Monday, 29 May 2017

Are these the 5 most absurdly priced Napoleonic books?

It's a rainy bank holiday so I find myself tootling through amazon browsing for reading inspiration.  It turns out that these are five most expensive books you can buy on the subject of the Napoleonic wars - should they be?

Counting down they are....

5   Napoleon's Last Grande Armee: Portraits from the 1813 Campaign - leather bound and illustrated,  Alfred Umhey This one is new to me - but here is a copy  listed at £459.97.

4 L'armée de Napoléon : Uniformes du Ier Empire, 1792-1815 - by the same author as above....  Alfred Umhey and Jacques Domange, Another new one on me but looks fab and a snip at £686.93 !


3  Napoleonic Uniforms by Elting and Knotel  -  volumes 1 and 2.  Wonderful set of two volunes (you buy them together when new so all the same book) varied from an almost sensibleish £250 for used copies to £1758.64 for supposedly new copies.

2  Napoleon's Army - hardback by Lucien Rousselot  - priced somewhere between £160 and a truly gobsmacking £1065.8
 I adore his plates - maybe £160 is not insane - but the rest!

1  Napoleonic Uniforms: Volumes 3 and 4 Vassals and Enemies by Elting and Knotel. 

Love these books and lucky enough to have bought them when first published - Thinner volumes than the first two but browsing through them is inspirational.  However certainly wouldn't want to shell out up to £1,898.34  for this pair! The lowest price is around £1200.00!

So what do they have in common?

  1. Pictures - lots of lovely pictures and who doesn;t love lots of uniform pics
  2. The subject is mainly the French army
  3. Mad bookshops with unrealistic expectations

Would I sell the ones of these I own at these prices - hell yes!   Then spend the money on traveling round 2nd handbook shops to buy them back at a lower price. It would be a joy!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Painted Wargames Foundry Pirates

Hello folks - I painted these a looooong time ago, loved the constant stream of interesting figures that once popped out of the Foundry, well we, foundry.

I think most of these were sculpted by Will Hannah....  Here's a load more on the Foundry website.

These are clearly generic, but the site also had Edward Teach and all the other piratey goodness you could hope to find.  There's a 2007 book by the British Historian Angus Konstam on him.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

General D'Armee Napoleonic Rules - first impressions

Full colour high quality print for General d'Armee rules


A Whiff

 Opening the parcel from Too Fat Lardies,  I was met with a whiff. Not of grapeshot but of charred wood - the curiously pleasant smell of the laser cut counters that came as part of this launch package.

(edit.  now updated with videos explaining the rules..  here are links for buying on
ebay ukebay usa,  although judging from this list of Napoleonic Wargames rules not currently available through Amazon.

Tokens can be bough separately

Some context

This is the first time in years I've been genuinely curious about some rules.  Over many decades I played Napoleonic games (25mm, 28mm and 18mm) with both General de Brigade and Grand Manner (and I started with the WRG rules - the dark red cover)

Last year on my first trip to Partizan for nearly a decade I was curious about Over the Hills but not tempted enough. (Others were.)  But a revision of rules from the man behind General de Brigade proved irresistible


The counters look good (these don't always come with the rules - you can buy them from Too Fat Lardies) - even the charring on the words adds to the effect. Very good size for 28mm games, maybe to large for 18mm?  I'm intrigued to create some counters that cover this language.

Crib Sheets come with the rules.  Two of them, both very colourful and clear.  I like them, you could def play the game from just these after a good read.

The Rule Book is very glossy and colourful. It's a high quality product although I'm a little worried about breaking the spine, it's the sort of binding that might loosen pages (someone correct me if I'm wrong).  A good smattering of colour photo's of painted figures add to the book.  Large clear print is good (are we an ageing hobby!).

Attractive and comprehensive crib sheets for these Napoleonic wargames rules

Some of the things you will probably want to know:

Do I need to re-base?  Nope,  of course it's better if both sides use the same base sizes, but you can even allow for those.  Infantry columns though do need to be able to do one base wide or two bases wide - so they need to be a minimum of 2 bases, or ideally 4 I would say.
Are my current units too big or too small?  Unit size is up to you. The rules categorise them as Small, Standard or Large.  So you need to agree between the sides on the number of figures/bases  represent what.  It's also up to you how many actual bases make up a unit.  This means the big battalion people can easily double the size of their armies by halfing some unit sizes.

How do the rules do casualties?  You don't remove figures.  So you can do a roster sheet or Dave Brown has casualty markers that show 1 to 4 or 5 to 8 or more casualties.
Troop types?  There are troop types, I like the classification of "Campaign cavalry" - the types that do the daily work, but tend to be at a disadvantage  against Battle Cavalry, which are kept fresh for the main battlefield blow.   Elite, veteran, line and recruit are also types.
Any interesting formation stuff?  Column of companies (narrow front) allows for faster maneuver but less flexibility in the face of the enemy.
Game structure -  Command and Initiative, Charges and Declaration of Charges, Movement, Firing Melee.  Each stage is I go you go but different players can have the initiative.

Ammunition?  Batteries can become low on ammo with a bad die roll - place a counter or a caission to mark that.  Command rules allow for replenishing.

Any fancy stuff?  Fog of war cards - you get these depending on the nuber of units you have and a d6 roll - they allow you to confuse the enemy. These can be moved and even fired on.  Each brigade has a skirmish line - which is a stand alone unit.  There a lot of rules on the skirmish battle and and ADC can support the line

Skirmishers have been thought through carefully and work as a stand alone unit at brigade level. They can even have and adc attached.

Skirmishers are important in these rules 
Fog of war has often tipped a Napoleonic Battle - these rules have thought this through too

 A bit more detail:

Command and Control - how's that done?  

This is probably the bit of the rules that may be most interesting.  There are different qualities of  army commanders - the better the commander the more ADC they can use - giving them more flexibility.  I like the category of "blusterer". Otherwise the CinC gets an ADC for each brigade in the army.  Corps Commander may also make extra ADC's available.

There are national characteristics - notably at Brigade command level, where French British or Late Prussian brigadiers have more oomph than others.

the ADC is a key mechanism to shape command and control

So what can an ADC do?

  • Scout: check out a fog of war card
  • Brigade Attachment - allows brigades to re-roll a command roll
  • Infantry Assault - improve the chances of the lads going in
  • Artillery Assault fire - intensify battery fire
  • Skirmishers - increase the effectiveness of the skirmish line
  • Glory - supports a brigadier attached to a single unit
  • Forwards - speeds up a brigade advance
  • Commit Reserve - help gets reserves moving in the right place
  • Redeploy - helps a brigade shift battle position or be moved into reserve
  • Ammunition - replenish artillery amuniation
  • Command - this a potent action using a lot of ADC points, helps a bridage really get stuck in - but glory also risk death of injury, including to the C in C! 
  • Divisional Morale - this relates to faltering brigades and actually acts as a lag on the CinC ability to command.
This all looks a lot of FUN -  as well as adding flavour. Here's more..

Initiative exists and the player with the initiative gets to choose to go first. 


What is your destiny? 


This uses battlefield attrition, which is influenced by casualties. Units fall through Fresh, 1st Level, 2nd Level and Disperse levels.  Elite and Large units have more resilience on the battlefield.  2d6 are rolled to decide morale influenced by the above factors.
There is a Destiny roll - a 12 on two d6 prompts a further roll - which can lead to glory, or death!

Here you can watch a game being played...

Overall thoughts...

These properly excite me.  You still have the benefits of being able to work at battalion and regt and battery level, the brigade is the key unit, but the ADC based command method allows for injecting Elan and risk into the game, it means the C in C can heavily influence some parts of the field whilst having to leave others to their fate.... which I like a lot.


Over here is a very fine General d'Armee army list generator.

and this is another review of a game played:  "We certainly enjoyed the rules especially the ADC system and the slick Charge, Firing and Melee systems (ie just about everything !)"

and another game review  

For Sale - 20mm German WW2 battlegroup - painted including amrour, artiller, infantry and soft skins

A well balanced force for the gaming table.... would work on the Eastern or Western Front - to see the auction AND MORE PICS please click  ...