1859/64, 1866, 1870 and 1871 Figure Breakdown for Typical Units,
for 15mm, 10mm and 6mm Figures
(or, How Much am I Going to Have to Paint, Anyway?)
The number of figures required to build various units in various armies, and in different playing scales, depends largely on the figure size and the gamers’ preferences. Rather than try to define how many figures of each troop type in each of many armies and scales now encompassed in the three Grand Tactical rule booklets, I suggest that army-builders study the comprehensive orders of battle I’ve thoughtfully provided in each booklet, and do the math depending on your own preferences.
The table below (cleverly extracted from the 1866 rules booklet) is the product of much testing and comparing – but still need not be seen as the definitive number of figures required; that largely depends on each gamer’s ambitions, gaming surface, and budget. Although it doesn’t matter within the rules, I tend to put more figures on stands that had “big battalions” and economize a bit with the smaller battalion armies. There are also generally fewer light troops (Jägers/Grenzers/Chasseurs/Bersaglieri) figures on a stand because most gamers want to show them in a most dispersed order. The command figures are the same in each scale, since the number present on each stand represents the same command echelon.
Playing scale also should be considered when army planning is done. There are three official scales that can be used, plus – as a means of economizing for particularly large battles (Solferino, Königgrätz, Gravelotte-St Privat, etc) — there is also a “2/3 scale” variant that should be considered. Most stands in this this scale are worth the same number of points per as in the full scale game, but now represent half-regiments (infantry), entire regiments (cavalry) or double batteries. Light battalions (Jägers/Grenzers/Chasseurs/Bersaglieri) are either grouped into double battalion stands, or reduced to two points each. The morale criteria of the half-scale game (in which the core morale unit is the two-stand battalion, and which is most clearly defined in the 1866 rules) is used in the 2/3 scale game.
In 15mm, the size of the gun models and the frontage each battery occupies argues for a consolidation of the field artillery into double batteries. It is recommended that each gun should represent two batteries in 15mm, worth 6 combat points each. Mitrailleuse pieces could stay as single 3 point batteries, or – in four-division corps – also be consolidated into two double batteries. In a 15mm French 1870 three-division corps, then, there would be nine artillery stands [5 x 4-pounders, 1 x 12-pounder, and 3 x Mitrailleuse].