Saturday, 24 January 2009

Napoleon

To many living at the time, Napoleon Bonaparte was a bogey-man or monster while of course to others he was an almost god like figure to be revered. For an armchair general like myself looking back 200 years later he was a general who should always give you at least +2 on any die roll you throw if you have his figure on the table.

This is a vintage Hinton Hunt casting of FN350 Napoleon mounted on FNH10 general’s horse. The figure is one that I have stripped and re-painted. It’s not a particularly inspiring bit of sculpture but then I guess the old ‘hand in the coat’ pose is what one expects of the Emperor. The horse has been painted to represent Napoleon’s famous white Arab stallion Marengo.

Like many wargamers I’ve always had a hankering to play the part of Napoleon. I did once get the chance to do this many years ago in a mega-game put on by the Soham Wargames Group but it didn’t quite live up to expectations. For a start nobody seemed to obey my orders (and I thought they were pretty darn good) and secondly I didn’t feel I was getting the respect due of an Emperor – “send us the Imperial Guard now you w***er!” is not quite how I imagined His Imperial Majesty would have been addressed by his Marshals. I can’t remember who won that battle but I have a feeling it wasn’t the French.

I hope to get the chance to play the role again one day and regularly practise the correct stance in front of the mirror.

10 comments:

Paul said...

Hi Ian.
I think your Marshal's were most disrespectful !
Lovely figure all the same and very nice panting too

Paul

rpardo said...

Ian
That's a beautiful figure, capturing all the Napoleon's charisma.
I consider myself a patriot and a true Spanish, but I am always pro-Napoleon. I play solo, so I always hope that Napoloen will win in each battle HE is present, altohugh that is not always the case.
Vive l'Empereur!

Stryker said...

Paul & Rafa - thanks guys. You can both be my Marshals next time!

Ian

Matt said...

Ian

I hope you returned the good Marshals baton where the sun don't shine!

Matt

Stryker said...

Not actually Matt but I'll keep that in mind!

Ian

lewisgunner said...

Actually things got very bitter with some marchals in 1814. They began to realise that Napoleon was quite irrational; a amn who could say of the Russian campaign 'What are the lives of half a million men to one such as I?' Naploeon was a monster, drunk on blood who fed each new class of Frenchmen into the mincing machine for no great strategic gain and certainly little advance in human happiness. Brilliant general though he was he won no campaign after 1809. There are actually some who see 1809 as a defeat with the Austrians back, leading a coalition against him in only four years.
Great at bringing administrative order
Great tactician.
Appalling Emperor.

Roy

lewisgunner said...

Thinking about the comment on the use of the Imperial guard I was reminded of a large game many years back where the victory condition for napoleon was that he must winn without using the guard. That was because once they were used up the threat was gone and his enemies would take heart. needless to say his marshals were all desperate for it to be committed to their sector of the field.

Roy

Stryker said...

In the particular game I was referring to I think I probably was a bit late committing the Guard to be honest. However, they were mostly my own figures and I didn't want their lovely neat ranks to get all messed up. Perhaps I'm not cut out to be Napoleon - my mentality is far more suited to McClellan in the ACW!

Ian

The Old Metal Detector said...

Wasn't McClellan the Young Napoleon?

Stryker said...

Good point Clive - good point! I love McClellan, he's my favourite character from military history. Always fighting shadows as well as his bosses in Washington. Fabulous at organisation though but just couldn't bring himself to actually fight!

Ian