Saturday, 30 September 2017

Saxon Thegns - Defenders of the Faith

So it was back at the end of July that I last showed you something off of the JJ's paint desk with Steve M's 60th Royal Americans and you could be forgiven in thinking that I had mislaid my painting mojo; but those of you that know me better would have kept the faith rather like these Saxon Thegns I was working on before going off on holiday to Holland.

This work was started as soon as I completed the Napoleonics for Talavera 208 in response to having the p..s extracted at my supportive encouraging local wargames group by no less a person than the Welsh Wargamer in Devon.

My three sabot bases of thegns put together, I might say in quick fashion, to support the DWG Xmas game last year, had drawn comments about the size of my warband only equating to being described as a "warb"!

Now no wargamer with any self respect likes to hear the size of his warband being criticised and demeaned in such august company and so I felt compelled to act.

So with Gripping Beast plastics staring at me, glued together but un-primed and unpainted I started work in the summer before going away on holiday and with all the fun of Talavera games and reporting back on all the trips and fun places visited this is the first opportunity I have had of unveiling these chaps.

Penda's champion is a great looking sculpt staring out from the masses like a character out of Tolkien

Those of you who read my first post from Holland this summer will have seen, as well as a cohort of Victrix Romans being assembled during my break, but also an equivalent number of Gripping Beast Vikings and Dark Age Warriors that together with a second box of warriors will form the basis of my mid-late Saxon/Viking armies to be assembled gradually alongside the Romano-Dacian collection going forward.

King Penda, his champion and standard bearer form the centre piece for my thegns, with the banner from Little Big Men

These chaps are on sabot bases as I intend to use Dux Britanniarum from the Lardies for my skirmish gaming and Dux Bellorum for my large scale dark age battles; thus I will use these straight edge six figure bases to indicate shield wall and the six figure irregular bases to indicate warrior groups for Dux Bell.

I am not a huge fan of sabot bases, so to minimise the clunky look they can sometimes give, I have produced a bunch of fillers to fill in gaps created by casualties and thus minimise the loss of the aesthetic when they are on the table.

These 'first generation' plastics are not bad and make a good basis for a mass infantry look but I will over time mix in more of the metal offerings like King Penda and his champion seen among the command group to add more variety to the eye.

With regard to Dux Bellorum, I had been looking for a mass battle set of Dark Ages rules and having been pointed to these by Steve M had dismissed them initially as rather too DBAish for the look I was after.

My trip to York this year gave me time to do further reading, inspired by all the Viking and Saxon artefacts on display in the city, and after perusing an article about them in Wargames Illustrated, I was prompted to give them another look and got my own copy to try them out once my collection is pulled together.

So there we are, the painting mojo is alive and well here at JJ's and on return from holiday the Romano-Dacians were started up with the first Dacian Warband completed using my new Augustus to Aurelian bases which I will show you in the next post.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Talavera 208 - Afternoon Attack, Game Three

This weekend saw the third and final play-through of Talavera - Afternoon Attack scenario in support of Combat Stress with the pot standing at £827.27 plus £126.25 gift aid.

With this the final playing of this titanic clash seventy five miles south west of Madrid on the 28th July 1809, it was perhaps not surprising that our players took full advantage of the experience gleaned from the previous two plays and game reports to tweak the ideas of previous plans.

Thus the map below is the attack plan from the July game but captures the methodology for this game with slight modification particularly by the French with a more determined effort to get French guns closer and more concentrated at the points of attack with the focus of that attack falling on four allied formations of Generals Alexander Campbell's 4th British Division and Marques de Portago's Spanish 3rd Division around the Pajar Vergara redoubt and the brigades of Generals Henry Campbell and Alan Cameron, both part of General Sherbrooke's British 1st Division, guarding the central position in the British line.

Not surprisingly the French command had identified these two areas as most amenable to using the French combined arms tactics of massed attack with infantry cavalry and guns, whilst efforts would be made to prevent other Anglo-Spanish troops from being relocated from other areas to support the threatened sections.

Needless to say out Anglo-Spanish team of players were conscious of the vulnerabilities of these two locations and were on alert to establish the threat posed and to respond reactively as the situation revealed itself.

The team for the game (left to right, F-French and A-Allied)) Stephen H (F) Jack (A), Will (F Commander), Steve M (F), Ian (A Commander) and JJ Gamemiester.

As in the previous encounters the early moves were quickly resolved as the two armies moved out and into their attack and defence positions with, as before, the forces in the northern valley quickly into contact with the infantry of Bassecourt's Spanish division and Albuquerque's Spanish cavalry coming under French skirmish fire.

With two moves (half an hour) of battle the French columns are massing on the Portina stream and before the Pajar as the opposing forces close in the northern valley at the top of the table

The Spanish troops were under defend orders which limited their advance out to and around the line extending from the Valdefuentes Farm. These orders also limited Bassecourt's Spanish infantry to only being able to charge with their commander attached thus forcing them, in the main, to issue defensive volley fire to halt the French advance.

Bassecourt's and Albuquerque's Spanish close on Ruffin and Beaumont's French in the northern valley

The Spanish cavalry were however less constrained by their defend orders able to charge out from their positions should the French advance on them into charge range.

I don't know what it is about Spanish troops opposing French commanders but it seems the contempt level rises with said French commanders with pride often coming before the fall and with drums beating the French infantry columns ploughed on towards the massed Spanish with seemingly little concern.

Beaumont's cavalry brigade of I Corps look on at the massed ranks of Spanish cavalry

Within the first hour of battle the French intentions were becoming plain as French guns quickly limbered up and relocated forward with their supporting infantry columns and closely followed by massed ranks of French dragoons, as their masses moved forward in the centre towards the banks of the Portina stream.

The German Division emerge from the olive groves as General Rey's Division of IV Corps move up to the Portina. Note the French guns well up with the lead units

As the centre of the French lines closed forward the first skirmish elements of the German Division on the French extreme left moved out of the cover of the olive trees screening their approach towards the Pajar redoubt to be met by canister fire from the Anglo-Spanish guns and skirmish fire from the allied infantry in support.

British and Spanish troops move up to support the gunners in the Pajar redoubt

The battle between the two sets of skirmish screens was well under way with both sides attempting to get close enough to get at each others formed supports to prepare for the eventual deciding clash.

As in previous encounters the green clad 60th riflemen enhanced the effect of the British screen with their extra hundred pace range allowing them to engage earlier and further into the French supporting ranks and gun teams.

The Spanish in the northern valley come under attack from French skirmish screens

What did I say about pride before a fall? Well not for the first time in these series of Talavera refights the Spanish cavalry defied all their billing and launched a stunning charge into the ranks of the utterly surprised French infantry.

Ignoring the stuttering volley fire issued from the head of the column of the 1/24me Ligne the two squadron battle group of the Infante heavy cavalry regiment smashed into the French ranks cutting away with their heavy sabres and emerging back into Spanish lines with the Eagle of the 24me held high and over a hundred French soldiers either dead, wounded or made prisoner.

The columns of  the 9me Legere and 24me Ligne press forward behind their voltigeur screen with the 96me Ligne in support together with Beaumont's cavalry and horse guns
If this stunning attack was not enough, to add salt into French wounds, the 3rd Africa Line infantry let fly a crashing volley at the columns of the 9me Legere as they eagerly closed in on the Spanish battalion with both the 1/9me and 2/9me Legere losing over 40 men each in the first part of their fire-fight as the French attempted to charge home.

The mass columns of I and IV Corps close on the Portina with their guns to the fore ready to blast the British infantry on the other side.

With French fortunes somewhat stymied in the northern valley, orders were quickly issued to General Merlin to take his IVth Corps cavalry brigade in support of the French forces there and to rest the initiative back if only to prevent any Spanish ideas of attacking towards the Cerro de Cascajal.

Nothing more intimidating than massed French columns supported by cavalry and artillery coming straight at you

Meanwhile back in the centre the French artillery were busy at their work as six batteries of French cannon and three batteries of German and Dutch guns started to hammer the British forward line of skirmishers and infantry in the tree line behind.

The range was close enough to allow the French eight pounder cannons to spray the British light bobs with canister and still see their rounds carry on into the tree line to hit the two battalions of Guards and the 1/61st and 2/83rd Foot behind.

King Joseph aka Will looks on as the opening salvos are exchanged 

With no British or KGL artillery in the centre of the British line the battle was very uneven with the British commanders forced to push forward their skirmish battalions from the reserve brigades to thicken their defence and hope to use their rifle companies lined along the cover of the Portina to pick off French gunners and infantry commanders alike. This reinforcement even included the 211 men of the 5/60th Rifles in 3rd Division who shook out into extended order and joined the skirmish screen.

The cavalry and infantry wait as the French gunners go to work

Likewise the British and Spanish troops supporting the gunners in the Pajar redoubt came under sustained close in attack from German infantry and their supporting guns with Spanish militia forced to come forward and issue volley fire in an attempt to drive of the German troops.

Sir Arthur Wellesley extreme top left looks on with Tilson's brigade, part of Hill's 2nd Division in reserve nearest to camera and the two brigades of KGL infantry on the forward slopes of the Cerro de Medellin

French round-shot and canister starts to search out the British troops holding the olive groves in the centre of the line, with the two Guards battalions forward supported  by the 24th (533)and 45th (535) Foot of  Colonel Guard's brigade

Unlike in the previous encounters the French were content to extend the time for their guns to soften up the British lines and the British command was desperately concerned to feed cavalry and infantry battalions into the rear of the threatened zones ready to move up as soon as the French guns ceased fire to allow their infantry and cavalry to come forward.

The British light bobs supported by 60th Rifles companies start to go to work on the French gunners and Infantry commanders as their French opposites try and screen their supports

Flushed with their early success in the north the Spanish cavalry under Albuquerque pressed forward launching more charges only to be met by the now watchful hussars and chasseurs of Beaumont's light cavalry brigade.

This time the Spanish got the worst of the exchanges and in one of the cavalry combats General Albuquerque took a sabre cut to his upper left arm, knocking him from his mount and nearly seeing him captured before troopers from the Infante came to his rescue and escorted him to the rear for medical attention.

The German Division skirmish line look to soften up the Pajar prior to the columns closing in

Trying to force the situation back in their favour the French brought their horse guns to bear on the Spanish cavalry as the 9me Legere tried yet again to best the Africa regiment only to be met yet again with well directed volley fire sending them reeling back.

The British line was forced to endure forty-five minutes of continuous French artillery as their skirmish screen valiantly resisted all efforts to drive them in 
Both sides were now heavily engaged trading blows at effective and close range whilst the forward infantry units tried to gain the ascendancy and with weak strength battalions such as those in the German Division and the British 4th Division struggling to maintain themselves as their casualty count degraded their morale and raised their fatigue.

Suddenly red and white markers appeared in the northern and southern ends of the battlefield as units betrayed their distress by coming under compulsory halts or withdrawals due to casualties sustained in previous rounds, often defying attempts to rallying from their direct commands.

Whilst the bombardment was going on in the centre and south of the allied line the Spanish Infante heavy cavalry launched a charge on the 24me Ligne crashing into their first battalion as they ignored the volley from the head of the column and cut their way through to the Eagle

The first serious cracks appeared in the north as Ruffin and Albuquerque's divisions went into cautionary status as their commanders sort to stem various units threatening to withdraw whilst trying to add to the discomfort of their opponents.

Thinking the Spanish command was in control of the situation, orders arrived at Albuquerque's HQ ordering his division to attack, issued half an hour previously before the Spanish division took several blows from their French opposites supported by their horse guns.

You could only imagine the disbelief of the Spanish cavalry command reading these orders as multiple Spanish squadrons were now pulling back into allied lines leaving Bassecourt's infantry to resist the French advance alone supported only by the tired allied guns on the Medellin.

This pressure was only made worse by the arrival of IV Corps cavalry and one of their charges finally eneded the resistance of the Africa Regiment, taking their Colour in the process.

As the 24me Ligne reeled at the attack by the Infante the Africa line (extreme right) let forth a devastating volley on the 9me Legere halting the French movement.

General Bassecourt could at least take heart from the fact that the 9me Legere and 24me Ligne were equally battered, thus leaving the valley to be contested by Merlin's and Beaumont's French light cavalry.

The French try to reorganise after the Spanish attack that relieved them of another Eagle.

The battle was reaching its climax as the 2/7th Fusiliers finally broke along with their protective skirmish screen seeing the British troops stream to the rear.

The Nassau and Dutch columns could have been forgiven for thinking they were on top of the situation as the withdrawal of the fusiliers only heralded an allied cavalry assault on their position as first the El Rey cavalry crashed through the Hesse Darmstadt  and Frankfort infantry sabring the unfortunate troops as they ran back to the cover of the trees and Baden squares and taking a Hesse Colour in the process.

This was then followed by an attack by the 14th British light dragoons who quickly routed a battalion of Nassau infantry and followed up their assault by catching some of the guns who had tormented the 7th Fusiliers and cutting up the Baden battery capturing all their guns in the process.

The French artillery continued to ply the olive groves with shot and shell as the two Guards battalions stoically soak up the pain

King Joseph had called on General Potocki's Poles to move in and confirm the German's hold on the Pajar only to see the Poles held up by retreating German battalions as the French attack unhinged in the area.

Quite clearly the battle would be decided in the centre as both General Rey's and Lapisse's Divisions supported by Latour Mauborg's dragoon division moved through their respective gun lines ready to assault the British centre.

Concerned at the ability of the forward units to stand under the French pressure British reserves including cavalry are moved in to support the forward line. 

The big unknown was, had King Joseph's extended close in preparatory artillery bombardment done the trick in unhinging the British redcoats will to resist his final assault?

Early signs suggested it might have done as the 2/83rd went on a 'no advance' compulsory response requiring General Cameron to attach and help steady the battalion while both Cameron's and Mackenzie's Light battalions had finally broken under the cannon fire and pulled back behind the formed infantry lines.

General Cotton leads his light dragoon brigade off to the left to support the allied infantry around the Pajar redoubt 

As if to make sure that those irritating British Guards were not going to rain on this perfectly executed French parade, General Latour Maubourg brought forward his horse battery into close range to give the Coldstream and Scots Guards one final blast of canister before they were hit by charges from the 1st Dragoons and 16me Legere.

Just to help seal the deal, King Joseph flourished his card to enable his chargers to close in on the Guards with as little musketry response as possible.

Were the Guards surprised by this sudden attack? Only Fortuna could decide and the two d10 were duly rolled revealing that 97% of the Guardsmen were paying attention and ready to let fly their deadly volleys.

The next question was had the artillery fire badly disrupted their ability to do so? French hopes rose as the French infantry were hit by a damaging fire but not the devastating fire that these troops can usually cause, however the 1st French Dragoons reeled back as the Guards emptied over 140 saddles and mortally wounded Colonel Dermancourt.

Suddenly the French artillery fire ceased and the Guards were ordered to their feet as the French sent cavalry and infantry into their positions

Desperate to stem the victorious guardsmen the French turned to their horse guns to deliver a violent repost of their own with a blast of close in canister only to have a card played on them which revealed the area to be enveloped in smoke from the previous firing.

How much smoke would again be revealed by Fortuna's 2d10 and these announced that only 23% of the French artillery fire would be brought to bear on their targets, leaving the Guards to advance and clear the French from their position.

Suddenly the the other British battalions responded in kind and the French line reeled back under the volley's and charges that erupted from a vengeful British infantry that had endured copious amounts of French artillery.

French Generals Lapisse, Laplanne and Oullenbourg were caught up in this maelstrom as the British line surged forward on the counter-attack.

As if to put the final stop on French aspirations in the centre, just as their line of columns reeled back their right flank was hit by charges from the 1st Dragoon Guards and KGL Hussars that rolled up their skirmish screen destroying three battalions of voltiguers unable to get back over the Portina in time.

With just three turns left in the scenario we called it a game and David who had joined us on the Sunday was able to stay on to oversee the last moves of the Anglo-Spanish and receive the plaudits for a well earned Allied victory and some very canny card play that added a bit of extra drama right at the death.

We extended the game on with the help of David (left) who joined us on the second day and skilfully  took command of the Anglo-Spanish line at the climax of the French attack ably managed by Will and Steve

The following orders of battle show the state of the various commands at the end of play at turn 9 which equated to 16.15 on the afternoon of July 28th 1809. You will see the effects on the British Guards and other infantry of close sustained artillery fire and their stoicism to have stood the final French attacks.

The key to reading the stat lines are:
General Officers:
Officer's ID Number/Rank and Name/Status and Quality A+ to C-/Command Range in Paces
Example - [504] Brigadier General Henry Fane - Active B- [400 paces]

Unit ID Number/Title/Number of men lost and remaining/Quality A+ to D-/Status, Training and Fatigue Levels.
Example - [501] 3rd Dragoon Guards A 15/ 240 C+ Formed Good Tiring

Any unit or commander highlighted in red indicates one in distress with the key below indicating what that is.

[D] Denotes dispersed (Removed from table)
[Y] Denotes In rout (Yellow Marker)
[R] Denotes halted in disorder, in retirement or retreat (Red Marker)
[W] Denotes no advance unless accompanied by officer (White Marker)
Note: Other coloured markers (blue and green) seen on the table are used to mark charge distances for units closing to close combat.

Talavera 28th July 1809
As of Game Turn: 9

Army Sir Arthur Wellesley
[501] Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley - Active A [1500 paces]
[548] Lawson's Brigade 1/ 144 [ 6] C Formed Good Tired
[549] Sillery's Brigade 14/ 139 [ 6] C Formed Good Tired
[550] Eliott's Brigade 12/ 139 [ 6] C Formed Average Tired
[551] Rettberg's Brigade 0/ 144 [ 6] C Formed Good Tired
[552] Heyse's Brigade 0/ 149 [ 6] C Formed Good Tired

Division William Payne - Defend
[503] Lieutenant General William Payne - Active C+ [725 paces]
Brigade Henry Fane - Defend
[504] Brigadier General Henry Fane - Active B- [400 paces]
[501] 3rd Dragoon Guards A 15/ 240 C+ Formed Good Tiring
[502] 3rd Dragoon Guards B 0/ 273 C+ Formed Good Fresh
[503] 4th Dragoons A 0/ 279 C Formed Good Fresh
[504] 4th Dragoons B 0/ 271 C Formed Good Fresh
Brigade Stapleton Cotton - Defend
[505] Brigadier General Stapleton Cotton - Active B+ [500 paces]
[505] 14th Light Dragoons A 0/ 240 C [sk+] Formed Good Tiring
[506] 14th Light Dragoons B 0/ 229 C [sk+] Formed Ex'lent Tired
[507] 16th Light Dragoons A 0/ 253 C [sk+] Formed Good Fresh
[508] 16th Light Dragoons B 0/ 271 C [sk+] Formed Good Acceptable
Brigade George Anson - Defend
[506] Brigadier General George Anson - Active B- [400 paces]
[509] 23rd Light Dragoons A 0/ 229 C [sk+] Formed Good Fresh
[510] 23rd Light Dragoons B 0/ 224 C [sk+] Formed Good Fresh
[511] 1st Light Dragoons KGL A 0/ 220 C+ [sk+] Formed Good Acceptable
[512] 1st Light Dragoons KGL B 0/ 228 C+ [sk+] Formed Good Acceptable

Division John Coape Sherbrooke - Defend
[507] Lieutenant General John Coape Sherbrooke - Active B- [800 paces]
Brigade Henry Campbell - Defend
[508] Brigadier General Henry Campbell - Active B [450 paces]
[513] 1/2nd Coldstream Guards 124/ 749 B- [sk-] Formed Good Acceptable
[514] 1/3rd Scots Guards 124/ 793 B- [sk-] Formed Ex'lent Acceptable
[515] H.Campbell's Bde. Light Bn. 41/ 214 B- [sk+] Formed Good Acceptable
Brigade Alan Cameron - Defend [No Advance]
[509] Brigadier General Alan Cameron - Active C- [300 paces]
[516] 1/61st Foot 0/ 700 C+ [sk-] Formed ( 1) Good Acceptable
[R] [517] 2/83rd Foot 97/ 384 C [sk-] Shaken Broken Tired
[R] [518] Cameron's Bde. Light Bn. 36/ 147 C [sk+] Shaken Broken Acceptable
Brigade Ernest Baron Langwerth - Defend
[510] Brigadier General Ernest Baron Langwerth - Active B- [350 paces]
[519] 1st KGL Line Battalion 3/ 541 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[520] 2nd KGL Line Battalion 0/ 610 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[521] Langwerth's Bde. Light Bn. 5/ 229 C+ [sk+] Formed Good Tiring
Brigade Sigismund Baron Low - Defend
[511] Brigadier General Sigismund Baron Low - Active C+ [450 paces]
[522] 5th KGL Line Battalion 0/ 549 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[523] 7th KGL Line Battalion 0/ 501 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[524] Low's Bde. Light Bn. 32/ 85 C+ [sk+] Formed Average Fresh

Division Rowland Hill - Defend
[512] Major General Rowland Hill - Active B- [950 paces]
Brigade Christopher Tilson - Defend
[513] Brigadier General Christopher Tilson - Active C+ [350 paces]
[525] 1/3rd Foot 0/ 671 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[526] 2/48th Foot 0/ 510 C [sk-] Formed Good Tiring
[527] 2/66th Foot 0/ 473 C [sk-] Disorder Good Acceptable
[528] Tilson's Bde. Light Bn. 1/ 236 C+ [sk+] Formed Good Acceptable
Brigade Richard Stewart - Defend
[514] Brigadier General Richard Stewart - Active B [450 paces]
[529] 29th Foot 0/ 538 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[530] 1/48th Foot 0/ 726 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[531] 1st Battalion of Detachments 0/ 548 C [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[532] Stuart's Bde. Light Bn. 3/ 199 C+ [sk+] Formed Average Fresh

Division Alexander Randoll Mackenzie - Defend
[515] Major General Alexander Randoll Mackenzie - Active C [800 paces]
Brigade Rufane Donkin - Defend
[516] Colonel Rufane Donkin - Active B- [350 paces]
[537] 2/87th Foot 0/ 539 C [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[538] 1/88th Foot 9/ 530 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Tiring
[539] 5/60th Rifles 9/ 211 B- [sk+] Formed Good Fresh
[540] Donkin's Bde. Light Bn. 1/ 174 C+ [sk+] Formed Good Tiring
Brigade William Guard - Defend
[530] Lieutenant Colonel William Guard - Active C- [300 paces]
[533] 2/24th Foot 0/ 708 C [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[534] 2/31st Foot 11/ 649 C [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[535] 1/45th Foot 0/ 680 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[R] [536] Mackenzie's Bde. Light Bn. 47/ 181 C [sk+] Disorder Broken Fresh

Division Alexander Campbell - Defend
[517] Brigadier General Alexander Campbell - Active C [875 paces]
Brigade James Kemmis - Defend
[518] Colonel James Kemmis - Active C [450 paces]
[544] 1/40th Foot 0/ 670 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[545] 97th Foot 0/ 452 C+ [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[546] 2nd Battalion of Detachments 0/ 562 C [sk-] Formed Good Fresh
[547] Kemmis' Bde. Light Bn. 37/ 207 C+ [sk+] Formed Average Acceptable
Brigade Sir William Myers - Disengaged
[531] Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Myers - Active B- [350 paces]
[D] [541] 2/7th Foot 95/ 293 C [sk-] D'persed Broken Tiring
[D] [542] 2/53rd Foot 38/ 445 C [sk-] D'persed Average Fresh
[D] [543] A. Campbell's Bde. Light Bn. 48/ 113 C [sk+] D'persed Broken Tiring

Army Gregorio de La Cuesta
[519] General Gregorio de La Cuesta - Active C+ [1100 paces]
[621] 1st Battery A 4/ 68 [ 3] D+ Formed Average Tiring
[622] 1st Battery B 0/ 77 [ 3] D+ Formed Good Exhausted
[626] 5th Battery 0/ 101 [ 4] D+ Formed Average Fresh

Division Duke of Albuquerque - Attack
[523] Lieutenant General Duke of Albuquerque - Lightly wounded B [875 paces]
[D] [568] Infante A 124/ 98 D D'persed Broken Fresh
[D] [569] Infante B 123/ 103 D D'persed Poor Tired
[D] [570] Alcantara A 166/ 60 D D'persed Broken Tiring
[R] [571] Alcantara B 41/ 188 D Shaken Broken Tired
[D] [572] Pavia Dragoons A 126/ 109 D D'persed Broken Acceptable
[R] [573] Pavia Dragoons B 38/ 192 D Shaken Broken Tiring
[574] Almanza Dragoons A 10/ 208 D Formed Good Fresh
[575] Almanza Dragoons B 30/ 204 D Formed Average Acceptable
[R] [576] 1st Hussars of Estremadura A 9/ 224 D- [sk+] Shaken Broken Acceptable
[578] 2nd Hussars of Estremadura A 2/ 230 D- [sk+] Formed Average Fresh

Division Marques de Portago - Defend
[527] Major General Marques de Portago - Active C [725 paces]
[R] [553] El Rey A 23/ 206 D Shaken Poor Exhausted
[554] El Rey B 13/ 218 D Formed ( 6) Good Tired
[R] [600] 1st Bn. Badajoz Regiment 37/ 534 D- Disorder Average Tiring
[D] [601] 2nd Bn. Badajoz Regiment 164/ 393 D- D'persed Broken Tired
[R] [602] 2nd Cazadores de Antequera 32/ 525 D- [sk+] Disorder Average Exhausted
[R] [603] Imperial de Toledo 13/ 779 D- Disorder Poor Acceptable
[604] Provincial de Badajoz Militia 0/ 577 D Formed Good Fresh
[605] Provincial de Guadix Militia 13/ 549 D Formed Average Fresh

Division Luis Alejandro Bassecourt - Attack
[529] Major General Luis Alejandro Bassecourt - Active B [875 paces]
[W] [614] 1st Bn. Real Marina 48/ 524 D+ Formed (14) Average Exhausted
[615] 2nd Bn. Real Marina 0/ 583 D+ Formed Good Fresh
[Y] [616] 3rd Africa Line 289/ 595 D+ Rout Broken Exhausted
[617] 1st Murcia Line 3/ 599 D+ Formed Good Fresh
[618] 2nd Murcia Line 0/ 642 D+ Formed Good Fresh
[619] 1st Reyna Line 0/ 705 D+ Formed Good Fresh
[620] Provincial de Siguenza 0/ 621 D Formed Good Fresh

1360/ 23443 Bayonets
720/ 4997 Sabres
31/ 961 Artillerists
0/ 40 Cannon
2111/ 29401 Total of all arms
55 Colours present
1 Colour lost


As of Game Turn: 9
Army Joseph Bonaparte

[101] King Joseph Bonaparte - Active C [1100 paces]
Staff Jourdan
[102] Marechal d'Empire Jourdan - Active C+ [800 paces]

Corps Claude-Victor Perrin
[104] Marechal d'Empire Claude-Victor Perrin - Active B- [1300 paces]
[101] 6/8me Artillerie a Pied 19/ 174 [ 8] C Formed
[102] 2/6me Artillerie a Cheval 15/ 141 [ 6] B- Formed

Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Attack
[105] General de Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Active D+ [650 paces]
[190] 4/8me Artillerie a Pied 8/ 201 [ 8] C+ Formed
Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Attack [No Advance]
[106] General de Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Active B- [400 paces]
[R] [191] 1/9me Regiment de Legere 139/ 328 C [sk-] Shaken
[D] [192] 2/9me Regiment de Legere 170/ 327 C [sk-] D'persed
[193] 3/9me Regiment de Legere 43/ 448 C- [sk-] Formed
[D] [194] 1/24me Regiment de Ligne 133/ 339 C [sk-] D'persed
[195] 2/24me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 471 C [sk-] Formed
[D] [196] 3/24me Regiment de Ligne 222/ 275 C- [sk-] D'persed
[197] 9me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 13/ 295 C [sk+] Formed
[198] 24me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 10/ 298 C [sk+] Formed
Brigade Pierre Barrois - Attack
[107] General de Brigade Pierre Barrois - Active B [450 paces]
[199] 1/96me Regiment de Ligne. 0/ 513 C [sk-] Formed
[200] 2/96me Regiment de Ligne. 4/ 503 C [sk-] Formed
[201] 3/96me Regiment de Ligne. 8/ 468 C- [sk-] Formed
[202] 96me Regt. Voltiguer Bn. 8/ 280 C [sk+] Formed

Division Pierre- Bellon Lapisse - Attack
[108] General de Division Pierre- Bellon Lapisse - Mortally wounded C- [725 paces]
[103] 1/8me Artillerie a Pied 14/ 181 [ 8] C Formed
Brigade Jean Bartholomew R Laplanne - Attack
[109] General de Brigade Jean Bartholomew R Laplanne - Dressing wound C [350 paces]
[Y] [112] 1/16me Regiment de Legere 181/ 408 C [sk-] Rout
[113] 2/16me Regiment de Legere 6/ 592 C [sk-] Formed
[114] 3/16me Regiment de Legere 0/ 470 C- [sk-] Formed
[115] 1/45me Regiment de Ligne 12/ 443 C [sk-] Formed
[116] 2/45me Regiment de Ligne 4/ 478 C [sk-] Formed
[R] [117] 3/45me Regiment de Ligne 111/ 348 C- [sk-] Shaken
[118] 16me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 4/ 281 C [sk+] Formed
[119] 45me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 3/ 282 C [sk+] Formed
Brigade Jean Baptiste Solignac - Attack
[110] General de Brigade Jean Baptiste Solignac - Active C- [350 paces]
[104] 1/8me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 496 C [sk-] Formed
[105] 2/8me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 471 C [sk-] Formed
[106] 3/8me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 460 C- [sk-] Formed
[107] 1/54me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 474 C [sk-] Formed
[108] 2/54me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 486 C [sk-] Formed
[109] 3/54me Regiment de Ligne 15/ 474 C- [sk-] Formed
[110] 8me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 7/ 284 C [sk+] Formed
[Y] [111] 54me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 97/ 193 C [sk+] Rout

Division Eugene Villatte - Attack
[111] General de Division Eugene Villatte - Active B [875 paces]
[120] 2/8me Artillerie a Pied 14/ 184 [ 8] C+ Formed
Brigade Baron Louis-Victorin Cassagne - Attack
[112] General de Brigade Baron Louis-Victorin Cassagne - Active C+ [400 paces]
[121] 1/27me Regiment de Legere 0/ 424 C [sk-] Formed
[122] 2/27me Regiment de Legere 2/ 407 C [sk-] Formed
[123] 3/27me Regiment de Legere 0/ 428 C- [sk-] Formed
[124] 1/63me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 432 C [sk-] Formed
[125] 2/63me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 411 C [sk-] Formed
[126] 3/63me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 422 C- [sk-] Formed
[D] [127] 27me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 261/ 0 C [sk+] D'persed
[D] [128] 63me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 261/ 0 C [sk+] D'persed
Brigade Jacques Puthod - Attack
[113] General de Brigade Jacques Puthod - Active C [350 paces]
[129] 1/94me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 414 C [sk-] Formed
[130] 2/94me Regiment de Ligne 2/ 432 C [sk-] Formed
[131] 3/94me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 441 C- [sk-] Formed
[132] 1/95me Regiment de Ligne 2/ 445 C [sk-] Formed
[133] 2/95me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 447 C [sk-] Formed
[134] 3/95me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 419 C- [sk-] Formed
[135] 94me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 14/ 237 C [sk+] Formed
[136] 95me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 0/ 250 C [sk+] Formed

Brigade Louis Carriere, Baron Beaumont - Attack
[114] General de Brigade Louis Carriere, Baron Beaumont - Active C+ [400 paces]
[137] 1/3me Artillerie a Cheval 8/ 136 [ 6] B- Formed
[D] [138] 2me Regiment de Hussards A 55/ 173 C [sk+] D'persed
[139] 2me Regiment de Hussards B 6/ 237 C Formed
[140] 5me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval A 6/ 253 C Formed
[141] 5me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval B 0/ 255 C [sk+] Formed

Corps Horace-Comte Sebastiani
[115] General de Division Horace-Comte Sebastiani - Active B [1300 paces]
[142] 12/7me Artillerie a Pied 5/ 196 [ 8] C+ Formed

Division Baron Jean Pierre-Antoine Rey - Attack
[116] General de Brigade Baron Jean Pierre-Antoine Rey - Active C+ [800 paces]
[143] 5/7me Artillerie a Pied 7/ 191 [ 8] C+ Formed
Brigade Jean-Francios Toussaint - Attack
[135] Colonel Jean-Francios Toussaint - Active C- [350 paces]
[152] 1/28me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 568 C [sk-] Formed
[153] 2/28me Regiment de Ligne 16/ 566 C [sk-] Formed
[154] 3/28me Regiment de Ligne 4/ 576 C- [sk-] Formed
[155] 1/32me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 546 C [sk-] Formed
[156] 2/32me Regiment de Ligne 1/ 573 C [sk-] Formed
[157] 3/32me Regiment de Ligne 13/ 527 C- [sk-] Formed
[158] 28me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 0/ 345 C [sk+] Formed
[159] 32me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 6/ 339 C [sk+] Formed
Brigade Louis Liger-Belair - Attack
[117] General de Brigade Louis Liger-Belair - Active B+ [500 paces]
[144] 1/58me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 549 C [sk-] Formed
[145] 2/58me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 551 C [sk-] Formed
[R] [146] 3/58me Regiment de Ligne 117/ 468 C- [sk-] Shaken
[147] 1/75me Regiment de Ligne 10/ 565 C [sk-] Formed
[148] 2/75me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 559 C [sk-] Formed
[149] 3/75me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 579 C- [sk-] Formed
[150] 58me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 3/ 343 C [sk+] Formed
[151] 75me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. 0/ 345 C [sk+] Formed

Division Baron Jean-Francois Leval - Attack
[118] General de Division Baron Jean-Francois Leval - Active B- [875 paces]
Brigade Heinrich Freiherr von Porbeck - Attack [No Advance]
[119] Oberst Heinrich Freiherr von Porbeck - Active B [450 paces]
[R] [160] III Fuss Batterien Steinmetz 180/ 10 C Shaken
[161] I.von Harrant Nr.4 (Baden) 0/ 376 C- [sk-] Formed
[162] II.von Harrant Nr.4 (Baden) 0/ 367 C- [sk-] Formed
[Y] [163] I.Nassau IR Nr.2 174/ 186 C- [sk-] Rout
[164] II.Nassau IR Nr.2 0/ 386 C- [sk-] Formed
[165] Porbeck's Voltigeur Bn. 28/ 289 C- [sk+] Formed
Brigade David-Hendrik Chasse - Attack
[120] Generalmajor David-Hendrik Chasse - Active C [350 paces]
[166] 3m3 Artillerie a Cheval Trip 4/ 143 [ 6] C Formed
[167] I/2me Regiment Linie 53/ 340 C- [sk-] Formed
[D] [168] 2/4me Regiment Linie 129/ 249 C- [sk-] D'persed
[169] Chasse's Voltigeur Bn. 19/ 135 C- [sk+] Formed
Brigade Balthazard-Grandjean - Attack [No Advance]
[121] General de Brigade Balthazard-Grandjean - Active B [450 paces]
[170] III. Fuss. Batterien Venator 0/ 96 [ 4] C Formed
[171] 1/Gross und Erbprinz Nr 4 6/ 392 C- [sk-] Formed
[Y] [172] 2/Gross und Erbprinz Nr 4 212/ 159 C- [sk-] Rout
[R] [173] Rheinbund Bttn von Frankfort 118/ 273 C- [sk-] Shaken
[R] [174] Grandjean's Voltigeur Bn. 51/ 174 C- [sk+] Disorder
Brigade Feliks Potocki - Attack
[122] Oberst Feliks Potocki - Active C [350 paces]
[175] I. IR Nr 4 (Polish) 11/ 750 C [sk-] Formed
[176] II. IR Nr 4 (Polish) 0/ 782 C [sk-] Formed
[177] Potocki's Voltigeur Bn. 0/ 260 C [sk+] Formed

Division Antoine Christophe Merlin - Attack
[123] General de Brigade Antoine Christophe Merlin - Active C- [725 paces]
Brigade Jean Baptiste Alexandre Strolz - Attack
[124] Colonel Jean Baptiste Alexandre Strolz - Active D+ [300 paces]
[178] 10me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval 0/ 327 C [sk+] Disorder
[179] 26me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval 0/ 216 C [sk+] Disorder
Brigade Francois-Leon Ormancey - Attack
[125] Colonel Francois-Leon Ormancey - Active C- [300 paces]
[180] 1st Vistula Legion Lancers A 0/ 224 C [sk+] Disorder
[181] 1st Vistula Legion Lancers B 1/ 205 C [sk+] Disorder
[182] Westplalian Light Horse 0/ 210 C [sk+] Disorder

Division Marie Victor-Latour Maubourg - Attack
[126] General de Division Marie Victor-Latour Maubourg - Active B- [875 paces]
[183] 2/5me Artillerie a Cheval 33/ 112 [ 6] B- Formed
Brigade Paul Dermoncourt - Attack [Retire]
[127] Colonel Paul Dermoncourt - Mortally wounded C [350 paces]
[Y] [184] 1e Regiment de Dragons 145/ 135 C Rout
[W] [185] 2me Regiment de Dragons 56/ 224 C Formed
Brigade Louis Joseph Cavrois - Attack
[128] General de Brigade Louis Joseph Cavrois - Active B- [400 paces]
[186] 4me Regiment de Dragons 0/ 284 C Formed
[187] 9me Regiment de Dragons 0/ 276 C Formed
Brigade Ignace Laurant Oullenbourg - Attack
[129] General de Brigade Ignace Laurant Oullenbourg - Severely wounded C- [350 paces]
[R] [188] 14me Regiment de Dragons 71/ 200 C Shaken
[189] 26me Regiment de Dragons 0/ 273 C Formed

2703/ 29911 Bayonets
340/ 3492 Sabres
307/ 1765 Artillerists
8/ 76 Cannon
3350/ 35168 Total of all arms
24 Colours present
2 Colours lost

[D] Denotes dispersed
[Y] Denotes In rout
[R] Denotes halted in disorder, in retirement or retreat
[W] Denotes no advance unless accompanied by officer


Talavera 28th July 1809

Minor victory for the Anglo-Spanish Army
As of Game Turn: 9

The Anglo-Spanish Army has suffered losses of:
[ 13%] 4320 men of all arms
[ 5%] 1743 dead and wounded
[ 7%] 2209 missing
[ 1%] 368 prisoners
[ 12%] 3199 bayonets
[ 19%] 1090 sabres
[ 3%] 31 artillerists
Honours: [ 515] H.Campbell's Bde. Light Bn.
[ 92%] ammunition available
Losses include 1 Colour[s]:
[ 616] 3rd Africa Line [1]
Losses include 1 General[s]:
[ 523] Duke of Albuquerque - Lightly wounded

The French Army has suffered losses of:
[ 15%] 5794 men of all arms
[ 6%] 2425 dead and wounded
[ 6%] 2444 missing
[ 2%] 925 prisoners
[ 14%] 4839 bayonets
[ 16%] 648 sabres
[ 14%] 307 artillerists
8 cannon[s] lost
Honours: [ 165] Porbeck's Voltigeur Bn.
[ 97%] ammunition available
Losses include 2 Colour[s]:
[ 194] 1/24me Regiment de Ligne [1]
[ 163] I.Nassau IR Nr.2 [1]
Losses include 4 General[s]:
[ 108] Pierre- Bellon Lapisse - Mortally wounded
[ 109] Jean Bartholomew R Laplanne - Dressing wound
[ 127] Paul Dermoncourt - Mortally wounded
[ 129] Ignace Laurant Oullenbourg - Severely wounded

That is it for Talavera and this final game was a real "hum-dinger" to finish on. I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole series of games and those that preceded them and would like to thank all the players who gamely got stuck in and assumed their various commands giving their all to produce some great games that many of you seemed to have enjoyed as well.

I would also thank all the 38 supporters who have put contributions into the Combat Stress collection that has made this project so special. I will be producing a photo album of these games for myself and for those in the playing teams that would like a copy and I will be listing the names of all those who contributed to the the pot. Thank you, once again, your support will make a huge contribution to the work of Combat Stress and I have really appreciated your support.

The wargaming will be shifting focus somewhat as I work to bring together a series of games for the Roman invasion of Dacia working in 28mm and the first new units are nearing completion as I write this post.

I will be producing some more Peninsular games covering Massena's 1810 invasion of Portugal but that will have to wait whilst the Dacian Wars take centre stage.

Finally I should end on a huge thank-you to Nigel Marsh the creator of the Carnage & Glory rules that have been the engine behind these game narratives and the chaps that make up the Carnage & Glory Yahoo group who actively share top tips and feed back to enable people like me to shorten the learning curve to playing games with C&G.

I hope Talavera and the games we have produced previously have demonstrated that you can play really large Napoleonic games with C&G and that they produce a great fun simulation.

Next up, more from Xanten, and the Romans in Germany and Holland together with my tours around the Market Garden sites this summer, hopefully intermixed with pictures of some of the new collections I have started work on.

More anon

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Colours 2017

Its mid September so it must be Colours at Newbury and its hard to believe that another year has rolled on since the last time I posted from this the annual show of the Newbury and Reading Wargames Society.

This show has been a constant fixture in my calendar save for the year it didn't run and its always one I look forward to coming straight after the holiday season.

The show seemed a bit quieter when Steve an I arrived at about 10.45, but as you can see by 11.30 the main trader hall was all hustle and bustle with plenty of potential punters on the lookout for more stuff.

I was picking up some buildings from Tiger Terrain and some tanks and paints from Plastic Soldier Company for a friend at club and then for myself, picked up some wounded Romans and Dacians from Wargames Foundry, together with a Centurion and work party.

Then it was over to Warbases to discuss getting hold of their new 28mm Roman fortress and some sabot bases for my Dux Bellorum collection and then I got a bargain from Black Tree Design getting a 28mm Roman Testudo for £10 saving over £20 and getting figures to match my collection of Victrix EIR legionaries.

Of course a show is not just for picking up more stuff, but also a great opportunity to see how others like to game in our great hobby and to meet up with friends to spend the day with and share all the fun. I had a very nice time meeting up with Steve M who travelled up with me and back on the day, Mr Steve and Chas and as you will read, meeting up with Simon Miller aka 'Big Red Bat' who was demoing his new English Civil War version of his ancient rule set 'To the Strongest' - thanks Simon for a very informative chat about that, Romans and Napoleonics.

As usual I present my pick of games from the show, in no particular order.

Dave Brown's General D'Armee and the Loughton Strike Force - Marengo in 15mm

This is my scale as far as Napoleonics are concerned and with my third play-through of Talavera 208 fast approaching next weekend it was lovely getting some pictures of this nice terrain and set up presented by Dave Brown and the Loughton chaps to show off his new rule set.

I've got a copy that I picked up at Partizan earlier in the year and several of the guys at club have a copy but we haven't had a chance to play them yet.

The Battlegoup Demonstration Team with this very nice 20mm/1:72nd Russian Front Demo Game

I have this rule set and have played them a few times but have to say they are not my preferred WWII rules for various reasons that I covered in my review of them a few years back.

That said I would always be happy to play in a game using them and a few of the chaps at club like them so I am always ready to play.

The chaps that  were running the game yesterday put this terrain set up together in rapid time, I think it was about a week to prepare before the show, and I was particularly struck by the ground work using towelling material for the grass effect which made a nice change from the ubiquitous teddy bear fur. 

This well turned out game was a great advert for the rule set which continues to grow with additional modules covering the various theatres and more recently handy data stat-cards to make it much easier to keep vehicle and weapon data close at hand and accessible.

The chaps had a rolling demonstration running through the day thus on my second pass by the table I saw they had the T34's out en-mass rushing towards the German position with a Panther and some StuG's rumbling forward to contest the Soviet attack.

A Friday Night in Crawley - Palestro 1859, Franco-Austrian War, Crawley Wargames Club

Well done to the chaps from Crawley for producing an eye-catching game with scratch built buildings and defences from the collection of Mr Philip Ayerst, who obviously has a lot of talent and too much time on his hands.

The figures were from Philip's collection and other members and this has been a bit of a theme in the club in the previous eighteen months.

Not really my period of horse and musket but you can really appreciate the passion put into this by the Crawley club.

The figures are a mix of mainly Lancashire Games, together with Essex, Old Glory 15's and Freikorps, and the rules used were 'Age of Valour' an Age of Eagles supplement.

The Assault on Ali el-Muntar 19th April 1917, 2nd Battle of Gaza - Adrian Shepherd & Friends

I love these 'Grand Manner' WWI games even though WWI holds no interest for me at all. The effort and attention to detail shown in a game like this is, in my humble opinion, what wargaming with model figures is all about.

You can't help getting a feel for the distances involved between to the two opposing rear area lines until you see the sweep of this table extending here from the British-Imperial lines towards the wire and the Turkish defences beyond.

The Imperial advance was well under way by the time I took my pictures with a burning RE8 on the slopes as a Turkish Observer plane wheels above the battle lines.

Apparently as well as ordering up eight British Mk.1 Tanks for this attack, 4,000 gas shells were thrown in for good measure as evidenced by the ugly yellowy-green cloud developing in one of the Turkish trenches.

A superb game and a feast for the eyes which I really enjoyed, and I hope my pictures do justice to.

Society of Ancients -Greeks & Persian using Philip Sabins 'Lost Battles'

I know this was showing one of the Greco-Persian clashes but I only grabbed these two shots of a game that stuck me for the modelling of a typically Greek style open plain that I have seen many times travelling in the area.

There was no reference to the game in my show brochure and the only reference I could find was on the Colours 2017 web-page to the Society of Ancients and as I saw a copy of Philip Sabin's classic book on show have assumed that 'Lost Battles' were the rules being used.

Apologies to the display team and please feel free to drop me a comment and I will be happy to amend my post.

Suffice to say the game was nicely presented with some lovely figures on show to grab my attention.

Battle of Lessie's Moor (spot the pun) 10mm ECW using 'For King and Parliament' - Simon Miller and the 10mm ECW collection from co-writer Andrew Brentall .

I have an itch to put together an English Civil War collection at some time in the future and so I was more than happy to spend some time in the company of Mr Simon Miller as Mr Steve and I watched the chaps playing Simon's and Andrew's new ECW version of the ancient rule set 'To the Strongest'.

The fictitious struggle portrayed had some obvious puns in the title as well some easily recognisable characters from a long running British radio soap, "The Archers" including the redoubtable Sir Sidney Perks.

Simon plans to have this new set ready in time for Salute 2018 and having seen the work and comments about how 'To the Strongest' plays it was interesting to hear about the changes to the core system to better reflect the processes at play in an English Civil War battle, particularly around command and control, which has had an influence over likely upgrades of the ancient set.

Anyone who follows Simon's blog will know he is a prolific collector of figures when he gets into a particular theme, and some of his growing collection of ECW 28mm figures together with their nicely terrained 'Bat Bases', mdf bases' specifically designed for Simon's rule sets were on display yesterday.

I had not seen these bases close up before and I really like the irregular edging he has incorporated which has also been designed to allow the stands to interlock seamlessly to produce a group of bases in a unit.

Additionally I don't think you can have enough flags in an ECW infantry unit as they were known to carry up to ten with one per company and the idea of having a separate colour party stand to affix to the fighting formations is one that I think I will use.

So there we are another Colours show in the memory locker with a thoroughly enjoyable day spent basking in the hobby.

JJ's Wargames is back next weekend with the third and possibly final play through of Talavera 208 as a new set of players go head to head in the Tagus Valley .

In addition I have some Saxon Theigns ready for their parade shots and the first Dacian Warband is well underway. Also to come are posts on the WWII Arnhem campaign touring I did in Holland this summer and the second part of my trip to Xanten and Haltern Roman museums in Germany.

More anon