So I decided to move from 24 figure to 36 figure battalions for my Bavarians (and French in being). There's a number of reasons for this:
* Visual Appeal (which we know Is Everything) - 36 figures look much more like a block of Napoleonic age troops to me than 24 do. It's still quite a distance away from _real_ old school battalions (which sniff at anything below 48 figures), but in this day and age, 36 men is enough to be considered old school anyway. There's a reason old school attracts increasing interest these days - big battalions work (although I do not care for other aspects of the old school movements: flat painting, flat bases and flat terrain)
* Figure to men ratio - when using a figure to men ratio of 1:20, most standard battalion sizes of the Bavarian army are much closer to 36 than 24. Many rules and attending literature wrg unit organisation and such use a 1:20 man figure ratio.
* Unit formations - in an extension to the first point above, unit formations with 36man battalions, based in 4, look pretty good. The rest of this post will show some examples of this.
I'm still deciding on which ruleset to use for Napoleonic games (and will probably try a lot of them) but the current frontrunner is Republic to Empire (R2E -- others are Lasalle and Black Powder). As R2E probably has the most varied unit formations in the game, if I can represent those in a decent fashion, I guess the rest of the rules are automatically covered. Here they are, with the exception of line, which is just the stands put next to each other.
###Column of march
This is the stands placed one behind the other. This makes for a _long_ column, leading the player to have to think about its use and effect on the battle plan, which is probably historically correct.
The unit showing off the various formations in this and the next photographs is the recently painted [I/1IR](http://www.nirya.be/snv/ttm/archives/000364.html), augmented with three stands from its [sister battalion](http://www.nirya.be/snv/ttm/archives/000359.html).
###Column of companies
This formation, which is not often represented seperately in wargame rules, is more or less the 'default' formation, the easiest from which it is to deploy to other formations.
###Column of attack
The famous, and probably most overrated and misunderstood, attack column of the French and their close friends. In R2E (and historical reality), this is supposed to be wider than deep, but I find a 2 line formation with 5 stands in the first row and 4 in the second to not look very satisfactory. So I'm applying wargamers license here and use a 3x3 formation:
For the equally famous square formation, I use a formation with 2 stands on each side and the command stand in the middle - something that is not possible with only 6 stands.
Now, there only remains the issue of painting seventeen thousand other figures :)