A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 7 June 2013

ECW Dragoons - including squad players

DIS...(wait for it!)...

Restored after some damage inflicted by Royal Mail, I now have a unit of dragoons to add to each army. Lovely painting, as ever, by Lee, with a little subsequent gluing, straightening and touching up by moi. I have little to say (nay - in truth, I am afraid to say very much) about the shipping incident, other than to mention that once again I have learned that it doesn't really matter how carefully you pack goods for mailing, there will still be some height a package can be dropped from, some degree of lateral acceleration which can be applied, which will defeat your efforts.

Anyway, here they are. The first pictures show Col. Henry Washington's Royalist unit, in both mounted and dismounted guises. In my rules, mounted dragoons may ride up to three hexes, or may ride up to two hexes and dismount. Dismounted dragoons may walk one hex, or may mount and ride up to two hexes. These distances, of course, are subject to normal terrain issues. Mounting/dismounting consists of switching 3 of the 4 bases, as shown. The command base remains mounted, to represent horse holders who may not fire, and also to make it easier to spot them in the woods! Dragoons who end their move dismounted may fire - they may not fire from horseback. They may also, of course, take part in melees in either state, but are not very good at it - mounted dragoons are half as effective as normal cavalry in a melee.

Overall, to be honest, dragoons are not very lethal - an irritant rather than a major threat. They have the advantage of being able to move and fire (which normal musketeers cannot), and they can fight as soon as they arrive in woods or a village, without forming up, but they are gnats rather than hornets. They have been known, though, to pick off the odd general...

Roundheads + subs
They do look nice. Here are the Parliamentarian unit. This is a posed team photo, featuring a typically dastardly Roundhead trick of fielding the substitutes at the same time as the original line-up - they would not be seen like this in a battle. The unit purports to be Tom Morgan's boys, though of course they could be anyone.

The figures are Les Higgins, mounted on Higgins horses, though the command chaps are SHQ/Kennington, also on Higgins horses. The careful observer may notice that the officers are rather better fed and wear slightly bigger hats than the rank-&-file, but you'd expect that. They probably have thicker underwear too. By the way, I keep seeing mention of "out of production" Les Higgins ECW and Marlburian figures on eBay - not so - the ranges are alive and well and available in any numbers you fancy from Old John, whose blog is here. These lovely old figures deserve better recognition, I believe - I keep doing my best to plug them.

My special thanks to the Contesse Foy, whose heirloom embroidery scissors were just the thing for cutting out those pesky dragoon standards.

Syringa vulgaris ‘Madame Lemoine’
Elsewhere, Spring has definitely, finally arrived in our garden. We have a super little lilac bush which blossoms every year, but the flowers are fragile and short-lived, They go brown within a couple of days, and they are so easily wrecked by rainfall or any kind of a stiff breeze that it is very easy to miss them. If you blink, or the weather is wrong, you have to try again next year. Well, this month they are in fine form - does your little heart good to see them.

And just wait till you see how the edelweiss are getting on. Assuming the flowers come out nicely, and the deer can refrain from eating them, there should be quite a show later on.


  1. Phew! I'm relieved to see them here after the journey home. Extra care in packing in future but they must have been thrown around or dropped for that happen.

    Anyway, they look great all based up.