Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic The Accuracy of Contemporary Resources?

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  • #173523
    OotKust
    Participant

    The current (well lets say recent) furore slowly building again brings many questions. Recently a post of the document “[Collection d’uniformes de l’armée française et de ses alliés en 1812” by C. Weiland (available here – https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427426d/f1.double) has me thinking.

    Wonderful work- however with everything we thought we knew, about the French ‘elite’ Carabiniers, seems somewhat topsy-turvey. It was one incredible administrator and battle general, de Nansouty, who argued for armouring the Carabinier regiments in cuirasses and helmets to replace their decade-aging bearskins.

    Weiland however, shows for an ‘1812’ Carabinier (not mounted), the full pre-1810 uniform in entirety.

    How could such a thing occur? So many eminent ‘reproductions’ cite the regulations [and design] of new dress and equally eminent artistic greatness in display the same.

    What is it that cannot be relied upon? Should we accept that the dates cited are indicative, and not specific. I’ve often thought the same of the E.Fort illustrations, which like JOB, Rigo and others, are attractive designs and animations, yet perhaps a little too passionate and endearing?

    Anyone have ideas on the matter? After all, our gaming figures reflect these ‘popular’ facets and uniforms of easy research and reach (thinking the Russian scuttle shaped shako etc.) but should we accept these?

    Regards ~davew

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173537
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Should ‘we’ field units in campaign dress rather than full dress?

    Should ‘we’ engage in fruitless searches for ‘authentic’ uniform colours?

    Should ‘we’ continue to fool ourselves that we are engaging in Napoleonic warfare when we shove little lead figures around a table that is an approximation of Auerstadt/Talavera/Waterloo?

    Should ‘we’ continue to pretend that we gain any insight into the reality of Napoleonic warfare, with all the blood, shit and suffering that went with it?

     

    It’s a feckin’ hobby, not a job, or academe, or the beginning of a thesis, and one Kevin Kiley in it is enough.

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173538
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Whilst debate is encouraged and disagreements allowed, assuming done so politely, there is no need for name calling, not sure who you are referring too (Kevin Kiley) but let us keep TWW a place free from hostility and name calling.

    Reminder to everyone, if you don’t like the content of a users posts, ignore user may be the way forwards.
    If their posts are sexist/racist/etc then let me know.

    #173540
    OotKust
    Participant

    >> and one Kevin Kiley in it is enough.

    If I ever get that biased and blinded, this is my get out of jail free card to you, when you shoot me!? Fair enough???

    ~d

    PS- I know its a hobby- I’ve done the easy ‘follow this’ s**z, thats no longer intellectually satisfying…

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173542
    Mishima
    Participant

    Don’t shoot me, but for me:
    Close enough – is good enough.

    Your mileage may vary.  But then I do Vietnam and WW1 in 15mm so, you know…

    Tim from Gomi Designs. 15mm Vietnam riverine. www.gomidesigns.co.uk

    #173550
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    I remember reading an account of the 1814 campaigns where some newly recruited French battalions performed so well that Napoleon, to reward them, offered them uniforms instead of their civilian clothes.
    Given that the uniforms were captured Prussian uniforms and were still invested with (captured Prussian) lice the recruits turned down his generous offer and fought on in the civilian clothes they’d been wearing when they were recruited.

    Have I any way of checking the source, frankly given my knowledge of French, I very much doubt it 🙂
    Am I going to get too upset about the details of uniform that appear on the troops I’m facing, frankly no 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #173551
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    When I started wargaming I marched confidently into battle armed with my Liliane et Fred. After ten years of campaigning I lost heart a bit, not in Napoleonic wargaming, but in the search for an absolute Uniform truth.

    I’m interested in history and generally prefer primary to secondary sources and edge cautiously around ‘popular’  works when I’m playing at being a historian. In matters of uniforms however I have learned to love a more postmodern approach.

    #173555
    Arthur Harman
    Participant

    In his recently published ‘The Army of the Kingdom of Italy, 1805-1814’ (Helion & Company, 2022), Stephen Ede-Borrett notes that, “..older patterns of uniform and equipment continuing to be issued from store well after they had officially been replaced.” and that, “Equipment, of course, lasted much longer than cloth items such as coats.” So it would be common in many armies for units to continue to be issued with previous regulation items of uniform until stocks of such were exhausted. Thereafter, one might find reinforcements of new recruits in the now regulation uniforms while veterans were still wearing out the previous style. And then there are campaign adaptations made by the soldiers themselves to consider… (Remember the photo caption in an Osprey on the Crimean War: “This group of Mongolian brigands are in fact the 68th Durham Light Infantry.”)

    So the typical wargame unit in identical uniforms will often be completely unrealistic as a portrayal of the historical appearance of a particular unit on a particular day, but looks attractive on the tabletop and it’s easier to paint all the men in identical style. Wargame armies, which have to serve in many different historical and hypothetical battles, and sometimes as proxies for other troops, don’t need to be as ‘accurate’ as uniform plates or dioramas.

    Personally, if my troops are recognisable and look as good as the aquatints in Jenkins’ ‘Martial Achievements &c.’ I’m perfectly happy. Let everyone do whatever satisfies them.

     

    #173557
    OotKust
    Participant

    >>Have I any way of checking the source, frankly given my knowledge of French, I very much doubt it <<

    Jim, 1814 was a home front and virtually every able bodied adult was a partisan. Like 1943, like Ukraine. Sure the ‘regular’  army gets all the overage in ‘hobby’ press. I’m sure the likes of PLDawson will sooner or later declare on the subject.

    >>When I started wargaming I marched confidently into battle armed with my Liliane et Fred.<<

    Guy, as did I, as the cheapest of all ‘foreign sourced’ books in town! The Funckens I still assert, are about as fundamentally correct as such base books could be, and are therefore still a valuable if dated resource. They don’t have the space and depth to cover everything in detail, and in that the cavalry suffer a lot more, and lacking pages of ‘qualifiers’ and explanations, the artistry is still correct IMHO. They proudly reside in my library 40+ years later.

    >>So the typical wargame unit in identical uniforms will often be completely unrealistic as a portrayal<<

    Arthur, agree 100%. And your quote from Barret may finally sink in to the wargamer lore/ psyche one day. I’ve been fighting that particular argument for a long while.

    However I say, why should everyone conform to to the lowest common denominator? Not everyone likes the same scales/ figures or heavens, rules.

    Why should we all be expected to ‘conform’ with the same in research. If contrary, or controversial  material doesn’t matter, and I know there are ‘gamers’ for whom wargaming is just a passing phase and another variant of chess anyway. Once becoming champions, or failing too, they walk away and care less about it being a hobby others enjoy.

    I chose a course of wargaming specialisation* many, many years ago and, with some room for ‘growth’ around the edges, have stuck with that focus. My friends of equal longevity provide the variations and distractions of alternate periods and games. Terrain and scenery is virtually agnostic.

    *I hasten to add that a nominal pair of armies for AWI exist, partly my own work and partly purchased from friends, complete bar minor details.

    regards and thanks for the input. davew

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173570
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Am I going to get too upset about the details of uniform that appear on the troops I’m facing, frankly no

    Wise, nor me, after all not everyone paints to the same standard and thus may not be able to present models to other peoples satisfaction.
    But then I paint my models for my satisfaction not that of others, and likewise do not push any standards onto anyone else.

    After all, as I have oft said:

    #173585
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Am I going to get too upset about the details of uniform that appear on the troops I’m facing, frankly no

    Wise, nor me, after all not everyone paints to the same standard and thus may not be able to present models to other peoples satisfaction. But then I paint my models for my satisfaction not that of others, and likewise do not push any standards onto anyone else.

     

    I confess that my enthusiasm for 6mm Napoleonic Russians increased in leaps and bounds when I read that they often left their expensive jackets in the baggage train and fought in their great coats (on the grounds they were reissued with one of them every year anyway 🙂 )

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #173587
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Am I going to get too upset about the details of uniform that appear on the troops I’m facing, frankly no

    Wise, nor me, after all not everyone paints to the same standard and thus may not be able to present models to other peoples satisfaction. But then I paint my models for my satisfaction not that of others, and likewise do not push any standards onto anyone else.

    I confess that my enthusiasm for 6mm Napoleonic Russians increased in leaps and bounds when I read that they often left their expensive jackets in the baggage train and fought in their great coats (on the grounds they were reissued with one of them every year anyway 🙂 )

    Many Napoleonic troops fought in greatcoats, regardless of nationality. I think that is well documented enough to meet everyone’s satisfaction 🙂

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173605
    OotKust
    Participant

    Yet another gross generalisation I’m afraid, and far away from the subject of accuracy of ‘depicted’ uniform illustrations [and the corollary of ‘effect’ on the gaming hobby…]. But thanks for offering…

    If you read the research, you will see that Russia was as parsimonious and broke as the next nation- no-one was gifted everything, and many nations DIDN’T have the maligned ‘great-coats’ available- because Winter wasn’t the acknowledged season for matches.

    Yes I know we’ve had to overcome the premise that ‘those French’ didn’t wear them either- taking a leaf from the PLDawson book of scepticism, you will find that either Buonaparte (as it was spelled pre-1800?) and N. both issued directives that coats were to be supplied to so and so. There was such an order for 1805 before the grande march commenced.

    ~d

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173606
    Kitfox
    Participant

    I think I’ll stick to the “Sharpe Rule” French in blue, British in red and to hell with the epaulettes.

    Death to all fanatics!

    #173608
    Patrice
    Participant

    Well, anyway, that’s how a carabinier’s cuirass looks like authentically after a good battle (Musée de l’Armée, Paris):

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #173612
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Well, anyway, that’s how a carabinier’s cuirass looks like authentically after a good battle (Musée de l’Armée, Paris):

    I’ve seen that in the Mussee de l’Armee. Makes you wince a bit.

     

    Is there a rule for the morale effect of seeing one of your mates hit with a six pound cannonball?

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173613
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I think I’ll stick to the “Sharpe Rule” French in blue, British in red and to hell with the epaulettes.

    B**t*rds

    #173633
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Kevin Kiley is an author of Osprey books, most about the Napoleonic wars. He is very pro-French. He had a long online vendetta against another Osprey Author, Dave Hollins, very pro-Austrian. These two battled on various forums and were banned repeatedly, starting up again shortly after the bans were relaxed. I believe a cease fire was finally called.

     

    One long battle was about who invented the briquet (a harness for gunners dragging guns). The term briquet became gamer slang for teapot tempests. Never silly, us gamers.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #173634
    Sane Max
    Participant

    The key point to remember about him –

    It’s a hobby, and one REDACTED in it is enough.

    He isn’t actually IN the hobby. He doesn’t wargame – he just seeks out fora on which to start unpleasant arguments after getting banned from the previous one.

    #173635
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Kevin Kiley is an author of Osprey books, most about the Napoleonic wars. He is very pro-French. He had a long online vendetta against another Osprey Author, Dave Hollins, very pro-Austrian. These two battled on various forums and were banned repeatedly, starting up again shortly after the bans were relaxed. I believe a cease fire was finally called. One long battle was about who invented the briquet (a harness for gunners dragging guns). The term briquet became gamer slang for teapot tempests. Never silly, us gamers.

     

    Bricole. 😉

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173636
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    The key point to remember about him –

    It’s a hobby, and one Kevin Kiley in it is enough.

    He isn’t actually IN the hobby. He doesn’t wargame – he just seeks out fora on which to start unpleasant arguments after getting banned from the previous one.

    This is true, but his circumlocutory ‘angels on the head of a pin’ arguments and rampant Napophilia tainted every damn wargaming forum he appeared on.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173641
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Bricole. 😉

    Indeed. Been spending too much time with the charcoal grill.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    #173646
    OotKust
    Participant

    Kevin Ki**** is an author of Osprey books, most about the Napoleonic wars.

    Actually I dont think he was, but at least one book is crap and a total waste of money, with regret, I dont say very often.

    However please pollute your own thread with any stuff about him, and I’d respectfully request these comments be moved there (or deleted) mike.. has nothing to do with my topic other than the allegation that I’m anything like …

    davew

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173649
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Surely if you’re discussing the accuracy of contemporary resources, the work of individual authors has to be part of the discussion as they are the creators of the contemporary resources? I’ve never read anything by Kevin Kiley, but then I have very few Napoleonic Ospreys. But given they are quite a ‘go to’ resource for a lot of wargamers, flagging up those a person has problems with is just part of the discussion.

     

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #173659
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Surely if you’re discussing the accuracy of contemporary resources, the work of individual authors has to be part of the discussion as they are the creators of the contemporary resources? I’ve never read anything by Kevin Kiley, but then I have very few Napoleonic Ospreys. But given they are quite a ‘go to’ resource for a lot of wargamers, flagging up those a person has problems with is just part of the discussion.

    I’m all in favour of history as a learning tool, but endless arguments about bricoles and prolongs teach the average gamer nothing.

    The argument is defeated like this “Horse drawn artillery pieces move 6 inches per turn. Manhandled artillery pieces move 1 inch per turn”*

    Further, prolong is often conflated with moving the piece back into position after firing. They are not the same thing.

    Even further, endless streams of pixels about who invented the bricole are otiose. It’s a leather belt worn around the waist with a piece of rope attached. Now call me contrary (it’s a fair cop guv), but I think the use of something similar for moving heavy fings might have occurred to someone before the latter half of the eighteenth century.

    Don’t get me started on bloody Gribeauval.

     

     

    *or whatever your time/ground scale is. 🙂

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #173662
    OotKust
    Participant

    >>flagging up those a person has problems with is just part of the discussion.

    Just fake news Jim, and you’re feeding the fire. I couldnt care less whatever the opinion or the reasons, as I said I don’t believe he’s ever written for them. Below his dignity I imagine, but I’m not here to criticise authors and I object to the hijacking of a legitimate thread. Regardless of personality disorders, seems no better area to discuss issues.

     

    Blinking paint by numbers... bahhumbug!

    #173663
    Mike
    Keymaster

    So.
    Yes it can be sometimes frustrating when a topic veers off course.
    However this is a conversation, people say things and they comment on it and related things, then conversations evolve and wander off.
    It happens to us all, when it happens to me I either try to get it back on track and or ignore the replies that I am not interested in.
    If it goes off track in a way that is interesting but not really what I wanted to talk about I sometimes create a new topic to talk about that.

    What won’t happen here is the deletion of peoples comments that are not on topic.
    Also what is not cool is the insulting of other people.
    There have been a few anti Kevin Kiley comments, this is not cool, so please don’t.
    Anyone.

    Let’s all be cool and try to engage meaningfully or not at all?
    For random blurts and insults and such like there are other sites out there that would be glad of such content.

    It may be worth noting that primary function of the forum here is to discuss gaming and gaming related things, history is very clearly part of that, but the discussion of history itself is not the primary reason I created TWW.

    Getting into the nitty gritty and minutiae of pure history may best on a specialist history site?
    Especially if people can get passionate about such things.

    #173664
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Kevin Ki**** is an author of Osprey books, most about the Napoleonic wars. Actually I dont think he was, but at least one book is crap and a total waste of money, with regret, I dont say very often. However please pollute your own thread with any stuff about him, and I’d respectfully request these comments be moved there (or deleted) mike.. has nothing to do with my topic other than the allegation that I’m anything like … davew

     

    My humble apologies for the hijack. My intent was to explain the place that writer occupies in the gaming firmament to Mike. It wasn’t about that writer’s works so much as the online dust-ups involved. Please return to your regularly scheduled posting.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

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