Saturday, 14 February 2015

No plan survives first contact ...

Sue and I have been feeling under the weather for the past week, and today was the first day when neither of us felt like staying in bed all day. As a result I had hoped to begin fighting my mini-campaign this morning ... and then Sue remembered that we had booked tickets for the a Daily Mail Cruise Show at Olympia, London.

We set off for Central London just after breakfast, and arrived at the Olympia Exhibition Centre at 11.15am. We stayed at the show for just under two hours, after which we made our way to Welling in Kent to have lunch and to do some essential shopping. The journey to Welling took much longer that expected due to a number of hold ups (road works, broken-down vehicles, diversions) and we did not finish lunch until 3.30pm. The shopping took up a further forty five minutes, and we did not get home until 4.30pm ... by which time we were both feeling rather tired.

After a rest (and a short doze) I did not feel much like starting the first battle of my mini-campaign, so I did some work on basing my Del Prado 25/28mm-scale pre-painted Napoleonic wargames figures. I have decided that the figures will be mounted as follows:
  • Line and Light Infantry: Three figures per 50mm x 25mm base, with two bases = one unit
  • Rifles: Two figures per 50mm x 25mm base, with two bases = one unit
  • Cavalry: Two figures per 50mm x 50mm base, with two bases = one unit
  • Artillery: Two figures (plus space for one cannon) per 50mm x 75mm base, with a base = one unit
  • Commanders: One figure per 25mm x 50mm base (mounted) or 25mm x 25mm base (on foot)
By adopting this method of organising my troops, a unit plus a Commander can easily fit within a Hexon II hex, and the way in which a unit's bases are positioned can show what tactical formation it is in.
  • Infantry can be in
    • Column (both bases facing in the same direction, one behind the other)
    • Line (both bases facing in the same direction, next to one another)
    • Square (both bases facing in opposite directions, one behind the other)
  • Cavalry can be in
    • Column (both bases facing in the same direction, one behind the other)
    • Line (both bases facing in the same direction, next to one another)
  • Artillery can be deployed
    • Ready to fire (cannon facing forwards)
    • On the march (cannon facing backwards).
So far I have concentrated on my Prussian Army figures, and have managed to base eight units of Infantry and two mounted Prussian Commanders, and I have three Artillery units ready to base once the requisite bases arrive in the post. The only Prussians that will then remain to be based are three Cavalry units, two more mounted Commanders, and two foot Commanders.


  1. Bob,
    Good to hear you're getting to grips with your Napoleonic armies.
    A couple of points on your proposed basing:
    1. You will also - should it be necessary - be able to portray column of route by placing bases end on, perhaps facing in opposite directions so it is clear the unit is not in line facing to a flank.
    2. The area occupied by a square is MUCH smaller than that taken up by a column. If you had some spare loose figures, I would suggest placing just one on a small square base and temporarily removing the parent unit. Free yourself from the tyranny of the same group of figures always portraying the same unit, which has bedevilled wargames formations since Donald F.
    3. I presume you wish to portray riflemen operating as skirmishers, so why not just place individual figure(s) in front of the unit(s) they are screening? You could redploy them into close order when necessary, and use them as detachments to garrison small BUAs.
    Best wishes,

  2. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

    Over the past week we have felt as if we make two steps forward and then one step backwards ... and sometimes one step forward and two steps backwards. Whatever is causing this cold, it is a tenacious virus ... but we are determined not to let it get the better of us ... even when it does!

    All the best,


  3. Arthur1815,

    I like the idea for showing a column of march. Very elegant and very simple.

    I am not sure if I have enough spare figures to set some aside to represent an infantry square ... but I will certainly give it some thought.

    The same goes for rifle-equipped units ... although your suggestion makes a lot of sense. Something else for me to think about.

    All the best,