Mar 7, 2016

French Cuirassiers

Ten Zvezda figures, one large cuirassier unit, finished some time earlier, but I've only got to base them recently.

They are very well detailed and I liked the heavy horses too, but with all the detail they were sort of complicated to paint using my usual methods.

From one more box and the rest of this one, I'm pretty sure I could build an entire brigade for Lasalle, but as I explained in a comment on the previous post, the line infantry comes first.

Some individual figures picked out of the ranks to show some detail. 

My Napoleonic cavalry is based on 25x40mm single bases instead of 40x40 ones like the infantry. This way they can be used for skirmishes, and there is an even spacing among the ranks. Units consisting of two figures on each base would be a lot more crammed up. 
Using Lasalle as a guideline, a 16-figure small infantry unit on 4 bases has a 16cm frontage. Therefore a small cavalry unit, to cover nearly the same frontage of 15cm, must consist of 6 figures. A small infantry unit in attack column covers a 8x8cm area, a small cavalry unit in the same position a 8x7,5cm one. 
A large, 24-figure infantry unit covers a 24cm frontage, therefore a large cavalry unit must consist of 10 figures to cover the same. The same infantry unit in two ranks covers 12x8cm, the cavalry 12,5x8cm. Such a minimal difference does not alter any game too much.
While a broader base for cavalry seems a purely aesthetical choice, it is interesting to point out that in one of my recent reads, The Face of Battle, John Keegan argues that keeping up a solid wall of cavalry, riding "knee to knee" during a charge would have been nigh impossible, and as a direct result, the waves of cavalry assaulting the British infantry squares at Waterloo could not have had the same density in their ranks as the footmen did (and this always contributes to a cavalry unit not being able to break a square). I think it is thus entirely reasonable to have fewer cavalry figures on the same frontage as that of an infantry unit.