Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Legion - Organisation

Gentle reader, your aid is most urgently sought. Following the Yuletide Festivities, Herr Gruns has recieved new stock of cloth etc from the Duchess Irma, enough to enable him to complete the majority of his uniform designs. The latest incarnation of the uniform is well under way and will be shown here very soon. However, we do need your help and advice on a quite urgent matter.
The goal of this project has always been to produce a wargaming force built around the ideas put forward by de Saxe. As I will be casting the figures then I can happily work to whatever ratio of troops that I wish. The favourite being 10:1 so 1 casting equals 10 men. Reading the 'original' version scanned by Google there is a complete breaskdown of a Legions composition.
Could you please have a read of the following and then suggest what I would need to make to build the model Legion.

The Legion

General x1
Major x1
Quatermaster x1
Engineers, Surgeons etc x12
Carpenters x10
Wagons x10 (with 20 drivers)
Cannon x2
Pontoons x2
Regiments (4) x3524*

The Regiment

Colonel x1
Lieutenant-colonel x1
Major x1
Drum Major x1
Surgeon x1
Centuries (4) x736*
Half Century Light Infantry x70
Half Century Cavalry x70

The Century

Centurion x1
Leuitenant x1
Second Leuitenant x4
Ensign x1
Sargeant Major(?) x1
Fourier x1
Captain of Arms(?) x1
Fifer x1
Drummers x3
Companies (10) x170

The Company

Sargeant x1
Corporal x1
Soldiers x15

The Light Infantry and Cavalry are drawn from amongst the normal troops of the companies, as are the crews for the Amusettes which are attached at the rate of one per Century.

Assuming 10:1 figure scale and with the Infantry deploying in 4 ranks what do you think is needed, how many of each and why. Of the soldiers forming the bulk of the Companies, two types are required as the rear two ranks are armed with both Pike and musket whilst the front two ranks only have the musket.


Here is the key for the diagrams


tradgardmastare said...

A good new year to you -I shall ponder the issues raised by your post...

abdul666 said...

Happy New Year to you, Steve!

I believe you can easily download for free the Rêveries at the French Bibliotheque Nationale: 'télécharger'

Regarding the diagrams I wish you a *lot* of courage to decipher them: the symbols are so small and so similar! Then there is probably no other way to know the composition of the 'half centuries' (I never get a total of 70!).

The century sergent-major was roughly to the centurion what the platoon sergeant is to the lieutenant in modern infantry. The capitaine d'armes (the word lasted longer in the Navy) was a NCO in charge of the weapons.

The Light Infantry and Cavalry were drawn i.e. recruited from the 'normal' centuries but were indeed in addition. The crews for the Amusettes were not in addition, but (not that it would make a significant change even in 1:10 ratio) since the capitaine d'armes is included among them I'd suggest to have them crewed by supernumeraries, without amputation of the 'compagnies'.

I understand you dropped the pavisa / large shield: indeed its dimensions are not given, it is never mentioned again nor illustrated. The publication is posthumous: I suspect that, had de Saxe checked the final edition, the sentence about the pavises would have be deleted?

I have a problem with the kettledrummer of the Legion (not that he is likely to appear on a wargame table!). If playing 2 kettledrums as we are accustomed to he would be mounted (attached to the General for signals?). Now he may be playing a single kettledrum, like the 'nacare' players of Turkish military band?

Wargaming-wise I wonder about the tabletop translation of the legionary cavalry. They were to be scattered in micro-units behind the heavy infantry line, and their role was quite limited: to counterchage any breakthrough (and to pursue a broken enemy). Since both uses were also those of the light infantry (who in addition skirmished in front of the line before contact) I wonder if on the tabletop it would not be more convenient to have a century of light infantry / regiment and no legionary cavalry... So much the more as we know nothing of their 'look' (legionary with boots?) and weapons.

To produce a wargaming Legion is already a daunting prospect. But the Legion alone would be no more "playable" than a Roman legion without its auxiliaries: here Horse (in 3/4 armour!), Dragoons and (unfortunately not illustrated) heavy artillery... Not that the heavy cavalryman and the dragoon (with his coat of a curious fabric imitating fur?) are uninsteresting sculpting challenges...


abdul666 said...

For 1 legion (ca. 3560):

1 regiment of cavalry and 2 of dragoons –each of 4 centuries of 130, + staff / prima plana;

8 16 pders (& 2 siege mortars);

2 articulated causeways (p. 207-211 in the BN digitalization) though I doubt they would be of use on the wargame table (a 30 feet wide linear obstacle id deemed fordable / crossable in most rules ; it would take at the very least 1 move / period to deploy and the troops would have to cross in a single file).

In addition to the 'military' wagons of the legion each century has an attached 'vivandier' with 4 wagons (carts?) each pulled by a pair of oxen.

Guns ans all train to be pulled by oxen.