Sunday, June 20, 2021

Perceptions VS Reality

        One of the big hurdles that wargamers face is the difference between the scale of the figure and the reality of the military formation that it is being used to represent. We happily use a dozen or so figures on a rectangular base to represent up to a thousand men in a long, very thin, line. Recently I had the opportunity to  visit Bastion Gaming Center just as Rich, the Resident Painting Wizard, was putting the final touches on a Warlord Civil War gaming set. Looking at the simply huge number of figures he had painted it occurred to me that there were enough soldiers on his workbench to represent a Union infantry regiment of 600 men at 1:1 scale. We gathered up the minis and a few minutes later had them laid out in a two-deep line on a three-hundred figure frontage. The results were edifying, see below.

the regiment drawn up into one two-rank line;
 six hundred men and one colonel out front on his horse 
note how thin the line is in relation to its length

the ten sixty-man companies as separate entities

an "assault column" mostly used to maneuver, 
notice how much closer the individual companies are to their colonel
 and how much more compact a formation it is to move about a battlefield

          I confess a very limited knowledge of Union battle formations and will look into it further so I might bring the gentle reader more photos of accurate formations while I have access to this interesting resource. I would welcome suggestions from readers with a more profound knowledge than I possess.


  1. it really helps you understand why flags and music was so important to a horse and musket period army.
    Its the only way you could possibly communicate effectively down a long line of units.

  2. Exactly, imagine trying to shout an order over the din of battle to troops at either end of that line!

  3. Imagine doing gettysburg 1:1 scale And using star & Bars rules.

  4. Cheers for these photo's Anton, very interesting.
    I have copied them to and linked them to your blog.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Willz. Harley.