Thursday, August 20, 2009


Every now and then I get trapped in some dilemma of sort about practical aspects of my wargaming projects, and that state of mind seems to drain energy from achieving further progress.

I stumbled on one of these blocks on a relatively minor issue concerning my Marlburian armies. Here's the problem: I am building my units in a modular fashion, so that, depending by the mood, the rules, or the battle, I will be able to deploy battalions or regiments with either 12 or 24 miniatures. Ideally, I would like to have all my infantry units made of 24 miniatures, but in a bout of realism, and taking into account the fact I live into an apartment and I play on a 6' by 4' table, I want to have the flexibility to opt for 12-miniature units. So far so good, as far as line infantry is concerned.

But what about grenadiers? I am fine with a 12-miniature grenadier unit; the problem is that a 24-miniature grenadier one looks... excessive, at least for the period (1700-1720.) Or isn't it? Am I wrong? I would feel comfortable with large grenadier units for later conflicts, like the Seven Years War: but what about this earlier age?

I am actually considering keeping all the Marlburian grenadiers in units of 12. They will be fine when deployed in a battle with other 12-miniature units, and they will still look OK when taking part in clashes with 24-miniature line infantry units (assuming that the whole idea of "line infantry" made any sense in this earlier period.) Or maybe I should sink myself in further readings about the period, and verify whether, historically, there is any ground to justify smaller count of men in grenadier units vs. regular infantry units.

On this problem, I got stuck: and no progress on my projects has been registered for a few weeks now.


Adik said...

Setting aside the fact, of course, that, strictly speaking, most grenadiers should be a company of a unit, not a unit in themselves, at least for the most part.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I don't really know enough about the WSS to be at all authoritative, but your solution sounds reasonable.

I suspect that there may not have been any "standing" grenadier units, but that any grenadier units were temporary ones created by pulling grenadiers from various units . . . but I also suspect that often the grenadiers remained with their home battalion.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

I can't speak for the WSS period either, but I would point out that whether you stick with 12-figure units or go with 24, you'll still need to paint at least 12. So there's no reason not to paint the 12 while you're researching the 24. :)

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Jeff is right I think... most units made up entirely of grenadiers were made up of contingents from nay regiments - converged they were called - best example was the Austrian converged grenadier battalions used by Marlborough in the assault on the Schellenberg.. I did a bit of digging on them here:

Adik said...

Thanks, Steve. Very good suggestion! I actually found and pondered a little on your post, and I am heading to a similar solution for my Austrian. To each infantry unit (eight stands) I will try to add two supplemental grenadier stands; depending by the circumstances, the infantry battalion will be deployed with 6 infantry and 2 grenadier bases, or 8 infantry bases; the 2 grenadier bases may then be collected in a 'converged' battalion numbering from 4 to 8 stands (12 to 24 figures.)
It is less complicated than it sounds by my sleep-deprived syntax; and if it is indeed baroque... perfect solution for XVIII century wargaming! :-)