I already had a collection of AB figures with about 20 battalions of French infantry, 4 Regts of Cavalry and a couple of batteries of artillery, with a similar number of Prussians for the 1813 to take them on. Theses were all based for "Grand Manner" so big battalions of 32 or 36 figures. I also have a similar number of Russians as yet unpainted, together with a second French army.
Grand Manner is a great set of rules but is showing its age, with no command and control as such and rather cumbersome mechanics compared with more modern systems. The system that often raises a few smiles is "routed ground". This was a mechanic to stop units moving across ground another unit had just routed through. You have to imagine the area covered in discarded muskets and shakos with the odd casualty lying around.
So after four years of rebuilding my WWII collection for a Normandy themed company level set up - see the picture of my Juno game in the previous post- I have returned to where it all began for me, the wars of Napoleon.
At first I thought I would pick up where I left off with an 1813 themed collection, but on reflection decided to build a Peninsular War theme as my mid war French were more suitable for that period and I had always intended at some stage to go in that direction.
So having decided on the theme, I needed to work with a set of rules in mind, as I have always been keen on the big battalion look for Napoleonics and the rules would have to cater for that. So after much consideration "General de Brigade", "Lasalle" and "Republic to Empire" I went for two sets, one paper based and one computerised, namely "Napoleon at War" (NAW) and "Carnage & Glory".
In addition to the rules I also decided to move to a more flexible terrain system as up to now I have relied on my own hex terrain and hex mat, but with the advent of I Aint been Shot Mum v2 and now NAW I have decided to use terrain mats with separate roads and rivers. So terrain purchases are also being factored in to the overall plan.
Having decided on the direction of travel I then decided to set myself some progress goals. So the project started in November 2010 and began with me re basing/repainting my French, so that by May of this year I have completed 12 x 24 battalions of Line, 6 x 24 Legere, 4 x 24 Combined Grenadiers, 1 x 24 Swiss Line, 3 x 12 Dragoon Regts, 2 x 12 Chass a Cheval, 2 x Foot batteries (each 4 guns plus limber team) 1 x Horse battery (3 guns plus limber team, plus 6 x Brigade Generals and 1 x Divisional General.
|4th Swiss (AB figures)|
|Combined Grenadier battalion (Fantassin figures)|
In the game report I have also given our impression of the rules. As you will see we liked them.
The plan is to add further units through 2013, but with a view to producing a game as the units are completed. So I decided to start with Wellington's first major clash with the French at Vimiero, I will probably do Rolica as a warm up. I then plan to add units to do a time line sequence of games, Corunna followed by Opporto, Talavera etc. As I want to start playing as the collection permits I am looking to put together representative scenarios from these key battles, with the occasional BIG GRAND MANNER game in between, well that's the plan and I am using this blog to hold me accountable to it.
In time I intend to build some Spanish forces, as the early uniforms were great to contrast with the French in their Shakos, and the "anything goes" approach to uniform in the later period make the Spanish a great contrast to the Brits, Portuguese and French. I know the Spanish will be a challenge to field but that's all part of the fun, and with the intention to do Talavera and Albuera I can't leave them unpainted for too long.
So behind all my future adventures in 2013 that I will be recording here will be my underlying project, The Peninsular Collection, and I will update my progress as it goes.