Sunday, 5 August 2018

Nearly Napoleonic Battles

Austrian Army

We are in the middle of a family visit, and consequently have not had much opportunity to wargame over the past couple of weeks.   So I have had lots of time to think about wargaming instead.

For the past nine years almost all our wargames have been provided by our long running 1813 campaign.   Since April 2009 it has provided us with 273 battles to wargame.  There is a blog of the campaign showing orders of battle, campaign diary and all battle reports here

As a break from the campaign, we refought all of Wellington’s battles in the Peninsula as a series of one off games.   We used our existing terrain and model soldiers, but made an attempt to recreate both the terrain and orders of battle.   We fought a total of 13 battles between November 2009 and May 2012.

We then tried to do the same with Campaigns of Napoleon in 2013.  But they are much larger and proved too difficult to recreate.

For the past couple of weeks I have been considering how I could wargame the major battles of the Napoleonic Wars as a one off project.  

I don’t want to have to create new armies, paint new figures or make new scenery.   My existing 1813 campaign works well and I doubt I could design anything which would suit us better.  So any new project would have to be tailored to match the existing table, scenery and organisation of figures.

One 28mm army per side is just right for my 6x6 foot wargames table. 

I have 35 different combinations with my 2x2 foot scenic squares.  This has proved sufficient to create almost any wargames table, certainly all combinations that I required.

Given the above I am only left with the choice of a name.   The wargames will be based on historical battles, but will make no attempt to recreate actual terrain or actual orders of battle.   I will use historical commanders names and make the wargames table look as much like the historical battlefield as possible.

I have started a new blog for this series of wargames.   I want the name to clearly indicate that these are not historical battles, but rather based on them.   I also wanted a catchy one word name.   Jan and I have spent a week considering possible names, and the best we could come up with is Nearly Napoleonic Battles.   Almost Napoleonic Battles was a close second, but we both felt that the former sounds better.

If anyone has any suggestions for a more appropriate name I would love to hear it.


Macota said...

"Napoleonish battles"

David Crook said...

"In the Napoleonic Manner" - with a nod to Peter Gilder.

thistlebarrow said...

Hi Macota

I like "Napoleonish Battles" for the blog title.

But it would not work with individual battle titles. For example at present I would use "Nearly Waterloo". But "Napoleonish Waterloo" would not work so well.



thistlebarrow said...

Hi David

I also like "In the Napoleonic Manner", indeed I thought of that myself.

But it brings to mind large battles with large battalions, the opposite of what I am doing with my small brigades.

I am looking for a cryptic one title that means "Based on" or "Similar to", but which makes it clear that it is not in fact an attempt to recreate the original battle.



Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


How about ...

Not Quite Napoleon

All the best,


thistlebarrow said...

Hi Bob

Thanks for the suggestion

This is another one that we considered, because it does explain what the series is about.

But I was hoping for a one word description which would be more pithy. Having spent so long on it ourselves I suspect that there is no such word.

However "Not Quite Napoleonic Battles" and "Not Quite Waterloo" does work.

I will put it to "her who must be obeyed" for a final decision!



'Lee. said...

Hi Paul,

I can't come up with anything better than already suggested, but I do look forward to reading the battle reports in due course, it's a good idea and will give you more scope.

Hope the family visit is going well, we are in the same situation and I'm having to snatch a bit of painting time as and when I can.

All the best,


thistlebarrow said...

Hi Lee

Thanks for your comments.

All well here in Parcent, though like you we have had to adjust to the slightly higher temperatures for a few days.

I have been following your blog, and was glad to hear that you were not affected by the recent fire near you. They are also a regular annual feature of living in Spain. We had one about a kilometer from the house a few years ago, and it was amazing watching the planes and helecoptors dropping water on the flames.

It was lovely having the family here, but it will be nice to get back to normal. Form them as well I am sure

best regards