A couple of years ago I put my few Peninsular War figures on big bases. Some French Dragoons and various Spanish new battalions. Now that I’m trying to finish my Albuera project I’m going to supplement these with more figures. Before I do that I have to decide, exactly, how to deal with the company distinctions of the various nations. The French, who gave each company in the battalion, including the fusilier companies, pose particular challenges.
Infantry Battalions on Big Bases
I base my infantry in battalions of 24 figures, with 12 figures on each of the two Big Bases. I have an officer, standard bearer and musician (usually a drummer) in each battalion. The rest of the figures are centre/fusilier, grenadiers and light/cazadore/voltigeurs. Grenadiers and light/cazadore/voltigeurs always have different uniforms to the centre company / fusiliers.
The French battalions had six companies, four fusilier, a grenadier and a voltiguer.
This organisation comes with a big problem for organising a wargaming battlation. The colour of the pompoms and plumes varied by company:
- Red for Grenadiers
- Dark Green for 1st Company Fusiliers
- Sky-blue for 2nd Company Fusiliers
- Orangey-pink (Aurore) for 3rd Company Fusiliers
- Violet for 4th Company Fusiliers
- Yellow for Voltigeurs
Apparently officers and standard bearers had white plumes. Not sure about drummers.
I figure I’ll put the command figures where fusiliers of the 1st and 2nd companies would logically be.
[Thanks to Roland Davis and Martin Boulter for advice on French pompom colours.]
The Spanish are much simpler. For those 1811 battalions with elites there would be four grenadier figures on the right and four cazadores on the left.
Some new battalions would not have elites.
Regular regiments at the beginning of the Peninsular War had an entirely different battalion structure. One for a later post.
The British battalions had 10 companies, eight centre companies, grenadiers and lights. So I’m going for two grenadier figures on the right and two lights on the left.