Do you like the colorful nature of the Napoleonic Wars? The bright uniforms, varied troop types, dashing cavalry. Do you love the rugged, campaign worn, but still elegant sight of even the most regular soldier? I do.

Don’t you just hate painting 150 figures from one side of the conflict just to be able to get a glimpse of the Napoleonic game, that’s before even considering painting the enemy? That I do too.

Hence, Songs of Drums and Shakos. It’s a clever little skirmish game from Ganesha, the Italian game designers of Songs of Blades and Heroes.

The original game system is far from revolutionary. However, it has gotten lots of praise and prizes because of its simplicity, and mainly its modularity. The true genius behind the system is the ability to create interesting, seemingly unrelated supplements, and optional rules to fill any niche or play style.

SDS uses Ganesha’s game system to deliver a Napoleonic skirmish game, something not quite popular, even between the Napoleonic crowd (though that seems to be changing now). The simple idea of creating a small warband of foraging soldiers, a small detachment of light infantry, or even a tiny look at some Peninsular guerrilla action is extremely attractive to me. And I get to paint figures from any nationality, obscure as they may be.

If this sounds almost like Ganesha advertisement, then I apologize. But the little game is that much fun, and the possibilities it opens for a wargamer are too good to go unnoticed. So, to get the ball rolling, here’s an update from the painting table.

I painted this French warband recently for the game. You can see the figures in detail in their own gallery here.

Also fresh from the painting table are 10 Gondor rangers. They are right on time for the game I’ll host on Sunday at the new wargames club near my home. More on that game very soon.

Finally, and speaking of the wargames club, here’s a glimpse of some of the tables the Ultima Fortaleza has for gaming.

Next up, 6 dwarves, a captain, a standard bearer, and 3 German WW2 Sdkfz 251/1.

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