Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sharp Practice: French force nearing completion

Still plugging away at my French force for Sharp Practice, I've added more skirmishers, formed infantry, and some heavy cavalry! 

The foot contingent: 
6 x legere groups (8 figs ea), 2 x legere skirmish groups (6 figs ea), 1 x engineer group (5 figs and cart), 1 x horse artillery group (4 figs), and various mounted and foot Big Men.

I delved into the hermetically-sealed vault and retrieved the horse artillerists and gun from the remnants of my previous Napoleonic collection (the rest of which went out into the world to pursue their own lives many moons ago). This group is made up of Front Rank figures in full-dress uniform and has one Big Man and three crew. Sharp Practice requires a five-man crew (sigh) and I actually have the extra two figures squirrelled away in the box 'o lead after adding them to a recent FR order. I just can't bring myself to get them out at the moment. So, it'll be either an under-strength crew or we'll ignore the first two kill results. There are a few more bits and bobs to add to the foot elements of the force. I'd like to complete a limber for the horse artillery (again, sitting forlornly in the lead pile) and repaint the caisson in the appropriate French green (the one shown above is from my former Carlist Wars collection and is, in fact, a French caisson from Perry miniatures). I'm also waiting on a Wargames Foundry order to add two 8-figure groups and one 6-figure skirmish group of Young Guard. These last will provide an alternative support option (and some really big plumes!).

The mounted contingent: 
2 x chasseur groups (8 figs ea), 1 x Empress' Dragoons group (8 figs), 1 x Grenadiers a Cheval group (8 figs), and various mounted Big Men.

Again, from the vault came the the Guard Cavalry to be re-based to match the rest of the force. Granted, there isn't much scope for the use of guard cavalry in le petite guerre but I have 'em and I'm gonna use 'em! In a pinch, the Empress' Dragoons can sub for regular dragoons. I also foresee a scenario wherein the Imperial pay chest, escorted by small contingents of guard cavalry and Young Guard infantry must traverse the length of the table and avoid capture. Included in the mounted contingent (and the last of the previous collection re-based) are three Front Rank aides-de-camp and a divisional general. Again, I'm sure the general wouldn't appear often in skirmish scenarios... but, well... it is what it is. And we might as well also ignore the Biggest Man of all in the French army, accompanied by Davout and Berthier. These figs may require some even more creative scenario creation.

One day last week, I was perusing my regular roster of blogs and gaming sites and came upon a great idea to track progress in a project. Unfortunately, I can't remember where it was (so I'm unable to ascribe proper credit). Using PowerPoint, I whipped up a quick project tracker. Square/rectangles represent SP2 groups; the numbers inside, the number of figures. Stars are Big Men and circles are supernumeraries (i.e. standard bearers and musicians). As I complete things, I can add the colour to the appropriate shapes. It's also quite easy to amend the plan by adding or deleting (as so many projects often go).

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