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.
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….
…and the Grenadiers…
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.
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.
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
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.