Saturday, March 26, 2011

Napoleonic World Record

I received an email from Simon Hildreth of the Scarborough Wargames Club this week about their forthcoming annual show timed to coincide with Armed Forces day, might be of interest to you if you are in the UK or plan to be in June, proceeds will go to the 'Help for Heroes' charity.


Us mad fellows at Scarborough Wargames Club are putting on a new 2 day wargames show named War Torn.

We are attempting a World Record for biggest historical battle.

Our website is at

We are currently accepting clubs to join our event, especially 28mm Nap games.
Thanks for your time.

WAR TORN 2011 is scheduled for the 25-26 June in the Scarborough Spa Complex which is situated on the picturesque sea front. They are situated over 2 floors in the Ocean Room and the Sun Court Suite, providing an impressive 45m x 17m and 23m x 11m of space respectively. There is a virtual tour of the Ocean Room available.

A Licensed bar, cafe and cash machine are on site. Nearby is Scarboroughs historic castle and the beautiful South Bay beach. For details on parking, travel and accomodation please see the Find Us section.

See here for more info.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A few more Prussians from Perry

Maybe I missed this in their recent announcements but here are some new shots from the Perry Workbench. Prussian Command and some Hanoverians.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Perry Plastic Prussians Update

Perry have given an update on the progress with the plastic Prussians.

From their announcement:
As promised, here's an update on the plastics!

We received the first of the plastic Prussian sprues last week. The command sprue is just being finished off.

Steve May painted some up over the weekend, and a very nice job he did, too. You should be able to spot the Grenadier in the line-up, he's the one with the 'tache, the only discernible difference from the musketeers as the other differences are under the oiled cover of the shako.

I thought I'd show you them in the flesh too, so here's a couple of sprues' worth unpainted. They're a little shiny, but this is just the tooling release agent as these were the first batch out.

There's still a little tweaking to do on them, but they're about there. It's always exiting to see the first shots from the mold, and I'm very happy how these have turned out, Renedra have done it again!

As you can see, there are six line infantry and one volunteer jager on each of the normal infantry sprues.

These will soon be up for pre-order, and available just after Salute. For those attending Salute, you'll be able to buy them first from our stand (TG 12).

You may be wondering how the British hussars are coming on. Well, they're next in line after Michael's plastic Mahdist warriors (more on them later).

I decided to alter them a little by adding the haversack and water bottle, as all British (and, for that matter, Hanoverian) cavalry carried them. This does make them less interchangeable with the French hussars, but they are more accurate.

I've also managed to get another unusual piece of headgear on the trooper's sprue. The strange peakless castor cap (shown here) seems to have been popular in the Peninsular War, being used in place of the very tall and equally weird fur cap in the field. The tall fur cap will also be on the sprue, too.

There's no release date for these yet.
Prussians look good, these are going to be another hot item next month, it will be nice to mix them in with the metal's when they appear, for the Brits from the sound of it we will probably still have a wait to get our hands on them, late summer??

Anyway no rush as we've a lot to getting on with in the Prussians and don't forget somewhere out there is the Austrians (look like my original estimate on the Victrix Austrians will be proved right).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Victrix April prize draw

Seems Victrix are starting a monthly draw for people who buy direct.
The image above is of the actual figures that the lucky prize winner will receive.

From their announcement:
We are delighted to announce that we will be running a series of monthly draws with an exciting range of prizes on offer to customers that buy direct from Victrix.

Any customer spending more than £25.00 (this includes postage) direct with Victrix from 18thMarch until 30thApril 2011 will gain automatic free entry in the prize draw. We will make the draw on the Tuesday 3rdMay and announce the winner on the Victrix website.

The lucky winner will receive a painted mounted French Old Guard Grenadier colonel and Old Guard Grenadier foot pioneer painted by Art Master Studios.

Julian Blakeney-Edwards & Stephen Hales

Your chances could be very good because I am not sure how many people actually buy direct, it is still cheaper for me to buy from other online retailers like Warlord or Caliver than it is to go and buy direct from Victrix as I found recently when I bought the Grenadiers and British Artillery (oh yes, unbelievably I did buy the artillery, detailed review coming soon).

New Ruleset - Die Fighting!

There is a new ruleset out "Die Fighting" from Bob Jones, not specifically Napoleonic, more "Horse and Musket" but it has a nice Napoleonic picture on the front cover!!

It grabs my attention because of the sound bites 'Old Style Gaming! Unique Mechanics', 'Classic Wargaming 1700-1900 with a twist!', 'Old school, tactical', what more could I ask for?

From what I gather it is a Piquet derivative but at the same time it is completely different (not that I have any experience of Piquet but it is a familiar name).

There is a website, with a 4 part series introducing Die Fighting and how it plays etc. here.

It's available from OMM, Caliver or direct from Repique (GBP23.50 pp from Caliver).

From the horses mouth, so to speak, the quick summary of this compared to Bob Jones other rulesets, Zouave and Piquet:
The two games are very different.
Zouave is grand tactical, DF is tactical.
Zouave is a card sequenced game, DF has over seven different sequencing systems that may be chosen among depending on era, battle, or tactical doctrine.
Zouave uses D4s through D12; DF uses only D6s.
Zouave, because of its scale and goals, is a more intricate game.
Zouave sold out its first run and Zouave II is scheduled to be published in May.

The biggest difference is that the die rolls are used up in DF and not unlimited as in most wargames and when one side runs out of dice, he has lost.

In addiition to the differences I noted in a reply above, these are other distinctions.

1. Only D6 are used no other polyhedral dice such as in Piquet.

2. Combat system is COMPLETELY different.

3. Movement system is entirely different. There is no one sequencing, or phasing, method used. It can be played with or without cards. The card deck, when used, numbers six cards.

4. Everyone who wants to move can move-no restrictions, other than it had better be necessary, efficient, and successful, or your whole army will run out of steam before the enemy and lose.

5. Morale is much different-no Major Morale Roll-you just run out of offensive capacity. Concession is allowed, and in some cases the best strategy.

6. Piquet has no direct scoring system. Die Fighting Does-designed in from the beginning, not an overlay. This allows games to have long term "scores" and thus consequences-even if you do not play campaigns.

7. Piquet is a mature rule system, first written by me nearly 17 years ago! It has all the advantages of a mature system that a great many intelligent people have contributed to over the years. There are many periods and variants of the core concepts.

Die Fighting is a brand new system, and has an immense amount of growth and experimentation ahead of it. It is the start of an entirely new journey.

I think they are both wonderful games, and will continue to spin off new ideas, variants, and derivative designs for years to come. Piquet has, and DF will, bring in many new people to historical wargame design and rule writing. My hope is that Repique Rules will play a role in creating the next generation of historical miniatures wargame designers and be an element in their inspiration.

It sounds right for what I like in a game, though I have some hesitation, I can't stand 12 man units, barely can stomache 24 man units and I am never going to play a grand tactical game in my life, is this really suitable for me?

It is supposed to be completely flexible on number of figures and mounting patterns though I understand Bob's own Napoleonic's are 12 man units, but does that show?

Also I have some confusion, Caliver on their site label it as "Grand Tactical" but above it mentions it specifically isn't Grand Tactical, not that I put much stock in what Caliver says lol but anyway ???

Do read the above mentioned 4 part article, it is very interesting and there are some interesting mechancis at play in this game "with a twist" is right - I am quite curious to see how it actually plays out.

Anyway there is enough of interest here that I expect I will get a copy in the near future and see for myself.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Basing - I need someone to tell me this is a dumb idea!

I am just starting a new project, building all new 28mm Napoleonic armies for the 1813-14 period, maybe 1815 at a stretch, hopefully to be finished in time to refight the 1813 campaign in 2013!!

These will be "Perry" sized 28mm armies, so sourcing from Perry, Victrix, Warlord and Renegade for now. That will include obviously French, Prussian and Austrian units but I also hope someone will have late Russians available in time.

I don't have any particular ruleset in mind, in fact I am intentionally intending to play a variety of different rulesets, but they will be "element" rather than figure based rules or adapted to work with elements. Also this will be for really "big" units, say something like the Grant era 50'ish man infantry units, as a few friends and I have have talked for years about loving the old style "big" units from our younger years.

Now the dumb idea....

Basing infantry was a no brainer, 60mm x 40mm 8-figure bases, each base is a company, typical French 6 company unit will be around 48 figures, easy.

Now Cavalry, I decided I want to move away from the 2-figure 50mm x 50mm base that I currently use, I really liked the dense 3-figure bases I used to have back in the 70's and 80's, there is just something so right about seeing Curassiers packed knee to knee on the table top and 50mm square bases just leaves too much room, so I thought if I used 3-figures on a 60mm x 40mm base it would have the right density to look right and at the same time simplify the bases I need to stock.

But then at the weekend I was messing around and I had some left over bases from Impetus that were 120mm x 40mm with nice modern looking rounded corners and for no good reason I stuck 6 Carabiniers on the base and thought how good they looked fantastic, then the light bulb went of in my head, how about I use one 120mm x 40mm base instead of two 60mm x 40mm bases, with each base being a 'squadron', the equivalent of the infantry 'company' base. Much easier to move around 4 6-figure bases than 8 3-figure bases isn't it?

I keep telling myself this has got to be a really dumb idea, what if I want to move them along a road for example, 120mm wide bases aren't going to fit really, surely I am just going to be creating a headache for myself down the line, but I keep coming back to simply how good they look and a full Regiment is really awesome.

Then I got to thinking some more, I also had some 120mm x 80mm Impetus bases surplus and they would be just right for 2 Artillery pieces, and that gives you room to be creative in base design, so I am thinking of doing all my artillery in pairs.

So what do you think, is this a dumb idea, should I stick with smaller standard bases or just go for it with these big bases?

Crusader Napoleonics
The new unit arrived today, first time I have seen any of the Crusader Napoleonics, 3 8-man blisters for GBP22.00 from North Star, nice price.

First thoughts, very nicely sculpted indeed, really great figures but..... they are small...... these guys won't be able to look over the shoulder of their Perry or Victrix brothers, they are very much "Foundry" compatible. If Foundry is what you are into then I would say definitely get some of these, you will not be disappointed. Not sure what I am going to do with these now, maybe send them of the Spain to join their Foundry counterparts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pre-Painted 28mm Napoleonics from the UK

I came across an interesting site today for a UK based painting service - 'A Brush Too Far', they do a number of pre-painted units based on Victrix and Perry plastics, the figures look of a nicely painted wargame standard and at a reasonable price. I thought I would test the waters and have ordered a unit of 8 Victrix Portugese Cacadores GBP25.00 plus pp. Yes, I know they are metal not plastic but I only wanted a sampler to start with before jumping in with both feet :)

Their Hussars also look pretty good, I might be tempted to order them as well once I see what the Cacadores are really like.

And here are some 1812-1814 French :

They also do commisions in various scales as you might expect.

When I get them I will post an update.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perry Napoleonic's March Update

We had to wait a few days for Alan's March update but it was worth it!
From his announcement:
Well, I'm getting there!

The main elements of the French Army of 1815 are just about covered, although still quite a few smaller units to do. I'll be going back in time slightly with the French, so units around in 1813-14 will be covered (i.e., the second regt. of Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard, Scout lancers of the Guard, Mamelukes, etc.).

There will be a plastic update very soon.

French Napoleonic Army 1815
28mm figures designed by Alan Perry
Grenadiers a Cheval of the Imperial Guard:
FN 138 - Command in campaign dress, galloping - GBP 8.00
FN 139 - Galloping, in campaign dress, swords shouldered - GBP 8.00
FN 141 - Galloping, swords shouldered, in campaign dress, and bonnet de police - GBP 8.00

FN 140 - Hard Plastic Hussar box set (14 hussars) - GBP 18.00

Dragoons of the Imperial Guard:
FN 142 - Command in campaign dress, galloping - GBP 8.00
FN 143 - Galloping, in campaign dress and Minerva helmets, swords shouldered - GBP 8.00
FN 144 - Galloping, in campaign dress and helmets of the Ancient Regime, swords shouldered - GBP 8.00

Well a great collection of new releases. Love the Grenadiers a Cheval, I have wanted to replace my Foundry Grenadiers for a long time and here is my excuse! I would though have really liked to see them standing rather than galloping, somehow to me the Grenadiers are just supposed to be standing stoically in reserve with shot flying round their ears!!

Personally for me the best news in this release was the news of what is coming, Scout Lancers! I don't know why but this unit has always been my favorite, I have forever wanted to do a skirmish game involving the Scout Lancers but have lacked the figures, I can't wait!

The forthcoming plastic update will cover the British Hussars and the Prussian's no doubt, which we have seen before but have been quite for a while as they work through the molding process. Wonder if there will be any surprises, probably not as they do have a lot on their plate at the moment don't they?

You might have missed this, but earlier Michael announced some new Carlist figures, I think the Cabrera's Staff Guard in frock coats will fit in very nicely as Spanish Somatens for the Peninsular War.
CAT 32 - Cabrera's Staff Guard running, frock coats (A)

CAT 33 - Navarre Guides, advancing (A)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Alban Miniatures Update

Alban Miniatuures seem to be quite active at the moment, new releases and a new website.

Their figures are what I would label 'ultra realistic proportioned' 28mm  and although I can appreciate the superb quality of Richard Ansell's sculpting they are really not my cup of tea unfortunately. They are fairly unique because of the sculpting style, so unfortunately there is little they are a good match with I think except maybe HaT's plastic 28mm figures.

But for those of you who are into them, from their announcement:
I can't hold it in any more as I'm too excited!

2011 is a year of change for Alban Miniatures. Not only have we just updated our website with the aid of the very talented Mr David Watts from Juicy Lime Studios and added more character packs to our ever growing skirmishing range (Rifles and British Light Infantry), but we are now commissioning French Line infantry as the next part of our range expansion.

For many this has been a long time coming but I was always told 'The best things come to those who wait'.

In a few months time we hope to start releasing splendid quality Alban French figures as will be sculpted by the fantastically talented Mr Richard Ansell.

This will give our Austrian and British figures some real enemies to deal with.

Each figure that Richard produces for us seems to be an absolute work of art and so it is with great joy that we take this next step.

My British troops are already starting to paint themselves in anticipation!

Happy gaming all.

Oooh, I hope its ok for me to also quickly plug our new website and various feeds so here goes..

Check us out at and join our facebook, twitter or newsletter feeds.
You can then post your painted examples to our facebook wall or send in your painted examples so we can share them on our facebook page. If they are really great we will even add them to our web gallery!

Cheers all.

Now something that does interest me from their website is their decals

They do two packs DE1 British rifles back pack and canteen decal packs containing 47 canteen and back pack numerals for both the 95th and 60th regiments and DE2 British Line knapsack and canteen decal packs containing numerals for both the 1st, 23rd, 27th and 88th foot regiments.

I think they are superb and would greatly enhance my Perry and Victrix figures and they are not a bad price either.

I tried ordering some today but seems they are not currently available, will keep you informed if this situation changes. I received an email to confirm they are currently 'out of stock', actually this is the second time I have tried to order the decals, last time was about six months ago and they were also 'out of stock' then, so I don't know whether I should hold my breath. Pity.