2mm is a curious scale. On first sight it should have all the advantages I seek: Easy to paint, affordable to build huge forces and/or portray masses of men, easy to store, good scale to play big games on small tables. A while back I bought more than enough kit from Irregular Miniatures to build a French and a British army for 2×2 Napoleonics. With everything done they went into storage for several month. I was not happy with the look of the armies at all. When I look at a base up close (while painting) they are fine. When towering over the battlefield they are tiny blackish blotches.
This battle report will showcase the issue with photography that is deliberately not up close but more like I see the table and would photograph in 6mm scale.
The game started with a tied initiative roll, which meant that half the armies would start on the field rather than only a quarter. The rest trickles in as reinforcements turn by turn as is usual in 2×2 Napoleonics.
The French are on the left and the British on the right. Only a red blotch or two on the left indicates this. Green felt in the center represents woods as I currently have no 2mm scale woods.
Here is another view from the French side. This is immediately after they received enough reinforcements to form a battle line.
Some time later the British have formed a line between the woods and hill with some light troops in support occupying the wooded area. The French have numerical superiority for now and decide to assault along the entire line. British fire and subsequent melees will beat the French back with losses and disrupted troops.
The usual touch of smoke markers look nice but you cannot imagine how fiddly it is in 2mm. I wished for a pincer at one point. I’m not getting old, the scale is to small, I assure you!
Several turns later French losses and disruptions are not getting better. The British have problems of their own. They are not getting their units unpinned for a counter attack.
Side Note – Pinning
2×2 Napoleonics has a very interesting mechanic. Firing with an infantry unit gets it pinned. This prevents moving and the commander has to establish order to get them going again. This is rather difficult, impossible even, if the enemy is still close by. A nice representation of the protracted firefights of the period and the difficulty to get troops moving again in the noise and smoke of the situation.
This is from the end of the battle with a lot to unpack. In the bottom left corner British light cavalry is beaten back by French heavies. In the center both sides attack and defend but the British attack is more successful and manages to rout a unit. In the top right a French infantry unit pursued their routing enemies a bit to far. Completely out of position the unit will shortly be blasted by artillery and musketry from three sides, scoring the game winning kill for the British.
The images look better to me now than it looked when playing. Still it is difficult to read the battle as units are too small to identify them. The battlefield also looks rather sparsely populated which is in part due to single block basing. Brighter colors and more densely based troops will probably help the look. Maybe even a tiny flag on the corner of a base. This way it can be identified from top.
In terms of basing I whipped up the following example:
These are 40mm by 30mm bases which give more room for blocks and formations. Irregular also sells blocks in column formation which would make more options possible. In Volley & Bayonet this formation would be a French infantry Corps of three Divisions, each with three Regiments (barring commanders and cavalry/artillery assets). In Blücher, a base would probably a brigade. For Age of Eagles these bases do not work due to their size. In Bloody Big Battles they might work as they are a bit bigger but also represent 1000 men each. In games like Black Powder I would use one base as a Regiment and either have replacement bases to depict formations or use counters.
What do you think?