EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)
"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."
-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013
Monday, January 2, 2012
A Startling Thought
Startling may be too strong but I am so used to the convention of the 2 deep line of miniatures that it feels odd to even think about a 1 deep line despite the long history of such a tabletop formation.
One deep firing lines go right back to Don Featherstone and Jack Scruby and were used by WRG in their 1685-1845 rules not to mention GW Jeffries. With the exception of my short WRG phase, I have been an adherent to Lawford & Young's and Charles Grant's 2 deep approach. However there are 2 very different benefits to the 1 deep line. One is from a position of sheer laziness, it allows one to use 1/2 the number of figures for the same frontage of units. The 2nd, which is of primarily academic interest, is that it allows for a slightly better representation of the depth of formations.
Have a look at the American column in the picture, deployed on a Grand Division frontage (2 companies) vs the British line. If we doubled the depth as usual the line would have 40 figures, still on a 20 man frontage while the column would have a depth of 8 men still on a 5 man frontage and would look very ungainly with the rear ranks barely able to come up to the front in a single move. If we halved the size of the units but kept the 2 deep line, we would have to 1/2 the ground scale to keep in proportion which has other effects, for example the limbered gun would be more than a musket shot from tip to tail.
No conclusions, just a thought to ponder. There are days when I sure wish I could just play toy soldiers without even thinking about this stuff! (or just wargame with 10mm figures)
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, 5 years in the Black Watch of Canada Cadets, 5 years at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean followed by 4 in the navy. 25 years with CPC in IT simultaneous with 23 years running a boarding kennel. Inherited my love of toy soldiers from my mother's father. Married with a Whippet, 10 Italian Greyhounds and 3 cats. Prematurely retired and enjoying leisure to game, maintaining our 160 yr old farmhouse and just living.