Having identified the battles to the East of Paris as a starting point, I then needed to choose one or two battles from those listed in my last post. I was looking for a battle of around 20,000 men per side with units that also fought in the larger battles. Given that Blucher was the most aggressive of the Allied commanders, it should come as no surprise that the Army of Silesia was involved in most of the major battles. I also have a sizeable collection of Prussians in 28mm (Elite and Connoisseur) and so have a good knowledge of Prussian army organisation. So it was an easy decision for me to start with the Army of Silesia.
My next conundrum was which battle to start with. After reading through accounts of the main battles I have decided to start with Montmirail as this will provide me with three Russian Corps (two infantry and one cavalry), one Prussian Corps and several French Corps including the Imperial Guard. I can then expand these forces to cover the rest of the Six Days of Glory battles against the army of Silesia. I’ll cover the history, army lists and my reasons for choosing these battles in future posts.
Whilst studying these battles it became apparent that 28mm figures were not going to work as
1. The size of the forces are too big without using a large figure ratio, I didn’t want to do this as I felt that this was running against my vision for this project.
2. The size of the battlefields meant that I wouldn’t be able to accurately recreate the battlefields on my standard 8x6 table.
3. Napoleon’s tactics in a lot of these battles involved isolating and surrounding single enemy Corps or dividing armies by obtaining a central position and dividing enemy Corps.
All of this meant that I was looking at a smaller scale than 28mm. My first thought was 15mm, but, again this is still too big for many of the battles without comprising on scale or ratios. I’ve always been one of those gamers who has laughed at 6mm and questioned why anyone would use this scale rather than painted blocks of wood. However, there has been some excellent demo games produced at various shows over the past couple of years and I’ve slowly come round to benefits of 6mm. Given the issues above and my limited amount of painting time, I’ve decided that I will try using 6mm for this project.
I’ve spent some time in recent weeks looking at the various suppliers of 6mm figures and have decided that I will use mostly Baccus figures for this project as I prefer the style of these figures over those produced by Adler (I really don’t like the large heads) although I may use a mixture of both when it comes to cavalry and personalities.
Considering the Russians had the largest involvement from the Allied armies at Montmirail I have decided to start with them.
A quick trip down to Castle Donnington at the weekend provided me with a couple of packs of Russian infantry in greatcoats and some skirmishers to go with them. I’ll get these painted up over the next week or so and post up some pictures to show the results.