First attempt at a travel edition of C&C: Napoleonics 2mm figures from Irregular on a standard game board
Wargaming is a social activity, the much missed Paddy Griffith compares hosting a wargame to hosting a dinner party in the closing paragraph of Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun, one of the finest short works on the hobby ever written. He was absolutely right. I play with my fellows because I enjoy their company and having never taken an interest in football, my conversation would be sadly limited to work or talking about a funny, little war that you've probably never heard of.
One of the chief virtues of the Command & Colours series was that they were simple, boxed games that could be played to a conclusion in the course of having a few drinks and small enough they could fit on most pub tables. It was possible to replace the plastic figures with 6mm chaps and dolly up the set somewhat with the addition of model trees, buildings and hills and still have a game that fit in a satchel or briefcase. Command & Colours: Ancients never really took off in the same way that Battlecry or Memoir '44 did amongst my social circle simply because sorting blocks is a dreadful bore.
What you can see above is a set up of the Maida scenario from ccnapoleonics.net using 2mm figures from Irregular miniatures Horse & Musket collection. Each base of 24 infantry or 12 cavalry represents a block, artillery blocks are shown as a gun team and limber, while general officers are a small base with some individual riders on them. Lazy swine that I am, I haven't painted the generals yet.
British line infantry are shown in line, French in column, Light Infantry for both sides are arranged in open order with skirmishers painted green as rifles.
I think the smaller figures answer admirably, though there will be some difficulty in distinguishing between similar troop types, like for example Guards and Grenadiers. I had thought that 6mm figures originally, but then realised that they would be unaffordable at present. The 2mm figures give a pleasing impression of mass, however I shall have to set myself to the task of determining how exactly to distinguish between the Portuguese infantry and the French in this scale.
An initial investment of £30 provided all the figures (and more) that you can see here. I think we shall have to have some playtesting to see how well prospective players cope with the smaller figure while struggling with the manifold challenges of the stress of command, poor pub lighting and being slightly toasted.