Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Vive L'Empereur 2023 - Introduction

Welcome to the new year!

I would describe myself as something of a "wargames butterfly", flitting from project to project as my interests take me. 

While indulging these whims means I always have something new to focus on, it also means that my limited wargaming space and budget fill up quickly. My backlog grows with half-finished projects that I either box up for storage in the attic, or sell and recycle the funds back into my budget. 

In 2022 I managed to cut down my lead pile by giving away or cheaply selling some projects that I had lost interest in. And instead of going back to the trough for more, I decided to instead hold off and focus on a single project for this year.*

And what a project it is. 

There's a certain period of history that I've mostly steered away from due to its intimidating nature: Napoleonics. It's the ultimate wargaming iceberg; a relatively small surface above the water that hides an absolutely terrifying depth. 

I've dabbled in it before; mostly with Sam Mustafa's Blucher rules, since they've got some really nice unit cards that don't require any painting to play. 

So I've decided that 2023 is the year of Napoleon for me and this blog. I will spend my time and attention putting together my first dedicated Napoleonics collection. 

Technically, I'm cheating with this goal, as I started last year with some Russian cavalry to round out Ted's collection and play the Weissenfels scenario from the GDA '1813' scenario book. 

Conveniently, that's also what I'm going to base my Napoleonics collection on. The 1813 campaign for Germany was a desperate fight between Napoleon's battered French forces against a coalition of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian forces. Both sides had a mix of tired-but-tested veterans and new recruits. 

Having played General d'Armee and enjoyed it, I'm going to stick with it as my set of rules, although I'd also like to try Soldiers of Napoleon, which has army lists for the nations included in the main rulebook. 

Of course, between the time that I had original written this post and its publication, General d'Armee 2nd Edition was announced. 

I'll be using 18mm miniatures from Blue Moon, Viking Forge, and AB Figures.

My first target will be to match the OOBs from the Weissenfels scenario in the 1813 campaign book. That will give me a good start to my French force, and finish off the Russians I started last year. This is also helpful as I can then use the same French models in the Lutzen scenario (with some reinforcements), against the Prussians. 

As an example, here's the expanded OOB for Weissenfels. I've had to identify the Russian infantry regiments that were at the battle to get the correct flags, and it's also a convenient spot to put any links for uniform research. 

Let's see how far along this project I can get. If I can at least play out Weissenfels and Lutzen, then I'll consider it a success. 

So, let the year of Napoleon commence. Vive l'Empereur! Vive la France!

*I will probably have small asides here and there, as a means to avoid burnout and reduce the lead pile. The goal here is to avoid starting any new projects.

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