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Combat Patrol Napoleonics - Bring on the Cavalry

Combat Patrol Napoleonics - Bring on the Cavalry

Napoleonic Skirmish in Portugal with Combat Patrol

Like most wargamers who have gone before me I have made resolutions and I have broken resolutions. My big one is always to keep to one scale per period. It does not always work; somehow I've got figures for WW2 1944 in 20mm, 15mm and 28mm! I have however been gaming for over 30 years, so I hope that can be excused. I always vowed that I would not do Napoleonic’s in 28mm, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have a sizable Lace Wars collection in 28mm and it seemed to similar, but the main reason was that for Napoleonic’s, I like big battles. I have a bespoke set of terrain for Austerlitz that I made for a magazine article in Harbringer many years ago. It is 12' x 6'. It is just big enough to deploy all of the forces involved, in 6mm scale on bases with a 60mm frontage representing 1000 men or 500 cavalry. You could do it in 28mm, but it's a question of what looks best, 60 mm frontage for 1000 men is what you need for the ground scale, and for me 3 ranks of 12 figures look better to me, than three 28mm figures on a base pretending to be a regiment. So,  Napoleonic’s have always been at Corp or Army level, using Grand Piquet or Blucher, where you can bring on the Reserve Cavalry Corp or commit the Imperial Guard Corp.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

But... I have really enjoyed playing Combat Patrol for WW2, VBCW and Winter of '79 games, so I've broken the one period, one scale rule and have started painting up some skirmish level 28mm Napoleonic figures. I'm planning to base my games in the Peninsular, so Portugal and Spain. I have had one game already, which was great fun and decided to paint up a few cavalry before having a second game.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

The game is set up, all of the forces are on the table ready to play on Wednesday night. The scenario sees the British and French armies camped, within a day’s march of each other, at the end of a very long supply chain. Both forces have sent out some foraging parties, a few squads of infantry with a handful of Dragoons as an escort. A quiet, dusty hamlet surrounded by small plantations of olive trees is where the rival foraging parties come face to face. On the table are various models of live stock and provisions. The livestock can be escorted off the table by 1 or 2 infantry figures, but if there is only 1 figure in contact there is a chance that the animals will make a bid for freedom when activated. The boxes and sacks can be carried by a single infantry figure.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

Here, the French deploy. The dice by each unit are command dice. At the start of the turn a dice is rolled for every unit. This dice stays with the unit and is re-rolled at the start of each turn. A deck of cards that includes numbers 1-6 and reshuffle is used for activation. When a card is turned, all units that have the same number as the card on their command dice, get to activate.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

Here's my first six British Dragoons.  For the last couple of years, I have been basing all foot figures for individual, skirmish style games on Sally 4th Clear Bases. These are the first cavalry (for any period) that I have based on clear bases.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

Here are the first six French Dragoons that I have painted. The cavalry are mounted on 25mm x 50mm oval bases. I have used some clippers to remove the horse from its base and have then filed the hoof flat and drilled a small hole in one hoof on each horse in which a small brass wire peg has been inserted. A matching hole is drilled in the Perspex base and the figure is then glued down with super-glue. I really like the way the bases blend in with the terrain, regardless of if the horse is on a road or cross country, or in Flanders, Portugal or Spain.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargame

When I've painted up some new figures, I like to work out where I will store them at the same time, as after a while my wife always hints that I should tidy them away.

These are the first single based cavalry that I have completed, so I decided to make up one of our Sally 4th Warchest, figure storage boxes to store them in. Warchests come in 5 heights; 35mm, 52.5mm, 70mm, 100mm & 120mm and you can chooses a insert to match your basing size from a range that covers every base size and shape you could imagine. I've choosen the Warhammer Cavalry Insert which has 20 slots each measuring 25mm x 50mm.

Combat Patrol 28mm Napoleonic Skirmish Wargamet I

The boxes stack up nicely and with the optional clear front and lid I can see what is inside. I use these to take figures to shows and the club in the back of the van, and when the figures are at home I can stack the Warchests on some shelves in the games room, and see what is inside them.

If you would like to find out more, click here for Combat Patrol Rules, here for warchests or here for further information about clear figure bases.


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