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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New Napoleonic Books

I have gotten a great stack of new books that I thought some might like to learn more about. However, I am not sure where to start. So I thought I would throw it open to readers: what book would you like reviewed first? Below are the books I have gotten. The first lot are from the Military History Press and the second are from the Nafziger collection, the Nafziger collection can also be bought through Amazon. I bought both direct and the experience was great with both.

Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars by George Nafziger, Mariusz T. Wesolowski and Tom Devoe
'This is the most complete and thorough study of the Poles and Saxon during the wars of Napoleon, including their organization, uniforms, and accounts of their performance on the battlefield. From the desperate action of a handful of Poles defending a Spanish fortress to vast armies facing off to determine the fate of Europe, this lavishly illustrated work is researched from sources previously unavailable to any but the most ardent historian. It has no equal in any language.' Buy it here

Napoleon's Last Grande Armée by Alfred Umhey
'These rare, exceptional paintings provide invaluable eyewitness evidence of the uniforms of the period, quite set apart from the sometimes fanciful, second-hand works of modern artists. Unlike many uniform plates, the illustrations in these two artists' portfolios show what Napoleon's men actually wore on campaign.' Crazy expensive but I got it for half price for a black friday sale (I live in Australia, not really sure what this is, but I was happy). Buy it here. 

Napoleon's Apogee by Scott Bowden
'A century after the appearance of the original work, Bressonnet's study now makes its English-language debut to an ever-growing audience interested in learning more about the fascinating details of Napoleonic warfare. To supplement Bressonnet's original as completely as possible, I have the honor to work with the visionary professionals at Military History Press, who agreed to include, among many other things, the French after-action reports from which Bressonnet drew many of his details, plus newly-created maps and exciting tactical diagrams and much more. Hopefully, this lavish volume will be both a worthy salute to the legacy of the brave soldiers who fought this epic campaign, and also to Bressonnet himself, who we have kept in mind each day as we strove to equal his passion and high standards.' Again, quite expensive but I grabbed it on sale. Buy it here.

The Glory Years: Napoleon and Austerlitz 
'This is an unprecedented detailed combat study of the vastly different armies and leaders that fought the fast moving battles of the 1805 Ulm-Austerlitz campaigns. Sweeping battle narrative, coupled with new, detailed maps and precise orders of battle make Scott Bowden’s latest history of Napoleonic warfare an instant classic. Napoleon and Austerlitz is a must for any Napoleonic or military history analyst.' Buy it here.

There was a focus here on getting material on the Ottoman army and war with the Russians, it also links in with my Russian army I am working on.

By George F. Nafziger
Illustrations: Hundreds of diagrams, charts and tables
Pages: 263pages
$60, pefect bound soft cover
This is the third edition and the 5th or 6th printing of this work. It examines the maneuvering systems of the French, Prussians, Russians, Austrians and British from 1792 to 1815. It studies infantry maneuvers and firepower, cavalry maneuvers, and artillery. It is THE definitive work on Napoleonic tactics.

By Baron von Valentini
Translated by G.F.Nafziger
Illustrations: 4 maps
Pages: 82 pages
$19.95 soft cover
This differs from the Michailovsky-Danilevsky work in that it contains a chapter on the tactics of both sides, plus a theoretical discussion of campaign strategy. It also contains detailed discussions of the battles. It provides a German perspective on the war, incomparison to the Russian perspective of Michailovsky-Danilevsky.

By Lt Gen. Michailovsky-Danilevsky
Translated by Alexander Mikaberidze
Size: 11" x 8.5"
Illustrations: numerous B&W maps
Pages: Volume I - 149 pages
Pages: Volume II - 156 pages
$25.00 per volume, soft cover
To my knowledge this is the only work in English on this obscure Napoleonic campaign. It is a very detailed account of six years of warfare between the Ottomans and the Russians, supported with 15-20 maps per volume of the theater and detailed maps of the battles. It contains orders of battle for the Russians, but not for the Turks (sorry!) The both volumes are now available.

By Alexander & Yurii Zhmodikov
Size: 8.5" x 11"
Vol I - Russian Army in the 18th Century & Tactical Response to the French Revolution, 1801-1809 - 117 pages
Vol 2 - Tactical Changes in Response to Napoleon - 1810-1814 - 125 pages
Illustrations: 12 diagrams of maneuvers
$19.95 per volume, soft cover
An exhaustive study, drawn from period Russian regulations, eyewitness accounts, and official reports, as well as later documentation, this two volume work covers absolutely every aspect of the Russian system of war from 1792-1815. It explodes all the myths and misconceptions that have haunted the literature on the Russians and sets the record straight.

By George F. Nafziger
Size: 8.5" x 11"
Illustrations: no illustrations
$19.95 soft cover
Complete organizational history of the Imperial Russian army from 1763-1815. Provides history of internal structure, plus formation and disbandments of various units.
Vol 1 - Infantry, Mixed Units, Legions, Marines, Engineers, Pioneers, Sappers & Opolochenie
Vol 2 - Cavalry, Cossacks, Guard, and Artillery

By William Johnson
Size: 8.5" x 11"
Pages: 110 pages
$19.95 soft cover

I'll likely go back and update the page on the Ottoman Army I put together after I get through the Nafziger collection material. Otherwise I will just start reviewing them one at a time. Oh, I also have Hourtoulle books and Eltings Napoleonic Uniforms books if you are interested in those.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Austerlitz: The Empire at its Zenith by François Guy Hourtoulle

I have a fairy extensive library of Napoleonic military history books and I am slowly reviewing ones I like or need a decent review. In that vein here is a review of a book from Hourtoulle's collection originally done for Amazon.

Austerlitz: The Empire at its Zenith written by F.G. Hourtoulle and illustrated by Andre Jouineau is the fourth book in this very good series. The book gives the background and overview of the battle of Austerlitz. There are detailed maps, orders of battle, uniform and equipment illustrations, biographies and portraits of major actors. There is a detailed breakdown of the French army and its components but there is only the order of battle for the Russians and Austrians plus the numerous illustrations and their annotations.

Austerlitz is clearly aimed at military history enthusiasts and researchers as well as military modelling devotees. The focus of the book is detailed information covering the major actors and armies at Austerlitz as well as numerous colour plates showing the uniforms of many of the units that participated at Austerlitz.

F.G. Hourtoulle has written numerous books on the Napoleonic Wars for the publishing house Histoire et Collections. Andre Joineau did the majority of the infantry, cavalry, uniform and equipment plates; the originals can be found at the publishers Images de Soldats (the back of the book lists all the original sources for the uniform plates).

Hourtoulle has done exactly what he set out to do, and that is provide a comprehensive description of the battle of Austerlitz. The strength of the book lies in the amazing amount of research and its presentation. I especially like the numerous quotes from contemporary sources regarding the battle and its participants. However, the majority of the research is skewered towards the French army and its composition.

The maps are very good, I especially like the incorporation of contemporary representations such as Lejeune's panorama of the battle, suitably annotated. The order of battle information is likewise very good. There are numerous prints included from the author's collection, portraits of generals and major actors as well as small biographies of each as well.

The strength of the book lies in the research and its presentation of the battle itself and the participants. Although there are hundreds of colour plates of infantry, cavalry, their uniforms and equipment, this is not my favourite part of this book. I would much rather rely on other books that are specifically focussed on uniforms. However, if you are looking for one book on the battle of Austerlitz, the participants and the armies, you can not beat this fantastic volume.

As he been noted by other reviewers there is an issue with the plates on pp14-15 where the black has not been printed. This was the case in my copy as well. There are also numerous other small errors, most appear to be editing and formatting largely originating from the translation of the book from french to english. For such a phenomenal book and the very reasonable price it is very hard to complain, so I won't. It does seem petty to drop stars for such minor issues. It is hoped that these will be rectified in any later editions.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Russian Project: 1

It seems modelling the Russian campaign of 1812 is all the rage, as well as having new ranges coming out. Having been focused on the Peninsula for some years and never having done any Russians I thought it was about time! I also thought I would give the Lasalle battalions from Eureka and Warmodelling a go. I also got the 36 figure battalions from Campaign Game Miniatures.

My orders are as follows:

Campaign Game Miniatures

1 x 36RUS002 Musketeers / Jagers Advancing with Command 36 figs
1 x 36RUS004 Musketeers / Jagers NO Backpack Marching with Command 36 figs
1 x 36RUS001 Musketeers / Jagers Marching with Command 36 figs
1 x 36RUS005 Musketeers / Jagers NO Backpack Skirmish / Firing Line 36 figs
1 x 36RUS007 Grenadiers / Guard Advancing with Command 36 figs
1 x 12RUSC001 Hussars Charging with Command x 12 figures
1 x 12RUSC006 Dragoons at Rest with Command x 12 figures
1 x RUSA002         Foot Artillery Crew Loading x 8 figs (4 variants)
1 x RUSG002         12lb Russian Cannon x 2
1 x FOFW001         Napoleon, 4 Marshals & 2 ADCs mounted
20496H Plastic W/Magnetic Bottom (Thick) - 40mm x 30mm- 12 per pack

128.81EUR (there is a standard postage added, I used paypal. Postage is calculated on posting and the difference was refunded to my account), plus local tax in Europe.

Infantry: about AUS$0.57 per man or 0.45EUR
Cavalry: about AUS$1.26 per man and mount or 1EUR
Artillery: about AUS$0.57 per man and AUS$2.27 per gun or 0.45EUR and 1.80EUR respectively.
Generals/mounted officers: about AUS$2.02 per man and mount of 1.60EUR

Eureka Miniatures (AB)

1 x Foot artillery - heavy limber team (AB-RA10) 
4 x Foot artillery, loading (AB-RA02) 
1 x 12pdr gun (AB-RA07) 
1 x Russian Staff Officers mounted (AB-R25)
1 x Russian Generals (AB-R26) 
2 x Infantry Battalion (Empire, Liberation) (AB-LAS-R04) 
1 x Cuirassiers (Empire, Liberation) (AB-LAS-R12)

I also received three sample early Russian artillery in greatcoat. This is not the first time I have received free samples (some long before I started this blog, it is not related, they just do it sometimes I think to advertise new lines). This is much appreciated!

AU$108.18 plus postage (at cost, calculated and charged to my account at posting), plus local tax in Australia.

Infantry: about AUS$0.80 per man
Cavalry: about AUS$1.60 per man and mount
Artillery: about AUS$0.91 per man and AUS$3.64 per gun
Generals/mounted officers: about AUS$1.82 per man and mount


1 x NG-14 Unicorne (10 Pounds)
1 x RN-60 Mounted Officers
1 x RN-72 Kutuzov & ADC
1 x RNA-01 Foot Artillerymen
1 x RNA-05 Artillery Limber Team & Riders (4 Horses)
1 x xBB-114/32 Jägers Firing / Loading
1 x xBB-130/18 Uhlans
1 x xBB-132/12 Cossacks
1 x xBB-142/32 Paulov Grenadiers
1 x xBB-147/32 Musketeer in Greatcoat

92.70EUR plus 12EUR standard postage, plus I paid local tax it seems. If you look at the price on the warmodelling site the prices are roughly 20% less than above. Not sure why they charged tax. I don't really care as they are still cheap but I will ask them and tell you what they say.

Infantry: about AUS$0.55 per man or 0.34EUR
Cavalry: about AUS$1.27 per man and mount or 1EUR
Artillery: about AUS$0.74 per man and AUS$2.22 per gun or 0.59EUR and 1.75EUR respectively.
Generals/mounted officers: about AUS$2.54 per man and mount or 2EUR

These have not arrived yet as far as I can tell. I will go down to the post office Tuesday to see if they have the package there (Monday is Queen's Birthday holiday here in Ozland).

The Army

8 x infantry battalions
2 x grenadier battalions (1 is Pavlov grenadiers, I know they stopped wearing their banana hats by the 1812 campaign but they look so cool!)
1 x Hussars
1x Dragoons
1 x Cuirassiers
1 x Cossacks
1 x Uhlans
4 x 12lb guns, 2 x Unicorn guns, 4 x men per gun
1 x foot artillery limber. I thought I had grabbed more. I might get one more from Campaign Game Miniatures and Warmodelling.
Plus assorted generals and officers because you can never have enough of these :)

Price Comparison

The price comparison is something that is really only relevant for when I bought the models. And that  was about two weeks ago. The Australian dollar has been strong, being on par with the US$ for some time, but it was not that long ago it was around US$0.70-80 (and a long tome ago it hovered around US$0.50!). We are not quite as strong against the Euro, which is similar to the $US against the Euro.

What also has to be taken into consideration are that I bought Lasalle packs which might have bought down the prices a little. 

So for what it is worth here are the price comparisons. The Campaign Game Miniatures come out on top in Infantry and artillerymen, and roughy equal on cavalry and guns. For generals and mounted officers Eureka comes out as cheapest and Warmodelling as quite expensive. The surprise result are the artillery guns from Eureka (AB) being roughly 160% more than from Warmodelling or Campaign game.

                    Infantry Cavalry Artillerymen Guns Generals/M.officers
Eureka (AB)         $0.80 $1.60 $0.91        $3.64 $1.82
Campaign Game     $0.45 $1.26 $0.57        $2.27 $2.02
Warmodelling         $0.55 $1.27 $0.74        $2.22 $2.54

Coming up next is a comparison of the models, then we move on to painting.

Monday, 4 June 2012


I have been looking around at the different flag companies and sources and thought I would put them all here in one place. You could buy the Osprey books, scan, modify and print them. But why when you have so many good options on line. Hope you find it useful and if you have any comments on who to use please feel free to comment.


Free flag website, scale to suit. I imagine everyone must know about this website. Like it says on the page if you can't find what you want herre look at Napflags below. There are instructions on how to scale and use the flag images.

France 1794 Pattern, France 1804 Pattern, France 1812 Pattern, French Line Fanions, French Young Guard Fanions, Prussia  (same as Seven Years War), Kleve-Berge, Austria, Denmark,Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Westphalia, Baden, Russia, Switzerland, Nassau, Wurtzburg, Hesse- Darmstadt, 5th Rhine Conf' and early version of Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenberg, Wurttemberg,, Brunswick


Free, scale flags to suit. A subsite of Warflags. They are more detailed than Warflags. So I guess whatever your taste runs to :)

The Empire of Austria, The Grand Duchy of Kleve Berg, The Grand Duchy of Baden, The Kingdom of Naples, The Kingdom of Bavaria, Netherlands, Batavian Republic, Kingdom of Holland, United Provinces, The Duchy of Brunswick, Poland, The Duchy of Warsaw, The Kingdom of Denmark, The Kingdom of Portugal, The Empire of France, The Kingdom of Prussia, Germany - The smaller states and principalities, The Empire of Russia, The Kingdom of Great Britain, The Kingdom of Saxony, The Electorate of Hannover, The Kingdom of Spain, The Landgraviate of Hesse Kassel, The Kingdom of Sweden, The Grand Duchy of Hesse Darmstat, The United States of America, The Kingdom of Italy, The Kingdom of Westfalia, The Kingdom of Wurttemburg

GMB Designs

A UK company with flags for 15mm figures. Online buying, a large selection. These flags look very nice! £3.25 for each pack, £4 for second battalion packs available on request.

French Armies 1804 to 1815
Russian Napoleonic Infantry  1797~1815
Russian Napoleonic Cavalry   1797~1815
British Napoleonic Infantry 1808~1815
British Napoleonic Cavalry
Hanoverian Infantry Regiments.  1813-15
Prussian Infantry & Cavalry  1813~1815
Austrian Napoleonic Infantry and Cavalry 1792 to 181                                                                                                                                                                          
Portuguese Napoleonic Infantry and Cavalry
Spanish Napoleonic Infantry and Cavalry
United Netherlands ( Dutch/Belgian ) 1815                                                                                                                                                                  
German States ( Nassau, Brunswick, Kleve-Berg, Wurttemburg & Hesse-Darmstadt )                                                                                                                                                          
Saxon Infantry 1811-15
Westphalian Napoleonic Infantry
Neapolitan Napoleonic Infantry  1809~1815                                                                                    
Italian Napoleonic Infantry 1808~1813
Bavarian Napoleonic Infantry
Duchy of Warsaw                                                                
Vistula Legion and Polish Napoleonic

Fighting 15s

UK company. These are stated as being specially designed for AB figures which presumably means that they are designed to be used with grand 15mm figures (18mm). Some people swear by them, they look pretty good! 9 flag sheets usually covering two or three regiments are £3.50. I really like the idea of the Orders of Battle pack.

Austria & Hungary
Confederation of the Rhine: Baden, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, Saxony, Westphalia, Wurttemberg, Wurzburg.
Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Naples
Minor Countries: Holland, United Provinces, Hanover, Helvetian Republic, Switzerland.
Nordic Countries: Denmark, Sweden & Finland.
Portugal & Spain
Orders of Battle: Albuera 1811, Fuentes de Onoro 1811.

Cotton Jim's Flags

US company. The flags are produced in 15mm, 25mm and 40mm scale. There is a huge range with over 700 flag sets, so I wont list all the countries. The flags sell for $3 per pack, they seem to usually have three regiments per pack with first and second battalion flags.

Flag Dude

An Alabama USA company. They have lots of photos to look at the flags in use. Much appreciated. Flags come in 15/20mm, 25mm, 40-54mm. 15/20mm flags are $4 each, plus $4 if you want them on cotton. That seems pretty steep. But they seem very approachable so drop them a line perhaps to ask about costs etc.

As they say on their website, to many countries to list so they broke them into three groups: British and Allies, French and Allies, Germans (Confederation of the Rhein, Swedes, and Russians).

Vaubanner Graphics

A Canadian company. The flags come in 6, 10, 15, 28mm (15 and 25mm by default, you need to ask if you want them smaller). The flags come in sets of 20 or 24 flags. The sets cost $8 each which seems quite cheap. These flags actually look pretty good, you can see some in their gallery.

15mm French Revolutionary Wars Austria
15mm Napoleonic Wars Austria
15mm Napoleonic Wars Great Britain (1801 pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars France (1804 Pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Portugal (1806 pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Prussia
15mm Napoleonic Wars Prussia (pre-1806 pattern)
15mm Prussian Infantry Regiments (1808-15 Pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Russia
15mm Russian Guard & Line Infantry (1797 Pattern)
15mm Russian Guard & Line Infantry (1803 Pattern)
15mm Russian Cavalry Regiments (1803 Pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Spain (1768 Pattern)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Sweden (1765-1815 Patterns)
15mm Napoleonic Wars Duchy of Warsaw

QRF Models
A Dorset, UK company. They have 15mm flags and quite a lot. The menu system is not the easiest to track down what they have under Napoleonics. They all seem to sell in sets of six flags at £2 each.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Book Review: Soldiers and Uniforms of the Napleonic Wars by François Guy Hourtoulle


I originally did this review for Amazon but thought I might put it here with some others I have done. I hope it is useful. I may put one or two examples of the plates up as well when I get back from working away in the bush. 

This is a wonderful book with over 100 color plates. I counted and this does not include the blow-ups of many parts of these that are presented separately. The quality of the plates varies as three different artists were involved in the project, but even the worst are quite good. There is a definite bias to the uniforms of the French and its allied nations (see the list below). Accompanying nearly every plate is a page describing the scene and its circumstances or perhaps general information about a battle, campaign and uniforms. The one thing I would have liked when I was thinking of buying this book was a better idea of what was in it. So below I have summarized the sections and plates. The plates are of French troops unless otherwise stated and where there is more than on plate it is recorded (#). Some Plates have no accompanying information (eg chapter title pages) and so I have not described these.

Before the Empire: Lasalle at Vicenza; Lasalle and 22nd Chasseur and 15th Dragoon vs Osman Bey's Mamelukes; 10th Hussars.

1805: 19th Dragoon at Elchingen; 18th Dragoon at Elchingen; General Pajol and 6th Hussar at Ulm; The Great Charge at Austerlitz.

1806: 7th Hussars and 5th Hussars vs the Queen's Dragoons (Prussia); General Colbert, 10th Chasseurs and 3rd Hussars at Jena; Marechal Davout and line infantry at Auerstaedt; Lassale, 5th and 7th Hussars.

1807: Gendarmes d'ordonnance; Murat and D'Hautpool's Cuirassiers at Eylau; Murat and the 13th Chasseurs at Eylau; Baron Lepic and the Grenadiers a Cheval at Eylau; Murat, aide de camps and Espagne's Cuirassiers at Heilsberg; Napoleon and staff reviewing Lasalle's cavalry at Elbing.

1808: Isemburg Regiment; The Emperor's household; The Emperor's Berlin.

The Peninsula, 1808-14: Lasalle and the Polish Chevau-Legers; Lasalle, Gendarme d'Elite and Dragoons at Medina de Rio Seco; Garde de Paris(2); 10th Chasseurs vs the Infante Regiment (Spanish); 10th Chasseurs; 2nd Hussars(2); 13th Cuirassiers; Gendarmerie de Espagne(2); Neuchatel Battalion; Foot Artillery; Young Guard; Isemberg Regiment; Vistula Legion(2); Chasseurs de Montagne.

1809: The Bavarian Troops; General Coehorn, Corsican Tirailleurs and the 14th Chasseurs at Ebersberg; Jordi's Regiment (Austrian line, 'German') vs French light (24th?) at Aspern; General Espagne and the 4th Cuirassiers; Pontooners; The Baden Infantry 1809, 3rd Baden Regiment vs Austrian Line 'Hungarian' (2); 1st Chasseurs a Cheval(2); Fusiliers of the Guard(2); Artillerie a Pied of the Guard.

In Garrison 1810-13: Berg Chevau Legers(2); Nansouty's Cuirassiers(2); 11th Hussars; King Murat and Neapolitan line regiment and Neapolitan Grenadiers of the Guard(3); 30th Chasseurs.

1812: General Chouard's Carabiniers, 4th Lancers and Chevau-Legers; General Montbrun and the 9th Hussars; King Jerome, Grenadier Guard and Kings Lifeguard (Westphalian); Westphalian Hussars; 7th Regiment (Westphalian); 2nd, 5th and 6th Regiments (Westphalian); General Pajol, 2nd Chasseurs and 9th Polish Lancers; Saxon Chevau-Legers(2); General Gudin and sappers at Valutina; Russian Guard vs 12th Line; Portuguese Legion(2); 1st Voltigeurs of the Guard(2) and Novgorod Cuirassiers (Russian, 1); Saxon Brigade (Lifeguards, Von Zastrow Cuirassiers(2)); Dragoons of the Imperial Guard; 2nd Regiment of Grenadiers; Croats in the Grand Armee(2); Hessian Chevau-Legers; Baden Hussars(2); Lithuanian Tartars.

1813: Naval Artillery; Jerome Napoleon Hussars; 13th Hussars; Field Hospitals and Medical Care; The Krakus (Polish).

1814: Guards of Honour(2).

1815: Allied Forces 16 June 1815 (Brunswickers, British 92nd(2)); Wellington's staff at Waterloo; English Horse Artillery; Red Lancers(2); Young Guard.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Rules, bases and ordering

So I have been slightly baffled by trying to work out how I can base my models so I can play Black Powder, Lasalle and Napoleon at War rule systems. I looked at the rules themselves and then looked at some message boards.

Napoleon at War

Looks fun, has standard basing and unit numbers.


Has instead a more flexible system regarding ratio but instead has standard numbers of bases for each unit.

"There are three basic types of units: Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. Infantry and cavalry units may be depicted in one of two sizes: Small or Large. Large units have six bases each, and Small units have four. Artillery units have a varying number of bases, between three and five, as described in their army lists."

So theoretically you can have as many or as few per base as you wish.

Black Powder

I have the rules but I have not read through the tome properly so I am relying on the wisdom of others:

"Base sizes don't matter at all - just play with what you already have. The whole premise of BP was to be able to play with our respective collections whether they were based for different systems or not.

On the size of units thats flexible too - you pick the size of a 'standard' unit and then tiny, small and large units are decided based on a ratio of the standard Sounds a bit mathematical but it really isn't! So, again it's very flexible and aims to allow players to just play games with their armies rather than having to rebase or to have to standardise their armies compared to their mates." (Paul @ Warlord Games) 

Campaign Game Miniatures

Just to complicate matters just that little bit more Dermot Quigley at Campaign Game Miniatures is also working on a new rules set. I can't wait to learn more and I asked him about the rules as I would like my new armies to be compatible. Link to Campaign Game Miniatures.


So from my perspective I am thinking of rebasing my models to NaW bases. I am also thinking of bringing my regiments upto Lasalle size battalions. Having said that NaW has the skirmishers separately, you can do the same with Lasalle. But the different ratios means that having each of these look 'right' regarding the number of voltigeur and grenadier companies might be a bit hard. Hmmm, tough life!
Napoleon at War assorted bases

Does anyone have any thoughts on basing for different rule systems? I have been reading blogs and message boards but any thoughts are welcome! 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Irresistible Force Miniature Games & Hobbies

I have been researching different Napoleonic wargame rule sets for my next project. I have been looking at Napoleon at War, their models, blogs and chat pages. It seems interesting. That led me to look at Hovel buildings (I need to have some scenery to kick it up a notch!). Looking at distributors for Australia I came up with Essex miniatures (wasn't impressed with their website) and Irresistible Force Miniature Games & Hobbies (very impressed, huge range!). Then I noticed they were in Brisbane, only about 120km from home on the Sunshine Coast. Three of the kids were keen so we jumped in the car to go check it out. Boy was I happy I went there!

There was some drama on the highway (came to a dead stop 10km from the joint). But we took a back road and bam, we were there! 

Gavin Clarke runs the shop (@IrresistibleF) and he was fantastic. He answered all my questions, had everything I wanted, and assured me that although they can't carry everything in the store as there are simply too many lines these days, they have a quick turnaround even when they have to order in from overseas. I will be putting him to the test very soon! Some pics of the shop:

Showing me were the gaming area is
I was very impressed that Gavin took the time to answer my questions, helped find what I was interested in, gave useful advice and was generally very approachable. He even took the time to answer my questions about what games and systems were most popular. He was also very knowledgeable about Napoleon at War and had obviously spent the time to learn about the line and had played a couple of games using the rules. All in all I was very happy I made the effort to go down. Always nice to put a face to an email and website!

So here is what I got:

  • The Napoleon at War rules.
  • A French 100 days line brigade.
  • Army Painter dip.
  • Vallejo wash pot.
  • Mininatur grass tufts
  • Gale Force Nine basing kit
  • Hovel large bridge (15mm)
  • Citadel gaming grass (I actually got this from Games Workshop down the road but just wanted to chuck it in cause I love it!)
I was keen to have a look at the Napoleon at War models and read the rules. So I will keep you posted :)

I have been looking at the AP dip because I was interested in how well it would work for me. But I forgot to get a can of matt topcoat! First thing on my order. I saw Glenn Lamprecht painting some Victrix for Vallejo using their pot of wash and wanted to try it out as well. So I will post some pick of my next painting project.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Old Photos

Here are some old photos I thought I would chuck up on the blog. Tell me what you think. All advice/criticism welcome!

A Dutch battalion

Tongue depressors as model holders. Haven't used them for ages. Thinking of using plastic bottle tops. Got plenty, saw it on someone's blog and thought that looks good.
 An old paint station. Designed to fit perfectly over an old couch that was very comfy.
 I used to undercoat in white. Now I use black. Not sure what I like best. I use Citadel spray paints for this.
 My paint box. Now far too small for my paints and thinking of getting a multi story tool box. I arrange them by shades.
 Some Prussians, ready to paint. They are still not finished. A project of my son's. I am going to finish them off and expand them for Lasalle and Blackpowder battles.
 Some of my fave books. I certainly feel very lucky to be able to have such a handy collection.

New Direction

Well, not so much a new direction as a new purpose. I have decided to make a new army for wargaming. Now, I already have a bunch of British, Spanish, Portuguese, French and then some Prussians, Saxons, Bavarians. I bought a new group of Austrians the other day, four battalions of foot, regiment of cavalry, general. But they have mysteriously disappeared! Very annoying. I suspect the box they came in was thgrown out by accident by one of the kids (or it might just reappear!).

Anyway, so I was looking around and noticed the LaSalle packs at Eureka Miniatures (AB) and at Warmodelling. That got me looking around and then I remembered I had already looked at the Lasalle Honour website of Sam Mustafa. So I grabbed a copy of the PDF for aus$16. I like it. Then I remembered I had a copy of Blackpowder. So I got it out as well. I was also looking over the latest copy of Miniature Wargames and they had a good article based upon a reader survey of the most popular rule systems for the different eras. Black Powder won out for Napoleonics. So looking over the two rules systems it seems as though you could make an army that would work for both. So I have to look at this more closely and see if I am right.

On an aside I recently subscribed to Miniature Wargames on my iPad newstand. I think it is aus$5.49 a month. Pretty good, about half the price of the hardcopy and it can be hard to get (I travel a lot, never remember, blah blah blah). They have free a free trial edition over there too. Any thoughts on other useful magazines?

Here is my painting tray, one of three I made to make it move around the models I am working on. I just got some of the the new Citadel paints and some of their brushes. Two new textured paints, a bright green I like and a wash.

 These are the some Polish Lancers and Italian guard. Not too close so you can't see my shame!

 Seeing all the interesting results from using Army Painter and watching a video from Vallejo and Victrix on their washes I have been thinking of giving them a go. I have found a Army Painter distributor in Australia (bit pricey!), War and Peace Games, so fingers crossed on that front. My local stockist of Vallejo, don't have the 200ml pots of wash, but I have a small one. I emailed Vallejo about who imports them but no luck on a reply yet (they have responded on another question several years ago, so I think they wil

Ottoman Empire | Turkey | Sublime Porte


I had a request from DeanM from WAB Corner regarding the Ottoman empire, specifically the Russo-Turkish War 1806-12. So here is what I have been able to pull together. Doing the research is one of my most favourite parts of this hobby. I usually find all that I can, start with the basics and work up. I collect all the plates I can and then I draw them in my sketch book with notes on each uniform and unit relevant to painting them up. I am no artist, it is simple stuff, but I find it invaluable.

I hope you like it. Any errors please feel free to comment or email me so I can fix it.


The Ottoman army was broken into three main divisions: regulars; irregulars; provincial forces. Sultan Selim III had attempted to reform the army during his reign, 1789-1807. However, this went poorly as he was after a Janissary revolt in response to his creation of new forces that resulted in his nephew Sultan Mustafa IV replacing him. The return of loyal soldiers to Selim III in 1808 during a temporary peace with Russia (Treaty of Tilsit) led to the death of Selim and Mustafa and the sole survivor of the family Sultan Mahmod III was enthroned.

The Grand Vizier used his personal irregular force of 10,000 Kirjalis to suppress the Janissaries and installed Selims new troops as battalions called Nizam-i Cedit that were initially associated with te Bostanji Imperial Guard. The 1807 revolt by the Janissaries saw the Nizam-i Cedit attacked and disbanded. However, they were promptly reinstated in 1808 under Sultan Mahmoud.

I put this picture back together from the Vinkhuijzen collection. It was probably done around 1812 but possibly as late as 1820. I think it shows Sultan Mahmoud II reviewing his troops. There are various officers and grandees in the foreground. Janissaries can be seen in the midground. In the background to the right and left are more troops, possibly regional troops. These are matched by the light cavalry, probably Sipahi. 


Each army corp was known as an Ojak, or 'hearth'. It was divided into ortas, or battalions, and each orta into odas,  or rooms, the notional barrack room of each oda.  Each orta was as small as 100 men, reaching upto 500 men during times of war. However, recruitment for ortas may have been influenced by the fame of each orta. McLean (1818) records the 35th being the most famous and having a peak number of 30,000 men. Although there were likely around 150,000 Janissaries registered in this period, and some estimate upto 400,000, the actual numbers that could be summoned were likely to be no more than 50,000.

Administrative Ranks
Nazir - Supervisor of a corps
Aga - Commander of regiment of large unit
Kethuda - Executive officer
Katib - Chief scribe
Cavus basi - Sergeant-major
Kapu cukador - Chief orderly

Senior officers
Corbaci - Colonel
Odabasi - Colonel's aide
Vekilharc - Commissary
Middle officers
Bayraktar - Standard bearer
Asci Basi - Chief cook
Saki - Water bearer
Junior officers
Mulazim - Junior officer
Kullukcu - orderly
Cavus - Sargent or disciplinary officer
Ser boluk - Corporal
Bolukbasi - Junior NCO

Regular infantry

L-R Janissariy of the Guard Corps, Pay Officer of the 25th orta, Oda Bashi (room leader), Kolouk Bariaktari (sub-officer) of the Guard Corps.

The main infantry force of the Ottoman army were the Janissaries. The Janissaries were chosen from among the christian populations of Anatolia and the Balkans. These troops were broken into three
classes of orta. Jemaat, of which there were 101 (the 1st guarded the Sultan, the 101st was a marine orta) and guarded the frontiers. The Beuluk of 61 ortas, who also guarded the sultan.. The Sekban or Seiman (irregular troops of musketeers) of 34 ortas. There were also 34 ortas of ajami or cadets based in Algiers.

As noted above some ortas had specific duties they had won. The 1st Jemaat orta guarded the Sultan, the 101st was a marine battalion. Some guarded foreign embassies, policed Istanbul, acted as firemen, some ortas held individual citadels in Istanbul.  

Each orta was normally a closed organisation and permanently garrisoned. Discipline and promotion normally from only inside the orta. The head of the orta was know as a Çorbacı. The jannisaries were unpaid in peacetime but were provided rations and usually illegally supplemented this with a craft trade.

The uniform was largely unregulated however the Albanian or European style troops appear to have been uniform (see below).

The distinctive feature of the Janissaries was their tall cap being originally white but later red. At times of ceremony the Janissaries wore blue breeches, red shoes and a cap. The cut being important to the identity of the Janissaries. Officers were distinguished by their boot colour. The Beuluk Çorbacı wore red boots, the other orta Çorbacı wearing yellow. Subordinate officers wore black boots. The Janissaries were meant to neither marry nor wear beards.

The weapons used by the Janissaries usually were comprised of the older style matchlocks (unlike the flintlock, slower but more accurate), knives and swords. Bayonets were despised.

Salaried Regulars. Stationed around Istanbul and Edirne. Elite reserve. Similar in attitude regarding warfare to the Janissaries. Several thousand in number.

Small ceremonial guard unit of the Sultan's palace.

Nizam- Cedit (new army), attached to the Bostanjis 
The first westernised troops were raised in 1791 (Nicolle 1998) and trained to perform Russian drills. The Nizam-i Cedit was a mixture of old and new and perhaps heralded the end of the old ways. The first troops were raised from Istanbul's poor and officered by Russians and Germans (Nicolle 1989). These new troops were attached to the Bostanji Imperial Guard to try and minimise the reaction of the Janissaries. Their expansion began in earnest. A body of 12,000 men were raised in 1796 based upon the armaments and field manual of the army of Great Britain (McLean 1818), however, Nicolle (1998) states it was based on the french manual. by 1806 there were 25,000 Nizam-i Cedit, with half in Isnabul and Anatolia (Nicolle 1998). The provincial Pashas were encouraged to raise regiments.

The first regiment had the following command structure:
binbasi - colonel
aga-i yemin - major of the right
aga-i yesar - major of the left
Each aga-i was in charge of a battalion.
Each battalion had 12 boluk or companies each led by a bolukbasi or yuzbasi and each company into platoons under and onbasi.

Each boluk had a cannon and eight topci or artilleryman, a top ustasi or cannon master, five arabasi or cannon wagoneers and six kullukcu or orderlies.

Blue pants, red coat, red brimless cap, white belts. Blue piping, collar, cuffs. Red shoes.  Lighter red cap in the field. Officers have gold lace on jacket.

Irregular Infantry

Light volunteer infantry, also conscripted. Volunteered on the basis of hope of plunder. (Schevill, Ferdinand 1922 The History of the Balkan Peninsula. Ayer Publishing)

Corp of Grand Viziers irregular troops. 10,000 in 1806. The Kirjalis were recruited largely from urban and semi-urban sources. These included demobilised soldiers, property less servants and farmhands, as well as the homeless. Ethnically they were mixed Turks and other Asiatic groups as well as Albanians, Bosnians and Bulgarians as well as being Christians and Muslims. (Stoianovich, T. 1994 Balkan Worlds: the first and last Europe. Armonk, New York)

Segban Infantry
Rural militia

Arnaut Infantry
Troops raised in Macedonia, Morea, Sclavonia and commanded by native officers. Excellent marksmen, ideally formed into units of 1000. Some are mounted. Their commander is called Bin Bachi. (McLEan 1818).

Albanian Infantry
These troops were native Albanians, often considered the best in the Turkish army, at least the most fearless (or foolhardy) regularly forming the Forlorn Hope (McLean 1818). McLean (1818) also mentions they were powerful opponents of the Russians (presumably in the 1806-1812 Russo-Turkish war). They would regular volunteer for the forces of Pashas throughout the Ottoman Empire (McLean 1818).

Serbian HaydukSerbian militia formed as circa 100 man Hayduks under a buljakbasha (similar to junior NCO). Formed from mountain bandits.

Bosnian Panduks/Pandurs and eflak sharpshooters
Bosnian troops from the frontier.

Bulgarian Infantry

Wallachian Dorobanti and Pandurs

Moldavian Slujitori

Kurdish Musketeers
Mounted infantry.

Pasha of Baghdad
Had his own Mamelukes from Georgian slaves. Fortifications manned by Arab troops.


Regular Cavalry
The Sipahi were the main cavalry force of the Turkish army. They were drawn from their European and Asiatic provinces. The officers appear to have worn a long blue coat with a large band of red piped with yellow along either side, yellow boots, white turban and red fez (plumes on the Asian, flat on the European). But this may be a copied image. So don't quote me! In the background of the European Sipahi below there is a trooper with a red top, blue pants. Perhaps similar to the European infantry?

There were around 10,000 paid Sipahi during the period.

Irregular Cavalry

The Mamelukes were Circassian slaves, originally ruling Egypt from 877-905CE and again 1250-1517CE. They remained powerful throughout these periods. They regained power in 1749CE controlling Egypt once again. The Sultan destroyed them in 1811. The Mamelukes were an important organisation and their members helped to administer the eastern Ottoman empire. There were perhaps around 10,000 Mamelukes in Egypt. 

The Mamelukes were highly trained, carried a pair of pistols and usually a blunderbuss as well as knives and swords.

Mounted light volunteer cavalry. Volunteered on the basis of hope of plunder. Useful as scouts and advance guards but little else. (Schevill, Ferdinand 1922 The History of the Balkan Peninsula. Ayer Publishing).

Rural militia cavalry. From Balkans and Anatolia.

Usually Turkish Anatolians.

Mostly Kurdish.



In 1790 the Ottoman Empire possessed 30 ships-of-the-line, 50 frigates and 100 galleys. The sailors were generally from the Greek provinces. The vessels were similar to European designs however their

tactical knowledge was lacking. As mentioned above the 101st orta of the Janissaries were marines.


I have found out little on the artillery. There as clearly foot and horse artillery. There were also mortars.


Egypt – 1798-1800 - French
Crimea and Balkans – 1788-1791/1792 – Austria/Russia
Moldavia, Wallachia, Bessarabia – 1806-1812 – Russia. British fleet in 1808?
Serbia – 1804-1815 – nationalist uprising




Nizam-i Cedit - New Army
2nd reform under Sultan Mahmoud. Post 1808.
Colonel - Chef du Battalion



Soldiers of the Nizam-i Cedit under Selim III (to 1808). Kalpak wearing, flanker, flanker, ordinary infantryman. Note the skull cap on the first flanker. 


Janissary General

Colonel of Janissary - Corbaci - 'Giver of Soup'

Subaltern of Janissary
Janissary Captain

Janissary Captain

Janissary Bimbasha - there are four of these under a captain.

Ladle Bearer. The Janissaries officers were named for positions in the Sultan's household. McLean (1818) records the 'colours' of the ortas being a kettle and ladle, the loss of either would lead to the disbanding of the orta.
Cooks? Or officers? Not sure because of the whole odd titles thing.

Chasseurs and Officer 33rd orta?
Officer of the 1st orta?

Another Janissary
Janissary in alternate uniform
Janissary of a Fireman Orta
Janissary of a police orta on the beat

Elite and Guard

Solaks - Imperial Palace Guard

Commander of the 1st Guard Corp

Sargent of Com' of the Guard Corp
Executor of High works (sounds important!)

Chief of Volunteers - Azabs or Kirjalis perhaps?

Albanian Officer

Albanian infantry
Albanian Infantry

Arnaut Infantry
Wallachian Infantry

Bulgarian Infantry

Baghdad Infantry - perhaps Arab?

Light Infantry of Arabia Felix
Archer with Mamelukes

Egypt and Mamelukes
Military Chief, Attendant to the Aga, of Egypt

Officer of Mamelukes

Mameluke of Egypt
Mameluke of Constantinople

Mameluke of the Grand Seigneur

Mameluke of the Grand Vizier

Regular Cavalry

Pasha or General of Cavalry

Sipahi Officer

Sipahi - Asiatic provinces light cavalry

Sipahi - Asiatic provinces light cavalry

Sipahi - Asiatic provinces light cavalry
Sipahi? Not sure if they had the same name. European provinces light cavalry

Sipahi of Baghdad
Sipahi, Zaim, with a large fief.

Irregular Cavalry
Chief of Irregular Cavalry - Akindjis perhaps?

Cavalry of Allepo

Court and Senior Administrative Officers

Sultan Mahmoud II

Sultan in state apparel at the Bairam fest.

Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier in state dress

Chef du Corps
Serasaker - Field Marshal or Chef du Corps

Lieutenant General
Aide de Camp to the Lieutenant General

General of the Army Arsenal
Military Chief of Upper Egypt


Captain Pacha - Grand Admiral
Captain Pasha - Grand Admiral, Another print
Captain Pasha - Grand Admiral, note turban, but fur trimmed coat remains.

Galley Captain

Sailor - Possibly Janissary 101st orta

Turkish Marine - Possibly 101st orta

Artillery, Armoury, Engineers, Ordinance

Turkish artillery
Chief of Artillery
Horse artilleryman
Officer of the artillery - looks like the horse artillery as above.

Turkish artillery, artilleryman (Foot artillery?)

Foot artilleryman

Bombardiers - mortar gunners
Colonel and Guard of the Armoury
Officer of the Ordinance


Elting, J.R., 2000. Minor States. In Napoleonic Uniforms Vol. IV. Rosemont, Illinois: The Emperor’s Press, pp. 634-635. Janissary and European Infantryman.

Haythorthwaite, P.J., 1990. Ottoman Empire. In The Napoleonic Source Book, London: Arms & Armour. Love this book, very useful. Out of print so you have to hunt around.

Johnson, W., E., 1994. The Crescent among the Eagles the Ottoman Empire and the Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815 1st ed., Ocean Springs, MS: W. Johnson, distributed by G. Nafziger. Now have a copy from Nafziger, soon to be reviewed (12/12)!

McLean, T., 1818. The Military Costume of Turkey, London: Thomas McLean. Available Google Books. Very useful with descriptions.

Moiret, Joseph-Marie. Memoirs of Napoleon’s Egyptian Expedition, 1798-1801. Haven't got this. Would like a copy though! Link

Morier, J.P., 1801. Memoir of a Campaign with the Ottoman Army in Egypt from February to July 1800: Containing a description of the Turkish Army.-The Journal of its March from Syria.-General Observations of the Arabs and on the Treaty of El-Arish, with an account of the Event which followed it., Piccadilly: J. Debrett. Available Google Books

Nicolle, D., 1998. Armies of the Ottoman Empire 1775–1820, Osprey Publishing. Talked to Osprey about when they will have all their books digitised. Slowly slowly. Link

Nicolle, D., 1995. The Janissaries, Osprey Publishing. Ditto. Link.

Pope, S., 1999. Ottoman Empire etc. In Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Cassell.

Sweet, D., 1975. The Turkish Army of the Napoleonic Wars. Empires, Eagles and Lions, (74), p.75ff. Someone must have a copy :(

Napoleon Series

Wikipedia actually has some good info.

New York Public Library
The Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms / Turkey /
This has a lot of very good and useful pictures, check out the many other countries, I haven't yet..  The collections I have used are the 1810-1817 some of these make up McLeans (1818) book above and the 1820 collection (at least one is also in the McLean book). Link

Great Battles Blog
Some useful papers but mainly about much earlier periods.
Plates dated 1805 from an album labelled: Vorstellung der vorzuglichsten Gattungen des Türckischen Militairs und ihrer Officiere. Presentation of the genres of Turkish military men and their officers. Link

Characteristic representation of the principal European military menor, Augsburger Bilder, 1802-1810, Ottoman. Link

The Corps of the Janizaries By Arthur Leon Horniker. Link

Useful Maps

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Link. So many maps, sooo good.
Turkey in Europe in 1811. Link
Turkey in Asia, 1811. Link


The Balkan History page has some Ottoman models painted up. Link


AB figures (15/18mm) at Eureka Miniatures has the basic Ottomans. Link
Minifigs (15mm) Ottoman Turks. Link
Essex Miniatures (15mm) has some Renaissance Turks that would do. Link
Venexia Miniatures (15mm) Have what looks like a very nice range. Link
Museum Miniatures (15/18mm?) have an interesting range you might be able to pull a few models from. Link
Quick Reaction Force (15mm) have a lot of models in their medieval and renaissance Turk range. Link
15mm.co.uk have a stocky range of Ottoman renaissance turks. Link I rather like the look of them.
Roundway Models (15mm). I found them through Navwar under 15mm, medieval and renaissance, then had to search through the pages (third I think). Link. No pics :(
Legio Heroica, an Italian company. They are "Vienna 1683” Ottoman Turks but they look usable  convertible. Their scale page puts them at about Essex size (c.15mm?). Link. I really like these.
Vexillia Limited (15mm) They bought One Tree Miniatures Ottoman range. Link.


Parkfield (25mm) have a nice range of models. Link
Brigade Games (28mm?) have what look like some very nice models. Link
Dixon Miniatures UK (25mm). A good number of models. Link
The Assault Group (28mm) have some Renaissance Ottomans that could be used. Link
Perry Miniatures have Bashi-Bazouks which could be used. Link
Foundry Miniatures (28mm) crimean turks might be useful for Nezim-i Cedit. Link
Old Glory (25mm) Ottoman Turks. Link. A lot of different models.
RSM 95 (30mm?) hard to figure out how to buy these, not sure of the quality. Link. Review here.
Eureka Miniatures (28mm) has a similar range to the AB in 15mm. Link

Last updated 1/2013