Sunday, February 9, 2014

La Rothiere Part 1

Yesterday I was fortunate to participate in the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship’s bicentennial game of La Rothiere.  Their initial post can be found here:

Not only did I get to play but I also got to field some of my own figures.  This included the figure I use for my Sun of York Avatar which was one of the first metal figures I ever painted back in the 1970s.  In fact I am pretty sure all the figures I took to the game were painted in the late 1970s or very early 1980s.  I am also pretty sure they have never seen action, well, certainly not on this scale.

Initial deployment looking east from the icy river of Aube.  The Allies are just starting to enter on the southern edge of the table (right hand side of the picture).

Twelve of my chasseur figures representing a regiment in the first brigade of the first cavalry corps.  All Airfix conversions.

Eight of my dragoons pretending to be the 11e although eagle eyes will be able to spot the ability of my once teenage eyes to paint them as the 14e.  Remember these figures have not been used in a game before, unlike I guess the extra figures that were supplied to beef them up to the required configuration.

Another eight of my figures, this time Airfix hussar conversions.  The paints I used back then were all Humbrol enamels.  I remember I was particularly fond of the blue and also really liked the scarlet.

My two trusty Airfix French artillery batteries. 

A heavily converted Airfix French Foreign Legion officer posing as GdD Doumerc who was in command of my chasseurs and hussars.

Purely for representational purposes, my favoured Napoleonic 25mm figure posing as Marshall Marmont in command of the VI Corps on the far French left.

After a few turns some more of my boys arrived.  There are sixteen Minifigs painted as Young Guard with a number of Airfix French Infantry (painted as Light Infantry) representing more of the YG.  There are twenty four painted by me and sixteen painted by, and rescued from, my friend Brenton.

The French Dragoons are sent into counterattack around 14:30.  There was some vicious fighting, one battle going through three draws before an outcome was decided.  It was a battle of the "sixes".  My figures are yet to see action, but they can be seen cheering in the immediate foreground.

Final shot of the day of my part of the battle.  The enemy are approaching from the east as well as the south and appear to be in overwhelming numbers.  I Cavalry and Young Guard are deploying to the east .  The dragoon battle in the centre continues (I hope numbers will tell as I suffered some set backs in a couple of combats that saw one of my French cavalry divisions' moral to break; it doesn't always pay to roll sixes).

We are probably about a third of the way through the game and it will continue next month.  Despite the warm weather the wind whistling through the window of the games room provided some realistic atmosphere at times, and, along with the special terrain, kept things cool.

It was the first time they used labels and while I found them helpful, they did spoil some of the aesthetics - luckily they were printed on white paper that blended in well.  They also took time to apply, although this should be repaid when we next pick up the game.   How best to represent unit information, status etc is something that continues to vex me.


  1. Nice post with plenty of great conversions. I think the labels are a necessary evil.

    Good skills.

  2. Airfix figures stand up really well even after all these years, don't they? Speaking of Humbrol paints, I am still rather fond of them myself, on the whole favouring the gloss colours. But I am particularly fond of Humbrol gloss black and Humbrol silver - combined they make the best burnished metal colour I have ever seen. Swear by it, by Humbrol-combined-gloss- black-and-silver-burnished-metal-colour!

    I agree that klabels rather spoil the aesthetics, but you can make a virtue of the need for them by making them fairly pretty sorts of labels. One method might be to make them into a kind of flag, associated with general officers. E.g. a French tricolour with the General officer and command printed over it. Of course it would have to be oversized for legibility, but the thing can work I think.

  3. As always, it was great to have you join us Mark, but especially since you were on my side AND rolling so well! Looking forward to playing the second 'half' on the 8th March.