Home › Forums › Horse and Musket › General Horse and Musket › 1859, 1864, 1866 and 1870
- This topic has 38 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 2 months ago by Mark Strachan.
24/08/2014 at 11:45 #5631
I was wondering how many of you have played the 1859 Franco-Austrian War, 1864 Prusso-Danish War, 1866 Austro-Prussian War or 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War? And in which scale, given that these conflicts now have lovely rangers available in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 28mm and even 30mm from Spencer Smith? Am I right in thinking that there are 1/72 plastics available too?
And finally, of course, what rules are you using? I know that John ‘DZ’ Drewienkiewicz and Andrew Brentnall use a converted version of Fire & Fury, which works brilliantly for 10mm (see DZ’s book in the Wargaming in History series from Ken Trotman).
The period has always fascinated me but I’ve not yet taken the plunge.
P.S. Rhys, I have seen your wonderful blog.
Battlegames on Patreon
Author, The Wargaming Compendium
http://amzn.to/leWoNO24/08/2014 at 13:08 #5633JohnParticipant
It’s difficult period to write rules for. The ever changing weapons means you can’t simply have a base rules set which covers all. Even Bruce Weigle’s (have I spelt that right?) excellent 1870, 1859 and 1866 rules have to be tweaked to cover it. If you’re looking for corps-level command, which I believe to be the optimum level or playing considering the mass scale of battle that took place, then the 1870 derivative rules are one the best around. At regimental level, the Baccus Commandant De Bataille is probably best for the scale. Otherwise, Fire and Fury variants would probably do the Job.
Scale wise, I’d stick with the smaller scales (2-15mm), as even just reading the pages on wikipedia show how big the scale is. I have no idea about 10’s and 15’s, but in 6mm Heroic’s and Ros have an adaptable Franco-Prussian and ACW Range, while Baccus has it’s own war-specific range.
Link to Bruce Weigle’s website
To model the effect of Nuclear weapons on the wargaming table, apply jerry can of fuel to board, light match and stand well back.24/08/2014 at 15:36 #5641AnonymousInactive
I have a friend/war gamer buddy who keeps trying to get us involved in 28 mm FPW games. He even provides both armies (although his idea of tactics and terrain is more GW than I like.)24/08/2014 at 16:05 #5644Graham MinshawParticipant
Well I only (so far….) Play the Austro-Prussian war. I use 10mm figures and tend to use Black Powder. So far it has provided decent games with enough period feel. Also used Principles of Wasr, and indeed my forces are organised and based for this. They too gives good game but it a little slower and more clunky than with BP. Would love to try Bruce’s 1866 but they are a tad on the expensive side to try out.24/08/2014 at 16:59 #5651dhauserParticipant
I love this period and have painted many figures over the years starting with Airfix WWI Germans and FFL French in HighSchool in the early 70s and then in 15mm, 6mm, 10mm and 28mm. Footsore Miniatures will be moving into this period in a big way starting in just a few weeks. I anticipate heavily modifying On To Richmond as the rule system so that I can finally play the big battles that this period so richly deserves.24/08/2014 at 17:09 #5653Neil ScottParticipant
I currently game the 1870 period in 15mm, using an adaption of fire and fury from the Wyre Forest wargames club. It provides a good game and the rules are easy to pick as most of my club are very familiar with F&F. Currently got the French, Wurtembergers and some Bavarians
Double six! I need a double six24/08/2014 at 22:05 #5716Dave of MedetiaParticipant
I play FPW in 6mm, using Heroics & Ros figures (I like the men’s heads to be smaller than the horses they’re riding ) using the Realtime Wargames rules, To The Last Gaiter Button, which capture the period and the command and control essence just right in my opinion. It’s a great period, but as pointed out above, quite different even to 1859, which I’d like to do next.
www.themedetianwars.blogspot.co.uk24/08/2014 at 22:18 #5718
Thank you very much for your kind comments. I have just put a new post up, though I am currently having an argument with Google+ and Blogger as they won’t let me upload my latest photos which is somewhat annoying.
as for scale, if I was to start again, I would in all likelihood go with Pendraken 10mm stuff. A very complete range with all units available including Brunswickers who only accounted for a couple of regiment in the German army of 1870. It is unlikely they will make their money back on those codes but they did it anyway! Gotta love that!
Given the size of the field armies in the latter half of the 19th century, it would be advisable to with 2mm to 10mm figs as corp plus sized engagements were common in this period.
as for rules, well, where to start.
i believe a single rule set is perfectly capable of covering this whole era. Two examples of this (and in my collection) are Field of Battle 2nd Edition and Zouave II (1861-1871).
both are very good sets and Zouave II is my preference because it deals with the fog of war of such large armies of this period very well. Zouave II strives to remove the absolute control and compensate for the clear helicopter view of the entire battlefield and all forces thereby arrayed in a very clever but easy manner. Yes it is card-driven I suppose which some seem irked by but I think it adds to the games and gives you an edge of the seat experience.
one of the default requirement I have for any rule set for any era, is that it should allow a sizeable wargame to be fought to a decisive conclusion within a 3 to 4 hour period, or, a typical club night. I think this is very important. As a young teenager going to my nearest and most excellent club (no mean feat for I was under the age of driving and public transport in the evening, especially late evening, in the rural area in which I lived, was appalling), I became frustrated with the wargames we played as we rarely were abe to fight a wargame to a proper or decisive conclusion. The adult gamers would then stand around for a bit after declaring time, discussing the possible outcomes with the forces that were left on the table ( usually nearly all of the starting forces). I thought this seemed rather pointless, which I think is why in the 90’s, Fire & Fury was such a revelation along with DBA.
Bruce Weigles are also very excellent sets, with each set covering the aforementioned periods separately apart from 1859 which also covers 1864. However, I think the reasons that these are separate rule sets is a different reason to the one suggested. Zouave II covers and has templates and advice for gaming the ACW, Maximilian adventure (France in Mexico), the Austro-Prussian War and, the Franco-Prussian war and handles these significantly different conflicts very effectively.
Bruce Weigles rules are as much rule sets as they are source books. Bruce Weigles rules include quotes, drawing, photos and paintings specific to the conflict covered by each set as well as detailed information on each weapon used by each nation and full orders of battle and chronological timeline histories. Hence the reason they are separate rather than one volume. This would be nigh on impossible with all the information contained in each rule set.
the reason I veered away from FoB is because I wanted 1 base to represent one battalion. Whereas in FoB, a battalion is represented by 4 small square bases of figures. But I will still be trying them out with adjustments being made accordingly.
there are a couple of rule sets conspicuous by their absence in my rules library currently. The first set is To The Last Gaiter Button by Realtime Wargames. From what I have read and been told directly, these may become my go to set once I have purchased a copy. They have one thing that Bruce Weigles rules, FoB 2 and, ZII don’t have. A comprehensive campaign system which I feel for the FPW is necessary to really enjoy war gaming the FPW period and get a proper feel and flavour.
So once pay day arrives once more, an order will be made and I will post a review once I have had a flick through.
The other set is Blackpowder, though this is low on my purchase list due to cost and I don’t believe it will be my cup of tea either.
Polemos FPW also seem to be a good system from a read through and will deffo be giving these a try. I am hoping, and probably in vain, for a Polemos companion to their FPW rules which will help with campaigns etc.
i have numerous other sets and happy to discuss further if anyone is interested but I’ve only dealt with what I feel are the best sets for this period for dealing with large battles in the smaller scales. I looked at Furia Francese which a free F&F based system but it wasn’t my cup of tea for this period.
also, there are 1/72nd plastics available for this period, but I still remember the paint flaking of my Airfix, Esci and Revell figures and will never go back. Also, I don’t think 1/72nd is the best scale to get the most out of war gaming this period.
i also have ideas for my own system for this period for big, bloody fast paced battles and campaigns that model the fog of war effectively but with minimal book keeping or card turning.
an easy way to do this with a standard set of rules, however, is employing an umpire who then designs a scenario (if playing a one off battle) and only relaying or revealing scenario information to either player slowly as the scenario/battle unfolds on the table top.
for example, a simple and typical engagement of the FPW period might go something like this:
Each player is given a corps.
The French are defending a ridge line, with villages on either flank and interspersed woods on the ridges. A road links the two village running parallel to the long table edge on the French side and exiting either flanks. A road also runs from each village back to and exiting the Prussian deployment long edge.
the Prussians have to attack across the open ground and roads leading to the ridge line and villages. To win the Prussians have to occupy both villages.
Unbeknownst to the Prussian or French player, only the umpire, the Prussians have another corps matching to their aide (good old Moltke and Prussian doctrine of marching to the sound of the guns copied from the French). The umpire, each phase or turn dices from turn 4 or so onwards (as the Prussians should begin to be mauled if the French know what they are about), to see if the Prussian corps will arrive the following phase or turn. The first time this dice is rolled a 6 is needed. Then for each successive turn, you minus 1 to the chance of the additional Prussian corps arriving.
Keep rolling until it arrives.
When it does arrive, roll 1D6 1-3 it arrives on the road one flank in the French deployment zone approaching the village 4-6 the opposite side. The turn it arrives it may conduct a turn as per the normal rules. The same turn the Prussian corps arrives, throw another D6. On anything but a 1 a French division that has been kept in reserve arrives to aid the struggling French corps already deployed. The French player may deploy this additional division anywhere they like within their deployment zone.
This will make for a very interesting game.
The French should be able to still contest one of the villages if they make a good fighting withdrawal to a defensive salient around the village on the side the Prussian corps didn’t common.
The chief problem I see with FPW wargames in particular is that the French are able to deploy their Miltrailleuses up front with their infantry. In the imperial phase French artillery and Miltrailleuses were poorly used. Miltrailleuses were typically deployed with the artillery that typically deployed and opposed the Prussians at long ranges with pre-set fuse shells rather than impact fuses.
This means one of the earliest machine gunsel was never utilised properly and had a limited impact on the war.
I consistently see in AAR reports of the FPW, French victories. I believe this is because:
a) games aren’t fought as part and therefore not generated from an overall campaign game that is being played out and;
b) The scenarios are poorly designed but might be a result of;
c) lack of man power resulting in the lack of availability of an umpire who is not simply an umpire but also the wargames God dictating and cleverly evolving a scenario as it is played out on the table top.
Ok, that turned into a bit of a rant, apologies. Mind you this is better than my latest blog post… Oh well!
Rhys24/08/2014 at 23:03 #5731
That’s terrific, Rhys, thank you! Any chance you might be interested in writing an article for MWBG?
Battlegames on Patreon
Author, The Wargaming Compendium
http://amzn.to/leWoNO24/08/2014 at 23:09 #5733SparkerParticipant
Dave Fielder at the HMS Sultan Wargames Club occasionally put on a FPW game in 6mil using Principles of War. Great games and informative.
'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
Matthew 5:925/08/2014 at 00:21 #5737
Absolutely, it would be a privilege. Drop me an email: [email protected]
Hi Sparker – I remember playing PoW Napoleonics and enjoyed it very much out of the many sets we played at the club in my formative war gaming years as a teenager. However, as I recall, they still used multiple base battalions. I believe they are now also out of print.
My focus has been on rules that are readily available.
Rhys25/08/2014 at 10:16 #5760PatriceParticipant
The first time this dice is rolled a 6 is needed. Then for each successive turn, you minus 1 to the chance
There is another optional rule for such situations, exactly the same but starting from 1 it is easier to keep track with:
– at the end of the 1st game turn the action succeeds if the die rolls 1
– at the end of the 2nd game turn the action succeeds if the die rolls 1 or 2
– at the end of the 3rd game turn the action succeeds if the die rolls 1, 2, or 3
– at the end of the 4th game turn the action succeeds if the die rolls 1, 2, 3, or 4
– at the end of the 5th game turn the action succeeds if the die rolls 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5
page 6 of this document: http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/pdfs/meteo-emoticon-dice-en.pdf
https://www.anargader.net/25/08/2014 at 10:49 #5764
I agree, that is a much easier and smoother way of doing it but my only problem with that is that there is a chance you will have two fresh Prussian corps on the table at the start of the game. One being directly in the flank of the French. Whilst I’m all for challenging games, it might be of limited enjoyment to the French player.
Whereas if you only start rolling from between turn 4 to turn 6 for the arrival, the French get a few turns to make use of their wonderful Chassepot’s, with which the French infantry were superb shots. The starting Prussian corps gets mauled, the fresh Prussian corps then becomes the primary focus on the flank and the French are forced to urgently re-organise on the fresh division and even make desperate localised counter-attacks or stalling cavalry charges to buy time for their re-deployment. If this occurred, then it would be a true reflection of the events of 1870 and present the same challenges faced by the historical commanders for both players.
A French victory could also be called if the French are able to secure one of the roads leading off on the Prussian deployment long edge. A draw would be called if the Prussians control one village and the French are deemed as at least contesting the remaining village.
Rhys25/08/2014 at 11:49 #5776PatriceParticipant
Oh yes I understand
In my example “the 1st game turn” would mean the 1st turn when the fresh troops can arrive in the scenario, = the 4th turn in your game.
Yes, scenarios with unknown reinforcements arriving at an unknown time are a good idea.
https://www.anargader.net/25/08/2014 at 17:03 #5791
I play the Franco-Prussian and, my favourite, the Austro-Prussian Wars in 28mm (yep! but I have a big table) using a slightly modified version of Black Powder. They work really well and have produced some extremely exciting and challenging games. My armies for the Austro-Prussian war lean heavily towards the campaign in western Germany where the forces engaged/involved were much smaller than in Bohemia, but even the initial battles on the frontier can (and have) been fought perfectly well in 28mm given that they’re usually only a corps or so on each side. As long as the players adopt the historical tactics for the armies concerned then some great games can be had. We’ve certainly managed to reflect the periods well; plenty of silly Austrian storm columns getting shot to pieces for example. I’ve tried other rules as well as Black Powder but even rules specific to either of the wars either don’t ‘feel’ right or are too clunky for my liking.
There are loads of pictures of my collection and game reports on my blog for anyone who may be interested http://carryingsonupthedale.blogspot.co.uk
I jokingly (?) keep thinking that I must get painting as the summer of 2016 sees the 150th anniversary of the Austro-Prussian War and the Battle of Konigratz! Now THAT would be a hell of a game in 28mm!!!!!!!! And a magazine article…….
Colin25/08/2014 at 18:56 #5803CameronianParticipant
I really fancy FPW in 10mm. Sometime, maybe, never. I’m slowly building up a small Mexican force, followed by U.S. for the Mexican-American War 1846 in 28mm; nearer skirmish numbers rather than big battles. It’s another fascinating subject.
'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."25/08/2014 at 19:24 #5804
There are loads of pictures of my collection and game reports on my blog for anyone who may be interested http://carryingsonupthedale.blogspot.co.uk I jokingly (?) keep thinking that I must get painting as the summer of 2016 sees the 150th anniversary of the Austro-Prussian War and the Battle of Konigratz! Now THAT would be a hell of a game in 28mm!!!!!!!! And a magazine article……. Colin
Great blog, Colin, and it certainly looks like you’re having fun!
And you should never dangle a potential magazine article in front of an editor. He just might take you up on it…
Battlegames on Patreon
Author, The Wargaming Compendium
http://amzn.to/leWoNO26/08/2014 at 10:33 #5878
Great blog, Colin, and it certainly looks like you’re having fun! And you should never dangle a potential magazine article in front of an editor. He just might take you up on it…
Henry, well way back in the 1980’s/90’s I did have quite a few articles published by one of your illustrious predecessors so now I am enjoying (earlier than expected) retirement perhaps I shall take up the pen again!
Colin26/08/2014 at 10:34 #5879HwicceeParticipant
We have played this period a lot using the Fire and Fury variant rules – http://www.wfgamers.org.uk/
Currently we are playtesting a follow up to these. They are not really a 2nd edition of the F&F variants but a set influenced by F&F for large battles. Hopefully these will be more generally available soon.
On a slightly different point I have to agree with the idea that the games/rules need to be structured to the period. One of the strengths, I feel, of the original F&F rules is the victory conditions. These can be used to allow ‘victory’ even when victory in the traditional sense is not possible. For example in a ‘typical’ FPW game were say a French Corps takes on a growing number of Prussian/German Corps. More and more enemy corps would arrive over time and so the French can’t win. Plus the Prussians can just stand off with their superior artillery and shell the French to pieces. But by giving the French player points for each turn they holding key positions or even just survive they can still get some kind of (moral?) victory.
Similarly rules are needed for the limitations the armies put on themselves – like the mitrailleuse example. You often can’t just do a straight forward fight but you have to have a proper scenario/set up, even for a ‘pick up’ game.26/08/2014 at 12:21 #5887
I agree with the post above that games and rules have to be structured to fit the period otherwise with 1866 and 1870 you may as well not put the Austrians and French on the table. It also depends on the mindset of the players, especially anyone commanding the alleged ‘underdogs’.
In 1866 games I don’t allow the Austrians to march around in lines and engage in firefights unless they happen to be holding a particular position as part of the scenario. Even then, historically, the Austrian idea of defence was to attack! Getting them to move in line is difficult so the rule amendments I use make it almost a necessity for them to remain in assault column if they are to manoeuvre effectively or even at all, and have any chance of assaulting the Prussians in enough numbers to overwhelm them, albeit usually only temporarily! I also amend the rules/characteristics so they don’t allow the Prussians to use their artillery aggressively as they did in the FPW. For example, for encounter games where troops are entering the table, artillery attached to a formation always enters last, and the army reserve artillery always enters last of all. I also limit how close they can deeply to the enemy as they were more timid in 1866.
In FPW games again I agree the mitrailleuse ought not be deployed in the ‘front line’ as in the Imperial period at least they didn’t do it, so I make the French player deploy theirs paired up with an artillery battery, again a given distance behind the leading infantry, unless they are defending a village or similar of course.
I could go on as I’ve been gaming and researching these wars passionately, especially 1866, for much of my wargaming life, i.e. maybe 25+ years, first in 6mm when I had both armies for Konigratz, and lately in 28mm.26/08/2014 at 13:11 #5894
I recall that Don Featherstone was a fan of the 1859 war and cast all his own figures. “War Game Campaigns” had pictures of his set-up, with hundreds of converted Spencer Smith ACW figures cavorting round the Italian countryside.
Have any of you played this conflict? It would seem that the wars of 1866 and 1870 are winning in the popularity stakes, and those are also what I’m most familiar with, having studied German Unification at school and university. But I’m bowled over by some of Bruce Weigle’s fabulous layouts for 1859 too, and sorely tempted because I have travelled a fair bit in Italy (and my sister lives there). I seem to recall that Pendraken and Baccus do Risorgimento ranges that are suitable.
Battlegames on Patreon
Author, The Wargaming Compendium
http://amzn.to/leWoNO27/08/2014 at 10:13 #6004HwicceeParticipant
We play 1859 as well as 1866 & 1870-71 but not as much as these other wars. 1859 is an interesting war but it is short and limited, even when compared with 66 and 70-71. We normally re-fight historic battles and there are a lot more of these in 66 & 70-71 than in this war. While both the other wars are greater in scope – you have not only the fighting in Bohemia in 66 but also in Italy and Germany. In 1870/71 you also have the Republican phase battles.27/08/2014 at 23:00 #6066
I’ve played both 1859 and 1870 wars with Weigles rules [my first venture into 3mm figures or lumps] and Volley and Bayonet in 6mm. The 1866 war hasn’t been a real interest of mine. Between the issues with Austrian tactical doctrine vs what they actually did and wonky generalship, it just doesn’t hold much appeal for me.28/08/2014 at 02:46 #6087
Henry is trolling one of my favourite periods – horse and rifle!
Nevr done it, but I am thinking of Guerra del Pacifico in 6mm at i fig = 10 men.21:46:3928/08/2014 at 15:16 #6132
I suppose that means that 1859 is a war that has potential for “What if…?” scenarios. Hmmm. Thought provoking…
Battlegames on Patreon
Author, The Wargaming Compendium
http://amzn.to/leWoNO28/08/2014 at 22:06 #6190Matthew GroveParticipant
Wow, this has been an interesting thread. I have not played FPW since the rules “They Died For Glory.” I have always liked the look of the era. Back then the were very few figures made. Then foundry pulled the range and my interests went in other directions.
I like your blog Colin.
Matthew29/08/2014 at 00:35 #6248
<span style=”color: #545454;”>We have all three complete 1859 armies for Volley & Bayonet. </span>We’ve made a “Soldier King” type map as well as used the GMT’s <em style=”font-weight: bold; color: #545454;”>Risorgimento<span style=”color: #545454;”> 1859 </span><span style=”color: #545454;”>campaign game. We have all three complete armies for Volley & Bayonet. The 1859 war has a number of advantages being played as a campaign. One is that it was a relatively quick campaign in an area contained within the Po Valley in Italy. Even so, there were a number of opportunities for both sides to attack, lots of interesting terrain and strategic challenges. The campaigns can also lead to some very interesting meeting engagements and full-fledged battles, just as in the real campaign. 1870 has larger armies and a larger chunk of terrain for campaigning which has it own problems, though we want to try it with 3mm armies and Bruce W’s rules. </span>30/08/2014 at 17:32 #6486
I was tempted to do 1859 as I can use my Crimean French and Sardinians. Would need more of the latter though and technically my 1866 Austrians are in the wrong uniform so I’d have to do them all again minus greatcoats. What tempts me even more are the armies of Naples and the Papal States, but thankfully I have run out of room for any more 28mm armies at the moment!30/08/2014 at 19:11 #6500
At the risk of derailing the thread a little (who, me?) 😉
I have never completelyt got my head around the notion of Prussian company columns. My (less than complete) understanding of them is that the bn set up in a 3 deep line with big gaps between the companies, the third rank was then sent forward as skirmishers with the remainder of the company used as a reserve to charge when the fire fight was won and replacements for tired, depleted skirmishers. Presumably, it would manouver into a fold in the ground or cover to minimise casulties.
So I picture it looking a bit like this
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
1. Is this broadly correct?
2. What sort of spacing would the skirmish line use – Britisdh Napoleonic two file widths per man, or modern 5m per man?
3. Would the support columns be in Napoleonic type 22-24″ close order or something a bit looser (say like the Guards at the trooping the colour?)?23/09/2014 at 03:49 #9180John LeahyParticipant
Yeah, I’m posting to an older thread. In my defense, I’ve only been here a few days.
I am a huge fan of 1866. I game it in 1/72 scale. Actually I own figures for 1859, 1864, 1866 and 1870 (along with 1877) in 15mm. I had vast armies 20 years ago. But I sold them off. I decided to do it again with mainly Old Glory figures. But my true love is 1/72 figs. I use Field of Battle 2nd edition. These are my go to rules for 1700-1914. Brent Oman actually sent me an adaptation to bump the scale up a level (1 unit equals a regiment). I have yet to try them out since 1866 has several Corps on Corps battles. My 1/72 French are not yet done. When they are 1859 and 1870 will start up.
My buddy Ed and I recently ran a small FOB 1866 game. I had my Prussian Brigade with some Jaegers pushing out from a Mountain Pass to enlarge their foothold. An Austrian Corps marched piecemeal onto the field. My Prussians shot up the first Austrian regiment. But I got cocky and tried to take a hill overlooking the town I was holding. I lost almost a regiment and had to retire awaiting further infantry marching forward. That ended the game. I am sending reinforcements to my Prussians . I am painting up another 8 battalions of regular infantry to help out. Then a Cavalry Brigade.
John23/09/2014 at 04:55 #9187
Yes, broadly. The company columns could just as easily be in a single line behind the skirmishers. 5 meters per file [two men teams] was the beginning distances. What they were during battle could vary quite a bit depending on terrain and the reinforcements. The Prussian doctrine was for 1/3 to 1/2 of the columns would be committed to skirmishing or reinforcing the skirmishers, developing a firing line between 100 and 400 meters from the enemy, pushing as close as possible. When the enemy fire had been degraded, the formed columns would cross the firing line and assault. However, more than Prussian officer considered most 1970 battles ‘large-scale skirmishes.’
Such doctrine didn’t keep the Prussians from assaulting in mass, such as the Guards at St. Privat.26/09/2014 at 01:29 #9417
Tank ee kindly for that Mr McLaddie. Do you know how the company columns were formed, no of ranks file width etc?27/09/2014 at 16:44 #9527
The company formed two zug in a three rank formation, with six paces between zugs in line. However this was the parade formation. In combat, the company would detach the third rank and form a third zug which would be pushed forward to skirmish. So in reality, the company formation supporting the skirmishers operated as a column one zug wide and four ranks deep. In close order, I would imagine the file width remained the typical 24-28 inches with men standing elbow to elbow. What happened all to often in 1866 and later in 1870 was that sooner or later, the company would completely commit to skirmish combat.
There is an article discussing this in the 1891 issue of Blackwood’s Magazine #150 starting on page 92 which provides a lot of detail around your question as well as a summary of the development of the Prussian tactics. Google books has it:
Hope that helps.
McLaddie27/09/2014 at 19:28 #9537
Many thanks, makes much more sense.28/09/2014 at 20:46 #9613sheepmanParticipant
I have always been fascinated by this period, mainly because of the continual changes in weaponry (both on land and sea) by the various nations competing for an often temporary advantage in firepower and then having to find the best ways of employing this weaponry to their advantage. Examples of this (as mentioned above), Chassepot Vs Needle gun Vs Prussian breach loading artillery and how the mitrailleuse was used.
All these figures are from the Outpost 1870 range, maybe not the greatest 15mm figures in the world but not bad and certainly one of the most comprehensive and complete.
Loads more photos and reports of games here:
'The higher up the tree the monkey goes, the more of it's arse you can see'.
To bosses everywhere!
http://thenorthumbrianwargamer.blogspot.co.uk/29/09/2014 at 19:34 #9707Neil ScottParticipant
That reminds me Dave we’ll have to get these out again for another game sometime
Double six! I need a double six29/09/2014 at 21:50 #9725
Nice, that is.
Likes it we does.18/03/2015 at 18:36 #19911Graham KayParticipant
Well of course the great thing about this hobby is that we can try things out like the Austrians forming firing lines against the on-coming Prussians. There were a number of officers at the time who thought this was the way to go, especially after the initial experiences in attack columns but the troops weren’t trained to do it and a complete tactical overhaul was out of the question.
The Franco Prussian War gets more interesting during the Republican phase. The Prussians have had enough and the French artillery improves. Most of the Garde Mobile units were poor but not all, you can still field Zouaves (with added Papal Zouaves!!!) and Turco’s, there were more Chasseur battalions raised, the Foreign Legion (don’t go crazy 2 battalions, maybe three at the most) and my favourite units the Marins (sailors not marines). There were units of red clad Garibaldini and you can have mixed French cavalry units.
Plus the French actually won a battle…06/04/2015 at 03:32 #21457Mark StrachanParticipant
I have had a passionate interest in the mid-nineteenth century periods since the mid-1970s. The key to that passion was reading the chapters of Featherstone’s “Wargames Campaigns”, while studying the Wars of German Unification in sixth form history. Indeed Feathersone’s potted description of the Battle of Spicheren in that book has lead to a two decade study of that battle (and its companion Froeschwiller), of which there is an unpublished manuscript sitting on my desk awaiting a final proof that may actually be published before printed books disappear altogether.
For me the scale has always 28mm and rules have always been home grown. The games we play are large multiplayer affairs usually on a table 4.8 meters by 2 meters. Most commercial rules just don’t work for our style of play. The rules are a conglomeration of ideas from Feathersone, WRG, Fire and Fury, Black Powder, and many others. They have changed a great deal over the years, but the version we have now is giving pretty good results.
I began collecting the FPW when Wargames Foundry launched their range in 1984 and developed armies of several thousand figures, before I had to sell the armies off in the mid-1990s to pay a tax bill! The collection is now rebuilding (but not to the same extent).
I also developed an interest in the Austrian War of 1866 at the same time and from about 2002 and 2006 I designed my own range of Austrians and Italian figures (for my own amusement), had them cast, and now have a fairly respectable force of each. I made a batch of masters for the Bavarians and Hanoverians for this period, but have not gotten around to getting them cast. The Austro-Prussian period is a particular favourite of mine (the extent of that “obsession” may be evident in the title of my blog “1866 and all that” http://stracmark.blogspot.co.nz). Getting a balanced game in 1866 is very difficult and few players are daft enough to hurl their forces against unshaken Prussians with Needle Guns. Like Colin I impose big disadvantages for Austrian infantry in line, but despite those restrictions we have had many games where the Austrians have made desperate efforts and <i><b>almost</b></i> driven the Prussians, only to be beaten in the dying moments of the game. Similarly the Italians always come off second best when facing the Austrians. One day I would like to see the Bavarians and Hanoverians in the field to see if they have better chance against the Prussians.
I also developed an interest in the Franco-Austrian War after articles published in the ’80’s in Miniature Wargames, and from another chapter in the Featherstone “Campaigns” book. The Italians for the 1866 war will be fine for this campaign, as will some of the French from the Crimea and FPW, but the Austrians will not and the thought of painting several hundred Austrian infantry in white is daunting.
In addition to all of the above, I also made masters for the Danes in 1864. One day…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.