I have finally finished another unit for my Gerona 1684 project. French "assault troops" and grenadiers, as described by witnesses to the battle:
The French assault was at follows; hundreds of "Enfants Perdús" or Forlorn hopes were formed, armed in the following manner " the first line or row with helmets, cuirasses, buckler/round shields and swords. The second and third lines there were troops with war axes and grenadiers". and after those assault troops, 5000 men.
This assault took place during the summer of 1684, I guess this kind of troops were also used in other sieges in late XVII c. but I was surprised to know that as late as in 1684, there were still in use in the French army such an old fashioned armed soldiers, with the helmet, back and breast plate, buckler and sword. But I fell in love with the description of them and had to paint a unit for myself!
The leader of the unit is Captain Jacques Sauvage, a grenadier veteran of the War of Devolution, and Franco Dutch War ... He was successful in the siege of Lille in 1667, the siege of Maastricht 1673 and the siege of Valenciennes in 1677. He has spent the last two decades fighting the Dutch, Spaniards and Imperials, and now, in the summer of 1684 his unit was ready and in front of the gates of Gerona, an easy task, or so he had been told...
Well, monsieur Sauvage is a fictional character of my campaign, but all the rest is historical, I have painted the unit in the uniform of regiment de "La Reine", a regiment present at the siege of Gerona. I thought about using several uniforms in the same in unit, something common in this kind of ad hoc units for sieges, but the miniatures have the French classical helmet, and that helmet was issued only to native French and Swiss, not to German regiments in French service, and there were German soldiers from regiments Furstemberg or La Marck in the general assault against the walls, so I could not paint soldiers from these regiments with the miniatures I had, so finally only regiment "La Reine"
The miniature of the leader, as I said in the previous post of the blog, is by Tercio Creativo, and although it is inspired by a 17th century French soldier, it is NOT historical, since it wears a tabard with the fleur de lis, as if it were a king's musketeer, and a classic helmet typical of france from 1660, but is very nice and well sculpted so I could not resist using him for my enfants perdús.
Following the contemporary description of the French assault on the main breach of the Gerona wall, I wanted to represent an assault unit armed with breastplate and back, helmet, buckler and sword, and behind them soldiers armed with axes or halbers and finally grenadiers in the third row.
Most of them are conversions of miniatures from Northstar 1672 French range and one from Dixons, with plastic weapons from Warhammer (axes/halberds) and Warlord games (swords and pistol) the bucklers, since I didn't have 17th century bucklers on hand, I had to resort to some Sassanid shields from Aventine, and then another one made of green stuff made a from a 30 years war miniature.
Finally, I like to base this kind of unit in individual round bases, in order to use them in skirmish games too.
I hope you like them!
It is one of the rarest units I have made for this period, I will have to create rules for them, as elite troops with great melee capacity assaulting positions and good defensive attributes but little ranged firepower.