Saturday 29 April 2017

The Model Soldiers – Armies and Orbat

British v French with four corps each side

The organisation of my 20 allied and 16 French corps will obviously depend on my proposed campaign.  I will deal with the campaign in a later post, but will explain it in detail to make my order of battle clear.

In order to be able to use all of my model soldiers on a regular basis, I need a campaign which will involve all of the nations I have collected.   The campaign would be fictional, but I wanted it to be based on an historical campaign.   Given the wide range of nationalities I could choose from 1812, 1813 or 1814.   I decided on 1813 because all of the national armies were reasonably equal in ability and despite the Russian defeat the French still held all of Germany and a lot of Spain.

I will also explain how I choose my wargames table later on, but for now it is important to know that the size is 6x6 foot.   I like to have sufficient space to manoeuvre during my wargames, and I know from experience that I could use 150-200 28mm figures on that size of table.     Each of my allied armies has 176 figures and 4 guns.

I therefore decided to organise each of my armies as 4 corps each containing 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun.  

This would give me five allied armies.   Austrian, British/Portuguese, Prussian, Russian and Spanish.   A total of 20 corps.

I only had 16 French corps.   This included one old and one young guard corps and six standard French corps.   In order to create 20 corps I would have to use four of the standard French corps twice.  But they would be in different armies and therefore would not appear on the table at the same time.

The five allied armies, and the five French armies opposed to them, would be deployed throughout Germany and Spain as follows:

First French Army v Prussian Army in Northern Germany
Second French Army v Russian Army in Central Germany
Third French Army v Austrian Army in Southern Germany
Fourth French Army v British/Portuguese Army in Northern Spain
Fifth French Army v Spanish Army in Southern Spain.

These armies have remained the same throughout the ten years that the campaign has been in progress.  You can find detailed orders of battle and photographs of each army in the Campaign Diary Blog here

Next time I will explain how I designed my wargames table.

Saturday 22 April 2017

The Model Soldiers – How to organise them

28mm Austrian Army

I wanted to play large multi corps battles, but my armies were organised as 36 figure infantry battalions and 8 figure cavalry squadrons.

Clearly a major compromise was required.   I finally decided on small corps of 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun per corps.   I would convert each 36 figure infantry battalion to 4 infantry brigades of 8 figures each.   Each 8 figure cavalry squadron would become 2 cavalry brigades of 4 figures each.

The national breakdown was as follows

4 Austrian corps
4 British/Portuguese corps
4 Prussian corps
4 Russian corps
4 Spanish corps

1 French old guard corps
1 French young guard corps
6 French line corps
3 Bavarian corps
2 Polish corps
1 Baden corps
1 Italian corps
1 Westphalian corps

 18mm Austrian Army

Some may find it difficult to accept that 8 infantry figures would represent an infantry brigade, or 4 mounted figures a cavalry brigade.   But the alternative would be to restrict my wargame system to fighting brigade or division sized wargames, which I was not prepared to do.

With this compromise I had sufficient figures to create a reasonable, if fictional, order of battle for each nation.

My final order of battle was 20 allied corps and 16 French corps

You can find a detailed order of battle for each of the 36 corps on the Campaign Diary Blog here

Next we will consider how they will be organised in armies.