Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Another game using Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming


This week I thought it was high time I gave my newly painted British units their first proper battle, so I set up the 6 x 4 table, laid down some terrain and, for ease and quickness, pulled Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming off the shelf to use for the occasion.

Not really a battle report as such, but I thought I'd share some of the photos and a few notes on how it all played out. It was an enjoyable few hours, and great to get the figures out for a decent sized game. I used 16 units per side (basically doubling the size of the game recommended by the rules, which works perfectly well), with the British joining forces with their Prussian, Brunswick and Hanoverian allies.

The French were assaulting a well defended position, trying to seize a town and the adjacent crossroads.

Apologies for the photos being a bit on the dull side. The lighting wasn't great in the room on the day. In case you're wondering, the red counters represent the number of bases a unit has lost. The other coloured counters represent hits. For every 4 hits a unit sustains, it loses a base. I use the counters to keep track rather than removing bases. I'll eventually make some casualty markers to use instead, which will look decidedly better.

The French begin their advance on the left towards the town and crossroads

The French right also prepares its advance 

Brunswicker, British and Hanoverian troops on the British right

As the game progressed, I fed in the first additional troops for the French: two more line battalions and two battalions of Imperial Guard

The French negotiate the fields in front of the town. Long range artillery fire has caused casualties among the Brunswick troops at the end of the woods

French battalions engaging the Prussians

French cavalry arriving on the road leading to the town

As the battle progressed, the French left suffered in front of the defenders' heavy musketry, eventually losing its first battalion. Feeling confident, the Brunswickers advanced out of the woods to engage a unit of French conscript infantry (a move they'd later regret)

Over on the right, things were hotting up with the arrival of more Prussians, including uhlans and a battery of foot artillery

Just as the French assault was faltering, their Polish allies made a timely arrival

The French conscripts routed the Brunswickers after a fierce exchange of volleys, while the Polish troops were getting ready to try and dislodge the British and Hanoverians from the town

French heavy light and heavy cavalry move further onto the battlefield. Chasseurs and cuirassiers peel off to help support the right flank attack...

...and eventually charge the Prussian uhlans in the flank (who have just routed a French line battalion)

The cuirassiers do the same to the Prussian landwehr, who had just finished off another French battalion with a bayonet charge

Fast forward a bit, and one Polish battalion has managed to drive out the British from the town area opposite them. However, more British troops arrive in the form of light dragoons, who would go on to lose a brief clash with French cuirassiers before retreating back down the road

Polish infantry capture one half of the town

As the day wore on, a French Imperial Guard column clashes with Prussian musketeers, destroying the already weakened unit and opening up a hole in the allied line

The Prussian landwehr ended up surviving two charges by the French cuirassiers and would remain on the field until the end. The uhlans on the other hand were eventually routed by the French chasseurs.

After 16 turns of play I decided to call a halt to the battle. Although the French had finally gained a foothold in the town, their infantry had sustained too many casualties to be able to fully capture the crossroads and the other built-up area. British heavy cavalry were also threatening to overrun the French foot artillery and outflank the French left

On the French right, their infantry had been almost completely routed, with only one weakened Imperial Guard battalion remaining. The cuirassiers and chasseurs faced a wall of Prussian infantry and artillery, so could do nothing more except retire

So, a hard day's battle for both sides but the field was still in the hands of the British and their allies by the end. It was always going to be a tough objective for the French given that I didn't give them any numerical advantage, but it was a fun game nonetheless. The final number of units routed was 6 for the French and 4 for the British/Prussian. If things had gone better for the French on their right flank, it would have been a different story, but the Prussians reinforcements sooner than the French ones did, which probably was the deciding factor in the end.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

British Royal Horse Artillery


Another addition to my growing collection of British Napoleonics, this time a few bases of horse artillery. It's likely that most games I play will only use one or two bases to represent a battery, but I do like the look of three guns together.

The blue on the uniforms has turned out a bit brighter than I'd planned, although it is slightly exaggerated in the photos. Apart from that I'm pretty happy with them. I wasn't sure if the figure with his hand reseting on his sword hilt is supposed to be an officer or not, but decided to just treat him as another regular crew member.

As far as the British and Allied army goes, the collection is getting there slowly. I seem to paint in bursts with sometimes long gaps in between. Hopefully my current run of painting enthusiasm will last for a bit longer.

Here's a group shot of everything that's been painted with 1815 scenarios in mind:

I still have plenty of unpainted metal in the pile - more heavy and light cavalry, another two Highlander battalions and one of line infantry, several Hanoverian battalions, Brunswick infantry and cavalry, and various command models. I'd also like to add some Dutch-Belgian units and Nassau troops eventually. For now though, this feels like a decent playable army for the small games I generally have time and space for.

I might take a break from the painting to focus on some terrain modelling next. I have an idea to create two 2' x 2' boards for small games, and will share some photos of that if it goes to plan.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

71st Highland Regiment of Foot

I've been working on a commission over the past few weeks for some 10mm Napoleonics, so not as much painting time for my own projects, but I did manage to get this unit done - the first of the light infantry for my British 1815(ish) army. The original plan was to paint them up as the 52nd, but on a moment of impulse I decided to go the harder route and paint them up as the famous 71st. I just couldn't resist their distinctive blue bonnets and dicing.

No flag bearers in this unit, as the 71st didn't carry them on the field at Waterloo, and I wasn't able to source any flags even if I did want to add them. The officer isn't entirely correct either, since his sash isn't worn diagonally over the shoulder, but I'm not too worried about that. I couldn't find a definitive answer as to whether or not the 71st had its own pipers, and if so what tartan they would have worn. It seems plausible they did still have them at the time of Waterloo, but in any case I didn't have a spare piper model so decided not to bother anyway.

I was good to paint buff coloured crossbelts, pack straps and musket straps for a change. I found some photos of 71st re-enactors wearing belts that were a darker buff compared to the buff colour of the turnbacks, so decided to go with the darker colour, which stands out a bit better on the tabletop. The lighter buff of the collars, cuffs and turnbacks tend to look like white from a distance.

I'm quite pleased with how the blue bonnets turned out as well. I didn't want to make the blue too bright or saturated, but equally it had to be clearly different from the regular black shakos. I read somewhere that the bonnets were a dark blue, so it seemed to make sense not to paint them too bright.

All in all, a satisfying unit to have painted and added to the collection. I'm still planning on painting the 52nd eventually, especially since they did apparently carry their colours into the battle. Units always look better with flags on the tabletop!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

British foot artillery


This week I finished off the first of the artillery bases for the British. I do like the uniforms for the British artillery crew - very smart looking (and hopefully no glaring painting errors on my part...)

I was tempted to go with the a light grey for the timbers, or even the light blue-grey that you often see people use, but settled on a mid grey in the end, with just a hint of blue to it. For the guns themselves I used Foundry's 'Bronze Barrel' B and C, with a watered down wash in between of Nuln Oil. Those metallics are now my favourite for painting cannons.

I'll add more foot artillery in time, and I have some horse artillery waiting in the painting queue, but I think I'll switch over to painting more infantry next. And of course I need to get a game in at some point!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

KGL 1st Light Dragoons


I managed to get the first of the light cavalry units finished off this week for my Anglo-allied army. These are British light dragoon figures from Newline Designs painted as the KGL 1st regiment.

I have one other pack of these in the lead pile at the moment, and it's tempting to paint them as the KGL 2nd regiment since both units saw action during the 100 Days campaign, but I may go with one of their British counterparts instead and add the other KGL unit at a later date.

Next up will be one or two artillery bases I think. That should give me enough to give the British their first proper run out on the table with a small game.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

British 2nd Dragoons - Royal Scots Greys


I have a bit more spare time on my hands at the moment, so there's no excuse not to dig into the lead pile and add some more units to my British Napoleonic army. First up is the Scots Greys.

I've settled on 8-figure cavalry units these days, but may extend these out to 12 figures to match units that I painted earlier in the project. 12 figures (6 bases) do look great on the table, but 8 figures are fine and work well for games like Shadow of the Eagles and Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming.

These were good fun to paint - a solid couple of days' work, but worth the time put in. I didn't go for much variation on the horses, and held back from adding certain uniform details, but all in all I'm happy enough with how they turned out. The grey horses will certainly stand out nicely on the table.

A unit of light dragoons is next in the painting queue, and I'll see where my fancy takes me after that.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Prussian limbers

Too long since the last post (again...) but here's something I realised I hadn't yet posted any photos of - the first of some limbers for the 20mm Naps collection, in this case for the Prussians.

The set from Newline Designs actually comes with 6 horses and 3 riders, but in order to keep the footprint of the base down I decided to just use 2 riders.

Limbers never felt like a priority when I was building up the armies, but I've definitely got enough of a core collection now to afford the time to spend on the 'nice to haves' like limbers. I'll eventually add 2 or 3 limbers each for the French and Prussians. A fairly simple paint job, but definitely looks a lot better on the tabletop than using guns turned the wrong way round.

I decided against adding any traces etc to the model. What the eye doesn't see the imagination makes up for!