Monday, September 20, 2010

Command & Colours: Les Rosbifs


Two Command & Colours style British units (The Connaught Rangers & King's Royal Halberdiers by their colours) engaged in a hot fight with a similar number of Johnny Crapaud.

I've organised my Napoleonic forces quite deliberately as set out in Charge!, mainly because I enjoy the constructing of regiments. I get a tremendous swell of pride when I see them deployed in their full glory. I think one of the first things I will do when I finally have a wargames room of my own will be to stage a review. I am therefore rather torn about breaking up my Charge! units into their constituent companies for Command & Colours: Napoleonics. This doesn't bother me so much with the French battalions, but I invest rather more of myself in the redcoats.

There is also the tricky matter of flags. Firstly, even if I was to make two additional flags per unit, there would be the matter of which flags. I can hardly have three battalions of the Connaught Rangers. It also means that there will be significant flag inflation on the battlefield and I don't care for twenty odd men clustered around a flag pole. It makes it look like a Colour Party with ideas above its station.

One solution is to divest all units of their flags, but that loses some of the visual appeal and an important means of telling one corps from another. It would also make it difficult for my long hoped for "long range Napoleonics" game to be implemented. Key reasons flags were carried was so that the Tommy on the ground could work out his dressing and the general on his horse could tell where the Loamshires had got to.

I haven't thought of a way to square this circle.

And now, on to the British for Command & Colours: Napoleonics.

Line Inf - 9 units of 4 blocks each

Light Inf - 2 units of 5 blocks each

I have sufficient troops to cover these, however I've always been rather cavalier about light infantry/grenadier "wings", some of my regiments have them and some do not. I may have to rejig this slightly, but as I've commissioned a battalion of the 28th and have another regiment (yet to be decided) waiting in the wings, I don't see any problems on this score.

Rifle Inf - 1 unit of 3 blocks

I have three times as many riflemen as I need, staunch German fellows of the 60th Royal Americans.

Converged Grenadiers - 1 unit of 4 blocks

Not entirely sure how to represent these. A single unit with grenadier wings and a hodge podge of facing. I certainly have sufficient figures to pull it off though, it's just a matter of painting them.

Guard Inf - 2 units of 5 blocks each

I don't actually field any Guards units, probably that reverse snobbery of mine again. I do have a regiment of the 4th Foot, who have the requisite blue facings.

Light Cavalry - 6 units of 3 blocks each

I have plenty of these. Two full Charge! regiments of the 18th and the 13th and a single squadron of the 6th Light Dragoons of Mathew Hervey fame, I'm in good shape with respect to light cavalry.

Heavy Cavalry - 4 units of 3 blocks each

I've ordered a Charge! regiment of these, though I'm currently debating which unit I'd like them to be. I had intended the 4th Irish Dragoon Guards, but these did not have a good war and as I will need an additional squadron anyway, I thought it might be best to do them as a detached squadron and pick a more distinguished corps for the full regimental treatment.

Guard Heavy Cavalry - 1 unit of 3 blocks

No idea. The Blues or Royals perhaps. Something decently Household cavalry anyway. I'm always transfixed when I see them in London. Fortunately, once the fellows from Newline arrive, I'll have sufficient HAT heavies to kit out the two additional squadrons needed.

Foot Artillery - 3 units of 3 blocks each

Sean from Newline has provided me with three excellant batteries and I also have an additional Revell battery that appears to have Royal Horse Artillery drivers and Foot Artillery Gunners. Not entirely sure about that one.

Horse Artillery - 2 units of 3 blocks each

I don't have any Royal Horse Artillery, which is surely something I should sort and quickly. If they're good enough for the Brigadier, they're good enough for me. You can see Phil Olley's recreation of the photograph from Charge! here.The problem here is whether to go with Newline or Airfix. Newline will almost certainly be easier to deal with, but getting an Airfix set will require a Waterloo playset...

Leaders - 3 blocks

I have quite a few British officers, including a Wellington and a rather lovely Picton. No problems here.

In terms of Horse, Foot and Guns, I have almost all of what I need for the British forces. The first few game will no doubt result in some substitutions, I could for example, use my magnificent Argyll & Sutherland Strelets Highlanders as Guardsmen. They may be Crimean Highlanders, but they are superb.

Next step I think is a list of the gaps that need filling, though I may hold off on filling those that cannot be filled using figures that are already on the strength until such such time as I've had a look at the scenarios in the game. With a publication date in November that shouldn't be too far off.


  1. Colours are always a problem for me with small units. One tactic I have used in the past is to let the senior regiment in a brigade field their colours while the rest make do without. Don't know if that approach can work with C&C.

    I am of course, fully in favour of Highlanders as Guards!


  2. Conrad Kinch,

    Ross Mac's suggestion sounds like a very simple solution to your problem, if only for the short-term.

    Are Highlanders suitable 'replacements' for Guards? Well my wife (who is a Bayne and therefore slightly biased on the topic of Scots soldiery, especially the Black Watch and the Argyll’s) tells me that they are ... and who am I to argue with her!

    All the best,


  3. Ross - the flags have no in game benefit in C&C so it is largely a matter of aesthetics. That said I have always fancied running a large scale (4 players a side) game of C&C with the commander in chief sitting quite a distance away and having to judge where to send his cards and reserves based on what he can see of the battlefield. Flags could be jolly useful to him.

    Bob - Highlanders doing duty as Guards ( or should that be Guaaaaards!) it is then - at least for the time being.

    I really can't wait for this game to be out...