Sunday, 24 January 2010

40’s in your 40’s, Wargaming in 40mm.2

The organisation and economics of an infantry regiment of 1775 – Part 2. The British

Roughly each stand represents a section, platoon or company depending on the national characteristic of each army whatever the nation and which figure scale we are currently using.

Like many of the regiments at the time they were very lucky to be at full strength.

Stand is the term I will use to mean a section, platoon or company depending on the scale of figures, as I am working on my 40mm collection the stand is to be a movement tray composed of one seatcion, I have mounted all my figures on 1 inch washers for regular's.

We have adopted the 37th Regiment of Foot for our purpose, basing the returns of the 37th in the period of 1775 – 1776 we have organized our regiment as follows, with a listed return strength of around 320 all ranks mustered at that time, the flank companies were on detached duty in the converged Grenadier and Light Infantry battalions so do not add toward this final figure.

The flank company strength's would be near to full as I believe from sources that they would like to keep these numbers up seeing as they were supposed to be the best of the regiment, General Howe liked his converged battalions, however in the field and on campaign numbers would drop, replacements could be drafted in from their parent regiments, it is also interesting to note that draftee's were placed into various regiments from other regiments who on paper were returning home, I thought we should aim for.

8 Line Companies

32 Rank and file including 3 *Corporals split into 2 platoons of 4 sections

2 Sergeants

1 Drummer

2 officers

*I feel that the rank of Corporal was given as a mark of distinction to the most able bodied of the rank & file, looking at various references and also experiencing the 64 drill manual the company would use Corporals as markers, it is our intention to explain our thoughts on this as we post on this theme.

Grenadier Company

32 rank and file + 3 Corporals, split into 2 platoons of 2 sections

2 Sergeants

1 Drummer & 1 fifer

2 officers

Light infantry Company

32 rank and file + 3 Corporals, split into 2 platoons of 2 sections

2 Sergeants

1 Drummer & 1 hornist

2 officers

Colonel Tavington.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

40’s in your 40’s, Wargaming in 40mm.1

The organisation and economics of an infantry regiment of 1775 – Part 1: The British

When looking at how to organise our new collection of the Front Rank 40mm range for the RevWar we wanted to create a more visual interpretation for the table top, the initial plan was to raise a Regiment on a 1 figure to 1 soldier ratio.

This meant that we would then end up with a table top strength of around 300-400 figures in said regiment, obviously the idea seems a little extreme to play a wargame but our purpose is to try and demonstrate the size and complexity of maneuvering a Regiment of the time of the American War of Independence.

By the beginning of 1775 the total establishment of British Regiments had been reduced, peace and politicians being the army’s biggest enemy, after the Seven Year War many regiments raised for the war were disbanded.

However the introduction around 1771 of a second flank company of “light” troops to the regimental composition would allow for greater flexibility to these battalions when in the field, the regiment would therefore consist of 10 companies of 8 centre or hat companies, one Grenadier and one Light company.

The common practice of the time was to form converged combined battalions of the various flank companies drawn from the various regiments, these combined Grenadier and Light battalions held a somewhat elite status amongst the army.

Owing to the poor military science of 18th , century weapons were of limited range, therefore the tactic of the day were for two armies, division, brigade or even just a regiment was to face one another in line of 2 or 3 ranks and trade of musketry hoping one’s resolve would break, the bayonet was an extension of these tactics.

The British Army at this time had become quite diverse in the use of the bayonet as an offensive weapon. Primarily the bayonet was introduced as a defensive weapon after pikemen were removed from the army’s establishment in the early part of the 18th Century. Taking in lessons learned during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, the British Army became one of the best; iron will and discipline were also other attributes to the strength of the Army.

Should you choose to raise your battalions on a 1:1 ratio then we are looking at dividing down into roughly 36 man (rank & file) "actual" strength companies, sources have stated that a company would consist of the correct amount of NCOs’ as these were the administrative part of the company, therefore 2 Sergeant and 3 Corporals would carry out the duties of any normal day. The company was divided into sections, some say 3 as there were 3 Corporals, however it appears that the battalion would be divided equally by wings and divisions for firing purposes, the standard was to split into 16 platoons for firings.

I am very doubtful whether the company would be split into 3 sections as the platoon firing system would divide down into even equal parts, there appears to be no information readily at hand to describe how the company was really subdivided into manageable sections however my thought and experience of drilling and the drill manual of the time would lead me to suspect that the Corporals of the company would fall in with the rank and file and act as markers for the platoons, with each platoon divided into two sections therefore we will have 4 sections to one company, the job of the sergeants was to order and bully the men into position, you must also remember the company drummer would give the correct beat for each order, all were expected to be able to read the drum beat and understand what was the next motion, thereby the order would be verbally given as well as by the drum.

Colonel Tavington.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Before Christmas Redcoat37th was fortunate to visit Grand Manner for the day, he says.......

The visit was to collect some items I was unable to get owing to missing Warfare (Rivermeade, Reading). The plan was to do a photo shoot on the terrain boards of Dave Bodley of Grand Manner and meet up with Tony who designed and built all the master models for the 40mm range of AWI buildings.

While there I was able to see some of the new 28mm AWI buildings due for release in the early part of 2010, some of these new buildings are in fact copies of the 40mm buildings that have been made by Tony but for the 28mm range, there are some very nice building coming and the tavern he has produced looks fantastic, it is just a shame it’s not in 40mm as I would like one, I did ask for a price on a 40mm model of this tavern as a one off...... but it is mega £££££'s, however I will settle for the 28mm one to go with my smaller 28mm AWI scale collection.

The tavern is very good, anyone who games the AWI in 28mm will want one, our very own travelling redcoat supplied some of the images that Tony used in making the master model, I don’t want to reveal what the building is but just keep an eye out on the Grand Manner website or Tony’s blog.


This image is the 37th and 42nd foot at Firle Place, this is a blast from the past, Messer's Stribling, Harris and Miles (The Travelling Redcoat) are the three members of the 37th on the right of this picture. Firle Place in Sussex was the home of Thomas Gage, this event was my first meeting with these three Redcoats, there were/are others in the group.

As for 2010, well a small part of our group are planning a trip to the States and some of the others as well as the travellers plan on being at Partizan with a game in support of both Grand Manner and Front Rank.

Keep an eye on the blog as we will start to post a bit more regular as we lead up to the events planned in April and May of this year.

We also visited the National Army Museum (NAM) in London just before Christmas, the museum now appears to have completed all the refurbishment work of the last year and have moved as well as added more to the AWI section, this section is now on the lower ramp where you will find two full size figures, there is still the Queens Rangers Rifleman which has now been joined by a certain Roger Lamb in his 9th Foot uniform at the time of Burgoyne's 1777 campaign, the NAM do not allow photography sadly!?! The NAM is worth a visit just to look at these two items, the bookshop was also selling copies of Simcoe's journal in paperback, however this copy does not have the maps you will find in the hard back copy that is in the possession of some of our group.

We are also looking at a weekend of all things Revolutionary War (AWI) later in the year, are there any other RevWar enthusiasts who would like to join in and stage a game or even a lecture, please contact us at my email address.

The second image has members of both the 10th (USA) and 37th (UK) forming up to take part in the 225th at Yorktown, image supplied the travelling redcoat.

Just as a post note, the members of the 37th Foot are still about, if you would like any information relating to the AWI I would consider asking these guys, they have been together for quite a while doing this period well before many of us.

Colonel Tavington