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"Why Battalions and not Corps " Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2018 12:40 p.m. PST

"I was pleased to receive so many comments, and such thought provoking ones, to my last post "When is a game too big". Indeed it was those comments which suggested the subject of this post.

I have often wondered why Napoleonic wargaming rules are designed around an infantry battalion, rather than a corps. It seems to me that the essence of Napoleonic warfare is large formations of 20,000 men or so. Even small Napoleonic battles are much larger than most wargamers can cope with using battalion based rules.

I suspect for most of us the glamour of the period is first and foremost the uniforms. But a close second is the image of Napoleon or Wellington directing their corps and divisions in grand strategic and tactical manoeuvres…."
Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

alan lockhart Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2018 12:57 p.m. PST

Very interesting article. That is why I use Snappy Nappy for Napoleonics and Bloody Big Battles for American Civil War games.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2018 1:28 p.m. PST

Funny. I also started "grown up" miniature wargaming in 1969, but the author and I remember the period quite differently. For one thing, Young was quite explicit about representation: those 16 casting units were companies, and there were three or four of them to a battalion. (It was CS Grant who had "units" and only in his scenario books.) For another, we had perfectly good OOB for Waterloo, thank you. Avoiding very high levels of representation wasn't an accident: it was a choice.

But the answer he obviously doesn't want--why some wargamers prefer Napoleonics below the multiple-corps level--is two-fold.
First, Napoleonics does have tactics and interesting ones at the brigade and division level. In that sense, higher-level Napoleonics games are SYW or ACW games with a different combat results table.
Second, high-level horse and musket gaming has too much that's critical below the level of the wargamer--effectively random. Writing and transmitting orders becomes more important than making decisions. So roll a die to see how many orders you can issue, and roll a die to see whether they were received and carried out. Oh, I forgot: be "realistic" and give the French an edge on this prior to 1812. Those die rolls are the most important part of the game, since the tactical decisions are now out of your control.
You don't like that? Have I got a deal for you! Committee games. Gather up six or eight friends and spend the weekend in a simulated Napoleonic headquarters trying to receive reports, make a decision and push the orders out the door. Want to be realistic? Throw in leaky tents, bad lighting, worse handwriting and inaccurate maps.

I'm afraid I can't make it, though. I'll be trying to take a bridge with a reinforced brigade--28mm, about 1:20.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2018 4:00 p.m. PST

Maybe it's because a miniature wargame's fundamental element is the miniature? If you have painted up a group of 25mm figures in the uniform of the 44th (East Essex) Regiment at Waterloo, then it naturally follows that they should represent the 44th on your tabletop. Voila, the battalion becomes the basic unit of your game.

Robert, I agree with your comment about the interest and appeal of Napoleonic tactics at brigade and division level. But I think you're a bit harsh in dismissing those to be made at higher level. Bloody Big Battles (BBB) was my effort to allow players to make those decisions and still have a fun game. Sure, there is a random element, but that's part of the fun or frustration when the dice dictate that your subordinates have let you down.

Over the past year I've actually been exploring an even higher level than the multi-corps battle. In connection with my forthcoming edition of Clausewitz's history of Napoleon's 1796 campaign, I've been using stripped-down BBB for games that depict a week or so of operations in an area maybe 30-50km across – still on a 6'x4' table, and playing through in an hour to 90 minutes. These have really distilled the game down so that there are key decisions (operational rather than tactical) to be made every turn and have been absolutely fascinating.

For the Clausewitz book:
link

For the 1796 scenarios, look in the BBB Yahoo group files:
link

For some nice photo-AARs of these being played by the Corlears Hook Fencibles in New York, see here:
link

I'll finish by quoting the introduction to the BBB rulebook (which relates to the "when is a game too big?" question):

"The important battles of the late nineteenth century involved armies of up to 100,000 men or more, on battlefields 10 miles wide or more. We were tired of trying to recreate them with rules that needed 20 players to wargame on a basketball court for a week. With BBB, you can fight a major battle to a conclusion in an evening, get a clear result, and gain a real understanding of the historical event."

Chris

Bloody Big BATTLES!

nsolomon9907 Jul 2018 5:25 p.m. PST

For me its about deciding where to deploy the skirmish screen, when to form square, at what point should I form line from column and so on. And I want to be making decisions about where the howitzer section of the battery should be directing its fire and when to change from ball shot to canister, etc.

These decisions are largely made at the Infantry Battalion, Battery, Cavalry Regiment level, not Corps level.

On the odd occasions I feel like re-fighting Leipzig or Wagram I choose a set of rules at that scale.

Sho Boki08 Jul 2018 12:05 a.m. PST

I solved the problem for EMPEROR rules by this way – battalions are subunits for game units and have no separate actions but are presented by separate stands. So we may paint and see on table every battalion.

Game units (from regiment to division) may consist from 2 to 8 subunits (battalions) and perform all major actions like skirmishing, reforming etc.

With 6mm or 8mm figs the table scale will be 1:10.000, so 10cm=1km. Plenty space for maneuvre and for big battles even on kitchen desk.

And what is more important, the picture of battle will be right.
Thin lines will be not looks like deep columns anymore.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 2:41 p.m. PST

Avoiding very high levels of representation wasn't an accident: it was a choice.

That is interesting (to one who wasn't there): why was that choice made then and then a different choice made later on? And why bother with bath-tubbed games (which seems to have been relatively common) if that desire to re-fight the big battles wasn't there?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 3:04 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 5:07 p.m. PST

To me, if I play a high level game then it isn't worth the time to paint up the different regiments with their associated battalions. Might as well have colored blocks and push those around which is why many of us choose the more tactical level because of the "eye candy".
Use what you like and what makes sense for the group you're in because it all comes down to how much space and time do you have to run the level of game you'd prefer to play.

Edwulf08 Jul 2018 6:46 p.m. PST

Because it's fun for me to know and see which regiments are doing what. It's part of the barritive of the battle.

If I'm using them to represent higher formations then as others have said. Wooden blocks or counters. And all the "fun" the bayonet charges, capturing standards, crushing vollies, failed flanking moves… that's all condenced to board game levels … like risk. Not interesting.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 9:15 p.m. PST

Why are 600 figures organized in 20 "battalions" of 30 better eye-candy than in 75 "brigades" of 8?

Sho Boki09 Jul 2018 1:13 a.m. PST

Good point, Whirlwind! Can anybody explain this?

Garth in the Park09 Jul 2018 1:27 a.m. PST

Can anybody explain this?

I always assumed it had something to do with the use of musician and officer figures, and flags. All of those are created with the intention of representing some battalion or regiment. The drummers in such-and-such regiment wore green and yellow and the flag was unique, and so on. So the aesthetics lend themselves to representing battalions, or at least regiments.

That said, the same is true of the ACW, and when we played Fire and Fury and all units were "generic," it didn't seem to bother anybody.

Sho Boki09 Jul 2018 1:52 a.m. PST

But these officerc, musicians, flags and even skirmishers and NCO don't disappear. These are markers, who gives depth to thin battlelines.
Yes, we need these not for every battalion, but for every game unit anyway.

GarryWills09 Jul 2018 4:01 a.m. PST

For me the issue with playing at Corps level is that you lose a lot of the period flavour, I am not sure that leading a corps differed much throughout the 19th century. So Volley and Bayonet for example is a similar game throughout the century. Similarly Fire & Fury has been extended to cover the whole century. Hence corps level games seem to be most often fought with GendeBrig or Blackpowder on a mega scale with multiple players playing at battalion level.

Regards

Garry

caseshotpublishing.com

Sho Boki09 Jul 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

"the issue with playing at Corps level is that you lose a lot of the period flavour"


This is only if corps are the lowest level of units.
But if corps are groups of game units for fulfilling some tasks, then no flavor will be lost.

Player, as high commander, give orders to Corps (activates Corps commanders) to move somewhere and then act as all activated Corps commanders and play with their Divisions/Brigades.
The only restriction for Corps commanders (and for all generals in game actually) is that they cannot change their objectives without new order from higher commander.

Aethelflaeda was framed09 Jul 2018 5:21 a.m. PST

I have been of mixed opinions for awhile on this. My games are primarily in the Peninsula so the size of the battles are on the smaller side, so I have often found my interest was around the battalion and micromanaging formations down to the skirmish company but of a battle where 50-60 maneuver units was played. Space limitations and minimal painting time makes my battalions usually about 1:100. I liked the game, but I never could finish a game in a day of play, more players did not help due to other forms of friction to speedy play dragging back the shared duty of managing so many multistand elements.

Playing just a sector as the whole game with just a dozen multistand elements has its charms but I still want to fight out the big picture as often as not.

I discovered Blücher a few years back and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed a brigade as the unit of maneuver. Borodino suddenly was doable in a single day. Granted the figure ration went to 1:150-200 and the differentiating of distinct battalions for color and romance somewhat diluted.

I can't say which I prefer, but I find the effort between line vs column vs skirmisher nuances are becoming in my eyes less and less important or valuable if the procedure takes up so much more time to resolve.

marshalGreg09 Jul 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

Has anyone played Empire III?
In the day, there were 4 or more corps per side, worked from maps to create the table entrances supported by the higher level command mechanics and we had a result by 7pm with some 10 plays?
That was Alabama… I could go back home a few weeks later and do the same in Ohio with my old crew!
Those were the days!
No bath tubing there required!

thistlebarrow209 Jul 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

I raised this question on my blog having pondered why the "founding fathers" of the modern wargame decided to base their rules on an infantry battalion rather than a corps.

It was not to question why folk now use 12, 24 or 36 figure battalions. Certainly not to be critical of them for doing so.

Imagine that you are living in UK in the mid 1960s and you want to write a commercial set of rules to play a Napoleonic wargame.

There are very few existing wargamers and no organised clubs. Most wargamers play at each other's house. Only the lucky few would have a custom made wargames table. Most would play on the kitchen table, or on the floor.

You have a blank sheet of paper and you start to design your rules.

The only commercial figures available are 54mm, 30mm and 20mm. Most wargamers will use 20mm plastic Airfix because they are the cheapest.

There are only two generally available existing wargame rules. Little Wars by HG Wells is the only one written for civilians. It is designed to play with 54mm toy soldiers. Army staff colleges use Kreigspeil to train their officers. These are similar to complicated board games, they use counters rather than model soldiers.

You consider what size playing area your prospective buyer will have. Unless they play on the floor they will be restricted to about 6 foot by 4 foot. On this size of playing area you could deploy about 300 20mm figures on each side.

So your army will be a maximum of 300 figures. This includes infantry, cavalry and artillery. So lets say 260 infantry. How will you organise those 260 figures?

You look at your reference books and you calculate that the average infantry battalion was 600 men. So your 260 infantry would equal 7800 men. An infantry division.

You look again and quickly discover that Napoleonic battles were usually fought between 60,000 men or more. Austerlitz has 73000 French and 85000 Allies troops. Many battles were much larger.

Or you could organise your 260 infantry as 32 brigades of 8 figures each. With 4 infantry battalions per brigade that would give you 128 infantry battalions. Your 260 model soldiers now represent 76800 men. You could now fight Austerlitz.

Your prospective buyer could now start to collect his Napoleonic army. The first 24 figures he bought would represent an infantry division of 3 brigades, rather than one infantry battalion.

You can see why I wonder why they decided on the infantry battalion rather than the corps.

Dexter Ward09 Jul 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

And the French always won!

marshalGreg09 Jul 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

One should look at ESR ( En San Resutant)
You have the battalions represented (and to paint up)
You manage a corps typically.
And can a result in 5 hrs or less.

I ran the entire April 18-19th 1809 opportunity for the Erzog Karl to destroy Davout, as mini campaign.
with a few veteran players of the ESR rules and rest newbies to the period and rules, the events were recreated nearly identical to the historical with fighting at the same cross roads with much the same Corps with much the same results, all from the same maps and intel of the campaign.
It was amazing how that unfolded!
Some time is just takes a combination of things and one rules to do it all with is not realistic.
A good set of rules that addresses the battalion in a corps level of command surely helps!

and yes some 135 battalions in 12 or 18 fig ea, 68 sqdn groups of 3 to 4 cavalry fig each or some 2330 figs at ~1:60 ratio to historical.

Aethelflaeda was framed09 Jul 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

One other than thing to add that is swaying me to brigades as the unit of maneuver is that my battalion based rules give very strong incentive to fighting in double lines ( or even triple lines if you have skirmishers) composer of single battalions in either line or column themselves. The command control rules and combat rules reward the presence of another unit behind the front line battalion Since the battalions essentially stick to its siblings in the brigade, I have found the extra effort of tracking stats and moving 20-30 stands of a brigade to be 4 times the work with out any real decisions to make that matter enough to merit it.

If you want a game where one stand (largish and filled with as many figs as you need, the stand is the pawn) equals one corps, that is pretty easily done but artillery and cavalry interaction/distinction mostly disappear. I have played several board games at that scale but it's not much different in flavor from a game of DBA where there is only three types of elements. Cav, infantry, maybe a grand battery. I expect Bluecher could easily be turned into a division or corps per stand game if you throw out ranged combat except for the grand battery.

Garth in the Park09 Jul 2018 7:59 a.m. PST

Napoleonic battles were usually fought between 60,000 men or more

The huge majority of battles were way smaller than that. It's just that we always focus on the two or three dozen big, famous ones.

Actually, I think that's basically the answer to the original question. Wargames do in fact equip you to play those smallish battles that were the majority of Napoleonic engagements. Battles like Rollica or Maida or Saalfeld, or a hundred other less-known ones. But wargamers have visions of Austerlitz and Waterloo in their heads.

For some reason WW2 gamers are OK with just playing some little bit of a famous battle, they don't usually say "Let's play all of The Bulge or all of Stalingrad," or whatever. And Ancients gamers are OK with totally fictional battles that represent comparable forces that may or may not have ever fought. But Napoleonics gamers tend to want to play the same three dozen big, famous battles over and over again.

AICUSV09 Jul 2018 12:17 p.m. PST

I like the idea of "higher level" battles. I have no problem using an organization that has a single figure represent a company/battalion/ what ever. I've done several games over the years using differing rules (some borrowed from board games. Last one I did was the Normandy campaign starting at D-Day + 7, 1944. The game was based on division level operations, with each model representing a battalion. Some of the players still viewed it as a company level game.

4th Cuirassier09 Jul 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

If you collect 300 figures that represent a whole army, what is the point of a club in which 6 people all own 300 figures? 1500 are redundant because you only need one army and you have six.


Further, for many of us the point of Napoleonics is the unit level tactics. Abstract those away and you might as well be playing a board game.

Wargaming is a gregarious thing where you and your mates get together and the more mates you have the better the battles. All the early rule books were about battles with lots of players in a club context.

Lion in the Stars09 Jul 2018 6:13 p.m. PST

Or you could organise your 260 infantry as 32 brigades of 8 figures each. With 4 infantry battalions per brigade that would give you 128 infantry battalions. Your 260 model soldiers now represent 76800 men. You could now fight Austerlitz.

Your prospective buyer could now start to collect his Napoleonic army. The first 24 figures he bought would represent an infantry division of 3 brigades, rather than one infantry battalion.

You can see why I wonder why they decided on the infantry battalion rather than the corps.


I blame Wellington and the other generals who wrote memoirs of giving orders to individual battalions.

Obviously, Nosey thought it was important enough to stop managing the whole battle to kick the 43rd in the butt and get them doing what he wanted, ergo battalions in general were the most important part of things.

But speaking as a veteran, you remember the unusual things, not the day-to-day routine.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2018 7:08 a.m. PST

Further, for many of us the point of Napoleonics is the unit level tactics. Abstract those away and you might as well be playing a board game.

It is slightly odd that many Napoleonic gamers focus on the tactics of the company/battalion, the squadron/regiment & the battery as giving the Napoleonic period its particular flavour when these organizations had been around for at least 100 years or so and the genuine innovations in the use of divisions and corps are considered too generic…

But I don't understand how the abstracting away or not of unit level tactics relates to playing a board game or not. Martin Wallace's (excellent) Waterloo boardgame has its columns, lines and squares, Grande Armee/Blucher/V&B/Polemos/HFG are all (equally excellent) miniature games without unit level tactics. I am clearly missing something here.

N0tt0N Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

Classic arguments :)

I think 4th Cuirassier hits it on the head in his last paragraph. Having started with Empire, then Empire 3, then Legacy of Glory, it was about having many players on a side and the sheer scale and mass of all the colorful stuff and slaving all day with some awesome stories to tell. We did understand that things were missing and added chrome for fog-of-war and command intention, etc., over time. We had campaign games to handle the higher level activities.

The rest of the discussion is mostly red herrings, I think, confusing levels of analysis. Pick the rules that exercise the challenges you wish to understand and participate in.

Truth be told most gamers don't really want to be constricted by the realities of the time (like how long it will take for you to tell your boss sixty miles away what is happening and have him tell you what to do in flowery, imprecise language. Others love that. "When Do I shoot?" vs. "How can I plan and manage?". For some it is too much like "work" to deal with logistics which, frankly, is the real determinate of most historical activities and often results. It also results in fewer real decisions over the course of a battle (with some random process to keep you interested while you wait for the results to give you another moment of intervention). The OODA Loop of interest determines the scale and the scale determines what 'matters' at that level.

The generic rules exist because there is a large body of players that just don't care about the details and want to get through a game of something before dinner. This is not an insult – just a fact. Different strokes.

So, "Get at 'em!" or "Get Organized", your choice.

I Drink Your Milkshake11 Jul 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

I enjoy battalion maneuvering, and when somebody puts on a historical game with 8,000 bayonets a side AND i have never heard of it. Well that is magic to me.

I am too familiar with Borodino and the other big battles.

Teodoro de Reding12 Jul 2018 6:49 a.m. PST

Going back to the 'founding fathers' again, I started with Featherstone's "Wargames" in 1962 and then Wargamers' Newsletter rules and 'units' in those horse and musket rules (ACW in the book) were single battalion regiments of 20, 6-8 of which made a "division" and one played division level games. At North London Wargames Group in 70s – ditto, but with more historical basis, figure ratio 1:33 – divisional level – with attempts to refight big battles catastrophic.

I don't think the 'founding fathers' (UK) were that bothered about realism – they played. Certainly none of Featherstone's rules with their massive casualties were realistic- in the ACW demo game in the book a cavalry regiment charged an infantry unit behind a stone wall!!! I don't think the Pensinsula featured as much as assumed either (No British in stovepipes!!!).

I'm afraid I have stuck with lovingly building up my regiments, recording their foibles, promoting and demoting them on performance – for much the same reasons. The result is too many battalions to fit on even a very big table at once. I recently refought Ocaña (50,000 Spanish) at 1:25 in 25mm and it did take ages. But what fun. (With reference to the Jeffrey's thread I use Variable Length Bounds – which I picked up from Empire – but never switched to 'American' style army level rules.

Most of the 100 odd Peninsula battles, by the way, are with around 20,000 a side or less. Skirmish screens were important too.

I suspect the fundamental issue is time. If you want a game of a large battle to finish in one day you have to abstract. If you can leave your board up and play over a few weeks, you don't.

Martyn K12 Jul 2018 7:29 a.m. PST

I just love the way a battalion of 36 figures in 28mm looks; with drummers behind beating their drums to encourage the troops and a flag up front.
Also I like the look of a battery with four 28mm models of artillery pieces, four limbers and multiple caissons.
I enjoy correctly spacing the battalions so that they can march forward in column with skirmishers up front and then deploy into line.
The downside is that it means that I am limited to a division (or maybe two) per side. However, with the speed of my painting, this is not really a problem.

I can also see why people prefer less figures per battalion (or use a smaller scale) and have Corps level games.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 8:38 a.m. PST

Back in the early 70s UK wargames clubs met mostly in the evenings. We'd have about 3 to 4 hours to set up, play the game and put away. That meant you didn't have much time. A divisional action was possible. Anything bigger wasn't.

This tread continues, look at the games coming out of the UK today; ideal for playing quickly in a couple of hours then a swift pint in the pub to finish.

If you had longer, you'd bathtub the game – Charles Grant "The Wargame" does that perfectly, (if you like that kind of thing, I don't). The Battle of Mallwitz:

Prussians 31 battalions infantry, 33 squadrons and 37 guns become 10 units infantry 3 units of horse and 3 guns.
Austrians 18 battalions, 13 cavalry regiments and 19 guns became 7 units of infantry, 6 units of cavalry and 1 1/2 batteries. THAT WAS A BIG GAME. That's what you aspired to!

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Thinks about another point, a number of wargamers in the 1960s and 1970s were WWII veterans. A mentor of mine was a former Captain in the infantry. Featherstone was an NCO tankie. These men were used to thinking in terms of units with a Battalion as a large element. Our WWII rules were 1 man = 1 figure, 1 vehicle = 1 model. Wargame rules were written "bottom up", ie. how far could a man walk in x time, that was you move, it helped fix the ground scale. How many rounds could you fire in that time, then you fudged it, your move was 15 minutes but 'included elements of delay" as Phil Barker put it.

Today some rule writers take "Top Down" approach; what decisions can a commander make and how does it effect troops ESR is one such set, War Artisan's "Napoleonic Command II" is another.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

Quite interesting….

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

I just love the way a battalion of 36 figures in 28mm looks; with drummers behind beating their drums to encourage the troops and a flag up front.
Also I like the look of a battery with four 28mm models of artillery pieces, four limbers and multiple caissons.

Martyn, why do the figures look worse to you when they are in 3 units of 12 rather than 1 unit of 36? Why do the pieces, limbers and caissons look worse when they are representing 8 guns each rather than 2? Genuinely very curious.

Martyn K12 Jul 2018 1:11 p.m. PST

I guess that I like the look of a solid block of troops. It also allows me to reflect some of the details of the organization. For example my Saxon Battalion has four companies each of eight figures. Within these eight figures there are seven muskateers and an NCO. In one of the companies there is flag and flag guard.

This gives 32 figures. Behind these I have 4 drummers, a sappeur, two shutzen and a mounted chef de Battalion. Giving a total of around 40 troops.
All together it gives me a solid block of troops with some variation in troop type for painting and visual interest.
I also use Calpe Saxon figures so there is a lot of variation in pose and equipment between figures which I like.

I get what you are saying that the total number of figures are the same if I had 5 battalions of 8 figures, but I went to 28mm to get that impressive size look. The mass of a 30-40 figure battalion in 28mm just feels good to me.

If I wanted to go for a lot of battalions, I think that I would go for 15mm or 1/300 scale.

I guess I just like the look of a solid block of figures. I also do the Italian Wars around 1512, and again I go for 28mm. The smallest size of my pike blocks is 64 figures and I am currently working on a 256 figure Landschnekt pike block – you wouldn't believe how impressive a 28mm pike block with 256 figures looks with 10cm pikes marching across the table.

It comes down to just liking the look and feel of larger units.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 7:12 a.m. PST

Thanks Martyn, that is interesting.

N0tt0N Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 10:18 a.m. PST

If by larger you mean head count at around 9:1 you start to get the correct ground coverage for a miniature's base for three rank troops. The visual impact of how unwieldy a line is and how shallow a column is begins to be accurately reflected in a visual sense. You get a better sense of why things didn't get coordinated without some effort.

If by figure scale bigger is always better – it just isn't always practical! :)

And that's why we all got into this hobby. Because its PRACTICAL! ;)

Edwulf13 Jul 2018 5:58 p.m. PST

Very tiny units make the game look like a skirmish. 8 men as a battalion or brigade looks … inferior… to me.

Sho Boki14 Jul 2018 1:54 a.m. PST

I feel opposite. Very big battalions looks like 1:1 skirmish to me.
Especcially when there are buldings and trees in same scale as figures.

I have nothing against big battalions, but I can't imagine how to base them with 1cm front in 1:10.000 terrain scale, wich is obligatory, if we want to play big battles on small tables and fast.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2018 4:31 a.m. PST

Aesthetics do matter. Myself, I love 6mm for the mass battle effect it gives; if I were to start again now, I think I'd go 10mm because it gives that too but it's also easier to identify individual units.

At the same time, I can appreciate Martyn K and Edwulf's preference for big figures massed in big units. De gustibus non est disputandum!

And perhaps scale is also a clue to the answer to the OP. What figures did wargamers back in the 1960s have to start with? If they'd had 3mm or 6mm available, would their rules have been written differently?

Chris

Bloody big BATTLES!
link

4th Cuirassier14 Jul 2018 4:58 a.m. PST

I got into wargaming in the first place as a way to do something slightly more thoughtful with my Airfix stuff than shoot matchsticks and elastic bands at them all. So for me, it has always been about finding cool ways to organise them. Other people had them too, so your three boxes of 40-odd made five or six battalions, and your mates had five or six different battalions, so collectively you had a respectable force.

These were all HO/OO because the 1/32 were more expensive per box, you got fewer in a box, and tanks, vehicles and terrain were unaffordable.

I'd have been bewildered had I been advised that the best use of my miniatures was to buy different miniatures. I wasn't looking for something new to buy, I wanted to repurpose what I already had.

Edwulf14 Jul 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

Oh I like 6mm. I think 6mm you can get away with smaller units more. Something looks less right with an 8 figure battalion of 28mm. 6mm my Napoleonics are in 48 figure units… my 28mm I settle for 24 figures.

My Franco prussian and WSS armies are in 6mm scale and 24 fig units. I can use these as battalions or brigades but battalions feels better.

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