Setting the Scene
A couple of months ago, the club got together and made big order from Great Escape Games; it was so big, we broke their shipping calculator. The order was placed through email, but once it arrived we noticed one "problem". It contained a box of British Line Infantry instead of French (Great Escape Games quickly shipped the missing box of crapauds). Jonas has a theory that something like this happened:
At some time, at the Great Escape Games office:
A: "Boss. Boss! Look at this order that just came in."
Jonas already had a box of Victrix Highlander Centre Companies lying around somewhere waiting for a gentleman to lead them to victory against the Corsican Tyrant. And Jonas has been hinting in the blog for ages that SOMEONE should start playing the British. This just won't do, someone must do something!
Enter Zach! After my first game of Sharp Practice 2 in which I used Shirty's brave Russians and just barely failed to stop the cowardly Monsewers from escaping with their garlic stinking sausages I was hooked. As a consolation prize I got to take both boxes of British Infantry with me home.
Now I had a base on which to build the army that will defeat Boney. Because I, like Prometheus, can be a bit rash, I immediately built an officer and all 8 men flank company men in Waterloo uniform. Next I did some research, first by buying the first Sharpe's books, second buying the rules for Sharp Practice. After confirming with Jonas that his froggies could be used for both the Peninsular War or 100 Days I decided to go for a Peninsular War force. The very same day I stumbled upon a whole bunch of Sharpe's DVDs at a closeout sale. Surely this must be fate.
Next came choosing which regiments to field my little mens as. For the Highlanders the choice was easy. Since I've only been painting miniatures for about 6 months, and don't consider myself the most skilled painter, I went with the 42nd Regiment of Foot, also known as the Black Watch, simply because their tartan had what looked like the easiest pattern.
Finding a regiment for the regular line infantry wasn't as easy. Wanting something a bit special I first found the 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot, called the Pompadours, with purple facings. But they never served on the peninsula. Next there was the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot, the Orange Lilies, that were so hardcore protestant that King William III gave them special permission to wear orange facings as a mark of royal favour and a sign of their piety. Sadly, these badass disciples of Martin Luther never set foot in the peninsula either.
Well if I can't have God's own boys, I guess I'll have to settle for the Devil's Own. The 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment of Foot was an Irish regiment with yellow facings, that were known as the most troublesome and fearless rogues of the whole British army. And at Salamanca they captured an old Moorish standard, a 'Jingling Johnny', which sound like an interesting conversion for the future.
I also had four riflemen, they will be of the 95th Rifles. No need to research any alternatives, Sharpe's literary exploits decided for me.
A Starting Force
The box of Victrix Highlanders contains 60 men and out of these you get 4 of both Officer, Drummer, Sergeant, Colour bearer, and Piper. This leaves a bayonet strength of 40, exactly 5 groups of 8.
Not quite an even number, this won't allow me to make a symmetrical Attack Column. Not that I ever would, but still it's a cause for annoyance. Luckily Napoleonics is very much about style and fancy stuff, and we have already decided as a club to feature a lot more musicians, Colours, sappeurs, etc. than the rules of Sharpe Practice recommend. Filling out groups with extra musicians (a force can field only one in Sharp Practice) and some Colours guarded by Sergeants I should be able to field 6 full groups of Highlanders eventually.
Perry's box of Line Infantry comes with 40 men, out of which I have already "wasted" the officer and 8 flank company men. The flank company men can easily be salvaged with a simple head swap, and to get some officers I converted the Ensigns carrying the colours into proper officers. The box also comes with four Riflemen, a drummer boy and a Sergeant, leaving me with a current bayonet strength of 24. Since skirmishers fight in groups of 6 in Sharp Practice I made an order from Perry for one more pair of plastic Riflemen, their metal Riflemen, and a pack of command figures to lead them all. This adds up to 2 groups of 6 Riflemen.
This should be able to keep me busy for quite some time, but I know that my adventures in the Peninsular war won't feel complete without also experiencing the little war. Shopping around for Guerilleros I settled for some from Front Rank, combined with Perry's Carlist Fighting Clergy, with the vision of homebrewing some rules for an armed band wielding pistols, swords, blunderbusses. As a bonus the armed priests and monks can also be used as Holy men, with or without Relics. I've gotten an unhealthy liking for the vendors where shipping is calculated as % of the order, because it's like: slightly more expensive duders and FREE SHIPPING!
Order of Battle
From all the forces available for me, Duke W(Z)ellington, to fight the crapauds getting it all ready for a first battle won't be necessary. As an initial force to bring to first true battle (and to finish before I can buy more stuff), I settled for:
4 grps of Highlanders, w/ Officer
3 grps of Line Infantry, w/ Officer
2 grps of Riflemen, w/ Officer
1 grp of Guerilla Skirmishers
See you next time, with my force all painted, based, and ready for battle.
"Glory is fleeting,