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"A question on periods/theatres" Topic


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Napoleonic

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Wayniac09 Sep 2019 5:18 a.m. PST

So to follow up from my last thread, the seeds of a Napoleonic group have been planted and there's at least a couple of people who have expressed interest. We've decided on Black Powder 2 as this is what the group south of us uses, with likely Napoleon's Battles style basing after talking with a few people in that group.

Our next step is to really pick a period of the war, although the final decision might wait until we see what some of the others will pick (we know at least one, and maybe two if another guy joins in, will play French. I expressed interest in British or Austria) but as I continue to slowly work my way through history I wanted to ask which part of the Napoleonic War, if any, allows for the most variety in armies? Sixth Coalition, maybe? I will likely have more questions after deciding on a period :)

That thought process behind this is to allow for the most leeway with people picking what armies they would like since not everyone may want to play a specific nation. Obviously the French player(s) won't have a problem with this since they'll be involved in everything, but for the rest of us, we might want to play a variety of nations.

-Wayne

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:29 a.m. PST

If you want the greatest variety of nations in any one battle, go 1812 on. The "Glory Years" include the famous Napoleonic victories, but are usually pure French vs single Allied nations. 1812 gives major rules to the satellite kingdoms, and in 1813 you always have at least two Allies in a decent-size battle, and often more.

But if you're using NB basing, and you don't get too upset by uniforms slightly out of phase for a particular battle, there's no reason you have to choose.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 5:30 a.m. PST

The high point for variety is 1813-14 in Germany and Northern France. Everyone is involved and you can choose from Prussians, Russians, Austrians et al. You can have Rheinbund armies switching sides and all sorts. Even on the French side you have more variation with Eclaireurs, Guards of Honour, lancers etc. etc. If you decide on the British then go for a Peninsular army and you are good to go from 1808 until 1813 when the new uniform came in late in the year.

Wayniac09 Sep 2019 5:38 a.m. PST

The high point for variety is 1813-14 in Germany and Northern France. Everyone is involved and you can choose from Prussians, Russians, Austrians et al. You can have Rheinbund armies switching sides and all sorts. Even on the French side you have more variation with Eclaireurs, Guards of Honour, lancers etc. etc. If you decide on the British then go for a Peninsular army and you are good to go from 1808 until 1813 when the new uniform came in late in the year.

Ah, now that's good to know. That would be the "stovepipe" shako until that time you mentioned when it became the "Belgic" shako, yes (been doing research :) )? I'll pitch 1812-1814 when we get to discussing the specifics. The only potential argument I could see is the same reason people dislike Late War in WW2: It's towards the end when the war wasn't as up in the air as it was early on. However, I feel the variety will be good.

Thanks!

-Wayne

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian09 Sep 2019 6:37 a.m. PST

1809 is another period (especially for British and Austrians)

In any event Austrians are a good choice as they fought in every coalition against Napoleon and with Napoleon in 1812.

1809 sees the British at Talavera too.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:50 a.m. PST

I take the point about 'wasn't as up in the air as it was early on' but it was closer than many think and is that not the fun of a wargame, changing history?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 6:57 a.m. PST

Plus this period is not one single war in the same way WW2 was. Suppose in 1812 Napoleon does not invade Russia? Does his house survive?

Very few units saw new uniforms for the British so really you have one uniform (stovepipe) for the Peninsula, and one (Belgic) for the 100 days.

But for variety 1812 can't be beat. The Prussians are back, you get Swedes and there was even a tiny British contingent on the continent…

Wayniac09 Sep 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

Fair point. I like the "changing history" approach I'm just saying the reason why in WW2 we did mid-war and not late so I'd guess it might be the same thing in Napoleonics. :)

Also apparently, according to people we spoke to, the basing they use isn't somewhat different. It was suggested we do the following to mimic what the other group does so it can be done with Black Powder, Blucher or FoG Napoleonic:

Infantry and Cavalry 40mmx30mm, 6 per stand for infantry, 3 per stand for cavalry, four stands to a unit (I think this is what he meant, he said "Infantry 24 castings, cavalry 12, for standard units so four stands"). He suggested basing extra flank figures on 40x20 to represent flank deployed for a mixed formation and artillery 40x40.

That seems like what we will go with since it apparently allows for 3 different rules if we so desire without rebasing.

-Wayne

Dn Jackson09 Sep 2019 9:56 p.m. PST

For sheer variety in troops I would say the Peninsular campaign is the way to go.

You get the Spanish which includes regular troops, plus some foreigners, volunteers, militia, and guerillas.

You get the Brits which includes all the usual suspects, (highlanders, regulars, KGL, etc.), and you can use Brunswickers. Plus a third of your troops are Portuguese.

The French have the usual troops plus plenty of Confederation troops. You can do the German Division which has, (from memory), no more than two battalions from the same country. Lots of uniforms to choose from.

setsuko09 Sep 2019 11:01 p.m. PST

1812 in Russia allows for most major powers except for Britain, as well as a ton of minor powers. It does require a Russian army for them all to smash into though.

1813-14 is also a rich ground for campaigns with many major and minor powers on both sides.

That is as long as you're not married to the idea of British. If so, then Peninsular is probably your go-to theater for variety.

mildbill10 Sep 2019 2:20 a.m. PST

I like the period 1789 to 1802 but is it really Napoleonics?
Great variety of uniforms, the British are involved, the German states are in SYW uniforms, Turks, Russians, etc.

Wayniac10 Sep 2019 4:03 a.m. PST

I think I am liking British the most after reading more on Austria (sorry, Austrians). Also, I recently watched the 1970 Waterloo movie and love Wellington and his men. "Who's the lad that leathers the French? Our Atty! Who's the boy with the hooky nose? Our Atty! Who gives salt to Marshal Soult? Our Atty! Who gave Johnny Francois a jolt? Our Atty! Who's the beak that will peck Boney's bum? Our Atty! Who makes the parlez-vous to run? Our Atty!" xD

So it's looking like either Peninsula or somewhere around the Sixth Coalition before old Boney got kicked out the first time. I'll have to see what the other people have expressed interest in as well; I think someone said they have Austria and Prussia, but we need to discuss it more. I do know that we've established the basing (I think I posted it above) after talking to some people in the other club. I haven't decided models yet (since the rules use basing, we're going to do some tutorials with just bases and add models) but either Old Glory or AB is most likely, and cheap too!

-Wayne

SHaT198423 Sep 2019 5:19 p.m. PST

To the OP, if your view of the Napoleonic period is from the elevated heights of 'Coalition' then I'd say you've not done enough research anyway. What the political landscape (and they are just that) is not the way most gamers enter the hobby.

Its the fascination with uniforms, tactics and likely aesthetic appeal of terrain that grabs most. Determining 'campaigns' and interest per person is a better way to go. As for a 'group' decision that can often go to sh**** in a number of ways within 12-18 months.

By all means personally decide who is modelling what, who will paint what (some guys like doing anything- others may have skills more suited to finishing and scenery etc.).

That the post-1812 period as 'inclusive of everyone' came as some sort of surprise confirms the above. But it comes with caveats too- a lot changed from the earlier (pre-1811) period campaigns.

A lot of gaming is 'by the book'- and not historical at all. If you don't have a taste of the period, maybe you'll be satisfied. But others may want more (you- may be the 'other' Wayne). A rule-book written by lawyers gets you that. Knowing what actually happened and capability makes for more interesting and, longer enjoyment of the hobby.

In the interests of self-discrimination I declare- although my main interest is Napoleonic France et ses armées 1805, I do own an ad-hoc 1813-14 era 'allied' army of Austro-Russo-Prussians and turncoat Bavarians, all slavishly put together with original Hinchliffe 25s.
cheers beer
dave

SHaT198423 Sep 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

Extra Crispy 09 Sep 2019

Plus this period is not one single war in the same way WW2 was.

ANd here again a myopic view (synopsis) of the world as it passed. To be so passé about it shows you really don't know and the comment isn't worth much.

The war in invaded Russia was nothing like 'North Africa', the 'Pacific', the defence of southern Europe, or (in reverse) the allied invasion of same 4 years later via Sicily. To say nothing about the grand naval conflicts that occurred, from equals to one sided slaughter.

But of course the US was late to start (again) and so demonstrably mechanical that little matters in detail. Yet wargames are about the details. I think that's apparently missing with the OP's request. We don't know what we don't know- so how can we know what we want…? etc.
regards
d

SHaT198410 Oct 2019 1:27 a.m. PST

Our next step is to really pick a period of the war, although the final decision might wait until we see what some of the others will pick (we know at least one, and maybe two if another guy joins in, will play French.

Here's the rub- too scientific and tight. I'm betting that 'one period', the holy grail, isn't actually going to satisfy everyone.

And "play French"- you do recognise the reason for pan-European armies was the French? So of course you need an 'enemy', lest like my first 'club' and earliest days of gaming as a tender teen, I saw multiple Airfix 'British' armies and one Russian one battling each other. There were no French present among 6-8 gamers!

That one incident made me decide to model, and study, Napoleons armies. That evolved, as I dabbled in gaming into full research, social and historical as well as the military (armies exist within a nation, not the other way round) and found myself a few years later in Paris, Versailles, Vincennes and walking the fields of Montmirail and others of Champagne…
d

Wayniac10 Oct 2019 10:17 a.m. PST

So basically I am approaching it from the wrong POV? I am working my way still through Chandler's "The Campaigns of Napoleon".

SHaT198415 Oct 2019 4:05 p.m. PST

Wayne
I'm not conceited enough to say you are wrong- just offering guidance that you or others most-likely can't make a one-off, one-time decision about such a broad scale of variables, matters (figures and rules) and events (period/ nationalities/ armements).

If you are the alpha and driving things, if all others are 'followers' then fine, set some direction. IDK how old you are or skills you have, but a simple table (matrix) of what each player wants to do- period/ nationality and 'operational' interest* could deliver a different view.

If you can agree on a figure range, just for compatibility, everyone get some figures and paint 2-3 units of their choice.

Have a couple of two player games using all the figures while the others watch- its great having someone on the sidelines [with the rulebook] pull you back because you've made an 'illegal' manoeuvre etc.

Some direction could come from these 'trials'.

Good read 'Campaigns'- he said he would have changed it had he written it 20 years later. But it is a 'generalist' tome and apart from looking up some period detail, you may never open it again once done!

regards
dave

*Do they want big battles or will a skirmishing game do etc?

≠≠ As noted elsewhere I've 'reorganised' my French forces several times, over now what is a 40 year enduring hobby.
I regret having stripped and repainted some early fanciful units like the Legion Irlandaise, Neuchatel and Valais Swiss Battalions that I created in the 70's.

In the 2000s I strove hard for accuracy again and by coincidence my chosen (because it was the centre of the army @ Austerlitz) 1805 4eme Corps de la Grande Armée (Soult) at Austerlitz contains two 'one-off' units, both 'Italian of sort'- Tirailleur du Pô and the Tirailleur Corse, brigaded with the two battalions of the 26eme Legere.

The second unit I have only just completed, after years, with the help of new research, with elite companies. No big deal to most people, but thats how my 'army' is composed.

So you see I have the same 'fixed gaze' as you, but I know what I don't want- which is like so many [others armies] bland, blue hordes.

I'm not sure you yet know because you haven't seen all the options, but thru the eyes of 'groupings' far beyond comprehension, its clouded.
--

Wayniac16 Oct 2019 4:03 a.m. PST

Yes, the reason I wanted to get this sort of thing hashed out is to avoid the "everyone picks something and then we find that it's spread across the entire era" type of situation since nearly all of us do not have existing armies or want to buy several (at this point). So deciding on a section of the era which we want to focus on seemed like the best idea to make sure everyone started on the same page and then we can broaden it as needed.

SHaT198418 Oct 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

Yes it's good to limit the scatter effect.
As long as everyone commits and is able to stay focused.
Extras can always be done if you have the 'core' established to get on with games.
Cheers *coffee*

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