Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Command & Colours Napoleonics: The Prussians - Part One

General Blucher
A man once described by Capability Savage 
as "...one horned helmet away from being a bloody Viking."

The next Command & Colours Napoleonic Expansion is coming and it's going to be a doozy.  If the Austrians are the hard working, unpopular kids in the High School Teen drama of Napoleonic Europe, the Prussians are the big sporty types.  Though I think that would mean that Spain is the strange, troubled child with problems at home.  Britain is the "normal" one, the Harry Potter of the situation if you will, while France is the obnoxious rich kid that has the audience rooting for his downfall within two scenes. 

At least, when I direct the Napoleonic version of "The Breakfast Club" that is exactly what it's going to be like. 

It will look just like this, but with more shakos. 

So, the jocks are arriving in the next few months. There are 18 scenarios in the box which are listed below. So we have the first lot. 

Saalfeld - 10 October 1806
Schleiz - 11 October 1806
Jena - 14 October 1806
Auerstädt - 14 October 1806
Greussen - 16 October 1806
Halle - 17 October 1806
Prenzlau - 28 October 1806
Waren-Nossentin - 1 November 1806
To be honest, I'm only really familiar with Jena and Auerstadt of these. But I'll have the opportunity to get genned up in the next few months. These eight scenarios make up the first half of those included in the box and take place before the Scharnhorst reforms.  I'm curious to see whether the Prussian special rules will change depending on the year. 
The second lot are. 
Lutzen - 2 May 1813
Bautzen - 21 May 1813
Grossbeeren - 23 August 1813
Grossbeeren (Blankenfelde) 23 August 1813
Leipzig (Möckern) - 16 October 1813
Chateau Thierry - 12 February 1814
Laon - 9 March 1814
Ligny - 16 June 1815
Wavre - 18 June 1815
Waterloo (Plancenoit) - 18 June 1815
These I'm a lot more familiar with, though to an extent that's an artifact of the last three scenarios being part of "The Hundred Days". There's an interesting mix of stuff there and I think there's a lot to look forward too, particularly those games set during the 1813 campaign. I suspect the Prussian player is going to be a bit of whipping box in the 1806 games, but as time and tide turn against the French, the 1813 games will be rather more satisfactory. 

So this of course begs the question. Which army do I collect? 

Like so many things in wargaming this comes down to a matter of hats. The Prussian army of 1806 wears a very fetching side to side lid.  Unfortunately, the only figures available for that army in plastic are these fellows from HAT. 

And they I think you'll agree are not going to win any beauty contests.  I understand that this is totally irrational, as these fellows have similiar proportions to alot of the Strelets figures in my collection. But, I really like Strelets figures and I don't like these. 

HAT's late war Prussian Napoleonic Infantry 

These on the other hand, are just lovely, simple figures. They are available in the HAT Marching-Action-Command format and they're just lovely.  They also have the advantage of being from the period when the Prussians weren't being kicked around by the French quite so much. 

So I've decided that my Prussian army will be aimed at the latter part of the Napoleonic wars. Though knowing me, we're probably just talking about my first Prussian army. 

Coming in Part Two - The Block count for the Prussian Army and some ideas for figures to use. 


  1. I say,the HaT chaps are not bad at all in the flesh,sorry plastic. I think they would paint up well...

    1. I haven't seen them up close - but I think the later fellows are much nicer and I have a box of them. So I think I will have a later Prussian army to begin with.

  2. I think that Revell has a rather extensive 1806 line of Prussian infantry

    1. Their later Prussian infantry set is very nice. I haven't been able to find a mention of an 1806 set, though Revells 7YW hussars would do for 1806 and they are mouthwateringly good. And they mix well with the Zvesda set.

  3. That does look like an interesting collection of battles, thanks for the list. All very promising.

    The later Prussian army would seem a better bet for figures; IIRC the Revell Prussian infantry were very well sculpted too and the HaT jaeger and reservists are in the slimmer style. If doing the 1806 Prussians one would also feel some compulsion to do the French boo hiss in bicorns too, further increasing the workload.

    1. There is that Steve - of course the vexed question of French in bicornes has raised its head already.

      I'm going to start with post Scharnhorst Prussian army and see where we go from there.

  4. At least with the blocks you don't have to worry about hats. I'm not in a position to snigger, either, since I am starting off on a second Spanish army this week. In my case, some expression concerning fools and money comes to mind - I mean, they are only toys...

    1. You're not the only one who comes to mind when that expression is mentioned Foy. My Spanish army is all pre-Shako, Bailen era.

      And yet, the Devil on my shoulder is whispering that I could do an 1812 era Spanish army and be able to use it for the Carlist wars as well...

      By the way, I have a considerable amount of spare metal for early Spanish. Do give me a shout if you need anything.

  5. I do agree that the second lot of figures shown there are much nicer than the first. Me, I'll just put the stickers on the blocks when It comes out.
    There is a street named Blucher not far from my house. Whenever I use that route for a run, I always cry out "Vorwarts, my children!"

    1. And Michael that is what makes you the far more sensible man.

      Extra points for "Vorwarts My children" - may you never become pregnant with a concrete elephant.

  6. Poor old Prussians, not so much jocks, I thing that would be the Russians. More of a Neville Longbottom, full of enthusiasm, doesn't know when to quit trying to stand up to the bully but wins in the end.

    The 1806 Prussians had a very odd and ugly variation on the bicorne and ugly, short overalls, main reason they lost I believe. Well that and their crappy generals. Having looked into the details a little during a vety brief interest in the Nappy era, tactically, unit by unit, the regiments were quite good. Really crappy higher level organization and wretched leaders who were alternately rash at the wrong time or lacked spirit and gave up too easy. You'd think they would at least have included Eylau when the Jock and last of the Prussians stood up to the bully and fought him to a draw.

    Lots of very nice 1813 15 figures of course but the early period would give you an excuse to add some French in bicornes.

    1. You see - I would have had the Austrians down as the Neville Longbottoms of the piece and the Prussians as Ronald Weasley. It does leave a bit of hole.

      Eylau got covered in the Russian expansion, so I reckon the Prussian involvement will be covered in the big battle expansion.

      Yes and we're back to the French in bicornes. Oh dear.

  7. General Du GourmandMarch 12, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Surly the French are the smart kid with all the bright new ideas standing up to a gang of bullies.

  8. And that General is where you are wrong.

    I particularly like the bit where the smart kid tortures the weird kid for six years.