Thursday 7 January 2010

Building up your forces

Most recently completed unit is a battery of artillery, seen here during a Sunday afternoon drill session outside "The Fox and Hounds" obviously!

One of the questions people seem to like to ask is how to build an army. Now I’m not going to go into chapter and verse on this, and everyone will have their own way, their own approach, but I thought I would just share some ideas over the next few posts, and include some of the jottings from my wargaming journal where I tend to plan such things.

In the case of this Classic wargaming collection, I already had a few Spencer Smith battalions, as you’ve seen previously, but to recreate the essence of Charge in particular, I want to have plenty of Tradition/ Stadden figures and others to give that certain “look”.

The sensible (?!) approach seemed to me to simply build a small Stadden force, and use the SSMs to add to this as the collection grows.

So, what would a small force consist of?
Remember, we aren’t talking thousands of figures here. If your table is as big as 8' x 6' you can still fill it with just a few battalions. A 6' x 4' table means even fewer are required.
Given that I’m intent on the large battalion unit organisation, the following sketch scanned in from my Wargaming Journal seems a good target to aim at…

scanned in from my journal : click to enlarge:

Meantime, I would be interested to know whether anyone is currently starting from scratch to build an army of this style, inspired perhaps by what they have read here, or elsewhere, and simply following the journey. So feel free to comment. Your story may help other readers too. As always all comments are welcome, even if I do not get chance to answer specific queries in too much detail.
Right, back to the painting desk for an hour...


Der Alte Fritz said...

Hi Phil. I'm glad to see that you replicated some of the information (who's who, etc) from the old Blastoff Blogg. That is helpful.

I must get a scanner.

Are you going to add limbers and horse teams to your artillery battery?

Looking forward to seeing what emerges from your painting table soon.



Bloggerator said...

Hi Phil, I've started calculating the cost of two forces of two battalions of Foot, two units of Horse and an artillery battery (with limbers...) in SSM dollars. So yes, you've tempted me.


Graham C said...

Hi Phil,
my Scotia Albion blog seeks to follow my attempts to build two armies along these lines, my initial aim is to build the forces for the 'Sawmill Village' refight and then add some cavalry etc. from there who knows.
I just have to learn to stop being a butterfly

tidders2 said...

Hi Phil,

the 'small' army organisation you posted is just what I needed to help me focus on completing my 40MM figs project. Although I'll be using 2 sqdrn cavalry regiments and have 4 btns infantry @ 30figs each , plus one light company.

-- Allan

Phil Dutré said...


I'm also starting to build an 18th century army, after I've been gaming mostly ACW and WW2 for years - and yes, the inspiration has come from a renewed interest in 'classic' or 'vintage' wargaming.

I plan, however, to use figures slightly out of the ordinary. I want to use the traditional German flat zinnfiguren - of which there's a huge choice for the SYW. I bought 2 units recently, and plan to give them a paintjob to see how they would look on the gaming table. Depending on the results, I might go along this route, or switch to 'round' figures after all.

Capt Bill said...

Your site has inspired me to reorganize my armies to form large battalions. I really like the look, but was limited by a 6X8 table. Your organization helped to clarify my efforts. Thanks...

Phil said...

Great to hear of the start of a few armies here.

Alte F- although I do love creating limbers, wagons and all the paraphenalia of artillery support material for most of my projects, in this case I have decided to retain a minimalistic approach, so no limbers here.

Good to see a few new names and faces apearing here too and declaring their intent to build an army. Welcome all.

Like the sound of the 40mm army Tidders, and the Flats Phil D.
Graham, great to hear from you. Presume Lee will be raising an army too..?
Capt Bill... that's a perfectly sizeable enough table to deploy a few battalions on, and the large organisation really does look so nice.
And Greg... good to see you're tempted. Would love to see your SSM dollars converted to lead! Go for it.


Anonymous said...

Am also tempted.
I am essentially a collector of Plastics in 1:32 scale. Buy 'em, paint 'em and store them in tupperware boxes in my garden shed.
Started in 1986 more or less as a "nostalgia thing" and been collecting since then (Britains, Airfix, Timpo etc) with a gap of some years (circa 1993-2000).
Three issues to resolve.
in all that time I have only painted 2,260 soldiers from Ancients thru to WW2 and I have been very disorganised and I am a "slow" painter. I dont actually enjoy the painting ...I much prefer the finished product.
On a pro rata basis its unlikely I could get 5,000 painted 1:32 figures together before I just get too old.
So 1:72 scale is an option.
Also opens up more possibilities in my preferred era (Jacobite/SYW) and provides the opportunity of building an actual army.
Yet I am not actually attracted to wargaming as such.
So....basically your Blog has provided a lot of food for thought.

Siegfried said...

I like your blogg very much and visit it at least twice a week! I am also heavily involved in TYW wargaming and encouraged by your blogg to show pictures of my collection in the net. Hope I can persuade my wife to make the necessary photos soon!
One Question I have to you is if it is possible to contact Brian Rigelsford via you or directly. I like all the figures he made for you and I would like to contact him for some special work for me (e.g. Wallensteins lancer guards - even if hypothetically). Is this possible?
Greetings from Germany
Siegfried Bajohr