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"Grant's "Scenarios for All Ages" - assumed unit sizes?" Topic

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635 hits since 11 Aug 2017
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CATenWolde Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 1:18 a.m. PST


There might not be a real answer for this, but does anyone know if there was some sort of tacit assumption about default unit frontages made by Grant when he wrote these scenarios? Most would play rather differently if units were assumed to occupy a frontage of a "quarter square" or "half square" or "full square" (12 inches).

For instance, I'm looking at the very first scenario – Attack on a Prepared Position – and the defenders have 4 units + 1 artillery to defend a 7 square front.



battleeditor Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Aug 2017 5:08 a.m. PST

Grant would have based everything on his and his father's rules as published in "The War Game". Therefore infantry battalions/regiments (two ranks totalling 48 rank and file and 5 officers placed around the outside in no specific positions) had a frontage of 12.5 inches, cavalry squadrons (24 rank and file in two ranks, with three officers) a frontage of about 7 inches (remember he was using slender Spencer-Smiths at the time, and admits that the frontage of a squadron should really be about 10 inches). His artillery batteries are represented by two gun models with gunners placed to occupy a frontage of about 4 inches.

Most of the information can be found in "The War Game" pages 90-95 or thereabouts, though he infamously scattered tidbits throughout the book!


boy wundyr x Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 6:34 a.m. PST

I've taken a pretty liberal interpretation of those scenarios (and all others in the family) and used some for man-to-man skirmishes, others for fantasies with assorted hordes and I just ratio'd things up till my basing meshed with the scenario and my table size for the rules. If I was doing WSS for instance with Twilight of the Sun King, I'd be using brigades instead of battalions.

CATenWolde Inactive Member11 Aug 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

Thanks! I thought I had remembered the 12" battalion frontage from somewhere, but couldn't nail it down. I agree the scenarios can be flexible, but knowing what the designer had in mind is always a good thing.



robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

Henry is, unsurprisingly, correct on all points. But if you need confirmation, you can search out the original run of "Table Top Teasers" in Battles for Wargamers and Military Modeling. Those were two-parters with the scenario in one issue and a battle report of playing the scenario in the next--so you can actually see the battles fought out (sometimes) with the original Grant SYW armies--or sometimes with what were probably SAE ACW armies, or Ancients--perhaps 30mm flats. The board was, as I recall, a foot or so off the SFW board, and all the teasers which made it into the book were modified somewhat.
But for frontage, I find that when adapting the scenarios, figuring a line infantry unit at 1/8 table frontage and light infantry and cavalry units half the numbers with cavalry fighting in two ranks gets you close enough.

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