’ cap.
It was only the British army that was without Lancers during the Napoleonic Wars and this was to prove them costly when the French used them with good effect during the battle of Waterloo.
At Waterloo the British did not have any lancers in the army but after seeing them in action and what damage they could do they were finally introduced into the army but not until the following year in 1816.

At Waterloo according to historian Alessandro Barbero, he said that the French lances were "terrifyingly efficient." 
Commander of the French 1st Corps, 4th Division General Durutte, who saw the battle from the high ground in front of Papelotte, would write later, "I had never before realized the great superiority of the lance over the sword."

Monday, 10 October 2016

SELWG 16 Report

The SELWG annual Wargaming Show has come and gone and it is the only show that I have been able to get to this year.
Set in the lovely grounds of the Crystal Palace Park in the sports centre the autumn sun was shining as I arrived just before 10:45am. After paying my entry fee and picking up a programme I set off for the trade stands first as I always do at this show.
Although I did take some war funds with me I knew that there would not be any figures for me to buy as I have a back log of painting to do before I can see what figures I need, although saying that I am still waiting for HaT to produce the Elite in Greatcoats sets.
The top floor looked busier than past shows and after a look at the the first lot of traders I came to the Harfields stand. I love these guys as they always seem to have what I have wanted in the past.  Looking through their two big trays of plastic soldiers I came across a packet of Italeri French wagons.
There were two wagons in this packet one blue and one in silver with the same coloured horses to match. (I hope to write a piece on transport on this blog soon) When I returned home to take a proper look I found that most of the pieces were there and I had four extra horses. For two and a half quid it was worth it.
I did try to get to the bring and buy stand but as always it was very busy and I had to come later on in the day to see what was on offer. Here I brought a hard back book from Philip J Haythornthwaite called “Napoleon’s Military Machine” for just three pounds. I saw this book in a book shop many years ago when on holiday in Scotland and wished that I had brought the book then. So now it’s in my collection. 

In the main hall it did not seem so busy and looking around the trade stands was quite a pleasant experience. The only thing I brought here was from Products of War with small circle bases for another project I am thinking about.
After lunch I made my way around the gaming tables but there was no displays that really jumped out at me. There seems to be a lot of participation games which is a good thing really for up and coming gamer's. But for me no Napoleonic's? Oh well maybe next year but I did enjoy the show.  Here are a couple of pictures of the show.

Here is a picture of what I thought was the best in that it was a participation game with hundreds of lovely painted figures.
The table belonged to the NEWBURY & READING WARGAME SOCIETY and the games was called 1066 And All That!

SHIPWAY WARGAMES was another table full of painted figures and a great demo. The Austrian - Prussian War of 1866.