Saturday, April 9, 2011

Napoleonic Skirmish

Since I saw some nice battle reports of Song of Drums and Shakos on the Song of Blades and Heroes discussion group, I was interested in trying that system. However, I would need to obtain a reasonable number of miniatures and painting all those uniforms, even if not worrying about being historically accurate, seemed to take a long while.

Then I came to know the works of art of Christopher Walker, of Walkerloo Toy Soldiers. He makes Napoleonic paper miniatures in 1:32 scale that are absolutely amazing. Each model is painted, digitized and scaled. The soldiers are very expressive and the uniforms are highly detailed. There are models for many British and French regiments of infantry, cavalry and artillery.
So I bought the Walkerloo infantry pack and the Song of Drums and Shakos book, and printed some soldiers at 55% size, to make them 28mm scale (which fits other models and terrain that I have.)

I ran a quick game where a group of French light infantry (one Officer, four Chasseurs and one Voltigeur from the profiles on the book) assault a farm occupied by British forces (one Officer and six Line Infantry Veterans.) Here are some pictures of the action. The first is a shot of the setup. The board is 90x90cm as fits the "Song of..." games in 28mm.
The French advance to the other patch of woods, preparing to assault the unaware guards. I used the idea of limiting the line of sight presented in one of the scenarios from the book.
With a shoot-and-reload group action, they start the ambush. The lone voltigeur also unloads his musket. However, the surprise attack only manages to knock down one startled soldier.
The British officer orders his men to regroup behind the wall, in order to protect themselves.
The voltigeur moves forward, to set up an ambush. It works, but not as he would have liked it... the British advance and shoot, wounding him.
After this, the French missed the opportunity of taking the exposed soldiers out of action and they moved back behind the wall. With fewer men and risking more losses, the French officer orders a retreat.

In this game, I also used the activation system described by Dogui to run both forces. In the future, I might mix this with the Mythic GM Emulator to decide the actions and reactions of the units.

As for Song of Drums and Shakos, I liked the feel of the game. There are lots of changes from Song of Blades and Heroes, making it a different experience. Leaders are even more important and ranged combat must be used wisely, given the slow-reloading weapons.

The Walkerloo figures worked very well, they are easy to distinguish and look good on the table. Normally I like paper figures with distinct front and back but these have shown me that mirrored backs may be better for wargaming: it's easier to pose them facing any direction while keeping their distinguishing features (like face and weapons) visible.


Christopher Walkerloo said...

Thanks for the battle report Ricardo... first time I've seem my Print-fantry fighting in foriegn fields. looks like you had fun!

Christopher Walkerloo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ricardo said...

Thanks for the comment and for making such great-looking miniatures!