I have bought the new Epic Battles: Waterloo by Warlord Games and I’m slowly making my way through the painting much like Declan (when I’m not painting those pesky Kruleboyz). However, one thing I’ve noticed (as I’m sure many others have as well), is that the models are epic in scale but the basing and the rules are standard Black Powder. What I mean by this is that a standard unit in Epic:Waterloo is the same as a standard unit in regular Black Powder.
This got me thinking to how you could have truly cinematic and epic battles in Black Powder by converting the inches to centimetres (like many others have done).
By doing this, you can play a regular game of black Powder on a much smaller play area – 2.4 feet by 1.6 feet rather then 6′ x 4′. But also, it gives you the option of playing much, much larger games on a regular table.
The only issue is the basing and miniatures. if you take a standard unit in Black Powder with a frontage of 240mm and divide this so it suits the cm measurements rather than inches (i.e. dividing 240mm by 2.5) you’ll get a standard unit frontage of 96mm (let’s call it 10cm). If we use increments of 20mm then the basing could look something like this:
The great thing about his, is that if you use Baccus Napoleonic 6mm infantry you can get two large bases completed for just £8.00!
But what about different formations. Well these could either be represented by a dice in one of the dice holders on the base (i.e. 3, for line, 4 for square etc) or you could just model some other bases as Square and attack column etc. I’m inclined by the later personally.
The other dice holder can also be used to measure the units stamina. For Dice holders I’m always inclined to use Pendraken.
But I’d like to know the opinions of those experienced in Black Powder and what they think!
Warlord Games have released their Epic Waterloo miniatures and game system this weekend just gone. I was lucky enough to pick my French Starter Set from SCN Hobby World yesterday and I was eager to take a peek and see what was inside.
It’s one of the largest starter boxes I’ve seen, and one of the heaviest! I picked mine up at 20% off for £72 through Sarah at SCN Hobby World.
Lifting the Lid
Theres a tonne of sprues inside. Ten infantry, three heavy cavalry and three light cavalry. Along with the meaty full colour rulebook, a scenery piece, painting guide and flags. I
It was all very nicely packages tightly inside. Warlord must have learnt their lesson form the ACW version Starter Set here, as a common complaint was that everything was a bit loose inside that box and often some of the contents would arrive damaged.
They have coloured the plastic of both starter sets, (blue for french and Red for British) so if you’re eager and know someone with the other set you can play straight away without the need for painting.
Sprue 1– Light Cavalry
There enough here for 11 bases of Light Cavalry, as well as 3 artillery. Made up of 4 Lancer bases (one spare model), 3 Hussar bases (3 spare models) and 4 Chasseur bases (1 spare model). None of these models are command models but the addition of two Imperial Eagles on each sprue allows you to convert some in to standards. You can also use the spare models for ADC’s or for diorama pieces on your Brigade Commander stands.
Geek Point 1: The standards were made optional as none of the French Cavalry had their standards on the Waterloo campaign.
Sprue 2– Heavy Cavalry
These are the other 10 bases of Cavalry, but these make heavier versions of the Cavalry regiments. Here you’ll have 4 bases of Cuirassiers, 3 bases of Carabiniers and 3 bases of Dragoons. Again, you have the inclusion of an artillery piece on each sprue and two french eagles. There were a lot more Cuirassiers and Dragoons at Waterloo than Carabiniers but I can understand why Warlord have included one of each type on the sprue.
Sprue 3– Infantry
There’s loads of infantry… all told just over 800 men. The detail on the sprues is incredible given their size, and time has been taken to differentiate the flank companies of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs from the centre companies.
This sprue is packed. You’ve eight stands of infantry and enough skirmishing Voltigeurs for another stand, as well as some foot artillery and a command figure.
Of course, none of these would play well without the basic addition of bases… just look at that pile! It’s huge.
And some dice… as if wargamers don’t have enough to build their own fort! Still a good inclusion for a starter set.
Decoster’s House – Building
Warlord games have teamed up with Sarissa Precision to bring some scenery with the boxset which also comes with its own painting guide and stencil.
Flags & Painting Guide
A great addition is a full colour sheet of French flags. This will really add to the colour and make the regiments individual on the tabletop. Well done to Warlord games for this inclusion.
The full rules book for the Waterloo Campaign in Epic Battles. This appears to be a full rulebook at 260 pages. It’s in glorious full colour as well and means you don’t need a separate copy of any of the existing Black Powder rule books.
This is a great box, and real value for money. It should draw many GW fans looking to get into Napoleonics. Declan and I are just two of them.
In my excitement for receiving my Epic Waterloo French Starter set from Warlord Games, I’ve been perusing the internet looking for painting guides. The below are a collection of the best videos I have found. All of these videos have been published on YouTube by Miniature Realms, Miniature Wargaming Warriors
I’ll often paint a single test model before batch painting the rest. It lets me take my time on making sure I’m selecting the right colours.
In the case of Napoleonic miniatures I find this is also useful as I will refer to images on my phone about the uniform of the unit I’m painting. Then, once the model is done, I can just keep it in view while I paint the remainder. This prevents me having to keep turning the old phone on and off while I paint.
So here’s the model, this is a phone picture so apologies.
So my issues of Wargames Illustrated arrived this week with their accompanying sprues.
I managed to get hold of three copies of the British Heavy Cavalry sprue.
I’ve started by painting the Scots Grey’s and first off these models are really easy to paint straight on the sprue. You just need to clip away any armatures of the sprue that are connected to the horse or riders directly.
I may have gone a little too detailed considering their size but this is only because I’ve enjoyed painting them so much.
I can’t wait to see the unit finished and on its base. I’m also looking forward to painting the cannon and seeing what that looks like. Once I’ve a few units done I’ll post again.
I’ve decided to play Black Powder at 6mm. I’m only collecting a couple of small forces so that I can play against friends and family without them needing to collect army as well.
But how to go about this?
I’ve already decided that all the measurements will be carried out in centimetres rather than inches. So what about basing?
Here’s where you can meet issues. The general consensus between Napoleonic players of 6mm is to base your miniatures on 60mm or 40mm wide bases. This allows them to be used in other game systems as well. That’s great, if I decide to try out another ruleset then I can.
Looking at the Black Powder rulebook, there are three unit sizes; Small, Standard and Large. As there are three unit sizes the simplest method would be to have a number of bases relative to the size. So 3 bases for large, 2 for standard and 1 for small.
This should result in a smaller game with the ability to fit more units on the table. I will post it updated of the Miniatures of once I’ve painted and based them.
Solo Wargaming for your Favourite Games
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For as little as £1 a month (the price of a chocolate bar) you can help support me in this endeavour and receive cool perks as a thank you, such as access to our Discord Server as well as downloadable copies of the gaming aids which you can print out and use at home.
Why not pop over to Patreon and sign up and help me in this project? Money raised will go towards making these as physical products.
The pre-order of Waterloo Epic Battles has reignited an urge to play this period.
However it can be daunting to approach this period. I want to put together a few thoughts on how to get into Napoleonic Wargames.
Your first thought before perhaps even considering the rules, is what scale do you want to play?
Napoleonics can be played at any scale with manufacturers producing miniatures at everything from 2mm to 54mm and beyond.
So to answer this, how do you imagine your battles to look? Do you want small skirmishes between groups of soldiers? Or would you like to recreate the battle of Waterloo in detail? If the former is your option then perhaps look at 28mm miniatures and up. If you’re inclined by the latter then perhaps try 15mm and smaller.
To give you an idea of how these different scales look on the tabletop I’ve included a gallery below to show games at each level.
Your next question is what type of game are you after? Would you like to play an accurate simulation of the battles at the time or would you like a game you can play in a couple of hours?
There are so many different Rulesets on the market for Napoleonic wargames you’re spoilt for choice. I’ve included a list of the most popular systems below.
Black Powder by Warlord Games (Rick Priestley & Jervis Johnson)
Black Powder is a game which can be played in a couple of hours and is designed really for Brigade or Division level games. What does that mean? Well a brigade is a small army of perhaps 3-5 units in total (up to 5,000 men roughly). A Division is perhaps two or three Brigades.
To give you more of an idea of what this means the Battle of Waterloo involved nearly 200,000 men across three armies. The French had five Corp (being 5+ Divisions each) and four reserve Corp.
Blucher by Sam Mastafa
Blucher is focused on giving you a game at the Corp level. In this each base represents a Brigade rather than a Battalion, meaning the amount of men that can be represented on the battlefield is much greater.
Blucher, again, is fast play rather than simulation meaning that you should be able to complete a game on an hour or so.
Polemos by Baccus (Chris Grice)
The Polemos series have rules for perhaps every era of historical Wargames. They have two sets of rules in the one book for Napoleonic. Marechal d’Empire focuses on gaming at Corp level or above enabling you to recreate the big battles of the age. General de Division gives you rules for fighting smaller encounters of Division level. The game is focused on using the Baccus 6mm miniatures as a basis.
Polemos has a fantastic army building system where the army you use is generated through dice rolls. Meaning that your armies may not be balanced, after all many battles in the Napoleonic age weren’t balanced themselves.
Sharp Practice by Too Fat Lardies
Aimed at giving you an experience of small skirmishes with heroes full of character much like the beloved TV series Sharpe from which it derives its name.
A game of Sharp Practice will take an hour or two to complete.
The benefit of Sharp Practice is that through using a relatively low model count you’re not going to be painting the same colour scheme and model for 100+ times.
There are again do many great companies out there. Here are a selection of the most popular.
Victrix do both 28mm and 54mm miniatures for Napoleonic wargames. With a pack of 16 54mm miniatures costing £25 and a pack of 56 28mm miniatures will set you back around £25-£30. A Brigade would cost roughly £100-£120 through Victrix.
Old Glory produce excellent 10mm and 15mm miniatures. With 100 10mm miniatures setting you back £15 and 30 15mm miniatures costing £16 (command is separate at £6). Meaning a Brigade at 15mm will cost around £80-£90 or at 10mm around £40-£50.