Help support TMP

"More Napoleonics at Historicon 2018" Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Wargaming in the USA Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Back to the Historical Wargaming in General Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Battle Reports Message Board

Back to the Getting Started with Napoleonics Message Board

Back to the Conventions and Wargame Shows Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Ruleset

1,169 hits since 24 Jul 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

The Wargaming Company25 Jul 2018 6:03 a.m. PST

Our 3rd ESR Napoleonics game at Historicon 2018.

The French took up a defensive posture, but that didn't last long. There was a lot of jockeying for position and maneuver before the first series of blows landed. The Austrians did well but the French did better, and the cumulative effect convinced the Austrians to withdraw instead of committing good after bad.

A detailed AAR and more photos can be seen in our Gallery.

Rules: ESR Napoleonic Second Edition
Miniatures: ESR Box Sets
Terrain: Battlescale


marshalGreg25 Jul 2018 7:28 a.m. PST

A more direct Link
Very Nice!

Notice the Austrian and French battalions seem equivalent in size. For most of campaign the Austrian units were 1/3 larger. Is there a specific reason to this "making a level playing field" when historically it may not?
In planning stages for my Fall-In game I have that situation where one side is typically 1/3 to 1/2 again larger unit vs unit and to plan accordingly.

The Wargaming Company25 Jul 2018 7:10 p.m. PST

Notice the Austrian and French battalions seem equivalent in size.

With the release of our 1:160 scale aka 10mm ESR Box Sets, we decided to go with a standard base size (30x30mm). This was done largely for ease of game play and logistics of the figure scale. A 30mm square base is effectively 180 yards square. The reasoning was that we would compromise on this base size because using bases smaller than this provided a poor visual aesthetic due to the number of figures that fit, and bases larger than this quickly become strangely large.

As you know, ESR's working assumption is that battalions control, not occupy their base. So in this case, a larger Austrian battalion may actually occupy more of the base than a French battalion does or than a Russian battalion does. However, in all cases, the base continues to be the area "controlled" not occupied. Obviously troop strengths of given battalions vary not only between campaigns and nations, but also within campaigns.


marshalGreg26 Jul 2018 5:53 a.m. PST

Understand and thought that was the case….
for my planning of an upcoming game/ a specific campaign, If I take that route of use of a common base for best aesthetics and easier play, do you have a suggestion as to HOW to address/recapture the historical tactical advantage the one side had in larger units, in regards to a modification in the game play that captures this historical condition at hand? It's significance I do not think should be lost/left out, but do not know how to best recapture.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jul 2018 10:28 a.m. PST

Any advantage conferred by having larger battalions disappears when a game's scope zooms out to Grand Tactical.

If corps or divisions meet on a roughly equal frontage, there is no advantage to having that frontage made up of 8 large battalions, rather than 12 small battalions. If two divisions attack one, the size of the battalions becomes largely irrelevant to the outcome.

Including a consideration of battalion size in a game of corps and divisions would be like having a game of regiments and brigades that gave an advantage to sub-units whose men were, on the average, 2 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier – significant, perhaps, on an individual level but otherwise meaningless within the scope of the game.

The Wargaming Company27 Jul 2018 4:26 a.m. PST


As you may know, for ESR's combat mechanic does provide a variable for:

Opposing a Larger Unit
Opposing Multiple Units

If a Unit is facing another Unit which is deemed larger (respectively) in combat, then the larger Unit receives a combat advantage. If two Units are facing a single Unit, then the first of the two to resolve combat receives an advantage. The net result is that if one larger Unit is facing two smaller Units, in the first combat resolution, the odds will be even, however, if the larger Unit wins against the first Unit, it will be advantaged over the second. You can accomplish this by designating some Units to be larger than others, and/or basing the miniatures on variable sized bases to represent this on the tabletop visually if you like.

From a design philosophy standpoint, ESR agrees with War Artisan that such differences "come out in the wash" due to the scape of the game. And thus, while this mechanic is there for those who wish to use it, we found it more practical when releasing our ESR Box Sets to provide uniform basing. Our play testing leading up to the 2016 release of ESR Second Edition had shown there was a minimal to zero impact on the result of games except where battalion sizes were min-maxed which was a test condition counter to any historical implementation.

You'd mentioned in another thread that you were considering both Austerlitz, or a large action from 1809 for Fall-In. In 1805, by the time of Austerlitz, few battalions are anything similar to full strength. The Austrians are a mess, the Russians are quite reduced, and the French are a mixed bag. In 1809, it becomes a difficult question, while many Austrian battalions are over 1,000 men, some are under 500-600. The ratio for the French Army is different, but it too has both larger and smaller battalions involved in the campaigns.


Lord Hollier27 Jul 2018 5:59 a.m. PST

Recently I've been noodling about the same issue (i.e., different base sizes) as I've pulled out my hundreds of 6mm figures – but the differences in base sizes at 150 or 200 yards scale are minor.

It was my understanding of the British in the Peninsular that finally made me decide to have a standard base size. New battalions coming out from Britain would have 1000-1100 men, while units in the field might have 400 to 700. However, it seems that all units, irrespective of manpower, were expected to occupy approximately the same sized area when in line. Hence some in three ranks and some in two.

This matches with David's "battalions control, not occupy their base" concept.

I figured that for significantly larger or smaller units (in terms of manpower), I would just adjust the unit's Combat Rating – thereby having the same effect as the "Opposing Larger Unit(s)" modifier.

And now I know at least one of the games I'm going to try and get into at Fall In!
Greg, what day/time are you thinking of running your game?

John H.

marshalGreg27 Jul 2018 8:04 a.m. PST

Lord Hollier
Saturday-most likely the Morning.

All appreciate the replies. I have the perspective now and it has made clearer a possible solution.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.