Category Archives: Napoleonic

Call to Arms 2020

Cta v Prussians 1The annual convention hosted by the Wellington Warlords has been and gone last weekend. I entered the Black Powder Napoleonic competition with my 1805-08 Spanish. Not the best army under the rules – Unreliable, Freshly Raised infantry; Small units of terrible cavalry; piss poor SR rated generals.  What the army had going for it was lots of brigades (I fielded seven brigades when most other people were fielding 3 or 4 tops) and lots of cheap as chips guerrillas which I finally think I know how to use in this game.

I got three draws and one win – the win occurring when I broke my opponents army by knocking out two of his three brigades. Had one incident where a rule was not read correctly and I lost an entire brigade of Guards after they were hit in the flank by Dragoons on a Follow Me order with their general but the rules clearly state that you cannot do a three move maneuver to get a flank charge in unless you start behind their flank.  I honestly think that if that had not happened I would have won that game too, although my opponent might disagree.    But still – Spanish infantry being ridden down by a flank charge is pretty thematic so I was not too upset. At all really. C’est la guerre!

The games were all enjoyable and it was great to catch up with other players and old friends who were involved in other competitions. Sad to hear that Brent Senior-Partridge passed away but they had a memorial trophy in his honour for the DBM Ancient guys.

Some pics.

1/72nd scale Napoleonic Game

My old work colleague Roy sent me these pics and this battle report of a game played with their 1/72nd-20mm figures by a group in the Hutt Valley (two cities that are part of the greater Wellington region). This is classic old school cool. They have a big collection and have lots of regular games.

Battle Report

So back to our game. It was a simple recon engagement with each side having 2 Regts of inf, with a Btn of Lt inf per Regt, 2 Hussar Regts & a 2/3 strength Hvy Dragoon Regt.

The British inf headed straight for the wood on the rise, while the French inf headed for the ruins. The French combined their Hussars & pushed up their right flank, while their Dragoons made a left hook around the hill. The British sent one Hussar unit towards the hill to cover their flank, and combined the other Hussar unit with their Dragoons to cover the open left flank by the wood.

The British abandoned any interest in the ruins and consolidated themselves around the wood, thus forcing the French to come to them – which they obliged. The Lt inf was leading the forces of both armies and soon came within musket range, but the French gave up shooting into woods as pointless and got stuck in with the bayonet.

Instigated by the French, the cavalry by the woods (working on the basis of ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time!’) added their commander to the mix and attacked the British who were forced to respond in kind. Throughout the game these two forces attacked each other 5 times where after the final melee, the French were forced to retreat.

The French Dragoons rounding the hill also attacked the enemy cav, who backed off to within protective musket range of their inf, after the initial melee – that stymied the French for a bit.

The French inf continually attacked the British in the woods, with neither side really gaining an upper hand.

By the end of the night, neither side appeared to have been a clear winner, so we resorted to the victory table which came out as a draw

3rd Dutch Guard Grenadiers (Foundry Miniatures)

Back in about 2012 my old mate Bernard Dobbie gave me a box of Foundry Dutch Guard Grenadiers. A regiment set that I think came pre-primed.

This box set has sat in my Woolshed since then and I finally got around to painting them. Better late than never. I based these on 40x40mm bases – mainly because that is what the rest of my French infantry is based on. For my Spanish and British I have gone with 40x50mm which gives the base a bit more depth and I hoped would offer some protection to British bayonets in my various firing line battalions. I ended up liking how it looked and continued on that way with the metals I painted.

I dropped one officer figure out and replaced it with an Essex guard sapper. These guys are true 25mm I think – next to more modern 28s they are midgets but another nice regiment to bolster my French guards.

Anyway, enough rambling. These were mostly painted last week in Wellington, whilst I camped in my camper trailer parked up at the beach.

 

Portuguese Infantry (Warlord Games)

I got a couple of boxes of Warlord Games plastic Portuguese infantry a few years ago off Scott at Kapiti Hobbies.  They sat undercoated and ready to paint on my table for the best part of three years whilst I was in the midst of my painting block. However, I decided to get cracking on them and finished them last week.

The Warlord Games set comes with 24 figures. Twenty are plastic and there are four metal command figures. The standard bearers come with wire flagstaffs with very pointy spear points. Be aware that they will jab you under the finger nail if you are not careful and draw blood. The figures come basically as one part miniatures to which you glue the backpack and the head variant you want – Barrentina or Stovepipe shakos and a head in a fatigue cap.  I went with the barrentina shakos to match my earlier period Portuguese infantry already painted.

These figures are OK but are plastic. Which means I have been my usual paranoid self when it comes to fretting about broken bayonets. Some of the figures have some dodgy moulding – cuffs that merge into ration bags for instance, but on the whole they are pretty clean.

These guys will pass muster on the tabletop but not so much for close up scrutiny. I did not use the flag sheet that came with the box, but printed off a sheet of Portuguese flags I found on the internet and used two. I know they are not right for the regiment – one of the ones with red cuffs and piping – but frankly, I don’t give a rat’s arse about that. They look vaguely Portuguese so that is good enough for me.

28mm Spanish Ad-hoc Infantry Battalion (Elite Miniatures)

I had a bunch of left over Elite Miniatures figures and decided to make an ad-hoc battalion of Spanish infantry.  This unit represents a battalion cobbled together from recruits, stragglers from beaten units and so forth.  I added two standards – because I like flags. These were images of the internet, resized and duplicated horizontally to have a front and back.

 

28mm Walloon Guards (Elite Miniatures)

I took part in a Black Powder mini-competition a month or so back at Call to Arms, the annual convention of the venerable Wellington Warlords club. We had five games over two days using a point system devised by a couple of the competition organisers. I decided to take a Spanish Army but had to settle for Spanish with a brigade of British supports because I did not have enough Spaniards painted.  I didn’t get too badly whomped (2 losing draws, one winning draw, one hiding and one win).

CTA 1
Spanish and British allies fighting an Austrian horde. Those Big battalions with 4 Stamina are hard to deal with when you have 2 Shooting.

 

What I decided though was that I needed more good Spanish infantry. So this last week I painted and based a battalion of Walloon Guards.    These are my usual Elite Miniatures from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia.  Getting these from Nathan is a no-brainer for me. He is a great guy to deal with and the AUD and NZD almost have parity.

I am pretty happy these guys turned out seeing as they are my second unit in three years. I mean, close up they are alright but they look cracker from Wargames Distance.  I also painted most of these guys while away last week for work and when I am away I am now staying in my camper trailer.  Internal lighting is OK as I have three 24v LED strip lights that provide good overall illumination but not great for fiddly work like miniature painting – but I am working on that. A 2400 lumen work lamp (solar or usb  charged) is on it’s way so should not be a problem much longer.

The flags I just used images off the internet of Spanish flags and resized. After I did this I found an envelope of flags, including some I was sent many years ago by Lawrence from This Life in Lead blog.  Among those were two Ramos fabric flags for the Walloon Guards. Oh well – that is life’s way of telling me to paint another battalion of Walloons. I am still missing finials and cords – will order some soon as I have about six battalions in need of them. I had heaps but ran out – well – about four years ago.

EDIT – I forgot to add that the standard bearers are Front Rank figures. I am pretty sure that Lawrence gave me them as well. Thanks Lawrence.

And yes, the chickens came up to see what I was doing and one tried to peck my miniatures. Vicious little bastards are chickens.

Spanish Light Infantry 1808

My first completed unit in nearly three years!

These are Elite Miniatures that I got earlier this year from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia.

Elite only make two poses for the Spanish light infantry in bicornes. A kneeling firing and a standing loading pose.  So I added a regular Spanish officer and a couple of drummers (one of which is in a shako).

 

Minifigs Riflemen and Cacadores

More gloss enamel shiny coated old minifigs. Note that even the stones on the bases are glossy. Two small units of British Riflemen and Portuguese Cacadores. I have not used these guys on the table top in so long. Perhaps they will get an outing over Christmas.

Regiment Elisa Napoleon

A few months back I saw this picture on my Facebook feed. I immediately thought that was a Wow! unit. Bonaparte’s sister Elisa was Grand Duchess of Tuscany and something-or-another of Lucca and Piombino (Princess I think). She authorised the raising of a bodyguard regiment from her Luccan and Piombonese subjects and given the uniform I am guessing she and her ladies-in-waiting had some hand in the design. I am not sure that the unit was ever raised in it’s entirety before she had to abdicate and retire to private life. But I knew that I wanted to try to paint it.

elisa-napoleon-regt

However I did not want to buy any new figures so decided to do this unit as a ‘What If’. What if it were raised and Napoleon, with his need for manpower had called it to duty. To that end I decided to model this regiment on campaign.  I have half a dozen boxes of Perry French plastic infantry and the spare Carabinier heads from the Perry Cuirassier/Carabinier box set. I needed some more heads and I got these from TMPer Virtualscratchbuilder who posted them to me from Denton, Texas. A couple of weeks later I have got them as finished as I ever get anything.

I have modelled them as a French Infantry Battalion with a Grenadier and Light Company. Also a couple of separately mounted voltigeurs and a custom casualty base for the unit. The flag was too complicated for me to bother with so I went with a simple tricolour in the colours of Lucca and Piombino. Oh yeah – and I gave them an Eagle – why not I say. There is also a solitary Victrix officer in there.

They will be joining some of the other fictional and almost fictional units in my Napoleonic armies in the cabinet.  Hope you like them.