Sunday, October 9, 2011

You fight a war with the army you have…

A quote from Don Rumsfeld? Well, actually, Ross Mac got me started by this post at Battle Game of the Month:

“Like many another Autocrat who has come to power with absolute right over the life and death of his subjects and control of the army, I find my power over my armies of Toy Soldiers less absolute than one would expect. Once the bands have played, the soldiers have paraded by and cheered and the senior officers have pledged their allegiance, I find myself not starting from scratch to build an ideal army according to my reveries but dealing with an existing infrastructure, a limited treasury, shortages of barracks and men and the enemy pressing at the gates.”

My 28mm Napoleonic collection started out from a desire from my friend Ray and I to put on a “cool” Napoleonic participation game at our local convention, Millennium. We started with 120 or so figures per side, playing Le Petit Empereur. Then we used those armies to expand to 30:1 ratio, using Wellington Rules. Then, megalomania set in.

My French-Allied army was based loosely on Marshal Suchet’s Army of Aragon in the Peninsula. For Wellington Rules, figures are singly based in order to use the game’s main mechanism, called “straggling.” I won’t go into that now, but suffice to say I have a French corps at 30:1 based singly. Oh, and a British division, too.

Now, my “French” army only had a single French infantry division. So I recently contact Neil at Reinforcements By Post and contracted for another French infantry division, 12 battalions of 24 figures each of Old Glory 2nd Edition. But without a game, I never based them.

This year I am helping to put on a game at Millennium. So it was time to base these troops. Oh, did I mention I also picked up a brigade of Perry Nassauers from the talented Roger Murrow? They needed based, too. That’s another five battalions of 30 figures each, plus some Neapolitans!

So this weekend, armed with a nice drinkable Italian red, I have done the deed:

Brigade for basingBasing materials

Sadly, and back to the topic indicated by the title, we have decided to move on to 20:1 units. Arrgh. I guess these will just be small French battalions!