Thursday, 9 April 2020

Chasseurs, Cuirassiers and some reordering

Hello everyone, it's been a while hasn't it? Not long after my last post I found that I was distracted and absorbed by other things and other hobbies. Myself and my group of friends did quite a bit of experimenting with 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons in 2019, and since I was the dungeon master for most of our games it took up a lot of my 'hobby time'. 

But, a few weeks ago I swung back around to my Napoleonics. Naturally I laid some plans to order in more models. As luck would have it my shift in interests took place at the beginning of a global pandemic, so I wasn't able to order from my usual supplier in the UK. Thankfully I was able to make an order via an Australian store, even if it wasn't for all the kits I had wanted. In particular I was after Waterloo 1815's Highlanders in Square and HaT's Peninsular War British Infantry.

A lot of my recent order has focused on expanding my French army then, rather than my British. You can see in these images one of my recently completed units: a regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval. The set is Italeri 6080, French Light Cavalry. I had considered getting HaT's set for Chasseurs instead, as the posing of the horses in this set is a little spastic for my tastes. In the end though, the Italeri set is sculpted and posed more dynamically, and the inclusion of command and elite figures adds some nice variety to it. Perhaps in the future I will get HaT's set as well and have a unit of both.

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be painting another three bases of French Cuirassiers. I thought I had made a post about them, but apparently I did not. So here is the completed six-base regiment, now including an officer as well as a bugler.

On a side note, I ran a few numbers and discovered that my original sizing for cavalry units was too small. At the 1:33 ratio I've been using for my infantry, three cavalry bases equates to about 200 men, which is more of a squadron than a regiment. Plus, Over the Hills (the rules system I'm hoping to use) seems to encourage cavalry units of four to six bases. A three base unit can't neatly adopt all the possible formations. I don't mind this size increase as much as I thought I might, but the downside is that several of my cavalry units are now too small to function as full units and at some point I will have to try and expand them.

I had also mentioned in the past that I would be repainting and rebasing my old British infantry. I have done so, and they worked out to four battalions. The first lot are Airfix while the others are Revell. I've owned these figures since I was very young, but it wasn't until recently that they were all properly based and painted as actual British soldiers. Back when I was obsessed with Quatre Bras, a lot of them served different roles. Some of the Airfix acted as Black Brunswickers, while some of the Revell figures had to wear blue as Dutch-Belgians.

(I think I have made a small error here by painting the flag as the pre-1801 Union Jack without the cross of St. Patrick.)

I also painted up another officer from the Waterloo 1815 line officers set to act as a brigade commander for the British. Running out of mounted officers is a particular concern of mine, as they can be tricky to find in 1/72nd plastic. For now all is well though, and after seeing Waterloo 1815 release a set dedicated to Prussian commanders I'm hopeful that they may give the British and others a similar treatment.

I mentioned Over the Hills earlier as being the rule set I'm hoping to use. I haven't done much actual wargaming with my Napoleonic collection, aside from sporadic attempts at writing my own rules (they all became over complicated, unclear, boring, messy or a combination thereof). I actually bought the rulebook for Over the Hills back in 2018 and did a brief experiment with it then. Since coming back around to Napoleonics again I have done some more testing, though I still have yet to play a full test game as I simply don't have enough units painted. I'm hopeful that after getting through the current lot of figures I can try playing a game and get to grips with these rules, which seem promising from the tests.
I look forward to making more progress with this project in the coming weeks. Perhaps I'll even have a battle report in there somewhere. Stay safe everyone.


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