It is my contention that to raise a Republican army for the French Revolution with units all having the same number of figures, and linking it to their establishment, is at best simplistic. I think we should be inspired to incorporate the difficulties faced by French commanders to distribute very irregular formations on the battlefield. I know many AWI wargamers have already begun to better appreciate 'Orders of Battle' over 'establishments', regardless of whether they intend to refight historical actions. After all, an establishment is nothing more than a commission to try and recruit an approved number of men, and the hopeless task of trying to maintain that number during a war. For my part, I am planning to re-evaluate my numbers and figure-ratios using 'Orders of Battle' for inspiration. Regular viewers of this blog will be aware that my collection already includes a fair number of units with various strengths. I feel, you not only gain a superior knowledge of the units you are painting but your collection also has greater character and interest. MGB
RAISING MINIATURE ARMIES FOR THE LATE 18TH CENTURY
I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible yet capture the character of the 1790s. Accordingly, most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies.