19 April 2016

AB Napoleonics

I have been promising for some time to show off this new Napoleonic army, so here we go. I decided to go with exclusively AB Miniatures which are thought to be the best in this scale. They are very nice, minimal flash generally (although of course I painted very few of them) and there really is an enormous selection. My only criticism is that the metal is a little soft; we have lost some bayonets and because of this the flagpoles are a bit of a joke, so much so that I have had both painting services remove them. I have replaced them all myself with stiff metal lances (I bought a bunch a long time ago so I have forgotten from where they came). This has added a bit of work for me but I had to add standards anyway. Most of the standards are from GMB with a few from Adolfo Ramos. I would have liked to have used Flagdude but we all know that story!

After a lot of thought, I have decided to go with a Peninsular War OB, generally mirroring the Battle of Salamanca in July of 1812. I am sure I will drift into the Hundred Days campaign, but for now limiting myself to the Peninsula was thought prudent (after all this project had to be self funding from the sale of my 28mm figures). I will not go into the unit by unit detail of the OB but suffice to say it is as follows:

  • First Division: Fermor's, Von Lowe's and Wheatley's Brigades
  • Third Division: Wallace's Campbell's and Power's Brigades
  • Light Division: Barnard's and Vandeleur's Brigades
  • 5 Regiments of Cavalry
  • 1 Battery of RHA
  • 1 Battery of RFA
  • Foy's First Division: Chemineau's and Desgravier's Brigades
  • Clausel's Second Division: Berlier's and Barbot's Brigades
  • A Guards Brigade with 5 battalions
  • 8 Regiments of Cavalry
  • 3 Batteries of Artillery
SPANISH Portago's Division (Spanish Army of Estremdura 1808)
  • 6 infantry Battalions
  • 1 Cavalry Regiment
  • 1 Artillery Battery
They are not all photographed as the Spanish are on their way from Spain and I am missing still 9 battalions of French, some artillery as well as a battalion of caçadores (3 French on the way), but the rest are below.

The units have been based for the General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command (a playtest title) ruleset. As I have said ad nauseum, this is the best Napoleonic ruleset I have played. The formed infantry units vary from 6-10 stands, but stands are also required for two different types of skirmishers (as discussed below). Command figure stands are also required for colonels, Brigadiers, and Divisional Generals as well as ADC's. The game is aimed at the Divisional level with 2-4 brigades per side with cavalry and artillery support.

I commissioned 2 painters, Jose M D Aznarez (aka Pep) in Spain and Big Battalions (Graham John Campbell) in Thailand. I found Pep on TMP, he regularly sells painted AB units, so I bought a unit, found the painting to be excellent so went ahead a ordered the French units as well as half my British units from him. A little later I came up on Big Battalions on eBay, I established communication with Graham in a somewhat round about way and he sold me 8 units of painted French cavalry. These were also quite excellent so I put in an order for the 10 remaining British battalions I had not yet commissioned.

I really can not say enough positive about both these men, Pep is an excellent painter and Graham runs a first class painting service. I acquired this massive army (I am afraid to count the number of units) in less then 6 months. They both have excellent communication skills and I never worried once about the accuracy of their uniform details. Amazingly enough, neither took money up front, they purchased the figures themselves and only charged me when the figures were painted and ready to be shipped. I can recommend both services without hesitation. Pep and I purchased our figures from Eureka Miniatures USA, I have to say that Rob Walter runs an excellent operation, I have never had to wait for more then 2 days for an order. I am sure the Australian Eureka operation is the same.

Well on to the figures.
Hard to photograph the lot but here they are
Bde Chemineau by Pep
Le Jeune Garde by Pep
French Cavalry by BB
French Divisional Commander by Pep
Dragoons by BB
Garde Lanciers and Cuirassiers by BB
French Hussars by BB
Look at those numerals!
Le Jeune Garde by Pep
French Divisional Commander with ADC by Pep
French Legere by Pep
French Cavalry Division stand with ADC by Pep
My painting contribution!
French Infantry Division stand by Pep
French line by Pep
British Rifles advancing
Barnard's Bde of the Light Division. The Riffles are by BB, the 43rd by me and the Cacadores by Pep
British Divisional Commander by Pep
Von Lowe's Bde by BB
Fermor's Bde in the farground by Pep and Wheatley's Brigade in the near ground by BB, BB did a great job on the 5th/60th Rifles.  I unfortunately have no close ups of the job on the tartan by BB but it is impressive
KGL Brigade by BB
Vandeleur's Brigade with the Cacadores and 52nd by Pep and the 3/95th Rifles by BB.
Kempt's Brigade, by Pep and BB (if you have not figured it out yet they use different basing styles). The 1/45 is on the way from Spain. 
GMB Flags
Powers Portuguese Bde missing the 11th Cacadores by BB
British Cavalry by Pep
Voltiguers by BB
These skirmishers are based as Tiralleurs de Combat, they have the ability to break off  from the parent battalions and add a skirmish screen. They can also stay formed with their battalion and fight as a regular base. This is one of the things I like about the General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command ruleset.

British Cavalry is quite impressive......
......but not as impressive as French Cavalry
These British Rifles (by BB) are based as Tiralleurs en Grande Bande. The bases are twice as wide as a typical infantry base and hold 3 figures. In the ruleset these units always fight in skirmish formation.

Barnard's Brigade from the Light Division with 2 battalions fighting in Tiralleurs en Grande Bande Formation.
RHA painted by me
5/60th Rifles in Tirailleurs de Combat formation skirmishing for the Coldstream Guards
Le Jeune garde followed by the 25e legere.
Well illustrated command structure with GdB in the centre with 2 colonels with  a regiment each (of 2 battalions)
GdD off to the side with a separate base for the ADC, all important to playing this ruleset.
I can say that I have absolutely no regrets selling my 28mm Napoleonics. I finally have a coherent Peninsular force which will soon be complete. They are all on metal bases and the amount of storage required is minimal. As you can see from the first photo it is possible to field the 3 British divisions and 2 French divisions with cavalry and cannon on a 6x4 terrain. They are beautifully painted....what more could I want!


  1. Well John, I was shocked when you sold off your lovely 28mm Napoleonic collection however it's great to see your equally lovely 18mm AB collection!!! Good to hear you had great service from the painters plus Eureka. Look forward to the Spanish!

    1. Thanks very much Paul, I am very pleased with the small scale.

  2. Looks absolutely superb John and hopefully will do you proud on the battlefield. Like Paul I'm looking forward to seeing your Spanish.
    I really must dig out mine for a GBCOC game, if we can figure out some suitable Tactical Bonuses.

    1. Thanks John, I have never gamed the Spanish, but I felt it unreasonable to have fights in Spain without them. I am sure we will figure it out.

  3. Great looking armies, John!

    I was interested to see what look like some black GMB regimental flags. The black faced regiments are somewhat controversial re: whether they carried regimental flags in black, or instead used white with the large Cross of St. George like the white and red faced regiments. Not at all a criticism, I like the look of black flags (that of the Danish 3rd IR Jutland is a great example).

    1. I have some lovely black flags from Flagdude for my Brunswickers

  4. I very very much enjoyed that! Nice Armies John! Look forward to seeing a game report of these rules as well.

  5. Amazing wonderful stuff - where are the rules you mention available from?

    1. They are still in the playtest Miles, but I will send a copy to you now.


  6. Beautiful armies John, you did the right thing! Some really nice painting on show there, well worth the wait.

    Have fun with them John :)

    1. Thanks Lee, I am really liking your BA project.