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Category Archives: Offensive Miniatures

Battle of Möckern AAR

The other week we finally got to give the Battle of Möckern another try. Before I start with the AAR I shall show you the force compositions, so know which forces faced one another:

French OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

French OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules
[EDIT: Please note there is a typo in the name of Maréchal Marmont]

Prussian OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

Prussian OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules

Deployment was quiet straight forward. The French Troops under Lagrange were deployed inside the village of Möckern, with the Légère being deployed behind it as reserves. They could only be released after the first Prussian assault on the village itself. The troops under Buquet were deployed on the fields east of the village. The French artillery was positioned in between these two formations.

The Prussians under Klüx were deployed opposite the village, with the Leibgrenadierbattalion being kept back as reserves. They could only be released after the first unsuccessful assault on Möckern. The Second Detachment was deployed on the fields east of Möckern opposite the French lines. The Prussian 6pdr. batteries were deployed between the two formations with the cavalry behind them. Th horsemen would stay in reserve until von Yorck saw the moment fit to unleash them. At the earliest this could happen on the fourth round (they would be released on a roll of 6+ on a D10 with each previous attempt giving them a +1). The 12pdrs. were not deployed on table but off table and would start firing on the fourth round.

Möckern (French side)

Möckern (French side)

The Prussians won the first initiative (they would actually did so each round) and began a general advance. On their right the Gardejäger had deployed the whole unit as skirmishers and it was behind them that the Landwehr advanced, with the Ostpreußisches Infanterieregiment to their left, both in line. On the fields Two regular and the reserve battalions were at the front deployed in Collums of Attack with the Landwehr battalions advanced behind them in line. The artillery opened up on the closest French infantry on the fields, without doing much damage.

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Initiative passed over to the French. While the troops inside Möckern naturally stayed put and those in the fields advanced slowly in line. The two French batteries split their fire between the Westpreußisches Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern. They too only inflicted moderate damage.

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

Now it was the Prussians turn once more. The troops opposite Möckern continued their advance with the Gardejäger opening fire at the defenders doing the first damage. On the fields there was a further advance with the 12te Reserveinfanterie preparing to charge. But before they could do so it was the artilleries turn. The left battery had to shift its fire to the French artillery on account that part of the Prussian lines now obscured the French and managed to put the crew for two of the French guns out of action, while their companions still created more damage for the infantry. Now the reservists charged the French to their front. The French fired a defensive volley at point blank range, but still they went on. Both sides already inflicted heavy casualties on the other, but not enough to send one running. But after continued heavy hand to hand combat the French broke and ran, never to return. But at a heavy price with the reservists having lost more than half their number. But still they stood fast.

First contact

First contact

On their next turn the French in Möckern still just held their ground. The troops on the fields contented with just firing at the Prussians to their front without doing much damage or with sending some infantry to re-crew the French guns. Only the French battalions from the second line (now front) opposite the 12th Reserveinfanterie charged them. The Prussians were still disordered from their own attack and while they managed to get some defensive fire off they were unable to break the French impetus and after short combat broke themselves. They would still be retiring at the end of the game. Again the French artillery fired at both the Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern inflicting more damage, having found their range.

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Back to the Prussians the action went. Near Möckern they advanced further, but the Ostpreußen now decided to deploy as skirmishers to lessen the effects of the incoming artillery, which would work out, but at the same time meant they would be less effective assaulting the village.

On the fields the 14te Schlesische Landwehr got into position to charge the French who had just broken the reservists, but faild to get their morale up for the charge. Unfortunately the same happened to the Brandenburgisches Infanterieregiment. The Grenadierbattalion decided to fire at the regiment to their front, since the second artillery battery could now longer fire at the french infantry either. And their fire proved effective enough. With the second Prussin artillery battery now shifting its fire to the French artillery as well, they caused impressive damage, killing all the infantry replacements for the crew plus the crews for another 4 guns!

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Now the French defender inside Möckern remembered that they could fire back, which they did causing minimal damage ion the Gardejäger.

On the fields most of the French proved happy firing at the Prussians with moderate effect and sending yet more infantry to help redrew the French guns. The French who had previously dispatched the reservists now decided to charge the Landwehr in position to charge them. Their superior numbers and quality proved decisive and after heavy losses of both sides the Landwehr pulled back.. The French artillery virtually did nothing this turn. One battery was in no state to cause much damage and the other failed to make an impression on the dispersed skirmishers of the Ostpreußen.

Advance on Möckern

Advance on Möckern

On their next turn the Prussians did extremely well. Both the line Regiments on the fields charged their French opposites causing both to break and run. Together with the previous losses and those troops send to help the artillery this only left a nucleus of French on the fields. While the Gardejäger caused some further damage on the French defenders of Möckern the real star was the artillery. One of the Prussian batteries shifted their fire to the next French battery taking out the crew for one gun. But the other one annihilated the mauled French battery taking out the remaining crew and damaging the guns before the French infantry even got a chance to redrew them. To make matters worse for the French the next round would also see the Prussian cavalry released. At this point the French player decided to call it a day.

Opposing lines crash

Opposing lines crash

All in all one very entreating game and we more than happy to pal it out this time without too much discussing of rules. Having read them again before the game really helped there! 😉

 

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Prussian Officers

So in my quest to catch up with the stuff I painted for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge… here are some Prussian officers. In a recent game we played, I had to use some British officers as stand-ins which resulted in some jokes that I needed more Prussian officers to prevent the Brits from stealing the glory. Plus I need a few more officers for my Möckern game anyway!

One is a pair of artillery officers representing Oberstleutnant Schmidt who commanded von Yorcke´s artillery reserve that day. Schmidt was the officer in charge of one of the Prussian 12pdr. batteries when they were amalgamated on the day. He was given charge of the combined battery (well rather the large 12pdr. battery and the large howitzer battery). Now under R2E you usually do not have brigadiers (or higher) for artillery. They are either attached to infantry or cavalry brigade and act under their orders or act as independent unit and you have to pay command points for each battery. They exceptions are grand batteries and instances were actual artillery formations were used. Since the 12pdr.s at Möckern fall into that later category and since the two 6pdr. batteries were acting independently anyway, I felt it was time for one of those rare artillery commanders here. The minis and their Horses are from Calpe. I really enjoyed their businesslike simplicity. Since I could not find any information where Schmitz and the other ranking officers from the batteries came from, I took some liberties in their colour choice, going for Silesian yellow and Brandenburg red. While it might not show on the photos, I enjoyed painting the reflection of the sky into the telescope lens. I felt this gave a great counterpoint to that simplicity and serves as a good eye catcher.

Prussian artillery officers

Prussian artillery officers

Prussian artillery officers

Prussian artillery officers

Prussian artillery officers

Prussian artillery officers

The other one is a Prussian officer (Perry) meant to represent the officer who commanded the second detachment of the avant-garde. Unfortunately his name is unknown, but this also gave me the opportunity to choose his facing colours. I went for Silesian yellow, since there a lot of units from Silesia in the force and it gave a nice contrast with the blue of the uniform and the red of the turnbacks. Also on the base are a French artillery casualty and broken gun from Offensive Miniatures as seen on yesterdays review. I feel that piece has lots of character and they both serve to distract from one another, therefore creating lots of action on the base. The only mood point is that I arranged them in a way that it looks like the Prussian officer is shouting to get that dead Frenchmen moving again.

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer

Prussian mounted infantry officer (top view)

Prussian mounted infantry officer (top view)

 

Offensive Miniatures French Artillery Casualties review

Some of you might remember my review of Offensive Miniatures French Artillery last year. Well a couple of weeks ago Dave from Offensive Miniatures asked me if I would be willing to do a review of their French Napoleonic Artillery Casualties pack (FNFR252). Obviously I was happy to oblige, especially since there is a general lack of artillery casualties on the market and I was keen to lay my hands on them.

French artillery battery (Offensive Miniatures)

French artillery battery
[Offensive Miniatures]

So what is in the pack. You get two small vignettes. One is a dead artilleryman laying facedown besides a wheel, the other one is a dead artilleryman lying sprawled over the half buried carriage of a 12pdr gun. The later features a displaced barrel and a broken wheel on the carriage. Both are cast mainly in resin. Why mainly? Well the axle on the carriage is definitely a brass rod and while cleaning them up the pieces up, the soldiers became very shiny where I scratched them with the hobby knife, so I suppose those are white metal. The barrel and broken wheel were white metal. Everything was already primed in a mid grey, which is nice, since cleaning up resin can be a pain in the behind at times. The official retail is 10 GB£, which I think is fair for what is essentially two minis, a gun and two diorama bases.

So my first impression? Well I was a bit skeptic to be honest. Having painted their original set of artillery last year, I quickly realised that the two dead soldiers were not dedicated new sculpts but slightly rearranged versions of the original artillery crew. With the uniformity of the grey primer, it was hard to tell, if they would look like proper casualties or too animated to be dead (sorry for such a grotesque wording) and I decided to leave my final decision to the moment they were finished. Otherwise I was quiet happy with what I got. The castings were very clean and flesh was minimal. Over all I think I spend less than five minutes cleaning these up and I am pedantic about these things. The nice thing about the carriage piece was that there were impressions on the base. So it was easy to know where the barrel and dead trooper were supposed to fit for the best look.

A little word of advise regarding the preparation and painting. The bottom of the pieces is very smooth and if you want to glue them to a base you should definitely roughen them up before you paint them. I found it best to paint the carriage piece un-assembled. Since the dead soldier, broken wheel and barrel come as separate pieces, there are lots of open spaces between them and the base carriage itself. These would be hard to reach with a brush when already assembled. Also I would advise to paint the soil first followed by the rest. The soil has a nice structure that lends itself to drybrushing and it is easiest to do this first.
Talking of structure… The carriage itself has the nice defined structure I have already seen on their artillery set and this worked well for drybrushing as well.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

So final impressions. Well my first scepticism evaporated when painting and assembling them. Even though the dead crew are “just” variations of the living crew, it does not show. I was very impressed with the soldier hanging over the carriage in this respect. If you place his feet and knee in the locator impressions on the base, he really looks like he was made for this piece. As I said before, the casting quality and detail / structure are superb and made these a joy to paint.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Overall I can highly recommend this set. It is unique, since to my knowledge this is the only set with artillery casualties on the market. And not only casualties, but also broken pieces of equipment that add lots of character to the set. Actually character is what this set has in abundance and I think that it will be great on any tabletop either as battlefield debris, casualty markers or just decoration for a command base.

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

Offensive Miniatures French artillery casualty

By the way, watch out for the next post, which will feature some Prussian officers. One of these pieces already found its way onto a command base as decoration! 😉

 

Offensive French Artillery finished

Offensive French Artillery finished

After I posted a review of Offensive Miniatures French artillery a short while ago, I also wanted to have a go at painting them. And they did not disappoint at all. They are nice to paint and offered a lot of detail. So much so that I thought I would go mad painting the highlights on all that red. 😉

The guns are based for Republic to Empire and I have to say, with 6 minis to a base they are quiet crowded. So much so, that I left the ammo chests I painted up as well off.  In retrospect I think I might have gone and based them with 4 crew each and bought two additional guns. But this way there is more action to the bases. I went and changed some mini around between crews to make each base look unique and I think this paid off.

French artillery battery (Offensive Miniatures)

French artillery battery
[Offensive Miniatures]

French 12pdr 1

French 12pdr

French 12pdr 2

French 12pdr

French 12pdr

French 12pdr

French 6" Howitzer

French 6″ Howitzer

French artillery battery (an XI)

French artillery battery (Gribeauval system)

 

Offensive Miniatures French Artillery Review

Offensive Miniatures French Napoleonic artillery pack

Offensive Miniatures French Napoleonic artillery
[Stock number: FNFR251,
Early French Line Artillery – 12lb Btty
(4 Guns/24 Crew)]
Click on the image for a larger version

The other week I found something pretty Offensive in my mail, but I was expecting that and was happy with it, since it was Offensive MiniaturesFrench Artillery. (I never said I had a good sense of humor! ;-)) Usually I know what you are going to say… “Will he do a review of every metal mini released as well?” No, I will not, but Offensive Miniatures is relatively small company and those who know them will most likely rather associate them with their WWII ranges, so I decided to give them a go.

Contents of the box:
Now I got a battery boxed set. It contains 24 men (six for each gun), four guns and some loose equipment (two spare wheels, two stacks of cannonballs and a total of six ammo chests). In my case, since I went for FNFR251, this meant three 12pdr. guns and one 6″ Howitzer.
The minis themselves wear the pre-1812 uniform with uncovered shakos. Each mini is in there twice, so there are 12 different poses in all. While one crew is loading / running the gun and the other firing, there are a few poses in each set, that are not distinctive of that phase, so one could shuffle them around a little, to create 4 different crew compositions. All the minis are nicely animated and anatomically correct.

The guns are from the Gribeauval system period. Since the newer an XI (Year 11) guns did not arrive in Spain these would be suitable for the Peninsular Campaign. I doubt that a complete transition had taken place by 1813, so in small numbers they should work until that time, too.

Price (as in June 2012):
If you buy these as a single gun with crew, the price is 12 GB£ for six minis, one gun and some spare equipment. If you buy them as part of a battery set the price for each gun with crew comes down to 11,25 GB£.

By comparison a Perry gun with six crew (FN 132) costs 10,50 GB£.

If you buy a Front Rank gun and add six crew to it the cost is 13,25 GB£. (They do have discounted packs as well, but those have a different composition.)

Wargames Foundry would ask for 17 GB£ for six minis and a gun. (They have discounted packs as well, but those have a different composition, too.)

So price wise they are at the lower end of the metals around, especially when bought as a pack, like the sample here.

Detail:
Now the detail on the minis is really good. Nice crisp and clear with no undercuts (as can be expected from metals). The animation is good and lively, as well as anatomically correct. I had no bubbles or mould misalignments with these minis and flash was minimal. In some cases (as could be expected with the lively animation) there are mould-lines running over the faces, but these were removed easily and without damage to the faces.
Generally much the same goes for the guns. Minimal flash and no misalignment either. I was very impressed with the insides of the wheels. Those were all cast perfect with no bubbles in the spokes and even less flash.

The 12pdr. barrels all had a minor dent at the same spot, which suggest damage to the mould, but this can easily be fixed with greenstuff or even white glue.The carriages feature a very nice woodgrain detail. On the 12 pounder carriages these is obscured around the handles, my guess being that this is glue from fitting together the parts on the master. This can be recut with a sharp knife, but it still is a shame. Do not take these “defects” as major shortcomings though. I have had more miscast spokes and carriage details on an average Perry piece.

Compatibility:
Size wise these minis should work well with the Napoleonic minis produced by the other mayor companies. Obviously the real test comes if you want to mix them in one unit or even on one base.

Size comparison

Size comparison
[Left to right: Offensive Miniatures, Foundry (Russian artillery), Perry Miniatures, Victrix (infantry)]

When compared to Foundry or Perry Miniatures, they are a little smaller, but their bases are a little thicker, which makes them end up the same hight. The heft is stronger on the Offensive Miniatures, which is mainly visible on the faces, but not enough that one would notice too much… IMHO they could even be mixed within a crew. The style of sculpting is vastly similar. Even to the level that when I saw some early Foundry French artillery on another blog the other day, I first though they were Offensive Miniatures. So one should be able to base them together without either standing out.

While they offer no French plastic artillery (yet) I also decided to compare them to the Victrix French, since their infantry is a good fit period wise. As you can see from the shot above, they are smaller than Victrix, with the bases about the same size. The heft is vastly similar and the same can be said for the sculpting style. The main differences comes from the different mediums (metal and plastic) and the fact that the faces on the Victrix minis are a bit more exaggerated. I would not base them together on one base (maybe if you cut off the base from the Victrix minis), but would not mind fielding an Offensive artillery battery besides Victrix infantry.

I would have loved to compare the guns to other manufacturers (size wise) but the only 12 pounders I have are from Perry and those are an XI models, so they can not be compared.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a very good offering. You get very detailed, historically correct and animated minis, for a price at the bottom end of Napoleonic French artillery. Plus some extra parts, which even if you do not use them on these bases will make great battlefield clutter on infantry or command bases. (By the way… there is also a very nice set of French artillery casualty markers that go with the artillery and if you want to add a little flavour to your bases you should take a look at those as well!)  The minor defects do not offset the quality and value of the rest of the set and I would recommend them to anyone who feels they do fit his collection period wise. I shall definitely get myself the 8 pounders in due time.

Dave at Offensive has also hinted, that they will add to their Napoleonics line in the future and am looking forward to seeing those as well!

Gribeauval system period French Artillery

Gribeauval system period French Artillery