Thursday 11 May 2017

Quatre Bras Test game 5 imminent

As we mentioned in the previous post "Scotland forever" we have all been working very hard towards the next test game leading up to West Country Quatre Bras in September. Test Game Nr 5 will be this coming weekend and will be the biggest so far. We are going for a fun, fictitious scenario to give each side plenty of attacking opportunities as well a some close country for defence.

The project team members are getting familiar with the Rank and File rules and we have applied various unit characteristics and unit sizes, and now need to test what can be achieved in a two day game only a bit smaller than we intend the real refight to be. So Kevin has come up with a great scenario and extensive orders of battle to give us the following:

  • Specially made up terrain 10 feet x 6 feet, made by me
  • 8 wargamers, 2 - 3 aside and flexible umpiring
  • 2,400 figures scheduled to put in a phased appearance over two days of play from the collections of four of us
  • Multiple sizes of units to see how they fare, and including new rules for recovery and reforming to allow for several hours of historical battle and renewed attacks.
  • Trying to balance size of army against extremes of quality, such as Dutch militia and French Imperial Guard lancers.
  • Victory points for table objectives, both geographic features and occupation of terrain 
Here is an overview of the terrain, including my recently painted skyscape backdrop panels, with a few figures in just to test the "trample-able  crops" system.

Kevin said he wanted some "head high" crops that could give some measure of concealment. We will be using markers for hidden units but this shag pile rug lightly PVA'd and painted is still flexible enough to allow even plastic Perry figures to be partially "buried" in it. Here are a few examples using spare units of mine.

And a few more views round the battlefield, which in keeping with the Dutch-Belgian location, he is calling The Hoeke Valley, as a small river runs between two large ridges.

The team members have provided me with a selection of their latest offerings for the game, so here are the highlights for your delight.

Kevin offers leader vignettes and casualty marker figures

Duke of Wellington
General Reille
General Picton
Earl of Uxbridge
2nd Lancers of the Imperial Guard
 Tony is providing figures showing a lot of the late Peter Gilder's influence with classic Napoleonics - British, French and Netherlands artillery

James is currently providing units for the Brunswick corps

Duke of Brunswick

General Hill

Von Mahn

Von Moll's battery

James tells me the lances and pennants still need working on.......
And a little bit from me - I'm only providing about 250 figures out of the total, the latest of which are all plastics, but who is to notice when they are all milling together in the game!

Rogers' Royal Foot Artillery battery. Gunners are Victrix and limber and supply caissons renovated original 1970/80s Hinchliffe.

The French 1st Chasseurs a Cheval in their distinctive helmets. Don't look too closely as they are not accurate. I put my hand up to do this regiment as I could repaint 24 of my British Life Guards that had been done originally for La Haye Sainte in 2015.  Those had been made by combining Perry plastic British hussars with French carabinier heads, so the horse furniture and equipment is British style, but....this regiment was a bit maverick anyway. Being the first and only Chasseur regiment to have been converted back to the Bourbon army in 1814 they hammered the royal motto on their new helmets to fit their renewed allegiance to Napoleon.  OK from wargames distance in my opinion.

 We are also expecting to field French Dragoons as part of our "what if" elements of Quatre Bras and I ma contributing to both the 2nd and 7th regiments. For now though I'm only required to contribute two bases and some casualties of the 7th, with their crimson facings.

So, nearly all set, and hopefully I will find time to report on the Battle of Hoeke Valley  itself next week.


  1. Realistic details on the terrain are amazing, congrats, close ups are superb...and your units as well!

  2. Splendid! This looks totally awesome Chris!

  3. It all looks just so good. Terrific quality painting played on some super terrain. Magnificent!

  4. I'm looking forward to taking part in this game. A nice weekend away in the Cotswolds, a great table to play on and lots of lovely figures to push around.

  5. It all looks amazing. Can't wait to see the post-game reports.

    Best Regards,


  6. Thanks to all for your comments. The look of it is only part of it so I'm looking forward to reporting the action too.

  7. Brilliant Chris - absolutely brilliant! Looks like the lads have been very hard at work with some wonderful looking figures, vignettes and batteries. Tremendous.

  8. This pre-battle report was quite literally the best I've ever seen or read. Well done, sir! Well done, I say!!

  9. Carlo - thanks as ever...and Mr Curmudgeon, I'm speechless! Thank you

  10. The wonderful details are always a treat!

  11. Chris. Beautiful units. Hope the game is wonderful. Specially love those Brunswick uhlans.


  12. Hi Chris
    This is superb, your best terrain yet and though its unfair to single out any one particular figure in that lovely lot I think I must say that the Uxbridge's Adc's tiger skin horse furniture is stunning

  13. Thank you very much Valleyboyinnz. It is a figure that I particularly enjoyed painting! It's funny that you should pick him out as as a teenager I used to paint oil pictures of tigers for commissions and therefore have gained years of knowledge of how to paint tiger skins elsewhere!.......that knowledge has obviously caught your eye here. Thank you.