Monday, 8 August 2011
I have some AWI French skirmishers to post about in a couple of days, but in the meantime I thought I'd post a couple of photos of the other large unit I am currently working on (i.e. in addition to the 24-figure AWI French chasseur unit, which is now three quarters finished). I bought a box of Perry plastic Napoleonic Prussian infantry at Salute and, having painted a couple of test figures back in April, decided last month to push on with the rest of the box. I will provide a proper review when I have the regiment finished, but my overall reaction is very favourably - the figures are dead easy to paint (like the plastic French infantry) and easy to put together. My only concern is how the backpack fits onto the figures, which doesn't quite seem to work as neatly as on the plastic French infantry.
The unit I am building is the 1st musketeer battalion of the 10th Regiment ("1st Silesian"), in Hacke's 13th Brigade. I chose this regiment simply because I liked the yellow facings and the 1st battalion's flag comes with the box. I think the regiment was involved in the fight at Plancenoit, but my research is ingoing. However, one issue I need to consider now is the number of figures. The Waterloo orbat on the "General de Brigade" website has Prussian infantry battalions at 32 figures mostly, with a few at 24 figures. I know that at full strength a battalion would be close to 800 men, or 40 figures at 1:20 (which is what you get in the Perry box, plus 6 jaeger). I'm assuming that the GdB orbat takes account of casualties incurred in the various battles preceding 18th June itself. However, I don't think Hack's 13th Brigade was present at Ligny and therefore I wonder whether the units in this force should not be closer to 40 figures rather than 32. I note comments on the GdB forum that whilst the 32-figure Prussian battalion is pretty standard in wargaming it may also be something of a "received wisdom", and that units at the beginning of a campaign or which have not yet seen action (like the 10th) would probably be close to full strength.
Like any sensible wargamer, I prefer smaller units (and so less painting) whenever possible and when tackling something like Waterloo a certain amount of "shrinkage" is required for space reasons anyway; but any thoughts from readers more versed than I in the Prussian army of 1815 would be welcome!