Perils of a new project

What have I gotten myself into now? I noticed that I’ve been asking myself that question for a couple of days now. A couple of days ago, the Dutch Miniature Wargaming Group which resides on Facebook, collectively (sort of) decided that next year, 2016, would be the year of the American War of Independence.

In 2014 and 2015, a group of Dutch Miniature Wargamers got together in Utrecht to refight the Napoleonic battles of Paris (1814) and Waterloo. Cut into manageable scenarios by Erwin Muilwijk, author of several books on The Hundred Days campaign, some 20 to 25 gamers had a great day. In preparation of those days, there is lots of posting and chatting about history, army composition, button counting etc. But in the months before the happening, there is hard labour collecting (okay, that’s easy) and painting hundreds of miniatures. The Perry brothers welcome these events, I’m sure.

As the last two battles were Napoleonic, I didn’t have much work to do. I already had two brigades of Brits and Hanoverians, lots of French and a couple of Prussian units. The first year added two or three cavalry units plus four of infantry and the second battle added even more Prussians. This time with Foundry as the main supplier.

As I have been wargaming for years I’m no stranger to Napoleonic warfare and uniforms, and given the fact that I already had a lot of miniatures, the total work wasn’t that bad. But now I’m entering unknown territory. I know positively nothing about the American War of Independence. I’ve been to the United States on holiday and visited the battlefields of Saratoga and the memorial at Bunker Hill in Boston, but that just about covers it. As for miniatures, the tally is nada, noppes, niente!

Nope, not even any unpainted figures. Just some Ospreys…

Fortunately for me I was given the character of Barnastre Tarleton, or Barnastre Fancypants as Jasper calls him and the first and second battalion of the 71st regiment of foot. Highlanders, always a joy to paint! But wait, a quick stroll on the internet revealed that the 71st Highlanders wore buff trousers instead of kilts. Mmm, this calls for a historical tweak I’m afraid. But, as I also found pictures of Highland dress from the 1770s I thought it would defensible to have at least one battalion in kilt and the other in buff trousers, or should I give them tartan trousers?

In the scenario - I’m part of a group doing Camden - I only have to paint twelve infantry per battalion and another twelve cavalry. We’re playing the Land of the Free (Group, Forum)  by Joe Krone this time. But, as I also like to play Black Powder, I felt that at least 24 figures per battalion was necessary and some plastic extra’s to make up a brigade for that game. So instead of ordering 24 infantry figures and twelve cavalry I added the plastic Perry AWI infantry boxes (one each) and a cannon. They should be ready for pick-up at Crisis so in the meantime I can read up on the subject, study permitting, and find out who this Barnastre Tarleton was. The name alone already pictures a dashing British upper-class-type doing his best for the King. And with a knack for fashion as well!

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