221 : Still Looking Across the Danube

I began my 10mm 1809 project as a long-term project. If it had proved anything, it had certainly proved to be that! It had actually been more than eight years since the Napoleonic bug had struck again (see Post 1). However, in defence of the Napoleon of this project, of those eight, three of them had had no 10mm 1809 activity at all (see Post 219).

Three factors had influenced, and would continue to influence, the longevity of the project. The first was one of the wargamer’s greatest fears: unfinished ranges. Pendraken’s recent burst of 1809 goodness was to be applauded but there were still yawing gaps in the range of even the most basic of troop types available to the 10mm 1809 collector. French Young Guard sprang to mind. In fact, even the small focus of my project would remain incomplete without a French Young Guard. The second was Work. The beginnings of my laser-cut model kit business – Supreme Littleness Designs – more than five years ago had kept me busy. And lastly – and by no means least – there was absolutely no rush! How rewarding to have a hobby project where the enjoyment can be just watching it take shape as it incrementally and gradually evolves step by step.

Napoleon meticulously plans his crossing of the great river.

Things changed dramatically for everyone, though, in the Spring of 2020. With the world in lockdown, it seemed like the right time to keep heart and soul together by involving myself wholeheartedly in a project that gave me great, and immediate, pleasure.

The first thing I did was to revisit my Napoleonic ruleset. It was only in the last post that I was discussing my Napoleonic rules specifically designed for my 10mm 1809 project. But the last post was posted almost a year and a half ago! I gave my rules a thorough going-over.

Since 2018, I had had a brush with gaming Napoleonic battles with 3mm miniatures. Basing these extra small figures, identifying them on the tabletop, and holding units together had given me ideas that I wanted to incorporate into my rules for 10mm Napoleonics. So I gave it my best shot. After an intensive writing session I had a version that I was pleased with.

There is a lot written about what makes a good set of wargames rules. My mantra was simply that a game should be able to be played out in the same way that a historical battle can be described. The playing pieces should be doing as much work as they can to aid gameplay. And gameplay should never be bogged down by unnecessary detail or needless gimmicks.

Once I had settled on a good version of my rules, I could leave them for the time being. It now made sense to get back to the miniatures. A perfect time to reconnect with my 10mm 1809 project.

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