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"All Square - Diorama Update" Topic

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1,181 hits since 22 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Arcane Steve22 Sep 2017 7:58 a.m. PST

This is a follow up to an earlier blog post. The idea is to make a 'practical diorama' that can be used on the wargames table when your unit is forced into square. The diorama is based on the stand of the 27th Regt at Waterloo. I hope that you find it useful.


IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

A superb diorama that is also practical for a war game. I really appreciated the history behind the 27th square at Waterloo.

Well done! Thanks for sharing it here.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

Great work – very creative!

God wills it Inactive Member22 Sep 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

Very nice, well executed.
An excellent idea that I may just have to copy.

Garde de Paris22 Sep 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

I have always been concerned that our squares in wargames are too big.

Using 40 figures in 2 ranks for a British Battalion in line, a square – at least at Waterloo – would be 4 ranks on a side. That would have an open frontage of 10 figures, 4 deep, then to be formed into square.

This square would only be 2.5 figures wide on each side – a great "fire center," but a dense target. That could be 3, 2,3,2 forming a "square." In my 28mm games, 3 figures would occupy 2 inches. 40, 2 deep, would be 12 inches, 34mm wide (each figure on 17mm wooden slat).

Now we can see why cavalry had such a hard time with steady infantry in square. Only 2 or cavalry figures could attack each side of a square – 8 figures – but 40 could fire back!

The idea of a permanently-mounted square for (1) display, or (2) game board is a great one!


This square is well done, and useful. But perhaps only 4 stands should be used on the wargame table?

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 2:54 p.m. PST


Markconz22 Sep 2017 4:44 p.m. PST

Very nicely done!

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member23 Sep 2017 1:36 a.m. PST

GdeP, I think you have made the mistake of scaling down the number of men/figures, without scaling down the number of ranks. With one figure representing 20 men, you would have to allow those 20 men to be in a notional two ranks to fit the space. Thus your 40-figure battalion should really have 5x2 men on each side.

Garde de Paris23 Sep 2017 4:15 a.m. PST

Hello, "Super Max,"

I understand that the British at Waterloo formed squares 4 ranks deep. 800 men would be 200 on each side, with 50 more or less in each rank. 50 men at 1:20 would be 2.5 figures, so use 3 2 3 2.

I would hesitate to try to form a real 800-figure square especially of the very fragile Victrix 28mm plastics to test this, but is could be instructive. I wonder just now "hollow" the square would be.

800 men in line, two deep, would be 400 across. At 2 feet (24 inches) per "man," that would be 266 yards battalion frontage. They may have been more tightly packed, so 250 yards?

Gaps between battalions might have been 60 yards to permit some pass-through? I may be thinking French here to permit a section of guns or a squadron of cavalry to push through in advance or retreat, so use 30 yards.

Formed into square, the battalion would have been 50 men in each rank or 4 on a face. That's just over 30 yards.
110 yards to the gap of 30 yards then another 110 yards to the next battalion is well above "effective musket range," but formed in diamond (points forward, and toward each neighbor battalion) would have prevented them shooting at each other.

Does anyone have 2,400 figures to try to form 3 squares into line with gaps, then into square? Not I!


Lieutenant Lockwood23 Sep 2017 1:22 p.m. PST

Agree; beautifully done! I especially admire the standards; very nicely rendered.
I'm a bit of a geek on the 1/27th at Waterloo, having done a master's thesis and a novel about them. Your summation of their battlefield experience is very accurate. I might add that the 1/27th had only seven of their ten companies present, which might have rendered their square a bit wonky. The senior officers were still at sea (literally), hence Captain, Brevet Major Hare's command of the battalion.
Thanks again for sharing such fine work! Regards.. Mark

Art24 Sep 2017 11:56 a.m. PST

Well done…!

Perhaps you might want to do Rorke's Drift just for fun !!

Best Regards

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