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"WSS Advice Appreciated: OOBs, Artillery, Grenadiers, Figures" Topic


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Mycenius16 Nov 2011 3:48 p.m. PST

Hi All,

With Sam Mustafa's ‘Maurice' announced I am finally inspired to do my long hoped for WSS armies. John Churchill has always been a bit of a hero to me (and to a lesser extent Eugene of Savoy as well) – although my knowledge of the WSS and the battles is at a fairly general (or higher) level if you will. As such to help with designing and organising my new wargames armies (I have a large number of 28mm WF plastic figs, and plan on probably getting Front Rank personalities, guns, generals, etc, to round them out) I would appreciate any help, advice, pointers, for the following:

1. Orders of Battle
Is there a good source somewhere for fairly detailed OOBs from the main battles? I am planning to build both an Anglo-Austrian Army and a French (possibly with Bavarian allies) Army – I am not going to try and do an exact Historical OOB of a specific battle, but a kind of generic Quasi-Imagi-Nation (aka Old School style) representative force of historical units – so want to try and identify which Regiments and such for each nation were present at the main battles/campaigns so I can pick out which units I want to model. As the armies will only be about 8-9 Foot Units and 4-5 Cavalry I want to be able to try and pick a good variety to get a representative feel of unit types and uniforms & nationalities for each side (I may of course eventually add extra units in future to expand them). So if there is an especially good source or ‘one-stop-shop' for OOB info I'd be grateful for a heads up (I have ordered C. S. Grant's 2 books on Wargaming WSS, and I do have the Ospreys on Blenheim & Marlborough's Army plus 2-3 general works on Marlborough & his campaigns & WSS, and am planning to order specific books on the battles/campaigns of Marlborough, Ramillies, Malplaquet, et al – e.g. Neil Litten on Ramillies) but I assume there may be some other recommended good OOB sources).

2. Artillery
Could someone please give me a quick pointer on artillery – what was the typical common artillery present with British/Austrian and French armies during the WSS (ignoring early Battalion Guns – I'm talking the army level artillery). I want to order some Front Rank or similar Guns to do an artillery battery for each side and not sure what size ordnance would be the most common or usual for each army? I'm assuming probably 3pdr or 6pdr guns? Also were the army batteries all one calibre or a mix (e.g. could you model a battery of 4 model guns as, for example, 3 x 3pdr models and 1 x 6pdr or 12pdr and it'd be a roughly historical representation/ratio)? Also how were Howitzers used at this time – dispersed amongst the other guns or in a separate 'battery'? As I understand the army level artillery tended to be just be grouped into a few 'ad-hoc' large 'batteries' for each battle usually…

3. Grenadiers
Could someone clarify if all Nations did the converged Grenadiers (into composite battalions) thing at this stage, or was that something that originated later in the WAS/SYW period?

4. Wargames Factory vs. Front Rank
Has anyone compared the WF Plastics with FR for size/compatibility? Are there any other alternative WSS manufacturers that might go well with WF other than FR that can be recommended?

Greatly appreciate any & all feedback,

John
Wargaming.info

Scruff16 Nov 2011 6:04 p.m. PST

Lol John, can i say snap, shame we are on opposite ends of the country.
I too am looking at the WSS and Maurice and have found the spanishsuccession.nl to be good start and warflag.com/blenheim2004

Also the https://www.baccus6mm.com/index.php?content=howto/gnw_wss&detail=paintguide_gnw link seems to be ok start for painting guide

cheers

NCC1717 Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2011 7:25 p.m. PST

The Nafziger Collection has WSS OBs:

link

Major William Martin RM16 Nov 2011 8:34 p.m. PST

Mycenius,

1. I would second the other web sites recommended and add Barry Hilton's "League of Augsberg" site, specifically the Forum. Even though Barry is most closely associated with the LoA, there is quite a bit of Marlbourian info in the Forum, including some unit and flag descriptions and OoB's.

2. I would recommend one of the books specifically on artillery in the early 18th century, or a book like Chandler's. Grant's two-volume set will help somewhat, but I would also check specific OoB's, deployment maps from battles, etc. Most artillery in this period was unlimbered and deployed before the battle and tended to be consolidated into batteries. There are always exceptions, but this tended to be the general "rule".

3. The idea of stripped and converged Grenadiers was very much in it's infancy. There are specific references to it being done, but mainly in siege work early in the period. These are definitely not the well-drilled machine-like troops of Frederick the Great and for many countries, the tactics and drill had barely passed the linear stage.

4. Here's a comparison shot that I took with Front Rank when the WF Infantry first came out, they work well within the same army. I don't have a pic, but they also compare well with Foundry WSS.

picture

The grid behind them is in 4mm squares with incremental marks every 2mm.

Bill
Sir William the Aged
warsoflouisxiv.blogspot.com

karamustafapasha17 Nov 2011 2:38 a.m. PST

1: I think that generally for your purposes you will have what you want. Be careful of the Nafziger lists if you want to go into greater detail they are not reliable.

If you want something different you can try here – link

I am currently building the armies in Spain with the help of this book – link

2: A typical field gun was 3 or 4 pounder but you would also have a variety of larger sized guns. So maybe an army would have 20 to 30 three pounders and 10 mixed heavier guns and howitzers (maybe 4 six, 2 eight, 2 twelve and 2 howitzer as an example).

The guns could be in ad hoc batteries or spread around in penny packets or just generally spread across a front or a combination of these. Similarly they could be mixed or 'pure' – basically there were no real rules and pretty much anything can and was done.

3: All nations used combined grenadiers but usually only in sieges. They did sometimes feature in battles but this was relatively uncommon. But there were exceptions.

They feature in Spain for example & this was one of the reasons I decided to do this theatre. The British/Dutch/etc don't usually do this but they do in Spain in 1710 at least. The Austrians and Reich army use them everywhere and allied armies fighting in Germany/Italy with the Austrians also do it. So for example the Prussians fighting with Marlborough don't do it but the Prussians fighting in Italy do it.

I would ask again when you have chosen your specific army/units but the default is they don't combine.

4: No idea as I use sensible sized figures :)

Integrity17 Nov 2011 3:18 a.m. PST

Karamustafapasha,

Nick don't you get tired of using sockpuppets to push your website and books? I would caution anyone using these so-called sources as unreliable. Dorrell is a self-proclaimed expert who lacks the knowledge and expertise to be reliable.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Nov 2011 7:45 a.m. PST

John

I have completed a project similar to what you are looking at. Photos are here
link

There are also battle shots at the LSHM main site.

I would recommend the GaPa Army book supplement in terms of organizing your armies. It does a very good job of suggesting the correct ratio of foot to horse to cannon, and also the types within each. I looked at a lot of sources, but in the end GaPa's lists were the most straight forward and helpful.

GaPa will give you the correct ratio by gun size for each different army as well.

I've never read of converged Grens during this period. I base all my units with a Grenadier figure on the flank. You should be able to see that in my photos.

All my figs are Front Rank. I am very pleased with them.

Mycenius17 Nov 2011 7:49 p.m. PST

Guys – appreciate all the advice to date – keep it coming – will digest some of it over the weekend!

Leopold Of Lorraine18 Nov 2011 7:52 a.m. PST

Charles V Lorraine

Typical TMP – a great deal of opinion, very little fact!


Typical 'Charles' – a great deal of opinion, no fact!

Mycenius21 Nov 2011 4:39 p.m. PST

@burlesonbill,

1. I would second the other web sites recommended and add Barry Hilton's "League of Augsberg" site, specifically the Forum. Even though Barry is most closely associated with the LoA, there is quite a bit of Marlbourian info in the Forum, including some unit and flag descriptions and OoB's.

Thanks Bill – I have signed up to the forum and the Wargames Factory one as well… Plus reactivated membership to and/or joined a couple of related Yahoo Groups… :-)

2. I would recommend one of the books specifically on artillery in the early 18th century, or a book like Chandler's. Most artillery in this period was unlimbered and deployed before the battle and tended to be consolidated into batteries…

Yes I figured the artillery was very adhoc – so its mainly about getting a feel for the right mix of gun models to use for each nation – mainly for aesthetics. It looks like the Grand Alliance tended to usually have more guns than the Franco-Bavarians & Bourbon Spanish, at least at most of the major battles in central Europe anyway, but I'm unclear on the size breakdown… based on @karamustafapasha's comments I guess I'd be safe getting any one odd large gun and a couple of smaller 3pdr-4pdr guns for each side initially (assuming typical wargaming armies of 10-15 Infantry & Cavalry units) to get about the right proportions…

I see WF are apparently considering bringing out an Artillery set in plastic – so it may be worth waiting for that (I was planning to buy Front Rank guns and convert a few WF Plastic Infantry to be gunners, with perhaps 1-2 Front Rank Gunners mixed in) – but waiting for WF will give me probably a few months to nut out the Artillery thing while I get my Inf & Cav done, and hopefully a 'box' will have 1-2 large guns and maybe up to 4 lighter ones (meaning 1 box may be enough for 2 Maurice style armies initially)…

Re: Chandler are you referring to "Marlborough as Military Commander" or "Blenheim Preparation: The English Army – Collected Essays", as I have ordered the latter (currently in transit from Amazon UK)…

4. Here's a comparison shot that I took with Front Rank when the WF Infantry first came out, they work well within the same army. I don't have a pic, but they also compare well with Foundry WSS.

That's excellent thanks – I've ordered a few FR Officers to add variety to my Plastic WF troops (adding 1 Officer per unit to my first few Infantry units will both add some uniqueness & variety and give me enough spare plastics overall to get one more unit from my 13 boxes – i.e. 20 Foot instead of 19)! :-)

1: I think that generally for your purposes you will have what you want. Be careful of the Nafziger lists if you want to go into greater detail they are not reliable.

If you want something different you can try here – link

@karamustafapasha, by different do you mean other than Nafziger, or different in terms of interpretation of the historical data?

Are these (Polemos?) army lists what @Charles V Lorraine is referring to as unreliable (in addition to the "Marlborough in Spain" Dorrell book)?

FWIW I'm not too excited about these nor (on first look) the GaPa lists @DukeWacoan has suggested – It's hard to judge the usefulness without being able to see the content (the GaPa ones' don't look the easiest to read) – @DukeWacoan did you use these solely as source books without the GaPa rules or anything, or did you have the GaPa rules and/or planned on playing them…? I looked at the sample list on the site and it didn't seem that useful, and the ratios of troop types all seemed rather generic and not overly specific – which seems contrary to the intent of your advice/feedback above?

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 Nov 2011 6:38 p.m. PST

Actually I intended to play GaPa and did so for some time. They played very well and were well received at MillenniumCon a few years back. Nice but different set of rules.

That said, I believe the lists give you a considerable level of detail in regard to the types of units within each army. You don't need the rules. It takes a little study to get the formating understood, but at that point you can determine the almost anything that will put you within historical ratios.

For example, while operating other than in Spain, a British army might have 5-15% of its total force made up of Subsidiary troops from Brandenburg, Hanover, Hesse-Kassel or United Province.

The British army can also have "Allies" of 15-30% of the total army, being Danish, Brandenburg or Hanover.

There is a difference between subsidiaries and allies.

A British Army can also "combine" with a Dutch or Reicharmee army while other than in Spain.

Going to the Hanover list, you will learn that this force will see maximums and ratios for for each type (Foot, Cavalry, Artillery) and for subtype and morale class for each type. These are easily converted to other rules systems. The lists also give suggested Frontages and typical strengths which are very useful in basing.

As another example, you will find the number and size of guns are dependent on the number of other types. For example, you can have 1 British 6pdr for every 6 British Foot Bns.

There are detailed suggestions for every nationality with fairly extensive comments. I found this book with my other sources made army organization pretty easy. It also seemed to follow closely the ratios in the 4 big continent Marlborough battles.

Mycenius21 Nov 2011 8:04 p.m. PST

@DukeWacoan – Thanks mate – okay that makes more sense – I might take the punt on your recommendation – thanks for expanding on it… Did you buy both the list books ("Armies in the age of Marlborough, Eugene, and Charles XII" Volumes I & II) or just the second one – given that the first volume seems principally for the GNW Nations? Or did you get the earlier version called "Armies of the War of the Spanish Succession and the Great Northern War v1.1"?

karamustafapasha22 Nov 2011 11:31 a.m. PST

@Mycenius

Gun Numbers: I think that both sides had roughly similar numbers on 'average'. Of course 'average' never happens in reality and their are always special factors. The number of guns also varies with the size of armies and generally they have about the same ratio.

In any case I managed to find a few numbers of guns.

Blenheim:
Marlborough – 60 guns (6 – 9 pdr, 10 – 5 pdr, 40 – 3 pdr & 4 howitzers)

French/Bavarians – 90 guns (6 – 24 pdr, 6 – 16 pdr, 12 – 12 pdr, 24 – 8 pdr, 42 – 4 pdr)

Ramilles:
Marlborough: 120 guns (30 – 24pdr, 8 Howitzers, 10 – 9pdr and 72 – 3pdr Regimental Guns.


Different Lists:
Actually what I meant here was lists for other armies from other fronts – i.e. Not Marlborough and the people he fought. So for the fighting in Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.

I fancied doing something different so in the end I went for Spain – you have a mixture of British, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Austrian, Palatine vs. Spanish and French opponents.

The Nafziger lists are fine as long as you realise they are extracts from primary sources. So they are a list of what some one from the time thinks was at the battle and so are very variable in quality. They do not use 2 or more sources to produce any kind of complete & verified list. So maybe the source of the list is some one like say an official in the army or with detailed knowledge & so be more or less correct. But it could equally be from some one from the enemy army and be basically just a guess.

The lists I mentioned are for Polemos and are compiled from more than one source. They give details of the whole army ( i.e. they are something like a full OOB) & you can convert them to other rules. I am sure that there are others around but I used these. The Ga Pa lists are also very good and of course you can convert them to other rules as well. As DukeWacoan has said they are detailed but don't give overall army numbers or specific lists of units at a particular battle. I would say they are a good resource generally but I think you can't use them for you purposes.

Incidentally the Ga Pa lists have the 'unreliable' guy listed as a source and the company also publishes the Spanish book.

In any case as I said before I think what you have coming will be enough to do what you want.

Mycenius23 Nov 2011 12:40 p.m. PST

I have completed a project similar to what you are looking at. Photos are here link
There are also battle shots at the LSHM main site.

BTW @DukeWacoan how did you come around choosing the selection of units you did for the various nationalities – is it a specific OOB, or just designed to give a good overall representation of types of units and uniform colours? Good range of pics there for getting an idea of different uniform colours and such – thanks for the link…

Gun Numbers: I think that both sides had roughly similar numbers on 'average'…

Thanks @karamustafapasha – yeah I figured that he numbers were roughly similar, its the breakdown that's the interesting bit for me – also as I'm planning to build for Maurice and battalion guns are subsumed I can ignore the 3pdrs & 4pdrs effectively – so that makes life easier as it looks like I just need to look at the 5pdrs upwards – so probably for aesthetics mostly 8pdr & 9pdr guns as the norm for each side as appropriate with maybe one heavier 16pdr-24pdr each for colour (and maybe a generic Howitzer for the allies)…

Of course as mentioned now Wargames Factory are probably going to do an artillery box it might be worth me hanging on rather than going with Front Rank or Foundry models…

Actually what I meant here was lists for other armies from other fronts

Right – I'm with you – sorry was getting a bit confused – I'm mainly keen on the Netherlands/Germany stuff where Marlborough & Eugene fought – I may eventually look at Italy (and even Spain), but for now that's my focus (and yeah I know, it's like ACW gamers always doing the Eastern Theatre)!

grin

The Nafziger lists are fine as long as you realise they are extracts from primary sources.

Yep – I'm up to speed with that – for now I mainly just want to identify the most commonly present units at the 'big' battles for both sides – to select a core of battalions/regiments to model – then I'll look for more exotic looking ones that were present at at least some of the battles to add colour and variety… :-)

The lists I mentioned are for Polemos and are compiled from more than one source. They give details of the whole army ( i.e. they are something like a full OOB) & you can convert them to other rules.

Right. The list of lists looked interesting and there were some I'd consider getting – but I was trying to figure how much was actual detailed OOB, and how much was wargaming army list in each? They are cheap enough to consider getting a few… but don't seem to be too many for the primary theatre I'm interested in?

The Ga Pa lists are also very good and of course you can convert them to other rules as well. As DukeWacoan has said they are detailed but don't give overall army numbers or specific lists of units at a particular battle. I would say they are a good resource generally but I think you can't use them for you purposes.

Incidentally the Ga Pa lists have the 'unreliable' guy listed as a source and the company also publishes the Spanish book.

I have actually taken the punt and ordered one Gε Pε book (Armies in the age of Marlborough, Eugene, and Charles XII Volume II) – in the hope it'll be useful based on @DukeWacoan's recommendation (if not now at least longer term for designing different 'scenario' armies or such)…

Do the Polemos lists at WFGC have the historical OOB detail down to battalions? Looking at the Spanish examples on the site they seem to get to about Brigade level but I'm not clear on the detail below that (are the battalions identified by commanders name, or regiment name, or region or what?

In any case as I said before I think what you have coming will be enough to do what you want.

Yeah I'm assuming the Grant books and such will have enough common info on regiments to get started – I'm not in a panic about flags as I'll be sourcing them from Rick O'Brien (The Flag Dude) and he's apparently got a pretty extensive library of WSS flags…

karamustafapasha24 Nov 2011 10:05 a.m. PST

Artillery: I think that this depends on what you think about battalion guns. While many rules feature battalion guns I think that historically they are more of a problem – many experts basically don't think they exist at this time. I am sure you will find a thread discussing this. But as I understand it the 'battalion guns', if they existed, were in addition to the guns listed in army's artillery.

So basically Marlborough at Blenheim might have had ??? battalion guns in addition to the 60 guns listed. The 3/4 pdrs listed are field guns and they are the standard field guns of the time. The 16 pdr – 24 pdr guns are basically siege guns pressed into field service. This is why Marlborough doesn't have any at Blenheim – part of the army was conducting a siege at the time & all of the big guns are there.

Polemos Lists: The ones I have are like this one – PDF link They don't always have the numbers of real men but they always have the number of battalions, there names, etc. These are on the Almanza ones but that is an article and so they are further up in the actual article.

I didn't get the Marlborough ones but they seem to cover all of his battles except Malplaquet. As I understand it Malplaquet isn't done because there isn't enough reliable information to do one.

Good luck on the project :)

Mycenius24 Nov 2011 1:04 p.m. PST

@karamustafapasha – right, thanks – actually I had kinda semi-come to that conclusion about the light guns over night after catching up a bit of reading – and have even ordered the 2 Foundry ones to get started while I wait to see what happens about the WF artillery box…

Thanks for the PDF link – that's a a lot more readable – I might invest in a couple of those now as a concise way to get a list of forces to work from – Cheers…

P.S. It's a pity the Bacchus site @Scruff suggested doesn't have any Dutch info up for the United Provinces – as it's a good starting point for the Uniforms for everyone else!

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Nov 2011 9:48 p.m. PST

Yes I used the v1.1. Drop me an email when they arrive and I'll walk you through options.

I picked units that fought other than in Spain. I also tried to focus on units that appeared in multiple battles between Blenheim, Ramilles, Malplaquet and Oudenarde. After that I went for uniform and nationality variation (ie 1 or 2 Irish, Scots, Swiss, Spain and Alsace for the French). Then when all things seemed equal on those criteria, I went for prettiest flag.

I used Halls information a lot.

Mycenius24 Nov 2011 10:03 p.m. PST

Yes I used the v1.1. Drop me an email when they arrive and I'll walk you through options.

Cheers!

I picked units that fought other than in Spain. I also tried to focus on units that appeared in multiple battles between Blenheim, Ramilles, Malplaquet and Oudenarde. After that I went for uniform and nationality variation (ie 1 or 2 Irish, Scots, Swiss, Spain and Alsace for the French). Then when all things seemed equal on those criteria, I went for prettiest flag.

Cool – that's exactly what I was gonna do pretty much…

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