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I think command and wounded/dead figures are such that they cross over into both camps whether that be wargamers or diorama makers, maximising the customer base.
As Rupert says above, casualties work as markers for a wargame and for diorama makers they are essential to convey the realism of a battle.
Command staff/drummers etc are something that again both wargamers & diorama makers need. Sometimes the issue is not having enough such as standard bearers or musicians depending on the regiment. Dedicated command sets would change this.
What I would add is if this is to work, I personally believe we would need command sets/casualty sets either nation specific or campaign specific. For example, someone currently working on Waterloo, wouldn't be looking for figures that are for Borodino. By the same token, someone who is doing Borodino will not require figures for the 100 days.
So making them in this niche way would help prevent waste & thus perhaps even an ignored product if someone is trying to watch their wallet!!
They would be smaller sets to produce too, so could be squeezed into the production line here and there, not taking up too much time & space that should be for the normal sets.
Lastly, maybe to get the most out of such sets & increase their appeal, the sets could possibly cater for the various types of soldiers? E.g: infantry, cavalry & even maybe the odd artillery pose? (Moreso horse artillery perhaps due to their more often unique look).
While we're on the topic of specialized sets this is something that I have been thinking about for awhile now; sets dedicated to horses or mules only. Horses as well as mules have played a tremendous role in military campaigns throughout all of history. Whether that be in the form of transportation, cavalry, pack trains, artillery, etc... I feel like a set of just generic harnessed horses would be extremely useful for a variety of things.
I agree as to mules or pack animals in general. "Generic" horses might be a bit difficult unless they come without saddle etc. Especially generic Napoleonic horses with full gear are near impossible (Hussars, Cuirassiers, British Dragoons to name but a few had all different saddles and saddlecloth). Things are a bit easier earlier on, generic horses for WoSS should be possible as well as for Ancients.
My thoughts on command are a little out of the box. I understand why manufacturers are reluctant , limited sales, there are a lot less commanders than foot soldiers/cavalry, so we will buy less. So sell them in a different way, sell single sprues, charge a premium for them , and make it work for all. I would like to see obviously the WW2 desert army commands, but I would also buy British Zulu war command, Napoleonic 1815 British command to name but a few.
Interesting idea Alan. This could have been done with the sets where the command figures were cut off three of the four sprues in a box ( I believe Strelets recycled the plastic, which probably saved them about 2c). It could be done for future sets made the same way. If Strelets don't want to bother with it perhaps they could be sent to Rupert at D & F for sale as single sprues. I'm sure I would have bought some spare Napoleonic and Jacobite command figs. The customers get the figures they need and Strelets and the retailers get money for old rope.
That said, I'm also in favour of separate command sets and also personality sets (which Strelets do so well), everyone can buy what they need. I understand the fewer sales argument but I would point to Strelets set 013 Napoleonic Command Set I. I don't imagine there are many people who bought more than one box but the set is completely sold out. The only way you can lay your hands on one now is by being scalped for $100 on E-Bay.
Strelets has done a couple of pretty exotic sets the sales figures of which must have been hard to predict (Russian army sledge train sets 135 and 136 for instance).
Command sets would probably sell better and be easy to calculate. In my book: For wargamers box of infantry = 40+ figures = 2 Batalions. 3 boxes = 6 battalions. Needed: 6 command stands = one box of command. It would also have the benefit of having more varied command poses than always the same officer etc. as in the standard box.
I agree with Flambeau. Generic horses for the Napoleonic era just isn't possible, not as a single set anyway. There was much variation. Saddlecloth styles for example varied widely. You would have to make the horses for each type of saddlecloth/type of cavalry used. So a box with horses using smaller, simpler, sheepskin saddlecloths such as those used by Prussia, the smart, rectangular saddlecloths of units such as French dragoons/cuirassiers, the more practical square cut type saddlecloths such as those used by British cavalry & then there is the more "flashy" type with more of a shaped cut such as those used by various hussars such as the traditional Austrian shabraque.
Horses in relaxed poses, just with a head harness, and maybe a sheet/blanket over their backs, as if in camp conditions, are the only way currently of creating "universal" horses for Napoleonics. But then if you were going to do the horses like that, then you may as well make them as part of a army in camp set.
So I personally don't see universal horses for Napoleonics as an easy or viable idea. (As much as it would possibly help replace the poor animals in the recent Napoleonic cavalry sets!!).
Indeed, agree with you guys in regards to generic military horses. Even for Ancients and Medievals generic horses are not really possible, as everyone had vastly different riding arrangements depending on era/faction/status/etc.
I do like Asher's idea of having a set or sets that are devoted to horses/mules that are shown bareback, without any riding equipment. Horses did not always have saddles on even in Nappy times, and given their obvious overall importance to armies throughout the eras a bareback set of horses, mules, and/or Steppe ponies certainly seems valid. I could certainly see them as being useful for the United States west or, a personal favorite of mine, during those wild times in Mongolia when they were riding around stealing sheep, horses, wives, and all sorts of other stuff from their neighbours. So good idea overall. :sunglasses:
The big box set of generic horses by Eagle Games has been a very useful addition to my herd replacing broken or older, poor quality sculpts, it's a shame no one makes a similar set in basic draught harness.
Another vote for command sets too, as most infantry regiments carried two flags, and as many as five in the SYW, so in a box of 40, one pose isn't enough. These guys were young officers too, so sticking a pin and a paper flag in the hands of a musketeer isn't really ideal. Such a set would be a great place to put the casualty figures as well which make forming battalions from multiples of musket men in similar poses easier, without having the 'odd man out'
I like separate command sets, but as several mentioned, I want a full set of troops, not 24 troops and 48 bits of kit. I do like extra heads, but give me enough to do something with, four heads don't help much.
The last couple months I have been buying British HaT Zulu Wars and Hat Napoleonic French Command sets for a couple projects I am working one. Neither of them are for the intended wars. I am using the Zulu Wars figures to make Police and the Napoleonic figures to make "toy" soldiers for a Disneyland project.
I am also in need of any Strelets Scots command figures, flag bearers, pipers, drummers, even officers for my police project. American police have a strong Irish and Scots heritage and often have drum and bugle corps who appear at parades, and funerals. I am reluctant to spend a few hundred dollars on getting two dozen figures!
We need draft mules. The US Army used mules to tow wagons from at least the ACW until 1943, almost never used horses to tow wagons. A simple set of 16 mules in harness, and no human figures would be great. No boxes as loads, no machine guns, no bare back mules, just a simple harness to tow a wagon.
This suggestion comes up over and over on all the figure forums and has for at least 20 years, and never gets made. Some always suggests metal, but way to expensive to buy 100+ mules in metal. Or one of the plastic sets with two or four pack mules in it, again too expensive.
16 mules, in harness, in four poses. Very simple set.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog