Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Battle and my reasons for this madness

The Ideas

My original Idea I shared on my blog but as you can see we have moved on from it being an idea to it being an event I am taking this time to let you know about the battle and my reason for the charities chosen. Help for Hero’s is I feel a no brainer for any wargamer to support and is a well know charity, Men Matter is less well known, we all see and hear about lots of charities for help and research into breast and other mainly female cancers but us men tend to keep our heads down and not talk about male cancers. This is wrong we should all be talking about these and performing any self checks we can, I know many of you will have been affected by cancer in your family or even yourself. I am no exception I have a family member in treatment now for cancer and as my family has a history of prostrate troubles (including cancer) my 40th birthday present to myself will be a trip to the Dr to have my prostrate check. So I have reason to support both these charities and hope this year will do just that, as well as giving rise to friendships and contacts we can all keep for life. So if you want to jump on board do so, or if you just want to follow us and comment do so please, this is going to be a 12 months to remember.

The Battle.

All the below information is taken direct from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_La_Belle-Famille

The Battle of La Belle-Famille occurred on July 24, 1759, during the French and Indian War along the Niagara River portage trail. Fran├žois-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery's French relief force for the besieged French garrison at Fort Niagara fell into Eyre Massey's British and Iroquois ambush.

Captain Le Marchand de Lignery was organizing the French expedition against Fort Pitt from Fort Machault when Pouchot's appeal for help arrived on July 12. On that day, Lignery was trying to convince nearly 1,000 Indians to join in the planned attack against Fort Pitt. Johnson had sent messages to Fort Pitt, urging Indians there to join the British in attacking the French forts, and many Indians were unsure about which side to take. Lignery was able to rally support; when combined with forces under Charles Phillip Aubrey, a large force left Fort Machault for Niagara. Messengers he sent to Pouchot also leaked news of their advance to the besieging British, who prepared an ambush.

Before the action, the British native allies told their French counterparts that they intended to remain neutral in the upcoming clash. They wished that the French native allies would do likewise. This induced many of the French-allied Indians to desert.[2]

Lignery and Aubrey, in spite of their knowledge of Indian ways, apparently advanced without taking normal precautions against ambush, and marched right into a prepared trap.

Lieutenant Colonel Massey of the 46th Foot commanded 464 British regulars to defend the trail running north from Niagara Falls to Fort Niagara. On the right flank covering the portage trail, Massey deployed about 130 men of the 46th in the La Belle Famille clearing. Thrown forward from the right flank, just above the river gorge, were the grenadiers of the 46th and a small detachment of the 44th Foot. To the left of the 46th, the converged light companies of the 44th, 46th, and 4th battalion of the 60th Foot took position. On the extreme left stood a detachment from the 44th and New York Regiment. Understanding that his enemies included a significant number of regulars, Massey ordered the redcoats to lie down and fix bayonets.[3]

As the French came out of the woods into the open, they immediately opened fire and began to deploy from column into line formation. Waiting until the French were within very close range, the British commander gave his troops the command to rise and fire. The 46th fired seven volleys, then advanced, firing at will. Massey later estimated that his men each fired about 16 rounds in the action. Meanwhile, the grenadier company's fire caught the French left flank in enfilade. When the French flinched before the deadly fire, the British attacked with the bayonet. French morale collapsed and the British-allied Iroquois rushed the survivors.[4]

The French began a panicked retreat, in which the British gave chase, according to one report, for as much as 5 miles (8.0 km). French casualties were significant, including Lignery, who sustained a mortal wound. Massey was wounded.

I took the rough troop numbers and used a 1:10 ratio to create a couple playable M&T forces shown below.

46th Foot -12
44th Foot -12
60th Foot -12
New York Regt -12
Light company -8
Rangers -8
Iroquois -6

5 Line Companies - 5x12
1 Grenadier Company -12
1 De La Marine -12
6 Indian units -6x6

On the face of it this may seem an odd battle to pick for our game but I was looking for a level of conflict that would while still be a challenge for us to get together and complete was not going to cause anyone to bust a gut trying. I looked at many of the major battles but these involved thousands on both sides and some of the smaller actions would have let us with only a dozen figures per side.

I am blown away with the response we already have from our community and know this is going to be a great fun year which will culminate in a great fun weekend of wargames and meeting’s

To give you a very rough idea of the time scale we are working too I would plan for all painting to be completed and returned to one place by the end of winter which will give us the last few months to get them based and ready for gaming.  I have sent the list of figures needed off to Loki who will be creating a post all about our painting needs. I just wanted to put up a bit of back ground about the battle.

Peace James Brewerton


  1. Sounds like a plan. I think I can speak fro Fran in this, we'd both love to be involved at some level with this project. We're both losing our jobs soon so can't commit to being there on the day of the game yet, But I'll definitely help paint up some figures, just let me know want you want me to do.

    1. I have you both firmly in mind for painting duties I will be in touch shortly

  2. Would love to help! With a little one on the way though i will only be able to assist in a digital manner. So if you chaos need any banners making or other graphical promotional material please let me know as i would to be involved!

    Cheers & all the best

    1. Mal we certainly will need some banners etc for the main event and we can catch up and sort out further down the line.

  3. I'd be happy to be involved with this project and willing to contribute to the painting.

  4. I'm happy to help paint a few models for a good cause.


    1. great new Phyllion drop me your contact info at exilespainting@hotmail.com as we are building up a great list of painters
      Peace James