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"Things Napoleonic Wargamers like" Topic

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1,058 hits since 17 Oct 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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MiniPigs17 Oct 2020 2:09 p.m. PST

to the point of mania…

1. The flank attack. Something no other wargamer has ever heard of. The true secret sauce of the brilliant tactician.

2. Rifles. We all know that Britain had whole divisions of them but how many did Saxony, Westphalia, Prussia and Brunswick have? At least enough for a corps each, right?

3. Heavy cavalry and cuirassiers, lots and lots of cuirassiers.

4. Elite units because they will fight to the last figure and save the botched flank attack from 1. above.

5. Punishing certain nations troop values such as Spanish, Dutch-Belgians and Neapolitan because they just cant ever be relied on.

Did I leave any out?

Chimpy Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 2:58 p.m. PST

There's also the generals: other than Britain and France everyone else should have stayed home.

All light cavalry should be armed with the lance because otherwise they are useless.

Light troops are the only ones that can fight in skirmish order despite what the manuals say.

Russian skirmishers are non existent even if their manuals did give details on how to skirmish.

All British armies must have a rocket troop because everyone knows how effective they are.

YankeeDoodle17 Oct 2020 3:00 p.m. PST

It must be true – people are drinking far more during Lockdown.

14Bore17 Oct 2020 3:31 p.m. PST

Lots of colors in their troops but you guys have it

cavcrazy17 Oct 2020 3:37 p.m. PST

Lets not forget guard units.

USAFpilot17 Oct 2020 4:12 p.m. PST

Everyone goes into battle wearing full parade uniform.

Stoppage17 Oct 2020 4:27 p.m. PST

Many infantry battalion columns ganging-up on a single enemy battalion (in line).

Deploying a whole Russian artillery battery at all times.

Penalising Russian artillery because their batteries are too large.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 4:55 p.m. PST

MiniPigs, you've got the 18th Century down as an area of interest. Do 18th Century wargamers not believe in flank attacks and huge amounts of heavy cavalry? Be sure to attend the next Seven Years War Association Annual Convention--if there ever is one again--and tell us about it.
And talk to the WWII gamers about national characteristics.

I'd like to point out that while I have seen almost every rule oddity pointed out so far, you'd have to cherry-pick them from half a dozen different rules.

Oh. USAFpilot. We know perfectly well that troops did sometimes go into battle in overcoats. We just think it's a pretty poor way to treat miniatures and wargame tables.

And everyone so far has missed the famous "retreating square" which will keep running from cavalry IN FORMATION as long as the morale grade doesn't drop from "fall back" to "rout."

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 6:55 p.m. PST

Nobody mentioned the Tsunami Of Columns – forming up all the units of a formation (or sometimes multiple formations) into attack columns, shoving the columns into side-to-side contact to form a solid wall, then marching that wall in a perfectly choreographed bayonet charge with parade ground precision and timing.

(I know there are rules that disallow this, either deliberately or incidentally, but this is a common feature of miniature Napoleonic battlefields.)

- Ix

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 1:20 a.m. PST

Too much spare time on hands i'd say… see the 'mania' in Ancients etc … sheesh…

newarch18 Oct 2020 1:37 a.m. PST


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 4:12 a.m. PST

Stoppage already got that one, Yellow Admiral. Fortunately it's confined to the Napoleonic Wars. Can you imagine a WWII miniatures game with tanks parked closer than parade ground intervals?

If you can't do better than that, I'm going back to basing my 2mm ACW.

mildbill18 Oct 2020 7:30 a.m. PST

The right button colors on 15mm. Those 7yw guys got nothing on us.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 7:47 a.m. PST

+1 Newarch,

Bede1900218 Oct 2020 10:05 a.m. PST

Play ESR and you'll find none of these things.

John Tyson18 Oct 2020 7:22 p.m. PST

A great topic, Minipigs.

Here are some of the reasons Napoleonic Wargaming is my favorite.

1. There are the three basic arms: infantry, cavalry, artillery. You can exercise combination of arms tactics, yet the arms are not overly complicated. Plus, mounted sword welding cavalry could still close with musket armed formed infantry.

2. The vast array of nations involved, all with uniforms in a kaleidoscope of colors and flags. Yet there are the national basic colors: French Blue, British Red, Austrians White, Prussians Dark Blue, Russians Green. Then there are the colors of the minor states. To my eye, there is no other period more visually pleasing.

3. Small battlefields that translate well onto tabletop games that look and feel like battles not just actions.

4. An array of easily recognized units with their various abilities from conscripts to guards. But still uncomplicated enough to easily translate into a game. Who of us have not had the joy, or consternation, of watching a lesser unit fighting well above itself and defeating a better unit. "Le Garde Recule!!"

5. A bunch of interesting characters/generals to have on the table to again lead their brigades, divisions, and corps into battle. Who doesn't have some characters such as a Napoleon, Soult, Ney, Lasalle, Wellington, Picton, Hill, Uxbridge, Prince Charles, Schwarzenburg, Gyulai, Merveldt, Kutuzov, Doctorov, Raevsky, Uvarov, Blucher, Yorck, or Zieten?

6. Lots of different kinds of battlefield terrains from burning deserts to snowbound forests. And they all have different buildings!

7. It's an open ended hobby period. In 1982, I started my miniature wargaming, building up my 15mm Napoleonic armies and terrain. Those first now veteran units, though rough and a little battered, still grace my little 'old school' battlefields. Today, I'm still building my 15mm Napoleonic armies and terrain, still reading the interesting history of the period, and still researching just how this particular unit's uniform looked that I'm painting now.

Life is good. :-)

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2020 10:19 a.m. PST

robert piepenbrink said:

Stoppage already got that one, Yellow Admiral.
So he did. I stand corrected.

Fortunately it's confined to the Napoleonic Wars. Can you imagine a WWII miniatures game with tanks parked closer than parade ground intervals?

- Ix

MiniPigs19 Oct 2020 11:14 a.m. PST

@John Tyson

Nice list and great collection. I would add that not only do Napoleonic gamers love enormous collections but they will often have them in several different scales.

Garde de Paris19 Oct 2020 2:00 p.m. PST

Great comments, John Tyson!


coopman19 Oct 2020 3:04 p.m. PST

Grand batteries.

Stoppage19 Oct 2020 4:15 p.m. PST

What's not to like about grand batteries?

Only way to blow away those perfectly choreographed tsunami of columns!!

sjpatejak19 Oct 2020 10:31 p.m. PST

There is a nice balance of the three arms. If you go back into the 18th, artillery isn't that powerful. The guns are of smaller caliber and are essentially immobile. If you go forward into the 19th cavalry is pretty useless on the battlefield.

pbishop1219 Oct 2020 10:52 p.m. PST

flags and standards, including cavalry. All my units, except the 95th rifles, never leave the barracks without the colors Be damned what historical reference states about leaving colors behind, especially the Brits. If GMB doesn't carry them, flagdude will make them up, even if conjectural.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Oct 2020 4:57 a.m. PST

Chain reaction routs.

John Tyson20 Oct 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

pbishop12, I with you on the flags and standards. The number of different beautiful flags and standards are another reason I so enjoy Napoleonic wargaming. Like you, units that didn't carry there colors into battle do so in my little 15mm Napoleonic battles. The flags and standards are just so visually appealing. And, another joy of this period is researching just what flag did this or that particular unit carry.

In one of my 'old school' fictional 15mm battles, with their colors held high, the Russian Dneiper Musketeers has charged a battalion of the Vistula Legion.

Although not as clean and clear as printed flags, the Vistula Legion colors I made and painted myself.

Stoppage21 Oct 2020 1:40 a.m. PST

The colours on the colours really pop!

Bill N21 Oct 2020 6:43 a.m. PST

Number 1 reason I like Napoleonic wargaming-I like the uniforms.
Number 1 reason why I don't do Napoleonic wargaming-I hate painting those uniforms.

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