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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

How many Red Coats does it take to.....

One of the things that has been nattering at me over the last week or so is the question of "How many units?" and its supplementary questions "In that case what's the minimum table size and number of squares?"  and "In that case what do the units represent and is the wargame a battle or a skirmish?".

The Naval gunners train the 4.7" while waiting for the Armies to decided how much infantry they need.
The answer was easy in the days when I used twenty four man units on a plain 6'x8' table but along came Bob Cordery and Richard Borg and recently  my table has often been covered by four man units on a grid and sometimes I just lose my bearings.

The scenario laid out at 1 Square Brigadier unit per scenario unit. 
So I chose the scenario suggested by the Grand Duke of Stollen and started by laying out the troops unit for unit.  That looked kinda sparse so I upped the infantry by 50%, that was better but 1.5 is an awkward force multiplier if you can't represent a half unit so I doubled it. Now we were talking, the table started to look a bit crowded with fourteen Oberhilse infantry units. Fourteen? Fourteen what? Companies? Battalions? Half-Battalions?

It was not only crowded though, in places the troops were spilling over their specified deployment areas. I could fix that though by extending the table by a foot. .....Right. Did I really want to do that though?

Then I thought about last Wednesday's game at Ron's.
Airfix Battles, 1/72nd WWII Canadians vs Germans at a Sicilian Crossroad. One unit per scenario unit plus overall points balanced in proportion to make very different opposing forces.
When Ron suggested one unit per scenario unit I was dubious but he was right. It was a tense game of the satisfying type which played through a series of shifts of advantage  to a draw after two full rotations of the deck and over three hours of immersed playing.

I reset the table to one unit per unit as shown above. My 1900 and 1914 armies may be staying separate after all and both may be closer to finished as separate armies than I thought.
"Right, you guys have your orders, get on with it!"
Game to be played Monday or Tuesday if all goes well.


  1. Ross,
    Your scratch built 4.7inch Naval Gun certainly looks the goods- well done indeed! Looking forward to your next Battle. Cheers. KEV.

  2. Ross Mac,

    Personally I like your six man infantry and four man cavalry units. They are what I have selected for my current Napoleonic project ... and I call them all regiments! I plan to use them with a 10cm grid (squares or hexes) with two bases per unit fitting inside a grid area. I can then represent units in column, line, and - in the case of infantry - square.

    All the best,


  3. I like having 2 bases. The single rank is what I use for the breechloader and magazine era. The units are companies and are a mix of 4 and 6 man units until I make a final decision.

    My earlier, close order, musket armed troops will be 2 deep, 12 figure battalions.