|Fun! You lot aren't here to have fun - You're Grognards - so start Grumblin!|
Long time followers of my little blog - and if there are any such types out there I'm profoundly grateful - will know that I have been heavily involved for over 18 months in our FLGS's (the Hall of Heroes Campbelltown) Waterloo 200 mega game project....
We have been replaying the major battles of the Napoleonic Wars, on or about their 200th anniversary, with our first really big game being Borodino, which we played in a single day, 'bathtubbed' at 50% of the units present on 240 square feet of terrain, using approximately 5,000 model soldiers - the blog reports can be found in Sept 2012's archive!
Following through these battles on their anniversaries gives one the same sense of perspective that the contemporaries might have gained - although of course in this time scale Napoleon is still kicking his heels quietly on Elba....
|Minifgs 25mm British Light Dragoons - will they get a last run out?|
So for 18 months or so, most of the 20 odd project members have been busily painting up 28mm 1815 era armies, made much easier by the advent of cheap plastic figures from the likes of Perry and Victrix, and the good offices of generous sponsors like Fons Libert of the Mabuhay Miniatures Painting Service. Although we will still be pressing the odd old Minifigs type 25mm figure into service - particularly if the Perrys don't get their plastic British light dragoons out sharpish!
|Minifigs 25mm 23rd Regiment of Foot (The Royal Welch Fuzileers) - I can't quite bear to throw these out!|
But actually, figure wise, all that early planning and cajoling has paid off - we have all the figures we need, for a 75% orbat by unit, each unit at a 1:20 figure scale. Indeed its a shame that we have to tell latecomers to the project that we don't need their figures, barring accidents and acts of God!
In fact one of the biggest challenges for many of us is actually carting the little chaps around - thankfully most of our collections are now plastic - or I daresay there'd be a few hernias around!
Of course the main strength of a project is its people - and we are now pretty much recruited fully up to strength! However, perhaps like the Anglo Allied army in 1815, many of the players are making up for lack of experience with our Black Powder rules with enthusiasm and commitment!
And of course, in Australia, there's the tyranny of distance - several of our keenest members live, or have been posted, hundreds of miles away, and will only be able to make it up for the Waterloo weekend itself. Still, it will make for a lively social life at the motel on the Saturday night! And I daresay a few local hostelries....
Terrain remains the biggest challenge, and our star terrain meister Terry has been flogging himself renovating and producing enough purpose built terrain to cover 5 12 x 6 foot tables - a major engineering and logistical effort in a busy shop!
The idea is to split the battlefield up into 5 slices, each of which will be a separate table, made up of five or six 2 x 6 boards, which together will represent the battlefield on a playing area of 360 square feet. Each table will have a gap of 3 or 4 foot to allow player access. So for example you can see below that the ridge line to the right rear of Hougomont on the near table continues exactly onto the far table as if the gap wasn't there:
Measuring ranges and movement across from one table to another has been one challenge, but something we are learning to cope with - just as most battle take place on the junction of 4 maps, so the action always seems hottest on our table edges - its too easy to forget about your flanks!
So that's how we're going so far - lots to do, but lots done! I've got lots more photos of yesterday's practice to show you, but its getting late and its time for a comfy armchair, a small malt and my daily peruse of Adkin's 'Waterloo Companion' - more to follow soon...