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The First English Commanders

These were the first commanders I made for the units.  I decided to go with a 3cm round base, as the unit bases are 3cm x 6cm.  I use litko 3mm wooden bases, and I’m very happy with them.   Many people use thinner bases for aesthetics, but I choose to go with a chunkier base so the models could be picked up easily.  I don’t think it hurts the aesthetics, but that’s a personal opinion.

I also went with two officers on a base, so they weren’t over crowded.  One of these bases is a generic general with blue facings that can do duty in any game.  The other base is Frasier from the 24th Regiment of Foot.  I choose him for one of the first as he can be used most of the Saratoga games.

I plan to continue painting certain personalities along with generic commanders to keep things flexible.  At 6mm, and during the AWI, it’s not hard to make swapable commanders.  In the SYW when commanders are much more identifiable, this was more of a problem.

These models are the same SYW Genrals from Baccus, so I have painted a few before.  There are differences between Commanders and Generals in the rules, only one General per side.  I thought about putting Generals on larger bases, perhaps 4cm round, but I have decided against it as it will limit their utility.  For instance, Frasier is the General at Hubbardton, but only a commander at Freeman’s Farm.

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Patriot Militia

This is the first post exclusively in the new blog software.  I have to say that this WordPress stuff is fantastic.  I do miss the total control that I had previously excecised, but I’ll give that up for the ease I have now.

Here is my first unit of Patriot Milita.  They were a joy to paint.  I really enjoyed mixing up the colors and found it broke up some of the monotony of painting large units.  I think the end result is pretty cool.

The flag is a Baccus Grand Union flag.  I used this flag as I have one hanging from my house.  I have always liked this flag and find it useful as my wife is British and the flag is a nice combination of  US and UK flag.  It is the first official flag of the Colonies, but was quickly dropped.  It seems a great place to start for Militia flags, as they can be almost anything.  It also allows me to use this unit for Patriot or Loyalist units due to the ambiguity of it.

If you are a painter and an American, I don’t think you can help but feel a little pride in painting patriot militia units.  I think it’s pretty amazing to think that these farmers and tradesmen formed up to oppose a great European power.  You kind of come to this realization as you are trying to pick out colors to use that DON’T look like uniform colors.

Good stuff, and I’m happy with the results.

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24th Regiment of Foot

I have finally painted my first real Brits. I decided to paint up the 24th Foot. This unit allows me to get going with my first battle, Hubbardton, and still use them in the rest of the Saratoga Campaign. I found the Baccus British Line Infantry – Tricorne, Formed AWB1, to be great models painted up. However I also found them to be the toughest to paint so far. Now this is still a compliment, it’s just the bar is raised so high by the great models from Baccus. They just seem to take more twisting and turning to get the paint in all the right spots, compared to the patriot infantry I have painted so far. Still, they look great on the table.

24th Regiment of Foot

I made the flags for these guys myself. I typically order some Baccus flags at the beginning of a project to get the size right, then create my own from online sources after that. I used images from the British Regimental Drums & Colours site,(a great resource) popped them in Photoshop and then reduced them at 300 dpi to .75 in x .35 in. I also found the flag staffs on the British Line Infantry to be too short, much shorter than the patriot units I have painted.

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I have previously stated that I want to concentrate on the Saratoga Campaign as it:

  • is close to home
  • is interesting to me
  • contains battles that will allow me to build my forces and still play
  • has battles fought by the Green Mountain Boys!

I plan to build up my forces so I can fight the battles of this campaign with most of the units involved represented. The units are varied and should give me a flexible force if I want to play other battles (Cowpens comes to mind). I don’t mind having units stand in for other units later on, but by using the Saratoga Campaign as a basis, gives me focus and a goal. I found from my SYW project, this is necessary to keep me on track and interested.

Right now I have a great start on the units needed to fight the first major battle of the campaign, Hubbardton. I should have the necessary units in no time, giving me a boost to the project in the form of an attainable goal. Using the flexible unit sizes in the Two for Tea rules, I will have one unit for each regiment (even though some regiments were larger than others). I have figured it out at:

Hubbardton Forces

British Troops Patriot Troops
24th Foot Green Mountain Boys
Grenadiers Vermont Militia
Light Infantry 2nd New Hampshire
Bruns. Grenadiers 11th Massachusettes
Bruns. LI *Militia
*Indians *Militia

The units with and asterisk (*) are units that I have used to pad out the forces with units that were not large enough to be represented are could have been there. In the case of the indians, Fraisers Marksmen and some indians were listed in the British forces, I have thrown these together in a unit of Indians for the purposes of this fight. In the case of the two militia units in the patriot list, this is more complicated. When fighting was heard by the commander of the army, Gates, he instructed two militia units that were camped closest to the fighting to go back and support the rearguard, but they refused to go

I feel to get a good game, I will go with the “what if?” and have the militia take part. I’m all for historical gaming, but I will also gladly use “what if?” type scenarios to even the odds. After all, I imagine this battle will go exactly to script without them. The Americans will put up a good fight, until the Germans show up singing, then they have to get out quick. But, what if the fresh militia units show up around the same time? Much more interesting for me. You can always remove them if you choose to go strictly historical, but this leaves very few units in the game. Find a happy medium, and go with it.

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The 2nd New Hampshire

After receiving my first new AWI troops from Baccus, I wanted an easy first unit, enter the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment. These guys are the bog standard patriot unit. Their appearance is well documented and their flags can still be photographed live. I really like the way they turned out and think the unit is a great start for my patriot forces. Best of all, they fought at Hubbardton, Freeman’s Farm, and Bemis Heights. So they are really a perfect unit of me.

Anyway, here they are in all their glory.

The 2nd New Hampshire

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Osprey Disappointment

Soldiers of the Revolutionary War
Soldiers of the Revolutionary War

Ok, so my first real Osprey disappointment was Soldiers of the Revolutionary War. I loved what they had to tell me about the SYW, but I found this book to be pretty rubbish. I suppose the plates are OK, but the text tells very little useful information as far as uniforms go. It would be a great reference if you wanted to know about the quantities of cloth bought by different colonies. It contains almost nothing useful on organization and tactics like so many other Osprey books do. I refer to this book as a last reference, and would recommend spending your money on a different book.

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Revolution

Idiot's Guide
Idiot's Guide

Next up are a few books on the period. Don’t laugh at me, but i did find The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Revolution, which is a very good book for a beginner. I find it contains a lot of straight forward info and is a great place to start. The author is a great writer and it reads easier than butter. I will put up a full review.

I have been a big fan of the Osprey books, as they were gold when painting for the SYW. It turns out not to be so true for the AWI.