Yesterday Mr. Kinch kindly (is that the right word?) enquired when I was going to get off my bloody ass (or words to that affect) and do some of those Indian armies and games that I have been teasing about for at least a year if not 3 or 10. My thoughtless reply of "as soon as I tidy up this mob" (or words to that effect) were thoughtless optimism engendered by years of dreaming and several running feet of books but in the cold light of day as I marshalled brigades on the table to try out translations of TT Teasers into 40mm HofT games, it became obvious that little has changed since July and my response began to seem almost disingenuous.
Its been interesting contrasting Brigade organization for various historical actions, primarily from India or North America, versus what might work for various Table Top Teasers. The most common Brigade sizes for the early 19thC campaigns that I have looked at are 2 to 4 battalions per brigade with 3 being common. In India, this is often 1 European and 2 Sepoy battalions. I had been working most of my calculations around fitting the largest TT Teaser type scenarios onto my table. These rarely go higher than 8 line infantry "units" plus light troops, cavalry and artillery but as I went through today, I was rudely reminded that 3 to 5 units are more common. At one 16 man battalion per scenario unit, that's a small army and a quick game.
If I went with a brigade per unit using 3 battalions as a brigade, it would all fit on my old table. Oh....Brigades of 3x12 man battalions might actually fit but I found myself at the brink of a steep and slippery slope as I started re-contemplating scales, battalion sizes and weapon ranges and the possibilities of harmonizing units and ranges to a 4" grid. Been there, don't want to go back with this lot.
The old Grant standard of 2 regiments per brigade, might would work, unless I was fielding an early/mid 19thC British Indian army with its 2:1 ratio. Of course, there is no reason why units have to map to either Battalions or Brigades and what I have often done in past, especially when using MacDuff or Charge! is do double the number of scenario units to determine how many companies to field and then group the companies as seems best. But somehow a 1:1 mapping of units to units seems satisfying for reasons that elude me.
Of course, if I am basing all this on fictional lands then one odd historical precedent is less relevant and convenient 2 battalion brigades become more attractive again. Building Sikh, Gwalior or 1st Afghan War forces seem less attractive and a not really Mexico version grows more attractive, offering similar gaming opportunities. Of course, originally, my interest was the Indian Mutiny and it has just occurred to me that the balance of 1 European to 2 Sepoy units doesn't apply there, but, Highlanders do. Hmm.
My first stab at turning Scruby 40mm ACW into British Infantry. So easy. Then I decided to go back to the pre-tunic era and had to file down the tunics on both US and British forces. So hard! Until the 1812 figures were released. Sadly, as hard as it was to muster the moral fiber, the above figures were modified to 1840's uniforms.