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


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,


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 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...