Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Napoleonic Bicentenary - How wargamers commemorated 1815 - Miniature Wargames April 2016

It feels like 200 years ago, but I did my bit to celebrate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.  It is great to see the article by David Burden and James Fisher in the April 2016 issue of Miniature Wargames.

It is also great to see that one of my comments also made it into the article.  Ah fame...

However I think my comment lacks something without a bit of context and so, by the power of the blog, I will expand.

This is what I provided for the article:

"Hi James,

Very happy to do this, but I'm pressed for time as I'm off overseas tomorrow and not yet packed.  I've cc'd Mark B in as one of the photos is his and as Napoleon he is best placed to provide any follow up comments in my absence (I'm back on the 27th and hope to have some ability to check emails etc before then, not that I intend to, much).

DSC02514 is from the NWS 15mm Waterloo game and I picked it because it has the superb AB Scots Greys painted by Mark Woods.

The NWS was able to game Waterloo using Napoleon's Battles thanks to the generous nature of club members and friends contributing figures and helping create the terrain.  Sadly we ran out of time on the day.

DSC03299 is from our rerun of Waterloo that took six sessions to complete and I picked it because it shows the climax of the game at literally the eleventh hour (as in the last turn of the game).

We came together to refight the game again and this time completed it in a very relaxed and sociable six sessions (by which I mean we spent more time chatting and drinking than playing).  And a very exciting game it was.  The French wasted no time in attacking, someone had told them the Prussians were coming.  Just in time they defeated the Anglo-Allies and were able to turn their battered forces to face the Prussians.  The Prussians found it hard going but Blucher launched a very successfully charge as dusk was falling and almost captured Napoleon.

Binder1_Page_03 is Mark B's shot of the French set up and is probably my favourite as it shows the majesty of the French forces all laid out in proper wargaming fashion."

It of course bares no relation to what was published.  That must have come from my response to the survey and (I'm guessing as I don't have access to my completed survey) relates to some preliminary work I did with my gaming group to find out if there was a consensus about Napoleonic wargaming rules and figure scale.  There wasn't as can be seen in the analysis I provided in this post:  This same lack of consensus on scale and ruleset is also born out by James' and David's survey.

As stated in the Miniature Wargames article they found that celebrating the 200th anniversary had started even earlier and in that context, and with the section on scales and rules, the comment attributed to me is certainly relevant.  The commentary I had provided was very focused on Waterloo.

Here is the link to the Waterloo 2015 site:

What I can't provide is a link to the actual article, but maybe James can...

My 54mm Lead Mountain

These are from the 1970s and I received them as birthday/Christmas presents.  I must do a post on the figures in this scale that I have finished, but for now this is what remains to be done.

Apart from the two Minot figures, they are all Lasset from Greenwood and Ball.

Lasset French infantry man elite (remade bicorne hat)
L1000 French general (Prussian according to catalogue)
L887 French dismounted dragoon - helmet tuft missing
LNA5 Austrian j├Ąger
L872 French gunner in forage cap
L663 British drummer in stovepipe Shako - partially painted in white uniform
French infantry man
LC2055 (?) hussar in cylindrical Shako - maybe Prussian?
L955 Blucher reading map
Minot hussar trumpeter
Minot hussar trooper - painted but broken

These were gifts from my Godmother.  In a conversation with her daughter recently (at Lumley Castle, Co Durham - lucky me) Liz told me how she remembered going shopping with her mum for them.

Here is the relevant page from the late 1970s Greenwood and Ball catalogue covering the Lasset range:

More research is required to fully identify these figures, which I will do for sure one of these days...

Some pebbles from my 25mm Napoleonic Lead Mountain

Why collect in one scale when you can have Napoleonic forces in two scales, or three or four...

While reviewing my 15mm (which yes includes a good number of 18mm figures, nothing like scale creep to keep you awake at night) I came across these chaps:

Many years ago I had planned to form a 24 figure French Line unit for my 20/25mm Napoleonic army, however these guys are now targeted for Songs of Drums and Shakos.  I've some Prussians already finished that they can fight.  These French men look almost complete, just a few more years and they'll be done.

On the subject of scale, I'm calling this one "25mm" and for me it includes 1/72nd, 1/76th, 20mm, 25mm and even 28mm (and I do have two 30mm figures from 1971).  

It's mainly old stuff from my teens so full of nostalgia.  It was my first Napoleonic venture and I have a fairly detailed project list of all the units both complete and proposed (and even cancelled).  Most of them (Airfix predominantly) have been the subject of posts already and I've been updating my project list to include links to the relevant posts.  One of the aims of my blog is to record my wargaming efforts, including those of the past were possible and were I still have the figures in my collection, 

Apart from 15mm and 6mm I also have some 54mm figures.  My 54mm Napoleonic collection has its own lead mountain that I rediscovered going through my 15mm stock pile.  I think it deserves a post...

My 15mm Napoleonic Lead Mountain

Having climbed one lead mountain I thought I best climb my own, one peak at a time.

In that panoramic vista can be seen the following: 

Old Glory PLM3 Prussian Landwher  - 24 foot inc command
Old Glory NW4 Prussian wounded - 49 foot
Old Glory NHA4 Hanoverian Infantry - 50 foot inc command approx
Old Glory French Marshals - 3 mounted
Old Glory French Marshals Napoleon seated - 5 foot, 3 horses and a table
Old Glory French Marshals - 7 riders, 6 horses
AB 1806 Prussian musketeers - 23 foot and 1 mounted (under coated)
Old Glory NAE3 Russian Foot Artillery Limbers - 3 models, 12 horses 3 riders approx
Old Glory AMD3 Austrian Dragoons - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory RMU1 Russian Uhlans - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory RNA2 Russian Horse Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory RNA1 Russian Foot Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory AMC2 Austrian Light Dragoons - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory RNA2 Russian Horse Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory FAH2 French Horse Artillery - 6 guns and 16 crew
Old Glory FMC4 French Cuirassier Full Dress Charging - 31 riders, 30 horses
Old Glory RMJ1 Russian mounted jaegers - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory RMC3 Russian Cuirassiers - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory RNA1 Russian Foot Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory RNA1 Russian Foot Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory RMU1 Russian Uhlans - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory AMD2 Austrian Dragoons in Full Dress Reserve - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory AFA1 Austrian Foot Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory ANL18 Austrian Grenzers with command - 50 foot approx
Old Glory AFA1 Austrian Foot Artillery - 6 guns with 24 crew approx
Old Glory NSW1 Swedish Infantry - 50 foot approx
Old Glory NSW1 Swedish Infantry - 50 foot approx
Old Glory NSW3 Swedish Infantry - 50 foot approx
Old Glory NSW4 Swedish Hussars - 24 mounted approx
Old Glory NSW5 Swedish cavalry - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory NSW6 Swedish Cuirassiers - 20 mounted approx
Old Glory NSW7 Swedish Artillery - 6 guns and 24 crew approx
Old Glory RMC3 Russian Cuirassiers - 24 mounted approx
AB French Light Infantry side plume - 24 foot
AB French Line Infantry - 24 foot
Essex British stovepipe Shako to be Portuguese Line - 24 foot
Essex British stovepipe Shako to be Portuguese Line - 20 foot
Essex British stovepipe Shako to be Portuguese Line - 16 foot
AB French Foot Artillery - 4 guns and 12 crew
Essex British Line Belgic Shako - 16 foot
Essex British Line Belgic Shako - 16 foot
Essex British line Belgic Shako - 16 foot (officer's sword needs repair)
Essex British Line Belgic Shako - 16 foot (no standard bearer)
Old Glory Prussian Artillery - 10 crew and 1 barrel and bits
Old Glory French Marshals Napoleon seated - 9 foot, 3 horses and 1 table
Old Glory horse - 1 horse slightly damaged
Old Glory SYW cavalry - 12 riders (left overs after they were used for Spanish cavalry)
AB Russian Guard command - 3 foot
Old Glory Prussian Cuirassiers - 15 mounted
Old Glory Prussian Generals - 12 mounted
Old Glory Wurtemberg Infantry - 12 foot
Essex Austrian Hussars - 15 mounted
Old Glory French Middle Guard in trousers - 26 foot inc command
Random - 2 small limbers, 3 limber horse riders, 1 rider, 2 limber horses, 4 other horses, 1 gun
Old Glory French infantry - 76 foot 
Old Glory French Old Guard - 16 foot
Museum Miniatures French command - 13 foot 
Bits - 1 wheel, 10 buckets and 1 ammo case
Battle Honors Mameluks - 2 mounted
Old Glory Marshal Ponitowski - 1 mounted
AB F18 French infantry casualties - 10 foot
AB F58 French general - 1 foot
AB F19 French enthusiastic infantry in bicorne - 5 foot
AB F81 French dragoon horse holder - 1 foot, 4 horses
AB French Old Guard Chasseur command - 2 foot
AB F71 French dragoon casualties - 8 figures
AB IF23 French ADCs - 6 mounted
AB IG48 and IG51 French Empress Dragoons - 12 mounted
AB Set04 Napoleon Command - 8 mounted
Blue Moon 15 FE 23 French Medical Staff and Wounded - 8 figures, 4 bottles and 1 table
Blue Moon 15 FE 24 French Cantiniers and Accessories - 1 wagon, 9 foot, 4 horses & 12 boxes
Battle Honors British command - 15 mounted, 3 spare horses

Projects underway

AB French Dragoons - 20 mounted, horses almost finished painting

AB French Young Guard - 48 foot, 4 painted, and all but command cleaned up

Various single figures to be use as markers - 40 figures

Essex British artillery crew - 12 foot under coated 
Essex British command - 8 foot
AB British wounded - 9 foot

AB Allied command - 8 mounted, 3 of which are under coated with horses painted

Old Glory Nassau command - 3 foot under coated
AB French light infantry side plume - 1 foot (who's lost)

Old Glory Middle Guard - 24 foot under coated 
These have been the subject of a previous post, the title of which tells a sorry tale

I find lead mountains uplifting and depressing.  Mostly I find them fun to sort through and dream of units that will be fun to paint and take to the table top.  It's just a question of focus.  But no sooner do I climb one mountain than I see another before me...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Early Macedonian Successor versus Classical Indian

And a bloody drawn out affair it was to!

Mark W set up his Indians expecting me to walk into a trap

The trouble with large units is my frontage is reduced and flanks exposed.
This was going to be a tricky battle.

Good omens - my second in command is feeling expert.

But his double move disordered his troops.  
This was blamed on a the fat drunk trumpeter not blowing his horn long enough.

One of the enemy generals is also feeling like an expert.

End of turn 2 and the going is slow.
I'm embarking on an echelon attack, leading with my left

The left flank come under long range fire.  They only get one dice.  They throw a six.
For my cohesion test I roll a six.  I use a Hand of Fate and reroll and get another six.  :-(

Luckily I have plenty of Thracians and Peltasts on my left ready for a fight
(if they can only get close enough)

Centre and Right are carefully positioned.

The left is closing and we are both moving over some reinforcements. 

Getting ready for a skirmish on the right.

With die rolls like that - scratch one Peltast unit.

Elephants are tough enough, but armed with various weapons
my javelinmen didn't have a chance.

There is still plenty of distance between us on the right.  Good.

On the left things are looking disordered.

I send in the CinC with the Agema.  It doesn't go well,
but at least this time a Hand of Fate turns a 6 into a 1 and they are saved.

Centre and Right are on the move.

A clash in the centre is imminent.

My left wing attack is not going as well as I'd hoped.

The Indian right wing command now declares he's an expert too.

I've had to bring my Thessalian cavalry up to face off the elephants 
(I'm not going to look)

The fighting in the centre is full on

The left is getting interesting.
The white cloaked Peltasts are given the Indian cavalry some curry.

Right wing and the Thessalians are holding there own - phew.
While the Greek infantry try out their spears on the elephants to their front

The Indian centre is fading.
My CinC is fighting for his life.

One Indian cavalry gone and another has advanced to javelin range

The penultimate turn as seen from the Indian side.  
Their right/my left.

The centre.

The Indian left and my right.

The Indian general wondering where his army has gone.

The Greek general wondering how he is going to get out of this mess.
(Hint: he doesn't)

The Greek left wing breaks.

The Indian centre breaks.

It's been slaughter all round.

Both armies break on the same turn.

Fabulous game!