Campaign map with four corps per side
When I designed the campaign I wanted to be able to use all of our figures and scenery more or less in sequence. I also wanted to play multi corps games. And I wanted to achieve all of this without buying and painting new figures.
I had a reasonable collection of 28mm Napoleonic figures. They were painted in 32 figure infantry units, 8 figure cavalry units and 1 gun with four crew. Each allied nation has armies of 128 infantry, 16 cavalry and 4 guns and crew. The French had many more in the same proportion.
Four French corps
This was converted into corps of 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun with 4 crew.
There were four such corps for each allied army and 13 French corps.
Each army would have four such corps, giving 128 infantry, 16 cavalry and 4 guns with 16 gunners
My wargames table is 6x6 foot, using 2x2 foot scenic boards. One corps could comfortably fit on each scenic board. So a whole army could deploy on the table with three corps in line and one in reserve (see map above)
The aim was that campaigns would start with a series of one corps per side battles, they would then concentrate for two corps per side and the campaign would be decided by a final battle of three or four corps per side. In theory this seemed like an ideal selection of wargames of different sizes.
However in fact most campaigns are decided by five or six battles. The first three are usually one corps per side, then two or three. I don’t think we have ever fought a campaign game with the full four corps per side.
This was largely because of the way the campaign took on a life of its own. When a corps is defeated they have to retreat directly away from the winner. By the fourth battle corps would often be spread all over the place. Having to halt to resupply at least every four moves also added to the difficulty of concentration. And, of course, the winner would not usually allow the loser the luxury of recovering and redeploying as and where he pleased.
The result was a lot of smaller battles. They can be interesting, but they are limited and usually do not last for very long. In a word, they can be a little boring.
Four Prussian corps
For many years I have struggled to make the battles larger. It can be done by moving each corps on the map to result in larger battles. But to do so I would have to ignore the resupply and combat rules, and that would destroy the ability of the map campaign to “have a life of its own”
So for the past few months I have been pondering how to increase the size of each army from four corps to six corps. But to do so within the confines of the groups of model soldiers already available.