Monday, 31 May 2010

Happy Anniversary M. le Archiduc!

This week saw the third anniversary of Clash of Empires, Iannick Martin's (a.k.a Archiduc Charles) excellent site and home of the La Bricole forum.  

Iannick is one of those people whose whole-hearted enthusiasm for the hobby, and for Napoleonic wargaming in particular, has been instrumental in keeping the flame alive in me even at those times when I wonder if the whole thing is worth it. 

Even while I envy his project discipline (apparently beginning to crack these days, mind!), he has been both an inspiration and a good friend.

So as a present to Iannick, and as a mark of respect to his beloved whitecoats, here is a musical salute to the Kaiserliks.  

The Weiner Alexander March, an Austrian march written towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars to celebrate the Allied ascendancy, and itself a parody of the French Revolutionary anthem, Ça Ira.  It was also a favourite of Czar Alexander at the Congress of Vienna, hence the name.

Never mind the Prussian flag, it was a popular march that soon found its way into the Prussian Army book of marches, and can still be heard played today. 

Thanks Iannick, and keep posting!

Saturday, 15 May 2010


Work, home projects and painting miniatures have been keeping me busy recently.  

The painting has been productive, and I've been focusing on trying to complete the half-finished or nearly finished units that have been taking up space on the painting table.  

Pride of place so far has been this vignette for my 18th C. project, but I've also been working on my Napoleonics, so I hope to have some eye candy here very shortly.

One setback has been physical.  Over the last few weeks I had been spending a lot of time at the computer at work finishing off some reports and a textbook draft.  This was followed by a weekend of intense painting.  

Well, I spent so much time huddled over my desk painting without taking the occasional stretch and walk, so that on the Monday I woke up with such severe back/ shoulder pain that I couldn't move.  I had to take the day off and just lie in bed with pain killers until the agony subsided.  

Moral of the story- I need to remember to pace myself.  I'm not as young as I used to be!

Other news is that I received my copy of Republic to Empire and it looks good!  It is complex, but not necessarily complicated.  At first reading, in fact, it reminds in in some ways of my old and beloved Complete Brigadier rules that I used to play back in 1985.   

The photos and overall design are just gorgeous, but it is obvious the rules contain a lot of "meat" as well.

Even if it means using unpainted or half-painted figures at first, (shame! Shame!), I intend to try out the starter scenario that Clarence Harrison developed, and which was played out by John in his excellent post on the Battle of Puente de Piedra.

On the subject of blogs, I've added a link to another one here.  "Grognard" is a French wargamer living in Rouen, and his blog, L'épopée, showcases some very excellently done Front Rank figures. I can only drool in admiration!

Finally, I received my latest copy of Battlegames magazine, and this edition came with a free sprue of Perry plastic dismounted French dragoons.  
The detail is amazing, and honestly these are more than the equal of any number of metal miniatures out there these days.  While some purists insist that plastic models don't have the definition of their metal brethren, I'd have to say that the gap is closing mightily fast with these models.  

And when you factor in the adaptability, conversion potential, and of course price, I cannot see why anyone would not want to have at least some plastics in their collection if only to bulk out the army.  

Not to mention that a brigade of French infantry in plastic will be a lot easier on my back to take to the club than would be the equivilent in metal!

Of course I am not about to throw away or stop buying metal miniatures.  No way.  I see the best of the plastics as complementing my existing collection, not replacing them.  There is room for both metal and plastic miniatures in my wargaming world.