Monday, June 11, 2007

Ballyfoole Grenadiers

While I am trying to clear my painting desk of other miniatures I have prepped my first unit for the League.
These are the Ballyfoole Grenadiers (from Foundry). The commanding officer is Colonel Kelly. The uniforms will be medium green jackets, probably with white or yellow facings.
Due to space and time and cost I prefer to keep units small. This unit will have around 14 figures, including officers, musicians, flag-bearer and all.
Also trying to figure out ranks. I assume the overall commander of a nation's army will usually be a general (or equivalent term), but what would the commander of a unit like the Grenadiers be? For that matter what would the unit itself be (a regiment?)?
I enjoy reading history (stress on the "story"), but I don't want to get too hung up in historical facts and minutiae. This is all in fun after all! :-)
I suppose the League could institute its own organization. :-)


Bluebear Jeff said...

Hmmm, where to start?

First, be careful that your 'green coats' are not too close to your base and/or flocking color. I've seen too many units whose coloring blends into the ground color and loses its visual effectiveness.

Now this doesn't mean don't do green . . . it means select a color for either the coats OR ground that gives you enough contrast.

Now, for organization. While the exact numbers and organization varied from country to country, the basic foot unit of the 18th century was a BATTALION.

Battalions generally had a strength on the order of 600-750 men (paper strength). Each Battalion was formed of COMPANIES. Companies varied in strength, but 60-100 men were somewhat 'typical'. The exact size and number of companies varied more widely than Battalion size.

Some countries had REGIMENTS which were composed of two to four BATTALIONS . . . but such regiments seldom campaigned together. Other nations had only single-battalion regiments. Also, the number of battalions within a regiment varied even within the same nation.

So a number (it varied, but 4 was common) of battalions were often 'brigaded' together in a BRIGADE. Generally these were not permanent groupings, but were those assigned to a BRIGADIER.

Note that a Brigadier handled only infantry or only cavalry. A GENERAL commanded both (hence he held a 'general' command instead of a 'brigade').

Since most field forces included infantry and cavalry (and often artillery), the overall commander was almost always a 'General'.

(Note that the term "brigadier general" is actually incorrect -- he is a brigadier).

Now, your unit should be considered a 'battalion' since that was the unit of the period. If you are basing your figures on a number of stands, consider each one a company (or pair of companies) if you like. If they are individually based, consider each figure a 'company' (given the size of your battalion).

I hope that this helps . . . of course you are free to ignore it as well.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

tradgardmastare said...

My units are quite small too. Normally 16 figs for inf and 12 for grenidiers. Sqdrns come in at 6 figs.
Have you ideas for flags yet? I think it is one of the most enjoyable aspects.It would be good to see /hear further about your uniform ideas

Fitz-Badger said...

Thanks, Jeff! That helps a lot!

As for the green coats, I think there will be enough white or yellow and shiny helmets and such to keep the unit from being too camoflaged. On the other hand if/when I do some light infantry I might deliberately make them blend in a bit.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Everyone is different . . . but I learned long ago that I never overlooked my opponent's troops.

No, what I often missed seeing were some of my own troops. I'd mean to move them but would overlook them.

Since then I've picked fairly bright uniform colors -- so that I have a better chance of seeing them!

That probably also has something to do with my age and blurring eyesight.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

To add to what Jeff said, the commander of a regiment would nominally be a Colonel, who was the owner of the regiment. However, some regiments had Colonels who actually commanded, while others had Colonels who nominally owned the regiment but left battlefield command to a subordinate.

I'm not quite clear whether the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, later applied to such field commanders, was actually in use in the SYW period. If not, then the commander would most likely be a Major.

Each battalion was typically commanded by a Major, to my understanding.