A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics - Observations #2

Some more of the preliminary stuff...

Observation 6 - this maybe seems a small matter, but it's niggling - once you have removed the contents from the CCN box, put the required stickers on and removed the scenery and so on from the punched cards, it is a fair old challenge to get everything back in there. At least it is if you are being careful not to damage anything, and if you wish to preserve any form of order in the unit blocks. I'll have to get my hands on a tray or shallow box of the correct size to hold the blocks - shoving them all in plastic bags and squeezing them in the original box would mean that a game would require a lot of preliminary sorting and counting - how about 2 hours to sort out the components and 2 hours to play? How would boardgamegeek.com rate that? It is not unknown for boxed games in my house to sprout all sorts of additional boxes, and somehow they refuse to stay in the one place. I believe they crawl away at night.

Observation 7 - Artillery unit sizes - not insoluble, but I do need to come up with an answer. Infantry units can be 4, sometimes 3 or 5 blocks. My minatures battalions have 4 subunits, so this is compatible, not a problem - just depends on the numerical strength. Cavalry doesn't offer a problem, either, though my basing is not absolutely perfect for CCN - I can handle this. Artillery is a different matter - CCN uses 3-block artillery units - the rules require this structure. My miniature armies use 2 crewed guns per battery, and 3 guns side by side would not fit the hex size on my table. So I need something which is not a gun, which can be used to denote the 3rd block. Preferably something which is not stupid(!). I had a great idea - I could use a caisson - unfortunately I don't have any. How about an ammunition chest? - tried this - it's hard to spot. I could, of course, use a dirty great coloured counter, or something, but it seems a bit crude, and doesn't please me as an accessory to the shiny new game. I shall think about it. It has to be something sensible, something which does not require a whole new painting frenzy to arrange, and something which, if possible, maintains the dignity of the game!



  1. How about a couple of sappers on a base? OK so not really artillery but they are "technical" troops, wouldn't take much room and are currently lacking a function.

    Failing that, how about taking the ammunition chest and adding a figure or 2 to make it easier to spot?
    or a mounted artillery officer?


  2. Perhaps an officer or some additional crewmen? I'm the sort of completist ninny who actually has caissons and so forth for his guns. Should you wish to go down that route I can recommend the HAT wagon sets as a good start.

    If you're looking for a piece that is essentially a counter, you could have a look at period pictures of batteries and see if there is some class of impedimenta you could do as a scenic piece.

  3. Thank you, gentlemen - all good suggestions, and they led me surely to an easy answer. My gun crews are glued onto the gun bases (I don't remove single casualties), but the cannon are not! This is so that I can switch ordnance for sieges etc. First "block" lost - remove one of the guns, so that one crew is seen fussing around an empty space (miming?); second loss - remove the sham crew; third hit - remove the remaining gun and crew. That should do it - a cannon definitely qualifies as a piece of visible impedimenta - thanks again.