EXCERPT 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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bringing Back The Brigadier

I've been too busy with renovations and other domestic affairs for any painting or casting  but there was still time to ponder and posit.  Despite the success of last week's game,  I decided that I still wasn't happy on the question of command control and organization, neither from a game nor a historical perspective. The organizations did not match any historical ones and the game lacked the extra player-challenge I look for in a solo game.

To keep this short and avoid chewing my cabbage twice (as they say) suffice it to say that I decided  to confirm the system whereby a Colonel plus 4 companies, each of 4 figures, forms a battalion as proposed in August in the Charge! Option post.  I had resisted for fear of forcing myself to build and play a double sized, Division level Western Front game with a table crammed with soldiers  from edge to edge. It sounds like a tedious bloodbath but I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it. Might work as a club or convention game someday but in the meantime, this level should work better for those Sideshow Campaigns and quite well for the more open warfare of the early months.
Early in the test game, 3 Oberhilse battalions, 1 extended as it advances on the town using fire and movement, the closer one advancing in company columns and and on the hill in the background a massed battalion moving up to support the guns and threaten the enemy's reinforcement. A 4th battalion has barely marched on in a long road column and is just off screen.

Coincidentally, this will  give me 2 to 6 sub commanders with as many or more independent batteries, squadrons and so on or a very manageable number of "direct reports" for the Square Brigadier with some minor jigging. Having merged the old SB and new proposed rules a replay of the scenario is in progress, a turn here, 2 turns there, and going even better with more tension and decision making to increase engagement. It also has a better German attack plan using more fire support but that's another matter.

Slightly later in the game. The town is now disputed but the Queen's soldiers are flooding on to the table.

The current draft is available above as the Tin Brigadier. They still need various odd ball rules drafted in for boats, ambushes and so on as well as pages of explanations and examples.


  1. I don't feel entirely confident commenting on the current subject, as it's a period I've very little experience of wargaming, but just wanted to say I found the latest version of Tin Brigadier easy to understand and generally intuitive - feels right.

    1. Steve, I haven't much experience myself! But thanks. The bulk of it is based on the experience f developing the Square Brigadier over the last 2 years but I keep referring back to sources inc period wargames.

  2. Not sure if you intended it-but that scales to 1 fig = 1 platoon. Hard to argue with that.

    1. and if a scenario drops a level units become platoons and battalions become companies. Sometimes the easy common sense approach just refuses to be ignored.

  3. Dear Ross,

    The preceding commentators hit this right on the head. It does feel right, the troop ratio seems ideal, and it can be lowered or raised depending on the scale with which you want to play. I love the fact that two battalions can be brigaded along with one gun at the current level but that if you wanted to play a lower force ratio all the four companies become platoons and the two companies (or more) become a battalion supported by one or two sections of artillery.
    The most important point is that you seem to be at peace with this as you should be. BTW, did I tell you how really great your table looks? This is the kind of wargaming that looks like great fun - and one which old H.G. Wells, Jack scruby, Don Featherstone and Charles Grant would all feel quite at home playing.
    All the best,