Saturday, September 18, 2010

Command & Colours: The Pork & Beans

A Portuguese Light Infantry of the 6th Cacodores
(source The Napoleon Series artist Unknown)

Oddly enough for a game whose initial outing will be an entirely devoted to the Peninsula Campaign and the Hundred Days, there will only be pieces for three armies in Command & Colours: Napoleonics, the British, the French and the Portuguese. The lack of Spaniards, who might have done a spot of fighting in Spain, and Prussians, who I believe turned up late on the 18th of June 1815, but who did turn up, has excited some adverse comment*.

The explanation for this is of course that there is actually a limit to what you can put in a box and still expect it to sell or more to the point still expect gamers (not the fittest of constituencies) to lift it. Further troops will be released in future expansions (*fingers crossed for Austria and Prussia*), though I'm told the Portuguese will be representing the Prussians in the Waterloo scenarios included in the basic set.

I don't think I'll go down that road, but fortunately HAT Industrie have stepped in the breach and should be releasing Prussian infantry in march attack very shortly. I was tempted by Revell's very fine effort in this field, which has the advantage of being currently available, but I think my love of marching figures will win out.

But the Portuguese listings are as follows.

Line Inf - 6 units of 4 blocks each

I am relatively well provided for here. I have a Charge! regiment of Portugese Line Infantry prepared, but unpainted. That should cover me for three Command & Colours units. I have some painted chaps in round hats, though technically they may be militia, I think I would rather try and field an Ordenanza unit using a mix of guerrilla and infantry figures.

Light Inf - 2 units of 3 blocks each

The famed Cacadores. I don't have any, I will probably use British figures with a paint conversion. One Charge! unit would cover the requirements amply.

Militia Inf - 1 unit of 4 blocks each

As above, I'm tempted to make this a showcase unit with a few conversions. I see pikes...

Light Cavalry - 2 units of 3 blocks each

Nothing doing unfortunately, these will need to be represented by British light cavalry in Tarleton which are not currently available in plastic. A Charge! regiment will do the trick.

Heavy Cavalry - 2 units of 3 blocks each

Sean at Newline is sending me a Charge! regiment of these chaps in metal along with a regiment of British heavy cavalry. The tricky thing now is to decide which regiment they should be...

Foot Artillery - 2 units of 3 blocks each

I have no Portuguese artillery and I can honestly say I have no idea what they should look like, beyond a vague belief that they probably wore a shako of some kind. I'll have to dig out the references for this one.

Leaders - 2 blocks

I have no Portuguese officers, Field officers wore a uniform very similar to the British one, as for higher ranks I cannot say - another one for the library.

As for anyone wondering where the "Pork & Beans" came from, it was a slang term used by British troops during the Great War for their Portuguese allies. Pork & Beans was a common canned foodstuff and supposedly the two sounded the similar. The Portuguese refered to the British as "the Beefeaters". Source, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English by Eric Partridge & Paul Beale.

*I write this safe in the knowledge that somewhere Peter Hofschroer is beating an effigy of the Duke of Wellington with a poker, in spirit, if not in body.


  1. I am following your adventures with C&C:N with great interest, so please do continue to keep us posted on progress - as subjective and as detailed as you like! I believe that the possibility of lots of people starting to use miniatures with a tried and tested boardgame ruleset may be a breakthrough in wargaming - no, seriously!



  2. Thanks very much for your interest - converted boardgames have been a mainstay of my wargaming for the last ten years or so. I started with Ogre/GEV and then moved on to Battlecry, Memoir 44 and For Honour & Glory. Donogh did most of the heavy lifting in terms of rules. I find boardgames have a lot to recommend them in terms of speed and simplicity.