We interrupt your (ir)regularly scheduled Tyrolese rebels to bring you the first of several post about recent acquisitions. First among these are the excellent scenario books by Michael Hopper. I had read about these in the past on The Miniatures Page, but had never pursued them. As I was looking for some ideas about scenarios for my Tyroleans, I remembered them. A very pleasant series of emails were exchanged with Michael, and before I knew it, all 5 books were on there way to me, and delegated to my wife to be gifted to me at Christmas. (Thanks be to the Empress!)
Now, as many of you know, I myself have already authored a scenario book for 1809, intended especially for use with my favored Field of Battle rules.
These scenarios are all generic, but especially suited to Shako, and other rules where commands become shaken and demoralized. They will need significant adaptation for most other rules sets, I'd think.
So, what else is new in Napoleonic scenario books in that regard? Not a big deal, but not exactly an off the shelf product for most rule sets.
However, these books, which are a true labor of love on the part of Michael and his supporting players are meticulously detailed as far as the troops present and their day of battle strengths, as well as the maps and terrain.
With that detailed information in hand, the necessary adjustments are not too difficult for an experienced gamer to do/
If you look art the listing of the scenarios, they range from the huge and well known, to the small and quite obscure.
Ordering all four (!) of the 1809 scenario books together saved on postage. Yep, that's my story and I am sticking to it!
There are enough scenarios here to play an 1809 game a month and continue for six years!
As a bonus, Michael threw in a copy of his first, well known scenario book at a discounted price. We had played his Austerlitz scenario with Shako 2 with the HAHGS group way back circa 2007, and it worked very well indeed.
I look forward to trying many of these out in the years to come. If you are looking for some inspirational and very useful Napoleonic scenario material, you can hardly go wrong with these. Cost is $32 - $34 Canadian per book.
The 1809 books are available only direct through Michael. Just email him: email@example.com
My inquiries lead to at least a dozen great exchanges and discussions over the next week or two, as well as the books, which were mailed out the same day and received within just a few more days.
Michael doesn't ask for payment until the books are received, and and you agree they are well worth the price. He provided me with a number of sample pdf scenarios to review before I ordered as well. I suggested to him that he consider releasing these as pdf files, which would save money and time on all ends, but for now he plans to stick with print format only. As I said earlier, these are a true labor of love, and making money from them is really not an important concern to Michael.
Oh, and Michael has literally hundreds more scenarios from different years and theaters of the Napoleonic Wars in development, and will likely gladly chat with you about almost any of them! He is a gentleman and a scholar in the truest sense of those words.
Great review Peter! I also received these a couple of months ago and was very happy with them and Michael is a true Gentleman as you describe. And yes I already have your excellent 1809 book too, but I'm a sucker for quality historical Napoleonic scenario ideas, and work like this deserves to be supported. I have his 1805 Elchingen scenario mid-battle on the table right now in fact... :)ReplyDelete
Excellent! Scenario design is actually one of the more difficult things to do well in our hobby. I have certainly blown it more than once! :-)Delete
Nice looking scenario books! It's the Napoleonic campaign I'm most interested in as well.ReplyDelete
1809 is special, I think. The French have the upper hand, but it is far from a foregone conclusion. They are a bit past their peak, but still formidable. The Austrian army has improved a lot. Plus you get to use most of the colorful French allies of the CoR, GDW, and Italy, as well as the Landwehr, Insurrectio, EzK Legion (and Tyroleans) on the Austrian side.Delete
Braodening the scope to the rest of Europe, you have the Penisnsular War. There's is a lot going on there, and it's before the British become dominant. You can even get the Russians, Swedes, and (theoretically) Danes involved with the Russo-Swedish War. Heck, there's the ill fated Walcheren expedition, which can involve the Dutch, British, and French National Guard. Heck, even the Turks and Russians were still fighting, too!
Just wish he would do some 1812+ stuffReplyDelete
He actually has a large number of 1812 scenarios, just not ready to publish them yet.Delete
Peter, these scenarios books by Hopper are terrific resources. I echo your experiences when dealing with Michael via email. I, too, had long email correspondence when I ordered the set of books and a few extra scenarios showed up in my Inbox as well. I think he told me he has enough material for five or six more scenario books. I look forward to him turning attention towards the Peninsular War. While geared towards Shako, his research is applicable to many rulesets with a bit of work.ReplyDelete
Terry Griner is a local guy with whom I game. We often play test these scenarios and provide input before publication. If you look carefully, you may see I am listed in the play test credits. While I have not played all of the scenarios in these 1809 books, a have seen a number of them out on the gaming table.
I recommend these without reservation!
Yes, Michael has LOTS more scenarios for different theaters and years. I definitely caught your name in the playtester list as well, Jon!Delete
Envy! I really want to get my hands on these. Perhaps I'll dip my toe into the water and pick up "Blood Along the Danube" for starters.ReplyDelete
I got a free copy of "The Rise of Eagles" at the 2018 Cold Wars just by playing in an 1806 Shako game. It's an excellent book!
I'd recommend trying at least one...Delete
Great background and scenario resources there, Peter. Just from some of the artwork I can see some very interesting urban warfare, house-to-house, skirmishing. Might be a gateway for me to get some of the Austro-Hungarian Grenadiers in blue tights that I've always liked the look of.ReplyDelete
Hungarian Grenadiers are a must, Dean! :-)Delete
Great resource, thanks for the recommendation. Between thunder, blunders and now blood the Danube seems a rather busy place.ReplyDelete
It was in 1809! Don't forget Crisis (Chandler, and, by permission) Arnold as well! :-)ReplyDelete
I have. ‘Rise of Eagles’ on the shelf, but didn’t know anout the others. The ‘Et Sans Resultat’ scenario books are worth a look too.ReplyDelete
I looked at them - beautifully done, but a lot of it is uniform information that I personally don't need, and for a game that seems quite different from those that I play. I believe Barry bought at least one at Historicon, though!Delete