Thursday, March 28, 2013

New French SYW Artillery

Here are pictures of the greens for the new Fife & Drum 8-pound and 12-pound Valliere System cannon that we are adding to our artillery equipment range. The models will be sent to Griffin Designs for the making of production moulds and castings. Hopefully, we can get these lovely models into production by the end of April. Click the pictures to enlarge the view.

French 8-pound Valliere System Cannon

French 12-pound Valliere System Cannon

Prussian heavy limber, suitable for French artillery (same design)
These models are done in 1/56 scale and are designed for use with Frank Hammond's Minden Miniatures SYW range and the Fife & Drum Miniatures AWI range.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SYW Era Artillery Equipment Preview (greens)

I have received some pictures of the work in progress of the new range of 18th Century artillery equipment and train that we are adding to the Fife & Drum Miniatures range. The first batch of pix include a munitions wagon (wicker sides and canvas cover), a pontoon wagon, two different Prussian limbers and Prussian 3/6/12 pounders and 7-pound howitzer. In a late post I will show the pix of the French 8-pound and 12-pound artillery pieces. They are made in 1/56 scale and will be compatible with Minden Miniatures and Fife & Drum Miniatures.

I'm having problems resizing the pictures on my iPad, but if you click the picture, you will be able to see the full pix.

Munitions Wagon

Pontoon Wagon

Prussian limber for 3-pd and 6-pd cannons.

Prussian 3-pounder Holtzman model M1740

Prussian 12-pounder

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Leaving Sanibel

I'm wasting a little bit of time here at the airport as we have a couple hours wait. Mrs. Fritz and I took one last stroll down the beach this morning, albeit a cold walk since it was sunny, windy and 54F degrees. Still beats 30F and snow back in Hesse Seewald .

I've got a carry on bag full of Osprey Campaign books covering Corunna, Bussaco and Fuentes d'Onoro as well as my Jac Weller book on the Peninsula War. I'm mentally cooking up my second brigade of British and know that I can complete one 84-figure battalion for sure by early May. The question is, can I paint a second and maybe a third before the next game? What do you think.

At any rate, Major General Pettygree's army is building strength. John M. has informed Horse Guards that he intends to raise a brigade of British (one British, one Highlander and one Portuguese btn plus 3 howitzers and maybe some cavalry). With all these new recruits on the horizon, Pettygree only has to hold Marshall Soult in check for a month or two, then the army and the partisans will do in the French, methinks.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Fleet Leaves Port Sanibel

I mailed my fleet of 8 small ships and 3 large ships to Gundt & Sons Ltd. to join the 8 small ships that he already has. What serendipity! To find that I already had 8 ships on hand is amazing luck. Bill P. will name the French boats and I will name the British boats. If you have any good suggestions then please feel free to leave them in the comment section of this blog.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Fleet Grows Larger

I was checking with the ship builders at the Gundt Shipyard today and I learned that I already had 8 similar ships in dry dock that I had acquired on a previous visit to Florida. This must have been about 7-8 years ago and I'd completely forgotten about them. So I could end up with over 20 ships in aggregate. Not all bad!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wooden Ships

I found theses wooden ships with cloth sails in a souvenir shop in Florida. I'm thinking of buying the whole batch at $8.00 each. Seems like a bargain. They are about 15mm model size I think. What do you think? Can anyone recommend some easy to learn rules? I know that Age of Reason has a set and i would imagine that those might fill them bill.

Friday, March 22, 2013

1806 Prussian New Figure Range

There is a new 28mm figure range covering the 1806 Prussian army in the works. The company is called FG Miniz. They are funding the range via an Indiegogo campaign which you can access by clicking on the link below:

FG Miniz Prussian Army of 1806

I have to say that I really like the look of these figures and putting my money where my mouth is, I've invested around €300 to help these guys out. Their goal is to raise €7,000 by the end of April and they are at €4,700 at the time of this writing. It won't take too much more to push the project across the finish line, so if you think that you might have an interest in t 1806 Prussians, click on the link and join for as little as €25.

One of the good things in favor of the campaign is that the initial sets of grenadiers and musketeers are already in production so you are guaranteed of getting your figures no matter what happens to the fund raising campaign.

I hope that some of my readers will join me in this Prussian campaign.

Der Alte Fritz

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Need Help Picking New British Peninsula Regiment

The British army of Major General William Justinian Pettygree grows stronger with every day, but it still has a long way to go before it can approach the strength of Marshal Soult's army in Portugal circa 1809. Accordingly, I am eager to paint more British regiments but am in a quandary deciding which one (s) to paint.

The problem boils down to the facing colors and the similarity of the figure poses that I'm using. I like the Elite Miniatures charging pose and used it for my 83rd Regiment (yellow facings). I just ordered another regiment of 84 figures this week and I was going to paint them as the 88th (Connaught Rangers), also in yellow facings. The 83rd, 94th and 88th were brigaded together and so the 88th would complete my brigade. The trouble is, since I use single-based figures on magnetic movement trays, once I start removing casualties, I will have difficulty distinguishing the 83rd from the 88th in the casualty pile. Thus the figures might not make it back to their regiment after we pick up the game and store away the figures. I know this is overly picky, but that's the way I am sometimes.

So now I'm thinking that I should order more Connoisseur figures and use those for the 88th since there is a noticeable difference in the figures, so the 88th and 83rd won't get mixed up. That said, I now need to pick a new regiment for the new order of Elite figures. It has to be a regiment that has anything but yellow facings. Maybe a dark green like the 45th or blue for one of the royal regiments (which one?) or a KGL or Guard regiment? What would you suggest. As a guideline, I'm trying to stay within Picton's Division for my roster of troops.

Eventually I will want to paint a British Guards regiment, but I'm wondering which brand of figures to use as I want the Guards to look extra special. I will NOT use plastic figures (we hate assembling plastic figures here in Hesse Seewald) so your suggestion needs to be from a metal range.

Oh, and I also plan to add the 42nd Highland Regt using Connoisseur figures that I already have (but I need to order a lot more of them).

Gentlemen, the floor is now open to you. Leave your suggestions in the Comment section at the bottom of this thread.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Battle of the Crossing of the Rio Minio

British second line of defense anchored on an old tower. Double click image to enlarge.

On Saturday March 16, 2013 we kicked off the opening battle of the Iberian Campaign of Major General William Justinian Pettygree in Spain and Portugul. Click on the link below to view the campaign's own blog, written by the Major General himself:

If you visit the link above, you will be able to read the background story to the campaign and the events leading up to our first battle.

Toward the end of 1808 the military situation in the Iberian Peninsula for allies Britain, Portugal and Spain was hopeless. Napoleon had overrun most of Iberia and seemed unstoppable. Spanish armies were defeated and disorganized. Portuguese forces were insignificant and wanting. Finally, Sir John Moore's British contingent was greatly outnumbered and retreating fast into northwest Spain. Lest everyone be lost, he intended to embark for home from the port of Coruna.

Wind kept troop transports off the port until 15 January. Embarkation commenced almost immediately. The next day Marshall Soult's II French Corps arrived commencing a furious battle to prevent it. The line held but Moore was killed. On the 17th the French paused allowing the rest of the British Army to embark and sail for England.

A fortnight later only one viable allied body was left in northwest Iberia. It was the 10,000 man division commanded by Major General William Justinian Pettygree in Lisbon. News was expected any hour saying Soult's 23,500 men were marching south into Portugal. All that stood in his way was the garrison of Lisbon.

-- from the personal journal of M.G. Wm. J. Pettygree (February 1809)

Briefly, Pettygree resolved to march north from Lisbon and attempt to deny Soult's forces the crossing of the Minio River, which establishes the northern border of Portugal with Spain. The strategic thinking was that the key city of Porto on the Duro River, was Soult's immediate target. With its extensive harbor facilities, Porto would be an important city for either side to control, thus, Pettygree hoped to buy time by delaying the French invasion well north of the Duro River. As a result, Pettygree targeted the crossing of the Minio River as a possible forward site for the initial battle.

As far as I can tell, the French forces outnumbered the British by approximately 2:1 in infantry and they had about 50% more cavalry than the British (126 horse for the French vs. 76 British light cavalry). The British had slightly more cannon, 8 pieces to 6 pieces, but the majority of British tubes were light six pounders (6 x 6-pdrs and 2 x 9-pdrs) compared to the heavier French artillery (4 x 8-pdrs and 2 x howitzers).

The initial set up, with the game played on the long vertical axis (20ft long table with one parallel side table 3ft wide by 20ft long) with the French forces beginning to cross the Minio River via one bridge (center) and one pontoon bridge (right) that was thrown up. A second pontoon bridge was under construction on the French left flank, but it would take several turns for this one to be completed.

Approximatley 8 feet south of the river, there was a classic "Wellington ridge" upon which the British deployed a foreward posting of the six Royal Horse Artillery (Hew Grant's battery RHA) in the center, Lord Paget's light cavalry (some 50 horse) on the left, and elements of the 9th Regiment on the right. Behind the ridge was positioned the 5th Regt. Lord Paget commanded the cavalry and RHA while Lt. Colonel Devereaux commanded the infantry on the British right flank, in the absence of Brigadier Petrus Young, who was on medical leave back in Lisbon.

Brigadier General Alexander Sinclair's brigade (83rd Regt, 94th Regt, 3 companies of 5/60th and one section of Royal Artillery 9-pdrs, escorted by two squadrons of the 2nd KGL Hussars, were marching onto the field, hidden by the Wellington ridge.

Thus the action commenced at exactly 10 A.M on the 16th March:

Initial position of the French army as it begins to cross the Minio River. Note the pontoon bridge on the left (French right) which is completed as well as the French forces in the upper right hand corner, where they are building another pontoon bridge.

The cavalry vanguard of the French have successfully negotiated the river crossing, unopposed and now they fan out to find what is in front of them. French infantry begin to deploy into line to assault the ridge.

The first cavalry action commences between Earl (Col. Exelmanns, in orange  pelisse) and Bill (Lord Paget, in blue pelisse). I leave it to you to guess who is getting the better of the sabre fight at this point in the game. You can also see the RHA battery on the ridge opening fire on a supporting French cavalry regiment near the road.
The French superiorityin forces is now evident as long columns of veteran infantry snake their way up the road behind the deployed regiment in line.

The first French battalion commences the attack on the ridge. Several companies of light rifles (95th) await them behind stone walls? But is that all there is?

No, the 83rd Regt of Foot has deployed two companies behind the ridge, keeping the rest of the regiment in reserve behind the ridge (hidden from view). Meanwhile, the hacienda is garrisoned by the flank companies of the 9th Regiment. You can see that the French battalion is rather diminished in numbers by now and has gone disordered.

Brigadier Sinclair's British brigade is now deployed behind the ridge. Here is the 83rd Regt, having sent two companies forward to the ridge, with more available in reserve as needed.

At the same time, the French attack is picking up momentum on their right, after driving off Lord Paget's British light cavalry.
The French attack on the British right, at the Hacienda de Sainte, pushes over the ridge as the two companies of the 83rd retire back to the rest of the regiment behind the ridge. Too many French battalions on the other side, time to bug out! Remember, this is a campaign with attrition to the regiments from battle losses, so it does not pay to "fight to the last man".
On the French right, the 12e Regiment de Ligne surges over the ridge with voltigeurs seen skirmishing from the front.

The French commander on their right marshals his forces to carry the attack over the ridge.

Over on the French left, British right, four battalion brigade sweeps the British 9th Regiment before it.

At this point, Blogger won't let me add any more pictures, but what I have provided should give you the gist of what happened in the battle.

As the French surged over the crest of the ridge in the center and their left, they faced a combined battery of eight British guns (6x 6-pd RHA and 2 x 9-pd RA) and Sinclair's brigade of two regiments. The French had routed off the British 5th Regiment which had been deployed behind the ridge, and thus faced the brunt of the French assualt. The French set up the potential for a combined arms attack of infantry and cavalry on Sinclair's position, but after watching several battalions get hosed down by cannister and musket balls, the French decided that given that this was a campaign, it would be wiser to fall back to the ridge and let the French left wing carry the day. The French left had the advantage of numbers and were pushing the 9th Regt. back, slowly but surely. As the 9th fell back, Sinclair's right flank became exposed and he had to swing the 83rd back towards the final British position near a small creek in their rear. The 83rd's left was protected by the Martello Tower in the center of the field (it being packed to the rafters with Riflemen taking advantage of the height and the rested fire on the walls to pick off French officers).

At this point, time had expired for the French as darkness set in and the battle day was over. The British had earned their "minor victory" condition of holding the position around the Martello Tower at the end of the battle and keeping the French outside of 48 inches from the creek that was behind the tower. Both sides agreed that eventually the French would be able to push the British off the field, from sheer weight of numbers, but nonetheless, Pettygree had achieved his objective of blunting the attack of Soult's army.

At one point near the end of the battle, Brigadier Sinclair turned to Major General Pettygree, pointing to the retirement of the French right wing, "good God sir, I believe that we are going to win today!"

And you can guess how Pettygree would have replied (search your Waterloo movie for reference):

"Good God Sir, I believe that you are right", said Pettygree.

Post Script:
My congratulations to Bill P. for setting up an interesting and challenging scenario that was very asymetrical, given the difference in numbers for both sides. While the British were outnumbered heavily, they had sufficient terrain to fight an effective rear guard retirement, while the French numbers were somewhat tempered by the tight space on the table. We played the game on the vertical (long) axis rather than on the horizontal (wide) axis. Everyone was involved in the action almost from the first turn. I did not see anyone sitting around with nothing to do.

There were a number of unexpected events during the game. During the initial cavalry battle between the British light and the French light cavalry forces, Bill had some of the worst dice rolling that I have ever seen him have. Still, he did manage to slow the French infantry down a bit and provide time for Sinclair's brigade to arrive behind the ridge. The stone hacienda on the right side of the ridge line turned out to be a tough nut to crack for the French. Bill had placed the flank companies of the 9th Regt. inside and they repelled several French attempts to assault the structure. When that failed, the French surrounded the hacienda on three sides with infantry and even brought up some artillery to try and blast the British out of the hacienda. It turned into a La Haye Saint or a Chew House for the French as the building attracted more attention than it deserved and probably contributed to the French running out of time before darkness fell. The British achieved their victory conditions by the slimmest of threads.

Finally, the casualties were dead even: 210 French and 211 British. Go figure that!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The French Vanguard Crosses the Border

12e Chasseurs a Cheval pass through a Spanish town on the way to Portugal. Colonel Guyot (far right watches his regiment march by. Legere infantry clear out the town before the cavalry enters.
The 12e Chasseurs and the 25e Legere are observed by the civilians from the roofs of the houses.

The 7e Chasseurs a Cheval bring up the rear of the column. The 25e Legere steps off the road so that the  cavalry may pass. (Double Click all pictures to enhance your viewing pleasure)

Marshal Soult's army has left Corunna, after defeating Moore's British army, which evacuated by sea. Now the famous marshal, the Duke of Damnation, to the British soldiers, has cast his eyes on the real prize: Lisbon. The preparations have been made and the vanguard of the French army, consisting of the 12e Chasseurs a Cheval (240 horse), the 7e Chasseurs a Cheval (150 horse) and the 1er Chasseurs a Cheval (180 horse) lead the army across the Spanish frontier and into Portugal. The 25e Regiment de Legere (720 men in all ranks) accompanies the cavalry. Colonel Guyot of the 1er Chasseurs is in command of the French vanguard (1,290 men infantry and cavalry).

Spies are already sending their observations and intelligence to the British headquarters in Lisbon, Major General Pettygree commanding. A clash of arms appears to be imminent, perhaps as soon as six days (on Saturday March 16, 2013) in this first encounter of our new Iberian Campaign, 1808 to 1814.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Campaign in Iberia Begins

12e Chasseurs a Cheval in Spain. Double click to enlarge.

I am very excited to announce that our Iberian Campaigns of 1808-1814 have commenced and we will be playing our first campaign game next Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Brown Deer, WI at Chez Protz. Click on the link below to read the first chapter of Major General William Justinian Pettygree's journal of the events that took place in the Iberian Peninsula from 1808 to 1814.

Pettygree's Campaigns In Iberia

The story will be conducted in a series of chapters in the same manner that Bill has done his Colonial Campaigns of another member of the Pettygree clan, serving in India and Africa during the 1890s. So follow the link above, book mark it, and keep abreast of the adventures of the Major General as he defends Portugal and British honor from the legions of the Corsican Ogre, old Bones A Part himself.

The first encounter will occur during early 1809 near Oporto in Portugal. Marshal Soult's army is intent on invading Portugal and evicting the British presence in the country. His vanguard is already working its way south, even as you read this and so Major General Pettygree has begun to marshal his forces in the Lisbon garrison to deal with this threat.

In the picture above, the French chasseurs a cheval are from Elite Miniatures, as is the colonel in the bearskin colpak, who watches as his squadrons move through a small town in Spain. The accompanying 24e de Legere battalion is comprised of the original Dave Alsop Old Glory special edition figures. These are real beauties and I liked them so much, that I was loathe to part with them when I sold off my 28mm Napoleonic collection. Little did I know that some five years later, I would be glad that I kept them, for they are a key unit in the French order of battle in Iberia during the campaign. 

The civilians are from the Perry Carlist Wars collection and the buildings and trees were all constructed by the talented Herb Gundt. I actually got my fingers dirty and made the road sections, back in about 1992, as I recall.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Murat the Vain Peacock

Murat at Heilsberg - by Patrice Courcelle (click to enlarge)
Joachim Murat was perhaps the most famous cavalryman in Napoleon's army during the empire days. He was certainly brave, always willing to lead the charge from the front and mix it up with the enemy; and he was also vain and gaudy, as shown in some of his outfits above and below, both taken from the 1807 campaign in Poland. What he was not was a good commander of large bodies of cavalry, i.e. anything above brigade level.

However, I am not posting these pictures to discuss Murat's career and personality. No, I post them because I want to point out that the pickings are slim in the "personality figure" genre and hope that one day some sculptor will rise to the challenge of creating several version of Murat.

My favorite is the Winter uniform that he wore at Eylau in February 1807. It is a nice mix of showy and practical, what with the fur lining and trim.

Murat leading the grand cavalry charge at Eylau in 1807. By Patrice Courcelle

Both of these pictures are found in the book "Soldiers and Uniforms of Napoleonic Wars" by Francois-Guy Hourtoulle and illustrated by Patrice Courcelle. It is a wonderful book to have in your reference library.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

French Square at 1:5 Ratio

French square at a 1:5 ratio (144 figures). Note the officers taking refuge in the center of the square.

Same square, but moving a little bit away from it.
Moving back a little further.
French 12e Regt. de Ligne at Auerstadt in 1806. Mostly Elite Miniatures. Click twice to enlarge.

Several people asked me to create a large French square with my 1806 French army and take some pictures. I thought that this was a good idea, so I pushed two 72-figure battalions together to form a 144-figure square at a roughly 1:5 ratio of figures to real men. Now mind you, I don't game at 1:5, for many reasons including tabletop space, cost of the figures, and the fact that it would take me two months to paint a battalion of 144 figures. But it is nice to see what a truly large battalion would look like and it gives you an approximation of how the real deal might look. Our group games Napoleonics at a 1:10 ratio of figures to men and so I draw the line at 72-figure battalions (which is its own form of madness).

A close-up view of the same square. Note the Eagle Bearer and the Drummers are all in the center of the square along with the officers mounted on horseback. Click twice, if you dare.
The French infantry are from Elite Miniatures as is the Prussian dragoon regiment von Irwing (DR3) shown hurling themselves against one of the corners of the square. In the distance, one can see the super large Imperialist Miniatures dragoons - these must be 35-35mm figures. Giants indeed, but they look really cool so I use them anyway.

I immediately discovered that I don't have enough dragoons in my 1806 Prussian army. I do have about 60 Prussian SYW hussars from the Stadden 30mm range that have uniforms suitable for double duty in 1756 and 1806. However, I was anxious to shoot the photographs and get them posted so I did not put the hussars on the table.

The square is actually more of a rectangle, with two stands on each end and four stands on the sides.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

French Column at 1:5 Ratio

French battalion at 1:5 ratio (144 figures). Elite Miniatures. Click to enlarge.

Just for the fun of it, I pushed two of my 1806 French battalions together to increase the casting to figure ratio from 1:10 to 1:5. So now a company increases from 12 figures to 24 figures. Now I have no intention of gaming Napoleonics at a 1:5 ratio, but it is an interesting exercise in optics. In the top picture, I provided a little bit of spacing between the companies of the column. The column is actually a column of grand divisions, of which it has a frontage of two grand divisions (48 figures x 5 = 240 men). So in theory, the French could fire off 240 muskets in three ranks when deployed in a column of grand divisions and facing an opponent in line formation (2 or 3 ranks deep).

UPDATE: the formation shown in the picture above is called colonne a grand distance with a 2-company (peleton) frontage per the 1791 regulations. There was an interval of 22 yards between the companies when they were in column and they had a 2-company frontage of about 44 yards.

1791 Regulations Column as used in 1805-1807 Campaigns

OOOO   OOOO    = 2 peleton frontage (grand division) for a column
                                =  interval of 22 yards between companies in the column



OOOO                 = grenadier or voltigeur company

In the picture shown below, the companies or peletons have been closed up in a formation called serre en colonne (close in column).

I have to say that I am sorely tempted to change my 1806 armies over to the proper 1791 Regulations organization of 9 companies. I would probably want to add 9 more figures to my 72-figure battalion, resulting in 81 figures or 9 companies of 9 figures. For the Peninsula War, I could change the movement trays (sabots) back to the six stand organization.

1808 Regulations used from 1808 to 1815

In 1808, the 9-company organization used in the 1806 campaign was now organized as a 6-company battalion (which is shown in my French armies for convenience' sake). So two peletons or companies in the 1791 regulations are equivalent to the a single company in the 1808 regulations. So now the companies are larger and they thus have a wider frontage. A column of grand divisions is shown below. This is the traditional "attack column" that we depict on the wargame table with six stands of figures, two stands wide and three stands deep.

OOOOOO   OOOOOO    = 2 company frontage for the attack column



The companies or grand divisions are closed up in this picture.
In the picture above, I have closed up the companies in the column so that there is little space between the individual companies. This is more of a wargaming formation than it is an actual formation, as there has to be some room between the companies. However, for wargaming purposes, we hardly ever depict any space between the companies when they are in column formation.

Work in Progress

French 1er Chasseurs a Cheval. Elite Miniatures.
Here are ten of the old Elite Miniatures French chasseurs a cheval that I painted over the weekend as the 1st Regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval. The entire Elite range was resculpted at some time during the 1990s and the older castings were discontinued. The new figures have definite scale creep as they are closer to 30mm whilst the old figures were closer to 25mm. I think. At any rate, I kind of like these older figures and I have been able to acquire 30 of them, which is almost 3 squadrons of 12 figures. I will have to use some (six to be exact) of the new  Elite chasseurs a cheval to fill out the regiment in my 1806 French army.

Eventually, I will have the 1st and the 12th regiments of chasseurs a cheval, both of which served in Davout's III Corps as the light cavalry contingent.

The picture is kind of dodgy and was taken with my iPad in the basement. The full size picture is a whopping 5 megs so I had to reduce it down to about 700 megs so that the pictures do not take up too much of the storage space that Blogger provides to me.

Friday, March 1, 2013

1806 French Army - Update

Old Glory French Legere battalion, from the old limited edition Dave Alsop sculpts that Old Glory issued in the early 1990s (?). The figures were painted by Dennis Smail. These are wonderful figures full of elan and animation. Click to enbiggen.
I updated the post from this morning, removing the picture of the Prussian cavalry, and adding a new artillery and cavalry picture. I also replaced the infantry picture with the same pic, though in a better quality. If you double click on all the pictures, then the enlargement is huge.

I also added more commentary and information about my divisional organization, so please take another look at this morning's posting.

I will post pictures of the 1806 Prussians tomorrow.

Now, let's get that "Follower" count up to 320. We've been stuck on 319 for too long and Old Fritz likes the symetry and order of even numbers. If you are not a Follower, then go to the upper left corner of this page and click on the Follower button. Thanks in advance.

1806 French

French divisional artillery battery. Elite Miniatures cannon and crew with Front Rank French limber.  Essex caissons can be seen in the background.
The introduction of the new range of 28 mm Prussians for the 1806 Campaign from FG Miniz caused me to clear off my Wargame table and set up both the Prussian and French armies so that I could see what I had so far. Click on the link below to take a closer look at the proposed Prussian range. They look really nice and I ordered enough to create three 60-figure battalions. If you are interested in these figures then why not contribute to their Indiegogo campaign (this is similar to Kickstarter) at various price levels.

FG Miniz 1806 Prussians

I currently have 6 battalions of Prussian infantry and 2 dragoon, 1 cuirassier regiment and some Stadden SYW hussars that can do double duty in my 1806 Prussian army. I will do a separate posting on the Prussians, as this is supposed to be a French topic thread.

Gudin's Division (3rd) in Davout's III Corps in 1806

Big battalions of 60 figures take up a lot of space on a wargame table, even on my 15ft by 6ft table with two parallel back tables for added depth. So I decided that my French army would actually be a division in one of the corps in the 1806 campaign. I picked one of Davout's division since, well, come on it's Davout! 

The division has two brigades of two regiments, with each regiment having two battalions. So that is four battalions per brigade and eight battalions in the whole division. This allows me to field one divisional foot artillery battery (six 8-pounders and two howitzers) with one cannon model equaling one actual cannon (so 1:1 ratio on the artillery).

Below is a picture of the First Brigade commanded by General de Brigade Claude Petit and consists of the 12e Regiment de Ligne (2 btns) and the 21e Regiment de Ligne (3btns, but I will only field 2btns). You can see the two regiments deployed in attack column, each having two battalions. There are 72-figures in each battalion representing 720 men or 1,420 men in the regiment. I include the brigade commander on a 2" diameter round stand and an ADC on a 1" by 2" stand. ADCs are used for sending messages and orders up and down the chain of command. Players are not allowed to talk to the other players on their side, except via written communications.

First Brigade of General de Brigade Claude Petit. 12e Regt de Ligne shown in the upper left and the 21e de Ligne is shown in the foreground. All figures are Elite Miniatures. Click to enlarge. Click twice if you are brave.

French Cavalry Brigades in 1806

French corps light cavalry in the foreground and a brigade of heavy cavalry in the background.
My Grande Armee of 1806 has the III Corps light cavalry which consists of the 1st, 2nd and 24th regiments of Chasseurs a Cheval. At least that was the initial plan. I will eventually paint three chasseur regiments, but maybe not the actually III Corps cavalry regiments. I also added the Vistula Lancers for our games that take place in Spain and Portugal. I know that the lancers were not part of the 1806 French army, but I love lancers and I just had to have one regiment in my army. So there you have it.

There is also a heavy cavalry brigade consisting of 48 dragoons and 60 cuirassiers. The dragoons are the 20th (I think, I'll have to double check) and the 1st and 2nd Cuirassier regiments. The cuirassiers will not be used for our Peninsular War games since there weren't any cuirassiers deployed in Spain (save for the provisional regiment in Eastern Spain, and its questionable as to whether they even wore cuirasses). If you have a Napoleonic French army, you have to have Les Gros Freres (cuirassiers) in your collection. Their uniforms are spectacular and are the epitome of all things Napoleonic.

Final Thoughts
It is fun to haul the old army out of storage every once and awhile and line them up on the table to look at them and to see what you have and what you will need to complete your wargame army. You can see in the cavalry picture, above, that there are some unpainted castings in the lancer regiment. I placed them there to remind me of what I need to paint to bring the regiment up to strength (in this case, from 20 to 24 figures). I also thought that I had more French battalions completed than I actually had. I can see that I still need to paint three more line battalions to complete Gudin's division. That is 216 more infantry still to paint. That is a lot of piping on the sleeves to paint. Yikes!