Taking researched Orders of Battle, and recreating the forces, is to me, as much an enjoyable part of the game, as actually fighting out the battle with the tiny troops.
An artillery piece selects a target during the English Civil War.
A supply column passes through a sleepy village.
However, if the battle is part of a campaign, then the enjoyment and tension is even greater. For whatever happens in this battle, may well have dire consequences to the defeated army. Can they continue to hold back the victors? Are there enough new recruits to fill the gaps in the ranks? Can this area of land be relinquished to the enemy, without to much harm being done? The questions and of course the answers, are many and varied.
Mustering of the Union Army of the Potomac.
Major battles, skirmishes, sieges and tactical withdrawals, will all be part of the campaign. Uneven forces will likely be facing off against one another. Reinforcements may be half a days march away. Will they arrive in time to affect the battle, to crush the enemy or save the day?
The arrival of friendly brigade on the enemy's flank, or the dismay of realising your force is now cut off and surrounded. Having to commit untried units in a battle that has to be won, the very survival of your nation, hangs in the balance.
A brigade v brigade action during the American Civil War.
I. for a long time, have wanted to fight 'Jackson in the Valley' a Civil War affair in the Shenandoah Valley. A hugely outnumbered Confederate force, trying to cause mischief, and force the Union to commit troops to either defeating Jackson, or at least driving him out of the valley. Troops that would otherwise have been committed to the Peninsular Campaign aimed at Richmond.
A campaign I intend to play out in the near future.
Small sized units for use in an English Civil War game on a very tiny table.
Then of course, you can create totally fictional nations, fighting to control, a yet to be mapped, continent. Those ECW troops above, could just as easily be part of the army of 'Duke Theodore of the Duchy of Balsanova.'
Any period of history, or for that matter, fantasy or the future, could just as easily be used to form your own Imagi-nations. Use an existing map, and simply rename the countries and cities at your leisure, even redraw borders!
Baron von Waldeck's men advance into the wastelands of Bultania, intent on destroying the Orcs of King Zolten.
These familiar blue and grey clad warriors, could just as easily be fighting in Ireland or New Zealand, or anywhere else on this, or any other globe you so choose.
Fighting wars costs money, the more land you control, the more taxes for your coffers. Soldiers need to be paid and fed, not to mention armed. All these factors can be built into a campaign game.
Regiments of Sligo and Limerick face off across a field in County Kerry?
I hope that has given you some food for thought.