02 November 2015

Plan N - "On dit que Dieu est toujours pour les gros bataillons."

The first in an occasional series of posts about my latest mad scheme.

Over the years I’ve alway had some napoleonic miniatures in my collection. Currently I have some 15mm scale British based for ‘Napoleon’s Battles’, but over the last couple of years I have purchased some French and British hard plastic 28mm scale napoleonic miniatures from ’Warlord Games’, ‘Vitrix’ and ‘Perry Miniatures’.

I picked up a copy of Warlord Games ‘Black Powder’ rules and while the rules appear to be quite serviceable I haven’t played a game with them yet. But still the book is still well worth the purchase. It’s beautifully laid out and full of lot’s of images of well painted miniatures in large units on well presented wargaming tables laid out with some excellent looking terrain. Reading through this book gave me the inspiration with which how I’m to use my as yet un-employed 28mm scale napoleonic miniatures and return to some ‘old school’ wargaming and get some big battalions on the table top.

The plan is simple, use my copy of ‘Scenarios for War-games’ by Charles Stewart Grant. It contains 52 war-game scenarios, the idea being that it provides the wargamer with ready made problems and challenges to face on the table top. So why not start with scenario one, assemble and paint enough miniatures for both the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ forces described in the scenario and do the same with the terrain and then enjoy the game.

Next move on to scenario two, flip the sides, so who ever was the red force is now blue. Assemble and paint up any miniatures and the terrain required for that scenario and once more, enjoy the game.

What next? You guessed it. Move on to scenario three, flip the sides again and once I have assembled the forces for this scenario I should have a British and a French force each containing;

6 to 8 units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
1 x unit of light cavalry
4 x cannon

I’m fairly certain that this amount of miniatures will cover the majority of the horse and musket forces described in the most of the scenarios in the book, so once I’m past scenario three the majority of the miniature collecting and painting will be over. Although occasionally a scenario might call for one or two more units or something along the lines of a baggage wagon and maybe some interesting terrain.

I intend to initially work through the first five scenarios, once I’ve done this I intend on pausing for a moment to see what I’m might do with this next. Continue on playing through all 52 scenarios? Maybe?

I’ve noticed on reading other wargaming blogs and forums Black Powder is a fairly popular, so just in case I do run across the opportunity I’ll base my miniatures as suggested by Black powder (four infantry miniatures on a 40 x 40 mm base, 2 cavalry miniatures of a 50 x 50 mm base. Artillery, as required) so if the opportunity presents itself I can fit in with someone who is already based his miniatures for Black Powder, or at least a similar basing scheme. 

But the rules I’ll play the game with are going to be the Piquet ‘Les Grognards’, napoleonic supplement. To get those big battalions I’ll be making use of the ‘zoom rules’ on page 70 of the Piquet master rules which allow you to scale the game to suit the level command. I’ll be doubling the number of stands for each unit and using a ground scale of 1” equals 12 yards. Your average infantry unit will be made up 8 stands with 32 miniatures, and a cavalry unit would also have 8 stands with 16 miniatures. Which matches nicely with the nominal unit size given in Black Powder.

Next is to decide which nationality gets to be ‘red’ and ‘blue’ and the answer is an obvious one, since the British are ‘red coats’ they can start as the red force in ‘Scenario One’ which is a positional defence they have:

4 x units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
4 x guns (cannon)

The French, the blue force are have:

8 x units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
1 x unit of light cavalry
4 x guns (cannon)

Next time. What these armies are made of and ground they'll fight over.

3 comments:

Gonsalvo said...

A great project. The Grant scenarios are very well done. You will wind up needing some additional forces above what you have listed, but not a lot more. Of course, if you need more troops, you can zoom back up to Normal scale and units half the size of the above. I personally prefer smaller units in 28mm, but whatever appeals to you most is surely the way to go!

derek said...

Yeah I know they're big unit's, but what can I say? Keep's me off the streets :)

pancerni said...

Looks like great fun! The PK zoom rule is great for adjusting available miniatures in a collection to a specific OOB. Plus the Grant book usually gives you a range of units to choose from.

Hmmm, may try something along these lines as well. I really prefer Les Grognard as a rule set and look forward to some of your table top adventures.