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Author Topic: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings  (Read 651 times)

Offline Bearwoodman

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Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« on: October 10, 2021, 12:54:25 AM »
I am not a Napoleonic gamer. I have never played a Napoleonic game, I have never painted a Napoleonic figure, I don't even own a single one of the seven million different Osprey Men-At-Arms books on the period. However, when I heard about the coming release of the Silver Bayonet rules by Joseph McCullough I was intrigued because:

1.  I enjoy Frostgrave;
2.  I have fond memories of reading Sharpe books years ago;
3.  It would be an excuse to have a go at painting some of the most elegant and gorgeous uniforms ever worn by men engaged in mass slaughter

I understand each player only needs 8 figures so my plan was to buy a few sprues of skirmishers from the main combatants from ebay. Vodkafan from this forum saw my posts on Digits' impressive thread and very kindly offered to send me some surplus plastic British infantry for the cost of postage, an offer I gratefully accepted. It turned out that there were more unmade figures in the box Vodkafan sent than he realised(!), so I now have enough to build a couple of large (by my standards) units, and still have figures left over for skirmishes.  A whole battalion was not my original intention, but it seems rude not to under the circumstances.  I don't own any Napoleonic rulesets but from looking at various threads on this board it appears that 24 figures is enough for a unit. To keep the unit compact (for storage and visual reasons) I am proposing to base it on 6 45x40 bases. What I am not clear about is a sensible mix of troops (how many should be drummers, sergeants, officers etc and where should they stand) in such a unit. I have spent some time assembling some of the figures I received and here is my proposed layout:

I (now) know about flank companies, so the 4 soldiers on the right flank will be painted as Grenadiers and the 4 on the left as light company. All the soldiers in the second rank are privates with shouldered musket. In the front rank the figures will be as follows:

Grenadier private, Genadier officer, line private


Line private, standard bearer, drummer


Line officer, standard bearer, line private


Line sergeant, light company private, light company private

Does that sound sensible?  Any other comments or tips?
I am not going to be obsessive about historical accuracy as none of my regular gaming mates have a clue about this sort of stuff, but it is interesting and I might as well get it vaguely right if I can.
The figures are Victrix. Anyone know why the flank company sprues include a pose with the musket over the right shoulder (all the other shouldered muskets are on the left)?

Online Cat

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    • Goblinhall
Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 01:31:51 AM »
Welcome to the wonderful world of Napoleonic uniforms!
 
Huh, no clue off-hand why the off-hand musket shouldering...

The balance of your troop types sounds good.  Although that's only particularly relevant in larger scale games where each stand represents a company or battalion.

It's not a bad way to approach making figures for The Silver Bayonet, what we know about the rules so far is that players will have a lot of freedom in choosing the types of characters for their squad.  They don't even have to be from the same army — could be a band of deserters or whatnot that have grouped up for survival.  The game is pitched for gamers who don't want to get too deeply involved in historical accuracy (if they don't want to...).

This preview video has the most comprehensive details that have been teased so far:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc3Ne12JGlY&ab_channel=WargamesIllustrated

You'll find some other threads on this game under Gothic Horror — this is one of those cross-topic ones.  Uniform questions are probably best asked here under Nappies though, as you did.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 01:36:02 AM by Cat »

Offline vodkafan

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 06:19:29 AM »
Bearwoodsman, you got those made up quick, well done. ;)
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 500+
figures painted: 57
9 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline Digits

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 07:18:15 AM »
Typically in minis I’ve bought…the right shoulder musket is carried by sergeants so probably the same here.

I don’t get too hung up on the exact compositions and ratios of officers etc as scaling to 24 minis makes it impossible to get it exact….so often I just do what I think looks right.   

My advice is to paint them up whilst you consider basing as its clearly easier to paint individually for now.  I’m looking forward to seeing them come together.  ;)

Join the BEST regiment in the army of Parliament and fight the length and breadth of these fair isles!

http://www.earlofmanchesters.co.uk

Offline Bearwoodman

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2021, 09:50:32 AM »
Thanks all!

@Cat - Silver Bayonet does sound interesting and assuming the game is actually fun (no reason to think otherwise at the moment) I can see it drawing a few other fantasy gamers to the period. I will probably start a separate thread for it on the Gothic Horror board as I also have a few unpainted horror figures that might fit (vampires, mummy's, frankenstein's monster etc) which definitely do not belong on this board! The figures I have put together so far are not actually for Silver Bayonet, though. I quite fancy simply the painting challenge of a traditional Napoleonic unit of men standing shoulder to shoulder, standards fluttering in the breeze, awaiting a command. There is no definite prospect of them being used in a game, but if they are set up vaguely historically and in a basing format used by at least some others who game this period, who knows what will happen in the future? Once these 24 are done I will still have plenty of other guys to assemble/kitbash for Silver Bayonet.

@vodkafan - there is still a long way to go before these men are finished, but a start has been made!

@Digits - Good idea, I will paint them individually (in batches) before basing. Thanks for the tip on the Sergeant - would he carry his musket on his right shoulder and his spear thing on his left? (not sure how he would use either effectively like that). Or do Sergeants carry either a spear or a musket?

Offline IronDuke596

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 99
Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 12:42:52 PM »
Welcome to the wonderful world of Napoleonics.  A sergeant with a musket is likely to be from the light company as line and grenadier company sergeants carried a pike and wore a sword. Your 40mm by 40mm stands are ideal to represent a four man British company. I use 30mm by 40mm depth to represent shoulder to shoulder spacing but that is a personal preference. May I suggest for your command stand to use the two ensigns colour bearers (regimental and king's colours) in the front rank, a drummer and an officer or sergeant in the second rank. Another suggestion is to mount the light company figures on individual figure bases so that thy may deploy as skirmishers.
Good luck on your project.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2021, 07:30:29 PM »
Great stuff mate!

You might want to look into Sharp Practice (by Too Fat Lardies) as a nice middle ground game between The Silver Bayonet and the bigger Napoleonic battle games. It would suit your model count nicely. Individual figures on 25mm round bases should work well for both The Silver Bayonet and Sharp Practice (or Muskets and Tomahawks, a game with some similarities to Sharp Practice)… then you could use sabot movement trays for the bigger Napoleonic battle games to get the required square unit bases.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 07:33:28 PM by Grumpy Gnome »
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Offline Bearwoodman

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2021, 10:08:46 PM »
@IronDuke596 - Thanks a lot for that, by chance the one figure I built with his musket on his right shoulder was provisionally placed in my Light Company so he can stay there and be the Sergeant! I cannot see any molded rank insignia on the arm, presumably I need to paint some stripes on his sleeve? (I am beginning to think I might need to buy one of those Osprey books after all!)

Your basing suggestion is one I will consider - I like the more densely packed look of the 15mm frontage per figure. I have  a question about your command stand suggestion, however: if I have a 24 man unit comprising 6 bases, each with 4 figures, and I have a single four man command base, won't that mean that when the unit is in line the command stand is not quite in the centre of the unit? I had anticipated that the drummer, officer and colour bearers would be split between the two central bases. Is it useful for some rules for the command figures to be on a single base?

@Grumpy Gnome - thanks for the rules suggestions, I have not played either of the games you mention but I will take a look and it is good to know there are games for collections of every size! I don't want to get too ahead of myself, though. I need to paint some figures first! P.S. I will be following your blog with interest to see how you get on with Silver Bayonet!

Offline IronDuke596

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2021, 08:55:27 PM »
Re a 24 man unit, if your light company is part of a brigade skirmish screen (as was frequently the case in the Peninsular War) then you are down to 20 figures on five company bases, which means your command group is in the center. Otherwise yes it off center, which is not a big issue AFIAC. There is nothing wrong with what you propose and I know of no rule set that would make this set up problematic. The only downside is when the battalion is in column, the colours will be in two different companies and offset from each other. There are many gamers that standardize their battalions at 24 figures and ignore the actual OOB numbers. To each his own.

I number my battalion companies for the order of battle for a particular battle. So, my battalions can be anything from 12 to 52 figures. The main thing is to keep your company sizes consistent, which for me is four per for the British and six per for the French and others.

Eventually, when you have enough standard sized battalions companies you could utilize additional yellow faced companies from another battalion to beef up another yellow faced  battalion to more than 24 figures depending on the battle scenario OOB. I hope this helps.

Offline Bearwoodman

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2021, 10:55:04 PM »
@IronDuke596 - Thanks, that makes perfect sense and is very helpful. I will follow your company basing advice. Now I better get on and paint some figures!

Offline Huggy

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 06:16:28 AM »
Sharp Practice by Toofatlardies was inspired by Sharpe (hence the name). It is a fun ruleset for black powder era skirmishes which focuses on a handful of 'Big Men' ordering around grunts. The Silver bayonet models would make excellent Big Men for Sharp Practice. You'll find quite a few youtube vids if you want to take a look.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2021, 07:30:47 AM »
Sharp Practice by Toofatlardies was inspired by Sharpe (hence the name). It is a fun ruleset for black powder era skirmishes which focuses on a handful of 'Big Men' ordering around grunts. The Silver bayonet models would make excellent Big Men for Sharp Practice. You'll find quite a few youtube vids if you want to take a look.

I think The Silver Bayonet and Sharp Practice will fit together nicely. At least I hope so!

For an entertaining example of how Sharp Practice can lead to narrative gaming…

https://cerromanteca1811.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/first-blog-post/

Online Cat

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    • Goblinhall
Re: Bearwoodman's Napoleonic Blunderings
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 01:42:25 PM »
Another fun entry in the skirmishy end is the Shakos & Bayonets supplement for Muskets & Tomahawks.

 

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