Matakishi's Tea House

A simple little site...

My Napoleonic Skirmish Project

The Plan

About twelve years ago when Flintloque came out we used to have large multiplayer games using the Guernsey Foundry black powder rules. Often we would have six to eight players around the table with upwards of 150 miniatures doing battle. They were great games; fast, furious and fun.

The Napoleonic bug has bitten me again and so I'm going to recreate my old Flintloque armies using historical figures. The first of these figures have started arriving on the Tea House doorstep and are shown below.

This first set are from Front Rank Figurines except for Sharpe and Harper who come from Chiltern Miniatures. I'm sticking to groups of around 6-8 figures of each type with no doubles as each figure has his own activation card and needs to be easily identifiable without having to look under bases etc. Obviously I'm not going to disfigure my little chaps by painting numbers on them or anything like that either.

This second assortment are more of a mixed bag. The Spanish are Front Rank again but the Naval crew and Marines are from Britannia Miniatures. The ladies are old Falkenstein figures.

Here's a repesentative selection lined up so you can see the relative sizes. No problems here as far as I'm concerned.

I'm awaiting an order of some Perry Miniatures which will add a further 18 French and 6 more British Rifles. I plan to have the Front Rank Rifles as the 60th and the Perries as the 95th. I will need to order a Rifles officer and sergeant from Front Rank this month as well.

Here are the Perry figures, they're nice and big which is a relief. 2 were missing from the pack of Voltigeurs in great coats but I'm sure they'll be replaced soon. Just waiting on some cavalry and the Rifles officer from Front Rank and then I'll be all set to go.

The cavalry from Redoubt:

The final total is 105 figures, a nice manageable amount. The cost works out as follows:

Front Rank (including 3 lots of P&P because I ordered in dribs and drabs) 46 Infantry, 7 Cavalry, 74.86
Britannia (including one lot of P&P)17 Infantry, 19.80
Chiltern 2 Infantry, (with P&P) 5.45
Perry 30 Infantry (with P&P) 33.60

Total: 133.71

I found this hand built wooden ship on eBay too, not 100% right on the scale but it should look good against a quayside as scenery.

The French

Here is the first group of French, some carabiniers.

The second group, eight voltigeurs:

Right, back to this after a three year break (too many straps on Napoleonics, I need to paint them infrequently). Sharpe, Harper and the 95th Rifles:

My British Naval landing party. All Britannia figures with guns from the Foundry pirate range that I happened to have lying around. The boats are resin from Minimi Miniatures.

The boats, I added a tiller bar and rudder post from matchsticks because I wasn't keen on the flat sterns:

The first landing party ashore:

The second:

And finally, a group shot of everyone.

Here are the first of the miniatures I sent away for painting returned. These Britannia Marines and Steve Barber Nelson were painted by Paul Cook (McYellowbelly).

I painted another boat (bought from a manufacturer at Colours one year but I forget who) and rebased a load of barrels and boxes I had in the drawers. The ones shown here are from Pardulon. Don't worry, I'm not going to show them all.

More painting from Paul Cook, this time French Marines and a Naval officer. I painted the 64pdr. All the miniatures are from Britannia.

Time for some cavalry. All these have been painted by AndyMac. The miniatures are from Brigade Games.

British Light Dragoons.

British Heavy Dragoons.

Dismounted French Dragoons.

The next miniatures were all painted by Redzed.

Brigadier Gerard, a Front Rank hussar. Gerard was a Colonel in the elite 2eme Hussars during the Peninsular campaign and is shown wearing the uniform of that regiment here. He is mounted on his mare Violette.

A patrol of mounted French carabiniers also from Front Rank.

Some Perry French volitgeurs.

Front Rank's General Picton who will act as an exploring officer with a pair of rude Highlanders to accompany him from Westphalia Miniatures.

Not for the squeamish!

Front Rank British light infantry. these are painted to represent the light company of the South Essex regiment.

Front Rank Portuguese Caçadores.

Front Rank Spanish Guerrillas.

Britannia Miniatures French cavalry painted by Andy Mac.

Red Lancers:


and a single Mameluke, included as a freebie by Britannia.

Some civilians from Front Rank Figurines painted by Andy Mac.

Some more light infantry from the South Essex regiment. Made by the Perry twins and painted by Andy Mac.


My first building for this project is a small semaphore tower. Somewhere for my naval landing parties to raid.

Here's a better picture of my windmill now I've re-based it. I didn't make this, I bought it off eBay ages ago, you can see it in the first pictures of painted miniatures at the top of this page.

A three story building.

A house.


Small house.

Large house with balcony and fountain.

Another small house. 

A quick paint job and they're done. I just need to texture the bases and they'll be ready fro the tabletop.

These buildings were very quick to make, using laser cut doors and windows meant I didn't have to cut any openings which is what takes the time usually. All six were built and painted in two days.

The windows and balconies are from Warbases, the doors from Fenris and the roof sheets are by Wills which are available from model shops. I got mine from Antenocitis Workshop.

Here they are based and finished.

With the addition of some walls I can make a respectable little village.

A final large building to make use of some Warbases porticoes that I ordered.

I bought some resin gabions from Empress miniatures. I think they're a bit large but they'll do in a pinch. I've assembled them into the remains of old gun positions that I can dot around my table for some extra cover.

The set up for a skirmish to commemorate the 201st anniversary of Waterloo. Two foraging parties clash in a Peninsula village.Richard Sharpe and Etienne Gerard meet on the battlefield for the first time.

Some photos of the game(s). The first play through was a fast win for the French, the second went to the wire with the British eventually winning.

The Rules

I'm not going to use the rules I've chosen as written, (of course not) they're a little clunky by today's standards.

I'm going to streamline them a little to make it easier to get new players up and running very quickly.

To this end I'm looking at having as much information on the action cards as I can, with all constant values pre-determined such as '+2 for Veterans shooting' which will, instead be included in the basic numbers on the veteran characters' cards.

Here's an early example that will be changed (I've already decided) but it gives an idea of what I'm after.

Condensed down to these. Each character gets an action card and a shooting card for each firearm.These print out at 60mm x 90mm to fit my laminating pouches.

After a bit of fiddling with the details I've settled on these as the final versions of the cards. Blue borders for the French and red for the British. I have some Portuguese as well which might get a different colour but will probably have red too, since they're allies.

Within the national border each unit has its own coloured boxes to distinguish it. This is so players with no knowledge of the period can recognise their troops quickly and easily.

I still need to decide on a design for the backs.

I've streamlined the rules to make them a little faster and more suited for today's shorter playing windows. Here's a play sheet I've prepared with all the shooting and melee rolls and modifiers. The ones I use for the players will probably be double sided (so half this size) and laminated. With one of these and the character cards you can play the game without further reference to the rules.

I've finished my rules revision and finalised the play sheet.

Both can be downloaded HERE.

I've also uploaded all the cards to a G+ gallery HERE.

I'm sending the card artwork off to be printed as actual playing cards. They should be back with me in three weeks or so, until then I've made a set of makeshift cards by laminating some paper ones so I can have some games.

I set up a quick encounter on a 4ft x 4ft table. Really a 6ft x 4ft would have been better to give the British a little more range advantage but we made do.

A unit of regular French Carabiniers are guarding some supply wagons waiting for their escort of Voltigeurs to rendezvous with them before moving on. A foraging party of veteran British Rifles led by Lieutenant Sharpe (a hero) spots them and decided to do a little plundering.

The returning veteran Voltigeurs arrive in time to see what's happening and join in the fracas.

The British needed to get away with a wagon to win.Neither they nor the Voltigeurs started on the table, both coming on as their first moves. The Carabiniers guarding the wagons did their best to find cover before the shooting started.

Eventually the British had ti withdraw after both Sharpe and Harper were laid low. A wounded Rifleman Hagman, lying bleeding in full view on the road, still managed to kill three Frenchmen before he was finally silenced.

Young Rifleman Perkins, despite being wounded himself, made it to a wagon but was bayoneted as he tried to make his escape.

After this enjoyable little encounter I simplified the close combat modifiers even more. The rules and play sheet have been updated.

The cards are back from the printers.