Tuesday, February 23, 2010

That sweet enemy.

The 8ieme Ligne march through an occupied village, somewhere in Spain, sometime before the 15-3-1811.

I am two and a half weeks away from my goal at present. It's been a long road and I'm desperately looking forward to going home. The exams are in full swing at present and are going relatively well, touch wood.

I had a spare hour before I travelled back to the Puzzle Palace on Sunday, so I pulled out a few figures and took some shots. It was excellent entertainment, but did lead me to believe that I should I plan next time I intend to do so, either that or invest in some decent lamps so that I can get better depth of field.

Above you'll see the 8ieme Ligne arrayed in column of route. The battalion organisation is as per Charge!, though the figures are based pieces of card for Jim Wallman's diceless Napoleonic's game En Avant.

I really rather like En Avant, which is a sort of diceless free Kriegspiel with miniatures, mainly because it gives me a lot of freedom as an umpire to improvise and adapt the situation to the players. Concerns like whether the senior regiment is on the right of the line become far more important to them when they don't have dice to worry about.

Obviously, the 8ieme deployed in line takes up rather a lot of room, a foot and half in fact, which is rather larger than the six inch squares on my playmat. En Avant lends itself to being played on large tables, rather larger than I have at my disposal normally, so I'm thinking of breaking the larger battalions up into smaller units for more manageable games.

Why the 8ieme, the 45ieme and the Legione Irlandaise?

Well, when I started to collect named units, I found that I really enjoyed collecting the British units, I'm very fond of The King's Royal Halberdiers, the Fighting Fourth and the Royal Americans. I found it very hard to stir the same affection in my breast for their Gallic adversaries, Brigadier Gerard being the honourable exception. I considered trying to fill a historical orbat, but I reckoned I would never be able to remember the different names so I came up with another method.

I like a little theatre in my wargaming - I enjoy funny accents, the aspect of roleplaying and the wearing of appropriate headgear.

The French are the bad guys in my games, unashamedly so, I always want to see them beaten. It's only really when you reach the Second Empire that I start shouting for the home of Dumas and Rostand.

With that in mind, I came up with a theme for my French battalions and which makes sure that each unit has a story that I can call to mind; I only field French battalions that lost their Eagles.

Enough rambling, I have exams in the morning and must go to my bed.


  1. Good luck in those exams.
    Give me a shout when you come up for air and we'll have a pint

  2. I say, Kinch, just realised that your blog is up and running again - excellent. All the best with your Garda exams. Tell us a little about the service, if you don't mind.