The fourth in a series of wargaming guides from Crowood Press, the Creating a Napoleonic Wargames Army 1809 – 1815 book serves as a very comprehensive guide to starting out in the Napoleonic Period and provides access to a number of possibilities. This is a 159-page softcover book that is illustrated in colour throughout and covers a number of techniques from converting to painting.
The book begins with an overview of the author’s intentions, and a basic guide to choosing your army, creating your work space and converting your choice of figures (the miniatures used are Elite Miniatures throughout) as desired.
The book then moves into more details on such matters as painting horses, and then moves into a whole section which explores a particular army, in the first instance the French Army. Each of these sections takes the reader through the main facets of the army, from the various units in the army, formations and a variety of painting guides for infantry, cavalry, artillery and command. The style of painting used is relatively quick and is from the ‘staining’ school, and there are some good colour guides for the various regiments. The same approach is used for the British, Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies, with a multi-page section on each one.
After each of the armies has been outlined, a fairly detailed section deals with the subject of flags and standards for the era. This is a particularly useful aspect of the book in that it provides not only examples of various national and regimental flags of the various nations but important information on the creation of flags, with colour information and descriptions of how and why the flags were designed as they were
This is a detailed but easy to use book, which works very well as a ‘beginner’s guide’ to the Napoleonic Era. Covering pretty much every aspect of the process in one book is a tough choice, but one which author Peter Morbey manages to achieve. From basic model making and fast painting techniques to force organisation and uniform colours, there is a lot to offer here, and it’s good to see Crowood Press continuing to expand the range of guides they offer. Let’s hope they are able to offer more such publications in the future.