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Author Topic: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project  (Read 5482 times)

Offline olicana

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New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« on: May 12, 2015, 01:04:17 PM »
It looks as though I'm finally going to take the plunge into Napoleonics. I've been casually planning this move for some time. I've started to collect a small library, and I've even read some of it so I'm not going into this completely blind (my library http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Book%20List%20-%20Napoleonic) but, I'm about to make quite a large investment in a first figure purchase and I'd like some advice from those with much more practical wargaming knowledge in this period. I don't want to overspend on stuff I will hardly ever need when, as an initial starter purchase, the money is better spent elsewhere.

The initial purchase of figures is aimed at giving me enough (when it's all painted) to fight decent sized, and interesting, games. I'm not planning to refight any particular battle, that will come later, so I'll probably paint what takes my fancy, choosing interesting divisions to base them on. It's how I did my SYW armies and that has worked pretty well.

What I'm aiming for is a balanced force with some scope for force variation when fielding armies of 13 - 18 units a side. I'm planning on a basic unit size of: infantry 24 figures; cavalry 12 figures; 2 gun batteries. The collection will be Front Rank 28mm figures because I don't trust the long term life of plastic (I think it will go brittle and break up over time? We will see if I'm right in 20 years).

Anyway, here is a list of what I'm thinking of buying as the first order for this collection.

British:

Cavalry: 1 Hussar; 2 light dragoons; 2 heavy dragoons; 1 Portugese cavalry.
Infantry: 13 British (including 1 Scots guard, 1 guard, 2 light); 5 Portugese line (including 2 light); a few dozen skirmish figures.
Guns: 1 9 pdr; 3 6 pounder (including 1 Portugese).

French:

Cavalry: 1 Hussar; 3 Chasseurs; 2 Dragoons.
Infantry: 16 infantry (including 4 light);a few dozen skirmish figures.
Guns: 1 x 12 pdr; 3  x 8 pdr.

There will be half a dozen command stands a side, I think.


As something of a novice as to what I'll actually need to game, your input would be very welcome. Looking at historical OOBs only gets you so far, and often makes me feel as though I'm chasing my own tail half the time. I'm looking for troops that will give interesting and 'historically balanced' games. If I'm too heavy or light on certain types please jump in and let me know.

This is the base order for the collection. I think, by the end, the armies will muster 24 Anglo Portugese infantry, 20 French infantry, plus 10 ish cavalry and 6 ish artillery units for each side. My table is quite large so these seem like usable overall numbers with options for variation for armies of around 24 units a side.

Thanks for looking.

James
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 09:03:58 AM by olicana »

Offline Anna Elizabeth

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Sounds like a good plan. I know you said you don't like plastics, but Perry will release plastic British Light Dragoons this year, might be worth a look? I have GW plastics that are 20 years old with no issues. :)

I'd certainly want to paint one unit as the Connaught Rangers, and the British Hussars as the 15th, and I would *have* to have a Rifles officer that resembled Sean Bean, but that's me. :)

Perhaps for later you might want a battery of Congreve Rockets? XD I think the entertainment value of a rocket battery would be high.

Good luck with your project, and let's see lots of photos! :)

Online Harry Faversham

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Don't forgot to the KGL Hussars, James. Kincaid said... 'we never batted an eye when a British Hussar came galloping in from the outposts, they galloped everywhere. But when you saw a German Hussar come galloping in you knew sharp work would soon follow!' Got to have them in yer Army, matey.

:)
"Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

"I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

Offline olicana

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I will probably paint some up as KGL units.

Offline rumacara

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Thatīs a great project and as a portuguese i have to congratulate you for the idea of including portuguese troops. They where really an important part of Wellingtons army and some regiments went to France in 1814.
If you need any help on the portuguese uniforms/units just pm me.

Online Harry Faversham

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The Duke confidently took his Portuguese soldiers into France, but sent his Spanish Allies packing! In every memoir I've read about The Peninsula Campaign, Portuguese Infantry, are always described as being as 'steady' as any Battalion of Redcoats.

:)

Offline Atheling

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James,

I think that FR would be the first port of call for you re: your painting style as there's more surface area for you to work you magic on. I don't know what time period the Calpe French fit into(?) but I suspect that they will be Late so's to fir in with the Prussians.

Crusader do early French and they do paint up so easily. It's a bit early so my thought processes haven't kicked into gear as of yet so if I think of something else I'll let you know.

Darrell.

Offline ChocTroops

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What rule set are you thinking of using? That feeds into your unit size and order of battle deployed onto the table. Your choice of 24 figures for infantry, 12 for cavalry works for most things.

I think you are a little heavy on cavalry for the allies. They didn't deploy much in the Peninsula.

Offline olicana

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 09:30:32 AM »
I have always known that I'll never be able to do whole (historical) battles on my table in 28mm at one unit to a battalion; my table is big (15' x 6') but not THAT big. So, when doing big battles in a 'home setting' how do people generally scale things? In most big ACW games I've played it has been acceptable to use a unit or two to represent a brigade. In my SYW games I generally represent a two battalion regiment with one unit (kinda half scale) and so I'm able to do battles as big as Zorndorf (which was SYW big). Given that Peninsular battles are a similar size to SYW battles, is it general practice to do a similar thing with Napoleonics - to represent a Division with half the units?

I'm asking because this might be the way to start my collection. For example, using the OOB for Fuentes de Onoro (as it has mixed Divisions) I could start with something like:

3rd Division (Picton):
1st Brigade: 1/88th foot, 1/45th foot, 2 coys 5/60th
2nd Brigade: 2/5th foot, 2 83rd foot
3rd Brigade: 9th Portuguese (1 Btn), 21 Portuguese (1 Btn)

5th Division (Erskine)
1st Brigade: 3/1st foot, 1/9th foot
2nd Brigade: 1/4th foot, Brunswick-Oels 1 coy
3rd Brigade: 3rd Portuguese (1 Btn), 15th Portuguese (1 Btn), 8th Cazadores (a few coys?)

Light Division (Craufurd)
1st Brigade: 2/43rd foot, 95th rifles (3 coys), 3rd Cazadores (3 coys?)
2nd Brigade: 1/52nd foot, 95th rifles (2 coys), 1st Cazadores (3 coys?)

etc........

Now this isn't exactly right because three doesn't divide that well by two, but it would give a structure to the army even if it wasn't exactly to scale proportionally.

Your thoughts, please.

James
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 09:56:56 AM by olicana »

Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 09:40:44 AM »
Just a thought about the plastic figures. They will be fine unless you leave them on a window sill in the sunshine  :)

cheers

James

Offline olicana

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 10:04:36 AM »
Figures stay on my table for weeks, and sometimes, especially in the summer, the table gets a lot of afternoon sun through this window (and I constantly forget to pull the blinds).


Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 12:01:12 PM »
Maybe not plastics then  lol

cheers

James

Offline Anna Elizabeth

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 12:08:23 PM »
Olicana, I think with both sides scaled the same, you've hit on a great way to make the bigger battles. I might have to steal that idea, I'm aiming more for the 100 Days with my British.

What size unit are you thinking of for a company? One stand?

Offline olicana

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 12:49:09 PM »
Hi Anna,

I'm going to go arbitrary. For infantry I'm going to go for 24 man units, two ranks deep, on 6 stands; for cavalry I'm going to go for 12 man units, single rank, on either 4 or 6 [?] stands. Frontage will probably be 20 mm per man depending on how the Front Rank cavalry sit - Front Rank 28s are somewhat chunkier than some.

I haven't a clue what rules I'm going to use, but as I'm collecting both sides, and as basing very rarely makes a difference to how 'modern stand based' rules actually play, I sure that will not be a problem.

BTW, I'm looking for relaxing / fun rules that will handle battles with 18 - 40 units a side, with plenty of period feel and no book work. My table is permanent so we don't mind playing a game over two or three, three hour sessions. Any suggestions?

Offline Anna Elizabeth

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Re: New question 13/05/15: Starting Peninsular War Project
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 01:13:58 PM »
The basing sounds similar to mine.

I'm a bit unsure as to rules as yet. I haven't had the chance to play anything yet. I love Black Powder as it stands, I have the Albion Triumphant Volume 2 supplement for the 100 Days, but I've been told BP doesn't have 'the feels' for Napoleonics. (I'm also using it for big-battle Colonial)

I love "Republic to Empire" as a book, but they suggest a *lot* of minis, like 1/10, and I can't manage that.

Shako 2 I have, but it hasn't grabbed me.

I'm thinking to trying BP, tweaking it as necessary, and I'll almost certainly play Sudan with it before I get to try the 100 Days. :)

 

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