At this early stage of gathering plastic 1/72 figures, the list of required boxes is such that frankly, at the moment I can start gathering however I like - all milestones are too far off to achieve in one swift leap! I had pondered doing all the combined Artillery, or maybe just the Prussian army, etc. but I decided against it. I'm just nabbing things here and there for the time being, letting the stockpile grow organically. The long delivery times required for ebay items also acts as a bit of a brake on things, which is probably just as well.
Following on from my Waterloo Airfix diorama box, the first ebay purchases have turned up. First and foremost, I have received a bulk-lot of a dozen boxes of Revell Napoleonic miniatures that some nice guy was selling on ebay. I now have:
2 boxes of French Grenadiers (in greatcoats, somewhat unfortunately)
2 boxes of French Mounted Guard Chasseurs (natty cavalry, with big bearskins)
3 boxes of British Line Infantry (Belgic shako, the 'classic' Brit redcoats!)
1 box of Prussian Infantry (Line Prussians, with the shako)
2 boxes of British Life Guards Cavalry (plumed Grecian-style helmets, so hopefully useful 'heavy cavalry' for some other nations - Dutch Carabiniers, perhaps?)
2 boxes of British Foot Artillery
Overall, the Revell figure quality seems to be noticeably superior to the Airfix versions, as plasticsoldierreview.com predicted. In addition to this I have received another ebay order:
3 boxes of Prussian Infantry from Italieri. These seem to also be of high detail quality, although the Italieri figures are an infantry mix - no distinction between Line and Landwehr, so I'll need to go through them and sort them.
A good couple of bases' worth are already in hand, and more are due to arrive soon (in the form of Prussian Artillery by HaT, I believe). I can begin painting a few in a short while, so I have started looking over the arrived miniatures and assessing what base-scale I want.
Rules-wise, I am pretty keen on giving the DBA-esque 'Horse, Foot & Guns' a try. It has the classic DBA virtues of speedy play, meaning the Waterloo campaign could conceivably be knocked off in a weekend's worth of play, preventing a long bogged-down campaign.
Another option is of course to use the 'Black Powder' rules I typically use in my Seven Years' War games. They include a lot of Napoleonic 'colour' through their special rules, although the single-base-per-unit situation is a bit more awkward with them.
For basing flexibility, ideally, I should have two bases per infantry unit so I can represent formations. Side by side would give a Line formation, one behind the other for a Column, and back-to-back for a Square. Only march columns and skirmish screens would require more detailed basing if I really felt compelled to represent them, so it's a pretty decent option for future expansion. Initial checks quickly reveal the difficulty with this, however - great variability of manufacturers' footprints for the figures. Where do you literally draw the line for splitting a base, when it's practically guaranteed that some bases won't fit the measurement?
For now I've decided, following much pondering in my bunker, to stick with a single-base stuffed with figures. I will be fixing them to a card base so that future remounting is at least a possibility, which MDF rather rules out in my experience. I also have the minor matter of keeping costs down, and buying a huge board of good-quality card to chop up is still far better than lots of differently-sized pre-cut MDF bases.
Next up: basing sizes!