A sticky problem …

Yesterday my wife and I bought some varnish with which to paint the wooden window sills in the conservatory. As the varnish had a drying time of eight hours, I decided to wait until late last evening before I applied it to the window sills. I reasoned that this would give the varnish to opportunity to dry overnight.

I was wrong.

When I woke up this morning I checked the varnish … and it was still very, very tacky. I had forgotten that overnight the temperature had dropped, and that I had removed the old wall heater from the conservatory when I decorated. As a result it was never warm enough overnight in the conservatory for the varnish to dry.

My solution was to put one of our very effective convector heaters into the conservatory to blast the temperature up to a level where the varnish would begin to dry … but four hours later I am still waiting for this solution to work.

In the meantime I decided to have a shower. (I am off this afternoon to a meeting of my London Lodge and needed to have a shave and a shower before going out.) At first nothing was wrong, although the water was a little on the tepid side. However, halfway through the shower the water went cold … very cold, indeed … and it did not warm up again. Still covered in lather and dripping water I walked downstairs to the kitchen and checked that there was nothing wrong with the combi boiler. On the face of it the boiler was functioning normally (the water came out of the hot tap in the kitchen as normal), but when I returned upstairs to continue my shower, the water remained cold.

I switched to the bathroom, where I managed to have a very quick – and hot – bath. I then went back down to the boiler and checked the pressure. It was a little low, so I re-pressurised the system, but this had no effect on the supply of hot water to the upstairs shower room. At this point my technical expertise ran out, and I have now booked an appointment for an engineer to visit tomorrow morning. Hopefully he will be able to fix whatever the problem with the boiler is.

I wonder if the varnish will be dry by the time he arrives.


Nugget 270

The editor of THE NUGGET sent the original of the next issue (N270) to me yesterday, and I intend to take it to the printer tomorrow. I hope to collect it from them on Friday and to post it out to members of Wargame Developments by the following Monday.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2013-2014 subscription year. It is still possible to subscribe, and this can be done online via the Wargame Developments website. Please note that the subscription costs rose with effect from the beginning of the current subscription year.


Red Napoleonic uniforms … and the Salic Law of Succession

Probably the most memorable thing about the uniform worn by the infantry of the British Army from its formation until the end of the nineteenth century was its red coats.

But during the Napoleonic period the British infantry were not unique in wearing red coats. I knew that besides the British it was worn by the Danes and the Swiss … and I also knew that the King’s German Legion wore almost identical uniforms to those worn by their equivalent units in the British Army. What I had forgotten until I re-read Blandford’s UNIFORMS OF WATERLOO IN COLOUR was that a significant Hanoverian contingent took part in the campaign … and that they wore British uniforms.

That set me thinking. Could I use some of my British Napoleonic wargames figures to represent Hanoverian units? My researches seem to indicate that this would be quite feasible as long as I am satisfied that the uniforms will not be 100% accurate.

Ideas of campaigns set in Northern Europe during the early 1820s where the forces of Prussia, Brunswick, Hanover, and the Netherlands vie with each other for control of the region immediately sprang to mind … but for the moment that is what they must remain, ideas.


The linked histories of Britain and Hanover lasted from 1714 – when the Elector of Hanover (Georg Ludwig) became George I of Great Britain – until 1837, when – according to the Salic Law of Succession – the new Queen of Victoria of Great Britain was unable to ascend to the throne of Hanover and her uncle – the Duke of Cumberland – became King Ernest Augustus I, Elector of Hanover.

If the Salic Law of Succession had not pertained in this instance, Victoria would have become Queen and Elector of Hanover … and the subsequent history of Germany might have been somewhat different.

An interesting ‘what if …’ to think about, eh?


Spring forward

Overnight the UK moved over to British Summer Time … and guess who forgot to adjust all the clocks before going to bed!

The cat woke me up at what I thought was 8.00am … but when I got up I realised that it was really 9.00am and that somehow I was already running late. The old adage ‘Spring forward, Fall back‘ is a great way to remind yourself when and how to adjust your clocks and watches … but how do you adjust your internal, biological clock? ‘Spring forward‘ is hardly an apt description of the way I feel this morning!

Perhaps things will get better as the day progresses.

I hope so. I really do hope so.


You win some …

I have been waiting for some eBay auctions to end … and I have been lucky enough to win a number of items including enough figures to add a further French Line Infantry Regiment, a French Artillery Battery, and two British Line Infantry Regiments to my collection of Napoleonic wargames figures.

I hope to win some further items over the next week or so, and then I can start the process of basing the figures and writing some draft rules. After that, the battles can begin!


4 – 3 – 2 – 1

With all the decorating I have been doing over the past few days, I have had plenty of time to do some thinking about how I want to organise my collection of Napoleonic wargames figures into units. When coupled with my thinking about a grid-based set of early nineteenth century wargame rules that I want to write, I have come to the following conclusions:

  • The units will be organised into four, three, two, and single figure-strong units. (Four figures per infantry unit, three figures per cavalry unit, two figures per artillery unit, and one figure per commander and their staff.)
  • I will use the nomenclature of ‘regiment’ for infantry and cavalry units and ‘battery’ for artillery units.
  • Units will comprise figures that are in the same pose (e.g. standing firing, kneeling firing, advancing, re-loading … with the figures in less active poses being used to form second-line/reserve units [see units marked with * below]).
  • Each figure will be individually based so that it can be removed from the unit to show unit degradation due to combat.
  • I will use supernumerary figures (e.g. musicians and/or officers) to indicate elite units. (These will be the first figures removed when the elite unit suffers casualties.)
  • My rules will use the Combat Dice from the COMMANDS AND COLORS: NAPOLEONIC game to resolve combat.
  • My rules will have some command restrictions built into them. (Either I will use the cards from the COMMANDS AND COLORS: NAPOLEONIC game or the dice from RISK EXPRESS or the ‘Pips’ system from DBA/HoTT … or something that resembles one of these systems.)

With these ideas in mind – and with the additional figures that arrived recently in the post – I have reorganised my collection of Napoleonic wargame figures into the following four ‘armies’:

  • French:
    • Infantry: 13 Regiments (1 x Guard Grenadiers; 5 x Line Infantry; 6 x Light Infantry; 1 x Militia Infantry*)
    • Cavalry: 11 Regiments (5 x Cuirassiers; 2 x Carabiniers: 2 x Hussars; 2 x Lancers)
    • Artillery: 6 Batteries (2 x Horse Artillery; 4 x Foot Artillery)
  • British:
    • Infantry: 11 Regiments (4 x Foot Guards; 2 x Highland Infantry; 2 x Line Infantry; 2 x Rifles, 1 x Highland Fencibles*)
    • Cavalry: 4 Regiments (1 x Life Guards, 1 x Dragoon Guards, 2 x Light Dragoons/Hussars)
    • Artillery: 4 Batteries (1 x Horse Artillery, 3 x Foot Artillery)
  • Prussian:
    • Infantry: 7 Regiments (6 x Line Infantry; 1 x Landwehr Infantry*)
    • Cavalry: 5 Regiments (3 x Dragoons; 2 x Hussars)
    • Artillery: 1 Battery (1 x Foot Artillery)
  • Allies:
    • Infantry: 4 Regiments (2 x Belgian Infantry; 2 x Brunswick Infantry)
    • Cavalry: 1 Regiment (1 x Dutch Carabiniers)
    • Artillery: –

I have quite a few ‘spare’ figures that will be used to form additional units as and when I can purchase more Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale Napoleonic wargames figures via the Internet.


Some more Blandford colour series books

Whilst writing my earlier blog entry, I looked along my bookshelves and noticed several other non-uniform books from the Blandford colour series. These included:

  • FIGHTERS, ATTACK AND TRAINING AIRCRAFT 1914-19
  • BOMBERS, PATROL AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT 1914-19
  • FIGHTERS BETWEEN THE WARS 1919-39
  • BOMBERS BETWEEN THE WARS 1919-39
  • FIGHTERS, ATTACK AND TRAINING AIRCRAFT 1939-45
  • BOMBERS, PATROL AND TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT 1939-45
  • MERCHANT SHIPS OF THE WORLD IN COLOUR 1910-29
  • RAILWAYS AND WAR BEFORE 1918
  • RAILWAYS AND WAR SINCE 1917 FEATURING WORLD WAR II

Over the years these have all proved to be very useful and they – along with my Ian Allen and Osprey books – form the very important core of my collection of reference books.