Monday, June 27, 2011

War Torn - part I - Napoleonics

So this weekend I was at War Torn; a new show with grand ambitions, not all of which came through on the day, a shame, but one I will perhaps discuss more in part two of this post.  Today I'll stick to the major theme of the show, an attempt on the World record for 28mm Napoleonic's on a gaming table.

Thankfully the rules of the record attempt did not require all the models to be in a single display, so as a result there were a variety of games on display.  I'll lead with my own modest effort, very much a rush job, Rolica 1808:

Using the scenario in the Battlegames Tabletop Teaser annual as a guide, I found I could just about scrape together the listed forces from my own collection.  As a consequence I summoned up about 300 models for the display.

The British under Wellesley with General Hill as Second in Command were to advance on the foothills below the Rolica escarpment looking to get British forces past the delaying French within 8 turns.

the French were outnumbered two to one, but held a strong position and had the advantage of Artillery and internal lines.  Moreover a large portion of the British forces were unreliable allies.  Over the weekend it ended as one win, one dismal loss and one draw for the British.

Rather outnumbering my meagre little effort were the next two games, Firstly the biggest; Salamanca:

This featured around 15,000 (yes, FIFTEEN THOUSAND!) models on a huge board, and made a recognisable attempt to reflect the dispositions on the long parallel march at the start of the battle.  Each Brigade featured more troops than my entire battlefield!

Not as numerous, but certainly more grand, was the representation of the battle of Corunna:

Featuring again several thousand models, this was a true display games, with many features to look at beyond the battle.  Not least the Town of Corunna itself.

If the scenery seems familiar, it is heavily featured in the Touching History Peninsular War book.  Something I finally bought after sitting next to this gaming p*rn all weekend!

Then there were the ships, good lord; you could see them a mile off!  For the record this looks to be a Third Rater, and the miniatures on it are 28mm:

Even the minor vessels were works of art; such as the gorgeous vignette of a gunboat.

Next up was a game that's been around for a couple of years, though it was the first time I'd seen it.  Busaco.  Probably the best terrain pound for pound...

Embarrassingly, like two maids at a wedding, I found myself presenting the same battle as another group (not wearing the same dress thankfully!)  A local schools club had turned up with a different interpretation of Rolica; theirs had a better hill, but I had the nicer toys!  Still good to see a group of young and enthusiastic gamers not obsessed with just Games Workshop.

On the Sunday another Naps game turned up, but rather than the Peninsular, this one opted for the Hundred Days campaign.  I'm not sure if this was a historical refight; but I'm going to plump for Quatre Bras, just a guess.

Lots of lovely Perry cavalry:

And of the record?  Well, a couple of no shows meant that it was a bridge considerably too far for the win; best estimates suggested there was around 23 to 25 thousand Napoleonic's models on display, alas the record is more like 40,000.  Maybe next time.

Assuming there is a next time, but more on that later.


  1. Great photos of the day. Thanks for posting.

  2. Still a massive amount of Napoleonics.
    Some great looking games there.

  3. 15,000, I'm still in shock! :)

  4. Interesting post. Funny how the record doesn't require all the figures on a single table but then how many tables are there big enough to host it? The no shows must have substantial to fall 15K short.