About This Blog

Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Battle of the Scales

15mm and 10mm French Voltigeurs
I have finished the painting time and cost analysis for a group of Lasalle Armies to support my decision making: to switch or not to switch.  As noted previously, I have bought and painted up a small number of 15mm figures, and my other wargame miniatures are all in this scale.  Concerned about the time commitment to get playing as a new Napoleonic wargamer, I decided to invest a small amount of time in comparing two 15mm basing options (double rows of infantry and a single row of infantry) with 10mm figures, based in double rows.

As described in a previous posting, the cost difference between 10mm double row bases and 15mm single row bases is marginal, when you are comparing the cost of completed figure bases.

Painting Time

My painting test indicates that I could finish single row-based 15mm figures slightly faster.  I used the test results for infantry figures and added a 15 percent time increase for cavalry, artillery, and commander elements.  The chart below depicts the painting time, in hours, for the three options.
While I'm comfortable that the 15mm painting test is a reasonable estimate, I'm less sure of the 10mm test.  The test figures were my first attempt at painting 10mm figures, so I expect that I can speed things up with practice.  

The testing is also limited in two areas for both scales.  I only painted a small number of figures in both tests, so my test didn't capture the efficiency of painting a larger group at once.  I also didn't consider time spent cleaning up and priming figures.  I believe that the clean up for the 10mm figures went much faster.

Integrating the Analysis

Paint time and cost are only a few factors that will influence my decision.  I ran a multiple factor analysis that includes qualitative factors, such as the appearance of the miniature units.  I weighted each factor and used a logarithmic rating scheme.

The (Preliminary) Winner is...


Considering all of the factors important to me, I'm seriously considering a switch to 10mm scale for my Napoleonic collection.  I like the "mass" look of double-row bases, and the cost and time savings compared to 15mm double-row bases is significant.  I already have an AWI 15mm figures based in single rows.

Before making the big jump, I plan on painting eight more strips of French flank company figures.  Once we arrive at our new home, I may test paint a group of cavalry figures, too.

The Long Road to Lasalle

Even with a change in scale or basing, it will be a long time before I can field two Lasalle armies.  I can spare an average of five hours a week for my hobby time.  At that pace, it will be almost a year before I'm ready to play unless I can find fellow players in Seoul, Korea that happen to have a common interest.

Fortunately, I found another game, with a completely different operational scale and approach from Lasalle, that integrates the benefits of DBA with Napoleonic gaming: De Bellis Napoleonicis (DBN).  DBN requires a much smaller number of elements to play, so I plan to use basing that works for both games. This approach will allow me to play sooner while I work on a collection that suffices for battalion-scale rules like Lasalle.

I received the DBN rules last night, so I'll post a review and my plan for creating a collection that works for both games in the future.  My first impression is very favorable.  I've wondered if I could find a corps-level miniatures game, and DBN appears to get the mechanics right.

1 comment:

  1. I'm following this with real interest one thing to add is that DBN will also enable you to fight large scale battles try Austerlitz freely avaiable from the DBN website. Or if you buy the scenarios from the website, Borodino, Leipzig and Waterloo

    The only thing that is slightly frustrating about the Battle orders of DBB scenarios is that they don't give a breakdown in terms of Corps or divisions.

    I had thought of publishing my own estimates on the DBN yahoo group website but that would probably violate copyright still if you look there you'll find a suggested order of battle for Eylau

    Keep up the goodwork Chris