Monday 17 August 2015

Hanoverians and Waterloo

Mark (my regular gaming opponent) and I have been going through our current collections of lead and at first look we thought we were going to be short of figures for the Allied Hanoverian brigades.

I'm using A. Cameron's booklet on 'Wargaming The 100 Days' published many years ago by Tabletop Games. This has a full breakdown for each Division and Brigade down to the number of men present at each battle for each infantry battalion and cavalry regiment. It also has deployment maps for each of the four main battles as well as the small rearguard skirmish at Genappe.

We are planning to use the Shako rule set for the Waterloo game and there is a recommendation, when putting on large games, to divide all the returned figures for men present by 800 to arrive at the number of battalions to use for the opposing Armies. We understand that doing this helps to balance the amount of battalions on the table for opposing armies to allow for the fact that battalions and regiments could be large or small. In doing so I thought using 800 for cavalry was not going to give a good representation of regiments present. So I've divided all cavalry returns on both sides by 600 which does seem to give a better balance.

Back to the Hanoverians...between Mark and myself we only have a smattering of Hanoverians certainly not enough for four Brigades even at the reduced number of Battalions. So I started to do some research, firstly by picking the Hanoverian Men at Arms book off my bookshelf, followed by a little research on the web. I then started to wish I'd not started as I was coming across much conflicting information on the Hanoverians at Waterloo and their uniforms. So I put together the following spreadsheet which is my interpretation of Hanoverian uniforms from all the available information so please do not take it as gospel.

After putting the above list together I've heard from Mark that, if we over looked uniform details, we could possibly get away with spare British infantry battalions for the Hanoverians at Waterloo. As we are running out of time to pull this game together this might be the best option.

BUT... I must admit I'm starting to find the Hanoverians quite interesting even though they were short lived and will only be used for the 100 days war. There seems to be the possibility to have Brigades with some mixed uniforms and not just British uniforms in Red coats and either Belgic or Shove Pipe Shakos. So I would very interested to hear from anyone who can add any further information to that that I've collected above. We are already thinking that if it all goes well gaming Waterloo might become an annual event. So I might work towards building more accurate Hanoverian Brigades for future games, especially as I've already purchased four battalions worth of lead.

Monday 10 August 2015

Update with an exiting prospect.

I mentioned in my last blog, back in January, that I was thinking about sorting through my figures and selling a few on eBay. First in the frame for consideration were my 15mm Napoleonic French. I’d never been overly happy with most of the infantry, which was for a few reasons, the first being the quality of painting; secondly was the style of figure; thirdly was the way they are based, and fourthly due to number of figures per battalion/regiment.

When I first started gaming Napoleonics the guys I gamed with were using infantry units of 20 - 24 infantry and 12 - 18 cavalry figures so my collection reflected this. As time has gone on, due to available space for gaming but also to match my regular opponent's (Mark) collection, I’ve built up 12 figure infantry battalions for my Austrians, Prussians, Confederation of the Rhine and KGL. I’d considered reducing the size of the French battalions which would have created more battalions with better basing but I felt I’d still be disappointed with them due to the sculptured figure and standard of painting.

So the decision was taken to move them on and use the proceeds to rebuild a French Army based on 1812-1814 era. The first units to be auctioned were my Guard battalions and a few Command stands. I then sold a brigade of Line infantry and some Cavalry along with all my Westphalian Infantry. There are still many battalions to sell but please read on...

The other drastic decision I took was that as my 1815 British and Brunswick collection of figures had not seen light of day for a number years (well over five & possibly more), and as they are also large battalions with a few large cavalry regiments, I should move these on as well. This was a more difficult decision as I am still happy with the figures. The Brunswicks were the first figures I painted. But earlier in the year there seemed little chance of them being used in the foreseeable future let alone only half of each battalion being used if they were required. That was until a conversation between myself and Mark after an evening gaming the Battle of Gorodetchna...

So... what put a stop to the selling of figures was Mark mentioning that as this was 2015, 200 years since the 100 days war, and we should have a go at two of the smaller battles, Quatra Bras and Wavre, in way of honouring the events. This meant I would need my British and Brunswicks along with a few of my French. These games have been completed and both were excellent evenings. At the end of the second battle I mentioned that I still had the terrain for Waterloo tucked away in my garage roof space and it was a shame we do not have the space to lay it all out and put on a game based on Waterloo. This started discussions over the next few weeks at the end of which we thought it might be possible, even if we had to rent a room for a day.

The Waterloo terrain was purchased a number of years ago. When putting on games on my territory I’d used parts of the hex terrain for smaller games on a 6’ x 4’ table but never had all of it laid out. I'd even added a number of wide river tiles to the terrain for some WW2 games but I had a recollection that for Waterloo it was not complete. So first task was to lay out as much as I could to find the overall size and discover which tiles and buildings where missing.

Above is the Allied half looking from Papelotte, with La Haye Sainte in the middle. There is one edge tile to create where the stream exits the board. I also need a building for the Papelotte farm. I have a few that might do for now but Tiger Terrain do a very nice combination of buildings for the farm. Possibly too large for the above terrain but interesting buildings for the future...

Above is the French half with Hougemount in the foreground and a building in the position of La Belle Alliance. I've recently purchased from Tiger Terrain a better representation for La Belle Alliance than the one placed on the terrain and hope to have this painted ready for the game. It's to a good scale to match other buildings on the terrain and has made me wonder if I could use any of their Papelotte buildings. As can be seen I started to create the three missing edge tiles to on this half to finish the terrain.

The above shows the six foot depth of the terrain, Allies at the top French at the bottom of the photo.

All the buildings are not true representations of the locations but I think are best suited to the size/scale of the terrain. Size overall is 9’5” x 6’ not overly large and it looks like a number of liberties had to be taken due to the geometry of the hex tiles but I feel it does look the part.

Looking at the size of terrain along with the size of ourselves we think we will require an empty room at least 15’ x 12’ to enable four to six people to get around the table to give comfortable access. The search has been on and we may have found a room as well as two other very interested gamers with the possibility of a couple more.

I must admit that though we have been slow off the mark this year with our 1815 games I’m getting a little exited about putting on the Waterloo game. Hope it comes off….

Thursday 16 July 2015

Scale - what's it all about

I've always been at odds with scale of wargaming figures to the scale of terrrain, or should I say the lack of true three dimensional scale in wargaming. At times, when querying rules, I have found it complicated to a point of exasperation when trying to put three dimensional thoughts on to sections of rules. But over the last year I've become more comfortable with scale related anomalies. Why?

In the scale that I use most (15mm), each figure (depending on rule sets being used) could represent one or 15 or more actual men. Then in a command stand we paint up a character to represent one actual character figure... or is that 15 Napoleons? Model vehicles/cavalry again represent different number of vehicles/horses but at a different ratio than the figures in the same rule set. Then we come to buildings...... The building size is generally in proportion to the figure height but this does mean that depending on size of building being used, one building can represent a whole village or even whole town. This is all before we start looking at movement scales and firing scales. Within the same scale (15mm) different rule sets will work to different movement and firing distances. Scale in wargaming is all over the place, being stretched and compressed so that a game can fit table space. Figures, buildings, vehicles are only being used as tokens/representations of elements and are not true scale models even though some current models are very accurate representations of the real thing.

However over the last year I've started to become more comfortable with all these anomalies. When looking over wargaming rules I now feel I'm not carrying the scale hang up as much and possible understanding the 'why' a little better. It is still there, I'm just finding it easier to accept it. In asking myself the question 'why has it taken this long' I've been thinking, is just a time thing? Have I been worn down and now know there never will be true three dimensional scale in wargaming unless I'm gaming a one to one skirmish game. Or is it that I'm getting stuck into my other hobby, is my need for accurate scale being fed by the P4 discipline in railway modelling? Hmmmm...... I'll probably never really know but I think the two hobbies can complement each other. I've also recently regained a little more enthusiasm for wargaming and painted a few buildings and figures. I'll put this again down wargaming being an opposite discipline but a complimentary one to railway modelling in that it can be a little light relief. I just need to organise my time between both hobbies a little better.

Friday 23 January 2015

Sturmgesshutz-Abteilung 200 (Part 2)

Blimey I can't believe it was back in February 2010 when I posted the first blog on this little unit. A snail could paint quicker than I do...

Another two companies of Hotchkiss 75mm AT and Hotchkiss 105mm completed. My only disappointment is they are not the same as the previous four. There was a considerable time lapse between purchasing the first four and then the four below during which time Battlefront changed the moulds...

2 x Hotchkiss 75mm AT and 2 x Hotchkiss 105mm,
I know they are only gaming pieces but side by side they do look different. The previous models have a narrower superstructure than the new models. My painting style has also changed slightly over the years so, for the moment, the jury is out whether I'll keep the older models. I suppose it will depend on whether, in the near future, I seriously think I'll need all eight to be on the gaming table at the same time.

I've also been working on the command for Sturmgesshutz-Abteilung 200 (Major Becker)

4.7cm PAK(t) auf PzKanpfwagan 35R)f) ohne Turm & LeSPW u304(f)

Not sure if Becker use a u304(f) as a command vehicle but has I'd a spare already undercoated I though I'd put it to good use. For the moment I think the above two vehicles will have to suffice.

Even though I still have a number of models either undercoated or part painted, I think that will be it for the moment. I've started to sort through all by lead again with a view to reduce the lead mountain. More about this later...

Wednesday 14 January 2015


At last... I think I have finished this little beauty. It will be interesting to see how it performs during a game...

I don't know why some of these models have been tucked away for so long, but it is a good feeling finally finding a little time to get them based and ready for the gaming table. I'm not holding my breath but, at this rate, I might get my planned 21st Panzer Division finished in the next couple of years...

Saturday 10 January 2015

88mm Flak 36

This is another little unit that was started early in 2014 and put on one side as I was not happy with the way it was turning out... Still not completely happy but after all it's a unit for gaming with, not for the display cabinet.

I've based the figures with the ammunition boxes on a separated base that can be placed either side or behind the gun depending on space available on the table.

What's next to be completed? Not sure, I'll have to see what takes my fancy...

Sunday 4 January 2015

Luftwaffe Felddivision - First battalion finshed

Happy New Year to any readers.

Well...thought it was about time I created a post about a little project I'd started during 2014.

During the Christmas holiday period I thought it best if I complete some of the projects I have tucked away in boxes before releasing more lead from its wrappers. These Luftwaffe figures had been painted to the point of being ready for basing back in September. There is a rumour of a WW2 game coming up where I might be able to field these new troops so they became my first project to complete. My intention is to build a small force to represent the elements of the 16th Luftwaffe Felddivision to field along side units of my 21st Panzer Division.

1st Battalion HQ

1st Company
2nd Company
3rd Company

4th (Heavy) Company

All figures for the 2nd Battalion and Regiment HQ are undercoated but I understand the above battalion is enough for the up and coming game. Next to be finished off is an 88mm Flak 36, and I'm looking forward to getting that little baby on the table...
I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.