Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Dragoons & a map question.

Here is the first of my Dragoon bases. As you can probably see it was a bit of a squeeze fitting the 32 figures and horses onto my standard 60 x60mm base! After much trimming up of bases and fiddling about I settled on this configuration. A mounted base of Dragoons will be painted to represent the unit when mounted.

The role of dragoons in the Civil War is often misunderstood I feel and even within the re enactment societies  I have seen 'impressions' that don't seem quite right in that what they often represent appears to be an odd mix of chaps wearing a bit of armour including fancy helmets, without riding boots etc. My feeling is that the average dragoon was nothing more than a mounted infantryman, and as such would have worn boots, but aside from that he would look like any other musket armed  foot soldier.

The description given by Sir James Turner (1683) gives a good idea of how dragoons were regarded and the role they played.

"Dragoons are Musketeers mounted on Horses, appointed to march with the Cavalry, in regard there are not only many occasions, wherein Foot can assist the Horse, but that seldom there is any occasion of service against an Enemy, but wherein it is both fit and necessary to join some Foot with the Horse, Dragoons then go not only before to guard Passes (as some imagine) but to fight in open field; for if an Enemy recounter with a Cavalry in a champaign or on open Heath, the Dragoons are obliged to alight, and mix themselves with the squads of Horse, as they shall be commanded; and their continued Firing, before the Horse comes to the charge, will, no doubt, be very hurtful to the Enemy: if the encounter be in a close Country, they serve well to line Hedges, and posses Enclosures, they serve for defending Passes and Bridges, whether it be in the Advance, or Retreat of an Army, and for beating the Enemy from them:

Their service is on foot, and is no other than that of Musketeers; but because they are mounted on Horseback, and ride with the Horse, either in the Van, or behind in the Rear of an Army, they are reckon'd as a part of the Cavalry, and are subordinate to the General, Lt-General, or Maj-General of the Horse, and not to those of the foot. And being that sometimes they are forced to retire from a powerful and prevailing Enemy, they ought to be taught to give Fire on Horseback, that in an open field they may keep an Enemy at a distance till they get the advantage of a closer Country, a Straight, a Pass, a Bridge, a Hedge, or a Ditch, and then they are bound to alight, and defend that advantage, that thereby (though perhaps with the loss of the Dragoons themselves) the Cavalry may be saved.

When they alight, they cast their Bridle Reins over the necks of their side-mens Horses, and leave them in that same order as they marched. Of ten Dragoons, nine fight, and the tenth man keeps the ten Horses."

Tony has now prepared full PDF's of the C&C rule adaptions and the 2 sets of command and chance cards and they are available for download. We would appreciate any feedback, comments and playtests etc. I hope to run through a small trial game myself within the next couple of weeks. Please contact Tony via his Prometheus in Aspic blog, link at right for links to downloads.

An example of some of the Command Cards available from the rules download.

Map question.
This map has hung upon the wall in our hall for the 8 years we have lived in this house. We live in Dymchurch within the area marked as 'Shepway' on the map. In the Middle Ages the Romney Marsh was one of the most heavily populated areas in the Country and the Romney Marsh Sheep is one of Britains oldest breeds. Looking at this map it struck me that this could be around the time of the Civil War? The blocks of troops shown look to be muskets with a central block of pikes and the ships also look to be of the period. I just wonder if anybody could more accurately date this map for me? The images are not great I know, and I will try to replace them with crisper images when I have time later. But any help would be appreciated, thank you.


  1. It also appears that it could be late 16th century (1570+). I am basing that on the ship design which appears similar to ship drawings I have seen of Drake's Golden Hind and other Armada ships.

  2. Lee - check out http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/deptserv/maps/speed.html

    I believe this is John Speed's map of Kent from 1607.

    Cheers - good beer in Liverpool - Tony