Hello and welcome to the Order of the Elephant!
In this blog we, my friend Mark and myself, will be documenting our wargaming journey into the War of the Spanish Succession.
We know each other from the time when we were both studying in Enschede, now already a few years ago. How time flies and our lives can change.. Mark currently lives in the United Kingdom (up North) while I still reside in the Netherlands.
A more detailed introduction of ourselves will follow in a separate post detailing our wargaming history, experience and perhaps showcasing some stuff we did previously.
The War of the Spanish Succession
"After the death of the Spanish Habsburg King Charles II on 1 November 1700, his last will designated Louis XIV's second grandson Philip Duc d'Anjou as his successor. In spite of the protests of other powers the transition seemed to go smoothly at first. In September 1701 the grand alliance of the Hague was formed between the United Provinces, England and Emperor Leopold I, who had declared war in spring and thus started the War of the Spanish Succession.
In terms of numbers the Grand Alliance and the Two Crowns were about evenly matched. On the Bourbon side the French Army was Europe's largest and the Spanish Army was rapidly expanding. On the alliance side the Dutch Army was the largest, closely followed by the English Army and theAustrian Habsburg army. Given these forces and the recent achievements of the French army a lot of Europeans probably counted on a French victory.
The war started with a surprising Austrian offensive by Prince Eugen in Italy in 1701 and an Anglo Dutch offensive on the lower Rhine and Meuse under Marlborough in 1702. Bavaria then joined France in September 1702 and Savoy and Portugal joined the Alliance. In 1704 France seemed well on its way to victory, but the Franco Bavarians were crushed in the Battle of Blenheim and the alliance took Gibraltar. In 1706 Marlborough was victorious again, this time in the Battle of Ramillies. This led to the allied conquest of the Spanish Netherlands and positively influenced Eugen's victory at the siege of Turin. In 1708 the Grand Alliance was victorious at Oudenaarde and in the siege of Lille. In the next year French could claim a strategic victory at Malplaquet and the war started to bog down in the French lines of defense. The war ended with England deserting its allies and making a peace that was very profitable for itself. Reading about the details of any of these battles could make one belief that the genius of Eugen, Marlborough and Villars decided the war." (from http://www.spanishsuccession.nl)
While we're not focussing on Blenheim per se, the amount of information that is readily available about that battle makes it an easy starting point for the project.
For this project we have decided on Mark initially doing the "Grand Alliance" consisting of English, Scottish, Dutch and Danish and maybe a few others.
Scale? Basing? Rules?
I have been painting 15mm historical miniatures off and on for nearly 10 years and I really like the scale. I'm able to finish a decent amount of figures for the time spent on them and they give a pretty nice mass effect while still retaining enough detail to be interesting. An obvious choice for me to go for 15mm scale.
Mark recently received some free 15mm Dixon miniatures from PaulAlba via a Facebook community we all belong to (Miniature Modelling Mayhem, more on them in another post!) so he is set to start painting.
The basing we have decided on will have units consisting of 3 bases measuring 40x30mm each with 6-8 infantry on a base and 3 horses on a base. For rules we have both ordered the Osprey rules 'Honours of War'
These rules are for the Seven Years War but there are some tweaks available to make it suitable for the War of Spanish Succession.
Also Impetus Baroque is something we have looked at, because there is a War of Spanish Succession supplement planned for those rules.
The next 2 posts will be Mark describing his plans and anything else he fancies and me doing the same. We're planning on starting the painting work in earnest at the start of June.