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"How do you get started with a Peninsular army ?" Topic

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sneakgun13 Dec 2020 11:05 a.m. PST

Histories, uniforms, rules, thinking of using 15mm, advice?

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2020 11:28 a.m. PST

If you are an absolute starter, begin with a good general history of the War which includes Spanish operations as well. The Peninsular War: A New History by Charles Esdaille is good.

Then choose the army or armies you want to represent. It is a good idea to choose a year and campaign as well as it will effect the choice of troop types and uniforms available.

Then choose a good set of rules. This will depend on the level of operation you want to represent. General de Brigade will do for divisional level while Black Powder can be adapted to many levels.

This should help determine unit sizes and types and can help you decide on what figures to buy. I am a 28 mm fan so I go for Perry figures but for 15mm AB are hard to beat and can be 'beefed up' with Blue Moon.

So for me it is a British and a French division for the Salamanca campaign of 1812 (Spanish and Portuguese included) built with Perry figures and played with home grown rules having previously used Black Powder.

Welcome to the seat of hostilities long may you enjoy it.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2020 11:37 a.m. PST

You need to decide what type of game you like (skirmish, etc) but if you are going 15mm I suspect you like grand tactical

In that case General de Brigade, Black Powder or Age of Eagles work well

As noted helps to decide which time/side you want, as this has a major impact on what types of troops were fielded – notably for the French – and for uniforms – notably for the Brits/Spanish/Portugese

My Napoleonics are all central European but the good news about the Peninsula is that there are lots and lots of gamers who do Peninsular War

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

I would start with a British and French brigade, a section/ battery of guns and a regiment of light cavalry. This would give a chance to do tactically interesting games and you can decide if you want to expand to division strength.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian13 Dec 2020 12:38 p.m. PST

Build the forces for Talavera.

Good mix of French, British and Spanish

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

I second General de Brigade Deluxe. Also, if you do not have the time or inclination to research OOB for each battle, you can also purchase GdeB scenarios book for the Peninsula.

Shagnasty's recommendation to aim for a mixed French and British brigade is sound. The GdeB rules also describe typical brigade and division structures for all the major combatants and recommendations on how to base your figures accordingly. Welcome to one of the most interesting periods to research, collect and game.

BillyNM13 Dec 2020 1:21 p.m. PST

So much of this is personal taste that advice seems pretty pointless. I would advise reading some of the many books on the period and seeing what inspires you. That said, you've already decided it's something you want to do so what was it that triggered this? British can be a pain to paint as their infantry uniforms are some of the fussiest going, so much so that Prussians considered them effeminate so how about Spanish? An army you can love even if it loses and Blue Moon have just bought out a big range of Spanish and they can and do beat the French on occasions. For size of the range Blue Moon would seem the best bet unless you want the best sculpts available and that is undoubtedly AB. Good luck.
PS for an alternative old school approach why not visit the Miniature Minions blog and see the refight of Rolica.

Mike Petro13 Dec 2020 1:44 p.m. PST

Buy one :)

cavcrazy13 Dec 2020 1:46 p.m. PST

Everyone already gave you great advice. Welcome to the Spanish ulcer.

sneakgun13 Dec 2020 8:53 p.m. PST

Thanks very much !!!

Timmo uk14 Dec 2020 2:33 p.m. PST

Buy some AB figures and see if you enjoy painting them. If you do buy some more.

It's well worth reading through the past posts about Napoleonic rules. You have very many options but consider these against how you get on with painting and what a realistic target looks like. You might want to consider skirmish or large skirmish gaming.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2020 4:46 a.m. PST

I started something similar a year or two ago. The project got shuffled back a bit but should see the light this coming year. I had sold off all my 15s with the intention of using 6mm. I still plan on the 6mm for larger battle but have settled again on 15mm for Spain and The 100 Days.

I had a ruleset in mind already, Napoleon's Battles, with scenarios for most of the actions in Spain, and the 100 days. I went with 15s again and decided on the old TTG line of minis now carried by Alternative Armies as Brickdust. They are rather unique and old school, that was the vibe I wanted.

I chose the Battle of Albuera, it has the same qualities as Talavera mentioned above by Saber6 but smaller, figured it was a good starting point. I'll probably build up to Talavera later.

So like many have said above, figure out the type of rules you want, pick a battle as a basis for forming your armies, pick a scale of miniature, and choose a mini company. After all that get to painting.

coopman15 Dec 2020 9:26 a.m. PST

Have you checked to see what other Nap. gamers in your area are doing? What scale and what rules?

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2020 10:29 p.m. PST

I'm also thinking about seriously ramping up to play the Peninsular War, though I'm coming at it a bit backwards. It's the easiest theater to get started with the painted 1/72 Napoleonics collection I bought. grin

My biggest challenge is getting a handle on the course of events and picky wargamer stuff like which uniforms appeared in which battles, so I'm looking for printed resources.

For uniforms, I had originally hoped the Funcken books would be all I needed, but they turn out to be a little bit hard to use as painting guides, especially for less popular topics like the Portugese and Spanish armies. Last year I got the Tim Reese Art of Wars PDFs for the Grande Armee, Peninsular War British Army and the Portugese Army, so I think the only picky uniformology I haven't got covered is Spain. I recently bought Uniforms of the Peninsular War in Colour 1807-1814 in the hope it would cover Spanish uniforms, but it won't arrive until January.

In particular, I'd love to have a few of the units wearing white uniforms – Spanish infantry with bicornes and French infantry in 1806 uniforms – but I haven't yet found the information about which units were wearing these at which battles, and when they switched to blue (and shakos).

For background information and narrative, I have a lot of the wargamer classics (Chandler, Quarrie, Haythornthwaite, Otto von Pivka, Nafziger, Muir, Rothenberg, the West Point Atlas, various Ospreys), but these weren't helping me much with the Peninsular War specifically.

Recently, I bought the complete Oman Peninsular War collection in Kindle format, and added a hard copy of Oman's Atlas of the Peninsular War as a helpful reference (because maps on a Kindle suck).

I haven't started reading Oman yet, because (among other distractions) I also bought the ebook Wellington Against Massena and started reading that instead; if I like it, there are two more books in the Wellington Against… series (Wellington Against Juno and Wellington Against Soult). I'm only a few chapters in, but so far the writing style and approach seem like a good introduction to the topic.

I also bought Wellington's Campaigns: Volume 1—The Peninsular War 1808-14, Including Moore's Campaigns, the Tactics, Terrain, Commanders & Armies Assessed, but I haven't even looked at it yet. I need more eyeballs.

- Ix

pbishop1217 Dec 2020 10:14 a.m. PST

I game the Peninsula exclusively with General de Brigade rules. That's after years and years of different rule sets, scales, ratios and reams of researching history. And I agree, painting British is a chore but unavoidable. Welcome to all of this….

sneakgun17 Dec 2020 6:13 p.m. PST

Thanks again !!!

MightyOwl11 Jan 2021 4:25 a.m. PST

If you are interested in Spanish uniforms I suggest you take a look at the Spanish blog page of Alfons Cánovas. A gold mine of useful information. Especially these three links:



This book is also very useful for anyone researching orders of battle:

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