Sunday, 24 February 2013

Fortifying Bravery

You learn something everyday... and when you stop learning you are dead.
My little ‘gem’ for the day comes care of Scott Armstrong’s fabulous blog of eyewitness accounts of the Russian campaign, Napoleon in Russia The Soldiers' Experience on the Campaign of 1812. Many of you will already be aware of this blog, which he compiled last year in recognition of the bicentennial of 1812. If you have not seen it DYSAF (do yourself a favour). 
I read sections of the blog last year but, being engrossed in our own ‘commemorative events’, missed large swathes of it. Now that the dust has settled on the bicentennial of 1812 I have began reading each post from the beginning. It makes for great reading with tragedy, drama, hardships and even humorous events.
The particular post that is the source of me learnin’ somefink is entitled The Russian withdrawal from Smolensk, and was posted on 19th August 2012 by guest contributor Alexander Mikaberidze.
In it Staff-Captain [Alexander] Figner, the commander of 3rd Light Artillery Company, describes how, understanding that his company would soon be committed to battle he “...ordered the available wine rations to be given to his artillery crews.” He borrowed “...this method of maintaining soldiers’ courage from the French, who, upon falling into our hands, usually carried rum or vodka instead of water, in the canister behind their knapsacks…”
I was aware of alcohol being used (or taken) as a ‘reward’ after battle, but not deliberately used to instil bravado. I tend to associate such use of fortifying drugs with more recent conflicts. Ya learn something everyday...
"Generals don't smash chairs over people's heads. They don't smash Newcastle Brown bottles into your face and say "Stitch that, Jimmy." They're in the nice white tent, on the top of the hill, sipping Sancerre and directing the battle. They're Men of Honour." (Rimmer, "Marooned" Red Dwarf)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kaiserlick Production Line: Wargaming Leipzig 2013 (3)

I was “away from base” recently. Inspired by Julian’s efforts at constructing buildings whilst ‘on the road’, I took some figures and paints with me in the hope that I might get a bit done in the evenings, thus making a good start on my share of the Army of Bohemia. I am pleased to report that it worked!
Two hundred and eighty-eight figures of Austrian line infantry, which will represent twelve units of 24-figures in our Leipzig game, undercoated with Payne's grey and a few of them given a base coat of white, flesh and black.
Getting there. Note largish brush, water (I use acrylics) and old tablet containers for mixing paint

All undercoated and a few to the next stage

It’s a small step towards the 55 units of Austrians that we need for Leipzig, but is progress nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Mark has been steadily producing beautifully painted units of Austrians and some Prussians.
Prussian hussars, first colours—Mark undercoats in white
Ditto but in this case Austrian cuirassiers
An old favourite being painted as an Austrian
Prussian dragoons ready for the finishing touches 
Prussian landwehr cavalry...
...lead by a dapper looking officer

Austrian artillery

Das Kaiserlicks

A suave Austrian officer plays at pirates
Another view

IR #9

Austrian IR #19
more of the same with a Prussian dragoon officer looking on

Leipzig 200 by October still looks possible at this stage!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Wonderful Blogs: New E-Friends Daily

These blogs are a wonderful addition to our hobby. The ability to see and read about other’s games and figures, to share ideas, to ask questions, to derive inspiration for one’s own wargaming activities and to expand one’s circle of wargaming ‘mates’ with another group; e-friends.
The blogosphere has delivered yet again, this time when we were contacted by a group of Napoleonic wargamers in the Czech Republic. I gather that they are relatively new to the hobby, but have written their own rules, the first set in Czech!
They have made a great start with painting their figures, but are not letting this hold them back, using a mixture of painted and unpainted figures in their impressive looking games. As a slow painter myself, I can understand that!
I recommend their blog to you, Napoleon Strategy game. Check it out!
(Gentleman, doufám, že jsem se udělala příliš mnoho chyb v interpretaci svůj blog!)