Tuesday, 3 January 2012

1860's Tradgardland -getting the look right...

I have been painting and organising today.This project began last August and was planned even longer ago.A little was done on the holiday of the Royal Wedding and then put aside unitil now. I want units of around 12 figures for infantry and am still undecided for cavalry and artillery. The figures represent the Tradgardland Ducal forces of around 1864. I am looking for units which look good on the table as well as giving an impression of the warfare of the mid 19th century. The game will be fought with only a few units aside on a smallish table.The photos show an infantry regiment with skirmishers sent forward (perhaps next time I ought to get firing figures for the skirmishers?) one with a movement tray and one without. Movement trays are useful to define formed troops as well as to aid movement on the tabletop- lazy chap am I not? I would be interested in your thoughts on my organisation as well as advice on cavalry...
Finally I want to use my informal rules free gaming as I have done in the 18th century.How should the game differ? What are the key elements of the period warfare? I await your ideas gentlemen...


  1. Good looking, if perhaps a little too 'modern' for the 1860? Could fit for Aug. 1914... What about coloured (Tradgarland pink?) cuffs, maybe a lighter blue (re. the flag) for the rolled cloak? Even blue trousers except for jaeger?

    Anyway try to flock or repaint the bases with a green very different from that of the uniform: camouflage was not yet fashionable 150 years ago :)

  2. Hmmh Jean -Louis :)
    By the way I should have asked if anyone had any ideas re jaeger units- all figs able to skirmish not just the two of line inf?

  3. Nice: I like the contrast between the dark green uniform and the flag. I agree with Jean-Louis about the base colour; the boys tend to disappear into the bases, and you'll find that more so on the table top. As the green looks so good as a uniform colour, I'd choose a much paler colour for the base - possibly not even green, but some kind of brown, tan or buff colour. That assumes, of course that you were going for painted, rather than flocked bases.

    Cavalry unit sizes will depend on your budget. With a large budget you could go for 12-figure cavalry units. Many people (including myself) tend to have cavalry half the size of infantry units, but that tends to be when unit sizes are large. With 12-figure infantry, I would recommend 8 or 9-figure cavalry units.

    The 8-figure unit is nice and tidy, and easily adapted to different formations (line, column).

    But I prefer the 9, formed of 3 squadrons of 3. Regiment in line is one figure deep; in column of squadrons, a 3x3 formation (I'd place the command figures in the centre squadron), and route column, simply ignore the squadron organisation, place the CO at the head, and the remainder of the unit 4 ranks of 2.

    True, the depth of the route column would be better represented by a single file column, but I'm not sure about the aesthetic appeal...

    I like firing figures for skirmisher type troops. Not so wonderful if the unit is on the march, but that's the price you pay for the 'look' of skirmishers doing their job. For whole units, though, I would mix the firing with some other pose about 50-50. I've done this with my Napoleonic Austrian Jager: half advancing, half firing. Replacing the 'advancing' figures with figures 'loading', or pointing out targets would look as good, I think.

  4. Thanks for the helpful comments.I will ponder upon the size of cavalry units tonight.Good ideas re use of firing figures.

  5. For what it is worth, here is my tuppence worth!

    By the 1860's most armies were beginning to realise the value of skirmishing/looser formations (the Austrians were seriously duffed up in 1866 by the Prussians due to their old fashioned muzzle loading rifles and shoulder to shoulder tactics).

    As your troops are clearly "German" inspired you have a choice of really modern (Prussian) tactics or playing catch up (Bavarian etc). If you chose the latter then Jagers would actually be different, attribute wise, from the line troops.

    Uniforms are great-green was used by light infantry and by minor German states in the 1850's so I see nothing wrong with your choice of colours.

    Cavalry had two good uses, scout the enemy and run down broken troops. the third was the suicidal "plug the gap" type charge when there was nothing else available. Cavalry units should be smaller than infantry battalions.

    My FPW figures use a 1:50 ratio, with German infantry battalions at 20 figures and cavalry regiments at 12 figures.

    Hope this helps!