Friday, March 1, 2013

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!


  1. Wow! That's some impressive looking units.

  2. Jim,

    What rule set have you based your 1806 Prussians for?

  3. The figures are based on 20mm metal squares and sit on a magnetic movement tray. We use a Napoleonic variant of the BAR rules, which are still being play-tested, but we like the results so far.

    For our next game on March 16th, we are going to try some ideas provided to us by Charles S. Grant with respect to how the French can change formation whilst being fired upon and simulating the volley and charge tactics of the British in the Peninsula War.

  4. Wow! you have a huge figure collection.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is right up my street! I love the limbers - one per cannon - that's ambitious and impressive, nice big regiments too. I would love to see more of your Napoleonic collection.
    Best wishes

  6. Got to love 1806 French, my favourite.....I think I actually have more French cavalry than you.....something that I thought would never happen!


  7. Your output of figures is incredible, Alter Fritz! My respect to this admirable pictures!