Newbie considering a Guard army under Black Powder rules

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    Ronald Delval

    I’m looking at starting a painting project centered around the Imperial Guard.
    Especially the Old Guard but if need be more ‘global’. (Young, Middle and Old Guard)

    How well does the game tackle the Guard? And a pure Guard Force if at all?
    How would you guys in this system collect a Guard Force?
    And what opponent would you recommend I collect to pit against them for optimal usage in the Napoleonic Wars?
    I am inclined to go for some Russian force. And stick with an Austerlitz theme for starters but i’m open to all feedback, suggestions for purchases etc. (starting with the French)

    invisible officer

    Hmm, at Austerlitz the old guards foot did what they mostly did: Standing in reserve. Fraser wrote in “War Drama
    a of the eagles” a nice story that the 1er chasseurs eagle was rescued by a pet dog named Moustache from Austrian Grenadiers.
    Nice invention but wrong.
    (Real Moustache was killed at Badajoz, his master was at Austerlitz with 64e de ligne)

    The guard cavalry (Grenadiers and Chasseurs with Mamelukes) fought bravely at Austerlitz and saw a lot of action in other fights. But not as part of a guard army.

    Middle and Young guard foot are raised post Austerlitz. Same with Lanciers.

    But they all look great.

    Ronald Delval

    True at that. It completely escaped my mind they were not even committed. For some reason my mind really thought they were. What theme would you suggest? Pairing wise and composition wise? I’m looking for ideas. 🙂

    Dr Dave

    Might there not have two chaps called moustache?

    The Guard are always a dodgy subject, pensioners who haven’t fought for years? D class?…

    Try Hanau in 1813. Guard gets committed against lovely colourful Bavarians.

    Ronald Delval

    Eh. I subscribe to the idea they were actually good troops.
    I find the revisionism unfounded.

    Love your suggestion though.
    What would would you suggest one would pickup for a starting army of Guard. And one for Bavarians?

    Charge The Guns

    I applaud the idea. If you’re going to get Imperial Guard then I think you must have them in large numbers. I don’t think they were typically committed battalion by battalion (as you too often see them in people’s wargames armies) but by the division. I would pick a battle and collect the whole Guard Corps. Would look epic. (Must get the band as well!)

    Having said that, wasn’t it a single battalion of French Guard that threw a horde of Prussian Infantry out of Plancenoit? I love the picture by Adolf Northern. That would be an interesting game.

    I’m with Dr. Dave. on the effectiveness of the ‘Old’ Guard. Mostly seem to stand at the back, grumbling and waxing their moustaches. Classic ‘D’ class behaviour.

    Ronald Delval

    Tsss no respect for the veteran elders!!!
    We will have to differ. Then again the more time passed the less people see eye to eye on any nappy subject it seems. Concensus was long ago found non existant, and yet still murdered, quartered and then recycled into a near infinite interpretations and reinterpretations. And it will never be solved.

    Back to topic though as i am looking into potentially BP. A full Guard army is thus possible. Is there a pts system? Unit limitations? Or does BP offer absolute freedom?

    invisible officer

    Well, we have the officer losses for nearly all actions. Not faked like the OR. And that tell a … story for the Old Guard.

    1st Grenadiers
    Eylau 1 wounded ,1808 Madrid riots 1 killed, Essling 1 dead and 4 wounded, Wagram 1 wounded, 1812 Krasnol 1 wounded, 1813 Lützen 1 wounded, Dresden 1 wounded, Leipzig 1 dead and 4 wounded, Haynau 1 wounded.

    But Waterloo 12 officers dead or wounded. That single attack that made the myth. ( the 2e lost 16 there)

    Few saw a Grumbler officer kia. 😉

    There was no Chasseurs moustache dog at Austerlitz. And no Chance for being heroic. Officer loss there : 0 The list of battle losses is like the Grenadier one. Low.

    Compare it to Ligne. 3e at Austerlitz 5 dead officers and 25 wounded. Voila les brave. (Well, more present, more targets)

    I would opt for Russians. Or Austrians.

    Ronald Delval

    That proves nothing about their quality in fact. Just limited engagements when they got the post. 😉
    True Old Guard are not very numerous either. So i should have been clearer about my intentions. I understand Old Guard alone limits options hence i am open to other aspects of the guard being collected as well. 🙂

    But Guard as a whole what engagements would you guys recommend? Hainaut for one.
    Anything else?

    If memory serves Nappy led the young guard in a large assault at some time. There is also a lot of Guard action during the 100 Days but perhaps this campaign is a bit overdone and limiting?

    I am also used to a more abstract wargame approach for historical gaming. Gmt games, dark age miniature warfare and jours de gloire. So small scope minis or abstract counterbased. A nappy project seems daunting to me. I do adore minis painting but i have mostly done fantasy and scifi over the years. Hence the Guard appeals to me as they look gorgeous and thus fun to paint.

    Ronald Delval

    On a sidenote does Black Powder allow for cav themed forces? Or would that bounce against the limitations or scale of the game?

    Dr Dave

    With Black Powder you can field whatever you want really, but I personally prefer historical orbats. The fighting around Plancenoit would be good for the 100 days. Line, young guard and a smattering of old guard vs oodles of Prussians. The middle guard getting clobbered going up against the British might be a bit too limiting? But I do like Bavarians. Mid blue coats and the raupenhelm helmet looks funky, but there are also Bavarian landwehr present as well who are pretty ordinary looking iirc.

    Ronald Delval

    Good advice. Thank you!


    Have a look at the Young Guard – they saw a LOT of action in 1813, 1814 and 1815. And in 1813-14 they fought Russians (and Prussians) plenty.

    Ronald Delval

    Thanks I will!

    invisible officer

    The Young guard was created post 1809, so it limits you to the later campaigns.

    The recruits had the same quality of line units, they are not chosen among veterans.

    The creation was one of many tricks to make the regime more popular among conscripts. France was full with Young men avoiding Military Service.

    The most nasty trick was creating the Gardes d_honneur from Young men from wealthy families. Bring your own horse and pay for the fancy uniform and become Gardiste in Ýoung Guard. Raised 1813, 1814 kicked into line units.

    Like v. Grabowsky (Orderly to Napoleon) wrote: “They are young, weak and they could not ride.”

    The Old guard dubbed the Young the “Garde douleur”. (The woeful guard). A bit unfair beacuse these boys did the hard fighting until 1815.

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