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"Making a proper battery" Topic


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967 hits since 30 Aug 2019
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Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 7:55 a.m. PST

I'm toying with the idea of doing a full 12 gun Russian battery in 6mm, with proper footage and footprint.

But what are the numbers.
I know a 8 gun French battery has about the same frontage as a French battalion.

So 130ish yards. Giving a little over 16 yards per gun. Is this correct? Would the same distances be true for Russians so a 12 gun battery would be about 195 yards wide?

What would that be if each 6mm was about 1.8 yards (can't do basic math. )

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 8:01 a.m. PST

Spacing between guns very much depended on the tactical situation. ACW manuals specified 14 yards between guns you need room for limbers, caissons and horses. But there's no real "right" answer.

Assuming 6mm = 1/300 scale, then 1mm = about 1 foot. So 15 yards = 45 feet = 45mm between guns, or thereabouts.

I would use that as a guide and just eyeball it to look good.

Stoppage30 Aug 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

Russian gun batteries/companies/brigades are tricky:

Heavy/Position battery – probably larger spacing between the 12 lbers. Engaging enemy at longer range and for extended amount of time means they need working room.

6 lbers – infantry support role – in pairs on either side of infantry – closer spacing due to shorter range and lesser engagement timings.

(2nd pairs of guns deployed alongside infantry second line)


6 lbers – light battery – similar to heavy – probably deployed as half-batteries.

Early position batteries had mix of long/medium 12 lbers and 6 lbers – might suggest they drew from park and deployed according to usage (Rather than trotting whole lot out at once).

I've always wanted to know where the limbers and caissons were parked for the infantry support guns.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 9:19 a.m. PST

As is being pointed out, there's a fair bit of slippage, and--unless this is some sort of diorama piece--you need something which will work with your rules.

For a diorama, I'd go with EC's solution, maybe compacting just a tad. As a gamer, all my microscale or nanoscale artillery units are either half the frontage of an infantry unit or the same frontage. Then once I've worked out what an infantry unit needs to represent in a given game or set of rules, I use that to work out what my artillery unit is.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 9:24 a.m. PST

Also, remember crews were much larger than wargamers tend to think! We're conditioned for 4 men per gun. A French 12lb gun had a crew of 15, plus 6 horses.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 9:29 a.m. PST

To Extra Crispy listen you should. Wise is he.

Four men per gun; the individuals chosen depending on whether loading, hauling or firing. You always get a spongeman, but the rest are a variable feast. The gun commander with his hand raised is the daftest pose to my mind….why would he have his….oh forget it.


Now what about the limbers, the caissons? The horses if HA. The depth will be more of challenge than the frontage

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 9:29 a.m. PST

Hmm, maybe squeeze it a little 30mm between each gun, that still means a 36cm frontage.

Zhmodikov30 Aug 2019 9:54 a.m. PST

Major-General Alexander Kutaisov, the commander of the artillery of the 1st Western Army in 1812, issued an instruction entitled General Rules for Artillery in Field Battle, in which he said:

If terrain permits, one is to place batteries so that the axle of one piece was not closer than 15 paces from the axle of another one, thus movements and servicing [of the piece] will be easier, and enemy fire will not be so dangerous.

The Russian pace is 0.71 meter.

Andrey Markevich, a member of the Artillery Committee, in the second volume of his book entitled A Manual on the Art of Artillery published in 1824, wrote that artillery pieces should never be placed closer than three sazhen (6.4 m) between the barrels, because it was the least interval, which allowed a limber to pass between two pieces. He recommended placing the pieces so that any one of them could be turned to any direction or even turned round with the prolonge, which required sixteen or seventeen paces for light guns (~ 11.38 to 12.09 m) and twenty or twenty one for heavy guns (~ 14.23 to 14.94 m). He probably means the distance between the barrels, since in artillery drill regulations published in the same year the interval of twenty two paces between barrels of heavy pieces (~ 15.65 m) and eighteen paces between barrels of light pieces (~ 12.80 m) was recommended.

Markevich wrote that limbers were to be placed not closer than thirty paces behind the guns, the caissons of light pieces at thirty paces behind the limbers, and the caissons of heavy guns, which had no ammunition boxes in the limbers, fifteen paces behind the limbers.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 10:38 a.m. PST

If you are not doing the caissons and limbers depth will be minimal. If you add in the servicing vehicles your depth will be about 150 yards or so (again, varies with situation).

Again 150 yards = 450 feet = 450mm. It should be deeper than it is wide to look right.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 11:06 a.m. PST

Seems I must downcale, one thing is doing the battery in 1:1 but if I end up doing infantry or cavalry, battalions and squadrons would be 40cm wide too, that's a lot of miniatures to paint.

Garde de Paris30 Aug 2019 11:19 a.m. PST

I seem to recall that guns were spaced so far apart to reduce to possibility of hitting more than one with counter-battery fire. We used to make them very difficult to hit by either artillery fire, or volleys from infantry. Think of them as in skirmish order.

GdeP

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 11:59 a.m. PST

You can't really do infantry at 1:1. The minis are far too wide. Here is a French battalion using Baccus 6mm. Each company is 4 bases, each base contains 12 figures in 3 ranks of 4. So 48 figures per company, times 6 companies, is 288 figures. It occupies a 19" (47.5cm) frontage. Even if you assume field strength after losses, sickness, etc. at 1:2 that's less than 600 men.

picture

If you did a battalion of 40cm with Baccus you would be 20 strips wide, each of 4 figures, so 80 figures per rank = 240 figures per battalion.

Yes it is a LOT of minis to paint.

British Cavalry, a mere 96 mounted figures:

picture

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 12:20 p.m. PST

EC's right: my estimate is that you can do a battalion at 1:1 and need no more table than you would for a 30mm CLS game--but you'd have to play with 2mm figures. (In fairness, I expect you could get a volume discount for 1,000 bases or so.)

Outside of skirmish games, everything we do in miniature warfare is a trade-off, using larger figures than our ground scale calls for so we can see them, but then having to use fewer of them per battalion, squadron or battery. The debates over figure scale and representation ratios aren't over doing this, but what trade-offs we each prefer.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 12:41 p.m. PST

I plan on using alder which take less space than baccus. But I doubt I can get that many more on the same frontage.

I think I'll have to just paint 12 cannons and find something that looks ok, but is not real distance. But still have more spacing than what we wargamers are used to. If I use about 6 meter distance between each gun(which seem to be absolute minimum stated by most armies. It would make a battery 20ish cm. Still quite a large frontage for small figures. Or I might use 25cm which would give a spacing of some 8.3mm between each gun.


Thanks for trying to help, I've apparently taken on to much water.

Lion in the Stars30 Aug 2019 1:12 p.m. PST

Seems I must downcale, one thing is doing the battery in 1:1 but if I end up doing infantry or cavalry, battalions and squadrons would be 40cm wide too, that's a lot of miniatures to paint.

I've chosen to model guns at 1:2. One mini for every two actual guns, for gaming purposes. Usually only showing 4-5 crew, as well, and only having I think 1 set of limbers per battery due to groundscale.

Now, if I was going to do some serious diorama work, I would do it properly. But you need to make some allowances for your groundscale!

Wherethestreetshavnoname30 Aug 2019 1:56 p.m. PST

There's always 2mm 'figures'…

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

I've chosen to model guns at 1:2. One mini for every two actual guns, for gaming purposes. Usually only showing 4-5 crew, as well, and only having I think 1 set of limbers per battery due to groundscale.
Now, if I was going to do some serious diorama work, I would do it properly. But you need to make some allowances for your groundscale!

I use 1:2 for my 28mm, I want to use the 6mm to show the epic scale of units. But also try and show some realism in ground scale.

Teppsta30 Aug 2019 4:56 p.m. PST

I'm modelling based on frontage of the battery being approx 2/3 of a battalion in line. Then I'm putting all 8 guns in there for the visual effect

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2019 5:35 a.m. PST

Gunfreak, I'd like to see pictures of whatever you come up with.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Aug 2019 8:18 a.m. PST

Also, don't forget you are talking about 12 guns which would be WIDER than most battalions. The one battery = 1 battalion shortcut usually applies to smaller numbers of guns.

forwardmarchstudios31 Aug 2019 8:24 a.m. PST

Why not make a full-sized grand battery and shoot a 1:1 scale infantry division with it while your cavalry division waits to break through?

picture

Link for higher res: link

2mm is the one true scale.

Zhmodikov09 Sep 2019 1:15 a.m. PST

Gunfreak,
I forgot to say that according to 1824 artillery regulations the unicorns were positioned at both flanks of their artillery company. The guns of a "battery" (heavy) company were placed into a battery in the following way, right to left: two 1/2 pud unicorns, four medium 12-pdr cannons, four small 12-pdr cannons, and two 1/2 pud unicorns.

4th Cuirassier09 Sep 2019 2:05 a.m. PST

@ Extra Crispy

I've been aware for years that 28mm figures were likewise overscale for width, but I always assumed the smaller figures were better in this respect not worse!

You can fit three Elite 28mm figures onto a base 40mm wide. So the figures are each 13mm wide. Now, we know one man's frontage was 22" or thereabouts. If the 13mm actual width is those 22", then proportionately 30mm tall figures are men who are just over four feet tall.

Alternatively, if the height of the figures is right and they depict men about 5'5" tall, then the 13mm frontage scales out at 28", meaning they're about 130% of the width they should be.

Likewise for your battalion. If your 288-figure Baccus unit in 6mm is 47.5cm wide, a 600-figure unit would presumably be 99cm wide 990 scale feet.

At the British standard of 22" per man, 990 feet is the frontage not for 200 files but for 540, i.e. 1,080 men in two ranks, or 1,620 men in three. So the Baccus figures are 270% of the correct scale width.

This sort of calculation persuades me it's a mug's game trying to get this "right". Don't get me started on the Airfix Waterloo Farmhouse being a different scale in every axis.

To the OP how often were Russian batteries actually deployed as 12 or 14 guns abreast? Didn't I read somewhere that this was unusual and that part was kept in reserve?

Also, bear in mind that the positions of the various blokes around the gun were broadly the same per gun. Gun crews in action looked almost as structured / regimented as infantry formations.

Lion in the Stars09 Sep 2019 10:48 a.m. PST

Also, bear in mind that the positions of the various blokes around the gun were broadly the same per gun. Gun crews in action looked almost as structured / regimented as infantry formations.

Well, I prefer the look of guns in different states of loading/firing. So I will have one gun at the front of the base ready to fire, one all the way at the back of the base having fired, one getting pushed forward, and one getting reloaded.

Even if that isn't technically correct, I think it looks more interesting/spectacular that way, and Napoleonic Wargaming in particular is all about the spectacle!

Marc at work12 Sep 2019 4:31 a.m. PST

Oi – don't get started on the Airfix farm house – that's a classic that is :-)

And joking aside, because it is underscale, it actually works quite well. Still too big for most 1:20 scale games, and it could actually be shrunk a bit further without destroying the "look" of it on the table.

But everything we do is compromise…

When do we start talking about vertical height again – that is always fun…

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