Follow me…….. or 28mm French Napoleonic Commanders

Just a quick update while I have the time as I’m currently away on holiday Blenheim. Don’t get too excited, this is in Blenheim in NZ’s South Island, so there’s no battlefield but there are lots of wineries.

Before I left I took some pictures of some French Napoleonic Command Figures I’d completed in February. All are in 28mm and most are by Perry Miniatures with a couple of Wargames Foundry thrown in. A part from the Davout figure by Foundry I’ve kept them on separate bases as there is quite a difference in size

First of all there’s the “Bravest of the brave”- the Marshall Ney command pack by Perry Miniatures

He’s definitely a bit ginger!

Now where are those British squares?

The Perry Miniatures Heavy Cavalry commanders, Kelerman, Heritier and Milhaud are also in attendance

These are a mixture of Perry Metal and Plastic Cuirassiers
Here’s Kellerman
Here’s Milhaud along with one of the figures in the Mounted Imperial Orderlies pack
and finally Heritier with another orderly and an ADC

Not to be outdone by their heavier counterparts, the light cavalry commanders want to get in on the action

These are a few plastic hussars accompanying Generals Fournier – Sarvolise and Pully from the FN235 Cavalry commander pack on this command base

Whereas the final figure from the pack General Pajol is on another command base

A spare Orderly is trying to keep ahead of the lancers accompanied by a pair of lone Chasseurs

neither could I resist buying the FN234 pack which consists of Marshal Lannes, GeneralLasalle and General Franchesci-Delonne

Lannes is based with an ADC and two figures from the Mounted ADC pack

The other 2 generals in the pack, including Lasalle are based together with another ADC

Whilst at the Partizan show a few years ago I called into Wargames Foundry and bought some more generals and a pack of Marshals. The Davout figure is the only one I’ve used in combination with a Perry Miniatures ADC and an Orderly

The remaining Marshalls from the Foundry FN262 pack, Soult, Bessieres and Massena were based with some other Generals that I picked up because they seemed a little smaller than those by Perry Miniatures

I thought it was the Massena figure but its actually the Soult model – he definitely seems to have a big head in this picture!

Well that’s it though having painted up this many command figures there is no doubt that I need more troops to lead them

Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, Just off the Workbench | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Lights, camera and…… action – English Civil War Project

Hopefully this should be a quick post that’s not too wordy. I think I might post a bit more often if I can keep things short perhaps. I notice that many of my favourite wargaming blog mates seem to do the same.

Some time ago I bought some Empress Miniatures ECW figures having succumbed to the “oh look shiny” defect that I seem to have and at the moment I think I have about 4 infantry regiments and maybe 4 cavalry regiments undercoated and in the painting queue.

Subsequently before Christmas, the Oh Look Shiny defective gene wobbled again and with my resistance to purchasing suppressed, I succumbed and bought more ECW figures. I somehow managed to overlook the fact that my Italian Wars Project is in need of a serious painting push and that the Empress figures I bought ages ago are sill in need of paint.

This time my wandering eye fell on the First Corps website and I bought a regiment of infantry and a cavalry unit. Needless to say that once I started to paint them, my admiration for them grew and as a result I bought more. Not only that but I also inexplicably got sucked into a mysterious purchasing vortex and also went on to buy figures from Bicorne Miniatures. I blame Captain Blood on the Lead Adventure Forum! Whatever you do, do not click on this link

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Talking of links, this chap has some lovely stuff, I was initially attracted to his Italian Wars posts but there’s a wealth of stuff in his prolific blogging

Whilst browsing I came across a post where he reviews some lights, and being somewhat deficient in that department I went ahead and ordered them in the hope of taking better photographs.

So here they are, my fourth ECW Royalist foot unit and my first from 1st Corps

Before I forget, yes I did spot the red paint on that command figure’s helmet and I have just painted it out!

The Command Group

All my units will have at least 12 pikemen I think they look better in greater numbers


The Shot

As to what this unit is, I haven’t a clue, I had bought several flags from Flags of war but when I came to use them I realise that I had bought those for regiments with coat colours other than red!

I hope to have some Aventine Equites Singulares off the workbench next followed by some Gripping Beast plastic Arabs  and then 2 units of ECW cavalry

Posted in ECW, Just off the Workbench | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Out with the old and in with the new

Its a bit late for a New Year’s post isn’t it!

Where has the time gone? Its late February already and with my birthday coming this weekend we’re away for a few days in Whitianga in on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Hope those pictures give some joy to mates back home in the UK.

So with the end of a year I thought I’d give a round up and tally up what’s come off the workbench in the past 12 months. Last year on the LAW forum we started a thread or  challenge in Mid February to catalogue members’ painting progress and being able to review this has allowed me to look back with reasonable accuracy. Figures were also given a points value and I might use this as an impetus to spur on my painting effort for the next 12 months even though theoretically the painting year starts in mid Feb! For example a 15mm figure was given a points value of 3 and a 28mm foot figure a value of 5 points with artillery pieces or mounted figures being worth double that.

I’d started the year off by trying to get some 28mm Napoleonics ready for a refight of Borodino that of course in the end was postponed by Covid from March to October! February’s efforts consisted of 18 artillery pieces, 72, gunners,10 Mounted figures, 2 x4 Horse teams and limbers and 15 foot figures which gave a running total of 815 points. In that first post I noted I’d  painted an additional 24 more horse and 72 infantry prior to the start of the challenge that did not count.


In March I knocked off 330 points worth of  Russian infantry in 2 battalions

By the end of April I’d tackled some SYW Austrian infantry along with 15mm Russian AB Napoleonics though these awaited basing

By the time these were finished it added another 798 points worth but then I got distracted by the great rebasing!

By the middle of July  I’d added 8 Russian infantry battalions and 2 cavalry regiments, all 15mm AB. This was worth another 1056 points

In late July it seems I claimed another tally for 24 Landsknecht in 28mm, 12 x 15mm skirmishers and 5 buildings. I didn’t initially recall painting these but here they are

I’d painted 12 hussars earlier in the year but added another 12 later in the year

I’ve also been quietly adding Grenadier companies to the original Austrian line battalions

My next comment was in October when I said I’d made a start on FIW figures from the Northstar Muskets and Tomahawks kickstarter and just prior to Christmas I managed to finish off all the FIW figures though have not managed a game yet.

Here are he French Compaigne de La Marine

The French-Canadian Militia

The British Rangers

The British Regulars 

And finally the Indians

That took me up to late in the year where I got sucked into the Lardie rules Infamy, Infamy and couldn’t resist the Aventime Miniatures temptation. I started off with Roman Legionaries

I also added 12 eastern archers

And have hedged my bets by getting auxiliaries as well

Just the handful of cavalry I bought now to finish.

Last of all these First Corps ECW infantry who are just waiting for their flags from Flags of War

So in total I think the year’s tally was

  • 5  x 28mm Buildings 
  • 15mm Napoleonics – 12 skirmishers, 8 x 32 infantry Battalions, 2 x2 4 cavalry Regiments, 12 Mounted Command, 32 artillerymen, 8 guns and 2 Horse teams

That’s a total of…… errr its a lot!


  • 24 Landsknecht infantry
  • 56 Roman legionaries
  • 12 Auxillary archers
  • 32 Auxillary Infantry
  • 37 ECW foote
  • 67 FIW foot 
  • 72 SYW Austrian infantry
  • 24 Napoleonic Hussars
  • 64 Russian Napoleonic Infantry

That’s a total of 401 28mm foot and 24 cavalry

That suggests I’d better get a move on then as I think at my last count I have at least 72 Russian Cavalry to paint and have just started working through about 40 French Napoleonic Command figures

And I’ve just bought some Footsore vikings, Artizan Moors and more recenly a fair few 1st Corps and Bicorne ECW figures.

Best I’d best not spend fora bit then!

Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, 28mm Napoleonics, French & Indian Wars | Tagged | 13 Comments

Marching to the sound of the guns II – or what happened when we got there!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda or Happy New Year  to all.

My last post detailed the preparations for my trip to Wellington  NZ to take part in a multiplayer game re-fight of Borodino in November.  I use the word Re-fight in its loosest definition as this was a war game using 28mm  Napoleonic figures and none of us got hurt!

The table being set up

The game was played using Black Powder Version 2 rules and using the historical orders of battle scaled down by the principal organizers John  Hutton and Paul Weekly who themselves took on the roles of Napoleon and Kutusov respectively. Paul to his credit was also responsible for producing the stunning terrain used on the central table. Paul crafted the central table which was 24 feet wide and 6 feet in depth and reserves were deployed on 2 additional tables.

The French Reserve Table

Russian initial deployment, note the adequate water supply

A Grand Battery is deployed

Does the Bear shit in the woods? Russian Jaeger await

To the right of the Grand Redoubt

A Formidable Russian formation to the right of the Redoubt
Early contact
Somehow these have to get over there….
And this lot as well

And over this ditch and into the teeth of those

Russian Commanders in their unconventional uniforms

Its extraordinarily difficult to give an account of such an huge game particularly when it seems to take an age to walk to the other table flank and when you are preoccupied or distracted by your lack of familiarity with the rules. To this end myself and Jonathan Forsey who played the role of Junot and Montbrun commanding the IV Corps and II Cavalry Corps found ourselves on the French right flank . Jonathan was very kind and helpful with advice and assistance as we both trudged forward through the woods before the village of Utitza on the French right flank. Our role was to try and engage and draw off as many Russian reserves from the Russian centre. I think the main French attack was to be delivered  through the to the right of centre by Ney and Davout’s Corps rather than towards the Grand redoubt.

The Russian left

Our task on the right was always going to be a difficult one because facing us was the redoubtable Terry Swain who is a cunning and experienced Napoleonic gamer well versed in the nuances of the Black Powder rule set.

And we thought we might just have to run off a few cossacks……

And maybe a few sweaty peasants….

There are a fair few Sweaty Peasants here as well!

As compared to the new French aristocracy

Ooh, look he’s got a gong! Please note the authenticity of his uniform in contrast to his Russian counterpart

The French advance in the centre

… and over by here

.. and over by there….

A Wargamers’ crotch view from behind the Russian lines

At this point I ought to point out that Terry was very a gracious and helpful opponent who showed great patience in dealing with my ineptness and inexperience with the rules and my many mistakes and queries. Terry has written up his own completely fictitious account of the wargame lesson/hiding that he gave me here

Beware this account though as here am I thinking that it was the French that only had the ability to “lie like a bulletin”! The only good thing about his account is that the day 2 picture of the French players shows that there is no doubt that I am by far the most handsome of them!

Infantry battalions were 24 figures strong and cavalry regiments 12 strong &  a battery was represented by 2 model guns and 19 players took part. I took the role of Prince Poniatowski Commanding the French V corps.

I had the following troops at my disposal

16th Division: 6 line battalions and 1 6pdr Foot Battery

18th Division: 3 Line Battalions and 1 6pdr Foot Battery

V Corps Cavalry and artillery reserve: Polish Lancer and Hussar Regiment and 1 Horse battery

The action somewhere else

Oops! Near the redoubt – and I thought I was facing tough odds!

Something else going on somewhere else

and here as well it seems


I think this is where the main French attack is being driven through

If you go down to the woods today…..

Those are my figures on the other flank, the hussars are newly painted, therefore they are bound to rout!

On the other side of the galaxy err table a long way away

More action in the centre

Those Hussars? I told you so!

But we’ve taken something somewhere

The Polish contingent made its appearance through the woods on turn 3 to find that we were not just facing the Russian Militia but also Russian Grenadier Division that had been deployed away from its historical position the centre ( The Russians claim that dice were involved in deciding this was placed!)

The Polish begin to creep out of the woods in skirmish order

While the cavalry hurry to their support down the single road from the reserve table


Slowly slowly in skirmish order


Where did those Russian Donkey Wallopers come from?

In essence my plan was to get clear of  the woods as quickly as possible whilst keeping some semblance of order so allowing Junot and Montbrun to deploy behind me but clearing the trees and making headway against that solid force with all those nasty guns was not easy.


The Polish cavalry clear the woods and the artillery deploys
Look at the precision in those lines eh?

Is that a worried look I see?

Nah just a good scout to see how many more bloody Russians reinforcements can be fitted on my end of the table

As the Poles advance with blurring speed

Whilst Junot gets going

You know I said I was marching to the sound of the guns? Well I think I’ve found them..

We are definitely going forward Junot and me

Yes we are – did junot that? (Groan)

Yes, going forward, at least for now…..

Call me bitter if you like, but see that empty green bit in the table edge – more Russians are going to appear there!

On the whole we did pretty well for the most part of the first gaming day as more an more Russians seemed to appear. Writing this some 2 months after the game means that my memory is a little hazy ( it is not true that I am still traumatised by the hiding I was given and thus taken me this long to admit to and produce an account of it! ). I vaguely recall thinking that we were just about to get the upper hand and get at the infantry after seeing off a couple of Russian batteries when disaster struck and I think I lost the best part of the 18th division.

Its up close and personal now…

By Day two all I remember is that Junot played a bigger role in pressing the attack and though did well initially against some jaeger, just could not make headway as by this time a division of the bloody Russian Guard had appeared along with more donkey wallopers wearing Cuirasses.

Maybe this is where the rot was about to set in…

But maybe not, we may have seen them off but look there are more…

The Russian guns have gone at last, now we can go forward..

Cavalry should just bounce off infantry in square? – yeah right

Oops – where did they go?

The memory is hazy but I recall one of my battalions had only taken 3 casualties and was in square – safe enough I thought (under any other set of rules) – until it was apparent that this was a shaken square and got ridden over and broken by Russian Cuirassiers in the glorious “follow me” charge that Terry alluded to on his blog. That was the end of it as one unit after another of my Polish battalions evaporated and the few remainder legged it back to the safety of the woods. Meanwhile Jonathan battled in vain trying to see off the Russian Guard that would save casualties on anything but a one!

Guess who? I told you

Its not looking too flash on the other flank either

Elsewhere I gather that the Russians had pushed back the French left flank and their cavalry was beginning to appear on the French reserve table, a French attack in the centre had been repulsed – Napoleon was blaming somebody and somebody was blaming Napoleon!

Look we are winning something somewhere

There’s little progress in the centre

Not even Russell’s Tommy Cooper impersonation can change that…

Meanwhile Ney and Davout had some limited success against the Russian left centre but it was obvious that this was an heavy defeat and were were never going to see the spires of Moscow!

This is about the furthest the French ever got…

Hope you enjoy some of the many pictures of a massive game that was played in great spirit and was great fun. The fact that I have reservations about the BP rules does not detract from the fact that they allowed a large multiplayer game with around 100 infantry battalions and more than 30 cavalry regiments on each side to be played to a conclusion and provided undoubted entertainment for all involved. It also looks like we’ll be swapping sides and doing it again some time in 2021. I look forward to the opportunity.

It goes without saying though that I feel fortunate and privileged to have been able to do this in NZ, in the year that this has been, when the bulk of my fellow gamers overseas remain isolated from their mates

Best wishes to all and stay safe


Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, Multi-player wargames | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Marching to the Sound of The Guns

That’s exactly what I’ve been doing in the past few days – well sort of – err, well to be more honest or accurate its more like driving rather than marching actually. This afternoon I’m in Wellington having driven for a little more than 6 hours earlier this week from home to the town of Martinborough where we spent 2 days enjoying the wineries. However this morning we crossed the Remutaka mountain range in misty conditions and are now safely ensconced in a Wellington hotel.

So what next?

Well tomorrow hopefully it’ll be the final part of the march – a short quick journey across town to the sound of the guns at Borodino. Yes Borodino – tomorrow is the re-arranged, Covid postponed, re-fight of the Battle of Borodino that was originally planned for March this year when NZ went into lock-down. Here’s an earlier post lamenting its postponement: –

To be able to attend this multi-player event when so many of my overseas friends are still confined by the effects of the Corona virus makes me feel very fortunate indeed. Best wishes to you all and stay safe

So tomorrow I’ll be Prince Poniatowski leading my gallant Polish V Corps on the French right flank trying to dislodge and shift those stubborn Russians. I’ve also brought along a load of French infantry and cavalry that will be used by other players because the game will highlight more than a 100 battalions of French and Allied infantry along with about 40 cavalry regiments from several gamers’ colections. I’ve no idea how many Russians we’re facing in this 2 day game to be played using Black Powder rules but there’ll be a lot and the terrain boards will be pretty spectacular I’m told. Battalions will be 24 figure strong and cavalry 12 figure regiments – a little different to my own designed for General D’Armee at 26 and 24 figures respectively.

So transporting these figures safely for the 500 km plus drive was a bit of a worry. A friend – Chris Packer did the same for a re-fight of Leipzig a few years ago abut his figures suffered awfully on the drive from Christchurch to the capital  – here’s a you tube video from Chris where he talks about repairing the damage

Not wanting to suffer the same fate, but also not wanting to spend a small fortune on more new plastic boxes that are not needed to store figures at home and that might not be adequate in preventing figures bouncing  anyway, I’m hoping the following effort will work: –

First I bought 2 cheap boxes from Bunnings and used a strong glue to fix some doweling in place. The idea is that the raised underside of the doweling will allow the figure bases to slot underneath, hopefully trapping them to prevent movement.

As the pictures show I’ve used 2 methods, one box for the 6 figure bases and the other to accommodate figures based on movement trays that I also made for the game.

The glue used on the doweling was allowed to dry, the figures placed temporarily and more doweling glued at the required spacing interval and then allowed to dry.


The final step

Place the figures or movement trays in between the dowel spaces which are still a relatively loose fit and still allow some movement and then secure tightly in place with blutack and balsa strips. Finally some foam pieces to fill any remaining space.



So fingers crossed, hope it all works, I’m sure Ill find out tomorrow!

Finally – a new unit – the first 2 squadrons of the 1st Hussars – Perry Plastics. I was planning 4 x 12  regiments but I think I’ll paint up 2 of 24 instead

Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, On the workbench, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The wanderings of an ill disciplined brush and mind – Off the Shelf No.1

At the moment I find myself with plenty of time to think as I’m currently on holiday in the South Island of New Zealand. Time to think, plan, ponder and reflect on things hobby wise may might not be the wisest thing though. Thinking about Wargames , having time to catch up on wargames websites and others’ blogs for instance will inevitably lead to excitement, inspiration and temptation to buy new figures and even dare I say it start new periods!

Today we’ve just arrived in Te Anau having spent the past few days at Arrowtown or more specifically Millbrook resort. The plan here had been to visit wineries in the morning and then race out and play as many holes of golf as I could on the fantastic course in the early evening. My first though is that I should probably drink more wine before I play golf in future – yesterday I manged to break 80 off the blue tees after a a few glasses, but you’re going to have to take my word for it because I played on my own!

My second thought is how fortunate we generally are in NZ in these current difficult times having at least the opportunity to travel freely and at least go on holiday in our own country. Best wishes to my less fortunate overseas wargaming mates who are stuck at home

The third thought is towards the future and possible future projects. I narrowly survived signing up for the Footsore Baron’s War kickstarter and am currently fighting off an hankering to buy a Viking warbard to pit against the Saxon and Arthurian armies that I bought for Dux Britanniarum a few years ago. The conclusion from all this brain work is that I should no longer watch historical fiction on Netflix ( Vikings and The Last Kingdom come to mind) as they give me ideas about replicating those forces in miniature.

Thought number four is an unwelcome and negative one – it reminds me of what I still have unfinished, as alluded to in my leadpile post earlier. There’s no doubt that the most enjoyable part of the hobby for me is collecting and painting and I’m well aware that I’m at my most productive when I flit from one thing to another. On the workbench at the moment are some  figures from the Northstar Musket and Tomahawk range, I’ve finished the British forces and have made a start on the French but will leave the Indians till last – one little push and they’d have been completed last week, but no, what did I do? I made a start on painting 28mm French Napoleonic Hussars and have painted the horse flesh already. Why did I do that? There’s nothing more likely to slow down a project that switching to the braid on 48 bloody fancy hussar uniforms! And what have I been watching while I’m away?. Dave Brown and the Too Fat Lardies are a bad influence – 

So here I am  thinking about dark ages, whist trying to suppress an impulse to finish some horse and musket stuff while I contemplate a new WWII set of rules which I hope at least lead to me using all that FOW stuff I painted years back. What hope is there? (Psst You really ought to get those Russian WWII figures you wanted!)

Final thought? What should I be doing – I should be trying to acquaint myself with Black Powder rules as the Borodino re-fight is back on in Wellington next month- at least my Polish are finished though.

So what now?

All this thinking has given me an idea for some future posts and a way of looking forward. Why not produce a short series of “off the shelf” posts reminding me of what I already have produced and collected because this will also highlight what I need to complete them!

OK so here we go, in no particular order I’m going to kick off with Crusades/Reconquista

Gripping Beast Arabs

Footsore Miniatures

Blacktree Design

Artizan Black Guard

Artizan Design Spearmen

Perry Miniatures Spearmen

Artizan archers

And finally the Mounted troops

Footsore Guhlams

Footsore Guhlams

Blacktree Light Cavalry and horse archers

More Blacktree Cavalry and Camelry

Blacktree Camelry

Perry Seljuk Archers

Footsore Heavy Cavalry

Footsore Light cavalry

No wonder he’s saying his prayers!

These need to arrive in an hurry

So where does this leave things?

Well it’s clear from the pictures that I need to take more pictures of my Crusader army!

This is what’s on the shelf

these guys need to get out more

Mainly Perry Miniatures Cavalry/Knights

I’ve played one game and I think that was using Hail Caesar – any suggestions for alternatives? I think I need some more Arab foot and I think I have a box of Gripping Beast plastics somewhere and I’d like more Artizan Black Guard.

When I say Crusades, well that’s not strictly true as this was meant as a double up to encompass The Reconquista  –  maybe the figures aren’t a perfect match but I’m a Philistine really.

The problem with this thinking malarkey? I realise I have no buildings and would like some sort of fortress or tower and sort out some dessert terrain!

Maybe this thinking isn’t such a good idea


Posted in Crusades, medieval, Off the shelf | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Russian Napoleonics on parade – the great re-basing.

Thank god that’s over, I’m looking forward to picking up a paintbrush again after a few weeks of misery. I hate basing figures and so re-basing an whole army seemed particularly tedious and seemed to take an age

That’s one of the problems with collecting large armies over many years, your painting and basing style changes over the course of 30 years or more and naturally with lots of practice the former ought to improve. If that’s the case you will like me, look back at some of your older figures and finally with some horror realise that those figures you lavished time and effort over and were proud of at the time, really are quite dismal. Sort of like the dog’s bollocks but only without the bollocks, yes, my early Russian Napoleonic figures are real dogs!

Add to this the fact that with the passage of time one’s dependants have now reached adulthood,  and that consequently, the likelihood is that one has more disposable income and coupled with this, a more discerning taste for the better quality figure ranges, then the state of those original figures falls woefully short of one’s current expectation and standards!

Yet as the “one” in question, I soon realised that my megalomania for large armies had not changed one bit over that time, so those early figures are still needed very much needed to flesh out the army on the table. Of course selling them off in order to fund their newer unpainted brethren is an option, but this quickly becomes a less attractive option when the time needed to paint them for the table is carefully considered.

And so it was that about 3 weeks ago I decided I would attempt to tart up my Russian Napoleonic army by re-basing and re-flagging them. Part of the reason of course is that over time my basing style has also changed and I thought that perhaps having all of them, old and new, on near identical bases would harmonise the overall look and also match my baseboards, a thing often overlooked by wargmers I think

I think I bought and painted the bulk of these in the mid to late eighties, the bulk were Minifigs even though Battle Honours were the Rolls Royce of 15mm Napoleonic figures at the time. They were a little more expensive but the cost differential seemed too great at the time for a young man, just out of University and with an overdraft to pay off and a growing family.  Peter Gilder’s “In The Grand Manner” rules were all the rage then and Russian infantry battalions of 32 figures were the standard size. I built 15mm Napoleonic armies quite rapidly and painted and collected in earnest. At the time I suspect I proudly showed them off to my wargaming mates thinking I had done a good job then but when I look at them close up now I’m left thinking that perhaps I ought to have started wearing spectacles much earlier than I actually did!

Once my new flags from GMB arrived and my 2mm MDF bases from Warbases made it to NZ I soaked the figures in water to remove the bulk of the PVA and flock and got started. I did at one time or another consider stripping them back to bare metal and repainting but fortunately managed to convince myself of the folly.

And so with this now completed I thought I ought to have a May Day parade, even though its September of the old and the new parts of the Russian Napoleonic army. Its amazing really how big the Russian army has grown over the years. I used the opportunity to count the buggers – 1672 infantry (including  224 Guard), 424 cavalry, 140 gunners and 35 guns pulled by 50 mounted riders and the whole led by 48 Mounted command figures. That’s more time spent painting than I care to count!

Minifig Hussars and Mounted Jaeger on the right flank


A real mixture, Minifig Jaeger, Naismith skirmishers, Chariot Miniatures artillery and Battle Honours Cossacks

Minifig Infantry tarted up with new flags and bases

A Grand battery with infantry and cavalry in support, all Minifigs


The centre around Borodino church – my newer AB figures

Left Centre, a mixture of older BH in greatcoat and newer AB figures

Gladiator Games ( I think) Opolchenie backed up by Naismith and Minifig Militia

Its a shame that AB have no figures in greatcoat as they are so much quicker to paint

But at least Tony Barton has sculpted superb dragoons!

The newer AB Grenadiers stand proud

AB Russian Guard wait near the church

Whilst their lesser Minifig Guard battalions are relegated to standing in a muddy field

By comparison the closer you look, the worse the older figures seem to appear

So the question is, do you launch those older figures forward or hide them at the back?

On the other hand is you like with a wargamers eye at tabletop distance they certainly seem to pass muster as a mass

Yeah, looking at that last picture I think I made the right choice, replacing that lot with unpainted lead would have hurt my pocket and kept me painting till the end of the year I suspect!

Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, AB 15mm Napoleonics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 14 Comments

D’Erlon’s attack at Waterloo. Part 2

Part two starts where I left off at the end of turn 6. From this turn onward I’ve generally been playing about a turn per week when I’ve had the opportunity. With just under a hundred units on the table its been fairly easy to keep track of things but I suspect I’ve inevitably made a few errors with the rules along the way. I also suspect I’ve been fairly passive in conducting the Allied defence. Each turn took about an hour to play in the end with notes for the write up being made and pictures taken. Writing it up and editing pictures has taken an age and when I tried to speed this up by using dictation software designed for use in medicine I got some strange lines

Here’s an extract:-“Term 7-This turn French manage to get 12 ABCs this is what they really need this means that they can get there and infantry assaults and the calorie moving forward they simply must get into LHS. Charlie puts himself this had the first 55th line using the glory option. Meanwhile the British for hesitant Brigade is including the heavy calorie which cannot come forward and challenge or try and delay the attacking French battalions.”

Here’s where I left off

Turn 7

This turn French manage to get 12 ADCS and this is what they really need because this means that they can get several infantry brigades on “Brigade assault” orders while using the “Forwards” ADC attachment to get the cavalry in support. They have been repeatedly knocking or dare I say  hammering on the doors of La Haie Sainte for several turns and simply must get in . This time Charlet (not Charlie as the dictating software picked up!) puts himself at the head of the 55th ligne using the “Glory” ADC option in one last final effort. Poor brigade activation throws by the Allies result in four hesitant brigades this turn including the British heavy cavalry which cannot come forward and challenge or try and delay the attacking French battalions.

Not only do the French take the opportunity to launch charges on La Haie Sainte  on the left flank again but also make their first effort against Papellotte on the right flank.

On the French right a 2/95th Ligne charges the 2nd Nassau and the 2/85th Ligne charges the 1st Nassau defending Papellotte.



Meanwhile Aulard (Donzelot’s 2nd Brigade) has reached the crest and decide to form up in mixed order.

The 2nd Nassau battalion throws a double six that results  in a devastating volley on the  attacking French . Despite the 4 casualties caused by this, the French passed their discipline test with a 9 and remained formed. Whereas the nearby 1st Nassau were ineffective in their attempts to see off their assailants.

Meanwhile back at La Haie Sainte the exhausted KGL’s  fire has no effect on the charging 1st/55th Ligne.

In the Allied centre there is some surprise and consternation as the 3rd and 4th Lancers suddenly arrive at the crest, so presenting the Allied gunners with an both an opportunity to destroy them, but also a degree of fear.

Canister fire pours into the Lancers and they are halted in their tracks and forced to withdraw. Meanwhile Donzelot, in trying to advance becomes hesitant and his 1st brigade seem frozen to the spot for the second turn in a row.

Despite this the French advanced looks to be developing reasonably well all along the line. but it really is critical that they overcome the defenders of La Haie Sainte.

Meanwhile the 2nd Light KGL battalion defending it faces yet another assault and finally disperses when its strength falls to below 50% and the so the French finally enter La Haie Sainte.

On the right flank at Papellotte the French attack is  pressed home and reinforced by the 95th Ligne resulting in the defeat and rout of the 2nd Nassau.

Turn 8

The start of turn 8 sees two faltering Brigade is on the Allied side, those of Ompteda and Saxe-Weimer. One in effect on each flank, and Saxe-Weimar vacates Papellotte leaving it to the French


On the French side Brue’s brigade is also faltering and though it rallies, its too late for the 85th Ligne who disperse. Again on this turn there are many hesitant brigades and again the French are having great difficulty keeping an attack of the size moving forward with ease and full cohesion.

As you can just about see in the picture above, the French now occupy La Haie Sainte

Meanwhile on the Allied right side Ompteda manages to rally his Brigade

On the Allied left  Saxe-Weimar fails his command roll and this Reservist quality brigade, with 2 out of its 5 units in big trouble and already  with  the 2nd Nassau battalion destroyed, ends up with a “Save Qui Peut result when testing to recover from their faltering brigade status. By the time the retreat move is completed they are not far off the table edge

Meanwhile At the top of the crest  the lone French divisional artillery battalion accompanying the infantry advance begins to fire on the Hanoverian battalions at close range

The 19th Ligne make a vain attempt to charge Lambert’s artillery, this turns out not to have been a wise move and back down the hill they go

Trouble is really brewing now as the 2nd/23rd Ligne advance and shock the Peine regiment in Vincke’s brigade.Then, when they retreat they leave a small hole whilst the unit on their right, the Lunenburg regiment suffers heavy casualties from the French battery deployed opposite the Allied battalions on the ridge.

Turn 9

Fortunately Saxe-Weimar rallies his depleted brigade on the table edge. It seems that events in the next few moments will be pivotal in the centre as the French cavalry start to charge

All along the line there are multiple charges as advancing French infantry battalions try to take out the artillery batteries that have been tormenting  them as they have advanced. The 2nd/105th Ligne charge the foot battery in Bylandt’s brigade and though they make contact,  they are somehow beaten off

The 1st Cuirassiers charge the 7th Militia, starting their charge so close that the militia cannot attempt to form square. Their defensive fire is poor and the cavalry plough through them entering the melee with elan.

The 13th Legere charge the 5th Militia

The 17th ligne charges Lambert’s divisional artillery and though the battery can manage to  fire some of the guns,it eventually loses, routs and so disperses causing Lamber’s Brigade to falter.

Nearby the 4th Lancers charge Pack’s artillery who are well supported  and by throwing a double six, kill Gobrecht the brigade commander and causing the charge to falter and so the eager lancers fail to get amongst the gunners.

The 21st Ligne tries to contact the 92nd Highlanders in a charge

In  Grenier’s brigade the 2nd/25th Ligne charge the Lunenberg battalion who panic and lose their fire discipline and thus will melee at a considerable disadvantage being unformed facing a column charging with elan.

Not willing to let  the infantry have all the accolades the 7th Hussars are lead in a glorious charge against Vincke’s  by the Bruno, their brigade commander.


In melee on the other flank, the 1st Cuirassiers have a 10 vs 3  dice advantage against the hapless 7th Militia whom have little or no chance of survival.

The combination of these cavalry charges and those of the infantry in Schmitz brigade almost lead to a decisive breakthrough. When the melee’s have been fought Lambert and Bylandt’s brigade are both faltering. The only saving grace is that many of the advancing French battalions are battered and unformed. As the smoke from the musket fire clears it looks as if the Union Brigade will finally get a chance to attack those Cuirassiers and vice versa.

Turn 10

Thankfully both British Brigades recover from their faltering state – this was vital as a number of charges were about to go in and being on the receiving end of a charge whilst the brigade is faltering can be quite a disadvantage.

The 1st Cuirassiers charge  the Scott’s Greys

The 17th Ligne melee with elan against the 4th British line who fight unformed

The 2nd/51st take on the 42nd Highlanders who have lost their fire discipline  but still halt the charge somehow.The 2nd/45th Ligne take on Gifon’s Hanoverian battalion whom they defeat with the end result that of the whole Brigade then retreats

On the Allied side 12th Light Dragoons have an opportunity the ride down 25th Ligne whom have been left in an unformed situation when they fail a discipline test trying to form square. However its a bit of a setback for the cavalry when  they lose by 6 in the battle of the dice and so fail to charge home

Overall the French continue to make good progress but just to be sure the attack is pressed home, guess who rides forward to lead the 7th & 12th Cuirassiers forward from reserve?

On a bright note Pack’s 1st regiment unleashes a volley against the 19th Ligne causing them to retire

Back to the cvalry action – in the subsequent melee, its a straight dice roll  between the Cuirassiers and the Greys and perhaps not surprisingly the first and the second runs of melee are drawn with both regiments retiring well bloodied with 8 casualties each.

Back to the infantry now, the 17th Ligne  overcome the 4th regiment in melee forcing the British  to retreat and so an hole appears

The 7th Hussars have also managed to get amongst Vincke’s brigade and this brigade in turn falters and  is pushed back

Turn 11

Vincke starts this turn faltering. He attempts to rally but fails and in a second attempt by using an ADC re-roll worsens his throw and ends up with a “save qui peut”result. This means that the brigade loses its ADC permanently,  with retreating and routing units dispersing and the others sustaining two casualties each.

The 4th Cuirassier charge the Inniskilling Dragoons

The 13th Legere charge the 27th Regiment and end up in a melee with elan whilst the British are unformed. No wonder the British fight poorly, their muskets are bent!

The  17th Ligne hit the 1st Regiment and the result is a critical one with a 10 vs 2 throw in the French favour.

The 3rd Line Lancers again with elan ride down the hapless artillery supporting Pack’s brigade. Its all a bit of a blur for the artillerymen, just like the photo!

On the Allied right flank the Household Brigade moves to threaten the first brigade of Quiot’s division

On the Allied left the 16th Light Dragoons charge the French Hussars but this is the only good thing that happens on the allied side this turn as they cause 4 casualties and only receive 1. They push them down off the hill

The critical point is reached now . The Inniskillings charge and though they have less dice than the Cuirassiers they draw the first round of melee but fare badly in the second and rout. There are now cavalry retreating on the Allied side in addition to infantry and its all gone pear shaped.  A full house occurs when Pack’s artillery are wiped out by the lancers

Things are desperate on the right centre of the Allied line now. This is because Ponsonby’s brigade is faltering,  Lambert’s brigade is faltering whilst Bylandt is battered and at half strength with his 3 remaining standing battalion  near their dispersal points and ready to run. Pack is now faltering and so is Vincke. Its like a row of dominoes faltering one after another.

Turn 12

The start of this turn finds the Allied side with 4 Faltering brigades and only 7 ADC dice to use to activate brigades. This I think is when the rules work really well (well maybe only if you’re on the French side!)At the end of this phase in the turn, Ponsonby has rallied but the Inniskillings are back on the shelf

Lambert manages to rally his 2 retreating units but Pack fails when he throws a 2 and loses another regiment and poor old Vincke gets another “Save Qui Peut” result and leaves the table. That’s it – I’m never trusting Prussians to be good substitutes for Dutch-Belgians ever again!

It really does look at all over the allies despite a last charge by the Lifeguard charge on the right,  because the 54th Ligne form square in time and the cavalry fail to break in

The French Cuirassiers find yet more victims and Bylandt retreats and reaches the table edge  leaving a hole in the centre of the line whilst the Lancers are off the leash

Best is err, well doing his best but likely the next recipient of unwanted attention

Look on the bright side- at least the road to Brussels is still blocked …

Perhaps the light cavalry can hold the French right off for a bit?

This is how it looks at the end – to the right of centre

To the left of centre-


Well there we are, all in all an enjoyable game, good fun to play even if played solo and over a long time. Its also been a report that I’ve enjoyed writing, even if a bit long winded. The game swung quite a bit making light of my initial feeling that the French had no hope and then a flurry of events went their way with good dice followed, resulting in an Allied collapse. What a brilliant set of rules though that allows you to handle a game of this size with relative ease

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D’Erlon’s attack at Waterloo – Part 1

Well I finally got around to starting the game that I’ve been wanting to play for ages. It’s probably the first time I’ve used my “Waterloo ridge” in a game, bit of a shame that I’ve had to use some substitute units though I suppose.

As usual I used General D’Armee rule and once again this was a solo game.

Aah Covid restrictions I hear you all mutter, err no actually I’m reduced to playing solo as I’m actually “Billy No local wargamer Mates”. Having said that, one of my sons is hoping to come home for a visit soon and suggested we play a game. I might spring a Napoleonic game on him rather than A Pony Wars or VBCW game which requires less period knowledge in the hope I can get him hooked. As a youngster he was always keen on Games Workshop stuff and has started painting again. Something that he’s very good at.

Back to the game at hand though – initially I thought I’d start with Dave Brown’s scenario in the 1815 scenario supplement that he’s produced. The megalomaniac in me let things get out of hand though (again!). It started with the option he provides for the larger game which includes La Haye Sainte. This was a no brainer as I have the model building produced by Tiger Terrain and I haven’t used it yet.

That meant I could add more French battalions and Cuirassiers along with the Household Brigade on the Allied side.

The problem is that it didn’t stop there. I found an old article in WSS magazine and also started looking at D’Erlon’s attack in The Waterloo Companion by Mark Adkin.

That was it, within the blink of an eye I’d added a lot more to the OOB and to the table. Before I thought about it, I’d plonked down Papellote (actually the Tiger terrain model for La Haye) and added a 2-foot terrain tile to the table thereby removing La Haye Sainte from the table edge. In effect this meant I could deploy both brigades of Quiot’s 1st Division and all of Durutte’s division and include all of the cavalry in the 13th cavalry division along with all of the 1st cavalry division led by Jacquinot. Next the Grand Battery got even grander but I did draw the line at adding in the French Guard Light Cavalry Division.

Inevitably fielding this many units meant scraping the bottom of the tool box for French battalions.  I managed 29 Line and Light battalions each of 36 figures by assorted manufacturers but the last 4 comprising Brue’s Brigade in Durutte’s division have had to be represented by the Young Guard I’m not very ashamed to say!

Not to be outdone on the Allied side I’ve subsequently added in the Brigades of Saxe-Weimar, Vinke’s Hanoverians to the original scenario OOB along with Vivian and Vandeleur’s cavalry on the Allied left flank.

This is probably where I should explain that the Prussians you see in the pictures of this Waterloo are not Prussians.  I’ve had to use Prussian Reservist figures as substitutes for Hanoverian units and the Nassau troops on the left flank. Maybe I shouldn’t have done this but at least I can now use my British Light Cavalry. I keep telling myself that I might not actually use them but just have them on the table for visual effect (yeah right).

Similarly, taking further liberties with the original scenario design and expanding it I’ve just allocated skirmisher figures to Brigades on both sides with no real reference to the actual OOB or used the structure in the rules that allows you to do this. I just thought that this looked and seemed reasonable and so just did it. It was just going to take too long to work it out.  properly – at least that’s one of the joys of solo gaming I suppose.

I kept the morale grades used by Dave Brown in the original scenario and gave the additional units similar if not identical morale levels and for simplicity keepingt all battalions as standard size when represented on the table and annotated my casualty charts with notations of small or large. I did have a squint at the original strengths in the Waterloo Companion but playing solo and with so many units I felt the simpler I kept it the better.

The schedule of reinforcements in the original scenario was adhered to and when the game started I  still hadn’t decided when Vivian and Vandeleur will show up and though as I’m into turn 5 as I start to write this I’m reserving the right to call on the Young Guard Light Cavalry if the French are getting a good stuffing. I’m sure Dave himself will be happy to see me do this, this is a game after all and not a re-fight and anyway, they’re my toys and it’s my table!

So, at the start of turn 1 on the Allied side we see Picton commanding with 7 ADCs, there’ll be a few more when the cavalry arrives with Uxbridge.


On the French side Ney has 2 ADCs that he can add to D’Erlon’s 7.

Pre-game bombardment

Oh, I’d better say before I forget. For no good reason other than it popped into my head I decided on 3 turns of pregame bombardment by the Grand Battery. My rationale for this is based on what happened on the day as I understand it, though I if I recall correctly the ground was very wet and reduced the expected effect. Regrettably the only visible target at the start that the French are able to see is Bylandt’s Brigade deployed on the forward slope.

The mechanics I decided on were that each battery would fire at long range on the artillery table but also with the advantage of using assault fire (2 extra combat dice causing casualties on 4,5 & 6). Consequently 3 batteries directed their fire at Bylandt and 2 batteries at La Haye Saint (half casualties) and the game got underway.

Once the pre-game bombardment was completed the French Divisions began their advance with the divisions from the right of the following picture being those of Quiot, Donzelot, Marcognet and Durutte on the left (i.e. the right of the French battle line opposite Papellotte)

Looking directly at the Anglo-Allied side one can see Ompteda occupying La Haye Sainte and the ground behind….

Bylandt is deployed on the forward slope with Kempt behind and then the brigades of Pack, Best, Vincke and finally Saxe-Weimar around Papellote. The allied light cavalry can be seen in the distance (but you have to squint really hard)

The casualties from the pre-bombardment were calculated with 2 batteries directing their fire at LHS and the other 3 at Bylandt as all other allied units were invisible behind the crest of the hill. The impressive dice throwing resulted in 16 casualties spread amongst Bylandt’s units and a discipline test that was passed. The cover of La Haye Sainte  meant that the KGL were only subjected to half casualties.

Thus into turn 1 the French infantry begin their long advance, initially passing through the Grand Battery but Donzelot’s division immediately became hesitant, perhaps in was because it was only at this time that I realised I hadn’t placed the Brigade commander figures on the table!. The blue and red circular markers  represent ADCs on tasking duties

This is where you see my French army is a real mix of figures with AB, Battle Honours, Essex, QT and Minifigs

Meanwhile on the Allied side Picton decided to use his ADC allocation to get the gun batteries firing with “Assault Fire”, giving the opportunity to cause additional casualties by adding combat dice to the initial throw. This caused the 28th Ligne to suffer grievously.

More friction ensued for the French on turn 2, when it seemed that one of Quiot’s brigades began to hesitate and a double six from artillery fire batter the 105th Ligne (I wonder if they’ll hang on to their Eagle today).

Turn 3 sees the arrival of Lambert’s brigade on the allied side and part of Jaquinot’s cavalry on the French side. All the while the French battalions advance sufficiently to allow the Grand Battery to begin to fire over their heads now and through the roar behind Donzelot tries to get Schmitz brigade to advance with some rapidity but this is to no avail as the brigade hesitates.

Trying to get 8 brigades in 4 divisions to advance in unison towards the Allied line is proving somewhat frustrating at this time as one brigade after another holds back – is it the smoke, the cannon fire, wet ground or simply loose laces that cause this?

On the allied side its just as well that little movement is required, Kempt needs to come up but repeatedly failing his brigade activation throws means the brigade just seems rooted to the spot. Byland’s Brigade is suffering now with the 27th Jaeger and 7th Line getting quite a battering.

By now its turn 4 and Jaquinot’s Lancers arrive, it’s imperative I think that the French cavalry get forward to support the infantry advance.

At this point the first assault on LHS is attempted but this is easily beaten back

The ADC tasking dice are used to try and get the Grand Battery to redouble their efforts and use the “Assault Fire” tasking to try and get Bylandt’s brigade to quit the field and very nearly succeed. The remainder of the allocation are used by Donzelot in a “Forwards” order adding 4 dice to the move this turn – poor man throws a one on each of the 4 dice! Marcognet’s brigades now seem to have the full attention of the allied guns and the 8th Ligne suffer a whopping 6 casualties when a whopping 12 is thrown on the dice and the additional combat dice also have an effect.

Not to be outdone the Grand Battery brutally mauls Byland’s small 5th Militia who are almost at dispersal point whilst the Dutch 7th Line cannot withstand the fire any longer and retreat.

The French fail in their first attempt to break into LHS but over the walls the defenders can see the French Cuirassiers take up their position ready to advance

Turn 5

The second/55th line attempts to get into LHS and probably has a 50-50 chance but predictably perhaps, they fail to gain entry. The French try and press forward with the advance. Meanwhile on the allied side. The Heavy Cavalry of Ponsonby arrive as does Somerset with the household Brigade arrive.

The Dutch 5th Militia are hit again, the French really have to get rid of them and they are eliminated as the allied command was somewhat remiss in not withdrawing them. But it’s too late now, their heavy casualties cause them to disperse and the brigade becomes hesitant. The French somewhat ponderously now reach the ridge. An exchange between the skirmishers of both sides follow

The French are suffering now, the 1/56th Ligne (Aulard’s brigade, the 2nd in Donzelot’s division) is battered by the Artillery and becomes the first French unit to retreat. At this point because of the accuracy of the British artillery fire, the  French decide to concentrate their artillery fire on the British artillery batteries and realise they must send the cavalry forward in support, particularly the lancers. If only the French Guard cavalry had been deployed on this side of the battlefield.

Turn 6

Ompteda decides to take his Brigade forward to provide aid to the lone battalion holding La Haye Sainte.

Schmitz (Donzelit’s Division 1st Brigade) , decides to prepare to assault and issues an infantry assault order to the brigade.

The French Grand Battery redoubles its efforts to pave the way for the infantry. At the start of this turn a shudder goes through the British line as the 6th Brigade  becomes hesitant

La Haye Sainte is again attacked, this time from yet another direction, this time by the second/54th line. The brave defenders of the 2nd KGL Light infantry battalion defend well and repulse their attackers again. These gallant defenders continue to take quite a few casualties themselves and are in danger being so weak and battered that they really need to be withdrawn  themselves as they are now close to having 50% casualties.

Meanwhile the 19th Ligne drives home its attack against the 27th Jaeger passing a discipline test despite taking 3 casualties  in the charge and the jagers get beaten and retreat

The French attack is developing all along the line now, the 2nd Brigade of Durutte’s 4th French Division on the right flank is about to begin an assault on Papellotte, the Allied defence has been very passive with many brigades failing brigade activation tests and spending much of the time stationary or milling around. To date Ponsonby has been hampered and has not thrown his dragoons forward to slow the French advance and La Haye Sainte remains in Allied hands

This is an overview of the line at this stage, more to follow in part two.




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AB 15mm Russian Napoleonic Miniatures

Really this post should have been about a refight of D’Erlon’s attack at Waterloo. I started the game an age ago but still haven’t finished playing in yet, let alone written it up and sorted the pictures. I have a day off tomorrow and it’s raining so I might play a few more turns.

Oh go on, here’s a taster!


Part of the reason I’ve only played 9 turns is that its a bit of a monster game but also because I’ve been distracted by trying to finish painting some Russians. I ended up with 4 more battalions than I’d actually intended which of course didn’t help with the throughput. The moral of the story is never to place a figure order when you’ve had too many glasses of red – I mistakenly ordered Musketeer command figures with Grenadier figures instead of Musketeer figures for the line companies. Rather than cut off the Grenadiers’ plumes  and pretend they were musketeers I placed a second order for Grenadier command and musketeer in march attack for the companies. I wonder if Nic at Eureka thought it was odd.



So that meant 4 Grenadier battalions to accompany the originally intended 4 Musketeer battalions but which Russian commander would turn down the offer of a few extra Grenadiers to beef up the force eh?



The red wine induced boldness had another effect, I added 2 regiments of cavalry and some artillery!

So here they are, not great pictures and you might see a glimpse of the odd Frenchman fighting at Waterloo in the background. Ignore them’ they’re too bust catching their breath after climbing that ridge


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