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"How many miniatures needed for a infantry/cavalry regiment?" Topic

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640 hits since 8 Feb 2019
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Comments or corrections?

Matsukaze08 Feb 2019 6:52 p.m. PST

I am a fan of 28mm minis, but not sure how many minis needed for a regiment. I suppose a box of plastic infantry from Perry or Victrix stands for a battalion, and a box of plastic cavalry is a cavalry regiment,but the number of minis in the boxes varies, for example, 14 horsemen in a Perry box whereas 12 in a Warlord box.
On the other hand, if we put different units together, for example, an fusilier regiment of 900 people and a grenadier regiment of 600, how could the difference between the true numbers of these units be represented with minis?
So, how could I make a regiment with a proper number of minis?Hope good guys provide me some advice. Thx!

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 7:02 p.m. PST

It will all depend upon the rules you decide to use and what ratio of men to figures is utilized.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 7:15 p.m. PST


Some rules have a 1:60 figure to man ratio.
Some have 1:20.

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 7:48 p.m. PST

And some rules do not have any direct figure to man ratio. So, work out which rules you wish to use and go from there. If you are now going to ask for rules recommendations, be prepared for the deluge.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2019 7:53 p.m. PST

Often helpful to look at it the other way. Decide how many castings make a satisfactory unit to you, then look for the rules which would allow or encourage a unit of that size. Otherwise, you'll wind up with "the rules play perfectly well, but X many figures just doesn't look like a battalion to me."

There is also much to be said for rules with the same basing system but different levels of representation, so the unit which is a squadron under one set is a regiment under another.

But you need to start looking at some rules and some games in progress.

Prince Alberts Revenge08 Feb 2019 8:46 p.m. PST

Not sure what your previous gaming experiences are or what your gaming background is but you have two options if you are embarking on a gaming project: base the figures and units how you want and figure out a ruleset that you like which can work for your basing or find the ruleset first. I've been gaming for 30+ years and still go both routes.

As for basing preference and basing norms, I'd say there are 3 types: individual basing (one fig per base), multiple bases per maneuver unit (which can be fixed or proportional e.g all units comprise of 4 bases or the # of bases correlates to unit strength ) and one base equals one unit (that unit could be representing a battalion a regiment, a brigade or something else).

The scale (one figure or base equals so many actual soldiers) and how strictly you or your ruleset interpret it will kind of dictate how many figures are required to model a regiment.

As an example, let's say you are using Field of Battle for your games. 4 bases equal a "unit" (usually a battalion), the number of figures per base doesn't matter so you can decide if there are 3, 4 6 or whatever per base. If you go with 4 figs per base your battalions will be 16 Figures. If you are usIng a ruleset like DBN (De bellis Napolenica?), a base represents a single unit like a battalion or regiment. You can decide how many figures on that base should be there. Hope this helps some. If you need some rules options, let us know and we can help there too.

I Drink Your Milkshake08 Feb 2019 10:05 p.m. PST

28mm come in singles too, buy however many you need. A box of Perry plastics is a 1:20 scale i believe. 36 formed with 6 skirmishers? Whatever the case, let us know.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 5:22 a.m. PST

As noted depends on the rules. We use 24 infantry per regiment/battalion and 12 cavalry for SYW/Napoleonics and ACW, but there is a wide range – this works out to 6 bases per unit

Benito Champley09 Feb 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

As per Freddy above…

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 9:37 a.m. PST

Yes, I think Frederick is on the right track. It would provide maximum flexibility; those in the 1:50 or 1:60 ratios will have enough for two battalions (discounting possible flank coy figures), those in the 1:20 ratio (most popular I believe) can use the 24 for a small battalion and buy another box to build medium or large battalion (British / French). That same logic applies to the 12 suggested cavalry.

The numbers per box could vary per nation to allow for very large battalions e.g. Austrians.

Also, I recommend some unique figure types and equipment that are not well represented by most manufactures; ie pioneers, artificers, medical staff, staff officers, bandsmen, blacksmiths, field forges, cannon ginny/tripod, supply wagon teams, etc.

Garde de Paris Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 9:42 a.m. PST

The time-honored 1:20 ratio has a French battalion at 36 figures – 6 companies, 6 each for line and light infantry. Regiments usually two to four battalions. (I like to do 12-battalion "divisions" with each battalion from a different regiment.)

French cavalry in the Peninsular War – where I focus – rarely fielded more that 3 of their 4 squadrons. I like to use 6 figures for a squadron, and composite or provisional regiments of 4 squadrons from r4 different regiments. I believe that official strength of a French cavalry regiment – perhaps in its founding garrison – would have been 32 to 36 figures, in 4 squadrons. Spain was hell for all, but especially for the cavalry.

Picture forming a light cavalry provisional regiment of 1 lancer squadron (Vistula, Lancers of Berg, etc); 1 hussar; and 2 chasseur. Great possibilities.

A great French corps could be 3 divisions of 12 battalions, each division with 24 light cavalry. Then add 4 provisional regiments of dragoons, each of 4 squadrons. 1 faced scarlet; 1 faced 2 squadrons cramoisy; 2 Aurora; 1 faced rose ; and the 4th faced jonquille.

Throw in a special elite provisional regiment of 6 men of the Westphalien chevau leger; 6 of the 4th Hussars; 6 of the 24th Dragoons; and 6 of the 13 Cuirassiers – Marshal Suchet's

British infantry would be 40 – 10 companies of 4 each.

Cavalry would be 4 squadron from 4 different regiments – I use 6 figures for a heavy squadron; 5 figures for hussars and lt dragoons.

Portuguese would be 30 for a battalion – five companies of 6 figures. I use 3 figures for Portuguese squadron, 4 squadrons for a composite regiment.


Timbo W09 Feb 2019 9:49 a.m. PST

Why have all units with the same number of figures? They certainly didn't have the same number of men in each battalion 5 minutes after the start of a campaign.

Garde de Paris Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

Timbo makes a good observation. The Spanish in particular had varied-sized units. Their early light infantry battalions had 6 companies, 6 figures – French. Their line had battalions of 32 figures – 4 companies of 8 each.

The British-uniformed line and light infantry – blue coats, light blue overalls – were 6 companies of 6 each. For a while they may have been 8 companies of 6 each.

I like to do small volunteer units, 4 companies of 6 figures. It allows me to do more illustrations. I like to do a provisional regiment of 12 figures from Rey (all brown, faced purple, edged white); 12 from Zamora; and 12 from Voluntarias de Navarre – which was an actual brigade at Albuera under Carlos d'Espagne.

By the way, French foot artillery had 6 guns and 2 howitzers. Horse was 4 guns, 2 howitzers. I use 1 gun model with 2 gunner on a 2" wide slat of wood frontage for a 2-gun "section." 8" frontage foot battery; 6" horse.


Gonsalvo09 Feb 2019 7:50 p.m. PST

This is a subject you will want to devote considerable thought to. I use smaller units 18 figures per infantry unit (6 stands of 3 figures each, a stand thus conveniently equals a company for the French) and 8 figures for cavalry units (4 stands of 2, a stand conveniently equals a squadron for the French), and 2 guns with 6 to 8 crew (divided among 2 stands) for a battery.

I would in fact argue for standard sized units. There is little advantage in variable sizes, and much more complexity. In practice, battalion sizes varied considerably over time, although an average of about 600 men is probably on target for the field strength of most armies. As far as historical Orders of battle, you can simply divide the the numbers of men in the formation you are modeling by your troop ratio and field that many units.

From a practical standpoint, if there is a group that you will be playing with, then how they organize their troops is likely to be the most important consideration in organizing your own troops.

Regardless, have fun!

Marcus Maximus10 Feb 2019 1:23 a.m. PST

@Timbo W I concur. I have my units based around regt / btn returns. However, I can see why some prefer to have all units the same size………

Matsukaze10 Feb 2019 3:31 p.m. PST

Thank you all! I shall consider your valuable advice and arrange my army carefully. Cheers!

18th Century Guy Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2019 4:19 p.m. PST

Whatever you decided it will still never be enough or correct!

Garde de Paris Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2019 3:12 p.m. PST

As an aside, and in defense of using 36-figure French battalions (1:20) in 28mm:

Osprey #141 – Napoleon's Line Infantry, gives a regimental organization. It starts with each company -

1 Captain
1 Lieutenant
1 Second Lt

3 officers x 6 companies = 18 or 1 figure in the battalion.

There were to be 108 officers for a whole regiment (4 battalions?) which would be 5 figures of officers for 4 battalions. I only do one battalion for any regiment, but can make 3 battalions of 12 figures each; of 2 of 18 if is so pleases. That 5th officer allows me to use 2 in some battalions.

I usually have only 1 officer, Eagle bearer if not a sergeant, or on the right end of the first rank.

1 Sergeant Major
4 sergeants
1 fourrier caporal (company clerk?)
8 corporals

14 non-coms x 6 companies = 84 men, or 4 figures at 1:20

I like to put a non-com at each end of the first rank, and also the rear rank, or use two to flank the eagle bearer. Some times a Grenadier of Voltigeur non-com, but then only 3 fusilier non-coms.

There are 2 drummers per company, 12 for the battalion, so 1 is an over-representation.

I like to use Victrix for my most recent French and British, but wind up with too many officer and drummer figures. I sometimes use a cornet in a voltigeur company, plus a drummer near the Eagle if I know a specific drummer uniform to identify the regiment. I am converting one officer to a Drum Major holding his bicorn to fill out the 27eme de ligne battalion. But never more than 4 non coms, and never more than 2 officers – even then, 1 too many.

I use 40 for the British, and frankly do NOT know how a battalion was organized. I use 2 officers with the colours, flanked by a drummer with the King's colour; and a sergeant with the regimental colour. I have 1 sergeant on the right end of the rear rank, and a drummer at the left end of the rear rank of center company men.

If each British company had 3 officers as did the French, that would be 30 men – 1.5 at 1:20. 2 Colour officers would not be a stretch.


Aethelflaeda was framed12 Feb 2019 5:41 a.m. PST

For space purposes, I use 1 fig equals 100-150 men which gives me a good 4-6 figs for a battalion. If I have the space andwant denser battalions I just use more stands. I like to be able to field full Peninsula battles with some 30k per side but the high fig count battalions just cannot be played in my space. Division games aren't as fascinating so the sacrifice of less figs per battalion must be made made, but the greater numbers of battalions on the table create their own spectacle. Less stands per battalion or brigade make for quicker turnaround to conduct moves as the numbers of motions required is less, and like lean wristage requirements in combat resolution, a virtue.

Maneuver is by far the most interesting part of a game of miniatures for me. I want to see lots of it and having huge piles in the battalions to move means less turns get achieved in a day of playing. Sometimes the advance to engagement portion of the game never even gets finished before someone has to go meet the wife and the battle remains improperly concluded. Too many figs are part of the problem.

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