Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Project Begun - Black Powder Napoleonics

So I was talking to my friend Stu yesterday and we agreed to build and paint two brigades each of French and foes by this September for play using the new Black Powder rules penned by Rick Priestly and Jervis Johnson. So each of us will be building and painting one (Black Powder) brigade of French and one of the allies. Now I'm not buying any miniatures for a year so I've got to do my part with what I have. What I have for the French is a box of Victrix late French foot, a box of Perry French foot, and a box of Perry French Heavy Cavalry. I started the Victrix last night and I have now got all 60 of them cleaned up with heads and backpacks attached/glued on. Here they are in the foreground. You can see the miniatures primed black just to the right and behind? They are the 42 Perry French foot.
So I have 102 foot and 14 cavalry (in the Perry French Heavy Cavalry box). I don't have any artillery, and with only 14 cavalry I can only make one unit of cavalry. The foot will be divided into 4 units of 24. The Victrix box has 8 officers. Given that the Perry box has one already, I only need three from the Victrix box, so I've demoted 5 officers back into the ranks, though they are in the elite Voltigeur and Grenadier companies. ;-)

Because of this arrangement I ended up short 6 backpacks for my Victrix French. So I stole 3 from the Perry box (leaving me with 40 for them) and left my Victrix drummers without backpacks despite the stern requirement stated on the Victrix Instruction Sheet, which I quote:

"Backpacks are to be used on all figures except B13, B14, B15."

Stu is going to regift me a couple of Wargames Foundry French 8 pound cannons with crew that I gave him about 4-5 years ago. As well, he is regifting me a unit pack of 10 Newline Designs French Cuirrassiers. This will give me a bare minimum standard sized brigade of standard sized battalions for the French for Black Powder (using only one gun).

As for my allies, I will probably do a brigade of Prussians from my collection of Calpe Miniatures Prussians. I basically have everything Calpe has produced over the past 8-9 years so that will not be a problem. I was originally going to go British for the brigade of foes as I have a couple of boxes of Victrix British and a box of Perry British. However, I have neither cavalry nor guns for the Brits, so the Prussians it is, Prussians that have waited long enough to see the gaming table in any event.

Otherwise, you can see my Khador jacks on the painting table, namely Drago and two Beserkers, along with another nearly completed EIR Roman Legion and various other odds and ends.

I am really excited about this new venture. The Victrix figures are very fine, with very little and easily removed flash, and while it is a fairly labour intensive business putting the figures together, it is an interesting labour. I've wanted to play 28mm Napoleonics for years and now, with the Black Powder rules - a set which I think to be animated by the true spirit of wargaming - along with the amazing developments in plastic miniature manufacturing, making large armies of quality miniatures available at very reasonable prices, I think there's finally a chance for me to get a few games in after all.

I'll post developments as they occur.


fireymonkeyboy said...

Oooooh, shiny!

Must see how this develops. I admit to jonesing for some Nappie action, but the lack of available games has me opting for the conservative option. Any reviews of black powder yet - have y'all had a look at the rules?

Keir said...

Markus, Yes, I've looked at the rules; I have them. I was going to post a review but I think I'll wait a bit. Time is precious and the Nappies are going to need lots of work. That said, we're talking big battles on big tables, with a command and movement dynamic based on Warmaster. Everything is fairly simple. There are no rules or tables to get bogged down in. There is a Blunder Table that has proven to be endlessly entertaining from what I have read on the web. All in, it appears to be a game for gentlemen who want to push lead (read plastic) without too many distractions from the rules that might confuse or irritate an inebriated tabletop general, a general, moreover, that is not overly concerned with winning.

JET (aka Jason) said...

I'm also interested in this and would be interested in a pick-up game next year. So, is there a prize for whichever of you finishes painting your models first?

JAM said...

Boy, I forgot about that little contest. I actually use a totally different style of painting now. I am not really sure if I am convinced that you used a cod jigger in the past but you were the first to notice it. So, there is supposed to be a prize, so if you send me your address I will send you a little something that may be helpful in your black powder games.

I was curious you have primed the Perry black and the Victrix white, any reason.

Best wishes,


Keir said...

John, No need to send me a prize. When I was a boy on the bay my grandfather had a couple of these in the skiff. I remember how he used to find the fishing banks by triangulating with church steeples and the doors of certain houses and the like. And yes, I pulled up a good few fish with one of those. At the time, the Norwegian jigger was just being introduced and was still looked upon with suspicion.

About my painting, the Victrix as you recall are a very light grey, and as my crappy camera insists on using a flash in well lit surroundings, they appear primed white. But they are not. I will prime them black and then drybrush white over all 102 of the miniatures. Following that I will use a wash technique on them to get a cartoony/cariciature-type look to them. I will post photos of all of these developments, albeit with my good camera which has just been repaired in Toronto.


Keir said...

Jason, You are a man of wit, but fear not, mine will be done in 2010, and not 2011. There is no prize. Both Stu and I are equally determined to not disappoint the other. I am sure. In that sense rather than a prize, there is the potential for a sentence.