Since my dedicated attack of my models from last month I have had very little time to get any real work done. I have, however, started a new unit that is progressing slowly. I have started my first Light Battalion. The unit is comprised of 36 figures, 6 for the Carabinier, 24 Chasseurs and 6 Voltigeurs. Any time I have a 36 man block on my table it is a daunting task. Seeing progress in such a large group of minis is always a blessing.
I have found in writing this game that there is a TON of research that goes into it to make it accurate.
So far, here is some of the info I have found (and I am posting it for my benefit as well as anyone out there that reads this)
I have worked out the following:
and I am currently working on getting detailed Order of Battle for a number of battles for the era. I hope to be able to publish a detailed Order of Battle book containing all the major battles of the Napoleonic age...just as an aside...the list of battles is 4 pages long so I have my work cut out for me.
For Units I have found the following (I will use France as the common element)
Battalions were made of smaller units called Companies. For the period I am focusing on a Company was made of 120 men (6 figures for the game at 1:20 compression). With this scale, a full company would be mounted on a medium base.
Each Line Battalion (of French) would have 1 Company of Grenadiers, 4-8 Companies of Fusiliers (Line infantry) and 1 Company of Voltigeurs (Marksmen)
Each Light Battaluon (of French) would have 1 Company of Carabinier (a true double threat in that they had to be the best shots to make it into the light infantry and had to be large enough and veteran enough to make it into the Grenadiers), 4 Companies of Chasseurs (light equivalent of Line troops, veteran troops selected for their ability to shoot) and 1 Company of Voltigeurs.
Grenadier uniforms were distinctive, traditional blue coats with white trousers and tunics. the Collars, cuffs, accents on the Shako, epaulets and plumes were all red. Grenadiers were also required to wear facial hair.
Line troops wore the same uniform with blue coats, white trousers and tunics. their Collars and cuffs changed per their battalion, but generally they were still red in keeping with the Tri-color theme of the Republican era. Their hats were trimmed depending on their personal distinction. Some hats were covered with water sealed canvas, usually indicating service in a given campaign depending on color. Pom-poms were colored based on company. The first company of Fusiliers in the battalion would have Dark green pom-poms, the second would have sky blue, the third would have Orange or pink and the fourth would have violet (looks like I have some correcting to do on my minis eh?)
Light troops wore blue coats and pants with white Tunics. Their cuffs were left blue with red collars. Epaulets were green and red as well as the plume with green on bottom and a red tip. Shakos were generally black with White braids.
Voltigeurs wore the same uniform, their pants were white as well as the tunics. Collars and cuffs were yellow, epaulets were green and plumes were yellow with green tips. Shako braids were also yellow.
Each unit had their primary role. Grenadiers were hearty and were meant to inspire the line as well as punch a hole in the enemy. They were big fearless men that often lead the charges. In units of questionable resolve the grenadiers would be at the rear of the battalion pushing the reluctant troops forward.
Fusiliers and Chasseurs made up the bulk of the army and were tasked with standard duties of firing. Chasseurs did this a little better as they were taken from the best shots of the Line battalions and assigned to the Light battalions.
Voltigeurs (jumpers) were the best at shooting. They were expert marksmen tasked with scouting, screening the advance and skirmishing. Their doctrine dictated that they should target enemy officers and NCOs to cut the head off the snake that was the enemy battalion. They were originally named for the primary role that Napoleon wanted them to do - to jump onto the backs of cavalry, kill the riders and take the horses....this plan was scrapped but the name remained.