Monday, 1 February 2010

Wagram Big Game 2009

I promised a little something while my first batch of figures was finished and it doesn't get much bigger or better than this. Wagram 1809 refought at the Grenadier Guards Officers Mess in October 2009.

The battle was, as you can see, fought on a large scale in just about every way. The rules used were General de Brigade, which uses a 1:20 figure ratio - so a full strength French battalion would be 36 figures strong while it's Austrian counterpart would weigh in with 48 little men. Needless to say, the wargaming gods must be sniggering at the idea that I, a glacial painter, should like rulesets that have large numbers of figures per unit. What can I say? 12 castings doesn't do it for me as a battalion.

There were several thousand figures on the table (indeed I'd be happy to own the the reserve divisions held off-table) and it has to be said they were mostly by AB - although I did recognise the big bottomed horses of 15mm Minifigs as well scattered in amongst them. Almost the first thought that crossed my mind was that Anthony Barton's bank manager would be very pleased (obviously the figures are now sold by Fighting 15's in the UK and Eureka Miniatures in Australia see links to the right).

So you can see the quality of painting I aspire to (and there were some very fine figures on the table that day) and the kind of battalions I want to build. For the Napoleonic period then it's GdeB rules and the armies I am interested in are: 1809 Austrians, 1812 Russians and 1807-15 Imperial French (I'm sorry but in 15mm scale I refuse to get upset about Bardin uniforms etc - once they started wearing shakoes that is my cut-off point for worrying about uniform differences).

So what is on my painting table at the moment? A half finished British Peninsula battalion and a squadron of French Cuirrassier awaiting two things - for me to paint one last horse, and for me to base the damned things. Now why would I have a British battalion when it isn't one of the armies mentioned above? Well....a few years ago I bought a very large box of unpainted 15mm Napoleonic figures (mostly French, Austrian and Russian) from a gentleman in California courtesy of eBay (it's about 12"x14"x6" and it is chock full of "stuff") and in amongst the "stuff" I can't identify was a bag of about 40 AB British. And they called out to me for several years to paint them but I resisted manfully - until last Summer when I had the urge to paint something. So I started them up and found I was doing (by my standards) a respectable job - unfortunately there were only about 20 figures marching and 20 figures standing at ease, not enough for a GdeB British battalion - so of course that meant an email to Fighting 15s and an order for two battalion bags of British ifantry (they have 40 figures in each and I could build two 30 man battalions with what I already had). So you see how it goes, I make an attempt to clear something from my leadpile and instead I add to it by 80 figures. And this has to stop, I mean it, really I do.

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