Saturday, 21 May 2016

Napoleon's "Catch-22" at Borodino

In the novel "Catch-22" the author gives his character a dilemma: For someone who wants to get out the army he has to be considered crazy.  But anyone who wants out of the army isn't really crazy is he?
This catches us in our lives also.  If you need money you might ask a bank for a loan.  But for the bank to give you the money, they always ask if you have collateral ( in other words - if you have any money!)
Napoleon offered himself the same dilemma: To throw in the Imperial Guard, his last reserves, he first wanted to be assured of victory.  But to gain that victory the Guard needed to be used.

Historically, Napoleon did not commit the Guard as he wanted to have these precious troops retained being so far from France - to no end as it turned out.  But was victory at Borodino obtainable with their use? Perhaps, if Napoleon allows in our replay, we might find out.
The battle in one week.
The French Imperial Guard at the Battle of Borodino represented

Monday, 16 May 2016

Hussar Humor

Helping a fellow wargamers with some hussar uniform information such as the colour of dolmans and their breeches and....

The Wife responds "Dear, pelisse don't go on about it!"

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Russian Cuirassiers

The new job is such a time-kill.  So I am really struggling to get the time to paint.  Thus, these and the other units I have done recently have been rushed and suffer from that, and perhaps from a poorer eyesight I must grudging admit.  However I have finally got the last of Lavrov's 5th Corps (the Russian Imperial Guard) done.  These cuirassier regiments of the Emperor's in dark blue facings and the Empress's in rose , were combined with the Guard Infantry to be the "Shock Force" of the combined Russian armies at Borodino. However it seems poor Lavrov had a "nervous breakdown" and thus the corps command was compromised.  It was thus not really directed into the battle in a meaningful way but was committed into minor counter-attacks throughout the battle.  We shall see how this pans out during our re-fight.

The blank patches at the rear of the base is for the attachment of a commander's identifier label.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

THE Borodino fictional character

For those who are into the Battle of Borodino ...and those lovers of classic great fiction and epic cinema ....and will no doubt recognize "Pierre" of Bondarchuk's movie "War and Peace" based on Tolstoy's work of historical fiction.  You can certainly find bits of the film on YouTube.

The figure, originally designed for the famous and usual depiction of the British General Picton and previously painted by me as an American militia commander. But I decided it was worth the little bit of effort to repaint him in the white-ish clothes of Bonarchuk's portrayal.

The figure is close to the costume and the addition of bits of tinfoil (!) serves as his spectacles. I created him up just for the humour of it as he observes the Russian forces in action.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Napoleonic Russian Imperial Guard Infantry

The 5th Army Corps at the Battle of Borodino contained the Russian Guard infantry, much of the Guard heavy cavalry and a division of combined grenadiers.  I decided to forgo the grenadiers and bulk up on the guard infantry (same morale strength in the rules so no advantage) which allowed me to create four of the guard regiments.  The guard regimental uniforms are similar but for the colour of the collars and, in one case, the addition of red lapels. Very cool those but marred to some degree with the right-arm-crossed-over-the-chest-to-hold-the-musket pose of all the Warlord infantry plastics.
Speaking of which, these Warlord Russians have a more goose-stepping marching poses than that of the Perrys. As the two are not that compatible together (see my previous review: link  )  I chose the Warlords to be the separate Guard elements.

The Russian Imperial Guard using the older flags carried during Borodino. In 1813 they were issued new individual regimental colours which most war-gamers associate with them

This stand I call the "But for the grace of God go I" as the lone Russian seems to contemplate the body of a fallen French soldier.   Somehow I miscounted and ended up painting one extra figure of guardsman. So I picked the one with an odd downward head position - it probably sagged before the glue hardened - and placed him, and a Perry plastic casualty type previously painted, onto a round stand ( a cut out from a door lock instillation of all things! )  merely as decoration on the table but the vignette seemed to indicate a telling story.