Friday, June 9, 2017

Muskets and Marshals - Take 2

                           Muskets and Marshals Rules; Version 5.5

Stryker mentions in his comment that the original scale was one figure = 33 real men, and one model cannon = 6 guns.

Let's take a look at the figure ratio to ground ratio using the basing presented in the rules:

Infantry 40mm frontage (for 3 figures)
Cavalry 30mm Frontage (for 2 figures)
Artillery 60mm (for one gun and 4 crew)

Going through the ground scale calculations:

These unit strengths indicate that the ground scale should be roughly 30mm = 41.25 yards (or 1mm = 1.375 yards.  Stated another way:  1 yard and 13.5 inches; or just over four feet).

One stand of cavalry (two figures) represents the standard 2 lines of cavalry (two lines of 33 men and horses, one behind the other).  Assuming (per Mr. Jeffery, see prior post regarding Muskets and Marshals below) that each horse and rider takes up between 3.5 and 4 feet.  Using 3.75 feet as the average, a line of 33 horsemen then takes up 33 x 3.75 feet, which is 123.75 feet, or 41.25 yards.  Cavalry are mounted on 30mm stands, so 30mm = 41.25 yards. (Thus for cavalry 1mm = 1.375 yards).
Artillery Batteries are mounted on 60mm stands. Per the above cavalry calculation, 60mm is the equivalent to 82.5 yards (2 x 41.25).  A 6-gun battery takes up about 81 yards (allowing 13.5 yards between each gun x 6 guns).  (Thus for artillery 1mm = 1.35 yards).
Infantry generally deployed in three lines.  In the game, a line of infantry is represented by a double row of 3 figures (so on a 40mm base, we have three figures, with a second 40mm base of three figures directly behind the first) for a total of 6 figures.  198 men deployed in three lines is 66 men per line (198 divided by 3).  Allowing 2.5 feet per man in line (Mr. Jeffrey allows only 2 feet per man, but with the jostling and movement necessary in combat, allowing a little elbow room makes sense to me) the frontage of the unit works out to 165 feet (66 men at 2.5 feet per man), which is 55.0 yards.   (Thus for infantry 1mm = 1.375 yards).
This compares to the cavalry perfectly: 1.375 to 1.375 yards per mm.  It is only slightly more than artillery at 1.37 to 1.35. 
Again, I am satisfied that mounting the figures as set forth in Muskets and Marshals will yield appropriately sized units with realistic frontages.  The units will, however, be bigger than at the 1 to 20 ratio, as follows:
Infantry units are battalions of 792 men (24 figures x 33 = 792)
Cavalry units are regiments of 396 men, composed of two 198 man squadrons (6 figures x 33 = 198)
Artillery units are batteries of 6 guns and  132 crew.  (1 Artillery crew figure = 1.5 guns and 33 crew) 
It appears to me that you can use which ever ratio you choose; either the 1:20 ratio (worked out in the prior posting below) or the 1 to 33 ratio set forth here.  The primary practical difference is that if you use the 1 to 20 ratio, you likely should use 2 model cannon to represent a 6 to 8 gun battery.

Does anyone know what the time scale of the game is (in minutes per turn)?


  1. Are you doing British ? If so are you going to use less figures per base or increase the base size to represent 2 rank infantry.

    Of course you could just accept the anomaly and base British the same as the French.

    I am basing my HH figures for MM however my Light Infantry will be based singly on 15mm mdf bases as I dont want to cut 13.33mm bases.

    For Infantry I am going to base a 24 unit on 3 x 40 by 30mm with 6 figures, 1 base 40 by 15 with 3 figures, 1 base 25 by 15 with 2 figures and 1 base 15 by 15 with 1 figure. This will allow for figure removal.


    1. I believe I will either use 8 bases at 40 x 15 with no figure removal, or 7 bases at 40 x 15, 1 at 25 x 15 and 1 at 15 x 15. I am doing British, and I believe the 2 deep line can be accomplished by allowing an extra base in the width of the unit, i.e 5 in the front rank and 3 in the rear rank. After I do the math, I will let you know.

      Take a look at how the Hinton Spieler bases his skirmishers, 3 on one base, 2 on one base, and 1 on one base.

      I like to stay away from the six man bases so that I can use the troops with other rules sets easier. Keeps more options open.

    2. Mark - the rules are designed to maintain a 12 figure frontage for units in line (with casualties taken from the back row). With 6 figure bases this becomes problematic as you can quickly end up with a 9 figure frontage but must remember to roll 12 dice when firing. That said, all of Roy's (Lewis Gunner) troops are based in 6's and we've managed to play big games with them successfully.

    3. Hi Ian. I had not reslised that you took casualties from the rear rank and maintained the unit frontage. I may have to rethink my basing.

  2. Nolan - the time scale for the old LWS rules was one turn = 2.5 minutes but this is not very satisfying as it would mean the average game lasting 20 minutes to scale. This is always an area of games that is difficult to scale so I would prefer to call each game turn half an hour although this bears no proper relationship to the movement rates/ground scale.

    1. I understand and for the most part agree. We want our battles to simulate a day of battle and not just a few minutes. How long in terms of turns does an average battle using M & M last?

    2. Smaller one to one games (with 12 or so units per side) tend to last 8 turns and take 3-4 hours to play. The large multi-player games we've had both lasted 12 turns but took about 6 hours actual playing time.

    3. Don Featherstone used 8 moves equalled a day and if I remember correctly 4 moves at night.

  3. At 8 turns = 4 hours (1/2 hour per turn) that works out perfectly to the three to four hours of play time. I believe I will start at 1/2 hour per turn as the time scale and adjust from there if needed.