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

Friday, 31 October 2014

Background Artillery Project - Surprise Landmark

Yesterday I finished off another British artillery caisson, and was very surprised to find that I had one more caisson than I thought, so I have now reached the target of one limber plus one caisson per battery rather earlier than I expected. Here's the contents of the Anglo-Portuguese artillery boxes, as of this morning. The target organisation of my battlefield artillery is: each battery has 2 model guns, 1 limber (with gun attached permanently - no more dropping spare guns on the floor for me), 1 caisson; horse artillery limbers have 4 horses, all other vehicles have 2 horses - it cuts down on the space requirement (and the horse painting!) and you get used to the look of the thing.

Allied Box 1 - 6 British artillery batteries (3 horse, 3 foot), plus a Portuguese howitzer
battery on an odd-sized base (can't remember why), plus the recently-added British
howitzer battery, which is in here only because I ran out of room in Box 3
Box 2 - a limber and a caisson for each of the British batteries (note 4-horse teams
 for RHA limbers), plus a limber (with mules) for the Portuguese howitzers, plus the new
(weird) spare wheel wagon
Box 3 - mostly siege stuff - 3 heavy (18/24pdr) siege batteries, 2 of the iron M1800 10" howitzers,
2 of mortars, 1 rocket battery, plus a couple of those strange S-Range shot-carts
Siege equipment has no limber provision (sieges are chaotic enough without a car park), and all (most?) of the siege pieces have mud-brown bases, with slightly modified sizes and crew sizes.

This is indeed a small and fleeting landmark - the Allies are now a bit ahead in the Infrastructure Race - the French and their Confederation chums have some 8 or 9 half-painted limbers, so there's lots to do. Idle hands are, as we know, the Devil's wassname. However, this has been a quick squint inside some of my boxes; if I am spared, I'll show inside the French boxes when the time is right.

I realise that organised is not the same as good, but it helps a lot. Note to myself: ECW campaign notwithstanding, I really must do some more Peninsular sieges...

In passing, I was reading my Carl Franklin book on artillery last night, and started working out the column length of a RHA troop on the march, with all the guns, ammo carts, service equipment, supply vehicles and animals plus mounted gunners - I didn't finish the calculation, but the numbers were getting very big. If an RHA troop marched past your house, it would be passing by for quite a while.


  1. Very well done. I can well understand your sense of satisfaction upon seeing this collection completed.

  2. When artillery train makes it into the finished box, the project is, indeed, nearing completion. At least for me, that would be the case. I have a distaste for painting limbers but we must press on, right?

    Nice project!

  3. That's the wargamers equivalent of finding twenty quid in your pocket that you never knew about! Looks impressive I must say.

  4. That is very impressive indeed! Is there any likely scenario using your favoured rule system where you might get to field the whole lot?

  5. Thank you all, gentlemen - I think my wish to show them off a bit was largely as a result of my surprise that they got this far! Ian - field the lot at the same time - very unlikely - this is really just the completist sickness in action - the whole army might take part in a campaign, of course, and all the siege stuff might appear together. I've been thinking about setting up a full double-width C&C game, along the "Epic" or "Overlord" style, and oversized C&C is one rule-set which might handle such big armies - sadly, it doesn't really have any use for limbers etc! Apart from that, I'd need to paint a few extra boards, find something to stand them on (folding tables?) and hire a church hall - I'd also need to come up with some friends to help out - that might be the stopper...

    1. Sounds great - I'd just have to sneak off past Mrs S next time I'm in Edinburgh so count me in!!!

  6. That's the problem with the big projects: you never can show them at full in the table. I can not remember how many Old Guard units I own. :-)
    Best regards