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"Help with 6mm basing for 1809" Topic


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595 hits since 17 Jun 2017
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Wealdmaster17 Jun 2017 1:30 p.m. PST

I am working on the basing concept for my planned games of the 1809 campaign and am looking for a bit of guidance on basing. My assumptions and/or desired outcomes are as follows:
1. I believe the best use of 6mm scale is to make scenic bases showing entire battalions or close to that with possible skirmishers, officers, even bits of terrain. To have the unit "en masse".
2. I have not chosen rules, but may write my own to have grand tactical battles that show an entire corps in action.
3. Given #2, I don't intend to necessarily have giant historical simulations of things like Apsern Essing, but showing one and maybe 2 corps in action per side someday when I get enough stuff painted.

When reading Gill's Thunder on the Danube, I see that Austrian Regiments were giant compared to French and Allied German. Ex. One regt= 3 field battalions of 6 companies of 218-238 men. That is a battalion of over 1200 men even if somewhat understrength still over 1000. Comparing this to French and Germans who had 4 battalions or two battalions of 4 companies of 140 to 180 men.

Am I getting that right?

For basing I'm thinking about 60mm wide and 30 deep for one battalion. Then a regiment can be shown as in line if these battalions are abreast of one another and in column if they arrayed in depth. Still, not sure on the number of miniatures to place on the base. 20 miniatures would do nicely for a French or German btn, but would need then about 32 or so for an Austrian. Not sure they would fit and look okay.

Finally, as to the light and grenadiers, would they be deployed off to the sides/flanks of the regiment in line as one body of each type? If so, this further complicates basing.

Now, what about the cavalry?:)

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

This is in 3mm but this blig should give you what you need:

1809in3mm.blogspot.com

For rules, Et Sans Resultat is probably a great choice. It uses battalion basing and would deliver what you want: big battles with loads of spectacle.

Glenn Pearce17 Jun 2017 6:08 p.m. PST

Hello Wealdmaster!

Great choice 1809 in 6mm on 60x30 bases. You nailed it right out of the box.

1. I believe the best use of 6mm scale is to make scenic bases showing entire battalions or close to that with possible skirmishers, officers, even bits of terrain. To have the unit "en masse".

Yes the 60x30 base will give you that look and allow you to make mini-dioramas.

2. I have not chosen rules, but may write my own to have grand tactical battles that show an entire corps in action.

The Polemos Napoleonic rules by Baccus will allow you to play small actions and big battles. It's two separate rules bound together in one book. Even if there not to your liking it can be the perfect foundation to work from. It's founded on the 60x30 base which is the base you are using. Rule writing is a major undertaking of its own and generally takes years of development and play testing. Plus a great deal of period knowledge.

3. Given #2, I don't intend to necessarily have giant historical simulations of things like Apsern Essing, but showing one and maybe 2 corps in action per side someday when I get enough stuff painted.

Nice, it certainly helps to know where your going.

When reading Gill's Thunder on the Danube, I see that Austrian Regiments were giant compared to French and Allied German. Ex. One regt= 3 field battalions of 6 companies of 218-238 men. That is a battalion of over 1200 men even if somewhat understrength still over 1000. Comparing this to French and Germans who had 4 battalions or two battalions of 4 companies of 140 to 180 men.

Am I getting that right?

Field strengths are fluid and not always easy to pin down. They can vary from campaign to campaign and of course day to day. Austrian line battalions in 1809 probably did average around 1000 while others were maybe closer to 500. The French and Germans were probably 600-700. You need to obtain the actual order of battle which I think is in Gill's book.

For basing I'm thinking about 60mm wide and 30 deep for one battalion. Then a regiment can be shown as in line if these battalions are abreast of one another and in column if they arrayed in depth.

Yes, that's exactly how 60x30 bases look.

Still, not sure on the number of miniatures to place on the base. 20 miniatures would do nicely for a French or German btn, but would need then about 32 or so for an Austrian. Not sure they would fit and look okay.

The norm for most 6mm players is two ranks of 12 figures (24) for all nations. Some also include a few skirmishers in front as decoration or markers for the rules to show different types or values. In Polemos you put a number or strength on the base i.e. each base represents 500-700 men etc. So if a battalion is significantly bigger you would use two bases.

Finally, as to the light and grenadiers, would they be deployed off to the sides/flanks of the regiment in line as one body of each type? If so, this further complicates basing.

Polemos does not separate these companies, their values are built into the main unit. So you can paint them as part of the main base if you want or just ignore them. Once you separate them your rules will get bogged down with all these little stands having to be accounted for, moved, etc. Avoid the headaches and keep everything on one base.

Now, what about the cavalry?:)

Polemos simply puts 9 figures on a base and lets you decide what you want to call it. In most cases it's considered as a cavalry regiment.

If you purchase your figures from Baccus they are sold in bags that match the 60x30 basing. One bag of infantry is 96 figures/4 bases of 24, cavalry 45 figures/5 bases of 9.

Hope this helps you out and if I can assist you further just ask.

Best regards,

Glenn

Wealdmaster17 Jun 2017 6:38 p.m. PST

Glenn, thanks for your thoughtful reply. At the moment I've got ESR rules. The scale of 100 yards or 75 yards seems close to 60 by 30mm but not exactly the same.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 6:38 p.m. PST

Hmm. Just to be clear. Yes, Austrian line battalions were substantially larger than French or Napoleon's GErman allies at the start of the campaign--over 1,000, possibly nearer 1,200. Field strength by Aspern-Essling or Wagram is another matter, and how it affects basing will be a function of the rules. (The Austrian "battalionmasse" could be VERY compact.)
Austrian lights (jaegers and grenzer5s) and grenadiers were not organic to the line battalions the way the French were, though. Light infantry were usually in separate "Avant-garde" divisions, and Grenadiers often in distinct corps. And those battalions were smaller than the line battalions--mostly in the 500-600 man range of the French. Buy and paint to your heart's content, but read a little about the OOB before you base. Bowden and Tarbox, maybe?

And good luck! It's an interesting campaign. Don't neglect the Bavarians.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 6:40 p.m. PST

Should add: Didn't mean to be talking down. If I'm telling you things you already know, by apologies.

Wealdmaster17 Jun 2017 7:55 p.m. PST

More good insights. Good reads are the Ospreys on tactics. Prussian and French. The Osprey on Austrian infantry and grenadiers is also good at explaining tactics. I guess the Austrian tactics would be similar to other Germans.

Sho Boki18 Jun 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

Yes, 60x30 bases are good for EMPEROR rules too. Then Unit will consist with two bases (Batallions).
24 troopers in two ranks (or 12 in one rank, for economy reasons) in middle of base and little magnetic sheets on flanks for markers.
Troops ratio then is 1:20 and 1km is 50-60 cm on table.

Glenn Pearce18 Jun 2017 12:34 p.m. PST

Hello Wealdmaster!

Your welcome. Most rule sets will work with 60x30 basing as they are, while others might require a house rule or two. It's a lot easier to adjust rules then change basing.

In case you don't know I should mention that the 60x30 base is also used for limbers, caissons, wagons, etc. The 30x30 base is for guns and their crew and commanders. Two bases for your entire collection.

Best regards,

Glenn

Wealdmaster18 Jun 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

I like the simplicity of two bases.

CATenWolde20 Jun 2017 2:15 a.m. PST

The "math" of Napoleonic basing is actually pretty straightforward: a 40mm battalion frontage roughly equates to a 1" = 100 yards ground scale. From that starting point, you just have to think about what size of games you want to play, how you want to represent your units aesthetically, and whether you want to show formations (for which you would need a minimum of 2 bases per unit).

So, a 60mm battalion frontage base equates to a 1" = 75 yards ground scale – a little awkward, but probably a good middle ground between the largest battles and smaller actions. While a single base will be prettier, 2x30mm bases would allow you to show formations.

While I'm going to use big 60mm frontage bases for the 6mm ancients I recently inherited, I'll still use 20mm magnetic bases for my upcoming 6mm Napoleonics, and then sabot them as needed depending on what type of game I'm playing. It's by far the most flexible system, and I don't think the aesthetic hit will be that large.

Glenn Pearce20 Jun 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

Hello CATenWolde!

"The "math" of Napoleonic basing is actually pretty straightforward: a 40mm battalion frontage roughly equates to a 1" = 100 yards ground scale."

I think that depends on your "math". Most "old school rules" tell you what ground scale is used which varies from rule set to rule set. Some "new school rules" are not very strict on ground scales and at least one does not even have a ground scale. Although rarely a problem I don't think I've seen a rule set where you couldn't adjust the scales to work with your base size. In some cases you can even just ignore them.

"While a single base will be prettier, 2x30mm bases would allow you to show formations."

Most modern 6mm Napoleonic rule sets don't waste their time showing formations. That's considered a function below the level of the game design.

"While I'm going to use big 60mm frontage bases for the 6mm ancients I recently inherited,"

Great choice as that base size is now also growing in popularity with ancients 6mm players as well. People simply want a single basing system for all their 6mm collections where ever possible.

"I'll still use 20mm magnetic bases for my upcoming 6mm Napoleonics, and then sabot them as needed depending on what type of game I'm playing. It's by far the most flexible system, and I don't think the aesthetic hit will be that large."

Main stream 6mm Napoleonic players have not been able to find a practical use for small 20mm bases. The 60x30 base works just fine. Small bases are awkward to handle and create a game that just has way too many moving parts and a full catalogue of different base sizes. I've never seen a sabot system that looked good.

Best regards,

Glenn

Sho Boki21 Jun 2017 3:14 a.m. PST

Hi Glenn!

60x30 works fine because the ratio is 2:1.
Smaller bases are may be awkward to handle because 6mm figures are too little to grab with fingers. Therefore 8mm is better indeed. But nothing is wrong with smaller bases himself.

60x30 is excellent for 28mm troops, but when we want to play bigger battles on smaller tables, we use smaller figures and smaller bases. If we use 60x30 bases for battalions, then our ground scales are approximately 60mm=100m and 60cm=1km. So battlefield depth on ordinary tables is no more than 2km, wich is too small for maneuvres and reserves.

Main stream is fashion, vogue. It changes. So "way too many moving parts" may be fashion for tomorrow. After players tired to look for Units values in thick books or lists of papers and prefer to see all information presented on table by beautiful figures-markers.
And then 60x20 bases looks enormous gigantics and very clumsy. Outfashioned. ;-)


Four 8mm bases and markers on left contra one 6mm base on right.

Glenn Pearce22 Jun 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Hello Sho!

Always a pleasure to hear from you and see your stuff.

Best regards,

Glenn

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