Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reposition, rethink, rescale & refight.

It is all part of the fun and learning process, but just sometimes, we, or at least I, try to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, with the inevitable result. Those of you with good eyes and memory, will notice in the photographs below, that I have slid the whole battlefield about five or six inches to the north west (top left corner).

The reasoning behind this, was to allow some of the Union III Corps, to actually get onto the table. It was whilst placing these brigades, mostly made up of six infantry regiments and a battery of artillery, that the alarm bells started to ring. You can see five of General Sickles, six brigades are now on the table in the south east corner.

As I stood and looked at my handiwork, I realised the units looked more like a football crowd, than a scene from a battle. Using a base to represent every regiment in each brigade, simply was not going to work, bearing in mind that as well as Sickles final brigade, the whole of Reynold's I Corp, which is half as large again, as III Corps, has still to arrive!

No this simply was not going to work on my small table. 8 x 4 or 8 x 6 feet, yes, but on a little over 4 x 3 feet, I was attempting too much.

I thus have a number of options.

(a) Reduce the number of regiments in each brigade by half (rounding up for odd numbers). This would still allow me to use the activation cards I created. However, this will still quickly fill up the available space, and continue to give the appearance of that football crowd.

(b) Reduce the number of regiments in each brigade to one third, so six becomes two etc. It will still allow the use of the brigade activation cards, as well as giving far more space on the table.

(c) Simply adopt the Blucher method, one base represents one brigade, forget the activation cards, and revert to the I go You go, momentum method.

My personal choice would be option (b), but as I have been posting this in the Tabletop Commanders Blog, and lots of you are reading it, I thought I would see what you guys and gals would prefer. Feel free to offer any other options you may think of too.

The battle will hopefully be fought over the weekend, and as I found my box of trees and split fencing, I can slightly remodel the battlefield.


  1. This is always the problem with trying to fight bigger engagements. As for a solution, it has to fit what you are looking for in the game.

    1. Thanks Neil, it is all an experiment really, just to see how big I could go, without it looking too ridiculous.

  2. ok my 2p worth , fight a little part of the battle then depending on how well one side is doing roll some dice to determine how the other parts are doing off table then those results could influence how your section of the battle is going ( megalomania has to stop somewhere or your models will end up on the floor )


    1. Good suggestion Rob, I am sort of doing that now, as the rest of Lee's army is working its way onto the flank of the Union army, Longstreet's Corps has to hold Sickles and Reynolds for 30 turns for the plan to work.

  3. Volley & Bayonet is designed for all of a big battle, on a normal-sized table with 3x3" brigade stands. I decided to use my 4x6' table so I made the steel brigade stands 2x2" instead. Each Strength Point (usually 3-6 per brigade) is represented by a rank of troops on a magnet--removed when hit.

    1. Thanks Bill, I started the battle again, using just two bases for each brigade, but it is still too much like a football crowd on the table. I guess I will just have to drop down to the Blucher scale of one base equals a brigade.