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….

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.