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Author Topic: WSS/GNW basing  (Read 1740 times)
Second Lieutenant
Posts: 104

« on: 07 July 2010, 11:03:15 PM »

OK, I've got some figs, got some rules, now it's time to consider basing.  First off, I would like to have 3 or 5 base battalions but I would like to replicate the frontage and number per battalion difference between 3 rank battalions and 4 rank battalions. Also, I want to be able to use them for different rulesets.  Some "facts" here for those not up on their WSS:
The 3 rank British battalions were 725-780 men at full muster and when in line had a frontage of around 250 yards.
The 4 rank French, Russian, Austrian etc. battalions were 600-650 men at full muster and had a frontage of around 160 yards.
For those doing their math, the 4 rank units had about 1/3 less frontage.

The rules I am considering are; Polemos, Ga Pa, and 18th Century Principles of war. They all have what I like in the way of casualty determination- NO figure removal! Thus, the number of figures within a battalion does not matter. Basing, however is a bit different among them and are "variable". Polemos uses the same size for both types of battalions - not good but I can modify that. Ga Pa uses different frontages depending upon the strength of each type of battalion - too many variables but again I can average them.  PoW uses a standard base size but different quantities to get the frontage ratio correct-not bad but the 600 men battalions then get more figures thatn the 750 men ones-something wrong here.
 So, after much measuring and placing of figures I have come up with a solution-I think.  I can use a standard base size of 20mm x 30mm.  Each battalion will have 3 or 5 bases(depending upon ground scale).  The 3 rank battalions will use the 30mm side as their front and the 4 rank units will use the 20mm side as their front, thus getting me the 1/3 frontage difference. So far so good. The 3 rank battalions will have 8 figs in 2 ranks per base, equalling either 24 or 40 figs and the 4 rank battalions will have 6 figs in 3 ranks per base, equalling either 18 or 30 figs.  This also works into the math as the it makes the men/fig ratio just about right as well.  The 20 x 30 base gives me the most variety in unit size depending upon which rules are used.  Every other base size I tried didn't solve every problem.  One point has me wondering if I should keep the number of figures the same, regardless of battalion strength.  This would appease those who will cry foul at having less figures(if they be used in games where numbers matter), but it wouldn't be historically or aethetically accurate.  Please give me some feed back.


Posts: 48

« Reply #1 on: 13 July 2010, 03:33:16 PM »

Hi Brian,
               Interesting thoughts. I've been looking at basing in these periods plus SYW. I'm going for 2x2cm basing for infantry, possibly 2.5cm basing for cavalry. But one thing i'm definitely doing is keeping the same number of figures per unit regardless of the differing paper strengths. Apart from keeping things simpler I doubt many units ever made it to full strength and so going for a realistic average of approximate 500 or whatever you think works well. Just my opinion.

Second Lieutenant
Posts: 104

« Reply #2 on: 13 July 2010, 07:08:09 PM »

 I ,too, thought I might go this route for simplicity sake.  I'm sure this is the same reason Polemos treats the different frontages as equal. My resistance to this is based upon the actual dimensional differences between 3 and 4 rank battalions. Regardless of the strength of his battalion, the commander was given a "battalion sized" hole to fill in his assigned postion in the battle line, so if he had only 500 men, he would pull men from the rear ranks to fill up the front frank to the assigned frontage. With this understanding, the British, Dutch and others would have a "standard" battalion frontage of 200-250 yards while the French, Imperialist and such would have a "standard" battalion frontage of 150-170 yards. Just about everything I've read and in many disscussions I've had about this indicate that frontage was more important than keeping the appropriate number of ranks. Of course, when casualties were taken(mostly by front rankers), the 2nd-4th ranks were used to fill the empty spots, thus maintaining frontage. What is average? 500-600 is usually given as such. But why would battalions of 780 and 650 at full strength both have averages 500?  I would think that an average percentage of full strength would be a more appropriate figure.  But does 70% of 780(546) and of 650(455) matter on the basing? I suppose not as both totals are within the accepted average. So, figures can be the same per unit type, but I maintain there must be a difference in frontage.  This is a moot point during the SYW because almost everyone used the 3 rank formation and battalions were fairly standardized in strength. Whew, my brain hurts. Undecided, sorry you had to endure my thinking process while writing.

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