A couple of weeks ago, I received a package in the mail from Heroics and Ros
, makers of 6mm figures and vehicles for a wide range of wars. This was something of a surprise to me as I didn't recall ordering anything from them recently. The packing slip indicated that they'd been sent by my good friend Steve. OK, that's nice - but what's going on?
Regular readers will know that I've been unemployed for the last 5 weeks (don't worry - I'm starting a new job soon). Steve had decided that I needed something to fill my time and cheer me up, so he very kindly ordered this package for me. Also, he felt that my Napoleonic Austrians had put up a poor showing against his Russians the last time we played Black Powder. This was at least partly due to my infantry being a bit thin on the ground.
|2 large regiments of infantry: the German "10th Mitrowsky" on the left and the Hungarian "2nd Von Hiller" on the right|
Black Powder in 6mm
Steve's parcel contained 8 packets of Austrian infantry and 2 of Grenadiers. That's quite a large number of figures, since each packet has 50 or more figures. Not thousands maybe, but certainly many hundreds! Now, my existing Austrian infantry is a mixture of "German" and "Hungarian" bases (the Hungarians have blue trousers but are otherwise pretty much indistinguishable at this scale), with shako or helmet, in march or attack poses. In other words, quite a varied lot! This worked well enough for the DBN rules that we used to play where an army only required a few bases. However it's not so good for Black Powder, where a unit is much larger and for visual effect should have a unified appearance.
So, how do we do this? Firstly, base sizes are dictated by those from DBN, since I'm not going to rebase all my existing stuff. That's simple enough: 40mm width with 20/30/40mm depth for infantry/cavalry/artillery. How many bases make up a unit? That's less obvious, but by halving the movement and shooting distances from the Black Powder rulebooks and doing some rough calculations on the unit sizes used by other players, I've come up with 6 bases for a large unit, 4 bases for a normal unit, 2 for a small unit and 1 for a tiny unit. Being Austrians, my army will have a fair number of large
I've used the new models to create a large number of plain infantry stands, without command figures. These can then be used with my existing stands to create either large or normal-sized units as desired. My older command stands have been altered slightly, so that both flags are on the same stand (!) and so that each has the regiment name printed on a card upright at the back of the base.
Although it is technically possible to deploy a single base forward to depict a unit in "mixed" formation (i.e. with skirmishers deployed to the front), this isn't visually very appealing. Instead I've decided to experiment with a separate "marker" base with a token number of skirmishers on it; this can be placed ahead of any unit to show that it is in mixed formation. Note that this is a new idea of mine and I haven't tried this out in a real game yet!
So how does this look in practice? Using most of the new infantry and some of my existing bases (refurbished somewhat!), I now have 4 large units of line infantry plus enough extras to make up at least 1 or 2 normal-sized units as well. Alternatively, I could choose to deploy them as 6 normal units instead of 4 large ones. Here are some examples:
|10th Mitrowsky in "mixed" formation|
|2nd Von Hiller (Hungarian) in "mixed" formation|
|Large regiment in attack column|
|Large regiment in line|
|Regiment in march column|
|Large regiment in square|
|Skirmisher marker base|
As well as bulking up my regular infantry, I used some of the excess command figures to make a bunch more brigade commanders. These are mounted on 20mm washers and have a standard to aid with identification:
|A bunch of brigadiers!|
So look out, Steve: we're ready for you! We'll be back!
I really like 6mm figures. It lets you put a stunning game together. None of this 6 figures to a base and 3 or 4 bases to a unit. Decent sized units with dozens of figures. Easy to store as well and transport. I really like what you have done with them. Excellent.ReplyDelete
I agree; for big battles you really need a lot of figures. Much as I love 28mm for skirmish gaming, a couple of dozen of them just aren't a "regiment" or "battalion" to me.Delete
That's quite an addition to your forces and they do look good.ReplyDelete
There is something about 6mm figures en masse on a large table that gives the idea of a large force and battle much more readily than say 28mm figures.
Indeed there is! Mind you, we still need to remember that even these "regiments" really only have the men for a couple of full-strength companies.Delete
They look great. I've not played with any figures of this size in ages brings back fond memories of school games clubs.ReplyDelete
Sounds like you went to a more interesting school than I did, at least from a wargaming point of view!Delete
The Regt. is very impressive when arraigned for action.ReplyDelete
Ah, just wait until you see a game with several brigades, each of several regiments!Delete
I'm a little worried about the combination of mass and firepower for those units.ReplyDelete
I see I shell need to get my 3rd infantry brigade finished быстро.
I really like the look of those skirmish stands, I'd planned on doing similar but with 20mm squares. I think your solution is a lot more elegant. Time to order some custom bases.
Well, my "custom bases" are just cheap tongue depressors, cut in half and with the cur end rounded. I've got hundreds of them so I can give you some...Delete
Very, very impressive! While not the period I'm interested in at all, I'm getting an itch to start something at this scale myself. Much like Clint, I really can't decide if I admire or hate you at times! :DReplyDelete
Aw, please be admire :-) . I don't want to be hated...Delete
Wow, that's a Merry Christmas for you. Good luck with the new job and new forces.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sean. The downside of the new job is that I won't be able to have much time off over the festive period in order to paint up all the Christmas presents that I hope I'll get :-) !Delete