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A bit of Blücher

We were having a go at Napoleonics with Jim. 200 points of Spanish vs French in an early Peninsular game. The Spanish hordes managed to hold their lines and beat back the higher quality French. Very nice game, the system is one of our... read more

Chef de Bataillon game

We had a blast from the past in our latest game night. Petri demonstrated the semi-skirmish Napolenic ruleset Chef de Bataillon, published in 1995. We pitted one Austrian battalion (144 figures) against two French battalions (72 figs each). The rules are trying to simulate the role of the battalion commander. Which they do fairly well in my personal opinion. Unfortunately this means that the player has very little to do, apart from trying to roll the dice well enough to get his unit to do what he wants. Even shooting is not automatic, you have to get your unit to follow the order to “fire”. Very strange. Personally I think the rules are an interesting anomaly as I prefer grand tactical games, where troops actually set up far from each other, the player can decide where and how to attack and defend, and actually feel that he is fighting the opponent, not the game system. Anyway, in our tense three hour game the Austrian battalion was happily decimating the French troops until a stray bullet killed the Austrian officer. The Austrians then routed from the field. As the Austrian commander the decisions I made during the game were: 1) “Hmm.. I want to shoot the enemy into pieces, that shall be our plan.” 2) “The way to do that is to form in line and advance.” 3) “I will see if skirmishers are useful: Deploy, (not really, therefore) recall skirmishers.” 4) “Advance into close range and keep on shooting until someone breaks.” Not that exciting, but interesting as an... read more

Spanish Militia Uniforms in May 1808

This is a list of the uniform colours of Spanish Militia and Provincial Grenadier battalions in May 1808. It is based on a scan of a primary document I found on the website of the Ciudad Real tourist board, and I have translated (imperfectly, I’m sure) the main table here. Most of the battalions are dressed (at least temporarily) in brown uniforms, which at least to me came as a surprise, since I thought that the units would have had white (or the earlier blue) uniforms still at the start of the war. The “Old” uniform is white 1790s pattern, “Middle” refers to the blue coat of the 1802 pattern, and the “New” is the white 1806 pattern. All units had red cuffs, collars, lapels and turnbacks. All of the battalions were listed as being well armed. Battalion Province Location Strength Missing State of uniform 1. Gr.Bat. 1. Div. Portugal Setubal 864 42 New 2. Gr.Bat. 1. Div. Portugal Setubal 864 81 Middle 2. Gr.Div. Portugal Lisboa 1440 10 New 2. Gr.Bat. 4. Div. Portugal Porto 720 11 Old 3. Gr.Div. Andalucia Campo de Gibraltar 1440 27 Old Jaen Andalucia Alxeciras 600 16 New, provisional, brown Lorca Andalucia Alxeciras 600 38 New, provisional, brown Siguenza Andalucia Quartel de Buenabina 600 21 New Guadix Andalucia San Roque 600 12 Could not provide info Chinchilla Andalucia Estepona 600 42 Could not provide info Malaga Andalucia Los Barrios 600 199 Could not provide info Cuenca Andalucia Tarifa 600 4 New, provisional, brown Ecixa Andalucia Cadiz 600 11 New, provisional, brown Xerez Andalucia Cadiz 600 26 Could not provide info Cordova Andalucia Cadiz 600 16 Could not provide info Toledo Andalucia Cadiz 600 21 Could not provide info Ronda Andalucia Cadiz 600 26 New, provisional, brown cloth Ciudad-Real Andalucia Puerto de Sta Maria 600 25 Do not have uniforms Truxillo Andalucia Puerto de Sta Maria 600 33 New, provisional, brown Sevilla Andalucia Xerez de la Frontera 600 53 New, provisional, brown Burgos Andalucia Xerez de la Frontera 600 23 New, provisional, brown Alcazar Andalucia San Lucar de Barram 600 5 New, provisional, brown Buxalance Andalucia San Lucar de Barram 600 6 New, provisional, brown Granada Andalucia Isla de Leon 600 47 New, provisional, brown Toro Andalucia Isla de Leon 600 47 New, provisional, brown Logrono Andalucia Isla de Leon 600 42 Could not provide info Plasencia Andalucia Isla de Leon 600 7 Could not provide info Ciudad Rodrigo Andalucia Isla de Leon 600 15... read more

Times they are a changing…

Since our sponsor, Fantasiapelit, moved to a new location last month we lost our club space. Luckily we were able to band up with another band of like minded gentlemen gamers, Stadin Strategit and with the increased membership, together we were able to rent a twice as big club room than what they had previously. Certainly a change of pace for us since half of the walls are now covered with windows and you can see the fabled outside through them -quite a change of pace for the Gemigabok orcs who were used to staying underground. Unfortunately as there isn’t as much space available as previously, and we have have to take other players into consideration as well we had to dump plenty of material reserved for future projects away. Then again, if you haven’t used the several cubic meters of styrofoam to make those buildings you planned a decade go, it is a safe bet you won’t be doing so in near future either… We also had to let go of the five large 9 by 5 foot purpose built 1808 Russo -Swedish War terrains. Luckily we were able to hand them over to Ropecon who were also sponsors of the whole project so in the end it was very appropriate that they were the recipients of the terrain. They’ll most likely put them in good use in future Ropecons as terrain for miniature gaming tournaments and such. This was a huge relief since it would’ve  been heartbreaking to throw them to garbage. These babieseach  took around 110 to 140 hours to make and it would’ve felt like abandoning your children!   Here are even crappier pics than usually of each of the terrain taken with my crappy cellphone.   Lapua (Lappo in swedish) Oravainen (Oravais in swedish) Ruona Salmi Koljonvirta (Virta bro in swedish)... read more

Spanish lancer conversion

My Spanish 1808 army has many small one-off units. One of these intriguing formations is the lancers that fought at Bailen “Los Garrochistas de Utrera”. This unit is fascinating as it was raised from the mounted bull-fighters, and they wore their normal work-gear into battle. I ordered a bag of Battle Honors Spanish Lancers BSP9 for these troops, but unfortunately the figures are completely wrong for this unit. So I had to do a bit of converting to get my hombres on the table. The original figures are good castings, but are probably best used for depicting lancer in the pro-French army of King Joseph. The horses are nicely animated and have lots of variation. The troopers are mostly identical, and the pack has two different commander types – one with a saber and a trumpeter. I decided to do a fairly light-weight conversion for the troopers, changing the headgear from helmet to wide-brimmed hat, removing shoulder straps and replacing the cast lances with brass wire. I did not bother to carve away their carbines or sabers, but left them in place. I carved and filed away the crest of the helmet. The brim of the hat was thin plasticard. I used a hollow punch to cut out the shape of the hat and the hole in the middle for the filed-away crown of the head to poke through. A set of hollow punches has proven to be a very good investment. I use it a lot to punch out small round markers to glue on unit bases, using different colours to indicate to which larger unit a stand belongs to, or individual stand capabilites – for example red for automatic weapons in my Force on Force figures. I cut away the lances and drilled a hole for a brass wire replacement. I usually try to replace thin flag posts and lances with thin brass wire, as I hate how the white metal shafts always bend and break away in the heat of the battle. The figures were primed with white, and painted to match the usual pictures I’ve seen online – green jackets and brown hats. I used two or three variations of green, to get the usual variety I like in my troops. I left the officer figures unmodified – I thought the chaps probably passed the hat around to get some properly martial gear for the jefes to impress the senoritas, and maybe the men in... read more

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