Out of my depth

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mellett68
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Out of my depth

Post by mellett68 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:49 pm

I'm very new to the lardie rules - in fact brand new to historical wargaming after a long break during my 20s from the hobby - and I'm liking what I've seen from battle reports, it's the kind of emergent narrative that really makes an enjoyable game for me.

I've been reading as much as I can about the peninsular war and Napoleonics in general but I keep going round in circles on army organisation especially with regard to SP; I just don't know enough to let me choose a good jumping in point.

My aim really is to get the rules, get some figures, learn the game and then introduce it to others and/or rope family members into standing around awkwardly while I roll dice with a gleam in my eye. I'm happy enough to expand forces later.

With that in mind what's a sensible minimum set of forces I could start with in order to learn the rules?

I was jealously looking at the thread with the Perry ACW battle in a box thinking "that's exactly what I want but for the peninsular war"

Cheers

Archdukek
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Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Out of my depth

Post by Archdukek » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:05 pm

Hi mellett,
Welcome to the Lardy community and to Sharp Practice.

The key thing to remember with SP is that you are recreating large skirmishes between small groups of men so wider army organisations are largely irrelevant. A SP force is best thought of as a small task force pulled together for a particular mission so while it might have a core force of infantry there might be some other attached specialist units like riflemen or light cavalry.

The figure to men ratio can be anything from 1:1 to 1:5 so that a group of 8 line infantry could represent anything from 8 men to 40. For my games I tend to assume a ratio of 1:2.5 which means a group of 8 equals 20 real men. Thus my core French force of 5 groups of line infantry plus 2 groups of Voltigeur Skirmishers represents a single Company (100 men) from a line battalion plus a detachment of 30 Skirmishers from the battalion's light company. That helps when thinking about the background narrative for games.

For a good starter game I would recommend using a couple of matching Forces from the examples in the rules. These usually consist of 5-6 groups of line infantry (40-48 figures) plus 2 groups of Skirmish Troops (12 figures) plus around 4 Leaders. Spending around a third of your points on Leaders will give you a good level of command.

Once you've learnt the basic rules you can start adding other units like Grenadiers or cavalry to taste.

John

Contrarius
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: Out of my depth

Post by Contrarius » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:29 am

Hello Mellett,
I agree entirely with Archdukek’s recommendations. However, once you’ve got the basic force together I would think about adding a single (smallish) cannon before going for cavalry. Not only is it great fun but it allows you to play a number of interesting scenarios. (It’s also easier to paint, unless you add a horse draught team, which many players don’t seem bother with.)

mellett68
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: Out of my depth

Post by mellett68 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:59 am

Ok that sounds good!

In terms of painting up a force, should I just pick a regiment and paint up my groups like they've come from one, or multiple? How would a detachment like this be formed?

I finally found a uniform painting guide for the british (although it could have done with a labelled diagram, I had to go find out what 'facings' are etc) with info on each regiment's particulars so I feel a bit happier from that point of view.

Thanks!

Contrarius
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Re: Out of my depth

Post by Contrarius » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:27 am

mellett68 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:59 am

In terms of painting up a force, should I just pick a regiment and paint up my groups like they've come from one, or multiple? How would a detachment like this be formed?
Personally, for the sake of variety and narrative, I would chose, say, three groups from a line battalion, and two from a light battalion or different line battalion with different facings. You can also (as options) add a musician and regimental colours (i.e. flag) preferably for the 3-group battalion.

Then for the skirmishers, one group at least should be Rifles, the other perhaps a light company from one of your main battalions.

Your four Leaders will then command, respectively 3, 2, 1 and 1 groups. If you add a fifth Leader he can act as a sergeant (level I) assisting with the 3-group formation.

mellett68
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: Out of my depth

Post by mellett68 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:13 am

Ok that makes sense.

I was looking at 32nd regiment of foot (Cornwall)last night. Since they're local to me I can go have a nose around the regimental museum to see some uniforms and learn a bit about their history. They were active in both the Peninsular war and the Walcheren Campaign so there's scope to use them for northern european scenarios without too much stressing over whether they should be there or not.

Since there's a bit of local interest there I thought it might be nice to have some of their uniforms on the table, but the choice is arbitrary really.

95th rifles are, naturally, going to be gathered at some point but I've been finding sourcing a good box of them a bit tricky if I want a few groups.

In terms of actual gameplay, do musicians and flag bearers have any rules implications? I presume I could have some for a bit of variety if not?

sneaky edit: in terms of light infantry are the same miniatures used for skirmishers and line groups, or are they different units alltogether?

edit again: I mean compared to centre company line, so flank company skirmishers vs flank company in groups that can join a formation

Archdukek
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Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: Out of my depth

Post by Archdukek » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:55 pm

Personally I prefer my force to come from the same regiment, but that's just personal preference. Having a local connection is no bad thing, providing that you can cope with the pain when they are defeated. :-)

At this period, most Napoleonic infantry could skirmish as well as fight in line so you could use some centre company figures as your Skirmish Troops if you prefer. However, using some of the same battalion's light company flanker figures with wings on their shoulders would make an interesting difference.

If you are fielding troops from a Light Infantry regiment they all wear the wings on their shoulder so the figures look the same whether deployed in groups of 8 as line infantry or as groups of 6 Skirmish troops. You cannot combine groups of line troops and skirmish troops in the same formation but they can be part of the same force.

While everyone is tempted to field the 95th Rifles, I prefer the 5/60th myself. In game terms, however, I would rather field Light Infantry Skirmishers with muskets since I find them more useful and better value points wise.

John

Contrarius
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Re: Out of my depth

Post by Contrarius » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:02 pm

The Cornwall Regt is a good choice. I have a unit of Cornwalls myself.

Do you know the following site?

http://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/un ... 8&nation=1

It’s a wealth of info on all the regiments that fought in the Waterloo campaign, on both sides. The difference from the Peninsula period is mainly the different headgear. At Waterloo the infantry wore the Belgic Shako with a tall false front, while in the Peninsula they wore the Stovepipe shako, which was more rounded.

The main difference between light and line companies is the “wings” worn on the shoulders by men of the light companies. You can field the same figures either as skirmishers, in groups of 6, or as formed troops, in groups of 8. Most folk, however, would use firing/loading poses for the skirmishers and marching/advancing for the line, but that’s entirely a matter of taste.

There are indeed special rules for musicians and colours. In brief, a musician accompanying the overall commander figure allows him to double his command radius, and also assists in controlling musketry if it becomes “Uncontrolled”. Regimental standards add a bonus in close combat and a provide a trophy for the enemy to capture.

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sjwalker51
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Out of my depth

Post by sjwalker51 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:08 pm

It’s a real pity we’ve never got a “Lard Finder” section up and running on the forum so that newcomers like Mellett68 can find like-minded souls for a bit of support and guidance.

Based on the Cornwall reference, there’s always Bob and the Clotted Lard crew but I appreciate that could be a long way from wherever in Cornwall Mellett is based!

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Out of my depth

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:38 am

In terms of force composition, you could equally draw all your foot troops from the light company of the 32nd, since the standard modus operandi was an extended skirmish line working in pairs, with a support line to replace casualties and men who had run out of ammunition, and finally a reserve which was invariably retained in close order as a rallying point. You can class the reserve as line infantry, if you want to provide a little more variety in terms of attributes. From memory, the skirmishers and supports constituted half the company, and the reserve contained the other half; all were musket-armed, but you could also insert a group of 6 riflemen from the 5/60th. Realistically, other units would more likely be hussars/light dragoons, rather than artillery. but your choice.

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