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Author Topic: You can be small and big at the same time...  (Read 1886 times)

Offline Peter at Baccus

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 9
You can be small and big at the same time...
« on: May 20, 2023, 01:27:10 PM »


I’ve been displaying some big-based units in the Baccus display case for a couple of years. I am sure that many of you in the UK have seen them at one show or another. They were designed to show off the mass effect of smaller scale figures, but were also an attempt to better depict how their historical counterparts were actually formed up for battle, with company/troop distinctions and representation of the correct place for supernumaries in the formation.



Wargamers have become used to the convention of a single or double rank of figures representing a battalion or regiment, and these being deployed shoulder to shoulder to form ‘curtains’ of figures. This may work practically, but loses sight of how the units really functioned. This in turn feeds into game play where wargames units perform manoeuvres which make perfect sense to a body of a dozen 28mm figures but would be impossible to the six hundred soldiers that they represent.



In addition to that, I wanted to show the basic mechanics behind the working of English Civil War foot battalia. Answering questions on various groups and forums over the years and still seeing such gaffs as the pike sections of unit formed deeper than the equivalent shot persuaded me to make a practical model of actual practice. The end result was the units shown in the accompanying photographs.



Further to all of that, these are not just display pieces – with a base measuring 2:1 in frontage to depth ratio, they are perfectly practical for use with area based rules such as Polemos ECW, Twilight of Divine Right and For King and Parliament. With a footprint less than a standard 24 strong 28mm unit, they are eminently practical and make spectacular forces. However, this is not an option that really caught on. That is, until the last couple of months, when I’ve had lots of enquiries leading to me now supplying big units for a number of Big Base project.

https://www.baccus6mm.com/admin/products/WEC/scots1.jpg

As a result, I’ve decided to actually offer these units as part of the Baccus ranges. Naturally enough, I’ve started with our ECW/TYW range, but I would like to expand the offer to our Sun King’s War, WSS and GNW ranges over the coming months.



You can find details of the Big Base WEC units here: https://www.baccus6mm.com/catalogue/BaccusBigBaseunits/

https://www.baccus6mm.com/admin/products/WEC/brigade2.jpg

I’ve also prepared a couple of brief notes on these units which you can find here https://www.baccus6mm.com/.../WEC/foot%20battalia.pdf and here https://www.baccus6mm.com/.../products/WEC/horseregiment.pdf

Now, I realise that as a non-6mm specialist group, there are numbers of you out there ready to add comments about potential damage to eyes, sanity and patience when painting the wee chaps.   Let me assure you that none of these apply.   I can crank out the figures for a unit like this in two or three paint sessions with eyesight and patience intact.  Sadly, sanity departed a long time ago, but two out of three can't be bad.

To bring up a very old strapline of ours, ‘Think Big and Go Small!’



Offline Gibby

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2363
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2023, 03:50:14 PM »
These look excellent. I've long admired your stand at Partizan shows over the years (I was there at Hammerhead this year as well, when some of your figures took a tumble to the floor  :o - for the record I was well out of arms' reach!). I haven't got round to a Big Battle project, but I hope to one day, and 6mm is a strong contender. These units you've posted do show the merits of the scale in a very impressive way.

This forum definitely has a lot of 28mm+ content, and quite often is populated by game reports of skirmish/small fight style games. That said, there is some great 6mm content around these days:

https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=140175.0

Very inspiring stuff!

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3401
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2023, 04:18:19 PM »
Small figure - big base is a great way of gaming, we have done it for a long time with Volley & Bayonet, Impetus and lately Tercios. The look of mass units is very inspiring.

The only drawback comes with terrain heavy battlefields. You either have to rationalise away so much of the ever present clutter: hedges, copses, orchards, farms etc that you end up with a virtually blank field or you accept the big bases balanced on top of the scenery which destroys the immersive look of it all.

I have been trying to find a way of playing ACW battles with brigade sized units in 3mm using a "big base" approach but have ended up accepting it's impossibility. For the groundscale the density of terrain on the battlefields means the big bases never actually touch the basecloth, there is always something underneath them.

Offline Sparrow

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1307
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2023, 07:48:22 PM »
Brilliant stuff
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry!

Offline fred

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4437
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2023, 08:42:39 PM »
These look great.

I normally play in 10mm, so am a proponent of small figures, but this style of basing really makes the figures look like a unit. I’ve never understood the idea of a 28mm horse and musket era unit being represented by 2 rows of figures with around 12 figure frontage. Real units in the era were very thin and long. I recall seeing a display at a museum with 1:1 figure scale of a battalion of Napelonic era foot, and it was around 5 feet long, with 20 to 25mm figures used.

Big units look good, and they look even better if they represent the historical formations. I think from the figure counts given on the site these are around 1:3 on figure scale, which really does give a feel for the size of the real formations.

Offline carlos marighela

  • Elder God
  • Posts: 11099
  • Flamenguista até morrer.
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2023, 12:29:47 AM »
They do indeed look excellent and while I doubt I could paint anything so nice these days I did have an extensive collection of 6mm figures back in the day.

To be honest though, the basing, whilst visually appealing, doesn't really add that much to an appreciation of period formations, at least in a gaming sense. Not unless that is you have at least two or three separate whole regiment bases showing the unit in various tactical formations. Not sure I could be bothered repainting a whole regiment twice, just to show it in column of march for instance.
Em dezembro de '81
Botou os ingleses na roda
3 a 0 no Liverpool
Ficou marcado na história
E no Rio não tem outro igual
Só o Flamengo é campeão mundial
E agora seu povo
Pede o mundo de novo

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 869
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2023, 04:28:37 PM »
But aren't some of them just far away, Ted?

Looks like you've really caught the original purpose of small figures - this was what 15mm chaps were originally designed for (anyone else recall Peter Laing's Marlburian British battalion with a grenadier platoon at each end?), but then morphed into the same old 12-figure "regiments" that 25mm had lapsed into.  Well done!
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Offline ithoriel

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 424
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2023, 06:02:02 PM »
Just finished painting the basics for my 2mm Strength and Honour Roman Warlord army .... 6mm are HUGE!  lol
There are 100 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data.

Online FifteensAway

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4783
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2023, 04:15:03 AM »
They are, indeed, beautiful units to behold.  And I understand Peter's point.  As a modest counter point, while it is great to strive towards 'realism' to some degree that is, ultimately, unobtainable in a game.  I prefer to lean hard towards simple and fun with a profound emphasis on the fun.  I do believe, outside of real military gaming, that was - and hopefully is - the whole point.  Well, for me it is.  But I'd still love to have an army built of units like those shown.  Just not practical (tempting though it is - but at 40,000+ figures I cannot justify more!).

Offline robh

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3401
  • Spanish offworld colonies
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2023, 12:20:41 PM »
...... anyone else recall Peter Laing's Marlburian British battalion with a grenadier platoon at each end?.......

Not that one but I do have pictures somewhere of the Battle Honours 1 to 1 Napoleonic French Battalion that took up virtually the entire frontage of their trade stand for a few years.

Back in the mid 90's I recall seeing a couple of 15mm display games of Scotty Bowden's  "Chef de Batallion" where the battalions were drawn up in historic formations and maneuvered/changed formation (AROUND THE SCENERY) according to the drill manuals.
A totally different game experience. I think they were at a 1 - 4 ratio so around 200 figures per unit, fascinating to watch as an academic exercise but difficult to actually play. One for the true purists/zealots I think.

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 869
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2023, 07:34:43 AM »
I believe that one of the 6mm manufacturers (Baccus?) also has a full-size French Napoleonic battalion in the display cases they take to shows - it looks very impressive.

I do recall "Chef de Bataillon" (which I have on my shelves) and have - for some years now - been eagerly awaiting the long-promised 2nd edition, which promised to iron out the many creases in the original.  As you say, it is definitely one for the purists - I seem to recall a chart giving the "timings" for different grades of "sapeur" attempting to cut their way through a door with an axe!  I do recall playing it at 1:1 (solo, and with many - MANY - unpainted 25mm Minifigs) and let's say you had to really be into Napoleonics to derive any pleasure from it.

Offline vodkafan

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3597
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2023, 09:34:25 AM »
These do look fantastic.
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 500+
figures painted: 57
9 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline bigredbat

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 969
    • BigRedBatCave
Re: You can be small and big at the same time...
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2023, 12:52:16 PM »
Those are absolutely lovely!

 

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