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Underberg Asbach Garrison Troops, A New Army for Sharp Practice

I’ve painted some odd things in my time, but this Army was a bit of a whim based on a campaign which I hadn’t quite worked out.  Unlike designing At the Sharp End for Chain of Command, the warfare of the 18th and 19th centuries is much more about manoeuvre and deciding when and where to bring your enemy to battle and how you achieve that.  To that end, I set upon the idea that some areas in our Imagi-Nations world would be populated by troops who were not actually part of the campaign, but were simply local outposts which may or may not cause trouble for an advancing for, and may or may not provide information for the player “controlling” them.

With this vague thought in mind I decided to paint some Prussian garrison troops to double as the local force in Underberg Asbach.  Initially I though that just a couple of groups of Musketeers would do, as that’s the most you’re likely to have in any area, but then I remembered my “rule of threes” and knocked out 24 men with a few leaders.  With them done I realised that if I added a further three Groups of Grenadiers I would have a core for a whole new army, so that’s what I did.  With a few support bits, this is what it currently looks like.

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As you can see, I have yet to do the sabot bases.  These are a new purchase from Warbases which has holes drilled underneath for little 3mm magnets.  With the inferior content of out copper coins these should help to hold the figures in place in transit, a major bonus when time has been spent painting them and you don’t than to arrive at the club with half of them chipped.

Okay, here’s the Musketeers….

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…and the Grenadiers…

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The big question was what I could do to make this force more sedentary than a typical field force which is what we normally game with.

For a start I completely avoided any Skirmish Troops, so these would be much less tactically flexible.  secondly the only support unit on the Roster thus far is a VERY large 17th century gun left over from some long forgotten engagement of the Thirty Years War.  It is a very inflexible piece, it can only be moved with civilian contractors who will most certainly not get involved in a battle, so for the purposes of the game it sits in one place and cannot move.  To counter-balance this it is always “dug-in” behind some rather nice ravelins which I picked up from Ainsty Castings at Partizan last weekend.  If you haven’t seen Ainsty’s stuff then check them out here:  http://www.ainsty-castings.co.uk/  They produce some really nice bits and pieces of terrain which are perfect for Sharp Practice.

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I “borrowed” the gun crew from Freikorp von Sekka, as I did with the Engineers and Doctor.  I see no point in  duplicating such figures when they are readily available.

Finally I moved on to the Deployment Points.  Here’s the first one with a Foundry Grenadier raising his hat to a young lady waiting at the town pump for water.  The lady and the chap handling the pump handle so manfully are from Front Rank and are Napoleonic Civilians.  For civilians such as these I think they serve to cover a broader span of time and I am using them here without any concern.  The chap on the pump does look a bit Beau Brummel, with his impressive sideburns and lacks an 18th Century pony tail, but I am happy to allow for the fact that he’s a chap trail blazing new fashions.  You could easily do some surgery with a scalpel and green stuff, I couldn’t be arsed.

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Finally comes one of my favourite Deployment Points which is odd as it was the easiest one to do.  The Grenadier is again Foundry, the little tent is a Gewehrmantel, a shelter for muskets when in camp, and the twin spontoons were placed with it.  These I bought off the peg from Black Hussar Miniatures. Again, these are part of their Seven Years War range and can be found in the “camp” (Lager in German) section of the Prussian list.  Here’s a link.  Black Hussar

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And there we have it, and odd but interesting Army for Sharp Practice.  I am considering other support options to add to their Roster which would enhance such a force without making it too good.  These men are all Conscripts & Volunteers, so I was thinking about some townsfolk militia, but frankly I don’t think that’s appropriate.  They are fighting civilised chaps but they also know the rules of war do not allow civilians to get involved without sever punishment.  Cavalry are beyond the pale, I really don’t think them appropriate for such a force, so there really is little else other than the generic support options like Engineers who would be very useful to provide some more breastworks or similar.  Any suggestions welcomed.

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10 Responses

  1. They look very good, the deployment points especially.

    How about adding a group of invalids? Armies often used injured, disabled or ill men for garrison duties. They might not be that much use on the tabletop but they’d add colour to the force.

  2. Carole says:

    We seem to be thinking along similar lines with our imagi-nations projects. I am looking at some options for a static garrison force, using naval cannon and gabions because of some ideas I am playing around with for a possible campaign.

  3. Fredd Bloggs says:

    Perhaps a local nobles hunting party as an option, in his interest to help the garrison and could be quasi military, and give them Hearth & Home and something for local knowledge.

  4. Stephen Sumption says:

    You might consider giving them an extra deployment point as they would be operating in their local area and would know it better that the main field army. In campaign terms you could allow for a hospital in the town, perhaps a couple of tables to deal with the competence, alcoholism and infectious nature of the chief surgeon.

  5. Ludger Fischer says:

    Guarding a (potential) magazin or even the supply train of the field army would their garrison town quite obviously a target for the enemy – but give them an easier access to useful stuff if the field army is operating olang their line of communication.

    BTW – as your Mitteleuropa town now has a church – what other buildings would you consider essential to the/a town then?

    A taverm/inn – garrisoned towns may well have some old stonewalls/-towers left, some new earthworks protecting the gates, if they are more up to date – then?
    A mill?
    A balery?
    A butcher’s shop?
    While a mill may be not that easy – the other’s may well be recognized by signs – if Google translator fails, the symbols may well speak for themselves:
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zunftzeichen

  6. David Scott says:

    I like the invalids idea mentioned above, another thought would be the crusty old farts that stayed in the town after demob (possibly as an armorer).
    Maybe easier access to logistic support such as ammunition carts etc.

  7. Nosher says:

    How about a specialist, such as a poacher with a fowling piece that could be a handy sniper……

  8. Ludger Fischer says:

    “Pensioning” a veteran meant for Old Prussia to give him a licence to beg!
    “He(y), Alter, nimm’ den Bettelsack, bist auch Soldat gewes’n!”

    A beggar in the shoddy remains of a bluecoat may not be a cheerful sight for a deplyment point, though.

  9. Ludger Fischer says:

    Deployment point:
    Recruiting Sergeant, a drummer boy and one, two able bodied, but gullible ciiiilians?

  10. Graham (Delhi) says:

    Well there are quite a few options in the Revolutionary wars section of the Eureka catalogue, bakeries and all sorts. You were mentioning a civilian militia – how about the Tyrolean range from the same, a few pointy farm implements and some muskets some in the hands of some feisty looking farm wives. The range is rather nice and deserves more exposure than it gets.
    I am awaiting Musketeers, Grenadiers and Cossacks from the armies of Suvorov. Re reading Eagles over the Alps – Italy and Switzerland 1799, made me realise that SP2 would be just the vehicle to fight in the alpine passes and small rather claustrophobic battlefields, very close- in terrain and with the mountainous terrain impinging on the battlefield itself; ruling instead that the edge of the table is the edge of the pass which would make it seem like any other table top battle. That element of plays small but feels much bigger that is part of SP ought to be just the thing for this campaign.

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