Roland Davis has been painting for me again – some Swedes for the Thirty Years War. So I’ve been mulling over how to base them. Part of the answer is obvious – on big bases. The potential dilemma is what figures to put on each base given these are mixed pike and shot units. Here’s a few options I considered and a bit of a journey to get there.
DBR 24 figure battalion on 40mm bases
My starting point was the wargaming convention for pike and shot convention. 24 figures on DBR sized little bases. Eight pikes and 16 musketeers with the musketeers in equal wings. My Dutch were originally based like this.
Grey Regiment (x2)
Age of Gunpowder
I briefly flirted with Age of Gunpowder by Chipco Games. These rules have 40x40mm bases. For a pike and shot unit you put a base of pike in front of a base of shot. But I admit I never played the game and never had the courage to rebase using this scheme. None-the-less it was a very early nudge towards big bases.
Impetus with DBR bases
Back in 2007 John Mclennan suggested we have a go at Basic Impetus for the Thirty Years War. Normal Impetus bases are 80mm wide however at the time there was a big discussion on the Impetus forum about how to do renaissance and the suggestion was 120mm wide for pike and shot units. This was purely to be compatible with the dbr convention mentioned above. This offended me because it broke the Impetus convention – of course nobody listened to me. Except me. 🙂
So we used by DBR Dutch to make Impetus “units” of two cavalry bases or four infantry bases. These “units” would be a single big base in normal Impetus but I wasn’t going to rebase – at least not yet. For the pike and shot units we put two pike stands in front of two shot bases. Obviously ripped off from Age of Gunpowder but without the ridiculously deep formation of that game.
I liked the look – lots of figures – but not the game. This game was one of the reasons I eventually elected to go for big bases.
What I’ve decided to do is base the pike and shot units using my normal big base convention of 12 heavy infantry on a 80mm x 40mm base. I’ve put four pikes and eight shot on each base. Two such bases make a brigade.
First up is the Swedish Yellow Brigade. This shows how the brigade would normally be deployed, i.e. more or less as a square. Apologies for the rough photography – I took the photos on my iPhone quickly so I could send Roland something. I’ll post better photos when we get the army finished.
Although I don’t think I’ll be using brigades in line formation this is how it would look. In this case a Scottish Brigade in Swedish service. Apologies for the bent pikes.
Now I just need to decide what rules to use. That, and the reason for brigades rather than battalions, is fuel for another post.