Wednesday, June 26, 2019

US Armored Rifle Platoon for Flames of War

I have been slowly getting back into Flames of War.  My friends and I have recently played a few games of v4 using the new army points/cards/lists.  These games have been fun and it has been nice to get my collection back on the table.  For a very long time I have wanted to add armored rifle platoons to my US forces.  About 5 years ago I built the half tracks for this unit but I never got back to the infantry.  I have fixed that and discovered I have enough unpainted to do an entire company so that has been added to the project list.

These figures are the old Battlefront metal figures.  They are technically the late war set but with the new v4 concept it turns out the mid-war and late war units are now identical.  The half tracks are plastic models from Plastic Soldier Company and I have a separate post about these.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

1st Battalion, Little Russia Grenadier Regiment

I am making good progress this spring on my long neglected Napoleonic project.  This time we have the 1st battalion of the Little Russia grenadier regiment.  To be honest, I had not set out to model this particular unit so I really have no idea if this looks 'correct' in terms of uniform.  It is the Little Russia regiment because Warlord kindly included flags in the box for this unit.

When I started my Russians I really knew nothing about Napoleonic Russians - how to configure the units, how to paint the uniforms, what are the flags all about?  Part of the joy of historical wargaming is the research and discovery of a new period or topic. 

Needless to say I have been doing a lot of research all-be-it on the internet.  Since I have been working on grenadiers that has been my main focus.  These figures are painted in the 1809-14 style with the old style shako and large plume.  I painted the jackets more inline with my understanding of the 1812 uniform (1812 being my area of interest for this project) with the red collars, cuffs and turnbacks.  The earlier uniforms used the red turnbacks but the collars and cuffs would have been the color of the Inspectorate (basically a region) that the unit was raised from.  In the case of this unit I think the cuffs and collars would have been pink to match the color in the flags.

FOr this unit I really have no idea if it ever wore this combination of uniform traits or not.  I am not even sure a unit could have retained the old style shako but been issued the new red and green jackets.  The amount of variation I found in my research leads me to believe it is plausible. 

Another area of confusion is how to structure the units.  I play Black Powder and these rules really don't get into how a unit should be built or appear just how many figures it has and what troop classification it is.  That should make things a little easier, or so I thought.  Since a grenadier battalion has different in-game stats it is important to be able to easily identify the unit on the table.  This battalion, with its large dramatic plumes will be easy to spot.  The trouble comes with the 3rd battalion (also know as the 2nd line battalion) which I have yet to model and paint.  I am leaning in the direction of building a unit just like this one but that would deviate from the history a bit. 

It turns out that a Russian grenadier regiment was not comprise solely or entirely of grenadiers.  They also contained fusiliers, which were the equivalent of the line regiment's musketeers. Basically regular soldiers. Prior to 1812 the regiment would have had a first battalion comprised on grenadiers just as I have modeled here.  The 3rd battalion would have been entirely fusiliers without the tall plumes.  This is likely to cause some confusion in game terms.  It gets more complicated for grenadiers in 1812 and beyond.  The unit structure at that time was basically identical to the structure for the line regiments - 2 companies of grenadiers, 4 companies of fusiliers/musketeers.  This certainly would make identification of grenadier regiments difficult on the table.  Quite the problem - units that look more like the historical counter parts or units that are easy to identify on the table.

Since I am much more a gamer than a button counting Napoleonic simulator I will go with easier to identify on the table.  This means that my grenadiers will all get the tall plume regardless of the style of shako or which battalion they represent.  This might send some purists into a tailspin but I think it will make the games more manageable and fun.  Besides, the grenadiers look cool so it will be neat to have a bunch of units running around.

As a final disclaimer, I really don't know much about this topic.  I am sure I have goofed some of this up but I am sure I will keep learning.