|Initial area of operations for the Army of Observation|
As eluded to in a previous post, I am working on the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma as the starting points for my foray into the Mexican-American War. I have added a couple of pages to the blog (more forthcoming), one on the figures I have and the other on the Palo Alto order of battle for Across the Rio Grande. Using Taylor's Army of Observation as the foundation for the American side of things, and then of course the Mexican Army under Arista as their counterparts, I am able to look long term at not only the Palo Alto and Resaca battles, but then expand the forces to Monterrey as well.
Monterrey will involve adding to the core of what I have now, as the state volunteers made their battlefield debut there. Then, by adding more volunteers and weeding out the U.S. regular infantry, I can push to Buena Vista, although that means painting a slew of Mexicans! What I will most likely do, instead of painting up more U.S. volunteers beyond what is needed for Monterrey, I will create state command stands and use the regulars as many of the uniforms were the same or similar.
For figures, as mentioned previously, I am using the fantastic Eureka range. They make everything I need for Taylor's campaign, except for U.S. Flying Artillery crews and heavy guns, but I will substitute normal crews and field guns until Eureka comes out with these missing and much needed items. The Eureka range is in a unique figure size, 18mm to be exact, so too large to use with other 15mm ranges on the market, except perhaps Blue Moon, although I have yet to see the two ranges side by side, and the Blue Moon range is very limited in scope at the moment.
To date I have 495 figures for both sides...damn, that is far more than I thought I would need for such a small battle as Palo Alto! That includes infantry and cavalry with command, artillery and crews, mounted command, and some of the markers that Eureka produced for Fire and Fury. I may take another look at my figure scale and perhaps slide it a bit higher. Before I modified Across the Rio Grande for 18mm, the rules used three infantry on a stand, with each figure being thirty-three men. I am not certain if I want to go that high as it waters down the look I want on the tabletop, but it would make getting Palo Alto on the board in a more timely fashion, and I could always go back and add in more stands later. I'll have to take a more thorough look into how many figures I truly want to paint for this project!