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Generic French Ligne battalion

Well, so I finally managed to finish these after all.

What can I say about these. Well first of all I plan to use these as a stand in for a marine artillery battalion at Möckern. As I said before, there is very little use for these men (marine artillery that is) outside this battle. So the three battalions already painted will be the maximum for me and the other six battalions will be served by stand ins.
Which is just as well. With the standardisation of the French uniforms during the later parts of the Napoleonic wars, the only difference between one unit and he other are the inscriptions on their flags. So having a generic battalion of Frenchmen comes in handy.
These Calpe minis here are just perfect for a generic unit. First of all their greatcoats swollow up what little difference there might be in uniform. The other thing is, that they come with flags and fannions covered up in oilskin. This easily masks the last destinguishing mark of the unit. Usually I would have removed these and replaced them with proper GMB flags (after all Napoleonics are about splendor, right!), but in this case I was just fine with that and kept them this way.
What else is there to say about these? Well as usual I loved to paint these. The detail of the Calpe minis is just great, as is the quality which makes the a joy to paint. While I keep repeating myself in this regard, I really mean it and I have to say with the Calpe French range expanding, I already regret having so many I unpainted Perrys lying around. (Face it… The animation on the Perrys is great and they are almost as detailed, but the casting quality is abysmal.)

Anyway, on to the paintjob itself. As usual I went for a muddied “on campaign” look, with greatcoats and trousers of different colours to represent men that had been everywhere for Napoleon and had to take what they could get, to replace lost items.
I painted stands for the Voltigeurs, Grenadiers and first to third companies. Right now I only need small 400 men battalions as stand ins, so this is enough. When done with the Möckern preparations, I shall return to these and paint them another stand for the 4th company to bring them to the average strength for the period I am playing, but this is the existence they will need to lead right now. So on to the minis themselves:

Generic French Battalion (frontal view)

Generic French Battalion (frontal view)

Voltigeurs

Voltigeurs

Command - 1st Company

Command – 1st Company

2nd Company

2nd Company

3rd Company

3rd Company

Before anyone mentions it. Yes, I know the Pom Pom colour for 3rd Companies should be rather a pinkish red. Not sure why I went for yellow here. I will change that soon.

Grenadiers

Grenadiers

Generic French Battalion (march collumn)

Generic French Battalion (march collumn)

Now those remembering my last post will ask “what will we see next and when?”.
Well in recent days I felt like I have gotten over my painters block. But you will not see anything new from me till late August at the earliest. We will be off to a three week hiking and festival trip to Scotland and Wales soon. After all the stress of recent months, I really feel I can use it! So if you see someone who looks like a Wargamers happy to unwind on a Ben or Munro in Scotland, up on Mount Snowdon or at the 40th anniversary concert of one of my favourite bands (Runrig)… say hi! 😉 When I return, there will hopefully be pictures of the next French unit, those riverboards I have bee working on or even better… another game report!

Take care!

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The bad, the good and help required to make plans for 2015

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 good:

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.

2015 plans:

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.

Mercer´s Battery (Series 3, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

Mercer´s Battery
(Series 3, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

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.

Ompteda´s Doom (Series 3, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

Ompteda´s Doom
(Series 3, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

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?

La Haye Sainte (Series 4, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

La Haye Sainte
(Series 4, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

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!

 
 

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Birthday giveaway

As announced in a recent post, I was going to do a birthday give-away on this blog.

So what are we celebrating? Well, three things actually. For one this blog turned two last month. Second this blog reached 150 followers (actually this figure was actually breached this week, so welcome to the two newest followers). Third we breached 150.000 hits. So with three such benchmarks within 1 1/2 weeks I feel it is time for a giveaway.

Wappen (groß)

So what is up for grabs?

Well as some of you may have noticed this blog is mainly about historical wargaming. You may also have realized that for me, historical wargaming is not just about taking stats out of a rulebook or army book, but about getting a feel for the background and understanding the history behind it. Obviously one needs to do some historic research for that and for me, the best thing to do that are still old-fashioned books. So I am giving away books and in this case from my most played eras. So in historical order:

First up there is “1815, The Waterloo Campaign, The German Victory” by Peter Hofschröer. (Paperback, read once in good condition). I like Hofschröers books. They are off the beaten track when it comes to the Waterloo campaign. since they do not just focus on the view of things based on Wellingtons memoirs, but try a broader approach. Especially taking into account the German perspective of things. I often feel that this makes sense, since the majority of Allied troops actually came from Prussia, Hannover and Brunswick or in other words… what is now Germany. The nice thing about this particular book is, that it also goes into what happened after Waterloo when the Allies marched on Paris.

1815, The Waterloo Campaign, The German Victory, Peter Hofschröer

1815, The Waterloo Campaign,
The German Victory
Peter Hofschröer

Up next is “The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Volume II: The Americans” by Roland Gaul. (Hardcover, unread [for some reason I bought this one twice, so I am giving away the mint one]). Gaul, a historian from Luxembourg , covers the events from the American perspective, breaking the events down to into small actions. The book is ripe with first person accounts and photographs. I think this offers great ideas for skirmish games set during the Battle of the Bulge.

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Vol. II, Roland Gaul

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Vol. II
Roland Gaul

Up last is “American Soldiers” (Paperback, unread). This one features excerpts from a number of books outlining the actions of American elite forces during the last two decades. While not a coherent book, this should also give people a good inspiration for small unit actions.

American Soldier

American Soldier
[various authors]

Now what do you have to do to get into the draw?

  1. Comment on this post If you prefer one of the above books above, mention it. If it is still available at the time your name gets drawn, it is yours.
  2. Be a subscriber to this blog. There are essentially four ways to do this. (i) If you have a WordPress account you can follow this blogs, via WordPress. (ii) You can subscribe via eMail (first option from the top on the right). (iii) Or you can be part of my Facebook friends list. (iv) The fourth option is to have this blog on your blogroll on your own blog (I know there are people who follow blogs that way). You need to be a subscriber at the time of the draw obviously, but I would be happy if you remained one after it, too!
  3. You do not need to post about this give-away on your blog. But if you do, you get a second ticket in the draw.

And this is it. The draw will be held on the 12th of this month 0800h CET, so make sure you toss your hat in the ring by that time! Good luck!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Books, General, Historic research

 

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