Delay of service (the bad):
So far June has been slightly disappointing for me. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have the wooden floor in our flat redone, do some other remodelling work and get some new furniture. So we trashed a lot of the living room furniture, painted the living room, moved the furniture from the bedroom as well as what was left in the living to the kitchen and bathroom (including everything that was stored in those rooms), slept on an old pull-out couch in the attic for about a week while the floor was done, set up the new living room furniture (we still lack a new couch table and rug) and moved all the other furniture back where it belongs. To top everything off we had a second run of “do we really need this or can we throw it away” when putting everything back in place. We took our sweet time here. With the sudden hearing loss earlier this month, we did not want to take any chances of the situation returning (especially since doctors are still not sure yet what caused it) and made sure any stress was avoided. Under these conditions I was unable to put a single drop of paint to a mini for almost the whole of June so far, which naturally pushes my preparations for the Möckern game back from “well ahead of the timetable” to “I should still be able to pull it off”. 😦 I really hope, I can make some progress on the French infantry and push one unit out by the weekend and another before we leave for a long weekend in Edinburgh in the middle of next month.
The positive thing about this so far? Well previously we had furniture in the living room that took a lot of space, but offered little space to store things. This has now been replaced with library style cupboards. So all the novels we had stored in three rows, one behind the other, in a cupboard in the bedroom have now been moved to the living room, but more importantly… my military history library has moved from my hobby room in the cellar to our living room. Previously I often found myself too lazy to go to the cellar when I wanted to look something up, so this should be a real improvement.
But with the Möckern project nearing the end, I think it is time to look at the next one… Waterloo or rather the Hundred Days for 2015. Now this has been giving me some headaches for a while now. Obviously a bicentennial is too good to pass, so I have to do something to commemorate it, but what?
The original plan had been to do the French Cavalry charge at Waterloo, but I have given up this idea since I think it would mean too many new minis (and especially cavalry which I hate to paint) and would turn the next two years into a chore instead of fun. So I am still contemplating what to do.
I am leaning a bit against the Prussians. This game is meant to take place at Crisis in Antwerp, too and I want to avoid the appearance that I just recycled the minis from this years game. So it will most likely be the Anglo-Allied contingent.
So what are the other parameters I am looking at?
It should obviously be an interesting (or decisive) part of either the battle at Quatre Bras or Waterloo. No more than eight to twelve units per side. It could be virtually any Allied unit, since I have enough unpainted minis for British, Dutch-Belgian, Hannover, KGL or Nassau Usingen lying around. British 5th Division (or at least 9th Brigade) would be nice bit not a must. I am also intrigued by the Black Brunswickers and Ompteda´s Brigade.
I think my wish to use the 5th Division / 9th Brigade is complicating matters for me right now. I think at Waterloo they were too much in the thick of things and would feel strange in a game of my scope and going larger would break my timetable. Same applies to Ompteda. Quatre Bras should work out for the former formation, but I feel I am not really getting a feel for that part of the battle.
So… what do you think? Would the 5th Division / 9th Brigade at Quatre Bras fulfil my needs and how could it be done. Any other part of either battle that would make a good game within my scope?
In case anyone wonders… the images on this page were used with the kind permission of Stephen Stanton from the Waterloo Collection. I think his paintings are some of the nicest renditions of the battle of Waterloo. So if you are interested go and drop by. All his paintings are available as prints and some even still as originals!
June 25, 2013 at 19:19
I personally would prefer Quatre Bras, from dawn before the majority of the British arrived, giving the finger to all the lies that the Belgians and Dutch ran away….A mite political, I know, but I detest the English “Boys Own” versions of history!!! It’s a nice scenario too, having to hold the French while waiting for reinforcements to arrive….
June 25, 2013 at 19:22
I was initially thinking along the same lines. What made me wonder was the terrain, since most of them were positioned at the edge of the woods (IIRC) and I am not sure if this would give players enough room to maneuver. But it certainly is one option!
June 25, 2013 at 20:16
There is always the fight for Plancenoit, you could consider.
June 26, 2013 at 08:33
Yes, but obviously this would mean Prussians. What do people think… is another game of Prussians vs. French acceptable to host at the same show just two years later?
June 26, 2013 at 08:56
I understand your concerns re accusations of “re-cycling”, Burkhard, but why not Plancenoit? The Prussian units involved in the so-called “100” days campaign were significantly different to those who saw action at Mockern, so a fellow pedant such as you can’t simply use the same figures again! The same goes for the French units involved. There is going to be so much Anglo-centric BS in 2015 that anything which highlights the importance of the Prussian and other German units’ vast contribution to the allied victory at La Belle Alliance, is most welcome in my opinion. There are still self-styled “historians” out there who blame the Prussians for being “late” thus making the battle more difficult for Wellington!!!!
June 26, 2013 at 09:18
Tom, I think you and Loki have a point there!
I really like the Hofschroer books on the topic and how he analyses the numbers to make his point regarding the non-Britsh forces in the campaign.
I guess I will need to get the Waterloo Companion by Adkins out tonight and take another look at the what part of Plancenoit would be most interesting and which Prussian units need to be painted.
Painting some French Guard would certainly be nice, too!
June 26, 2013 at 11:01
Thanks, Burkhard. You’ll need mainly, Bulow’s IV Corps of course and, depending on precise time of action, elements of I and II Corps. I was just looking at relevant sections of Adkin on Sunday hoping to find some relevant info for my Ligny project but, naturally, he only gives stats for those units of I Corps who saw action at La Belle Alliance.
June 26, 2013 at 11:11
Tom, what do you need? The OOB Ligny? I have the Nafziger file in my iPad from the days before the Combined Arms Research Library went haywire.
If this is what you are looking for, drop me a line via the contact form and I will eMail them to you. (Your entries just connect to Facebook and do not give an eMail address.
June 26, 2013 at 14:06
Thanks, Burkhard, will do. I’m relying at the moment on Peter Hofschroer’s stats from vol 1 of his Waterloo Campaign.
June 26, 2013 at 11:04
PS I like to upset the English even further by pointing out that, if one accepts the fact that the English are really just another German tribe, it was indeed an overwhelmingly “German” victory!!!
June 26, 2013 at 23:01
Firstly I hope your flat renovations all settle down and life can resume its normal rythms in an improved domestic environment! 8O)
As for the Waterloo thing – are there any interesting what ifs on either the right or left flanks?
von Peter himself
June 27, 2013 at 09:38
Every “historical” game we play, von Peter, is a “what if”, surely?! The biggest “what if” of all is, I suppose, “what if” Grouchy had marched towards the sound of the guns?
June 27, 2013 at 09:57
Well, in a Napoleonic setting I prefer engagements that actually took place, giving players the starting forces and positions. From there on players are free to make their own decisions and mistakes.
I have taken a preliminary look at Adkins last night and I think Plancenoit might hold some options. I think the moment when the Prussians have just left the Bois de Paris and make the first engagement might be interesting (although a bit cavalry heavy on the French side and lack any Guards units) or the final assault driving the French from the southern parts of the village.
The fighting in the centre of the village might mean too many units for my scope, so I am ruling that out at the moment.
June 27, 2013 at 10:00
Well the flat is coming along nicely. Just needs the new tug and couch table in the living room and a new cabinet each in the hall and bedroom and we are done.
Well curtains are missing in the living room too, but that will be my better halfs department anyway! 😉