comments 7

Marengo 1800

Are you old enough to start collecting Napoleonic wargames miniatures? There must surely come a time in one’s life when you have no interest in reading romances or Scandinavian murder mysteries. Not for you pre-pubescent Wizards, you need only concern yourself with the campaigns of Bonaparte. Have you read the latest Harry Potter? Xxxx off, I’m nearly fifty, have you read Eagles over the Alps?

This week’s project was a dragoons unit for my Marengo collection. Napoleonic uniforms often put wargamers off due to their complexity but we of course are made of sterner stuff. The unit I started on was the 9th Dragoons, there is a huge amount of info out there on dress and undress uniform, rank distinction and officer’s braid but really? Let’s be realistic, I went for an approximation. Hopefully they will look good on the table and would Bonaparte’s Alpinists really be in parade ground order?

My regular reader will know about my struggles with ruleset choice. I bit the bullet and went for a large unit in Black Powder, Lassale, Blucher and General d’Armee. Eighteen figures costs a fair bit but that was not all. I wanted Paul Hicks miniatures from the USA ( Brigadegames) . In order to shield myself from unpleasantness, I didn’t even look up the dollar exchange rate- gentlemen never ask the cost of course…..

One immediate problem , not evident from the advert, was that the dragoons were designed for Napoleon in Egypt. A few of the castings had a neckerchief and they had to go. I had ordered the figures based on Lassalle unit strengths so had more command figures than I needed. A quick order to Perrys gave me the required number but the uniforms and figure size are different. But, it was too late now, this unit would be on campaign…

The purists will note that they carry the 1804 guidon. What is four years amongst friends. I will get Elite miniatures standards for the Chasseurs but if anybody does know where to source flags for dragoons? I notice that the Chasseurs carry colour coded squadron colours so perhaps I just need to get the regimental number right?

I used the PaintingWar book throughout. The ninth Dragoons were distinguished by having Crimson collars, turn backs and cuff flaps. Unfortunately I also need the Eighth Dragoons who are also in Crimson, but not exactly the same locations. As these are still stained by the older spirit of the Revolution, I allowed myself the odd tricolour cockade, with more Republicanism evident on the general staff.

So there you have them, they may not win any prizes but they are done. As with most things I would suggest, if you are toying with the idea of Napoleonics, stop prevaricating and just start! Below is a trial figure by Trent miniatures, noticeably more “chunky” than my favourite Eureka minis ( in background with standard) readers may also note a new Kickstarter Revolutionary miniatures which is offering some very impressive sculpts, again slightly larger than Eureka and Perry.

All the very best les gronyards!


  1. I have a signed copy of Eagles over the Alps and actually bought for me when On Military Matters was in Chicago by Christopher Duffy. Remind me to tell you the full story sometime.


      • Louen

        This post came at the perfect time. I’ve been builing up my Sharp Parctice forces over tge last two weeks. Rebasing the infantry on 20 mm tounds, and even making my own movement trays and token set on the laser cutter.

        But now I got an offer to buy Sam Mustafa’s Blücher book and the Penninsular Campaign set at half-price. I remember you guys writing about Blucher, would you recommend it?
        I’m not a fan of Black Powder, it’s too simple and yet the rules are often ambiguous leading to argument about thror interpretation… I’ve made the mistakebuying Over The Hills. Not a bad game, but not enough players interested.

        So, Blücher, Yay or Nay?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi pal,
    I too am tempted by Sharpe Practice version two. They are even starting to play this in competitions and the rules seem to be well regarded. My main reservation would be that I might be replicating my ww2 situation where I have literally hundreds of 15mm and now I’m into 28mm. On the positive, all these smaller games, saga and bolt action, forces can be raised in a few weeks.
    I have absolutely loved Blucher. It’s mechanisms are really stylish and one really gets the feeling of a large divisional or above battle. The cards are superbly produced and the rules are perhaps the clearest I have ever encountered, allowing one to just pick up and play.
    My only reservation with them is the look of linear formations. I’ve chosen 28mm so infantry and arty are in great blocks. I do wish the Lassalle set had been longer lasting with gamers because that added more granularity including formations and separate artillery batteries.
    You and I seem to have followed the same trajectory with rules. In answer to your question, buy Blucher! We can always play at the smaller battalion scale, detailed in the rules, and the minis can also be used for Black Powder and the latest General d’Armee.
    Ps I sat in on a game a few weeks ago in The club and the youngsters( by which I mean under 30s) were having a great time. Black Powder gives fast, really fast, multiplayer games.
    All the very best


    • Louen

      Hey Mike, thanks for the input! Of course, the impulsive buyer I am, I had to buy the books and cards only moments after I posted here 🙄
      Figured I could always turn around and sell it should no one else be interested here.

      If you don’t have one yet, I can send you a copy of SP2. I’m hopig to get my first game going sometime this week. Juat need to finish decorating the bases of my infantry and the movement trays.
      Oh and I need to cut some tokens for it. Love having a laser cutter available!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s