Sunday, 30 July 2017

Napoleon in Egypt - a bit of painting

A while back Allan from Lancashire Games sent me some samples of his new Napoleon in Egypt range. The idea was to paint them up and do a blog review. Jonathan over at Palouse Wargaming Journal (second time in as many posts I've linked to you, Jonathan!) was given the same opportunity and beat me to it by, oh, I don't know, 4 months or so. His review is very good - comprehensive about the range and his painting is enough to inspire anyone to want to put a project together with these figures.

Well, I got there eventually, although I've still got a number of figures to do. Here are some snaps:
Artillery crew, with a Napoleonic 12 pounder also made by Lancashire Games.
 The figures are very easy to paint. In my rush I forgot to do the brass ends on their scabbards, and on reflection the strap for the gourd should be brown, not white, but I'll fix those up. I also got the cockades wrong. White on the outside but then red and blue in the centre. I will touch these things up later.
Two members of the 2eme Legere.
 The same comments as for the artillery also apply to these chaps, in terms of my painting.
 And some alternate angles for viewing.
So what do I think? First of all they are big and chunky, and this is obvious from the photos. There is a certain amount of caricature in the faces and hands, and the muskets are very fat. If you are an anatomical purest, then this range is not for you. However, the caricature makes them very easy to paint, and gives them plenty of personality. I can almost hear them talking to each other (right, that's it, he's lost it), the artillery officer shouting at his crew to get ready, here come the Mamelukes again!

I'm going to invest in an army of these guys, and a matching bunch of Mamelukes. Nothing too major, forces suitable for One Hour Wargames scenarios is what I am thinking at present, but it is such a colourful and flavourful period I am hooked.

The range is available here, and there is another 24 hours or so left in their current sale.


Friday, 21 July 2017


This is the last day of the school holidays and I am gutted to say that I am still getting over a flu that started on the first day! At least now I am only hacking my lungs out, not like the first week where I couldn't get off the couch. Needless to say, all of my holiday hobby plans went right out the window. No games and a very limited amount of painting. But today was Mike's birthday, so I set up a Seven Years War game so he could come around and play. Then it turned out that he had a client who could only make it today, and so had to be at work. The fates hate me. Luckily, John finished work early and this afternoon we got five turns of the game played.

Kolin has been fought out by Jonathan Freitag several times, and can be found on his blog here. I used the exact same set up that he did, in an effort to see whether the Prussians had any chance at all. My plan was to fulfill Frederick's original intention of an oblique attack to the best of my ability - attack on the left and take Krezcor town and hill. From there, hopefully I could move onto the defensive and ride out the arrival of the Austrian reserves. Good plan, eh? Well, not so much...

The view from Frederick's position

The initial deployment. The Austrian reserves will come on from the top right of the picture. What you see is what you get for the Prussians.

The Prussians initially gain the upper hand on their left.
The lines close up.

In the end the Prussians decide to launch their right hand cavalry into the fray as well, hoping to win a knock-out blow before the Austrian reserves arrive.

The Prussians struggle to make any progress in the face of the Austrian artillery

The situation at the end of the game. The Prussian cavalry on the right have forced the Austrians into an awkward defensive position. In the centre Bevern is frustrated by the Austrian artillery battery.
On the Prussian left a space has been cleared for the Prussian Cuirassiers directly under Frederick, but the Austrians are rallying and are unlikely to be an easy nut to crack.

So, although we could have played on, it was unlikely that the Prussians were going to change history.
Honours of War are a very good ruleset, but it has been a while since I last played them. There is also quite a difference between playing solo where you can make mistakes and playing an opponent who wants everything to be how the rules say. Considering John had never played them before, he adapted very quickly, but two of us playing such a big battle with the rules the second time out was probably a  bit ambitious. I'm going to play a few smaller solo scenarios and make sure that I have the rules down-pat for the next time I play an opponent.
In terms of the Kolin scenario, I think the design has too much artillery. I've seen it mentioned before that artillery is powerful in these rules, and batteries even more so. The Austrians effectively held the centre with their two gun battery as the supporting infantry fell back around them. Charging artillery frontally can be suicidal, but is doable, but not when two guns are firing together. The same for the poor Grenz defending the foremost village. They were kicked out in the first turn by the Prussian battery. I wouldn't mind trying the scenario again with less artillery.