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How do you organize your army?

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How do you organize your army?

Postby Mudpuppy » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:18 am

Just curious how big folks build up their armies.

Do you pick one faction to focus on? Or perhaps build multiple factions? Do you group them as units, or leave them as squads of a larger force? Do you build war machines and cavalry or focus on infantry and archers?

I'll go first! :D

I tend to build smaller (at least what I view as smaller) platoon sized units of castlemen. Probably 20-30 minifigs per platoon (3x squad of 10) with 2 platoons composing a company. The Company is the basic maneuver element of my army.

Yes, I spent time in the Marine Corps :)

I have a light cavalry element of 80 horse (split evenly between swordsman and archers), another heavy cavalry of 40 horse, and a elephant squad of 4 elephants. These are generically in the "Lion" army, which uses the various Lion themed factions over the ages to fill the squads. I tend to group the different chonological groups together into their own squads.

The Black Falcons make up a light, strike-oriented force. They have one reinforced platoon of infantry, bolstered by a squad (+) of light archers.

The Black Knights are a medium infantry unit focused toward anti-cavalry (pikes, lances, battleaxes) operations supported by cart-mounted crossbows.

The Forestmen are my Special-ops unit with only one platoon. These tend to operate independantly on the squad level or below. They travel light, but have superior training and ability.

Each platoon sized unit has a medium fortress (think Knight's castle or Black Falcon's Fortress size) and Companies have a Headquarters at a larger castle (King's Castle or Black Knight's Castle size).

Some units have been adjusted for Brikwars CL scaleability, though not all. The idea would be to field each platoon sized unit as a whole (complete with supporting fortress) into a terrain model and conduct combat.



I stopped collecting about 6 years ago and I'm just starting back into it so I'm out of the loop on a lot of the stuff that was made and sold in between, but I'm very excited as I look through Brickshelf and Bricklink and I see some of the absolutely cool stuff that has been put out. Mine is still a work in progress so I expect some refinement of the concepts.

Feel free to post what you do!
Last edited by Mudpuppy on Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby castlebuilder100 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:03 am

Hey there. Here's a thread of how big people's armies are. Linky
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Postby Mudpuppy » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:12 am

Excellent, thanks :)

I was hoping for more a discussion on organization as well. I'm curious to see if anyone else puts thought into unit organization or whether it's just a jumbled mess of minifigs. If there's a more appropriate place for this, let me know... I'm still kinda new here :)
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Postby The_Hun » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:38 am

Yes, this will probably be moved in the "Size of Armies" thread, but I think I'll comment on organization here anyway. :wink:

I divide my infantry into 12-man units - let's call them platoons, as you do - with a sergeant to every 2 platoons. There are 2 platoons in identical uniforms and with the same weaponry - these could be called the companies. There's not really any higher hierarchical level than that, except, of course, for the army itself.

My cavalry for each faction consists of just 12 horsemen and a captain.

So, for example, my Crown army looks like this:
12 heavy cavalry + 1 captain
2 x 12 swordsmen + 2 sergeants
2 x 12 spearmen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 axemen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 crossbowmen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 pikesmen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 archers + 1 sergeant
1 flagbearer

Or my Shadow army:
12 heavy cavalry + 1 captain
2 x 12 swordsmen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 spearmen + 1 sergeant
2 x 12 archers + 1 sergeant
4 x 12 axemen + 2 sergeants (two different kinds of axe for 25 men each)
1 x 12 flagbearers + 1 sergeant (large, brick-built two-hand battle banners whose idea I stole from Brickshelf user j1a3l5
1 x 12 "firestarters" + 1 sergeant (guys with large torches to touch off enemy buildings)

EDIT: As of August 2009, I bumped the headcount by about a hundred, and modified the above list accordingly. :)
Last edited by The_Hun on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mudpuppy » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:05 pm

Whew... I need to brush up on my terminology. Crown armies, I assume, refer to the Lion faction that I referenced earlier. Dragon Masters I remember as well.


Ok, I originally set up my organization exactly the same as a Marine rifle squad. Some of them still hold this form (notably the Wild West soldiers are organized this way).

Essentially, military organization follows the rule of 3's. That is to say, that a unit leader cannot effectively command more than three elements at one time. That could be three people (as in a fire team) or three squads (as in a platoon commander). Basically speaking that equates to:

One Fireteam:
1x Fireteam Leader
3x Fireteam member
4 total members

One Squad:
1x Squadleader
3x Fireteam
13 Total members

One Platoon:
1x Platoon Commander
3x Squad
40 total members


The organization is easy to scale up and to scale down to meet any particular engagement.

We work with the idea of units reinforced [designated by Unit (+)] and Units minus [shown by Unit (-)].

Example: A standard platoon that has an additional attached squad of heavy cavalry would be called a Platoon (+) [referred to as a "Platoon reinforced"]. The Platoon that gave up the squad would now be operating at 2 squads instead of the normal 3 and would be referred to as a Platoon (-) [spoken as "Platoon minus"].


Sorry for the encyclopedia of terms, but just trying to make sure I can talk and not have people wondering "huh?" :)

So the main force of any unit is the ground troops.. the infantry. When I start building an army, I try to compose at least a company of infantry troops (2 platoons.. so roughly 60-80 troops). Now a normal line company has 3 platoons (rule of 3's remember?) but I don't generally have 120 foot soldiers for EVERY faction I have. So some sacrifices are made.

Roleplay/BrikWars note:
For a normal BrikWars game, I try to field an intact unit. I generally try to give Battle banners and colors similar to what a real unit would get for surviving or winning battles. While the rank and file remain nameless, the leaders (Platoon/squad) are generally named and fill the role of Heroes and Champions for BrikWars purposes.

A full Company is a large force and usually to break it up (and allow more fun and "realistic" friction) if I do put a full company on the field, it will be under the actual command of 2-3 real life players giving the feel of difference in command. THis would of course be for a very large BrikWars game...

Also, as a side note... I try to keep my archers mounted as much as possible. The additional movement range as well as firing range I find to be a more potent battlefield force and can be shifted at a moments notice to support the slower moving infantry. Using the concept of infantry as a screening/fixing force and the mounted archers to inflict the main damage.

Anyone else have any thoughts / tactics they use or some more organizational ideas? Would love to hear some!
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Postby Handar » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:25 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:Whew... I need to brush up on my terminology. Crown armies, I assume, refer to the Lion faction that I referenced earlier.


In the spirit of helping you brush up on some terminology, I'll point out my suspicion that in this case the Crown Army is composed of Crownies, i.e. the human soldiers from the most recent castle line (sometimes referred to as the 'Fantasy Era'). They're called Crownies because their symbol is a crown; check out the emblem on the shield and torso in this picture. They're a different group than those you would have gotten with the King's Castle, which you mentioned, whose emblem was a lion.

Hope that helps clear things up a little bit, and I hope that you'll enjoy the army building and organization! :)
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Postby The_Hun » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:10 am

Handar wrote:in this case the Crown Army is composed of Crownies, i.e. the human soldiers from the most recent castle line (sometimes referred to as the 'Fantasy Era').


Exactly! :wink:

In the same vein, my Shadow army is loosely based on Vladek's axemen and the mounted Vladek himself in the Knights' Kingdom II theme (2004 to 2006).
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Postby HeartOfDarkness » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:00 pm

I love using words like 'platoon' and 'battalion'. Eight men make a platoon. Two platoons is a company, commanded by a sergeant; three platoons is a battalion, commanded by a captain. A division is five platoons, or a company and a battalion, or forty-two men.
I have two light divisions armed with short weapons, two medium divisions armed with spears and axes, one heavy division armed with pikes, one ranged division (a mix of archers and cavalry), one armored division, and one reserve division composed of everyone who didn't fit.

Honestly, organizing these guys is at least as much fun as actually playing brikwars with them.
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Postby Mudpuppy » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:01 pm

Handar wrote:


Hope that helps clear things up a little bit...


Yes, indeed. Thanks!

And, organizing them is a great amount of the fun involved. Now if I could just find someone close enough to fight in BrikWars, I'd be a happy commander indeed!

Has anyone added the naval element to their army? I had considered making landing craft of sorts.. the viking ships seem the best suited for a base foundation. Unfortunately they were phased out before I started back into this. Looks like I'm going to be scouting ebay a lot in the near future.
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Postby Hound Knight » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:19 pm

I currently have 4 small factions:

Black Falcons

Crown/ Lion

Dragon

Orcs and various other disgusting rabble

They each have about 10 troops (as of now) , a faction leader, and about 3 lieutenants (depending on the size of the army). :)
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Re: How do you organize your army?

Postby ThatPrimeGuy » Wed May 06, 2009 9:01 am

I only have about a 30/30 army of crownies/skeletons, but I think I'm going to bricklink about 60 4x4s for stands, mostly because I'm tired of lining up archers and whatnot and having a domino effect happen. :mad:
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Re: How do you organize your army?

Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Fri May 15, 2009 11:50 am

An interesting post. Since I do not have that many men per faction, nor is army building my primary focus with lego, If I did this would be my order.

I'd have mine set up more or less upon medieval array organisation in England. you have groups of 20 (which includes one leader) and 4 of these into a group of 100.

-or-

knightly retinue, knight and co. No set numbers in England really. This allows for anything and I'd likely use a similar method as above.

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Re: How do you organize your army?

Postby burkey42 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:13 am

We play a simple & castle focused version of BrikWars called BrikWarz. It includes the 'cost points' concept so the warz are 'fair.' Currently we have 300 Crownies, 200 odd Skellies, and 100 Orc/Troll. Army organisation is along these lines:

Mounted:
elephants, 1leader + 3 subordinates = 4 elephants = troop
trolls, 1leader + 6 subordinates = 7 trolls = troop
horses, 1leader + 6 subordinates = 7 horses = troop, 2 troops + captain + lieutenant = 16 horses = company

Dismounted:
13: 12 men + sergeant = squad,
40: 3 squads + lieutenant = troop,
82: 2 troops + captain + lieutenant (2IC) = company

Catapult/ballista:
5: 2 loaders + 2 winders + 1 sergeant = crew
11: 2 crews + lieutenant = section
24: 2 sections + captain + lieutenant (2IC) = battery

Archers:
38: 36 archers + 1 sergeant + lieutenant = troop
78: 2 troops + captain + lieutenant (2IC) = company
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Re: How do you organize your army?

Postby Mudpuppy » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:59 pm

That's a pretty consistent organization plan. I would use the word "platoon" vice troop... but that's simply a moderization of the concept about 150 years. Also, it would require an enormous amount of figs (as you mentioned). You mentioned 600 figs and I'm not sure how many folks have that many (though, some of us have plenty for that).

I tend to prefer to at least organize to a notional battalion level. In my mind (and probably due mostly to my past military experience), if combat forces are deployed to a situation, almost nothing less than a battalion is committed into a region.

I'd sure love to see a Brikwars game that had platoon vs platoon maneuver warfare...! That would be exciting! Too bad no one is close to SC.
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Re: How do you organize your army?

Postby Teherean » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:44 pm

I tend to keep my medieval armies 'Feodal', meaning no significant order.
I'd rather have my infantry clustered around or in front of my archers. (my archers are almost all conscripted farmers)
In front of that I'd have a line of my light and heavy cavalry (classic and special knights).
I have only one 'special unit', which would be the royal guards.
I make a difference between spearmen, short ranged melee infantry, missile infantry and supply/builders. And af course cavalry.
I have a total of about 60 Black Falcon+Brown Falcon (custom) soldiers.
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