I first cut my wargaming teeth on a Charge and Airfix inspired 1815 Allied army. This was in the early 1970s and as my gaming became more sophisticated - meaning I had just discovered the Airfix Magazine Guide on the Napoleonic Wars by Bruce Quarrie - I gravitated towards a Russian army using a combination of Minifigs, Hinchcliffe, Warrior and a very nice unit of Tradition Russian grenadiers (and no, they were not the famous Pavlov regiment either!). I persevered with until the very early 1980s and then the enthusiasm for the period, amid multiple other distractions,withered on the vine so to speak.
Or had it?
I moved to London in early 1978 and joined a wargames club in which nobody fought Napoleonics - rather they used to but had moved on to other periods. The club environment quickly seduced me into other areas (naval and ancients primarily, with a dash of Sci Fi thrown in for good measure) and the Napoleonics were quietly put to one side and then discarded. The next time I raised forces for the period was around ten years or so ago and were based on the units from the board game: Waterloo. Despite some interesting games with the armies involved my interest never really got going to the same levels as it had been previously.
Or had it?
The Napoleonic Wars has, if I am completely honest, never really left me as a period of interest - it has just lain dormant, to come to the surface every so often, as the mood or inclination takes me. My collection of books on the 1815 campaign has never left me and even now just a flick through the pages is sufficient to inspire me. Again, if I am completely honest, the prospect of painting vast armies of figures has been rather off-putting for so so when a Command and Colours Napoleonic game came out I was delighted. However, for a number of reasons it has just not really worked out for me. I love the blocks but I am just not mad on card driven board games when played solo (as most of my games are) for much the same reasons as I am not keen on the other games in the series.
What to do then.
I have given a lot of thought as to how I could revisit my inner Napoleon in terms of the rules I will be using and it will come as no surprise to learn that something Command and Colours based will probably be the set of choice but with the inevitable number of changes and additions. Bob Cordery's Memoir of Battle or his Itchy and Scratchy set have a lot to offer but I will need to tweak them in order to cater for the earlier smooth bore era.
The blocks are ready - and I am not including the Command and Colours versions in this statement - and as ever I have a few ideas up my sleeves for what I want to game - it is just a case of sitting down and crystalising them!