I am sure many of us have contemplated replacing a current collection when “new and better” becomes available. My collection of 18th century armies are of Old Glory manufacture and when I began re-basing my collection from WRG to DB(X) I took the opportunity to replace my SYW French. The “old” SYW French (15mm Essex) are now rebased as 22 DB(X) sized armies for the War of Spanish Succession. The figures, originally from the European Wars listing, have now returned to their proper spot, the beginning of the century. Now the task of rebuilding and new one.
From the Old Glory SYW French list are a variety of infantry coats with and without turnbacks. There has been plenty of discussion in SYW forum groups, but bottom line, I and my opponents are going to be the ones using them, so I kept things simple; French line, no turnbacks, Foreign troops in French service, turnbacks.
SYF03, French fusiliers and grenadiers, come in standard packing of 16 command (4 officers, 4 ensigns, 4 drummers and 4 sergeants) and 34 figures in four poses. The actual difference between fusilier and grenadier is not noticeable as both wear tricorne hats, however, grenadiers do have moustaches and carry a sabre – make that a short sword. By 1760, grenadiers began wearing bearskin hat with bag.
An Order of Battle or not?
This current French army will be modeled after Maréchal de Estrées army at Hastenbeck.
That army of 84 battalions and 83 squadrons is rather large even by DB(X) standards, so I planned using a ratio to work in that direction. Infantry, French line account for 2/3rd (including combined grenadiers and volontaires serving as light troops) while Foreign troops the remaining 1/3rd. Heavy Horse account for 2/3rd of the mounted arm and the remaining 1/3rd to be divided among Dragoons and Hussars. At Hastenbeck, most of the dragoons dismounted to lead the column assault to the Allied positions on the hills. Only two regiments of Hussars were present and in a position as reserve.
How does this translate for DB(X) use? Each battalion will be represented by an element of foot and two squadrons an element of Horse or roughly 120 elements of French. This may seem excessive, but what are goals for? The whole will be organized in three stages for painting and purchase purposes.
Using the above ratio, 36 elements of foot will be divided into 24 French line and 12 Foreign troops.
The photo shows the progress of the Swiss and German troops which were finished this weekend. 24 elements of French are done, but need only flags to complete this stage. Generals and staff are complete.
Cavalry pose a small problem; namely no standard Heavy Horse listed among Old Glory’s SYW French. Bearskin wearing cavalry were not introduced until later in the war, so I will most likely use the British Horse for all my French Line cavalry.
Dragoons are not a problem, in fact two sorts are offered by Old Glory. The small number of Hussars are already done, but I need three packs of cavalry to complete the first stage of 36 elements of foot, 18 elements of horse and 6 artillery.
I should have stage one complete by the third week of March. Stage two is merely a duplication of the above totaling 108 elements excluding artillery. Stage three will cover any omissions to the order of battle.