Following last week's discussion, today Dr. Eclaireur sent me a provisional orbat for the November Long Island mega-game. I call it a "mega-game" because after a couple of minutes with a calculator I realised that we will need in excess of 1,300 figures (25mm, natch), all of which will be taken from Prof. Eclaireur's and my collections. I experienced a short moment of panic when I first saw what I am responsible for, but reading the orbat through I realised that it's no so bad, and in fact perfectly manageable. What I like about games such as these is that it gives one an excuse to paint stuff that has either been hidden away in the leadpile or which ideally one would like to have, but wouldn't really bother with. The game is the weekend of 1/2 November, so I have exactly 8 weeks of painting time - that's about 80 figures' worth. I thought it might be interesting over the next 2 months to post on how the preparations are going and the various decisions that need to be made when fielding such a large collection "in public".
First, the Americans. This is the easy bit, because over the past few months I have been painting all those militia and Continental units with half an eye on this game. All these regiments should see an outing (thereby condemning the American players with the "newly-painted units rout in their first game" rule). I am responsible for 3 brigades' worth, totalling ten regiments and 2 units of skirmishers. I have a few "line" graded Continental regiments, such as Hazen's Delaware Regt. which will be pretty smartish in appearance. Other units are graded militia, which will allow me to field those "Southern militia" types I have been painting; a couple of these regiments are officially Continentals but are graded as "militia", so using militia figures might assist the players. The only unit I might paint up specifically is Smallwood's Maryland regiment, which I have had my eye on for a while now. However, given the amount of British figures I need to paint, these chaps may have to wait. We'll see. I may also need to paint up some siege guns. The fortifications at Brooklyn will be represented, and they required nine guns of 12-pounder to 24-pounder calibre.
So to the Brits, and here it becomes more of a challenge. I have Mirbach's Hessian brigade, comprising the Knyphausen and Lossburg fusilier regiments and the Rall grenadiers. I do not have Lossberg, so that is a priority. I also need 2 Hessian gun crews. Then Clinton's flanking force: 3 battalions of light infantry; 3 of grenadiers, 1 of which consists entirely of highlanders (for which see the photo above); and Cornwallis' elite brigade of the 33rd and 71st (the 71st have three battalions here, so EC is providing the third). I need to paint up the 3rd and 4th Grenadier Battalions, although I have most of the highlanders for the 4th already. I will need some more light infantry too. Then we have 3 brigades from the main force: Pigott with the 5th, 28th and 35th; Jones with the 10th, 37th, 38th and 52nd; Smith with the 43rd, 54th and 63rd. Finally, Brigadier Cleaveland and his 12-pounder battery, various 3- and 6-pounder guns and the 12-figure 17th Light Dragoons. Throw in lots of wagons, ammunition carts, limbers, dragrope men, civilians, high command stands, vignettes etc, and you have my total contribution.
Looking first at the British foot regiments, there are in fact only 3 that I do not already have: 22nd, 37th and 54th. The 37th appears at a couple of other battles, so it was "on the list" anyway. The other two regiments seem to be "one hit wonders". The message from EC is that there isn't any real need to field the exact regiments for the Brits, as there are so many of them. Therefore, I may well be able to double up from existing troops; the 22nd, for example, had buff facings so I could use the Inniskillen, which otherwise are not in this battle (perhaps just painting a new command stand). Again, we'll see. I'm provisionally slating these 3 regiments in for October's painting time, as it would be good to have them all done and on the table. Artillery won't be a problem, and I'm going to park the 17th Light Dragoons for now....
So in terms of what needs to be painted, we have the following:
1) Hessian Lossberg Fusiliers (24 figures).
2) Hessian artillery (10 figures).
3) Grenadiers: 3rd and 4th Battalions (18 figures).
4) 3rd Light Infantry Battalion (16 figures).
5) 37th Foot (16 figures).
6) 22nd Foot (16 figures).
7) 54th Foot (16 figures).
8) Smallwood's Marylanders (24 figures).
That's well over my 80-figure limit, so some of the above will need to be jettisoned. We'll just have to see how we go. I'm already behind, as this week is being spent painting up a divisional command vignette for the British grenadiers and light infantry...