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"Complete noob in Napoleonic wargaming" Topic

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Action Log

11 Jan 2019 7:45 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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    11 Jan 2019 1:56 p.m. PST
    11 Jan 2019 1:55 p.m. PST
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Comments or corrections?

Henrik lj11 Jan 2019 1:55 p.m. PST

Hi all,
I am just starting out, and have startet by bying General d'armee, which I think is a great set of rules.
I have decided to try AB 18mm figures. They seem pretty detailed. And I am planning to buy som Osprey books on the armies I want in order to get the plates to figure out the paint schemes for my figures. 3 questions remain still unanswered to me.
1. How do I create two well balanced armies. Are there any point system I can use?
2. How do I determined what level a unit is (conscript,veteran etc.)?
3. Where can I get some good OOB's from in order to collect the right units?

I know that the units changed quite a bit over time, and I haven't decided the period yet. I think I will be assembling french and eithe Austrians og Prussians to begin with
Please be gentle. I am quite a novice in this period, but I find it extremely exiciting

JimDuncanUK11 Jan 2019 2:36 p.m. PST


You might want to ask your questions on a more appropriate board.

This board is for interest in 'Sharp Practice' which is a completely different ruleset.

Have a look at the other Napoleonic boards, perhaps the 'Getting Started' board would be better.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 3:03 p.m. PST

You are best off picking a battle to build to. You can then research that army for units, uniforms and morale level. Plus, you will get a realistic army.

So maybe a certain division at Asspern Essling, for example.

Decide on the battle first, then just google "my battle name order of battle"

rustymusket11 Jan 2019 3:22 p.m. PST

There is a lot to learn in the Napoleonic period and the journey is at least half the fun! Be sure to have fun and enjoy! If you have not read much, start reading about the period. It will add to the fun.

davbenbak12 Jan 2019 4:03 p.m. PST

My humble advise would be that if you want to fight Prussians to pick the 1813-14 era. If it is the Austrians then 1804-09.

This should help with which uniforms styles you need for each.

sjpatejak10 Feb 2020 7:15 p.m. PST

You can probably get by with equivalent armies of equal units of the various types of soldiers. An equal number of units of line infantry, light infantry, grenadiers, light cavalry, heavy cavalry, foot and horse artillery, etc. Since your likely opponents are as good as Napoleon or as bad as Mack, the games will probably be equal. As for the quality of troops you can use a similar system, or pitting one unit of veterans against two units of conscripts to see how it works out. You can also equalize the armies by the use of objectives and victory conditions. Having to a capture of a town 2/3 across the board, or giving one army a swamp on it's flank can balance things.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2020 3:45 p.m. PST

>>which I think is a great set of rules.

To be brutally honest- I'm unsure how you can decide on what to do if you don't know the period. Rules rarely create an accurate impression of the period. They are just a mechanism to reach a happy ending.

Better to research, or at least read, about as many campaigns as possible, and see/ decide what appeals to you and what you want to recreate.

OTOH, if you just want to 'play' games and are unaffected by realism needs, just like boardgames anything may do,
regards and best wishes,
((40+ years game and research))

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2020 6:37 a.m. PST

I went along the lines of "Extra Crispy" I am collecting Austrians and French which faced each other at Wagram . You will make some mistakes along the way , I think nearly everyone does when starting. Take your time and do a lot of reading , its part of the fun.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2020 3:43 p.m. PST

I don't disagree at all.
In fact starting with 'picture books' and uniforms is the way to build that appreciation and interest.

Understanding that some 'exotic' uniforms exist in small amounts would help balance any ideas.

Then reading general histories (though the net of course provides sooo much detail these days) may help form 'when' to model.

I find it amusing somewhat that US modellers tend to think/ write/ describe in the 'old fashioned British' indexing method of 'Coalitions', when each and (almost) every year after 1804 (Empire day) was a separate campaign with singular objectives. The campaigns before Spain/ Iberia were very short. And effective till 1809 slowed things down.

There is also the growing complexity and difficulty in battlefield terrains.

Do uniforms alone define your interest? For beginners I'd say it probably does (99%).

All of which is to say the similarity except uniforms for campaigns [main periods of conflict]: 1798-1800, 1805-06, 07, 08, 09, 12, 13-14, 15 means the 'campaign' objectives define what you may do. But no 'period' or campaign is totally unique (lets not nitpick over 'Egypt ~1801') uniform wise.

As consumers, we are somewhat 'guided' and blinded by what figure/ model manufacturers make, who limit their ranges for entirely pragmatic reasons, yet in reality armies and governments had to use up their existing and wearable stocks as long as possible.


Marc the plastics fan11 Mar 2020 12:44 a.m. PST

Henrik, welcome on board to the wonderful world of Naps, where everyone has at least one opinion, and is t afraid to share it (and if you're lucky, to tell you why you are wrong)

I started so long ago I couldn't now tell you the best way to start. But one way would be to find figures and uniforms you like, and paint those.

Black Powder is a fair enough introductory rule set, with pretty pictures to give you some hints.

But my own view. Try it, and have fun. It is too easy to listen to "experts" (who will all disagree) and get bogged down.

wtjcom09 Jul 2020 11:41 a.m. PST

Hi Henrik,

You picked great miniatures, AB are a very high quality range with excellent selection. Your choice of French and Austrian would also be good, as the Austrians were involved for long periods over many campaigns (as mentioned already, 1805 to 1809 are probably most versatile).

For starters, try putting balanced forces against each other and then adjust from there as needed. So; French regiment against Austrian regiment, etc.

To keep things simple, make all the units "average" or whatever average is for the particular rules you use. You will probably end up trying numerous different rules to see what you like most, that's fine and gives good perspective.

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