Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Experiences so far with Horse & Musket Era Wargaming

Well, it has been just over six months now since branching out in to Napoleonic wargaming. Like I have said before, Napoleonic history is nothing new to me, but wargaming it is. I have learned many things about the tactics and doctrines, dress and motivations of the armies - especially the 1812 era French and Russians. It has been a great learning experience to be sure. However, I have also learned something about myself; my hobby interests. For one, I have discovered that this period/era has tickled my imagination like no other to date. I am not quite sure why this is really. Perhaps it has something to do with all the recorded drama I have at my fingertips - all the great historical references and such. Not that the other periods I am interested in are devoid of such. For some reason this era has caught my imagination like no other. Secondly, it has made me consider periods outside Napoleonics but still within the historical horse & musket era - the American War of Independence (AWI) for one. The AWI is an era that has always been part of my life, having grown up in a colonial home, being saturated with the Bi-centennial celebrations of 1976, and being directly involved with Colonial reenactment through fairs and such - my mom was very active in such events. I collected tons of little  toy soldiers of the AWI as well, and oh boy did I fight some awesome battles! All in all, this whole Napoleonic project has really opened me up to a whole new set of experiences within the hobby of wargaming. In fact, I have already began working on my next big project - yes, the American War of Independence! I recently started a new blog called Flint & Feather Wargaming, which will cover my journey through the early wars in America during the 18- early 19th century. But I won't get too deep in to that project here as this blog is all about the European conflicts of the horse & musket period.

Russians advance.

As for Napoleonics itself I have really had a blast so far. Trying out all kinds of rules sets, exploring the different conflicts and armies, as well as the major characters of the wars, has been amazing. I have a lot of friends to thank as well for adding to my inspiration. Many of my fellow gamers interested in the era were always quick to help me out with small details on uniforms or battles. I am really thankful for these guys. I often find myself relaxing from a long day by just setting down at my wargame table and having a go. No points, no real scenario, just moving my little guys about engaging in battle. Perhaps it is just the newness of this period for me. Maybe; maybe not.

French deploying with the rise of the sun.
 At the moment, I am looking to deepen my knowledge of the 1812-1814 campaigns, on land and sea. So many great books and references out there. For rules, well, my quest for my "go-to" set continues. I have tried a number of them so far, most finding a permanent place on my bookshelf. However, I have yet to try them all, and still the quest continues. General de Brigade  holds a lot of promise at the moment however. I pretty much have discovered that the tactical level of battles - that is where battalions are the basic unit, and formations changes rules the day - is where my main interest seems to be. As much as I love the grand sweep of divisions and corps on the battlefield, it is in fact the lower level of detail that gets me inspired the most. The "in your face" level of combat is just so exciting to me during this period. So, onwards I go. Lots of exciting rules yet to try.

Again, the French move out in the early morning hours. Battle awaits.
Anyway, just though I would post some of my observations on my experiences so far. I am pretty excited to be exploring the hobby again. Bottom line is that I am loving this period a great deal. So stay tuned my friends. More goodness is to come.


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