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"What is So Great About Napoleonics?" Topic

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13 Dec 2017 1:24 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 May 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

Napoleonics is far more popular than gaming other wars in the same time frame (such as American Civil War). What makes it so popular for you?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 1:53 p.m. PST

Cool looking ships
Heroic naval commanders
The romance of sail

14Bore24 May 2017 2:07 p.m. PST

Uniforms, lots of countries to pick from to build armies.Still basic weapons ( smooth bore small arms and cannons, swords, lances)

tigrifsgt24 May 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

Being able to paint hundreds of figures exactly the same way.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

Great diversity in uniforms.

zoneofcontrol24 May 2017 3:17 p.m. PST

The camaraderie shared by close friends discussing the correct equipment and colors of uniforms.

Hannibus24 May 2017 3:18 p.m. PST

I like the idea of ranked combat, even into the age of gunpowder. Uniforms can be really unique as well.

Still like the ACW more, but being a southerner has a lot to do with that.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP24 May 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

Great diversity in the types of troops, both foot and mounted-- just one of the many reasons.

Russ Dunaway

rvandusen24 May 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

Uniforms and "rock, scissors, paper" armies. Everyone looks different, but they're pretty much using the same equipment and similar organizations.

cavcrazy24 May 2017 3:31 p.m. PST

The look of hundreds of beautifully painted figures with a high gloss covering a table……Stunning.

Winston Smith24 May 2017 3:37 p.m. PST

If you have to ask…..

But don't ask me. I started and sold off 15mm British Napoleonics twice. I did it to be social with the groups I was in and got bored by them and went on to other stuff I was really interested in.

wrgmr124 May 2017 3:52 p.m. PST

I'm with rvandusen, rock, paper, scissors, and lots of great looking uniforms. It looks fantastic on the table.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 3:55 p.m. PST

After beginning with AWI and ACW in later grade school, I discovered Napoleonic warfare in high school. The balance, as I see it, of horse foot and gun requires a commander to carefully put together the battle tactics. Larger armies required more flexibility in tactics. It is still somewhat formalized like earlier musket wars but has more variety in troop types and formations on the battlefield.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

The people of the era. There are sooooo many stories
which have naught to do with fighting or diplomacy, but
are absolutely fascinating.

One of my favorites is Henry Paget, Lord Uxbridge (of
'By God sir, I've lost my leg' fame). Paget was married
and the father of 8 children. Nonetheless, he eloped
in 1809 with Lady Charlotte Wellesley, who was at the
time married to the Iron Duke's brother, Henry.

That led to a pistol duel at Wimbeldon, Paget against
Colonel Henry Cadogan (the Lady's brother and there are
sure a lot of Henrys in this tale).

Anyway, Cadogan missed and Paget refused to return fire.
Wellington was ordered to take Paget to France in 1815
and did so, but objected.

Lots of wonderful historical personages and great
stories in the Napoleonic era.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut24 May 2017 4:37 p.m. PST


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

In some ways, ultimate in miniature warfare--a great variety of uniforms, organizations, tactical systems. A critical piece of history, and it plays well at multiple levels with lots of historical engagements to choose from at each level. By the Second Empire, tactical options are fewer and wars less well known. And forward of Second Empire, you sink into dismounted cavalry, cased colors and "uniforms the color of mud."
You really can command armies--as opposed to just pointing them in the right direction--and historically important battles are still small enough to be visible on a tabletop.

I've built a lot of armies and Lord willing will build more. But my first army--and I expect my last army will be smoothbore muzzle-loaders in bright uniform coats with standards unfurled. There's nothing else like them.

USAFpilot24 May 2017 4:41 p.m. PST

Big difference between Napoleonic and ACW warfare; a lot changed in the half century between the two. Napoleonics has a balance between infantry, cavalry, and artillery. By the time of the civil war we have replaceable parts, better guns, mass transportation in the form of rail, mass communication in the form of the telegraph. The ACW generals learned that Napoleonic tactics no longer worked. Near the end of the ACW, we see battle fields that foreshadow WW1 with long rows of trenches. Rifled barrels, breach loaded weapons with faster rates of fire advanced the defensive versus the Napoleonic bayonet charge. No longer a need for infantry to form square. Cavalry used on the flanks and as scouts, but no longer main battlefield role. Cavalry as a whole was on the decline and artillery was on the rise.

Nine pound round24 May 2017 5:05 p.m. PST

War was cruel and glorious, but not yet cruel and squalid.

Bandolier Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 5:21 p.m. PST

Mainly because of the hats.

Sobieski24 May 2017 5:28 p.m. PST

Poor relation of SYW.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 5:42 p.m. PST

The Spanish, and the Austrians, and the Russians.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

Bright uniforms & the knowledge enough distance (historically) that the wars are not remembered as the inhumane slaughter of (for example) World War I.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 6:19 p.m. PST


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2017 7:18 p.m. PST

So much more fun to paint than ACW!

And so many more armies to choose from.

21eRegt24 May 2017 7:26 p.m. PST

Fascinating personalities, dynamic change, return to the old ways, huge battles with colorful armies, beautiful ships from 120 gunners down to cutters, beginning of modern war and the rise of nationalism. What's not to like?

KSmyth24 May 2017 8:06 p.m. PST

Because the War of 1812 is related to the Napoleonic Wars, and I can stake a minor claim.

attilathepun4724 May 2017 8:29 p.m. PST

1. Virtually every nation in Europe (plus some of their colonies) involved at one time or another, so many choices for an army.

2. More than twenty years of nearly uninterrupted warfare with a huge number of historically significant battles to refight or serve as inspiration for hypothetical games.

3. Only insignificant differences in weapons ranges and rates of fire between nations, therefore simpler game combat charts and a more even chance between opposing forces of similar size.

4. Because of short weapon ranges and close-order tactics, a large battle can be gamed on a reasonably sized table area.

5. An interesting variety of unit types and colorful uniforms to choose from.

6. Although uniforms evolved during the wars, there was no important change in weaponry and only moderate evolution in tactics and organization, so a gamer with strict limits on time and/or money can build a force and use it for battles throughout the period, if not too fussy about trivialities in uniform details.

Marc the plastics fan24 May 2017 9:18 p.m. PST


Leaders – Murat especially

Perceived glamour of the period (a combination of the first two)

Great figure availability

Airfix, Esci, Italeri, HaT, Zvezda, ACtA, Strelets and Franznap – all have made wonderful figures to enable pretty much every nation and every day it to be recreated

Waterloo – the books and films

Humbrol Authentic colours – the Naps range was just so strong colour wise

Sobieski25 May 2017 1:29 a.m. PST

If Airfix figures are wonderful, what counts as mediocre, not to mention bad?

Ssendam25 May 2017 3:05 a.m. PST

Lots of unit types and roles on the battlefield.
Scale (battles big and small)
Epic historically defining battles (in a short time period)
Number of countries involved.

Shark Six Three Zero25 May 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

The variety is incredible. Light troops, grenadiers, line, dragoons, hussars, cuirassiers, lancers.

The theaters were also numerous, Egypt to Russia to Spain.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2017 8:26 a.m. PST

Speaking as yet another ACW gamer who discovered the joy of Napoleonics later, great uniforms – and a chance for cavalry to do something while still on a horse!

Marc the plastics fan25 May 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

Sobi – Airfix made figures for a child's imagination – wonderful at the time. And the RHA still stand the test – dynamically posed and carefully detailed.

What is bad or mediocre? Any pumpkin headed, sausage fingered, cartoonishly proportioned 28mm figure. I will leave it to you to choose your favourite…

holdit25 May 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

Variety of unit types
Tactical variety
Low-tech weaponry
Larger-than-life and often outright eccentric generals
The Imperial Guard ('nuff said)
Battlefields from sunny Spain to snowy Russia and most places in between

Ooh Rah25 May 2017 9:47 a.m. PST

Definitely the uniforms. Also, the availability of superb miniatures from multiple manufacturers. I started with ACW miniatures, got bored painting blue and gray, so decided to try something completely new with lots of options. I paint slower than molasses in January, but it's been fun.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2017 10:45 a.m. PST

All of the Above

Tankrider25 May 2017 2:56 p.m. PST

For the simple grandeur of the tabletop spectacle! :)

Khusrau25 May 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

More than two sides, better uniforms, and more tactical variety.

Lion in the Stars25 May 2017 7:49 p.m. PST

Sadly, I lost the copy of the original post I'd made to a topic like this several years ago, but it was something like:

The lines of brightly colored uniforms executing parade-ground maneuvers to the skirl of pipes, bugles, and thump of drums, punctuated by the rippling pops of musketry and the thunder of artillery.

In short, for the spectacle!

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

Colourful Uniforms ,flags and plenty of colourful cavalry . What nationality they are doesn't matter as they are all colourful.

John Miller26 May 2017 5:04 p.m. PST

In addition to the color, and many of the other features of the era mentioned above, I have always enjoyed the interaction between the three combat arms that seem to have been less in play in the previous and later eras.

cosmicbank27 May 2017 4:25 a.m. PST

Germans don't win just by showing up

Ottoathome27 May 2017 1:17 p.m. PST


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