Home Forums Horse and Musket 18th Century Formations for AWI

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  • #66221
    Sane Max
    Participant

    ‘Ello

    A few years back I picked up an AWI Army – 15mm Peter Pig – partly ‘cos I was in a painty mood, partly down the the embarassing fact that I did not have a single 18th century army – the only century missing from my collection!

    I lost my mojo well before starting to paint them, and only now am I beginning the task. But when I bought them I had recently finished my F&F rebs, which were mainly being used for Black Powder, as we have more BP players than F&F, and I now realise I made the purchase without thinking it through – ‘Yup, 8 bases to a unit, 3 figures to a pretty-much 1 inch base = 24 figures to a unit. Yup. Credit Card… done’

    Of course, that is because I was in Civil-War mode, and my ACW armies are all based 3 figures to a stand, for that slightly less formal look that is common for the period among old-school wargamers*. But I now realise that I have taken a poo with my pants on – surely the armies of the AWI would have been much more formal – 4 to a base rather than 3. I have only bought 3/4 of an army.

    So, what are my options?

    A smaller army? Not my thing.
    Buy more figures? well that would be sensible…. but that means a lot more painting…
    Base them as I ‘planned’ – 3 to a base
    Base them as I should – and only use 6-elements to a unit.

    What are people’s thoughts on each of these options?

    Pat

    * Yes, I am aware of the modern school of wargamey-thought, that actually ACW armies were a damn site less open-order than used to be thought, and Napoleon would not have blinked at the formations of the era, other than their apalling lack of colour, but I am an old fashioned chap and smartly aligned ACW armies look odd to me.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Sane Max.
    #66223
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Weren’t AWI forces substantially smaller than ACW ones? With even fewer cavalry?

    Same’s true of War of 1812, which has always appealed as Napoleonic lite – you don’t need thousands, or even hundreds, of figures to do Lundy’s Lane.

    None of which helps much.

     

     

    Pity John Carrol doesn’t post here.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #66224
    OB
    Participant

    I’d go for ‘Base them as I should – and only use 6-elements to a unit.’ and rationalise it as them being under strength as units often were.  

    Most rules make provision for that.  You can the bring them up to strength at a leisurely pace while sternly lecturing anyone who queries it that not all units were of the same strength.

    OB
    http://withob.blogspot.co.uk/

    #66235
    General Slade
    Participant

    I’ve recently started re-basing my 15mm AWI figures.  I had initially done them as 4 figures in 2 ranks on a 1″ x 1″ base and I was doing 1 base per company, with 8 companies per battalion for my British troops (as far as I am aware the flank companies were generally stripped away to form provisional light and grenadier battalions).   This meant I was doing 32-man battalions in 2 ranks of 16.   The problem I found with this is that the formation looked far too deep (and I had to paint a lot of figures for each unit).  I have therefore switched to basing in a single rank with 2 figures per 1″ x 1/2″ base and I think this looks a lot better. It also has the advantage that I get two units for the price of one.

    I haven’t painted any of the German allies yet but for those that fought in three ranks my plan is to do 3 figures per 1″ x 1/2″ base so they appear to be should-to-shoulder rather than in open order.

     

    #66236
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    I’m not clear what rules you’re using. Most wargame rules specify a real-men-to-miniatures scale, unit organizations and a basing scheme that are all related to their nominal ground and time scale. When I build toy armies, I stick to the rules recommendations, for optimal play, and to remain compatible with other hobbyists who use the same rules.

    Once I’ve understood what the rules require, I apply them to historical OBs for various points-in-time, fudge a bit, and come up with an acceptable sorta generic-for-that-war basing and organization for my toy soldiers. I rarely build a force that’s organized for a particular battle, but I admire that level of detail when I see it.

    As Connard points out, in North America in the flintlock era, not only were armies much smaller than in Europe, but individual units, battalions and brigades, also ran smaller. During the ACW f’rinstance, an infantry regiment (battalion) smaller than 200 men was usually broken up or merged with another regiment, and generals tried to keep brigade strengths in the 1500-3000 range. Contrariwise, battalions of only 120-200 men were very common on both sides in the AWI, and 1000 men in one place was a big brigade.

    Because of the difference in units’ sizes, a single set of flintlock-era big-battle wargame rules rarely works well for both North American and European battles. Game scales have to be optimized for one side of the Atlantic or the other. Rules authors want to present a visually appealing theater-of-the-mind experience to their players. 6 or 8 infantry figures in a line really doesn’t look like a battalion, but 48 or 60 figures in a line is cumbersome. Most designers seem to aim for between 12 and 24 figures in an infantry battalion for a big battle wargame.

    Seems to me that 24 X 15mm figures is plenty of meat to look like an AWI battalion. But it really depends on the rules you’re using, and whether those are well suited to the war that you’re modelling.

    Hainna, Connard?

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #66237
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Weren’t AWI forces substantially smaller than ACW ones? With even fewer cavalry?

    Well yes, they were of course. But since ground scale is in my view a pitiful obsession of a minority of tragic freaks, it makes no difference – there are 600 ish figures in my ACW armies, but I don’t see one man and think ‘100 men’ any more than I get upset when playing F&F Regimental with the same figures I use for F&F Brigade. Narmy za narmy.

    I have been looking at my stuff – I bought an awful lot of militia. Since 3 to a base will be fine for those over-rated over-paid human tape-worms on the body of the Continental army, I can get away with culling them, adding the better dressed and equipped ones to my line, adding a few entirely hunting-shirted Continental regiments and Viola! more 32-man units.

    It’s about time I gave Goddard some more of my cash anyway. For a few years I was one of his best customers, his eyes used to light up when he saw me bearing down on his stand at Vapnartak. It’s amusing, because I have said horrible things about his rules on tinterweb, and upset him – but THAT was that nasty Sane Max, not that nice chap who buys things by the sack for cash at shows.

    Pat

    #66238
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Most wargame rules specify a real-men-to-miniatures scale, unit organizations and a basing scheme that are all related to their nominal ground and time scale. When I build toy armies, I stick to the rules recommendations, for optimal play, and to remain compatible with other hobbyists who use the same rules.

    Of course, some of the people who are concerned with ground-scale are charming human beings – Zippy for instance 🙂 ….. But all of that you just said makes me go ‘Nahhhh….. Narmy Za Narmy, innit?

    #66240
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Weren’t AWI forces substantially smaller than ACW ones? With even fewer cavalry?

    Well yes, they were of course. But since ground scale is in my view a pitiful obsession of a minority of tragic freaks, it makes no difference

     

    Yeah, but there has to be some correlation, no matter how tenuous, otherwise you might as well play DBA 🙂

    "I'm not signing that"

    #66241
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Why? If my AWI continentals ever take to the field against my ACW Federals, you are welcome to point out that there is something wrong with the relative size of the two armies – but they will be fighting similar quantities of wargames figures representing a similar number of people. That in this case a figure represents 15 people rather than 60 matters absolutely not.

    All this is a bit moot – I don’t actually know anyone with an AWI army in my area, and there is zero chance I will paint the other side.

    #66243
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I didn’t say it bothered me much. I happily play Sam Mustafa’s early rules**, and Impetus, and HotT, all of which have ‘bases’ rather than ‘one figure =’

     

    **before he went daft about cards.

    "I'm not signing that"

    #66248
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    ground scale is in my view a pitiful obsession of a minority of tragic freaks

    You wound me. I work so hard to be a comical freak, not a tragic one.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #66258
    Sane Max
    Participant

    Don’t lose heart Zipster, with a little application you may aspire to being both. I managed all three – comic, tragic, and scary. But then, I was born with certain advantages you lacked – the tail helps no end.

    Seriously, the Coadunation of my thread and yours was mere luck, I didn’t plan to insult you. But having said it, I could hardly go back and edit it, that would have been sheer cowardice on my part.

    Love you like a brother.

    Pat

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