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

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Two French Armies

What passes for the sun being up in Scotland as we approach the Solstice

A Post for a Slack Morning

Well, well.

My two-month wrangle with the banks was suddenly over yesterday – everything seems to be running smoothly. I won. The garden is finally straightened up for the Winter (with sincere thanks to Dod the Gartenmeister), a brief drama connected with my son’s school exams appears to have sorted itself out, I’ve sent a shipment of soldiers away to be painted, I’ve extracted myself from a musical project which was starting to do my head in, and it’s another beautiful morning.

Unnaturally beautiful, in fact. While the rest of the UK has had dreadful problems with heavy rain and flooding, we somehow managed to have the wind veer to the North, so that – for the moment at least – it is clear and cold and vaguely Scandinavian here. While I was sauntering around, having my breakfast (a strange eating ritual I perfected when I still had commuter trains to catch), I was watching the sun come up. I munched my toast and strawberry jam (Bonne Maman – very good), and a single aeroplane vapour trail, many miles away, was eastbound, immediately above the sun in the visible sky. It was lit up a wonderful, pinkish gold. I wondered where the plane was going – probably Amsterdam – and whether this was a good sample of that mysterious Napoleonic uniform colour, aurore.

A second cup of coffee, nothing particular to do this morning – hmmm. This could be how people who can relax feel on a good day.

My Liebster nominations appear to have incommoded as many people as they pleased, so I’ll pass swiftly on from that [Got it wrong again, Dad]. My enthusiasm for another rant against the banks is fairly low this morning, so a good, safe-ground post might be some photos of soldiers – yes – good idea.

I wrote recently that I have re-organised my French army so that it is now two French armies, and there was mention of some pictures in due course. If anyone is following my campaign (and sometimes I’m not sure whether I am), please note that these two armies are not quite the same as the line-up for the campaign. The structure is similar, but this is a more long-term establishment thing – the campaign armies are spread all over Northern Spain to meet the week-to-week requirements of the unpleasantness there.

Here’s the whole lot, from 2 directions - you may notice the little "battalion" of skirmish-order tirailleurs at the front of each brigade...

Armée du Centre – 3 infantry divisions plus cavalry – mostly
Confederation, Spanish & Italians

Armée de Portugal – 3 infantry divisions plus cavalry

The Engineers, Reserve & Garrison Artillery and Odd-Bods

It’s considered good form to ask the Emperor to do his
special Charles Aznavour medley, with the band

Some more general pictures...


  1. I'm so jealous ... That's a lovely lovely collection you have there.

  2. A lovely morning meditation and an inspiring Grand Review.

  3. Wonderful display - I can't wait to get the war room reassembled so I can get a team photo of my French army.

  4. Great to get the 'wide angle' view of the troops!

  5. There is something very stirring about a grand review, especially when the troops have such a consistent look.

    Seems to me that the Allies will their work cut out to push their way onto the table.

    (Beat the bank? Be careful in dark alleys)

  6. Tony that's a truly fantastic display - but you need a much bigger table!