Having painted up all my groups of troops and their leaders, my next task was creating character profiles for them. This isn't strictly necessary, but it does add some flavour to your forces and, if you are playing certain scenarios, the character of your leaders can come into play.
I will explain each character later but first, I want to post some pictures of my final leader figure. In the Sharpe novels (and in the TV series also) there are often roles for Exploring Officers, such as Major Hogan. These men were part of Wellington's HQ staff, members of the Peninsula Corps of Guides, who were used as intelligence officers, going into enemy territory in uniform (so as not to be shot as spies, if captured) and gathering information about the enemy forces, their dispositions and strength. One real-life Exploring Officer was Lt Col. Colquhoun Grant, (who also appears in the fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke) who was actually captured by the French at one point and sent to Paris for interrogation. However, after giving his parole, he managed to escape to England where he ended up as commander of the Corps of Guides and Wellington's Chief of Intelligence. My Exploring Officer has been painted up as a Royal Artillery officer;
So, here are all the officers together and below are their characters, generated using the relevant section of the Sharpe Practice rules.
From left to right we have;
Sgt Luis Veloso, Atiradore company 3rd Caçadores.
Sgt Veloso has risen from the ranks and is considered to be an honourable sort of soldier, if a bit of a dullard. Physically he is a strapping fellow and fair of face, with impressive physical attributes which help him with tasks requiring strength and stamina.
Major Humberto Ramires Da Silva, ADC to the 1st Brigade HQ, Light Division.
Major Da Silva comes from Portugal's rising bourgeoisie. His family are merchants and make their money from trade. However, the Major is a dislikeable sort, being headstrong and arrogant, and has fallen out with his father (who wanted him to join the family firm rather than the military). His father has therefore cut him off from the family wealth leaving him personally impoverished. However, Major Da Silva is an honourable man, fair of face and an excellent swordsman, his ability with the blade making up for his somewhat diminutive stature.
Lt Horacio Nunes, Atiradore company 3rd Caçadores.
Lt Nunes comes from an established military family but is poverty stricken because the French have plundered his family home and made off with the family's wealth. As an honourable son he seeks redress and revenge. He is a strapping fellow, affable and good-looking. He is also an expert linguist, speaking a number of languages.
Major Atticus Marchmain, late of the Royal Artillery, now one of Milord Wellington's Exploring Officers in the Corps of Guides.
Major Marchmain is the illegitimate (but acknowledged) son of a noble family. His father, a notorious rake kept his mother, a society beauty, as his mistress for many years and, using his influence and connections ensured that young Atticus (a prodigious scholar) was accepted at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, from where he gained a commission in the Royal Artillery. Major Marchmain is honourable, an expert swordsman, affable, fair of face and a strapping fellow, who can hold his own in a fight.
Lt Barnaby Thorne, 1/95th Rifles
Lt. Thorne, the son of a former major in the 43rd Regiment of Light Infantry, originally came into the Army as a Volunteer Gentleman Ranker in his father's old regiment, because his family was unable to afford the money to buy him a commission. He gained his commission in the 95th Rifles due to battlefield casualties and his family connection. He is another honourable soldier of strapping physique and affable nature, but he is no ladies' man, not being much of a looker. Although he doesn't possess any particular skills he is, nevertheless an experienced officer and well-regarded by his superiors.
Sgt Jasper Hyde, 1/95th Rifles
Like all NCOs, Sgt Hyde has risen from the ranks. He is a pleasant, diligent, good-looking sort of chap, of average build but with no particular skills. However, he is an unflappable presence in his unit and is popular with the rank and file.
Well, there is my cast of characters. I see no reason why Major Marchmain shouldn't command a small force on missions into enemy territory on occasions, but he can also serve as an Exploring Officer as explained in the relevant section of the rules on pages 77-78.
Major Da Silva is also intended to be a force commander, both of this skirmishing force and also of a force containing Portuguese line troops that I intend to put together later this year.