Aug 21, 2017

Peninsular War - Spaniards vs. French


For either lack of interest or determination, we kept delaying a Napoleonic game for a while. To keep my mind off other pressing matters, I finally sat down, wrote two scenarios, and set up a table - the first scenario was selected, a battle in the Spanish hills between a French and a Spanish division. I did not regret my choice as this became a very entertaining game, full of twists of fortune.

The rules are the amended Victorious Eagle Warfare set.

Aug 18, 2017

Expansion Plans

Following the previous post (and there's more in the making with pretty pictures), I have checked the Pile, and decided that the following things must happen with the Napoleonic collection:

Austrians: more artillery - basically any artillery would do. The HäT sets are and obvious choice; another, less obvious one is the Italeri French Guard Artillery (the Esci remake) - the figures need bicornes, but the Gribeauval guns may pass as Austrian.

French - I have one more unit's worth of Italeri figs, should swell the ranks of the line. No big plans here.

Russians - I will be able to complete two units of Opolchenie, two units of Jäger, a six-figure Guard Lancer group from the Pile, and may use the Italeri French hussars both as Russians and Hungarian Insurrectio with some minor inaccuracies nobody will be able to identify from a distance. Of course the Italeri riders have flat-top shakos, so they will be more suitable for the 1805-7 period. 
My plans still include purchasing the Zvezda foot artillery box, and I'd like to see some dragoons as well.

Spanish - the same as before, grenadiers and cazadores once I have the reserve money and patience - it may require time.


Aug 17, 2017

A Napoleonic Overview

For the lack of a better post, here's the list of all the Napoleonic figures which I have completed to date (or are in the making).

Here's a few remarks before we start:
  • All armies need more artillery for a decent grand-tactical game.
  • The Austrians are the most numerous (if we count the French only by themselves, and do not include their allies), which is good.
  • The British army is really not in my interest, so it is as it is.
  • The French have the most cavalry, but perhaps too many reserve formations (and I've just bought some Grenadiers á Cheval).
  • As you can see, after a while I was quite fed up with all the French infantry in blue, so I added a lot of allied infantry to the mix. I think it was a good decision - different uniforms help differentiate between raw and experienced units, while adding visual variety to the wargames table.
  • I was surprised at how small the Russian army is, even with the militia boost they received. Of course there is little chance the entire thing would be fielded at once. I'm on the hunt for the Zvezda foot artillery.
  • The Spaniards are really a pet project, I should add more light infantry and grenadiers, but that's it.
  • It seems that my original plan to use 6- and 10-figure cavalry units has paid off, as I can field more units and the infantry/cavalry ratio is usually right, not so much on the individual army level, but across the entire collection.



Aug 13, 2017

Light cavalry


As soon as I could gather enough painted figures for two or three posts, all the rechargeable batteries in the household ran out. I could snap six photos of these, and after ditching half of them, I came up with this post here.


You can see a unit of Spanish hussars (Zvezda Prussians) on the director's left, and Hungarian Insurrectio (Italeri French hussars on Esci horses) on the right.

Aug 5, 2017

Augmentations to 'Victorious Eagle Warfare'

Two modifications I thought about are attached artillery and reactions. 

The idea with the first one is that activating attached artillery diminishes the rule that only the same type of units may be activated on one command. 
Attached artillery - I suspect it would be only one base - may be activated alongside infantry and cavalry formations, and of course should shoot, move and reload regardless of what the other units in the group are doing. 
This would give a more integral feeling to the game, instead of having to activate detached batteries and sacrificing the momentum of the infantry and cavalry - artillery should be used as an offensive weapon, and not something to pelt the enemy with from a safe distance.
By extension, this also means that artillery should not be completely defenseless against melee attack - I'm still thinking about an elegant solution, as it should also be the duty of the units in the brigade/division to keep their guns safe.

Giving the players a chance to react means taking control of a risky situation by sacrificing their available Command pool for their coming turn. One die or command card may be played immediately to react to enemy advance or shooting. The idea is that the crisis has gained the commander-in-chief's attention, while the rest of the field is ignored - a card or die that could otherwise activate two or three units is played to control a single one. This may be limited, so as not to tamper with the IGOUGO system too much, to one, two, or half of the available Command dice or cards.
It is an automatic success if we use dice activation, unless the unit is untrained, in which case it must pass the command test. For example, if the opponent declares a cavalry charge, a reliable infantry formation may form square instead of waiting to be caught in the flank. 
Reacting to enemy fire with counter-fire means that the effects are applied simultaneously, and both units could rout as a result. 
This, as a movement (re)action, could potentially allow shaken units to retire before they are destroyed, with the added difficulty that they must show their backs to the enemy.

I may also be able to bridge the two points together, and state that an artillery unit that's charged may fire canister as a reaction (if the guns are loaded).

By the way, I'm steadily increasing my painted Napoleonic forces, and if the summer heat allows, I'll be able to play a game this weekend.

Jul 30, 2017

General Ktoplowski's Polish Brigade


A rather tasteful array of Polish arms: a dozen Uhlans and two groups of infantry. The title of course refers to Polish players proudly declaring "KTO PL" in every online multiplayer game.
The muster contains the following:
  • six Zvezda Polish Guard Lancers
  • six Vistula Legion horse
  • A 16-figure unit of GD of Warsaw infantry
  • A unit of Vistula Legion foot

Jul 27, 2017

Spanish reinforcements


Not strictly related to the 1809 project, I received a box of HäT gunners as part of a trade deal, to be used as Spaniards. While at it, I found some of the venerable Italeri Prussian Cuirassiers - the best multi-purpose set in my opinion; and then some Zvezda Prussian hussars which were used in one game then set aside for good. 
I stripped the hussars of their previous Prussian garments, and sculpted tarletons on the Italeri horsemen - after some strenuous work I had a unit of mounted Cazadores and Infanta hussars.

Jul 23, 2017

Rock On!


You might have noticed that I've used little pieces of rock on my bases for decoration. This required some organizing, and this plastic box came in handy. Various colored stones are put in separate compartments. There are a few pieces of clam shell and various eclectic rocks as well.

Jul 20, 2017

From the fringes of the Empire


This is the final batch of HäT figures, and then some Italeri hussars on Zvezda horses. As mentioned before, the Grenz are actually 1806 Prussian fusiliers, and the line infantry and Insurrectio is 1805 Russians in flat-top shakos, with the big plumes cut off.