Situation: Trouble approaching the right flank through a defile.
He reports to the Chef de Batallion.
They converse. The battalion is in open column of companies. (See remarks below)
The battalion will quarter wheel (ninety degrees) by company to the right and form line.
The Colonel and his drums post themselves at what will be the center rear of the new formation.
"BATALLION! --- PAR COMPAGNIE. CARTE CONVERSION A DROITE."
The drums immediately commence beating this order for all to hear while officers and NCOs in the rear make sure the command is understood and instantly obeyed.
Each company wheels simultaneously. We are mid-way through the wheel.
Finished and ready to face the threat.
En avant mes amis. Bon chance!
1. Eight companies were common for 1791-1808 French line battalions. The Grenadiers are absent - again.
2. The eight companies were merged from two battalions in my collection for this vignette.
3. One of the special things we can all consider doing is moving each company as shown.
4. Never mind lifting and plopping them down. Instead, march them to their next position using your movement rates. It might take more or less than one turn. You might even need time to adjust left and right, etc. just like they really did. Are your movement rates sufficient?
5. Practice privately before game day to get intervals just right. Get your lads onto a quiet drill field to train them -- and you.
6. The battalion started in an open column of companies. The interval between each company front to back was measured so the quarter wheel occurs without bumping and creating an entangled muddle. The above does not seem to visually simulate the larger interval actually used. This is because the depth of miniatures is far greater than in history. I used a 1" interval.
7. At the start of the wheel (pivot) hold down the upper right-hand corner of each movement tray while wheeling the same tray in a clockwise manner with your other hand. It was not perfect but was close enough. At first my intervals were almost 3". Nope. After wheeling about five times and changing the interval, a 1" gap worked best. It will be different for you. This is why practice is needed.
8. Start at the top. It is best to wheel all companies half way first. When all are half way through their wheel, go back to the top and finish the last half of the march. A two-step process.
9. If the battalion was "closed", meaning in our case, with all trays touching front to back, this formation change is impossible.
10. A new kind of fun. Different and satisfying.
11. You CAN do this with your collection -- as is. Let us know how things turn out.
12. The nice thing about the French Bercheney Hussars of the Seven Years' War is that their 1791 uniform is similar to that worn in the SYW. All I did was switch out the SYW flags for GMB Napoleonic 1804 flags. Lucky me.13. Comments welcome immediately below.