Saturday, May 1, 2010

Modelling Units: Pt1

Some thoughts on modelling my cavalry units sprang to mind this morning as I surfed the Gripping Beast and Curtey's Miniatures websites, thinking about which mounted figures to buy for my next unit of ten knights.
If you have read through any of my other postings, you will know that I have spent a considerable amount of time researching knights who rebelled against the King and who were present at Lewes (albeit it speculative in some cases). I have to date established a list of about 40 knights/barons all of whom I have their heraldry recorded ... so they can be represented. It is possible; however, that I've overdone it.
My army lists represents what I think to be a reasonable assessment of the numbers present at Lewes in 1264 at a representative scale of 1/20. For my rebel army, therefore, I needs only 40 heavy horse in total - ten per ward. having finished the Right Ward knights (10) I see I have a body of fighting horsemen represented only by members of the knightly class with no representation of squires or sergeants who would have made for a significant proportion of the rebel cavalry, if not the majority - a knight usually bringing with him one or more retainers or neighbours of some class. Socially speaking, it appears that my units are now top-heavy.
Having identified people by name who can be visually displayed accurately from 750 year old records provides a serious compulsion to represent them. Thoughts of reducing the representative troop scale further to develop a proportionally structures series of cavalry units would imbalance the army unless consistently applied which increases overall numbers, costs and time to assemble what is already a major modelling effort ... in short, unthinkable. If not unthinkable for the rebel army, it would be a Herculean undertaking when applied to the royalist forces, being at least one third larger still. The alternative within the current numbers is to start making decisions about who's in and who's out ... I don't think I can do that.
The lesser men need representation so I think I will simply have them represented by the trumpeter and standard bearer. This will be proportionally inadequate and to be sure, the overall look of the unit will be wrong and imbalanced. My total rebel army for Lewes (at least as far as cavalry are concerned) will be an elite nucleus for a later up-scaled army. Through including additional squires and sergeants, I will be able to fight sections of the battle, not to mention other battles of the Second Baron's War at a smaller representative scale (say 1/10 or less) with more accurately proportioned units. I'll just have to learn to live with it.

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