Yet another project: My entry into the Age of Reason

Pontificating while looking out of Lake Champlain....

Confession time:  I used to disdain the Seven Years War.  I am not sure why.  It is like US history from 1865-1898, it just bored me.  I treated it like I did my memories of the 70's; a burnt orange, avocado green, Carter's "malaise speech" filled, butterfly collar nightmare best locked away in the deep recesses of my mind. 

Imagine my surprise then, when the military history module of  the US Army's staff college actually piqued my interest.  I stopped looking at it from the social aspect and recognized a time period like the Napoleonic period, but with more potential for dynamic action.  Most importantly it appeared to be a time where the Austrians (the Chicago Cubs of European history)  can, and did, actually win some decisive victories.  Frederick the Great, while an excellent strategic planner, made some whopping tactical blunders leading to massive reversals.  Finally the 11th hour turn of heel on the part of the Russians under Peter II makes for a wonderful head-scratching moment for world history.  On top of all of it, I think the seven year's war is the best candidate for the the real First World War. 

Where am I going with this?  As always I blame Jon.  After several iterations of gaming the Battle of Kolin with Honours of War, Jon gifted me with a copy of the rulebook.  His earlier gift of Henry Hydes "The Wargames Compendium" only served to fuel the crisis.  While camping at Priest Lake over the summer, I read Mr Hyde's magnum opus and began to plan the genesis of my own SYW collection.  I even posted about it in my August Update stating
I am currently considering expanding into 10mm Seven Years War.  If the feeling doesn't pass by November, I may just have to succumb
 Well it is November and....

Here we go again.....

I committed myself to seeing if the feeling would past and stockpiled my earnings from the sell-off of old and neglected projects with the intent of using it as the seed for my next big project.  A post looking for some used figures netted me the gift of some Pendraken Prussian Musketeers from one kind soul, so I guess the die has been cast.  I had a two week school that required me to live in a hotel near Montpelier last month, which provided some micro-scale painting opportunities.  I managed to paint about five regiments worth of Prussians, and so now comes the next challenge:  Basing.

Jon's 15mm collection is based on 120mmx30mm stands, and I like the look of them.  I originally intended to use a similar base size, and further add the battalion guns to my smaller scale units.  Getting the entire collection home, however, has changed my view however. 

My 6mm Napoleonic collection was originally based with individual regiments on 30x60mm bases.  Transitioning to 55mm x35mm bases left me with an abundance of unused bases.  I already intended on using these for the converged Grenadier battalions and cavalry squadrons, so I figured I would see how the units look if I used two per regiment.  Jon adds a mounted leader to each of his regiments, and I have done the same thing with some of my 15mm Samurai collection, so I thought I would continue the tradition.  I originally planned on running about 40 figures/regiment + commander but the Pendraken figures are a little large for that.  (I still plan on doing that with the Old Glory castings) 

This has resulted in the age old problem:  Base Size Blues...

I really prefer using single base units, but they do suffer on the tabletop for things like forming columns, or aligning with terrain contours.  The two base/unit solution works well, but it often results in the the asymmetry of alignment with the command group.  Before you know it, you are using 3-5 bases. 

With that in mind I am experimenting with how I want to base this collection.  (This the lack of flock on the stands)  Right now I am leaning towards the two stand solution with the mounted commander on one stand and the foot command group on the other.  It gives the right appearance in line (see above) but can look a little awkward in column:

For individual battalions I suppose it will work, although I think the grenadier units will look better, overall

Right side

Left side

The only downside is that it does preclude me from representing the battalion guns on the regimental stand itself.  I only see that working if I increase to three stands and reduce the figure count.  Instead I may try just aligning a 3lb cannon stand with each regiment for now.

Before departing to my course, I broke down and joined the Old Glory Army and sank my amassed fortunes from the summer miniatures sales into reinforcements.  That package was waiting for me on my return, so a whole new White Menace awaits me for the winter.  To compound my madness I even opted to start a 18mm Russian army to expand the options for battles with Jon's SYW collection.

With this long meandering diatribe aside, does anyone have any better suggestions for basing this new collection?


  1. Your 10s look great! If you have an abundance of "1/2 size" bases and you are planning to base grenadiers and cavalry on this base, why not build an infantry battalion with the same footprint? You would have one battalion per base (BMU). I would put command on each base, centered with mounted colonel and foot command. From your photo, it appears 12 foot plus mounted colonel on each base would work fine. Give that a try.

    1. Interesting idea. That will of course, necessitate the purchase of more command stands. At this scale I am actually running at about 16-18 foot + CDR on the base. The Old glory strips come 5/strip. So I am planning on using 4 strips per 60x30 base + commander

    2. 16-18 foot with command will look even better! Nice, tranquil photo of Lake Champlain. Did you get a chance to visit any of the historical sites situated along the lake?

    3. I tried to do a tour of some of the "Military History of Vermont" but it turns out most of the interesting stuff took place on the New York side. Vermont appears to be more of a force generation and force projection resource. I did get to visit "The Notch" where the US Army's mountain warfare school has their winter phase as well as Norwich university (oldest private military college.) Otherwise I guess my visit to "The Trapp Lodge" where the von Trapps settled after WWII is the closest to historical sites....

  2. One of us, one of us . . . ;) Nice to see you diving into the period. And I agree - so much of where the modern world comes from begins in the 7YW.

    1. Thanks. With our hobby I find a free book is often the most expensive gift.

    2. Some might suspect there is a method to my generosity...

    3. Beware of wargamers gifting books...

  3. I think the 10's look very nice. I must confess to not caring for the look of 6's in general, but take things up a notch to 10 mm and it's a whole new tabletop game. :-)
    I have long resisted the 7 Years War. I think I am safe from it until at l;east my retirement! Another plus for the 7 YW is that the British Navy was not yet as dominant as it would become during the Napoleonic Wars, so the naval side is much more balanced.

    1. I admit that since moving to a larger home back in 2011, 6mm has lost some of its appeal to 10mm. Heresy I know, but there is a fine line between the two where gross colors overwhelm the detail. I find that 28mm and 10mm have become my new goto sets. My only regret it your not doing 7YW yet is that I actually had to work to find painting guides and resources, rather than just cribbing your blog guides!

    2. I think 28's and 10's make sense as scales (assuming you're going to do more than one scale), as that's a pretty clear line between painting for detail and painting and basing for mas effect. Re 7YW, although I have spent little time there, I presume you're aware of Kronosktaf

    3. Kronoskaf has been my goto site so far. As for scale I am tending towards 28mm for Skirmish and 10mm for mass battle. The big exception being Impetus where I am matching Jonathan's 28mm collections.


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