Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sarkozy's Pandours- or, some "pocket money" for M. le Marquis...

Another template courtesy of "Not by Appointment" !

"During the lengthy process of retraining and refitting l'armee de l'Oise at Thionville, it was necessary to keep the enemy from looking to our frontier with an eye for mischief all the time that the defences of France were at at such a nadir. It was imperative to prevent the forces of the Pragmatic Alliance from taking advantage of our current deplorable state, and, if possible, to deceive them as to the true extent of our discomfiture.

For this service, we needed men of energy and enterprise, and we had no further to look for such hearty individuals than in our new band of hussars and their
chef, Count Horthy Emil Sarkozy.

The Count soon demonstrated the wisdom of our having accepted his services, for no sooner had he joined our camp, than he began a series of raids, moonlight strikes, bluffs and other activities all along the part of the frontier that seperated the two armies.

It was quite remarkable to us officers, our being so used to conditions of service with the French army, with what little fanfare Count Sarkozy and his hussars would make their departure. Leaving in the early hours before sunrise, no sooner would they ride out of the camp than they would seemingly vanish into the very ether; burdened neither by train nor baggage, other than what the men could strap to their horses.

We would hear no news of them for days at a time. And then, with no harbinger or rumour heralding their approach, they would just as suddenly reappear, with no more ceremony as would have been the case had they merely been out on a morning to exercise their mounts.

Upon his return, Count Sarkozy would first attend to watering his horses and to obtaining food for his men. He would then directly make his way to my quarters, s
till covered in the accumulated grime of his latest adventure, where after brusquely paying his respects to the assembled company, he would then commence to present me with his latest souvenirs; a chest of maps here, some intelligence on enemy forces there, and even from time to time a valuable prisoner. (This included on one occasion none other than Graf Kristoph von Meissenplatz- a celebrated officer late in the service of the Duke of Hesse-Rheingelden- in whose company I then had the pleasure to dine.)

And always, Sarkozy's hussars- both men and horses- would return burdened with chests of coin, jewelry, and sacks of gold and other valuables, so that they were soon as rich as corsairs.


Which was as well, as in time I found myself in a position to bankroll the army and to pay for proper equipment and provisioning. A soldier may fight for honour or his comrades, but an army marches, alas, on money. My headaches at the time from dealing with the parsimonious scrubs in the Ministry of War were at their worst, and financing was always in short supply in those days.

I therefore did not press the Count too closely on how or where these most likely ill-gotten gains originated, but in my capacity as Prince Ecclesiastical of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles, I was always sure to give a brief benediction at Mass for those souls who may have had to endure the suffering that can befall the lot of those who have been privileged to "contribute" to the cause of Good King Louis.

Also long-suffering indeed was the Conte d'Aglianico, a most brave and professional lieutenant of mine, under whose direct command Sarkozy found himself (inasmuch as our wild Hungarian deigned submit to our command; or indeed, to any authority at all).

Many were the times that this gallant officer was called upon to intervene in the constant stream of disputes that arose between Sarkozy's band of uniformed brigands and the local populace. Through the judicious application of honeyed words, favours, bribes -and, when necessary, dark threats- he accomplished minor marvels of diplomacy, shielding me, along with the rest of my overburdened staff, from the endless deputations of affronted local counsellors and other such disaffected citizenry.


Nonetheless, it was acknowledged by all that the value of Sarkozy's actions against the enemy were proving their worth, and he soon developed a fearsome reputation on the far bank of the Rhine. Captured documents revealed that the enemy were having to send additional forces to meet the threat. Indeed, none other than the esteemed M. de Saxe was soon to write to me and to the War Ministry, asking that the raids continue as they were serving to draw reinforcements away from the Flanders theatre that would otherwise be ranged against him in his upcoming campaign there.

The proposal was soon made that Sarkozy's band be increased by the recruiting of two extra squadrons of hussars to that of a full regiment, and that a unit of Pandours be raised. These latter to be recruited from prisoners taken in recent actions in Bavaria- men whose dedication to the Habsburg crown was considered to have taken less of a hold on their hearts than did the prospect of a full purse while serving under the illustrious, and increasingly renowned, Count Sarkozy."

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Sarkozy Hussars

click on image to enlarge.

In
the words of
M. le Marquis...


"As the French army licked its grievous wounds after the Battle of Dettingen at the newly-constructed camp at Thionville, our time was often taken up with the routine work of training and outfitting the army so that it would once again be fit to stand in the line of battle.

One warm August morning, I found myself returning from my daily hunt along with my staff, and in the midst of a lively discussion on where one could best obtain the finest truffles, when suddenly we ventured upon a remarkable sight. Riding up the road ahead of us was a rather villainous-looking band of ragged ruffians, led by one of the most fierce, feral-looking individuals upon which I have ever cast my eyes.

Yet I was struck by a pride and spirit that was evident in their hardened countenances and which impressed me, a pride which had been so dearly lacking in our men since that dreadful day by the River Main.


Count Horthy Emil Sarkozy, in the uniform of his former regiment
(when in the employ of Her Highness the Empress
)


This band of apparent brigands was led by none other than
Count Horthy Emil Sarkozy, a noblemen descended from an ancient House with lands in the eastern reaches of The Empress of Austria's domains. A disciple of the great Baron Trenck, his reputation for cunning, cruelty, and the pursuit of riches was known by all, but there was no greater nor more energetic leader of troops for conducting le petite guerre west of the mountains of Bohemia. He and his men were legendary for being most provident and enterprising masters of their terrible trade.

It transpired that when in service with the Pragmatic Army in the campaigns in Bavaria, he and Baron Trenck had found themselves embroiled in a bitter altercation over the apportioning of some considerable booty, and nearly came to blows; indeed, Sarkozy in his fury fired a shot at the Baron. The bullet, whilst missing its intended target, went on to hit and to wound mortally the nearby young Margrave of Groelchenburg, a close cousin and a favourite of Her Majesty.

Naturally, this act endeared the Count neither
with Marshal Konigsegg nor with the House of Habsburg generally. Within days, Sarkozy found himself being strongly urged, by those of his associates who had close connections with the court in Vienna, that it would be in his best interests to flee the service of the Empress Queen.

One moonless night soon afterwards he rode out with his men to the Rhine frontier, crossing over to the west bank somewhere just north of Mainz after having successfully avoided the piquets on either side.

He later revealed that he had heard much about my exploits at the Bridge of Seligenstadt- and that I was well-known for keeping a lavish table well-provisioned with fine wines from the family estates at St. Vignobles- and that he had ridden to Thionville in order that he may offer me his services, along with those of his men.


I was touched both by his sincerity and by his martial demeanour, and duly petitioned the War Ministry. His offer was graciously accepted, and I was thus entreated and commissioned to outfit the men for the King's service.

I had a new uniform made for them in the Hungarian fashion, using the same bolts of grey and mulberry cloth that I had purchased to clothe the Regt. de Buillon-Cantinat. I also issued them with a standard- the ancient and faded guidon of the Bouillon-Cantinat Regiment of Gentlemen Volunteers, who had seen service in 1688 with the Great Louis and Turenne in their Wars in the Palatine.

Touched in turn by the sincerity and magnanimity of my gesture, Count Sarkozy swore tearfully that he and his men would honour the standard and would defend it to the last man. He then declared that all the time that he, Count Horthy Emil Sarkozy, had breath to draw in his body, he would champion the cause of France and the furtherance of the House of Bouillon-Cantinat."


Uniform plate based again on (the
indispensable) templates provided by David at "Not by Appointment". Thanks, David.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

L'Armee de l'Oise

C'est fini. Click to enlarge.


Update- I forget the grenadiers! Duly added- thanks to "Capt. Bill" for bringing their absence to my attention!

Introducing the Regiment de Bouillon-Cantinat


The
cavalry of
L’armée Française de l’Oise.

Brigade Colonel-General


  • Regt. Colonel-General
  • Regt. de la Reine
  • Regt. Dauphin
Brigade Bouillon-Cantinat
  • Regt. Bouillon-Cantinat
  • Regt. Conti
  • Regt. Clermont
Brigade Bauffremont (Dragoons)
  • Regt. Beauffremont
  • Regt. Harcourt
  • Regt. d'Aubigne
Troupes légère

  • les Hussards de Sarkozy (the Sarkozy Legion)
It is now high time to let the Marquis take over the narrative. From his memoirs;

"
The creation of L’armée de l’Oise was decreed after the disaster of Dettingen, and was to be formed from the debris and remnants of the French armies of Messieurs les Ducs de Grammont and de Noailles.

After Dettingen these worthy gentlemen found themselves recalled to Vesailles to give account of their failure to punish the Allies with the alacrity and completeness with which they had assured His Majesty was to have been the expected outcome.

It was myself, M. Le Marquis de Sangfroid, who on the departure of M. Grammont was given command of this new army.

I was duly tasked by the Ministry of War with the protection of the French side of the Rhine from any incursion by the Army of the Pragmatic Sanction, and when necessary to support the actions of the esteemed
M. le marechal de Saxe in his laudable campaigns in the Low Countries.

Those of the cavalry and infantry who managed to cross the Rhine in safety were reorganized in a new encampment that was set up at Thionville. The demoralized survivors of the cavalry were joined by the
Regt. Dauphin, and by the dragoon regiments Harcourt and Aubigne.

In time- and with care to drill, bellies, and purses- morale steadily improved.

The infantry regiments were brought back up to strength by drafts with which to replace their grievous losses, and were joined by the valiant men of the Regt. Royal Baviere.

Furthermore, and in recognition of my services to His Serene Majesty at Seligenstadt in which the valorous and noble conduct of the men of the Regt. de St. Vignobles was commented upon by all, I was commissioned to raise a new cavalry regiment from my estates in Artois and St. Vignobles, the Regt. de Bouillon-Cantinat.

Over the next few years, the army was trained by myself to a high standard of efficiency, as was noted with gracious pleasure by the esteemed Marechal de Saxe himself. In my trustworthy hands, L’armée de l’Oise was to bring considerable honour to France, to our beloved monarch, and to the prestige of the noble house of Bouillon-Cantinat."


*************

Renowned for it's imposing bearskins (a gift from Mme. la Duchesse de Richmonte in exchange for some -let us say, discrete- services on my part) as well as for its wine-red facings, the intrepid Regiment de Bouillon-Cantinat was to earn itself a reputation second to none for fearlessness in combat.

And, it must be admitted, a reputation to no small degree for licentiousness as well. This being as a result of frequent and oft-publicized forays to the local taverns and other houses of ill repute. In these nefarious activities, they were more often than not discovered to have been aided by their rather brigand-like comrades-in-arms, the Hussars of Sarkozy.

As a consequence of such mischief, on many an occasion
I was forced to make use of my influence & considerable charm- and, in some cases, of timely reminders upon debts payable from old games of chance- so as to prevent retribution being levied upon the men of the regiment by the heavy hands of local council authorities.



The Fanfare March of the Regt. de Bouillon-Cantinat

********

Click on the image to enlarge. Thanks, as always, to David of "Not by Appointment " for providing the uniform and flag templates.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Dearth of Horseflesh?


A quick question for my learned colleagues.

Aside from Front Rank and some rather dire looking figures from The Foundry, does anyone know of a -good- range of 18th C. French cavalry out there? Good as in variety and quality.

I know the Staddens are popular with a lot of Lace War aficionado's- and they do have their appeal- but they are somewhat generic, and do not really suit either my painting style or the other miniatures in my collection, the cavalry being all Front Rank.

My understanding is that Minden Miniatures are supposed to be working on cavalry next year, but I've no idea yet how extensive the range will be for the French.

For some reason, a number of manufacturers who have done French infantry do not seem to have tackled the cavalry (yes, you, Crusader!).

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Queen of Battles...

...IS of course the infantry.

I've been working on designing a force to take on the Pragmatic Alliance (See here), and have created the semi-fictional L’armée Française de l’Oise, in the service of which M. le Marquis can seek honour, glory, and the occasional hidden cache of fine wines.


lick on image to enlarge



I say semi-fictional, in that of course there was no such army! But the order of battle is based largely on the 2nd French battle line at Dettingen. There are a more than a few tips of the tricorn to artistic licence, though.



The Brigade de Navarre actually consisted of four battalions of the Regiment de Navarre and one batallion of the Regt. Bigorre. Here I've substituted a battalion of the Regt. de Royal Baviere for one of Navarrese, mainly because I like the flag of the Bavarians!



Most significantly, the Brigade de St. Vignobles was actually the Swiss Brigade Bettens, but I've substituted the Regt. de St. Vignobles as being a much more appropriate representative of the territory of Lorraine than the Garde Lorraine, which it has replaced! I've also taken the opportunity to increase it by one battalion so that it is now a two-battalion strong regiment. I've kept the Regt. de Forez, so this is now the strongest- and most colourful- of the four infantry brigades.



I was thinking of adding the Irish Brigade, but honestly seeing as I'll have to paint up a mass of Hanoverians and British for the Pragmatic Army, not to mention two large battalions of Swiss, I think that will be enough red to last me a lifetime. Besides, when I think French of the Ancien Regime, I think off-white.



Shocking liberties, perhaps? While I love history, and usually try to stick pretty close to it, I also consider it my plaything to kick around as I like. Those purists who need smelling salts after reading such heresy may go ahead and inhale.

Next, I'll add the cavalry and artillery. A big choice of colour to choose from here!



Fracas at Fontenoy!

M. le Marquis is well-pleased to have received a wonderful book celebrating his sovereign majesty's greatest victory of the age- Fontenoy in 1745.



You can read a little more about it here.

It should make for a very pleasant read by the fireplace, and would easily complement the partaking of a glass of burgundy or two, accompanied by a platter of pâté and a suitable selection of fine cheeses.

I'm working on a order of battle for a French army that M. le Marquis can command, using the
Koenig Krieg rules. I'll put it up this evening.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gotta love purple facings!

I've been working on the Pragmatic Army recently on my Will ye go to Flanders blog, and haven't posted here for a while.

So let me remedy this with a plate showing what will be a brigade of regular French infantry, organized for use with the Koenig Krieg rules
. Each battalion will consist of twelve miniatures. I have two (and a half) battalions cleaned up and primed so far. I'll work on them concurrently with my Dutch infantry.

This brigade fought at the Battle of
Dettingen in 1743. Nice, simple uniforms and attractive flags.


Click on image for a larger picture

Uniform templates courtesy of the excellent Not by Appointment blog. Flags by me courtesy of PowerPoint.

The button arrangement is not spot on for these regiments, but given the myriad of possible pocket designs and button combinations, with just about every regiment having a different pattern, this is unavoidable! It shouldn't matter, however, seeing as practicality dictates that there is only a limited choice of options available on figure castings anyway.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on the next instalment of the Marquis' memoirs, usually while commuting back and forth from work. Bear with me here, as while the creative juices have been flowing, inspiration- and time- tends to come in fits and starts. There is usually a lot of reworking before I get anything that I am happy with enough to post here.

I'm not about to give up my day job to be a writer, that's for sure!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Film about Fontenoy?

While net surfing I came across this. Looks as if historically, one could pick holes in it ad infinitum, but I seldom confuse movies with history at the best of times- I just sit back with popcorn and a beer or two and enjoy the spectacle.

I don't know much about the film used in the clip, though I suspect it isn't a classic!


A worthy cause...

Commander of the Anglo-Allied army in the Seven Years War,
Prinz Ferdinand of Brunswick

I would assume that almost everyone who checks out this blog has an interest in the 18th C. military history in general. While my main focus is the War of the Austrian Succession, my interest in the era is by no means limited to that struggle, and I voraciously read anything on the earlier War of the Spanish Succession or the later Seven Years War as well.

One of the best books ever written on the latter conflict was the comprehensive campaign history by Sir Reginald Savory; "
His Britannic Majesty's Army of the Seven Years War".

First published back in 1967, it remains the best- indeed pretty much the only- in-depth treatment of the campaigns fought in the west between the French army one one hand, and the Anglo-Hanoverian army with its various German allies on the other.

I had the good fortune to read this book back in the 1980's, as they had a copy in the University of British Columbia's main library when I was a student there. In a recent online search, I see now that the copy has since been "lost" according to university records. A bummer, and with hindsight I regret not being the lowly thief who carried out the crime! A second-hand copy of the Athena Books reprint is hard to find and expensive, with any copy of the original Oxford edition selling anywhere from $500- $1,000 dollars. Ouch...

So on to the point; Nigel Billington is looking into the possibility of a new reprint of this invaluable book, and wants to see how much interest there is out there in such a project.

If anyone is interested, and haven't yet heard about it through TMP or the Emperor vs. Elector site, I urge you to support the project so that one of the staples of the literature on the SYW can again see the light of day to a general readership, and perhaps recruit future enthusiasts to this fascinating era- as it did with me back in university.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seligenstadt revisited

Remember that Rearguard at Seligenstadt scenario?

A number of guys in Australia who have been play-testing the upcoming new edition of the Koenig Krieg rules have shown an interest in trying it out. Should they do so, I've asked that they get back to me so I can post any feedback here.

In the meantime, here is a video someone posted on You Tube of the town of Seligenstadt today- good for modelling ideas!

Note the river Main, where the Gardes Francaises may very well have given Michael Phelps a run for his money back in 1743.




Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Blog- "Will ye go to Flanders?"


With the imminent arrival of my Dutch army from Eureka, I realize that I'm now likely to want to talk about, ask questions and to post information about the Army of the Pragmatic Sanction. However, I feel this blog is the "property" of our esteemed Marquis, and I'm concerned about it wandering too far away from our protagonist, his adventures and the French army in which he so steadfastly serves.

After some consideration, I've therefore decided to set up a "sister blog" to complement this one, and in which I can talk not only about orders of battle, miniatures, and other resources related to recreating the
Army of the Pragmatic Sanction, but other miscellaneous aspects of the War of the Austrian Succession as well. I'll also use it as a place to discuss my favourite rules for 18th Century battles, Koenig Krieg.

Les reves de Mars will still feature information about the French army, and will include battle reports, uniforms and game scenarios as well as the usual pontifications of our "Portly Paragon of Pomposity", M. le Marquis de Sangfroid.

The name of the new blog is "Will ye go to Flanders?", and I hope you give it a visit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

10,000!

I just realized that the hit counter registered more than 10,000 hits as of today!

A small milestone, and I sure that I must have accounted for a lot of those hits myself as I return to "fine tune" the site. And it is nowhere near the numbers maintained by blogs such as those by
Der Alte Fritz and Ioannis' The Leuthen Journal, as well as all those others whose magnificent websites are read throughout the wargaming fraternity.

But 10,000 is evidence that at least some people out there are reading my blog, and I appreciate all of you who have returned to these pages and who have left comments. It all inspires me to continue with the adventures of the Marquis de Sangfroid, and indeed to paint up more 18th C. miniatures- to this end I have prepared another 24 figures- two battalions- for painting and will undercoat them tomorrow!

And special thanks to Bluebear Jeff and to Drew, who helped to kickstart the return of the Marquis!

So speaking on behalf of myself and of Louis-Baptiste Sardanapalus Bouillon-Cantinat, 10th Marquis de Sangfroid, Comte de Roué. Chevalier of the Order of the Golden Stirrup, and Hereditary Prince Ecclesiastical of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles,

We thank you all!

Votre Serviteur,

Robert


The Sangfroid Saga

Without much ado, let us return to another instalment of the memoirs of His Grace, Louis-Baptiste Sardanapalus Bouillon-Cantinat, 10th Marquis de Sangfroid, Comte de Roué. Chevalier of the Order of the Golden Stirrup, and Hereditary Prince Ecclesiastical of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles.

"As the years march inexorably forward, and the frailty of the body weighs upon mere mortals as does a stout anchor restrain a great ship of the line in the strongest gale, what greater pleasure can advancing years hold than enjoying a bottle of fine claret, a game of chance with with elegant and witty company, and the sun shining warmly down upon our cherished coterie as we take our ease in the chateau gardens, accompanied by the gentle sounds of the mighty Rhine as it flows by the splendid lands of St. Vignobles?

Such was the contentment that I felt this warm and languid afternoon, that I am again tempted to take up the quill and, should it be the will of the Almighty, continue my account of those tumultuous yet glorious days. Days that saw our beloved monarch in his youth, ably assisted at the helm of state and war by such celebrated luminaries as the M. de Saxe. And, if I may say it, by a host of loyal subjects such as myself, eager and willing to give all for the Duty and Honour of France.

Amongst my cherished guests this day was that most worthy gentleman, M'Lord Henry Fetlock-Nosebridle, Lord Withers. Always fond of a generous meal and fine wine- and a daunting opponent at vingt-et-un- he is currently given to some degree of stoutness and is afflicted with gout. Yet in his youth he had the physick of an Apollo, and was one of the most celebrated horsemen in Europe.

While fate ordained that we were to serve our respective masters on opposite sides of the bloody meadows of war, he always behaved with great courage and with the honour and dignity due to a man of high station. We have always remained firm friends, despite having crossed swords on a number of occassions in the battles that ebbed and flowed over the unfortunate Flanders plain.

Having paid me the felicitations due to my astute choice of wine with which to accompany our dish of braised pheasant and aubergines, he happened to remark on the fine quality of the porcelain from which we were dining, and enquired as to its provenance.

"Ah," said I; "For that we have to thank my old rival and implacable foe; a man who coveted the fertile lands of St. Vignobles relentlessly, a ruthless and determined fellow who gave me reason for much apprehension concerning the future and security of my house. Of course, I refer to none other than Hertog Karel-Willem van Tippelkranken, the Stadtholder of Nassau-Knijperbrug."

My old companion and I settled into our armchairs, and I called for brandies and clay pipes as I began to relate my tale..."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Digression- any Savoyard fans out there?

"Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia, King of Savoy, victor of Assietta and all-round crafty dude extraordinaire"

While perusing the Internet for all things War of the Austrian Succession related, I've come across a number of relevant and interesting sites. I've updated my links to include one I found on the Savoyard army- "the Prussians of Italy", and a state that gave a good account for itself in the War of the Austrian succession, in 1747 giving the French a good drubbing in the mountains at the Battle of Assietta.





"Bandiere e uniformi sabaude" is worth a look for anyone wanting to recreate the army that fought Louis XV on France's southern flank. In Italian, but with a little help from a translation software program- and a little patience- there is much the site has to offer.

Although with stiff competition from the Spanish, the Army of Piedmont-Savoy also may very well win the prize for having the prettiest flags in the War of the Austrian Succession!

Fontenoy's Forgotten Younger Brother...


While looking for information on the Dutch army, I came across this great site on the Battle of Lauffeldt in 1747. Lots of goodies including maps and pictures of the battlefield today.

Another victory for the French under the great
Maurice de Saxe, against the Duke of Cumberland. Although Lauffeldt was a hard-fought battle and not the knock-out blow he was hoping for.

I really think that in orders of battle for all his engagements in the Low Countries, the Duke of Cumberland should be listed on the
French side- one gets the impression that he was unwitting architect of many a French victory of the time. He even went on to stage a repeat performance of his characteristic ineptitude in early stages of the Seven Years War before it was decided that "enough was enough" and he was finally replaced.

Culloden seems to be have been his only success, and if I were a Scots Jacobite, I'd be hanging my head in shame through having been defeated by Cumberland of all people (although at least I could always drown my humiliation in good whiskey).

Actually the hero of Lauffeldt seems to be the very active commander of the British cavalry,
Lord Ligonier, who must have beaten his head many times in frustration against many a stable door through having to work with a commander of Cumberland's tactical and strategic acumen (or lack thereof).

Lauffeldt interests me- perhaps even more than Fontenoy- because you had the Austrians and the Dutch fighting (if rather tardily) alongside the British and Hannoverians, although it must be said that the Dutch- well, let's just say they didn't exactly cover themselves with glory on that day! But the Pragmatic army is very colorful force for any wargames table

Unfortunately, while the names of the commanders are given for the Dutch and Austrians, there are no breakdowns of the order of battle for either of these armies. If anyone out there does have any information on this that they'd be willing to share, it would be much appreciated.

The Marquis would like to know which regiments in particular he should be preparing to trounce on the field of battle!



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going Dutch...


A Saucy Hollandaise?
(Picture from the
The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume, NYPL)

For a while- they should prove worthy opponents for the Marquis! It is great to have a line of miniatures now available for an army that has previously been so much overlooked.
Somewhat mystifying seeing as Holland was pretty much a key player in the early days of the 18th Century. That said, the War of the Austrian Succession was certainly not their finest hour, and it has been suggested that by this time "the fire had gone out", so to speak. But the men- if not the high command- seemed to have fought competently enough.
It is pretty clear that information on the army is pretty thin on the ground, one reason why it may have been so under-represented in wargames miniatures.
As far as I know the most comprehensive treatment of the army of the United Provinces is to be found in this book:
  • Stephen Manley: "The Uniforms of the Dutch Army- 1740-1748"(War of the Austrian Succession-A Wargamer's Guide Pt. III).
This book- at only nineteen pages a booklet, really- contains information about the organization and equipment of the Dutch army as well as descriptions- with accompanying black & white line drawings- of its uniforms. However, it lacks any information on flags. Fortunately, as I mentioned in a previous post, Vaubanner Graphics has WAS Dutch infantry flags covered pretty comprehensively, so this isn't much of a problem.
Cavalry standards are a problem, though- I may use standards dating from the earlier War of the Spanish Succession in lieu of any other alternative.
The Uniforms of the Dutch Army was published by On Military Matters in New Jersey. I don't know whether or not it is still in print, but if it is still available-and if you have any interest at all in the Dutch army of the time- grab a copy! I was able to pick up mine from Caliver Books.
*******
In addition, I also found this great site called Royalfig, that features these extremely useful Dutch uniform plates by Gilles Boue, apparently(?) based on the illustrations in Stephen Manley's booklet. These, however, are in colour which is a great advantage. The site is worth looking at- lots of great material on 18th Century armies in general.

He also has some excellent plates on the French in their uniforms of the War of the Austrian Succession as well. No coloured waistcoats here.

*******

"Clearly, given strategic considerations of the time, the Dutch government had nefarious designs on the territorial integrity and Ancient Rights of the Bishopric of St. Vignobles. A crisis would soon be facing M. le Marquis de Sangfroid and his brave regiment."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dutch from Down Under...

Very nice Dutch flags from Vaubanner.

As fate would have it, just the other day I received an e-mail from Nic Robson at Eureka Miniatures in Australia, informing me that the long-awaited War of the Austrian Succession Dutch miniatures are ready for moulding and casting, and that they will be shipped at the end of September- six months later than bargained for, but welcome nevertheless.

Great news that is bound to get me wanting to immerse myself into the 18th C. again. I've long had the flags from Vaubanner, and am anxious to finally get the miniatures that will go with them!

I'm curious to see what they will be like. My collection- not very big yet- is mostly Front Rank with some Minden Miniatures. The two ranges are not really compatible in style. Which of the two ranges I ever expand on will very much depend on which go best with the Eureka models- I have a lot of the latter on the way, including cavalry and cannon.

For French I am also keeping an eye out on the new "Rank and File" range from
Crusader Miniatures, who have already released some nice-looking British and Russians. If they come out with French in unfastened coats, they may well be worth looking into as opponents for the Dutch.

With great anticipation, M. le Marquis awaits what developments the future will bring.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A chip off the old block?

Given my current work on my Napoleonic French army, I had the notion to expand the narrative of the Bouillon-Cantinats to include the adventures of the Good Marquis' descendants.

Click here to learn more about the life of the 13th Marquis de Sangfroid, and of his selfless service to France and to the Emperor Napoleon during the glorious days of the First Empire.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Still here...

Though dormant. A recent comment posted by a reader of this blog awoke me to the fact that I have been neglecting M. le Marquis for far too long!

The reason for this is that I live in pretty much a gaming wasteland. Without having had the imposition of the "project discipline" that gaming with a regular group can provide, I have for years now been tinkering around in far too many different gaming periods- without making any real progress in any one of them.

This had to change. So this past spring I made the decision to devote my painting time over the course of the year to my Napoleonics; these make up the bulk of my collection by far, and I have a lot- and I mean a
lot- of them to do!

But I remain very fond of the Marquis, so I have decided that I will be adding a few updates from time to time- and may even get around to finishing that unit of Minden Miniatures' French that glowers at me from my painting shelf! More on that, and on my opinion on the trend toward a "new generation" of more authentically-proportioned miniatures later.
Let's just say for now that the jury remains out on this one.

In the meantime, I continue to await the Eureka Miniatures War of the Austrian Succession Dutch. Should they ever indeed see the light of day, they will no doubt help to jump-start an 18th C. "revival" for me.

As may this; a week ago I placed a pre-order with Amazon.com for the following title;





Very little out there in English on this battle (surprise, surprise...) Once this tempting tome gets here, I'm sure the juices will be flowing again, and that situations featuring M. le Marquis' presence on "le champ d'honneur" will be detected within its pages.  Rumour also has it that our hero may indeed have served the interests of His Majesty as far east as the Ottoman Empire, but that is a story for another day...