I have started a new project, or to be precise, a series of linked projects, based around the campaign and battle of Waterloo. This is part of my involvement in the run up to the 2015 bicentennial commemorations in Belgium.
The first part of the project is to create forces in 6mm (1/300 scale) that can be used with a variety of wargame rules to replay the battles. I am using Irregular Miniatures models based on 2cm square bases. This means the infantry strips have to be trimmed slightly at the ends to fit, because they are nominally 21mm wide, and in practice slightly wider.
Standard mounting is three strips of six infantry, two strips of four cavalry or one gun and three crew to a base. British types have only two strips of infantry. Light infantry skirmishing are six figures to a base and cavalry scouts have one strip of four figures.
Using this method I am painting and mounting enough figures in each unit for my own rules, “Est-il heureux”, which have standard units of 72 infantry, 48 cavalry or 4 guns. A unit consists of 12 elements, so an element is 6 infantry, 4 cavalry or one gunner.
By placing two bases side by side I can create an element for DBN (an unofficial modification of the well-known DBA rules by Wargames Research Group).
I can also use the bases as blocks for my miniatures version of Commands and Colors. As the game seems to be unavailable now I am using the information generously supplied free on the Command and Colors website. I use Kallistra Hexon tiles and hexagons on a 4 foot x 3 foot notice board to recreate the 13 x 9 hex game board.
(Stop Press! I just bought the original game on Ebay)
For the order of battle I am using the information in the DBN booklet published by Essex Wargamers, but I am, as mentioned above, producing sufficient bases in each unit to work with other sets of rules.
I have nearly completed the allied first corps under the command of the Prince of Orange. Two light cavalry units to go. Then I will start on Reille’s corps.
The second part of the linked projects is in 2mm scale. Again I am aiming for flexibility. The aim is to produce each brigade as a unit at a ratio of 1 “figure” (if you can use that term with 2mm troop blocks) to 10 men. The rules will be either DBN or the free rule set 2 by 2, which is designed for 2mm troop blocks on a 2 foot x 2 foot table. I am trying to source a good map of the battlefield including contour lines (before the lion mound was created from Wellington’s ridge line), and will make the terrain from cork floor tiles, suitably embellished. An alternative is the system I use for World War II games in 2mm with a tessellation of floor tiles cut to 4 inches square and stacked with contours which break the edge of the square at the mid point.
Scenery for my 2mm games is a mix of Rod Langton’s 1:1200 scale buildings from the siege of Toulon, hedges made of green pipe cleaners, walls from Irregular Miniatures and trees made from pieces of green scouring cloth glued to a roofing tack and dipped in flock.
I also have a hex-based system for 2mm using 2mm thick, 6cm wide MDF hexagons from Warbases. I like the flexibility, but feel that the contours are not high enough, so I am rethinking that option.
The third and final part of the project is for my reenactment display games using “Est-il heureux”. In this version troops a represented by wooden blocks printed with stylised 10mm toy soldiers on a cork wall tile surface with wooden houses and two-dimensional wooden trees. For this project I will use a 42 inch x 30 inch board (it has to fit inside my bell tent) and expect each unit to be a division. Maybe each block will represent a brigade. I have yet to reduce the order of battle to a manageable level.
update 4th March 2013
For the 2mm option I have returned to the 6cm hexagons as a base. I am reducing the element base width to 5cm, which means I can get 100 infantry in three ranks or 50 cavalry in two ranks to a base. I estimate that to fit on a four foot by three foot board teach element will represent ten times the figures represented, so a brigade of 6000 infantry will be represented by six elements, which will comfortably fit onto two or three hexagons.
I have started to spray paint the hexagons for the battlefield. I have decided that the higher the contour level represented, the darker and browner the hexagons will be. I may bevel the edges of hexagons at the change of level, but that will reduce the flexibility.
Photographs to follow.