Wargame Rules


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.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Bonaparte and Generals for the 1790s

Just received a package from CP Models of Leicester (tel. 0797 1185155). It comprised prominent commanders for the French Army of the 1790s. The castings portray from left to right, Kleber, DeCustine, Bonaparte, Kellerman, Desaix. They are quite a lot taller than Dixon/WF, but as they will be serving on separate command bases, this will cause no problems. I must say they are flash free and very fine. I paid by cheque and they arrived about a week later. Including postage at £3.50, these figures worked out at £10 for the set of five, but are well worth the investment. MGB

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ESTABLISHMENTS, do they have any value?

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

Monday, 20 July 2015


Apologies for any errors, I hope the following will assist wargamers to represent the composition and real strengths of the various troops serving in a French revolutionary army c.1793

ORDER OF BATTLE for the French in Belgium, 1st March 1793, General Dumouriez commanding
ADVANCED GUARD Generals Stengel and Dampierre
19th Regt. 2 battns - 900
29th Regt. 2 battns - 946
54th Regt. 1 battn - 464
72nd Regt. 2 battns - 910
9th Chasseur Battn. 518
10th Chasseur Battn. 293
14th Chasseur Battn. 330
1st Combined Grenadier Battn. 200
2nd Combined Grenadier Battn. 306
3rd Combined Grenadier Battn. 348
4th Combined Grenadier Battn. 290
5th Combined Grenadier Battn. 209
6th Combined Grenadier Battn. 500
Compagnie franche de Magnée 41
Compagnie franche de Cambrelots 67
1er bataillon franc 300
3e bataillon franc 200
1st Battn. of Volunteers d'Indre-et-Loire 347
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Meurthe 115
5th Battn. of Volunteers de la Meurthe 368
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Marne 260
2nd Battn. of Volunteers de la Marne 266
2nd Battn. of Volunteers de la Meuse 117
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Nièvre 503
13th Battn. of Volunteers of Paris  (bataillon de la Butte des Moulins) 297
9th Battn. of Reserve Volunteers 654
3rd Battn. of Volunteers of Paris 400
9th Battn. of Volunteers of  Paris 475
4th National Battn. of Federals 312
The Liégeois  225
1st Regt. of Hussars 3 squads - 271
3rd Regt. of Mtd. Chasseurs 3 squads - 355
6th Regt. of Mtd Chasseurs  352
12th Regt. of Mtd. Chasseurs 2 squads - 367
5th Regt. of Dragoons 281
7th Regt. of Dragoons 1 squad. - l57
18th Regt. of Cavalry 2 squads - 254
3rd Regt. of Horse Artillery 1 coy. - Hanique - 74
6th Regt. of Horse Artillery 1 coy. - 80
Artillery Company de Cuny 69
GENERAL Miaczynsk
99th Regt. of Infantry 645
Légion des Ardennes Foot 954
Légion des Ardennes Horse 296
Light Artillery on foot 92
Light Artillery on horse 59
Compagnie Clemendat 89
Compagnie d'Abbeville 4
3rd Battn. of Volunteers des Ardennes 352
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Charente 464
2nd Regiment of Hussars 223

 GENERAL Frégeville
1st Battn. of Volunteers de l'Aisne  (bataillon de Vervins) 377
13th Regiment of Dragoons 2 squads - 351
11th Regiment of Mtd. Chasseurs 331
1st Battalion of Volunteers de Seine-et-Marne 493

5th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 350
34th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 448
49th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 359
74th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 426
83rd Regt. of Infantry 2 bataillons - 973
94th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 390
98th Regt. of Infantry 1 bataillon - 473
104th Regt. of Infantry 2 bataillons - 723
Chasseurs des Quatre-Nations 92
1st Battn. of Volunteers de l'Allier 435
Légion bavaroise 368
Corps brestois 60
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Côte-d'Or 418
2nd Batt. of Volunteers de la Corrèze (29e bataillon de volontaires des reserves) 446
1st Battn. of Volunteers d'Eure-et-Loir 297
11th National Battn. of Federals 346
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Mayenne-et-Loire 326
4th Battn. of Volunteers de la Meuse 408
5th Battn. of Volunteers de l'Oise 327
2nd Battn. of Volunteers of Paris 465
7th Battn. of Volunteers of Paris 480
1st Battn. of Grenadiers of Paris 213
1st Battn. of Volunteers du Pas-de-Calais 106
Republican Battalion 399
1st Battn. of Volunteers de Seine-et-Oise 489
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Somme 383
2nd Battn. of Volunteers de la Vienne 390
1st Battn. of Volunteers de la Vendée 420
3rd Battn. of Volunteers de l'Yonne 420
6th Battn. de volontaires nation 560
7th Regiment of Dragoons 1 squad. 88
12th Regt. of Horse Chasseurs 1 squad. - 91
13th Regt. of Horse Chasseurs 1 squad. - 75
Gendarmerie nationale 62
1st Regiment of Artillery det. 93
6th Regiment of Artillery det. 66
8th Regiment of Artillery det. 17
Sapeurs-mineurs 17

Saturday, 11 July 2015


I have always painted my own flags using sticky-back address labels, a system described by Stuart Asquith some thirty years ago. Modern wargamers are now spoilt with superbly printed renditions for sale, but I will stick with my familiar method. So here are my flags for six white-coated battalions, the soldiers in two of these battalions still needing some serious work before they can take the field. The flag designs are taken from the 1791 regulations, with 1792 tricolour patches placed over the fleur-de-lis (this actually happened). These designs still look very typical of the French army in the 18th century so I hope the collection will serve in several earlier conflicts, while still taking their place as centre battalions in 1794 demi-brigades. MGB


Saturday, 4 July 2015


Work has limited my spare time to paint up miniatures but I have just allowed myself a spell to re-vamp some of the white-coated figures restored to my collection. I'm pleased to report that three battalions are now pretty well ready for the wargames table, only awaiting to be issued their regimental colours. I've decided to paint up the 1792 pre-amalgam style flags despite the likelihood of them forming a centre battalion for Line demi-brigades. These figures can be utilised to provide French regulars for several earlier conflicts (for wargame purposes) so I will keep the white cross of Saint Denis with distinctive cantons which was so much a feature of French military flags in the 18th century.

Two more 'blanc' battalions still to complete, and my box of spares may well provide two more 'bleu' battalions. MGB