There seems to be a fairly wide consensus that gridded games work best when units are indivisible and there is a 1:1 relationship between grid areas and units. The existing 4 figure Square Brigadier units felt OK with units as battalions for Division sized battles or, for the 20th C or Colonial skirmish games, as companies. When it comes to low level actions between mid to late 19th century armies, a battalion can occupy as small an area as 50 yards wide and 10 yards deep in mass or up to under 500 yards wide and 500 yards deep if deployed as skirmishers and supports. More than that, it was fairly common, especially in a small force, to detach companies for specific tasks, such as to clear a wood to the flank.
|Oberhilse's American Legion deployed for battle occupying 4 squares. |
(oops too many men in the skirmish line!)
Since command control ranges would remain tight, widespread skirmishers would become hard to control while masses would be vulnerable and a poor use of resources in the front line as only front rank stands can fire. They would be handy for reserves in dead ground though and an in between formation would be good for assaults since they could withstand some hits. Morale for the battalion would be based on over all losses.
Still working on the details. I have till Saturday morning......