Monday, September 18, 2006

Unit Sizes in "BTW" --

Because I'm writing "Bluebear's Tricorne Wars" for our local group with a secondary purpose of encouraging them to paint lead, my unit sizes are perhaps smaller than I'd really like.

Each stand of 4 infantry (a company) or 3 cavalry (a squadron) nominally represents something between approximately 100 and 150 troops.

To be a valid "battalion", the unit must contain 4-6 companies. This means a 16-man unit up to a 24-man unit.
(Actually it means a 17-man unit up to a 26-man unit).


In addition to the 4-6 companies, each unit needs a "colour stand" with one or two flags. Please note that there should be no flags on the command company stand. This is because the position of the "colour stand" indicates the "cohesion"
(some might say "morale state") of the unit.
  • If positioned in front of unit -- steady (best cohesion)
  • If positioned "in the front line" -- rattled
  • If placed immediately behind the unit -- disordered
  • If placed behind the unit, facing backwards -- shaken
  • If moved well behind unit, facing backwards -- broken (routing)
I should note that even converged grenadiers (who normally did not have colours) and light infantry (ditto) will have a "colour stand". It is an easy, attractive way of indicating cohesion.

Mounted units also have a "colour stand"; although in their case it is a single figure with flag. Squadrons, as previously mentioned, have three figures each. For "Bluebear's Tricorne Wars", a regiment is comprised of 2-5 squadrons.

Thus a mounted unit could vary from 7
(six + colour) to 16 (fifteen + colour) mounted figures. (note -- see September 13 blog for basing conventions).

Artillery pieces do not use a flag; but rather an officer as their "colour stand". Again, his position (in front, beside, behind, etc.) indicates the current condition of the unit.

I am a great fan of the "look" of the tabletop. I do not like to see any sort of "label" or "casualty cap", etc. cluttering up the look of the battle. So I've tried to find ways to show things without using such items.

More about my rules as this blog progresses.

-- Jeff


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

I like your thoughts concerning lack of "clutter" on the gaming table. Often, I see online pictures of games played at conventaions/shows, featuring attractive figures and terrain. BUT then there are cups, books, tablets, and pencils all over the edges of the same table. Stuff like that really detracts from what would otherwise be quite a visual impact.

It will be interesting to learn more about your rules as you flesh them out. How much interest is there in your local gaming group for BIG units? Hint, hint. . . ;-)

Stokes Schwartz

Bluebear Jeff said...


One of the hurdles of introducing a new period to a group is the challenge of getting them involved enough to paint some figures. Painting "Big" units is far more daunting than doing so with a more humble goal.

As it is now, a player can paint up a minimum infantry brigade (three units) with about 50 figures. This is easier to achieve than their painting more than that for a single battalion -- it is too daunting at the start.

Remember, figures can always be added later!

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

I agree with the 'clutter' comment. I like to get the 'stuff' off the table before I take my ongoing game shots.

It is neccessary for the average game table to have room for the dice, book and perhaps a drink.

For convention I think there is plenty of room to be had in setting up 'side-tables' for such things and allow only the game action items on the action table.

Just my humble view though.