Friday, February 7, 2014

The Napoleonic Wars In A Box

I apologize to all faithful readers who might have been in a frenzy of suspense at the end of my last post.   What was in the effing box, at least one of you asked?  A short story follows.

Some weeks back, there was a brief flurry of activity on the Yahoo list dedicated to Too Fat Lardies’ Napoleonic rules, Le Feu Sacre.  A number of the list members were talking about moving on to other Napoleonics rules and playing in bigger scales.  There was talk of people selling off their collections.   Well, last year I made some tentative steps to get into this period, ordering a small number of French 6mm figures from Baccus.  I painted some artillery up and then a move and other things distracted me.   It dawned on me that this would be a very slow way to get into this period, even at a small affordable scale.

So I made some inquires on the LFS Yahoo list, and a gentleman in Texas got back to me promptly.  He had a large collection of 6mm figures, all by Adler, all painted to a decent standard, a good mix of French, Austrian and Russian.  Was I interested?  With Mrs. Padre’s blessing, we haggled a bit, agreed on a prize, and after several weeks, the mailman staggered up our snowbound street, as seen here from our kitchen window.  Yes, it’s a white hell out there, and God bless the posties who go out in this lot.  At least, they will for a few more years, until the government  sacks them all and makes us walk through Canada’s weather to pick up our mail at so-called "super boxes".  Yes, mail delivery to the door is going the way of the penny.  But I digress.

The box I showed last night contained a mess of styrofoam peanuts, nestled in which were these ten smaller boxes.

 

I haven’t opened all ten of the boxes yet, but here are the contents of a few.  I was pleased at how carefully the vendor had packed them, and how well they survived the shipment.

Napoleonics, Mr. Rico!  Zillions of them!

They keep coming!

Now here’s the rub.  I love this era but haven’t really been to school in it.  I know a little about the French and British armies, but that’s about it.   I have what I am led to believe is a good reference book en route, but I don’t know a lot about the French and their eastern adversaries.   For example, these fellows.

Chaps on the left are obviously French.  White trousers, blue coats, shakos with the red cords and whatnots on them.   Mais oui, certainment, ils sont francais.  Mais les autres?  Light blue pants and grey coats?  I am guessing they’re Austrians?  Help?

Clearly many days of sorting these chaps lay ahead of me.   Then will come some big decisions.   Since they are all based in small groups, will I rebase them, or at least, combine these small bases into larger, brigade sized stands?  I’ve had a look at the Baccus rules and the larger, Corps d’Armee set favours big bases.  That might be easier and would prevent wear and tear on the figures.  And I’ll need more scenery as well, as what the sum total of my 6mm scenery are two Baccus models, both quite nice.   I also don’t see as many cavalry as I would like, so that will be an ongoing project.   One can’t do Napoleonics without hordes of cavalry running amuck.

This will be an exciting project, to be sure.  Expect me to post more pictures of these little fellows and requests for IDs quite often.  

Zut alors, this is exciting!

 

28 comments:

  1. The French look like Grenadiers, as for the other figures, are they grey? they look brown?? If they are grey they'll be a Hungarian unit in the Austrian army.

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    1. Thanks Ray. Very helpful. And you're right, those coats do look brown. I see your knowledge isn't just confined to those 17th century fellows with the floppy hats. :)

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  2. The right are Hungarian Grenzer types I guess

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    1. Thanks Jacko. I must say I like your blog!

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  3. Look very good for 6mm stuff Michael!

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    1. Thanks Rodger. They do look fine, don't they? And more or less comparable to my painting style in this period, such as it is. :)

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  4. Nice collection Padre - an excellent way to get going in Nappies. Rather than rebasing them, maybe you could try using the small bases on larger sabot bases?

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Tamsin. I need to do some research on sabot bases before I buy into your idea ... I should check our Warbases. Any other thoughts?

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  5. Well, if you like arguing, Napoleonics should keep you happy for the rest of your natural! ou'll certainly have plenty to read and chew over anyway.

    If I wasn't already up to my eyeballs in 15mm stuff, I'd go for 6mm too for this period to give what I fell is the main attraction of grand battles. If you haven't already seen it, have a look at Steve Jones' blog (http://paintingshed.blogspot.co.uk/) which has some nice 6mm Napoleonic stuf n it and might give you a few ideas. He's also got some quick play rules there too.

    BTW, I agree with Jacko: those figures on the right are probably from one of the two Warasdiner Grenz Regiments.

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    1. Thanks for the unit ID and for the blog recommendation, Gary. Steve's blog is inspiring, and I'm now a follower. I'll be sure to go book for a longer look.
      I agree that Napoleonics is probably the haven for gamers who like debates, since it's just modern enough to have data and sources, but far enough back in time that we can argue the sources six ways to Sunday. I suspect only Ancients gamers have more fun, since their sources are scant by comparison.

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  6. Mike
    Good decision! You made a quick stride into this period and achieved what through "organic growth" wouldn't have reached in years,

    I have plenty of 20mm and some 28mm, love the period but haven't found yet a set of rules that I really like. I will read with interest your comments on this issue. And I agree with Tasmin that a avery good alternative to rebasing is using sabots, specially of you are still testing what set of rules you will use.

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    1. I agree, Benito. Getting these fellows ready to game with will take a long time, but not nearly long enough as "organic (or in my case, geological time) growth".
      Do you have any suggestions as to a manufacturer of sabot bases?

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  7. Nice haul and they look like Austrian Grenz to me

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  8. The suspense is over! These look really nice, a good find. Despite being a lifelong 28mm player, me and Kieran are toying with the idea of getting into grand strategy games like this.

    And - 'super boxes'? Ach, bad enough for anyone but with snow like you chaps get, I hope the government are prepared for a rise in cases of the 'flu from intrepid wargamers trekking with 30lbs of lead on your back - although I bet you're used to it.

    And - a Starship Troopers fan? Only my all-time favourite book and best description of military life I think I've ever encountered!

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    1. Superboxes show up in parts of the Dominion of Canada and are actually not a bad way to get a bit of exercise and meet the neighbours. However, for most of the last ten years I've had mail delivered to my door and it spoils you.
      Someone in the Canadian Army once did a recommended reading list on leadership, and it included Heinlen's Starship Troopers. It works well as a primer of leadership and the infantry mindset, less well, IMHO, when people try to read it as a blueprint for an ideal society.

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  9. Phew - I'm glad the wait is finally over. Looks well worth it though!

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  10. Wow! That is a sizable score! I imagine all of the fun you will have sorting, counting, organizing, and basing your newly gained hordes.

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    1. It should keep me occupied for some time - if dithering indecisively counts as being occupied.

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  11. Mike
    I agree that the chaps in brown are Austrian Grenzers. The chaps in blue might be french, but could also be Prussian since that they lack the white lapels of the French uniform.
    Enjoy the toys
    What no 6mm moose?
    Cheers, PD

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    1. Grenzers it is. I don't think there were any Prussians in the mix.
      Sadly, no 6mm meeses. Or moose butts.

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  12. Sweet! Looking forward to bashing each other about with these armies I must say. Like you, love Napoleonic history etc. but so far my attempts to get into it have been less than successful. Keith also has 6mm Naps so you may want to confer with him.
    I have a couple of books I could loan as well.

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  13. Those unidentified dudes' identity may depend upon whether their coats are grey or brown. They could be Grenz (specifically the 6th [Warisdiner-St Georger] Regiment), but they might equally well be Landwehr, Frei-korps or Hungarian Insurrecto troops. Mind you, these guys present a more uniform appearance than most of the Landwehr types, and the brown coat could have faded to a greyish colour, depending upon the fastness of the dye. Of course if the grey really represents a well-worn and dirtied up white coat, you might be looking at the other Warisdiner unit, the 5th [Warisdiner-Creuzer].

    Over to you... :-)

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  14. Actually upon a closer dekko I reckon those jackets are brown. Warisdiner-St Georger Grenz Infantry for mine.

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    1. Blimey, not just Grenzers, but the 6th Grenzers of the Warisidiner-St. George? How am I expected to learn all this stuff? :)

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    2. You don't need to learn this stuff. Just know where to look it up. :-) Or know someone who knows where to look it up... :-) :-)

      Speaking of which, that other stand I am certain is French, and not, say, Prussian. The red pom-poms and shako cords suggest grenadiers, but they need not be - they could almost equally well be line infantry. When you sort through all these dudes and look at the differences in some of the details like plumes and cords and such (a chore if your eyesight is dodgy) and see how many you have of each. Yellow and/or green plumes or pom-poms signify light infantry (chasseurs-a-pied or voltigeurs). Those you designate chasseurs you could realistically treat exactly the same way as your common garden line infantry; leaving skirmishing duties to your voltigeurs (all this sort of think depends on the rule set you're using).

      Those are very nicely painted figures in that scale - You'll get a lot of mileage out of them!
      Cheers,
      Ion

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  15. Very nice. Enjoy your new miniatures. I really wanted to do LFS in 6mm myself and never finished painting my napoleonics. Your way is more efficient, I think.

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  16. What a treasure trove! I'd be hard pressed to sort them but this will be a treat when you do finish. I've seen some really clever basing in 6mm. The result on a tabletop is quite impressive. And with the snow, there isn't much to distract you at night, save the shoveling.

    Good luck!

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