Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I have touched on a few issues related to this project a couple of times this year without really mentioning what the project is.
In short the concept is to create all new 28mm armies for all the major players in the various campaigns from 1813-1815 in time for the various 200th Anniversaries. That means French, Prussian, Austrian, Russian and British to start with, though there maybe some additional units from the minor countries to add some variety.
The figures will all be 28mm 'Perry' compatible both plastic and metal, so we are talking of Perry (of course), Victrix, Warlord Games, Renegade and maybe a couple of others.
There is no single 'ruleset' that I am going to use, in fact the point is to use a variety of rules (as I seem to have built up a collection) from old school Grant era through to the latest crop of glossy rules. That may mean I have to adapt some rules, but we all do that anyway. The key thing is it will all be element based rules (or rules adapted to become element based) that way I can base once for all rules.
I like big battalions, probably something to do with growing up in the Grant era, 40-50 figure battalions just look right, also I am more interested in replaying smaller engagement than the major battles, I have often though that if it is big enough to call a battle it's too big for this blog and that's not a bad rule of thumb, though it could be that replaying a part of a major battle would work. Probably the maximum I am aiming for is something in the region of 10-15 battalions per side.
I have also decided that these armies will primarily be painted by a painting service rather than done by myself. The last few years the demands of work has reduced drastically my 'free' time and the long hours has also I think had an impact on my painting skills which seem to have declined significantly over the last 3 years, my age is probably a contributor to that as well, I turn 55 in a couple of weeks. So after several attempts at painting figures that left me dissatisfied with the result I decide it was time to cave in and pay someone to do it, though at the same time my budget is tight.
When it turned to basing I did play around with various ideas, at one time I even considered 16 figure bases with a 'standard' battalion of 96 figures but realized that despite how good it looked (and also a better fit for the actual formation it was trying to represent) I just couldn't afford that many figures. There are still some unanswered question in this are but the basic 'element' I have decided upon is 60mm x 40mm and that will contain 8 Infantry or 3 Cavalry figures. How many bases to a battalion is somewhat open, initially it will be 4, somewhat in line with LaSalle I think, though I have said that later in the year I may go back and 'pad out' the battalions with another two elements. Command and Artillery bases will be large, the aesthetic aspect is to some degree more important than historical accuracy here.
I took a while to sample a few painting services but now that has been set, though probably more on that in another post. I have kicked off ordering the core of the French army and currently I am awaiting the arrival of 6 new plastic battalions (in fact they are a bit overdue, hope this doesn't start badly) to join my existing force.
The existing force is 2 pro-painted battalions, plus another 1 fully painted by me, 2 part painted by me and 1 pro-painted under strength battalion (Victrix Fusilier-Grenadiers). So that gets me into the ballpark for the French, though there will be more to add later. There may be the odd unit from my 'old' armies that could be recycled but they need to look right and I am picky.
There is also 24 Cacadores (Victrix), a unit of French Hussars and a British battalion being processed by another painter. Although he doesn't know it yet he is most likely my 'metals' painter, and most likely all the cavalry will be metal. Artillery will also be metal simply due to the current lack of any choice.
Next month I will probably start to add either a British or Prussian force. The Brits have the advantage of allowing me to reuse some of my existing 28mm OG Cavalry which don't look to out of place but I would prefer the Prussians.
I have promised my wife that a part (big?) of the cost of this project will be met by selling off my old stuff, so far I have been spending without selling but I am pretty close to be overdrawn with my 'banker' :)
A project has to have a catchy nickname these days, I though of 'Decline and Fall' but I am too much of a Napoleonphile to have such a negative name, or 'Project Merde' but that's a bit course, and 'Project Hexagone' is probably to obscure if your not French, so currently it's a definitely not catchy and pretty boring '1813-1815'.