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"Do you do supply train units?" Topic

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Garde de Paris16 Sep 2012 2:35 p.m. PST

A couple weeks ago, one of you posted a link to Nafziger's list of French in Spain in 1808. The list gave a great deal on numbers for units, and shows the 1st Corp with 19,199 infantry in 33 battalions (average of 581.79 men per battalion); and 2,609 cavalry in 11 squadrons (237 per squadron = huge!). The Corps also had 762 train troops in the 2nd Prime train battalion (5/450); 8th bis (provisional) of only 1/52; and 10th bis of 4/250.

I use 36 figures in 30mm for a French battalion, and plan to do 12 battalions of I Corps. Eventually I'd like to do 48 such battalions in four divisions, but I do NOT intend to do all the train units this would require.

I am considering using 16 human figures to represent the train troops of one division. I am considering using 2 Wurst wagons, each with four horses and 2 riders = 4 "people", plus 6 figures marching as train workers = "Ouvriers whatever."

Do any of you do train units, and is there something better, or more accurate, to use than wurst wagons?


Timmo uk16 Sep 2012 2:38 p.m. PST

I don't do train units. Painting the main fighting troops takes enough effort as it is.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 2:54 p.m. PST

I do them when I get around to it. I find it them to be useful for decorating the battlefield as well as being something of an objective. In some games they actually have an effect on the battle. I've often set scenarios where some units need to take tests not to pillage the train or camp when they come into unrestricted line of sight to it or some such thing. This makes those irregular horse units less useful.

That usually is in ancient gaming though, although it also works for Ren stuff and would probably work with Napoleonic period stuff if you had the right unit and they got "away" from their command.

14Bore16 Sep 2012 2:55 p.m. PST

I use my limbers sort of in the same style, I really need a lot more, Russians mostly

Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 2:59 p.m. PST

Campaigning in Spain, I would certainly make use of civilian transport in addition to militaty vehicles.

Add ox carts and mule teams to give it that touch of Spain.

Search the Internet for the Battle of Vittoria to view the plundering of the waggon park:

One example:


War In 15MM16 Sep 2012 3:02 p.m. PST

I love support units. I think they add to the richness of a collection. I've included them with my collection of ACW, Imperial Roman, WWII, Medieval, Sudan as well as my Napoleonics. I have some evidence of that in my Napoleonic Gallery which can be seen at link

Garde de Paris16 Sep 2012 3:23 p.m. PST

The covered wagon seems to dominate in that painting, Timurilink. Any idea what 28mm maker might have these? Also, any that would have the ox cart type?

War in 15mm: Amazing work! It took me a while to realize they are 15mm – did not read your "handle" until I was half way through your pictures. The terrain, buildings, units, wheeled equipment – all superb!


idontbelieveit16 Sep 2012 4:04 p.m. PST

If they have a role in the rules yes. One easy way is train to replenish units that are out of ammo.

TMPWargamerabbit16 Sep 2012 5:29 p.m. PST

Required items in our napoleonic 25/28mm games. We limit artillery firing with a basic load of RS or cannister shots then additional ammo load must be secured from a train unit. Each train generally carries one additional load for each battery in the senior command (Corps or Column). Army level trains (= to three Corp trains in miniature size) carry another ammo load for each battery or two loads in armies without Corp/Column organization in their organization. So train units are attached to senior or army command HQ and modeled with actual train miniature(s) and separate train driver(s).

Reason why…Any gamer who has had an opportunity to push about a real artillery piece, load with true weighted ammo (12lb RS is not light after carrying for several minutes), aim the cannon with handspike and block/screw, fire, reload and pull cannon back into position…again and again etc quickly will show the trying effort to crew a cannon. Try doing that for several hours and player will realize the reason why cannon batteries where exchanged for fresh batteries during a battle. Batteries had a fixed ammo supply in the front lines… train units get lost before the battle, lost in the rear areas during the battle or destroyed. The required battery exchange and crew rest period, the required re-loading period pulling the battery off the front line all simulates this battery exchange and player management of his artillery batteries. If you have no artillery piece handy or available to push around, try pushing a car up and down a driveway with some friends for a hour or two…same effect on your muscles.

We represent the Russian habit of a large artillery reserve (of batteries) with similar rules. Complete batteries replacements and quicker ability to replace front line losses. If Russian artillery commander is killed, the artillery reserve movement is halted for the battle.

One other effect of the ammo supply load restrictions… prevents players firing off very low percentage shots and wasting game time.

Train unit also provides a supply of musket small arms supply for the infantry. Our napoleonic rules state if a train is present, the infantry is fully supplied for the battle. If no train unit present within 4 feet of the infantry unit, roll 6D 1 out of 6 means the unit is now low on ammo till resupplied (train unit base contact). Not out of ammo, just "low on ammo" (effective fire drops to 25% of normal) and a lowered morale grade pending re-supply. Also tends to keep the infantry units close by and independent unit actions curtailed due to this radius of re-supply.

In addition to the actual ammo trains… we represent baggage trains, supply (fodder and food) trains, pontoon trains and actual depots miniatures for the tabletop. All have functions for the armies and become important during campaign or scenario games.

Our artillery supply chart: PDF link

Train unit sample upper right corner of above photo. Ammo train base is 2" by 4" with train driver independent (can be separated from) from the train miniature base.

Rules summary videos, tables and lists etc: link


War In 15MM16 Sep 2012 6:28 p.m. PST

GdeP, thank you very much for your generous comments. I do like trying to bringing elements to my 15s that are more commonly seen with 25s and 28s. Fortunately, for those of us who like the smaller scale more interesting pieces are being offered by manufacturers these days in the 15/18mm scale. Blue Moon in particularly seems to be providing a much more rich selection than used to be the case in terms of 15s. Last year I started buying the Blue Moon FIW figures. That line is offering a lot of really interesting stuff, and according to the owner, he intends to have the most complete Napoleonic offering ever produced so that is something worth looking forward to. Thanks again for taking the time to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Richard

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 8:07 p.m. PST

Yup. At least token representation. At least 1 per army, and 1 for each allied force. Ideally 1 per corps.

Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 9:02 p.m. PST

Garde de Paris,

My first response would be Hinchliffe, but these are 25's and not 30mm scale.

Carriages, wagons and such from a SYW listing would work well if there are no Napoleonic period offerings. I collect 15's only, but searching through the archives (18th c. Discussion) under baggage train may pull up something.

Berliner Zinnfiguren (Berlin) sell standard models of artillery and wagons for their 30mm flats. Worth a look.


ecaminis Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2012 9:03 p.m. PST

I am trying to supply a wagon for each division and each corps for my armies. I think it is good to try to represent some kind of train for my armies. Garde de Paris Old Glory has covered wagons in their range( 2 per pack).

Martin Rapier17 Sep 2012 2:44 a.m. PST

My smaller scale horse & musket armies all have piles of wagons, pontoons etc.

They just look nice and in some rules actually have a game function too (even if it is just to clutter up lines of march and retreat!).

Real armies hauled bazillions of wagons around, so I think our model ones should too.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 5:29 a.m. PST

Not yet but am going to – probably one per division

The last Napoleonic campaign game I played in had trains, and it turned out snatching an enemy corp's train with your light cavalry was very inconvenient (to the enemy)

Bandit Inactive Member17 Sep 2012 7:13 a.m. PST

I need to order a fair number of caissons and wagons and wounded. I use them to mark the rally point behind divisions, in the rules I use that is where individual units rout to. It is a dynamic space ~18-24" behind the division so it doesn't *really* need a marker but it would be pretty…


The Bandit

pbishop1223 Sep 2012 11:50 p.m. PST

I game 28MM Peninsula, General de Brigade. I'm fortunate to have a 12x6 table. That said, while games probably are dominated by Division size battles, a Corps in extremis, part of keeping it scaled down is the use of limbers, wagons, vivanderies, etc.

Artillery firing I limit, and replenishment requires caissons. The caissons can become casualites, which impacts the resupply. Wagons and carts are posted behind the Brigades, and brought up for a number of reasons. One GdBde supplement had a 'rule' for vivanderies/cantinieres (spelling?) supplying victuals for thirsty and exhausted oombatants.

Another feature is pioneers/sappers accompanying assaults and other uses. These guys need mules and wagons to convey their cutlery.

It may all seem messy and cluttering… but 'duh'.. it was. Certainly makes you more attentive to negotiating units passed these impediments, and interpenetrating or passing through disrupting formations.

Finally, there's looting and carrying off this stuff when over run.

On grander scale games this may not all be practicle. But at the GdBde scale games, its interesting variation. Well worth the expense of wagons, mules, caissons, baggage, etc. Plus the troops or civilians conveying all this stuff.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Sep 2012 7:05 p.m. PST

Perrys have some nice looking supply wagons on their work bench. So it shouldn't be too long before they go into production.

KaweWeissiZadeh31 Dec 2012 5:50 p.m. PST

I think the ratio you aim to represent the train in is quite alright if one considers the limited gaming-value of such assets.

As mentioned before – the Perrys have a nice array of Train-carts in 28mm.
I also like some of the Old-Glory releases that I've seen.

Lastly I might add that we at have a growing range of train incl. Ammo-caissons, Carpenter-carts (Genie, Mineurs, Pontoniers etc), and sometime soon a mobile crane. All in 28mm.

Grand Duke Natokina Inactive Member09 Jan 2013 1:16 p.m. PST

Usually not. We game for a day and tear down the next day usually. Not enough time in reality or the game. Most tanks and tracks can last a day on the defense with minimal refuelling and rearming in one of our games.

Garde de Paris10 Jan 2013 8:46 a.m. PST

Eventually some of my units will occupy a book shelf or two, hopefully with a full division with guns and train deployed, so it will be nice to have select, accurate Napoleonic vehicle models. Perry for the British; and Westfalia Miniatures for the French look to be "just the ticket!" Thanks for the link!


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2013 2:09 p.m. PST

Depends what you mean by supply train.

Artillery in column of murch is represented by one limber gun, together with an indication whether it is a horse or foot battery and a cassion. Takes up 160mm of road space in 10mm.

When deployed the battery has two guns and the cassison giving a battery footprint of 80mm*60mm.

For specific scenaios I use a bridging train and engineers.


I have, but rarely use supply wagons.

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