Sunday, 26 July 2015

"The Choices of Command" - Napoleonic Vignette

The vigntte/command stand put together for our Waterloo Day

One of the great things about the web is the ability to seek out the images and ideas of many very clever wargamers and modellers around the globe.  What I have increasingly noticed is the wonderful use of what one would traditionally call "vignettes" in games to help add some style and character to tables.

Some of the very good ones that I have seen also go a step further and allow the base to also be incorporated into a very real part of the game in the form of a command stand.

I have seen such wonderful ones from modern style gamers such as Tarletons Quarter, JJ's Wargames, Von Peter, Chris Gregg and Djokers wargaming etc.

I have also been gaming long enough to vividly recall and have images of, the wonderful vignettes from Peter Gilder, John Ray, Doug Mason, Bill Gaskin and Dave Thomas to mention too few!
 
The Generals ADC's look like they are high on decorations, perhaps less so on strategic suggestions.

This was the intent with one of my cuirassier divisional stands.

Taking advantage of the wonderful, characterful figures from the Perry French 1815 range, I wanted to depict some decision making at a strategic level by a General whilst his senior staff assisted.  In addition, his escort were to be on the base, being depicted by hard, veteran troopers and NCO's used to "Hurry up and wait" orders from senior officers their entire military lives.


One of the Emperors staff rushes into the scene.

I also wanted to depict one of the Emperors couriers or aides rushing up to the scene and quickly dismounting in order to deliver an urgent message to assist our brave general in his next decision.


Had a lovely beer and met some very friendly locals at Brane L'Alleud.

"We all told him that there is a bloody big ditch over there but does he listen?"

I think that the mix of figures works well without being too busy and tells a story in itself which was my objective from the start.

The size of the command base for gaming purposes is not all that relevant as I tend to measure command radius from the head of the general in all my games to encourage colourful, characterful command stands.  However, there is a point where one can go to "big" of course however we haven't come across that yet.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Carlo

    You've done yourself, the French army and the hobby proud with this stand. Wonderful composition that tells a story - or more accurately several stories - and superb execution.

    I think I remarked on this stand in one of your Waterloo refight posts and my opinion hasn't changed. Top notch 'stuff'.

    Salute
    von Peter himself

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    1. Hi Peter and thank you very much for your very kind words mate. Yes, the figures available from Perry leapt out at me for a scene such as this one. I still remember your wonderful Russian Command stand with the lovely sun coming through the leaves and foilage of trees on the tabletop. Absolute beauty!

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  2. Love it mate. Couldn't agree with you more about injecting character into our armies. You are making me rethink my Black Powder and WAB command bases - I think maybe a minimum of two or even three figures from Brigades up. Food for thought anyway.

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    1. Cheers Greg. I thought that a few more elaborate bases would be nice and if not in use as a command stand would look the part on a table simply as a vignette near the baseline of an army etc. Will look forward to seeing your work again mate.

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  3. This is absolutely wonderful! Superb work!

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    1. Thank you Rodger - it was great fun to put together as well and for a while I worried that it was too busy. I think the mix is just right in my humble opinion, at least for what I like, which, lets face it, is all that counts on my table :^)

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  4. This is brilliant. Both the painting and the composition of the models. You've found just the right model for each piece, with just the right pose. I will admit, being a bit of an old grumbler myself, I like the Curriasiers the best.

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    1. Thanks AH - Yes we grumblers like cavalry that you can send to do a days dirty work no matter what the situation. None of this nancy pancy sabre waving on the fringes for me!!

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  5. Lovely composition and painting, Carlo!

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    1. Thank you very much Peter. The painting is a mix of my own work for teh mounted cuirassiers and the courier as well as Dragon for the three dismounted command figures that were painted for me over six years ago. I was waiting for the right setting to use them.

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  6. Carlo. A wonderful vignette, so very artistic and amusing too. Thank you for the mention, but in truth the vignettes you see on http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.co.uk/ this year are the work of Kevin East and Paul D for our Waterloo project, not mine. Paul uses each figure on a leader base to represent a "command" in the rules, so for example a Division commander usually has 2, up to Wellington or Napoleon with 5 or 6. For my own part, and my 18th Century Imagi-nations, at the moment I have all the figures singly so I can make flexible command groups. There's something fun to me to have the ability to send the ADCs galloping across the table with "messages".
    Chris

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    1. Thank you Chris and I will make sure suitable credits are edited in. I do like the whole vignette/ command/ diorama idea on the table.

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  7. Cracking work. I love the resting cuirassier sculpts :-)

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    1. Thank you Stephen - they are great figures and the Perry twins really do look after us wargamers!

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  8. What an outstanding vignette! Very high quality brushwork and interesting composition. You tell a good story through the figures.

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    1. Cheers Jonathon and thanks for visiting. Sent you an email btw on the EEL rules.

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  9. Carlo. The positioning of the figures is 'A1' and there is a convincing sense of 'tension' or drama at the events unfolding before their very eyes. Marvellous diorama!

    Dave

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    1. Thanks Dave and very much appreciate the kind comments from such a fine brush man as yourself!

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  10. Lovely Carlo, I wonder if the Belgian beer was as nice back then 😉

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    1. Hi Paul and thanks for the kind words. Yes it was a great beer. I had caught the train from Amsterdam to Brussels as I had a spare day in a conference. Catching the train to Bran L'Alleud the taxis had all gone hone for lunch as it was Sunday. The lovely chap running the bar across from the station and his mother actually through the keys to the till to a friend and drove me to Waterloo in their car once they heard I lived so far away in Australia. Wouldn't take a cent in payment. Lovely memory.

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    2. That's really kind of them carlo a top memory!

      Did you see there is a new guy over on GdB forum asking about greens for painting Nassau? Thought you maybe able to point him in the right direction?

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  11. Superb composition and painting of figures. Really sets the scene.

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    1. Thanks Pat - greatly appreciated.

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