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  • in reply to: How do you organize your armies? #21501
    Mark Strachan
    Participant

    I have armies from numerous H&M conflicts and tend to organise along historical lines, but I find that organising against an actual order of battle becomes rather restrictive. Also since OOBs can change so radically during a given campaign, I tend to build to a typical OOB.

    Using the Franco-Prussian War as an example I take a typical French Infantry Division of the Imperial phase to be two infantry brigades: the first has a chasseur battalion and two regiments of line infantry (each of three battalions); the second brigade has two regiments of line infantry; the divisional artillery consists of two field batteries and one mitrailleuse. This divisional organisation (with perhaps the substitution of some zouaves or Turqos for a line infantry) suits for all divisions except the guard. Other troops such as reserve artillery and cavalry are attached at corps level. The Republican armies are more chaotic, but basically similar.

    Prussians are even more regular, as you might expect. A division consists of two brigades each of two regiments (each of three battalions). Divisional artillery consists of four batteries (two light and two heavy). A single regiment of dragoons or hussars is attached. All other troops, e.g. jager battalions and reserve artillery are attached at corps level.

    Actual unit construction is more basic. A French battalion consist of three stands and a Prussian battalion of four stands, each of four figures. All cavalry regiments consist of three stands of two figures and artillery batteries consist of one gun and crew.

    I apply this to all my main H&M collections that include Napoleonic Wars, Austro-Prussian War, Crimean War, American Civil War, and even to the Russo-Japanese War, although the number of figures that make up the battalion stands of the different periods does vary – the Crimean troops have six to a stand whereas the Russo-Japanese have three.

    in reply to: Confessions of a butterfly… #21458
    Mark Strachan
    Participant

    Henry

    I think the rules you refer to in the first paragraph of the original post, were by the Confederate High Command, published by Skytrex in 1974. The authors were B. Chalkley, R.G. White and D.A. Chandler. I still have a copy. They were revolutionary at the time, but far too complicated for more than three or four regiments a side.

    Mark

    in reply to: 1859, 1864, 1866 and 1870 #21457
    Mark Strachan
    Participant

    Henry,

    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…

     

    Mark

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