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Surferdude27 Nov 2009 2:49 a.m. PST

I know the wealth of period knowledge is immense on here so thought I'd get some help … if I am making a terrain piece to represent the same sort of buidling/setting as La Haye Sainte (so a walled farm complex) with orchard etc.

Now I need to make the base 'footprint'of the model big enough to fit the representative number of troops in that could defend it … so the question is really how many men were defending say La Haye Sainte (or similar)then I can figure out what I need to be able to fit in. Our 'units' represent a battalion.

Thanks in advance :)

Lord of the Cabal27 Nov 2009 5:38 a.m. PST

About 500 German souls defended La Haie sainte. I don't know if anyone defended the outlaying Orchard, unlike Hougoumont which was a considerably larger farm.

Surferdude27 Nov 2009 6:26 a.m. PST

Cheers …

Glenn Pearce27 Nov 2009 6:28 a.m. PST

Hello Surferdude!

Ah the problem may be bigger then you think. I was just recently taking a close look at this and noticed that La Haye Sainte is not really that big. It covers about the same ground as one of my battalions which are also based as one unit. So if I stick to the same ground scale I really can't model it properly to fit a base within it.

In fact it would even be difficult to model the buildings
as most of the buildings in my scale (6mm) are out of scale
vs the figures. This gets even worse as your scale gets bigger.

So I can only use about one building or a few small ones on a base to reflect the accurate ground scale. My buildings are on the same size bases as my battalions. So for me I'll just use a single base and call it La Haie Sainte and give it a modifier to reflect it's defendable construction.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,


John de Terre Neuve27 Nov 2009 8:13 a.m. PST

I always find this complicated, but I agree the more important thing is the footprint, not the scale (aside from the fact that it has to look right; usually requiring the height to be out of scale).

I also agree with you that the critical terrain deciding choice in respect to a scenario is the number of troops you have to fit in the feature. So 500 souls than 1 battalion. The footprint of your walled has to big enough to fit your 1 battalion.

I am presently fighting a battle where the town feature had to fit 5 bdes of French, the scenario made it extremely unlikely that the town itself will figure into the battle as it is a starting point for the French. The only important thing for the scenario is that the entrance/exit of the town was a bottleneck for the French exiting. The only other terrained building feature was a walled farm, but I wanted to allow it to hold 2 battalions, so I made the footprint just this size. I also added impregnable features within the wall (house/orchard) to make it look right. I use FoB rules so this was made a 2 town segment for the rules.

See: link This is the feature just to the left of the river.


Glenn Pearce27 Nov 2009 10:50 a.m. PST

Hello John!

Yes it can get very complicated. If your just going on looks and want to ignor scale then yes just build your walls etc. to fit around the base of your unit.

If, however, your trying to recreate a certain battle then scale becomes everything and the foot print should go out the window.

I think your set up looks great and I'm sure it produced a good game. It does appear to me though that you have the same problem that most of us have. Your buildings have a footprint that is about the same size as your battalions or brigades. That makes every building way out of scale. They are actually villages not single dwellings.

I recently took part in a 25mm game that was based on a historical battle and clumps of buildings were used to represent certain towns. The distortion was so great that minor villages became mega towns that occupied a very large part of the table. Once you upset the ratio of buildings foot print vs open ground the game is a bust for it's historical value. It can still be a great game, it's just not a very good reflection of an actual battle.

Best regards,


John de Terre Neuve27 Nov 2009 1:25 p.m. PST

Thanks Glenn,

It is actually giving me a very good game. I feel it is impossible to reproduce actual battlefields at home anyway, so I just try to do my best modeling the scenario.

I use a ground scale of 1" to 25yds, the large town with the French Army is thus scaled 600yds x 1200yds or 14% of my terrain (12x5ft). I am not sure how much area 13 infantry battalions, 6 artillery batteries and 3 cavalry regiments would take up but I some how suspect it would be a lot more then 2/3 x 1/3 of a mile. So I am already lost, but as you can see from the photos I can fit the 23 units in the town as modeled.

So at that point I have to throw out the concept of this being a town in respect to the rules. In FoB a town is 6x6" and each town can contain 1 battalion. The area of the town could have held 32 units (32 6x6" squares) so I was ok there, but the rules would have been very restrictive in respect to movement from town section to town section, so for the scenario it was better to make the town a terrain feature rather than 32 town sections. The footprint was reasonable though as the assumption that 70% of a town was open space and 30% building is not unreasonable.

In my reply, I was referring to the farm section that is 1x2 ft (300ydsx600yds), not unreasonable for a small farm (acres always sound better in respect to a farm so we will say 34 square acres). I filled this area with impregnable orchards and buildings which is represented by the tree section and the house which take up 75 % of the area leaving 2 town sections for the 2 battalions that are the max that can occupy the town according to the scenario.

I thought this was a reasonable approach in which Surferdude could model his terrain for La Haye Sainte.

It is all a fudge, but I try to respect the rules I am using and at the same time make it look good. So I think the footprint approach is ok. I am not sure you could scale an actual battle using 28mm figures with units of any decent size.

Thanks for looking,


4th Cuirassier27 Nov 2009 1:58 p.m. PST

It doesn't follow that, just because La Haye Sainte had a garrison of 350 men (or whatever), that that's all could have been fitted in.

Most historians think the garrison was inadequate.

Glenn Pearce27 Nov 2009 4:56 p.m. PST

Hello John!

Ah, all good stuff. I can do just about any battle on my 9x5' table using 6mm figures. Your 12x5' would be spectacular.

Best regards,


p.s. 4th Cuir. I don't think he was looking for the
max, just what was there.

John de Terre Neuve27 Nov 2009 7:12 p.m. PST

Thanks Glenn, I am envious of you 6mm gamers as you can indeed scale historical battles. The thought of painting those little figures though is daunting, I use a pair of 3.5x loupes as it is!!!

Best wishes,


Glenn Pearce28 Nov 2009 1:21 p.m. PST

Hello John!

Actually painting 6mm is easier then 25/28. It just looks harder. I've painted lots of both. You should order some samples or your favourite troop type from Baccus6mm. A small order is no problem for them. You just might be surprised at how easy they really are to paint.

Best regards,


Marcus Brutus28 Nov 2009 4:58 p.m. PST

Painting 6mm figures is a bitch. Don't let Glenn fool you. I tried and really hated the experience (although I do like the look of 6mm.) And 25mm has so many pretty figures.


Glenn Pearce29 Nov 2009 2:30 a.m. PST

Hello Marcus Brutus!

Can you tell me which figures you tried to paint and exactly what part of it you hated? Some are not so easy and there are some tips that can make things easier.

I've painted thousands of them and some are trickey while others are a joy.

Best regards,


John de Terre Neuve02 Dec 2009 7:16 a.m. PST

I put my terrain piece for La Haye Sainte on my blog. I was curious Suferdude do you have an OB and scenario for this engagement.




Surferdude02 Dec 2009 7:41 a.m. PST

To be honest I was just basing it around the same size building not that encounter … sorry

Allan Mountford02 Dec 2009 11:58 a.m. PST

Don't forget that the farm buildings were whitewashed after the battle. On 18 June 1815 the clay brickwork would have been a natural red-brown colour.

- Allan

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