Shakos and Bayonets is the Napoleonic supplement for Muskets and Tomahawks. The base rules are still required to play as are a set of cards, official, proxied or made from the pdf file on Studio Tomahawks’ website. The Rebels and Redcoats supplement already covers the 1812 war in North America so it would be possible to run Napoleonic battles without the new book. The new card load out is different with the addition of 2 types of cavalry and changes in the infantry names and card quantities.
Shakos and Bayonets has lists for the French, British, Austrians, Spanish, Prussians and Russians. There is a also a generic minor nations list. The Portuguese are part of the British list. There are no stats for Ottomans. There are no specific rules for allies, for example stiffening the Spanish with some British but something could be worked out by customising the card deck.
The rules gave an opportunity to trot out Flintloque figures that have been boxed up since about 1998. Enough figures were found for about 300 points of Spanish and 500 of French and British. A solid coat of varnish has left them in good condition if overly shiny. They have now all had a shot of matt varnish. The Orks had been given green flesh. This seemed reasonable for Orks at a time when there was no cheap Internet and few colour images for inspiration. The flesh has now been over-painted pink to make the models look a little more ‘human’ at a distance. A full strip and repaint would have brought out more detail but that would be almost as much work as painting new models. The Flintloque figures are vaguely 35mm but as they represent Orcs, Elves and other fantasy races the proportions are all over the place. The castings are still available from Alternative Armies and there is usually a selection on eBay (many at higher prices than buying new from Alternative). It is pretty much a buyer’s market. The reason that your author still has Flintloque figures is due to a consistent failure in selling them off. A unit of dwarves did manage to make their way to a gamer who specialised in collecting the little folk. The quality of the models is spotty. The best have a certain charm reflecting the modelling style of the Wallace and Gromit films. Some of the worst have been re-modeled or dropped from Alternative’s line. Older versions of the Flintloque rules can be found amongst the Alternative Armies free downloads, look for the ‘free files stacks‘. The Elves and Orcs just about pass for historical but some of the Flintloque races such as the Goblins, Dogs and Toads are way off the scale. The Russians are undead and werewolves; so to start off we will stick to Spain.
This image is of a Reiver 28mm wagon. It looks acceptable by the French elves although the original heavy horses have shrunk to being ponies.
Here is the convoy scenario from Shakos and Bayonets. The wagon contains gunpowder and might blow up. The French are escorting the wagon but some of their troops have become separated from the road convoy. The wagon and its escort move on a clock card and the game runs until the 6th red clock card. As the deck is shuffled after the 3rd clock card drawn it is possible although extremely unlikely that after the 1st 6 cards every single card drawn could be a clock. Although unlikely the length of the game and how quickly the wagon moves are quite random. The size of the deck will affect this and it is governed by the variety of troop types fielded by each side. The wagon defender should prefer a small deck, hoping to rush the wagon through the board. In this scenario it would be best affected by running light cavalry only. Fast enough to get ahead of the wagon and keeping the deck size small will make the wagon move more often. This is a very reasonable convoy escort detail but not the best for a balanced game.
Trying it all out at 300 points; so on the small side for Muskets and Tomahawks. A unit of Spanish line (12) 2 of guerillas (6) and 1 of lancers (6) with 2 leaders. The Spanish could have fielded militia but the line unit stats were ropey enough. The lancers are recruits so rubbish but cheap. The French had 1 leader, 2 units of line (8)(centre company troops of a light regiment) , 1 guarding the wagon and 2 of voltigeurs (5).
This layout was fought over twice and seemed to fit the bill. An isolated finca surrounded by orchards and vegetable fields. As a game it worked less well as the fields hampered movement except for the lights and guerillas who had the scouts trait. This meant that most forces moved up and down the road. The hedge system also made it difficult for the wagon to move off road, either to avoid a Spanish block or for the Spaniards to capture it and drive the wagon away and off the road.
Trying for a more open set up here with lanes allowing the wagon to more easily get off road and reach the opposite board edge. The attacker has entry points on 2 board edges. Here the wagon finds the main road blocked and turns onto the side track (not benefiting from the road movement bonus) towards the edge furthest from the Spanish entry points.
The only unit that can catch the wagon are the lancers who bravely self destruct on it as it turns and heads for the exit board edge. A re-run of the game saw a similar result with few casualties and the wagon making its way off board, well ahead of its own escorts.
The problem is the relative speed of the wagon. It moves when a clock card is drawn; 8″ on road and 6″ off. There will always be 3 clock cards in a turn so except for terrain effects it will move 24″ or 18″ unless the path to the board edge is blocked. An infantry unit would draw 4 cards in a turn at best. Probably less due to shuffling and maybe more from activating through command points. 4 moves of 6″ with the road bonus would give 24″. A more likely case would be without the road or even with a terrain penalty as units chase the wagon through rough terrain. In the gunpowder scenario shooting at the wagon has the risk of it blowing up so the game becomes one of position with the ambusher trying to get units into blocking positions. The chance of additionally winning a melee and escorting the wagon away is low.
Having got the table and troops out here is a go at the first skirmish scenario from the main Muskets & Tomahawks rule book. The only force change is to ditch the guerilla leader and 1 of his men in favour of 4 more regulars and deploying the 16 Spanish regulars as 2 units of 8. The guerillas are skirmish troops, tending to run back rather than rout when failing morale. This is easily reversed so they do not get a great benefit from their leader. The ‘forward boys’ card is unlikely to come up before every shuffle making the leader less use than 3 more boots on the ground. Also a unit of 12 is a poor size as it needs 1 more command point to shift than a unit of 11. 8 is a good sized unit for line although it loses the juicy close order bonus when reduced to 5.
The troops deploy around their entry points. It is not clear exactly what this entails but they have been placed close enough but not overlapping. The sheep and cows are objectives. To win a side must control 2 out of 3 on a deck shuffle.
The Spanish lancers gallop forwards; soon to fall back under French fire.
The Spanish keep up the volley fire. There is another firefight between the guerilla and voltigeur units.
The Spanish line manages to turn and hose down the 2nd unit of French line. Note that there is another unit of Spanish line behind the first trying to nudge their way round and avoiding the path of the volley fire. The Spanish guerillas now control 2 objectives and win the game.
The message here is that even rubbish infantry can do well with volley fire if they have the close order trait and have a touch of luck with the dice. The lancers were consistently rubbish although they do look good, the unicorns might not be historic. They would have done better had they remembered that they had pistols as well as lances. The Flintloque figures as a whole looked OK. After 20+ years an order has gone off to Alternative Armies and they will be treated to another 12 new Elf models to buff up the Spanish army. These could run as guerillas or militia or even pad out the regulars considering the Spanish supply system and these being fantasy Napoleonics.