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Bismark’s Wars – Playing the Period

All of my wargame figures are 28mm – a scale that lends itself well to big battalions, and to periods with pretty uniforms. This is the exception – a period which I game in 10mm. It came about as part of a club project. Someone suggested gaming the Franco-Prussian War, 10mm was proposed as the preferred scale, and like lemmings rushing over the cliff we all signed up to the idea. The idea was that these battles were huge, and while the uniforms were pretty, for the most part they lacked the visual appeal of the Napoleonic era. Some of the guys already had troops in this scale for the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and the American Civil War, so it seemed a logical step to opt for this small scale. I agreed to build up a French and a Prussian corps, and so I embarked on a new period – and a new scale.BismarkThe rules we use are Fire and Furia Francese, a free on-line version of the tried and tested ACW set Fire & Fury. In this, a regiment is the basic unit, which has nine stands in it for the Prussians, and six for the French. In theory we can split off battalions, but the basic unit remains the regiment, with brigades and then divisions being the main levels of command. The main difference, apart from the nature of the different weaponry, is that in the ACW set, the basic manoeuvre unit is a brigade – for us its a regiment., As in the main ACW rules, each base has about five figures on it.Feat-3Like most club projects this is a “work in progress”, which means it’ll take time for everyone to finish painting up our contingents, and for us to gather all the scenery we need to represent the battlefields of Alsace in 1870. Of course we don’t just have to limit ourselves to the Franco-Prussian War. The Franco-Austrian War of 1859, fought in Italy, the Prusso-Danish War of 1864 or the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 are all eminently game-able in the same scale. We just need the time and inclination to push the gaming envelope.

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