Napoleonic Skirmish games

  • Hello all, 

    I eagerly await WA's Napoleonic Spaniards to play in Studio Tomahawk's Muskets and Bayonets. I was thinking in the meantime of picking up some of the British Riflemen and was wondering how much wiggle room I have to use the British riflemen bodies with different heads to make different troop types and for different nations. Are those British riflemen uniforms and kits too unique to be used for other nations? For example, the Late Roman set is usable (using head swaps) for a wide range of factions. Could the same be done with the British riflemen and if so, what have some of you done with that? Many thanks! First time foray into Napoleonic era gaming!

  • I think with historical plastics you get in an interesting situation where for the price of conversion heads you can probably just get complete (appropriate/dedicated) figures for the same or not much more money.  

    The Perry's, Victrix, Warlord, and now WGA plastics are all pretty affordable.

    If you have your heart set on using the Rifleman bodies for conversions I think you can get reasonably effective results.  I think Napoleonic troop on campaign probably grew more ragged and similar in appearance to each other as time wore on.  

    I'd welcome you to Napoleonic gaming but I'm a noob to it too.  (Although I have a long time interest in the era.)

    Have you picked up the Muskets and Bayonets rule set yet?  What do you think?  Thanks!

  • @Daniel Broaddus 

    I recently picked up these two painting guides:

    They are not just painting guides though.  They are also nice introductions to Napoleonic troop types, uniforms, ranks, weapons, etc.  Really handy for someone just getting into Napoleonics.

    A step by step painting guide that may be of interest to WGA Rifleman fans:

    (Note skin, hair, and black equipment were already covered earlier in the volume so it's not rehashed here.)

    An example guide to British Infantry ranks:

    Some examples of other useful information put forward (from the French volume):


  • @JTam these are amazing! Thanks for the lead on them. Yes I have picked up the Muskets and Tomahawks rule set. I really like it. It takes a couple of read throughs to really get it but I've played a game with them of French and Indian War and that really made the rules click in my mind. I've looked into Sharpe's Practice a bit as well since it's a comparable rule set. From what I can tell the key difference between the two is how activations are done. Whereas in Sharpe's Practice officers and leaders play a very large role, in Muskets and Tomahawks troop type is the determining factor. Without having tried Sharpe's yet, only reading and watching reviews and comparisons (so take this with a grain of salt), I much prefer the troop type activations because it lends itself to a better representation of battlefield randomness. Officers aren't ubiquitous nor do they have radios and neither are orders perfectly executed in sync across the entire battlefield, sure they have an effect but just with the men that they're in the immediate vicinity of.

    Overall, the rythm of the game is engaging, relatively fast paced, and offers a ton of variety with random events, officer duels, officer traits, missions, unit options, etc. The card drawing and playing mechanic builds in intensity as you close with the enemy. I definitely recommend the game if you haven't picked it up already.

  • @Daniel Broaddus It is great to hear the game is working well for you.

    I prefer Sharp Practice but that is not to say M&T is not an excellent game. 

    The most well articulated comparison of the games I have found so far can be seen in this discussion over on Lead Adventure.

    It may be of interest to some folks reading this thread.

  • @Grumpy Gnome I had read that post before but not that thread. Very interesting, especially seeing which qualities stand out to players the most based on preference. At this point, I'd play either set with anyone! But, my friend and I who are both big Saga enjoyers are going to give ST a shot on this one with our first foray into Napoleonics. Thank you for sharing!

  • The beauty of it is, folks can play both if they can find the time once their figures are ready.

  • @Daniel Broaddus 

    The current issue (July 2022) issue of Wargames Illustrated has a nice primer on Napoleonic Warfare with a bit of history, sources of inspiration, and a bit about the various nations involved.

    Some of the pages:

    As is popular these days the author (whom I assume is British) denigrates the tremendous contribution of his Nation.  

    Truth be told this issue has a LOT of Napoleonoc content.

    For instance there's a page on the return of "Front Rank" Napoleonic miniatures.  It's great news and it's an impressive line.

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