Archive for the ‘Napoleonics’ Category

Last night I finished the first block of my British Peninsular army for Black Powder, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally get them on the gaming table! Units completed so far are:

30th Cambridgeshire Regiment

44th East Essex Regiment

42nd Royal Highland, Black Watch

16th Queens Own Light Dragoons

I also added a few commanders, and am planning on adding some artillery units next. I actually started painting these well over three years ago, as my first foray into the Napoleonic era. It was slow-going at first; the amount of effort that went into getting the detailed uniforms painted seemed daunting. It’s all perspective though; now I feel I can churn out line infantry very quickly.

I’ve used a mix of Victrix, Perry and Warlord miniatures. The Warlord ones are the most efficient to put together, with the Victrix ones taking much longer due to the amount of parts – however you do get a nice variety of poses that way.

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This weekend I completed my first battery of French Napoleonic Artillery, for Black Powder. They’re a really fun kit to put together, and great sculpts too – I have to admit, that while the Victrix kits take the longest to put together, the variety of pieces means you really can make a unique looking unit.

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I also picked up some new Vallejo textured basing pumice. Now, I don’t usually like mixing up the overall look and feel of bases in an army once I’ve started, but this stuff looks so good, I might go back and apply it to the units I’ve already done. In the past I’ve used the white pumice, and painted over it. This time I tried one that’s already painted brown – it’s a much lighter shade than I’ve ever used before, but I love it!

Last comment – basing. I considered putting each cannon and crew on a single large base, but decided there’s more flexibility in basing everything separately.

Next unit on the paint table will be finishing my Highlanders unit, and a mounted British officer. Once those are done, I’ll post pics of the Brits I’ve completed so far!

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It’s been well over two years in the making, but I finally feel ready to show off the beginnings of my Napoleonic French army.

This has been an incredible learning experience. I don’t doubt there are mistakes in the colors I’ve painted certain things, and there are a few details I’ve deliberately decided I’ll go back and paint later, but for models I feel good about putting on the table and committing to battle, I believe they’re ready!

I still have a very long way to go before I have a number of battalions, but I intend to keep chipping away until I have enough to play a meaningful game of Black Powder. I’ve stuck pretty much to 20-man units, but will fill those out more in the future.

I also have a few British units completed, but I’ll do a couple more before I post those.

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After months of anticipation and planning, I just wrapped up my very first visit to Historicon, here in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

While I was beginning to have doubts that any event could live up to the hype I’d built up in my head, it truly was a most rewarding experience that I’ll never forget, and hopefully I can come back some time.

I thought I’d post a day-by-day account of what I got up to, as well as plenty of photos.


Woke up full of hope and excitement at 3am only to have American Airlines completely FUBAR the day, almost making me give up on the whole thing. Didn’t land in Virginia until 2am the following morning. Say no more.


With less than four hours of sleep and two ridiculously early starts, I sleepily made my way to the convention for the first time to participate in the Bolt Action Tournament sponsored by Warlord Games. I played three great games against some very friendly opponents, and although my Soviets managed to lose all three, I had a great time. I guess I could’ve blamed it on lack of sleep, but I think my list needs a pretty serious overhaul. Too many foot-slogging rifles, and not enough punch or maneuverability. I do like the overall infantry horde theme, it just seems to disintegrate before my eyes all the time.

After a brief wander around the Wally’s Basement flea market and the truly mind-blowing vendor hall, I decided to head back to the hotel for some sleep, intending to start bright and early the next morning.


With a clearer head, and a spring in my step, I hit the show early, credit card in hand ready to make some purchases. I won’t bore you with the details, but I bought a ton of Bolt Action minis, including Pegasus Bridge, and a few other bits and bobs. I finally got to see the Flag Dude’s booth in the flesh, and it truly was amazing. I’d seen his super realistic looking flags online, and didn’t think they could actually look that good without some fancy model-work, but they were as good, if not better in person, and the Flag Dude himself was a really nice guy. I bought a bunch of ACW flags and have a feeling they’ll be all the motivation I need to focus on my 15mm Union and Confederates once again.

An observation I had – I was expecting that Historicon being the mother of all game cons, there would’ve been some pretty serious deals or discounts going on, but everything seemed to be regular price which was kind of disappointing. Now, the vendors are one thing, I know it’s a low-margin business, but most of the prices at the Flea Market were laughable. There seemed to be two groups of sellers – those with masterpiece armies costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and those selling piles of scrappy unpainted junk for equally exorbitant prices. On the plus side, if the prices were reasonable, I’m sitting on a goldmine!

To round out the morning, I entered three minis in the Wargames Illustrated painting contest. None of them won, although I can’t say I put a tremendous effort in. Now I know the level of competition, I’ll stand a better chance next time. Some of the other minis, particularly in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi categories were very good indeed.

I spent the afternoon learning a game I’ve wanted to get into for a long time; De Bellis Antiquitatis, or DBA. Playing with Romans and Gauls, I found it to be a rather unique set of rules; easy to learn but difficult to master. I’m definitely going to invest in a couple of armies at some point, but first I need to track down the rules, which apparently have been out of print for some considerable time. The fact I still hear gamers talking about this system is a testament to how popular it must be, so watch this space for updates when I finally track down everything I need.

After another hour or two perusing the vendor hall, I went to a microbrewery called The Blue and the Grey – very nice cherry ale! Then I headed back to the show for an intriguing pick-up game called Trouble at the Spyglass Tavern; a swashbuckling, treasure-grabbing pirate jaunt run by a game club from Maryland. There were nine of us each controlling a band of pirates, and while nobody managed to escape the tavern with the booty, I had a lot of fun leaping over bar counters and sword fighting other sea dogs.


I arrived bright and early once again, but sadly the steam had certainly run out of my fellow gamers, and there was hardly anyone there. I had one last wander around the vendor hall, and chatted with rules writer, Ernie Baker about his latest game; All Quiet on the Martian Front. I got the impression this was the new and shiny darling of the game convention, and there was certainly a lot of buzz about it. While I was reluctant to make an impulse buy, I’m kinda-sorta regretting it now, as the Tripods were super cool, and while I’m not really into Steampunk at all, it’s certainly the closest I’m going to get to playing something roughly to do around World War 1.

And with that, Historicon was over! I spent the rest of the day visiting the USMC Museum, which was absolutely amazing, and spent the following day visiting some American Civil War battlefields – Chancellorsville, Wilderness and Fredericksburg. Besides being inspirational for my wargaming hobby, it was extremely interesting to learn some valuable US history. I highly recommend visiting them if you haven’t already.

Enough chatter, on with the pictures!


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I had the pleasure of playing my very first Napoleonic era wargame this past Saturday, at Orccon in Los Angeles. It was a 28mm recreation of the Battle of Sacile in 1809. I took on the role of the French, with some beautifully painted models from the collection of Wargamerabbit. Take a look below at some of the action shots!


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The dust has settled on a fantastic Christmas and New Year, so now it’s time to start fresh in 2012 with some New Years’ resolutions.

Last years’ ongoing objective was to break into starting a Russian army in FoW, something that was challenging mostly because it involved exploring a piece of WW2 I had no knowledge of. 12 months on and I’m still learning, but have a sizable Soviet force to show for it, and am planning to compete with them in my first tourney at the end of the month.

So I built the army, now they need somewhere to fight! Yes, objective number one is building an urban city gaming board primarily with a Russian flavor, but able to represent somewhere like Caen or Arnhem too.

I took advantage of the winter break to get a jump start on some of the terrain, planning out various features like ruined buildings, rubble piles, hills and of course, the table boards themselves. More to follow on this in a separate post soon.

My second gaming resolution is intended to be more long term. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m becoming more interested in Napoloeonic era wargaming. I already dipped my toes in the water with some 6mm models a few months ago, and they’re great, however I’ve come to the conclusion that at such a small scale, they’re really not much fun to paint. I’m planning to get hold of some 28mm figs, from Victrix or Perry Miniatures and try my hand at them, and I’ve also ordered Rick Priestley’s Black Powder rulebook.

The last resolution I have is something of a wildcard with a FOW theme, namely adjusting to the new version 3 rules coming out next month, and getting hold of as much Battle of the Bulge stuff as Battlefront sees fit to release. Both plans are little more than rumors at the moment, but I’m still excited to spend my hobby time with them.

Here’s to a happy gaming new year, it’s sure to be an exciting one!

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And So It Begins!

I did it.

I’ve done it.

People have been threatened by me with this before, but this time, it really happened.

I’ve started Napoleonic wargaming.

Last week’s video post was a veiled teaser to my new project, and it’s one I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. The  reason is simple, in the same way as I started Flames of War to play a game and learn something useful at the same time, the historical learning bug has grabbed me again and what better than the most classical of wargaming periods to try out?

Disclaimer time – I am still first and foremost a FoW player. I haven’t got bored with it, I still get giddy thinking about what Battlefront are concocting for the Bulge, and I haven’t even scratched Early or Mid-War yet. ‘Nuff said.

Now we’ve cleared that up, a little background on how I arrived on my decision. As I said, I wanted to try something historical, and the four periods that interested me were Ancients (which in my uncultured/uneducated mind means Romans vs Everyone Else) the American Civil War, the English Civil War (because, “Cavalier” is one of my favorite words) or the Napoleonic Wars. Each era interested me as much as the other, so I figured I’d not waste time mulling over a decision for too long and jump right in – if it didn’t work out, I could try another system later.

So I went with the Napoleonic era. Why? The grandeur, the elegance, the complexity, it all seems fascinating. The only drawback? My, shall we say, limited, amount of knowledge of the era, i.e. all I know about the Napoleonic Wars is, there were wars and they involved Napoleon. That’s it!

The next decision was equally important – what models should I choose? There are millions of dealers out there, but in my mind there were two front-runners; either a combination of Victrix and Warlord Games minis, because they’re gorgeously sculpted, or Baccus 6mm because the smaller scale would allow for much more epic (pun intended) battles. Going 6mm meant I wouldn’t have to go through all that stress of getting uniforms painted 100% correct to period too.

In the end, the tipping point came with choosing a set of rules. Again, there are tons of different options out there, but Baccus 6mm had their own set of Polemos rules, and call me tame, but it seems so much simpler to have my models based and scaled according to the rules I’m playing with. Warlord’s Black Powder certainly caught my eye for the same reason, but price-wise, Baccus came out on top, with an entire two-army starter set for $170, conveniently bought online at Scale Creep Miniatures. Anyway, enough jibber-jabber for now, let’s get on with what I got – dim the lights please, and, action!

Baccus 6mm Boxed Set

My starter box arrived in the mail - Austrians Vs. French

Baccus 6mm bases

Wooden bases - AKA the most boring pic on the Internet!

Baccus 6mm buildings

Nicely sculpted buildings

Baccus 6mm rulebook

The rulebook, containing rules for mid and large scale battles

Baccus 6mm painting guide

Painting guides and flags

Baccus 6mm Austrian Army

"Get to the lead!" Ok, here's the Austrian army starter

Baccus 6mm French Army

French starter - note I have no idea what any of these guys are yet!

Baccus 6mm Vs. Battlefront Flames of War

A little size comparison between 6mm Baccus and 15mm FoW

First observations after a cursory glance through the goodies – the level of detail on the minis is certainly impressive! I’m itching to start painting everything this weekend, and have already figured out a rough paint scheme I intend to follow. Watch this space for my progress, both as I paint my forces, and get to learn more about the history of the period. Let’s begin!

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