First post and newbie question

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vodkafan
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:18 pm

First post and newbie question

Post by vodkafan » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:43 pm

I am new to Napoleonics, I have played and enjoyed some games at a friend's place many years ago, and more recently skirmish games with singly based figures but I want something different. I am wondering if General d'Armee may be for me- I do like the 1:20 ratio and the large battalions. My problem is that I will NEVER have the space to do Divisional sized games. I want to do games with about a brigade a side, say 3 line bns, 1 bn of skirmishers plus an artillery battery and an attached cavalry regiment.
Before I go on I should say I am committed to 28mm, I don't want to shrink down to a smaller scale and I don't want slimmed down 24 figure bns either in order to have more units.
Will Gd'A work for me with the limitations I mentioned? Would I just play the top level of command as the Brigade commander and move everything down one level of command so that companies receive activations that would have gone to battalions?
Or should I be looking at General de Brigade as a better fit for my needs? ( I sort of got the feeling that Gd'A is an evolutionary development of GdB, at about the same level, despite the title, although I may be wrong)
Any help appreciated!

Archdukek
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Re: First post and newbie question

Post by Archdukek » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:43 am

Sorry, but no I don't think it would work and still meet your parameters.
You would effectively be playing with battalions of 6-12 figures if you try operating as if each company or pair of companies was a separate unit with the battalion commander acting as a Brigadier. You would probably be better to grasp the nettle and just play with smaller battalions at a higher men to figure ratio.

Nor do I think that General de Brigade would be any better since it too is a divisional level game.

I cannot immediately think of a published set of rules for a truly Brigade level game other than those in Paddy Griffiths long out of print book "Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun" which does have a set for exploring how a brigade functioned.

It's a bit "left field" but I wonder if Sharp Practice might be better suited to your needs. It's really intended for large skirmish games with a figure to man ratio from 1:1 to 1:5, so that a standard group of 8 figures would represent up to 40 men with 2-3 Groups in a Formation representing a Company with around 5-6 Groups as the core of a typical Force. Assuming a 1:20 scale that same Group of 8 figures could become 160 men with 3-4 Groups representing a battalion of 480-640 men. Still not the right command level but with a bit of effort it might work.

Sorry not to be more helpful.

John

IanKH
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Re: First post and newbie question

Post by IanKH » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:35 am

I think you could use GdA but you would have to use smaller battalions... Say 1:60 ratio. That would give you 12 figures to a French battalion so the 36 figures you would need for a 1:20 battalion will become a regiment of 3 x 1:60 battalions. Batteries can be reduced to a single model & crew on a single base and a cavalry regiment would be about 8 mounted figures.

So, the units are smaller but by doing the above your games will be bigger. You'll only have to do 1/3rd of the painting.

vodkafan
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by vodkafan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:35 am

Thanks for your honest answers chaps. That's a bit disappointing. OK I guess I will just paint my big battalions up and hope I can be a part of someone else's divisional Gd'A game on a large table one day!

vodkafan
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by vodkafan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:36 am

Hi IanKH and Archdukek, I have had a thought about your replies and it struck me that you both said the same thing while saying the opposite! One said it would not work with 12 figure bns while the other said it would work with 12 figure bns.
I think maybe my idea will work, after all whether the smallest unit is called a bn or a coy, the number of maneuver elements in a brigade game will not be greatly different to that in a larger divisional game will it not? I might just have to tinker a bit.
@Archdukek, I appreciate your suggestion of Sharp Practice, and I have a copy I am reading through at the moment. You are right it is worth considering as a battalion level game. Two points jump out at me straight off:
1.The basing might start to be a problem. While I have some single based figures, I don't want 50-60 single based figures. I dislike sabot bases because the unit frontages start to get huge. However, a mix of some coys multi-based for Gd'A and some extra singles might work Ok.
2. I dislike the way I am supposed to have a little detachment of this and a detachment of that. If I am going to have a core force of about 40 figures anyway, why not just have one of my big battalions? It is reasonable that a single bn would be given a task of say, clearing a village. And that could be a satisfying game.

I suppose I am looking for a way in all these ideas to play with big multibased battalions but with limited space and means. I want a "quart in a pint pot" :twisted:

Archdukek
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Re: First post and newbie question

Post by Archdukek » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:13 pm

Hi vodkafan,
What I said was that "I don't think it would work and still meet your parameters."

I agree with Ian, GDA will work with 12 figure battalions. However, in your original post you said that you wanted to use large battalions at 1:20 scale and didn't want "slimmed down 24 figure battalions in order to have more units." If you are happy to reduce the size of the battalion to 12 figures and use the 15mm groundscale in cm you will be good to go.

As for Sharp Practice, you don't need to use single based figures though it makes casualty removal easier. You can use multi-based figures and markers. While I have some dedicated forces in sabot bases, most of my Napoleonics are still based for larger battles. Usually 4 figures in 2 ranks on a 40mm square base for Line, 2 figures on a 40x20mm base for Lights so that I can deploy them as skirmishers. In some cases I have 4 figures based as a pair and two singles so that I can make change when casualties occur.

So a mix of multi-based figures and a few singles will work fine. It helps if you have Leaders on individual bases though.

The game is designed for large skirmishes, hence the figure ratio of 1:5 and the concept that a force will consist of a number of detachments working together on a specific task. The suggested Forces are examples, you can organise your troops as you wish. So if you want to think of your Force as a battalion or half battalion and the Groups as Companies go ahead. The game should still work.

Personally I usually work to a 1:2.5 ratio so that a Group of 8 Line equates to 20 men with skirmish troops as 15 men. My core French Force of 5-6 Groups of Line and 2 Groups of Skirmishers represents a Line Company with some attached Voltigeurs and the scenarios in our campaign are planned accordingly. Simple really.

John

vodkafan
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by vodkafan » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:09 pm

Archdukek wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:13 pm
Hi vodkafan,
What I said was that "I don't think it would work and still meet your parameters."

I agree with Ian, GDA will work with 12 figure battalions. However, in your original post you said that you wanted to use large battalions at 1:20 scale and didn't want "slimmed down 24 figure battalions in order to have more units." If you are happy to reduce the size of the battalion to 12 figures and use the 15mm groundscale in cm you will be good to go.
Ha, no, I am not happy to have 12 figure bns. I don't mind pairs of companies to be 12 figures though. My first requirements still stand. I just will have 4-5 bns instead of 4-5 brigades, the game should logically flow almost the same, it will be just smaller?

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

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by Archdukek » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:06 pm

Well I suggest you try it and see. I do think you are deluding yourself to some extent by calling the 12 figures companies/divisions rather than battalions and expect the rules to work to reflect combat at Brigadevlevel, but a little bit of self delusion does no harm.

Under the rules the "units" in a infantry brigade can support and cooperate with each other, but not to the same degree that companies in a battalion would. Amongst the issues you will have to think about is how you represent different formations, eg column and line. And what does a square represent - it won't be a battalion square for example. Are your artillery deployed in batteries or sections? Whether any of that matters is entirely up to you.

To an external observer it will probably look like a divisional game with small battalions. :-)

John

Archdukek
Posts: 4506
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: Linlithgow, West Lothian, UK

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by Archdukek » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:06 pm

Well I suggest you try it and see. I do think you are deluding yourself to some extent by calling the 12 figures companies/divisions rather than battalions and expect the rules to work to reflect combat at Brigade level, but a little bit of self delusion does no harm.

Under the rules the "units" in a infantry brigade can support and cooperate with each other, but not to the same degree that companies in a battalion would. Amongst the issues you will have to think about is how you represent different formations, eg column and line. And what does a square represent - it won't be a battalion square for example. Are your artillery deployed in batteries or sections? Whether any of that matters is entirely up to you.

To an external observer it will probably look like a divisional game with small battalions. :-)

John

vodkafan
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: First post and newbie question

Post by vodkafan » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:30 am

Hi John thanks. Well, I watched through all of Dave Brown's videos yesterday and I don't see why it should not work. The player (brigade commander) will roll dice to determine which battalions get ADCs; Battalion commanders must be present for charges; Individual companies will charge or support charges etc. That much seems fine. I admit at the lowest level I haven't worked it all out yet. I will have to make some changes. But if in real life only a whole battalion could form square, or into column or line then that's what I will do; it will be the battalion commander's dice that determine that.
As for the artillery, that is an interesting point. Dave seems to always give the artillery the lion's share of ADCs, but the artillery battery is a lower level than a brigade, equivalent to a bn really, so I could do either; have it fire as a complete battery or as you say break it down into sections. That might add something to the game if not all sections could get to fire.
Thanks for taking the time to think about this and reply , even though you don't agree!

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