We currently offer four rule sets for miniatures gaming:  “1870” and “1871“, which cover the Franco-Prussian War;  “1859“, which covers both the 1859 Second Italian War of Independence and the 1864 Second Schleswig War; and “1866” which covers the Austro-Prussian Wars.  The rules were designed specifically for large-scale battles of several divisions to several corps on each side, ideally with 6, 10, and 15mm figures.  The rule system has variants enabling the detailed fighting of much smaller engagements as well.

  • Besides the rules, the vast majority of each book is devoted to detailed historical notes, background information, orders of battle, and an extensive annotated bibliography.
  • Fourteen exhaustively-researched historical battle scenarios are included in the first three books, and twelve in 1871; these cover both the Imperial and Republican phases of the war in “1870” and “1871”, and seven Italian and seven Danish scenarios in”1859“.  Eight battles in Bohemia, five in Germany, and one in Italy are featured in “1866.”
  • All four books are extensively illustrated in color throughout, and contain ample diagrams and examples of play.
  • The first three books include a four-page card stock “cheat sheet” that neatly summarizes everything gamers need to have to run a game, without having to refer to the rules booklet.  In the new 1871 book, this has been reduced to a single two-sided sheet, as befits its simplified format.
  • Updated fast-play quick reference sheets for 1859 and 1866 are also available for download.

IMPORTANT NOTICE from the designer: With the long-awaited advent of 1871 Fast Play rules, the grand tactical rules series got an enormous boost in playability and popularity.  After years of tweaking the original rules in an effort to enable quicker, easier games, the 1871 rules seem to have done the trick:  they are truly the “fast play” rule set to which the “1870” series aspired since their inception.  The basics of the Fast Play rules remain the same, however, so they are completely compatible with the earlier rules; the combat and morale sections, however, have been brilliantly simplified and streamlined to the point that play time is about half as long.

The Fast Play 1871 rules were so successful that I retrofitted all the new stuff onto new full-color quick reference sheets for 18591864, and 1866  as well, so those rules could also benefit.  Since the Fast Play rules were finished, in fact, most Grand Tactical Rules aficionados have used them exclusively in preference to the original rules – they’re that much better.  The revised/updated quick reference sheets for the 18591864, 1866, and 1870 rules – plus a Word document explaining the changes made — can be downloaded from this site, under “Rules Info – Downloads.”  Good gaming!