08 July 2019

Tables! A Lot Of Tables.

Often you see a set of rules mentioned in blog post, like here at 'Blunders on the Danube' or on a youtube channel 'Little Wars TV', but you never quite get around to getting a copy. 'Snappy Nappy' has been up to now one, of those rule sets. If you want large games? Across multiple tables, with possibly a multitude of players? Then this is the rule set that might suit you. 

My copy recently turned up in the mail, It will be interesting to see how it compares to other 'large scale' Napoleonic rule sets I have on my book shelf.

02 July 2019

Haven't we seen this fellow before? ...

... Why indeed we have, back in April. After the major effort to assemble my British and French miniatures, this week I've finally returned to the task of painting. As I previously mentioned until Christmas I'm concentrating on solely on the task of painting them, no other periods or genres are allowed to creep in. I've returned to the regime of spending at least half an hour a day painting miniatures, in this way I can at least guarantee progress. Slow and steady ...

One final image of the unpainted mass.
Of course there will be the occasional additions.

24 June 2019

One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor ....

..... they drive.

Late last year my Dad passed away and recently Beth and I drove from Tasmania to Townsville in North Queensland to help Mum go through his books, miniatures and model kits.

We decided to drive and traveled over 7100 kms, following the coast upto Townsville and returning via the inland route. I couldn't help but call the trip: #thereandbackagain which of course meant I could refer to the boys who stayed home and looked after the 'Shire' (home) as the 'Sackville Baggins'. There were a few comments made in return but we all could agree the route home was akin to travelling through Mordor. Long hours, seemingly driving alone, along a road that stretches to the horizon and beyond. Occasionally we would dodge road trains, whose drivers seemed to take perverse delight in shaving years off the lives of any other unfortunate road user they might pass by.

The inland route home. Long, flat, straight and dry ... the wastes of Mordor?
Amongst the items that came home with us was Dad's collections 2 & 6mm napoleonic miniatures and terrain. But Dad's copy of the 'The Irregular Miniatures Napoleonic Rule Box' had gone walkabout, the odds are he might have used them as book marks. The rules are printed on a series of small cards and as I've been going through the books that came home with us I've been finding some very useful 'bookmarks' that have been returned to where they belong. But no 'The Irregular Miniatures Napoleonic Rule Box' cards though, fortunately it's still up for sale at the Irregular Miniatures website. So I ordered myself a copy which turned up in the mail not too long ago.

23 June 2019

I've Been Busy Mustering The Troops.

Barring three french units and a number of command, skirmisher and casualty stands I've just about managed to assemble the red and blue forces for 'Plan N'. Believe it not, I'm actually looking forward to tackling this rather imposing number of unpainted French and British miniatures. So, I've decided to narrow my focus and from now until Christmas solely concentrate on this. NO SIDE PROJECTS! what so ever.

30 May 2019

And It Will Set You Free ....

.... and that's exactly what has happened.

I've been busy assembling my two 28mm scale Napoleonic armies; British and French. Playing several games using Napoleon's Battles (1st Edition) against Carl and his Austrians while trialing base sizes with bits of balsa wood and blu-tac. Regularly several hundred napoleonic minatures are parading across the table top, some are even painted.

As I mentioned some time ago I thought I might work my way through 'Scenarios for Wargames' by Charles Stewart Grant, so to recap. The plan is to assemble the miniatures and terrain and then play the first scenario, the British will be the red force and the French, the blue. I then move on to the second scenario, have the forces switch sides, assemble the extra miniatures and terrain required for that scenario, then play it out and move on to the next scenario.

This should be straight forward for at least the first four scenarios, scenario five involves a rearguard action with the pursuing force including some irregular troops so I'll worry about that later. But before that I will put together two armies each consisting of:

  • Line Infantry:  8 (32 Miniatures each)
  • Light Infantry:  1 (32 Miniatures, unless they happen to be a unit like the 95th Rifles, then they will be smaller.)
  • Heavy Cavalry: 2 (16 Miniatures each)
  • Light Cavalry:  2 (16 Miniatures each)
  • Cannon: 4 ('Scenarios for wargames' mentioned that 2 cannon is equivalent to one battery so I opting to represent a battery with 3 cannon models, plus 3-4 crew per cannon.)
Actually the French as the initial 'blue force' only ever total six units of line infantry as they alternate sides through the first four scenarios, but if I follow the pattern they will be the blue force in scenario five. There they have a total of 14 line infantry units in the blue force, though ten of these are understrength  (50-70%) so I might as well make a start and include two extra french line infantry units in the current build queue.
  • The infantry will be based on 40x40mm bases with four miniatures per base.
  • Cavalry on 50x50mm bases with two miniatures per base.
  • Each artillery piece will be based a 50x80mm, the crew will be fixed to the base,  but the cannon will remain 'loose'. This way I can reverse the cannon on the base to indicate that it is limbered, or remove the base and crew if they are overrun or abandon the cannon.
  • Brigade and Division Generals will be mounted on a 50mm circular base.
  • Corp and Higher Generals get a 80mm circular base
  • Casualties are being mounted on 40mm circular bases.
  • Any ADC or messengers may go on 40mm circular bases I haven't decided on that yet.
  • Skirmish bases will be 120x40mm with four miniatures in a irregular line.

With the arrival in the post of a stack of nice sharp looking MDF bases I've been busy transferring the miniatures over from their temporary balsa wood bases.

As I continue to assemble the two armies I'm beginning to plan what rules I will use to play the first game? Initially the plan was to use Piquet's 'Les Grognards', but I recently purchased a copy of 'General d'Armee' and that looks good too. Another option is to play each scenario multiple times using different rule sets, I have a swag of Napoleonic era rules and it might be interesting to see how they compare. How will 'Black Powder' stack up against say, 'Empire 5'?

05 May 2019

Being The Reed ...

... and not breaking. As I mentioned in my last post I'm relaxing my 'painted miniatures on the table' rule so Carl and I could actually play the game of Napoleon's Battles, Scenario Two: Austrians at bay the we've been wanting to.

I blu-taced (is this a word?) the unpainted and in some cases incompletely painted infantry on to the MDF 40x40 mm bases I intend on using for them and cut bases out from balsa wood for the cavalry, artillery and commanders. I once again used Blu-tac to fix these miniatures to their bases, these are temporary and I've got a bit of balsa wood to spare.The cavalry were placed on 50x50mm bases with 2 miniatures per base, I put two of these bases together to make up one Napoleon's Battles cavalry base. For the artillery and commanders I followed the suggestion given in Napoleon's Battles and doubled the suggested 15mm base sizes.

Carl on the other hand increased the base size for his Austrians by 1.5 times the suggested size, working of the rationale that was close enough to the increase in scale for 15mm to 25/28mm. Our dissimilar basing schemes didn't provide any problems when we played the game, they were close enough to be good enough. 

We played on a 6 x 4 area, the scenario as written for 15mm scale is played out on a 3 x 3 foot area. We also increased all ranges and distances by the 1.5 times, this seemed to work well as we played.

The game played well, I pushed Carl's left flank and we both were reminded just how lethal cannon can be. At the end of the day I conceded the game to Carl. He had 3 lost three brigades, where I lost four and if we were to continue playing a fifth brigade would disperse under continuing barrage from Carl's artillery. The loss of the fifth brigade would break my army, so it was a win for Carl.

No doubt there will be further games of Napoleon's Battles with Carl but while I continue to paint the current unit of French line infantry, I'll also assemble the remaining miniatures I need for the first stage of Plan N and play that game as well.

12 April 2019

Bend Before Breaking

Normally I'm the type of tabletop wargamer that puts only painted miniatures on the table, but as I painted up my World War 2 US army miniatures I relaxed that self imposed restriction. I played games of Bolt Action and KonFlikt'47 and over the course of those games the miniatures were painted.

So as I slide back into my painting routine and work on my Napoleonic French and I've come to a decision. My immediate goal is to paint up enough miniatures to field the French force for a Napoleon's Battles Scenario, 'The Austrians at bay'.

If I wait until I've completely finished every miniature for the game I'll be waiting a very long time to actually play the game. Of course it doesn't help that Carl, my opponent has been raiding E-Bay for secondhand (read, already painted) Austrians. So it's time to bend a little assemble the required miniatures and play some games with them while I paint them.