Wednesday, June 1, 2011

“Recommended” by Miniature Wargames!

The June edition of Miniature Wargames contains a review of Wellington's First
Battle. A copy of the review is available on my website;


Garry Wills


Wellington’s First Battle – Combat for Boxtel is the first book by Caseshot Publishing, a new company owned by this work’s author Garry David Wills. This well-written account of Wellington’s first ever action will correct you in an entertaining way if you believed he fought his first battles at Assaye and Seringipatam against the Moguls. The spotlights on other characters present at this “minor affair” in Holland make good reading as do whole chapters devoted specifically to wargaming the battle using Black Powder and Volley & Bayonet. The bullet points pages turned me off but they would be a useful ready reference when actually wargaming.


There are plenty of quality atmospheric photos featuring the author’s 15 mils plus maps and sidebars – including one on the origin of the British infantryman’s nickname “Tommy”. It would be easy to dwell on the unfortunate fact that Arthur Wellesley is referred to as “Wesley” throughout the book. It would be kinder and more appropriate to say that the more I read, the more I liked it. Recommended, though that really depends on your reaction to the price tag (ᆪ14.99), as the battle is rather obscure.”
(Review by Steve Eardley in Miniature Wargames, No. 338, June 2011)

Wellington’s First Battle tells the story of the Duke of Wellington’s involvement in his first campaign, the Duke of York’s defence of Belgium and Holland in 1794 and early 1795. During this campaign, the Duke of Wellington fought his first battle, the combat of Boxtel on the 15th September 1794.

The Duke of Wellington is rightly considered a “great commander”, arguably Great Britain’s greatest soldier. It is surprising therefore that so little has been written about his early career and the formative experiences of war that guided him in his rise to greatness. Historians past and present have naturally focussed on the Wars of Napoleon rather than those of the preceding Revolutionary period. However the French Revolutionary Wars witnessed the art of warfare in arguably a greater state of flux than the later Napoleonic period and provided the training ground for all the great soldiers who fought for and against Napoleon.

In August 1794, while Napoleon languished in prison in Fort Carré near Antibes, the focus of the war was more than five hundred miles away to the north in the Netherlands, where Revolutionary France’s largest and most powerful armies fought the combined forces of Austria, Great Britain and the United Provinces.
The man who would become the Duke of Wellington, Field Marshal in several countries, had departed from Cork as Sir Arthur Wesley, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 33rd Foot, the regiment that would later bear his name. Wesley and his regiment joined Lord Moira’s force and travelled to Ostend in order to reinforce the army of the Duke of York. The second half of 1794 provided Wesley with his first active service on campaign, in which he found neither fame (his name is not mentioned in any of the contemporary accounts of Boxtel) nor fortune, but he did gain experience.

 Wellington’s First Battle is the story of a small part of that campaign..
Wellington’s First Battle is a high quality 64 page booklet in full colour, illustrated with campaign and battlefield maps. Wellington’s First Battle provides accounts of the campaign and the battle based on detailed research of both contemporary and firsthand accounts. 

Wellington’s First Battle includes fully detailed orders of battle and an historically accurate map of the battlefield to enable the wargamer to recreate the great Duke’s first action under enemy fire using either a generic scenario or specific scenario information provided for the popular rulesets, Black Powder, Volley & Bayonet and General de Brigade.

Wellington’s First Battle is based on high quality research and includes full details of all sources used.


A proportion of the proceeds from this product will be donated to the Project Hougoumont charity, as part of the “Chosen Man” scheme.