The Lack of a Peninsular War Title ...

Sgt_Rock

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I have been hearing the moans and groans for years about the lack of a Peninsular War title. Frankly while I understand the popularity of the Peninsular War due to the influence of British writers, I fail to see the significance of the war of itself on the Napoleonic scene other than the tremendous manpower drain that it caused on the French army and in particular not that of the battles but of the Spanish population's efforts to defeat the invader.

Wellington and his toadies usually ascribe little to the Spanish other than their ability to go against his wishes. While the battles were significant, Spain was more of a guerrilla campaign. France lost FAR more men to the actions of the Spanish than the British.

As in the significance given to Waterloo over that of the Battle of Paris, Talavera garners more interest than Grossbeeren, Salamanca more than Dresden and Vittoria over Leipzig. Go figure. None of the Iberian battles had the significance of Arcis-sur-Aube or the Katzbach! Wellington marching over the Pyrenees was grand but had he remained in Spain, Napoleon was still doomed.

Has it harmed the hobby that this title has not come out? Well lets put it this way - the British historians have influenced much of what the hobby expects in our titles - Waterloo first, Austerlitz or the 1812 Russian campaign after that. 1813 hardly ever gets mentioned. But bring up Wellington and you get Talavera and so on.

And so the gamers have come to expect that. There are fewer books out on Leipzig than Vittoria. Fewer by far on Dresden than Talavera! Go figure. Those were major battles in comparison to those of the Spanish peninsula.

The only thing I can figure why the Peninsular War is of such interest is that either club members want more British actions to fight in (because they are in the British army) OR the mass of historical literature has made those battles more numerous in print than the others of the European battles.

Because folks - Wellington always beat the French. The battle were stupid as far as command goes. Only at a few of them were the French even remotely near the capability of a Lannes, Napoleon or Davout. Napoleon placed commanders in Spain that were doomed to fail. Wellington with his knack for being at the right place to give important instructions prior to a French assault. That kind of thing.

So for me there isn't much interest in the Peninsular other than to refight those battles where Spain fought France. Those are more of interest to me because of their obscurity.

FYI - having picked up one of the nicely bound/bookcase atlas on the Spanish war I really enjoyed finding out more about the Spanish-French battles.

I now regard the Campaign 1814 game as my most important contribution to the hobby. While Leipzig may be my magnus opus, by far 1814 is the jewel of my work. Not only was there LESS to go on but the campaign was of such importance. Without the drive of a Blucher to beat Napoleon the Allies would have sat on their heels and waited for Spring ...

The battles are obscure to many - a casual reading of Petre's work by most is all the campaign may get. New works are coming out by the likes of Leggiere and hopefully Nafziger's work will get released by Emperor's Press someday before I die.

But put British in it ... and man, the publishers seem to jump at the opportunity to release it.

Yes, I will grant it that a Peninsular title will probably out sell 1814 ... but all I can say is that I would not trade places with the designer of that game. 1814 was a real gem to add to our titles. I was glad to also have been able to give you guys the Russo-Swedish War. While not a huge influence on the European history it was good to learn more about the war and the Swedish army in particular of which my ancestors surely fought in. (one of my relatives had just gotten to the US when he was drafted and sent back to Europe to fight in the trenches of World War 1 - Sweden being neutral when it comes to war you can imagine his shock to find out that he would become embroiled in a conflict that our native country would stay out of ...)
 
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I always assumed that it had something to do with the logistics of building up an army of miniatures.

You break the bank buying French and British lead soldiers, drive your girlfriend crazy by conning her into painting them -- I even know one guy who strong-armed his fiancee into playing Wellington "because that way she wouldn't have to do much" (they're still married!), can't afford to spring for Prussians so you swallow the Wellington propaganda hook, line, and sinker, and when it's done you get bored because you're only playing one and a half battles.

So what to do?

You need to find battles where you can use your French and British troops. Where do you go? The Penninsula. The campaigns of 1813 and 1814 are way too expensive in terms of army figures and painting time. You want battles where you can reuse what you've already bought and painted.
 

Sgt_Rock

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But that argument doesn't hold water either. The Battles of Gross Beeren or Dennewitz are not that expensive to model using Napoleon's Battles. The same as if you were to fight Talavera or Oporto or some of the other medium sized battles.

Sad what some guys get their wives into as far as wargaming goes. I guess if she truly enjoys it that is one thing. But get the same guy to go to a tea room with her and he is crying like a baby.

One of the biggest reasons why guys are dumped by the gals is that a lot of them have no concept of how to treat a lady. Many wargamers also would do well to wear deodorant too. This coming from a guy that has done many conventions in the past and remembers that they smelled as they walked in the door ... I truly hate playing a wargame with a guy sitting across the table from me that smells like he hasn't showered in years. And probably took a BATH 10 years ago. ;)
 
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View attachment 41908


That is why I like being single. I can do what and when I want. If I want to stay up until 2 in the morning playing a particular game, I can do that.
If you are in a relationship ; all you will get is ," Are you still playing those stupid soldier games ? " " Why don't you get a real hobby ?" " Why don't you get a better job " ? " Why don't you style your hair like Brad Pitt ?" Why do you dislike my mother ?" ? " Why aren't you earning more money ?" " " Why aren't you famous and rich ?" ,( like Brad Pitt ) " Why don't you like my meatloaf ?" You eat it , but never compliment me about it !" Why don't you tell me that you love me every day ?" " Why haven't you cut the tree down out back, yet, you've had a good few days of holiday, you know !" " You can't just laze around, enjoying yourself !" " Why don't you like talking about fulfillment of my sexual desires ?" ? " Why don't you like spending hours on a street corner, holding heavy bags, while I talk to my friend about her impending pregnancy ? "
Aaaaaaaah ! What a jolly fellow , I will be ; the single life for me....eee.....eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ! Nice ,juicy sweet fish ., all raw and wriggly ! Gollum........ !
I think that to be on the safe side;you should both sign a codicile to the marriage agreement,in case of a divorce, whereby she get's the kids , especially the one with the droopy eyelid, and you definitely get to keep all your wargames and associated historical books, and half painted regiment of Dragoons. People get really vindictive when divorcing........
 

Sgt_Rock

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It all depends on your mate and how you treat her. My friend Bob has a wife that is what I consider the BEST wargamer wife I have ever known. BUT Bob does not game every day of the weekend either and basically we did a game every Saturday for 3 of the 4/5 Sats in the month.

When his girls got into softball they came first. If they had a weekend game we got bumped and I could live with that as I was in no less than three other groups anyway. Miss out on one group - find another or just paint that Saturday.

I am 52 and have never married (nor had children LOL) and frankly would have liked to have had a family. Wargaming would have come second. But everyone has their own choice in life.

I am not a confirmed bachelor and maybe someday ... (soon?)
 
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Yep - Priorities come first - the American female I was dallying with until the middle of last year was definitely prioritized in my mind. I was definitely not focused on many things including wargaming. I spent a lot of time imagining future scenarios ( non-game) of how I could manage a trans-atlantic relationship and it's repercussions. Wargaming actually gave me some brain relaxation time. Sadly, I chickened out because of personal circunstances; if I had met her in a years time; then it would be chocks away and a whirlwind romance through all the bedrooms of the capital cities of Europe- we would kiss lingeringly in front of Napoleon's tomb and have a quick smooch on Josephine's bed when nobody is looking.
If I had a serious relationship with her; I believe she would give me space as I would give her - she really liked Disney films which some partners would find off-putting in an adult female - I see it as totally cute..............live and let live. :D
 
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lecrop

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I have a powerful reason for wishing a peninsular title. I'm Spanish :laugh:

...well, that's not exactly, I'm catalan but nowadays that has no solution :hush:
 
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I used to know a girl from Barcelona called Isabel- she was not that pretty but was probably one of the nicest people you could ever meet. :p
 

Sgt_Rock

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I really look forward to seeing the Spanish battles. I recommended that they be added in and the designer said that he had already worked in many of them. It will be interesting to see how many of the non-British battles are in the game. I really found out more about them by looking through the Peninsular War Atlas put out by Osprey. Very nice book.
 

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Peninsular War rather calls for a collection of maps/scenarios, not a full-blown campaign. But there are more obvious gaps in the series - the 1806/1807 campaign in Poland/East Prussia is missing, as well as all the revolutionary campaigns and the whole Italian theatre of 1796-1800.
 

Sgt_Rock

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Actually there are at least THREE campaigns that should be in the game and most of them are based on 1809-1813 time frame.

Yes, Eylau/Friedland as well as Marengo/Hohenlinden and the early campaigns of Napoleon + Charles' actions on the Rhine would be good to put into several games. I doubt that we could justify the addition of Valmy, Jenappes and the other early Rev. battles as not only would more uniform icons be needed but truly most of those actions are either little known to most gamers or were fought with a different mindset than the later actions of the period. I am not interested in playing a campaign in Holland that mainly is about sieges for instance ...
 

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Actually there are at least THREE campaigns that should be in the game and most of them are based on 1809-1813 time frame.

Yes, Eylau/Friedland as well as Marengo/Hohenlinden and the early campaigns of Napoleon + Charles' actions on the Rhine would be good to put into several games. I doubt that we could justify the addition of Valmy, Jenappes and the other early Rev. battles as not only would more uniform icons be needed but truly most of those actions are either little known to most gamers or were fought with a different mindset than the later actions of the period. I am not interested in playing a campaign in Holland that mainly is about sieges for instance ...
Pity - I wouldn't mind re-fighting Castricum. Would it be easier to achieve if the emphasis was taken off the requirement for a campaign? Why not just release a battles package? Or even a maps package sold as a bonus with some other release? Players are pretty resourceful at putting the rest together themselves.

H
 

Sgt_Rock

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Actually the players prefer a "final package" based on our findings. Most of them never open up the Scenario Editor. Historical battles are usually the first thing they go to also ...

I know that John Tiller would not go for a "Battles package" - he is against the "module" approach unless he has changed his approach from his stance of 14+ years.

What the Scenario Designer of such a title could do is add them in after it is released. However, note that the artwork for the 1796-1800 period is different than the early war years. Also the Prussians were in the war then. By the end of the Rev Wars they were long gone back to Prussia ... so icons for the Prussians would have to be created. Again, there is always a feeling of reluctance to try and put out any game in the series that uses more than 120 icons. Leipzig-1814-Bautzen actually average about 105 icons each (of the 310+ that were in the artwork set for those three games).

Then Egypt would come up and so on. Next thing you know folks would want Naples and ... ;)
 
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