|My newly painted Prussian regiment IR18 Prinz von Preussen
Getting Back to the 18th Century
I am taking a break from painting 54mm Punic Wars figures and getting back to my touchstone, which is painting Minden Seven Years War figures. It's been awhile since I have painted any of the 1/56 scale Minden figures and I wasn't sure how long it would take me to adjust to painting smaller miniatures. It turns out that it did not take me much time at all. Once I applied my brushes to the smaller figures, the joy of painting my Minden Prussians took over and I am now cranking them off of the assembly line at a rapid clip.
Today's fox is a return to my War of Austrian Succession ("WAS") "three ranks" project. I paint a battalion of 32 figures and the bulk of the rank and file are glued to their bases in two ranks. However, I then place the "file closers" ( NCOs, officers and drummers) behind the two ranks of soldiers and this creates the illusion of a three rank formation.
|IR18 Prinz von Preussen regiment of two battalions deploys in front of a village.
The two pictures below show how the file closers form a third rank of war game figures.
|Side view shows the placement of the third rank of command figures.
|Note the placement of the 3-pound battalion gun on the flank of the battalion.
Battalion Gun Solution
I think that I have finally developed a solution to the problem of how to use battalion guns in war games. Rather than having the gun and artillery crew acting as a separate unit, they are incorporated into the battalion as the fifth stand and are kind of there "just for looks." They do serve a purpose though: in my rules a unit fires with a D10 for every four figures in the battalion. For example, if the battalion strength has fallen from 32 figures down to 24 figures, the number of dice has also fallen from 8 dice at full strength to 6 dice. Thus the more casualty attrition during the game, the fewer the dice that the battalion can use when it fires its muskets.
Where the battalion gun comes in is that the cannon stand gets one D10 added to the total number of dice that are being used to fire. For example, a battalion has 28 figures, so it gets seven D10 plus one extra D10 for having a battalion gun attached to the unit. Once a complete stand of infantry figures has been put out of action, the battalion gun stand is removed so that the battalion no longer gets the benefit of the extra D10 in combat. In other words, the battalion gun firing has nothing to do with the regular artillery firing table.
Musket range is 8-inches in my rules and 3-pound light artillery has a range of 20-inches. I will allow the battalion to fire the 3-pounder using the artillery firing table provided that the battalion has not moved on that turn. So the gun is always moving with the battalion and does not stop to fire unless the battalion has not moved during the turn.
I never knew what to do with the battalion guns in the past, but I think that this solution works nicely while also enhancing the visual look of the battalion.
Next Up In the Painting Queue
I have a 42-figure battalion of the Prussian Garde IR15-III that have been sitting on my painting table, partially painted, for at least a year. I plan on finishing this unit next.
This will then give me six battalions of infantry for my Three Rank Army on the Prussian side. The Austrians currently have seven battalions of infantry in the Three Rank Army system.
Both armies will have 10 to 12 battalions of infantry at the completion of the project. I do not have to change the unit size or basing of light infantry battalions such as Croats and Jagers. The cavalry basing does not need any changing either, other than to increase the unit size from 24 riders to 32 riders (but these additions will be painted slowly over time).
This afternoon I primed 32 Hessian Grenadiers in firing line poses to join my Prussian army as the Bornstadt Grenadier Battalion (5/20). These will get painted shortly, perhaps slipping in ahead of the Prussian Guards.