My Napoleonic Army continues to progress and the field forge completes another mini diorama that will eventually build into my Artillery Park. I have always been fascinated by the support units that ensure that an Army is able to fight. It is a shame that the rules systems that I have come across fail to take into account the logistics required to get an army into battle. I have just finished reading about Wellingtons Peninsular campaign and it seems to me that the battles were won because of Wellingtons attention to this area. The French seemed to have lost the campaign because of their decision to live off of the land rather than have a supply train in place. They were unable to continue to press any advantage gained because they ran out of provisions. This is best illustrated by the problems that Massena experienced when Invading Portugal. Held in check by Wellingtons defensive lines of the Torres Vedras before Lisbon, Massena saw his army dwindle away due to starvation and sickness.
I wouldn’t expect ‘club Night’ games to reflect this logistics problem in every game but there is certainly room for a scenario or two here! Just to give you an example of the logistics involved, a Brigade of Infantry required about 150 mules to carry supplies. A troop of Horse Artillery required some 205 mules to carry supplies. And these were only the Commissariat mules. In addition, every unit had it’s own beasts to carry camp kettles, reserve ammunition, pay chest, medical stores and tents. Whilst all of these beasts were left in the rear during the major battles, I suspect that there were times when they were present ‘in the thick of it’ or certainly close to the action.
I digress, back to my field forge. It is from Perry Miniatures, although I have added a spare artillery man & officers horse to fill out the base. As usual, I have used Vallejo paints to complete the figures. I could find very few references for details of the clothing , So I painted the figures as Foot artillery in shirt sleeve order! The leather aprons were my first attempt at painting raw leather and I used the Vallejo Orange brown as the highlight and wash over the actual leather brown paint. I then just stippled some black on the aprons to represent the burns that would be there from working. I think that it has worked quite well.
For the base and ground work, I used Vallejo Sandy Paste. I actually have a pot of the desert coloured paste that was left over from another project, so I am working my way through this, being too mean to buy either the plain or brown that is available. I am a great fan of this product. It is ideal for blending your figures into the base and has sufficient texture when dry to enable a quick dry brush to bring up the detail.
Once the paste was dry & painted, I used a green scatter to represent the grass as well as some static grass dotted around to add some different texture & colour. I then added a few Grass tufts ( I like the ones from Noch) and flowers and the basing was complete.
So although my Field Forge is unlikely to change the course of any battle that I fight, it will make either a nice objective or simply add to the scenery. It was of course a pleasant distraction from painting the rank and file….Talking of which, next up are my final battalion of Hanoverian Landwehr, the Osterode Battalion, More on those next week.