Sunday, October 5, 2008

Swiss "Cheese"?

I've made a decision on which regiments of the Dutch army of the War of the Austrian Succession I'm going to do.

This involved firstly seeing which units I had the uniform details and flags for, with secondary consideration going to which units may have seen the most combat in the notable battles of the time. Brigades were relatively ad hoc entities in these pre-Napoleonic days, so units which were brigaded together in one particular battle were not necessarily to have been found fighting alongside each other in the next.

A couple of things became immediately clear as I did the research, namely:
  1. There are some regiments whose uniform details are unaccounted for.
  2. While the flags details are out there, as Brian Homenick pointed out in his notes to his excellent range of Dutch flags, just exactly which flag went with which regiment is extremely problematic.
  3. Now, we are talking about the Dutch army of the 1740's here- Prussians they ain't. In the Koenig Krieg rules, Dutch infantry have a morale rating of four, compared with a rating of five for line infantry of most other nations. Add to this the fact that their commanding officer, Karl August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, boasts an illustrious initiative rating of "zero"- not to mention my own record of dice rolling- and things do not bode well for the military reputation of the United Provinces on the tabletop. Odds are pretty good that they will find themselves frequently having their pasty butts handed to them all over Flanders by stouter bullies, such as the Maison du Roi, the Irish Brigade, or even the Regt. de St. Vignobles.
With all this in mind, I've settled on two brigades for now.

First up is a brigade of Swiss. This will consist of three regiments, Regt. Hirtzel, Regt. Salis, and the Regt. Sturler. All three saw action at the Battle of Fontenoy, albeit in different brigades.

Why these particular regiments? Aside from having extremely pretty flags, Swiss units in Dutch service have a higher morale factor in Koenig Krieg than do the rest of the "Hollandaise Herd". And they come in larger units- 16 figures rather than 12 for the other line regiments. This will make them a lot more durable, and should see them being selected for those more glorious (and murderous!) battlefield tasks.

"Cheesy" maybe, but at least its high-quality Swiss cheese!

Next up, a line brigade.

Note: I put together these painting/ organization guides as a reference to help me visualize and paint my wargaming armies. Uniforms details are from Royalfig, Giles Boue's excellent site. Flags are by Vaubanner- I bought them and scanned one side of them in poor resolution for this purpose only, and detail you see here is a fraction of that you can see in Brian's flags. If any cheapskate out there is even thinking of trying to copy them for his own minis, show some self-respect, support Brian's hard work and buy your own. Or take up checkers.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I have Sturlers in my War of the Spanish Succession forces - very interesting to hear aout the performance of the Dutch just 30 years later - I wonder what caused the drop in quality in the intervening years?? Lack of practice I guess!

Bluebear Jeff said...

Thanks for the links.

-- Jeff

Robert said...

A generation of peace- while heartily welcome after the bloodletting of battles such as Oudenaarde, and rightfully so- can do a lot of damage to any army.

From from what I've been reading there was a lot of political friction going on within Holland at the time which must have taken its toll. I'm sure the Dutch as soldiers were individually no less brave than before.

A lack of inspiring leadership didn't help matters either.