Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Patria, and Blunt's Company

I thought I'd combine these two posts, so it doesn't get too repetitive for you, dear readers!

As mentioned, I completed a second Line unit of Napoleonics; I bought a box of the Victrix French, thinking I was going to end up doing a French army, only to find the situation reversed and I could get on with my first choice. So what to do with them instead?

A little browsing through one of my Blandford resources, this time their 'Peninsular War' volume (good luck finding that one, pretty rare now), and I found these chaps would work well. The 'Patria' Regiment, a Junta Battalion formed by the Spanish after the occupation.

These are some of the troops, who fought very incapably for Spain and occaisionally gave poor service to Wellington in the field; including the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811 . This particular regiment though was important for me, as they wore old Spanish uniforms, which from the contemporary sources appeared to be close copies of the French pattern, but with coats dyed or produced in Green cloth rather than the traditional white.

The standard is generic. It's worth giving some comments on the Victrix models, compared to the Perries. They do offer a much larger number of poses, many hundreds potentially, but the down side to that is that they do not go together quite as smoothly, and it is fair to say the in places the detail seems less crisp on the unpainted plastic.

Once painted, you can't really see a difference detail wise, but there is a oddly chunky appearance to the models. I feel that the anatomical proportions are marginally out; the heads seem large, though it could be the optical illusion produced by the large Shakos (which Patria did wear, rather than the old Bicorns).
Still the biggest bugbear with the Victrix models is the sprues themselves; though absolutely stuffed with parts (enough for 60 models), the thinnest parts are tagged to the plastic in as many as five points. This makes it almost impossible to remove all the parts without damage, not to say a lengthy process. Also some of the model options are curious. Kneeling figures are hard to use, end of story. For this period I'd rather not have them at all. I used all of them up on this regiment - 8 per box - to avoid being stuck with them in a marching formation.
Lastly, there was a noticeable issue with mould lines and flash on these, that the Perries simply do not have. These are not cast by Renedra (who do the Perries, Wargames Factory and of course GW moulds), and the resultant quality must speak for the vast experience Renedra have by comparison.
Overall the Victrix figures are good, but not as good as the Perries, which doe suffer from the drawback of sameness; each box of Perries will essentially produce exactly the same outcome. Something the Victrix don't at least.

Subsequently, myself and Neil had another go with the British and French. This one I've titled 'Blunt's Company'. The Scenario was the Lt. Blunt and his men were to lead a British company through a rocky pass to the farmhouse. French skirmishers were everywhere however.

At first the British column marched forwards well; before deploying to a perfect line as the farm came in to sight. But their skirmishers were out gunned by the French and soon they were halted. It then became apparent that the rules did not allow the formed unit the will to out fight small bands of men firing on it - something to consider in the revisions - and instead it spent too long dithering in the face of diminishing enemy odds.

At one point it even retired, making a sucessful advance within the available 12 turns all but impossible. Eventually Blunt took command of the Company and it at least delivered one devastating volley to the enemy. But it was too little, too late, and the British mission failed.
My skirmish rules generated some discussion amongst several by standers and I think will be better for a selection of changes to them. They are starting to look like workable rules now, and we've found their effective scale I think; five or six units per side, wether formed or skirmishers seems to be about right for an evening game.
I'll release the rules via the blog when I satisfied with the amendments.

1 comment:

  1. It was an interesting game, and your miniatures look great.

    You caught my interest so much os I've picked up some Victrix french too. Think they'll be Italians though.