NAPOLEONIC WARGAMING

The Napoleonic era has always seemed to me to be the classic wargaming period. Britain was at war with revolutionary France and then the French Empire from 1793 to 1814 with a short intermission in 1802 of a year due to the Peace of Amiens. Then there was the encore of the 100 days campaign in 1815 including Waterloo. Who has not at least heard of the Battle of Waterloo? Compared with 18th century warfare the period has an epic scale, great geographic spread, major characters, lots of battles, famous units and Napoleon!


Eagle of the 45th captured at Waterloo by the Scots Greys

Since starting out many years ago with a few plastic 1/72 scale Airfix Waterloo figures I have collected, gamed with and sold armies in 25mm, 15mm and 6mm. In the same period I have used many sets of rules. The Airfix Magazine rules by Bruce Quarrie, the WRG 1685-1845 rules, adapted Koenig Kreig Seven Years War Rules and my own DBN rules based on the WRG DBA rules. The latter rules were used with the very large collection of 6mm figures that I built up.
There were 2 highlights in those times.  Firstly fighting a campaign based on the Peninsula War in 15mm using adapted Koenig Krieg Seven Years War Rules with Dave Douglas, Scott Duncan and the late Alastair Chisholm. The games in this campaign kept us amused for nearly a year.  Secondly was refighting all the major actions of the 1813 campaign in Germany – Lutzen, Bautzen, Gross Beeren, Dennewitz, Dresden, Katzbach, Kulm and Leipzig – as large 6mm games with up to 12 players.
I sold of my 6mm collection 4 to 5 years ago and only got back into the period in the last 2 years.  My catalyst for this was an upsurge in interest in 28mm Napoleonics at my club based partly on the availability of the new ranges of hard plastic figures. In addition new glossy rules sets appeared including Napoleon, Republic to Empire and Black Powder. I have settled on Black powder as my preferred rule set because I like many of it’s mechanisms, I use it for other periods and it gives a fast flowing game. Republic to Empire are to complex for the sort of fun game I like to play and Napoleon proved to have a flawed sequence of play and command system.
My first idea for 28mm was to build up a Russian Army for the 200th anniversary of Borodino in 2012. The initial units were infantry and foot artillery that I bought from an Ebay seller in South Africa. Since then I have added various cavalry units and staff.



Kutuzov's conference at Fili when he decided to abandon Moscow...


I have continued to build up my Russian Army and it now contains 6 infantry brigades and 6 cavalry brigades.  The last troops I added were a 4 battalion brigade of Opolchenie militia - the figures are by Steve Barber.  I have added a separate page with details of my Russian Army.




Russian Cuirassiers



Don Cossack battery - Steve Barber models

Since I had a Russian Army I had to build a French Army for them to oppose and that project steadily grew in scale and now they outnumber the Russians.  I have added a page on them now.  More to follow on later projects on the British, Prussian and Austrian armies........
Colonel of my Old Guard Grenadiers