A pair of gamers at my club have decided to try a Napoleonic period wargame rules recently (Napoleon at War). Instead of purchasing and basing hordes of figures and finally gaming months and months later they came up with a good solution. Foam core flat armys. Base sizes approximately the same with print outs to show who is who. This might not be the images of nicely painted miniatures you might usually expect to find on these types of blogs but it still requires a bit of effort. It's a great way to try the rules and try a variety of forces to see what a gamer might eventually sink his (or her) teeth into as a longer term project.
Napoleon at War is based on the unusual size of 18mm and the rule book looks nice. I recall seeing adverts for this game in Wargamers Illustrated a while back and thinking that it looked interesting. However it looks as though you need lots of figures to make a good sized army. I am not unopposed to lots of figures but Napoleonic battle dress is detailed and has lots of those bright colours I tend to shy away from. It looks time consuming and a little intimidating at first glance (as if what I normally do isn't time consuming...HA!). I don't really get a burning desire or ever have for this period but after it was explained to me that it involves combined arms of Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry I can see it's appeal to others. Perhaps the fact that the uniforms make the soldiers look like toy soldiers created in some crazy workshop filled with bright coloured tins of paint is part of the appeal. Perhaps the idea was an extension of the massive egos of the Generals and Kings of the times. No doubt though, many gamers dig the history of the period. I tend to be more fascinated by Swords, Axes and also Tanks of WWII. If I had to paint and build a force for Napoleonics though for the sake of speed and looks as well I would draw inspiration from these all blacks at Rebel Barracks blog. Yeah....looks a little quicker to execute over other uniforms. :)
Cheers from The Kiwi (Brendon)