Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Austrian Cuirassier Regt. Anhalt Zerbst

Two squadrons of the Austrian cuirassier regiment Anhalt Zerbst

Today I completed the second squadron of 12 Minden Austrian cuirassiers for the Anhalt Zerst regiment during the SYW. I wanted to have the regiment on standing horses so that they would look like they were in the second line of battle in reserve.

I have started keeping a unit diary for every infantry and cavalry unit and record the date of service in my Austrian and Prussian armies. Thus the Anhalt Zerbst regiment entered service on July 21, 2015.

Side view of the standing horse pose - the regiment is in reserve waiting to enter the battle.

I now have three cuirassier regiments and two dragoon regiments in my Austrian cavalry establishment. My plan is to have cavalry brigades of three regiments ( 2 x cuirassiers and 1 x dragoons).

Anhalt Zerbst Cuirassier Regiment in Austrian service.
I am toying with an idea to increase all of my cavalry from 24 figures in "squadrons" of 12 figures in double ranks to 32 figures in four squadrons of 8 figures in a single rank. The picture below illustrates how this might look. I started with the Anhalt Zerbst cuirassiers (24 figures) and borrowed four more stands from the O'Donnell cuirassiers to see how it would look.

What do you think?

An idea for having 4 squadrons of 8 cavalry in a regiment

The idea comes from Peter Gilder's In The Grand Manner (ITGM) rules for Napoleonic wargaming. ITGM uses the cavalry squadron as the basic unit in a cavalry regiment. I kind of like the look of 32 figure cavalry regiment and at a 1:20 ratio (640 riders) it is closer to the actual strength of an Austrian regiment than is my current 24 figure regiment.

The Cons:

  • requires adding 8 more figures to every cavalry regiment
  • more squadrons adds to the complexity of the rules and the game
  • do single ranks look better or worse than two ranks?

The Pros:

  • more figures always looks better on the table top
  • 32 figures brings the regiment closer to its theoretical strength of ~ 700-800 horse

Alternative Idea:

  • Increase the cavalry units to 36 figures divided into three squadrons of 12 riders and keep the 12 figures per squadron arrangement and two rank formations.



  1. A few thoughts:
    1. Your newly mustered Austrian horse are fabulous!
    2. I like the idea of 4 x 8 trooper regiments. Of course more is better. My own 28mm Napoleonic cavalry are presented in groups of eight.
    3. Keeping track of muster date of each painted unit is a good practice in my book.
    4. At your rate of painting, adding 8 figures per regiment should pose no problem.
    5. 32 figure cavalry units are easily divisible into 32 figure squadrons (1:5), 16 figure squadrons (1:10), or 8 figure squadrons (1:20). Great flexibility!

    1. Thank you Jonathan. The muster date idea comes from Charles and Charlie Grant. I think that I can beef up the units fairly quickly so now it is a matter of play testing the concept to see if it works or rather, improves the game.

  2. Great job as ever. I also like the idea of 4 squadron of 8 trooper for the same reasons of John.

  3. The most important reason is your painting speed, which I envy deeply :)

  4. K. Reg't Anhalt-Zerbst look magnificent on those muscular horses, viewed from the side. THAT is heavy horse! One can almost anticipate the ground shake when they charge.

  5. Jim,
    I prefer the squadron organisation, I need to decide how I can incorporate larger regiments into Charles' rules but I feel squadron structure works well

  6. Lovely work as always, Jim. I'm coming late to the conversation, but if you're thinking about 32 figures, why not just paint another four and have 36 in three squadrons of two ranks? It seems like you paint pretty quickly anyway, so another four figures seems easily within your reach without it taking too long. And as a previous commenter (and you) mentioned already, more figures and larger units always look even better.

    Best Regards,


  7. P.S.

    I'm visiting The Zeughaus this week. Not one but TWO Militaria exhibits to laze my way through. Can't wait!