I dug out two regiments from my 28mm English Civil War armies, one foot and one horse. I put them on my movement bases which measure four inches by three inches. I normally mount foot regiments for this period on three bases, giving a frontage of twelve inches. Far too big for what I have in mind, so can I cut them down somewhat?
Well of course we compromise all the time in war gaming, my usual foot regiment size in this period is 28 figures, comprising sixteen shot, four command and eight pike. In reality this regiment would number some 500-600 men, so already I have taken a huge liberty in representing the unit.
A full regiment of foot comprising 28 figures on three bases.
They look quite impressive and give a good representation. But even on my 8 x 4 feet table, they take up a lot of space.
I removed one of the bases, and cut down the shot troops by half.
They still look pretty good and now only occupy an eight inch frontage.
Down to one four inch wide base, the shot have been culled to only four figures, pike down to five and command with three. Does it still give the flavour of a regiment of foot?
Obviously much less impressive than three full bases, but I think adequate for a small table, It also only takes up one third of the frontage of the original unit. More importantly, it is still obvious what the unit is.
The same experiment with a regiment of horse. Three models each per base, for a frontage of eight inches and a depth of six.
Once again with a full twelve troopers the unit looks impressive, but is again only a fraction of the hundreds that would have made up the real unit.
Reduce it by fifty percent, a four inch frontage with a six inch depth, very acceptable I think.
The frontage is more important and is now only four inches, the depth less so.
Finally, taking it to its most extreme, a single base with three figures. They also match up quite well to the single base of infantry.
Once again, not so impressive as four full bases, but still obvious what the unit is. The advantages, apart from the much smaller footprint, is of course one box of figures could now represent four regiments of horse. Less cost, painting and faster to get onto the table.
I use Warlord Games 'Pike and Shotte' rules for this period, so will they still work as well with these smaller bases?
Well ranges of weapons and distances moved need to be altered for a smaller table, maybe use cm instead of inches, or even base widths!
Casualty removal could still be used, though I think the use of some form of casualty marker would possibly work better, given the much smaller units.
Other problems also need solving, how to represent column, hedgehog etc.
Personally, I enjoy trying to solve questions like this by play testing, something I will be doing on a small table of course.
Naturally, I shall report my findings, along with photographs, to the Tabletop Commanders Blogspot!