Since I saw the first Sharpe TV Movie the Napoleonic Wars have held a certain interest for me and I admit to seeking out all of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books over the years, as well as all the TV Movies.
Next year (2015, this year by the time most people read this) sees the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, as we British call it anyway. I’ve never bothered to collect and paint a true Napolenoic army (yes I have a big Slaughterloo army covering Krautians and Orcs) and whilst I doubt I ever will the interest is there. So when I saw Bernard Cornwell’s historical text on Waterloo at half price I picked it up. Now that was a few months ago now, but I’ve finally finished reading it. I already had Mark Adkin’s Waterloo Companion on my shelf, but this is a great addition to that text. What Cornwell lacks in maps and diagrams he makes up for in his writing style and the quotes from various soldiers on all three sides. The strapline (not sure I got the right phrase there) is “The history of four days, three armies and three battles.” It certainly covers what it says on the tin there.
In fact the book covers more than 4 days starting with the escape of Napoleon to the final victory of the allies at Waterloo. It moves from the classic “Napoleon has humbugged me, by God!”, through the battles of Quatre-Bras, Ligny and of course Waterloo, the fighting at Wavre is mentioned as part of the battle of Waterloo. It is clear throughout that Cornwell has researched the three battles very well and had certainly made use of some of the research from Sharpe’s Waterloo. If you have an interest in military history then I really do recommend you get a copy of this book and read it, to often the Napoleonic Wars are forgotten but too many men died in them keeping europe free for us to forget.
OK so I’ve started to experiment a little more with my painting. First of all I’ve set up a wet palette to keep my paint longer and make it easier to mix colours for highlights. Secondly I’m experimenting a little more with highlights. The first results of this is the free Secrets of the Third Reich German Vampire that came with the book a long time ago. So with further waffle from me here are the pictures.
The second gaming night of the year and I end up playing a boardgame. Darryl arrived today with Firefly the game. I’d looked at this when it was coming out and as a self-confessed fan of the Firefly TV series I had wanted to give it a go. Four of us had a fun game flying around space trying to complete jobs and hire crew. I ended up with the Serenity (there are 4 different named vessels available to play) and some how managed to get Malcolm Reynolds as Captain. Unfortunately I didn’t use my fuel up and ended moving too slowly so didn’t complete many jobs. I did however manage to hire Inara and Kaylee off James’ ship showing the problem when your crew becomes disgruntled. Zoe was picked up by Darryl, but unfortunately she died in a blaze of reevers. Joseph won the game and was flying with Jane and Simon Tam for the final run. All-in-all this was a excellent game and I would definately consider purchasing it in the future, although I need to persuade my lovely wife to give it a go.
The first gaming night of the year.
Game: Bolt Action
Army: British (1940-41 Operation Compass)
Opponent: Paul’s German Army
The German army turned up with trucks and armoured transports which was rather unfair of them if you ask me. The scenario was number 5: Top Secret, the second time I’ve pulled this. Paul with his enhanced speed managed to get to the centre and withdraw the information well before I could. I was also annoyed by one of my Infantry sections who stayed off the board for the whole game thanks to the reserves rules used for this scenario. Next time Bren Carriers for me.
Well 2013 is gone and 2014 has now arrived and it’s time to think ahead and plan for the next 12 months. I’ve always written resolutions at the beginning of the year, but thanks to George Takei (worth following on facebook if you don’t already) I spotted this cartoon from Jim Hunt:
Now this is so accurate, so rather than resolutions I thought a plan of action might be more in order. In terms of wargaming I need to complete the Paras for Operation Biting (we are at Cavalier in Tonbridge on Sunday 23rd February), we are planning on laying it out on Friday night to see where we are at. I got my Deadzone figures before Christmas and they need assembling so that I can play that game, so I might as well paint them. I also have some Dreadball figures from Season 3 that need to be painted so that all my Dreadball figures are done. I’m also going to try to not buy into new games this year and focus my gaming budget on terrain so that I can play more games at home.
So let’s summarise that:
Complete Paras for Operation Biting
Assemble and paint Deadzone figures
Paint remaining Dreadball figures
That sounds like enough of a plan of action for wargaming to me.