30 July 2011

Lets talk Cavalry

First, from the helpful "Buckeye AKA Darryl" on TMP, squadron and regiment strengths are:

Prussia – four field squadrons and one depot squadron – 150 men and 5 officers
Bavaria – four field squadrons and one depot squadron – 145 men each
Wurttemberg – four field squadrons and one depot squadron – 150 men each
Baden – not sure
France – four field squadrons and one depot squadron – 125 men each (at the beginning of the war regiments were probably around 400 men)
Saxony and Hesse – as Prussia I believe

From this, let us take the German cavalry regiments at 600 more or less, and the French at 4-500 as suits.  So how many sabres per figure, and how many figures on a stand?  Or what does a stand represent?

Building each infantry division of four stands, and assuming light infantry battalions to balance understrength formations, we have
  • German stand = 1 Regiment of 3000 men = 8 figures on a 40x30mm stand
  • French stand = 1 Regiment of 2250 men = 6 figures on a 30x30 stand.
in each case,  1 figure = 375 men.  So how were cavalry deployed?

There are two key employments.  Both sides had cavalry divisions, and at the same time each German division had a Regiment of cavalry attached. 

If we look at a key cavalry action, Bredow's death ride, it was undertaken by two regiments of 12th Cavalry Brigade (1 regiment having been detached) and Ascoli notes it as being 804 strong -- far weaker than the 1200 paper strength of two regiments.  It this a significant incident in game terms? Well, the whole thing lasted 20 minutes and covered about 2km from start line to the target.  Clearly the charge is one event within a sequence (we took our first stab at turn length as two hours back here) and at the scale of this game does not deserve much detailing. 

Consider this table, which merges OB information from Mars la Tour and St. Privat

Side Division 1st Brigade 2nd Brigade 3rd Brigade Batteries
French 1st Reserve 3 na na 2
French 2nd Corps Cav 2 2 na 0
French 3rd Corps Cav 3 2 1 0
French 3rd Reserve Cav 2 2 na 2
French 4th Corps Cav 2 2 na 0
French Guard Cav 2 2 2 2
German 1st Cavalry 3 3 na 1
German 5th Cavalry 3 3 3 4
German 6th Cavalry 3 2 na 1
German Pr. Guard 2 2 na 2

This  shows the number of regiments in each brigade.  I have no idea why the organizations are so unsystematic.  My first stab will be to allow one stand per brigade (3rd Corps being an exception) with two French or 3 German figures on the 30x30 stand; uniforms will be loosely aligned with the represented regiments but will be strictly one uniform type per stand. 

The detached regiments of the infantry division were important in small actions, and in developing actions as the advance guard, but I think for the scale we want here it is best if they just sink into the factors for the division.

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