April 25, 2021

Don Juan

No, not the fictional libertine who devoted his life to seducing women! Don Juan Pérez de Guzmán was the President and Captain-General of Panama in 1671 at the time of Henry Morgan’s invasion. He was a brave man and fiercely loyal to Spain. It was his duty to protect the small province under his command and maintain the flow of silver from Peru to the homeland. 

I always enjoy painting command vignettes. Don Juan was a civilian rather than a military officer at the time of Morgan’s invasion and I’ve chosen to issue him a rather fancier coat than the standard general.

The standard carried by the foot soldier is based on the personal coat of arms of the Guzmán family of the time as near as I can figure and is entirely speculative.

More soon!

April 19, 2021

The Natives are Restless

Forging on with Henry Morgan's invasion of Panama in 1671! One of the things that drew my attention to this theater was the variety of troops required. The Spanish forces are small and always supplemented with mulattos and native indians.

First up, I have several units of black militia. The training of these troops was suspect, at best. I've chosen to represent them in two ways. The first are (poorly) drilled troops equipped with firearms and led by European officers. This unit carries the flag of Varagua City, a town which sent troops to help defend Panama against Morgan's assault. These will count as All Musket in my games.

The second type of black militia are poorly armed with bows, spears, and other close combat weapons. I'm using the rules for Highlanders from The War of Three Kings to represent these.

Next up are the Central American natives (painted more like South American tribesmen, but they will work well enough for me), again treated as Highlanders.

Finally, a unit I don't specifically need for my current scenario, but they fit in with the rest. These are Ruga Ruga from the Wargames Foundry 19th century range, but I intend to field them as African pirates, escaped (or freed) slaves, or simply brigands. I was careful to avoid models with Remington rifles, cartridge belts, and the like. They will probably join Morgan's crew in the final attack.

I'm getting close to having everything I need. I still to paint a second unit of Central American natives, a handful officers (for the BLB scenarios) and characters (for Donnybrook).

Just in case I haven't mentioned this, I'm planning on publishing this project as a 4Play pack with three linked games so you can replay this short campaign! I don't have a time frame, but I'm hoping it will be available this summer...

More soon!


April 10, 2021

A Few New Flags for 1815

Napoleonics was my first love in wargaming before falling down the rabbit hole that led to the period of floppy hats and tricorns. While I've mostly concentrated on adding flags to the shops that can be carried proudly by Warfare Miniatures, I've had it in mind to expand to other periods. There's been a lull in Mad for War for the last few weeks while we've been going over the manuscript again in light of lessons learned knocking Mad for War Essentials into shape (don't worry, we're still on pace for late spring/early summer). It's not in my nature to be idle so I decided to wade into the future (of the BLB period, that is) and produce a few new flag sheets...

Well, ok... my OCD kicked in and I ended up with over 120 units - the entire French army for Waterloo (suitable, of course for any part of the 100 days campaign)! They are divided into divisions, which is how I normally set out collecting an army. Regiments were only issued one eagle in 1815 and this was carried by the first battalion. Opinions seem divide as to whether or not the infantry flags had fringe, but I decided to include it. If you fall into the camp of "without", it is easy enough to trim them off when you cut out the flag!

These will be available at Warfare Miniatures USA (in the US and Canada) and the League of Augsburg store (for the rest of the planet), though it may be a couple of days before they are posted...

Right! I'll have more flags for 1815 later this year. There are also a pile of naval flags (for both 28mm and 1/1200), WSS, and whatever I manage to find time for on the way!

April 5, 2021

Spanish 1671

There isn't much information on the forces of Panama and the other Spanish interests in the New World. There were no permanent Spanish tercios at the time and no official regulations of colonial troops. Units appear to have raised and equipped by various local governors. Theoretically, such troops could be painted in any manner desired.

I've chosen to stick with fairly common color choices for my first units. I've distinguished between professional troops and uniformed militia by using proper Spanish coats (with turnbacks that match the cuff colors) for the former. I've used models with "generic" period coats for the latter. There are a couple of Swiss models tucked in the back of the militia units to add a little more variety to the units.

These units will be for Beneath the Lily Banners at something in the range of 1 model per 15 men, so two stands represents a company. I'm planning on adding three more companies of militia with muskets, plus a single company of pike for both the regulars and militia. Pikes were likely not used in the New World during this period, but accounts often refer to foot troops armed with "lances" which I'm interpreting to be pikes... so there!

I have a few artillery pieces for additional firepower. I've decided to use naval guns as these were most common in the coastal forts and occasionally lug around on land as well.

Finally, I needed some cavalry. There are very few mentions of horse during this period, but seem to have been 400 cavalry at the Battle of Panama in 1671. At my chosen man to model ratio, I needed four squadrons of 6 models. I've decided to draft stands from my old ECW armies. The Spanish cavalry of Panama were described has having "buff coats" in one source. Some of the headgear will be a little anachronistic, but Caribbean fashion seems to have lagged a bit behind. Two of my squadrons will carry Spanish flags and should look the part for my needs anyway.

Next time, we'll look at one of my favorite parts of this project... native auxiliaries!