Category Archives: Napoleonics
So I’ve been painting 15mm Miniatures, both for Team Yankee (Modernish 1980s Israeli Defense Force) and Napoleonics (French Imperial Army)
15mm is a VERY different scale from the 28/32 mm I’m used to. It’s a bit more involved process, and it forces me to really embrace assembly line painting in a way I haven’t had to do since I gave up on Orks and Goblins.
So let’s do a bit of a hobby post. Step one for infantry (which is all I’m going to talk about today) is to get them mounted for painting. You do NOT want them on their final base as painting everything will be too difficult in close order.
So first I cut out strips of hard cardboard I clip the edges with a heavy clipper, then score along the traced line, fold and tear.
Next I glue the miniatures to the temporary base. I use Elmer’s glue for this to make it easier to remove them later. These Chaussures a Cheval are a little closer than they might be but still looking good. I did glue the riders to the mounts so that’s something I may regret later.
Here’s some pictures of infantry, cavalry and cannons mounted for painting from a previous batch. I changed the orientation of the horses and I’m NOT painting the riders like that ever again. That much I remember.
I paint entire units in a bloc. One color at a time, for the entire brigade / battery. 15mm still has a lot of small details to pick out and I spend more than a little time going back to fix mistakes and do touch up.
Then we mount them on bases, of course I forgot I don’t need 6 men for front rank of light infantry units so I have an extra base to throw around.
Then we do some basing I like the citadel texture paints for gritty mud and soil. I will probably need to find some more before the Corona days end.
Then it’s back to the Elmer’s glue, using a toothpick to spread it wherever you want grass. Then dip the whole base into a bowl of flocking, lift it up and shake/blow on it to get it all off.
I can usually get a fair amount of work done, but with the coronapocolypse going on I’m hoping to alternate a brigade of frogs and a platoon of Israelis for the next couple of weeks. I’d like to get a battalion of Israelis and a corps of French done, we shall see how it goes.
So I finished my Dragoon Brigade. I made a bit of a mistake as I don’t think a single Yellow trimmed regiment of dragoons fought in Austria in 1809. Oops. Dragoons are actually probably going to end up being my least used type of cavalry in Fields of Glory. In General d’Armee it should see a lot more use.
I also got my officers, aides and hussars, which should see a LOT of use in both games. Tomorrow I have only a couple hours of work so I’ll get my artillery knocked out.
So this will leave me with the artillery, which should be done by tomorrow night, the Legere brigade, the Hussars, and staff. All told that’s 2 brigades and the equivalent of another (with all this being in FoG:N units). After that I will be looking at a light artillery unit (3 6-8 pound guns) some artillery attachments (horse artillery!) some light infantry attachments, (skirmishers/voltigeurs) a BIG Cuirassier brigade (6 bases, with attached officer, and probably the horse artillery) 24 more bases of Ligne (6 small or 4 large units).
This will net me a pretty respectable sized corps in Fields of Glory, and a good large division in General d’Armee. I’m also looking at a couple or potentially good changes outside gaming that will let me work on the community here and have more time to run a couple towns over where there’s an established group that meets every couple of months. Currently I have the General d’Armee book, but the FoG:N 2.0 book hasn’t quite come out yet, though I’m expecting it this month. Unless it’s unreasonably delayed I should have it in hand before I can head to the established group, but either way it does look like GdA will be a better one to use even if it’s more “narrative”.
Finally I’m going to talk a little bit about some things I really like about Napoleonics and both of these rulesets. One of the most important things to me is pageantry. I loved the way the battlelines of Warhammer Fantasy looked before Geedubs nuked it. I like the way ranks of toy soldiers look on the fields, and I really love the way the uniforms of historical figures look. The rules also tend to be very mature. The outcomes they are looking to generate are very understandable and predictable, the range of acceptable results is well defined, and the mechanics relatively straightforward. This isn’t something like 40k or AoS where mechanics will be radically different, the games are meant to work in a simple, understandable way without the flash and glamor of a more sci fi/fantasy game, and I’m ok with that. I want to recreate Austerlitz and Wagram and Talavera and Vimiero and Borodino, not the Siege of Terra. I mean, I DO want to re-create the Siege of the Golden Gate at some point, it would be a lot of fun, but I want something a bit more mature and deterministic rather than demons and primarchs.
So GW has kinda pissed me off of late. Their limp, unexciting releases, stirring around with problems with the rules while not actually addressing the root causes, just trying to patch over the problems. Despite the fact that they are WAY better than they’ve ever been in a lot of ways, I just don’t feel like giving them money. Especially when I have NO idea just what the heck will happen to Dark Angels (or any non-ultramarine chapters).
So I need to find something new.
So I’ve started Napoleonics. I’ve got the wonderful AB line of 18mm miniatures, and am planning an 1809 Army Corps from the big war with Austria. I’m looking at two rule sets, Fields of Glory: Napoleonic, a more competitively oriented ruleset currently being re-written down in Oz and VERY near publication, and General d’Armee, a ruleset that’s more detail oriented and narrative in scope from what I’ve seen. My area does have a historical group, they play a lot of games in the same basement where I first rolled dice in fact. But I won’t be playing games anytime soon, building a new army takes time, and basing these and going back to paint later just isn’t practical, so I’m going to do something I rarely do, take my time, work through my pile of shame.
So I’m going to talk a bit about what’s going on here. These figures don’t go one to a base, they go on in small units. Painting them lose is… well… not happening, so I attach them to dense cardboard so that I can paint them without going crazy. Er. Crazier.
Next I’m let’s talk about what’s in the picture, bottom to top.
- Two 12 lb cannons. French Heavy Artillery
- 12 French Dragoons. French Heavy Cavalry
- 24 Voltigeurs. French Light Infantry,
- 12 Horses. 4 legs, eat a lot, die if you look at them funny it seems.
- 24 Line Infantry, 8 artillery crew.
So this is 82 figures, and costs around 70 bucks. Compare that to a 40k army and you see some of the appeal. In Fields of Glory this is between 25% and 33% of an army.
There’s some odds and ends missing but again, in Fields of Glory this is a brigade each of Line Infantry, Light Infantry, Heavy Cavalry, and Heavy Artillery, without any attachments or officers. This would be a pretty substantial mixed division, although not one that would be legal for an 1809 French Army. So let’s see what all I’ve gotten done!
This week I’m finishing the Dragoons, probably with the 11e Regiment. Green collars and Red turnbacks.
Time permitting I’ll work on the artillery and knock them out as the uniforms aren’t terribly complicated and there’s only 8 of them and 2 guns. After that it’s the light infantry and then, round one is done. Next will be some light cavalry, officers, and aides de camp.
One of the things I like a lot about historicals is I can do a unit in a week with enough dedication without too much trouble. Even at a slower rate of one every other week it’s not awful. A typical army will have between 8 and 16 units in FOG:N. The one I’ve penciled in has 11 brigades, 5 attachments (single stands that go with other units) 3 division commanders, a corps commander, and 5 aides de camp. That’s roughly equivalent to 13 units, of which I’ve nearly got 2 done. I could have it done (money and time permitting) by New Years, and certainly by my birthday.
Which leaves the “then what” and, well, there’s a couple options, first is playing with the established group, which is infrequent and a good drive away, there’s playing with local players who haven’t started yet, some locals do have armies from before coming to my area, so starting a club shouldn’t be too hard. Of course there’s also the major cons, which would be VERY nice to attend should I get the option.
Next week look forward to the rest of the dragoons and maybe some redlegs! Who won’t have red legs because the general in favor of that uniform lost. Probably why they lost the war.