Sunday 17 June 2012

Prussian Army of the Revolutionary Period

Regiment of the Day

IR 49 - Von Muffling
IR 32 - Hohenlohe

As luck would have it, I managed to score a couple of small batches of extra Prussians for the early Napoleonic campaigns. Can never have too many early war Prussians !

For the actual Jena/Auerstadt campaign in 15/18mm, nothing comes close to ABs in terms of figures. They are spot on, and a joy to paint.

Prior to Jena / Auerstadt, there is the French Revolutionary period, with a great variety of very intriguing little mini-campaigns of the First and Second Coalitions. For the Prussian involvement during these earlier campaigns, the cut of the uniforms was quite different to those used by the army at Jena / Auerstadt.

So, I grabbed a few Revolutionary period Prussians with a view to covering this gap, and a at pinch ... maybe fielding some of them in the older cut of uniform for the Jena Auerstadt campaign.

They also make a great subject for trying out some new ideas on basing, sabot bases, and 1:60 Battalion organisation.

Introducing ....
Revolutionary Period Prussian Infantry

1 Battalion, IR 49 of the Prussian Army, 1792-1801. Figures by Lancashire Games.

Battalion in line, 4 bases of troops, arrayed in a fixed line formation.

Prussian battalions of the period operate in 4 companies (of a book strength of 150 bayonets each), so 4 bases maps out this structure very nicely.

Again, with the Prussian battalions of the period, although there are 150 bayonets of the line per company, there is in addition, no fewer than 15 NCOs, and another dozen officers, musicians, surgeons and engineers. per company. 

So, adding a mounted officer counting as a 'base' works out well in showing the ratio of tooth to tail in the unit.

Arrayed on a Sabot base, which is custom made to incorporate the tactical restrictions for a Prussian battalion. 

Each 'Company' base has a 30mm frontage, so the Battalion sabot base is 5" wide by 1.5" deep.

This restricts the Battalion to the following formations :
  •  4 companies in line.  
  • 4 companies in echeloned line,  
  • 1-company wide column.
For Sabot bases, Tony from ERM was really helpful here - Ive defined a set of different Battalion Sabot bases to model how each different force that I am gaming with can deploy. The physical size of the Battalion base provides flexibility or restructions to match the force.

Anyway, All of the custom base sizes are now listed on the ERM online catalog for ordering f you like the idea ... how cool is that !  You can of course ask Tony for your own custom sizes as well.


Each Prussian battalion also includes a couple of Battalion guns that is included in the line.

So on the other Battalion base for the regiment, I can stick on a little battalion gun model with 2 crew, and the same 30mm frontage as a regular company.

In this case, the figures (and gun) are all SYW period if you look closely.

 I know, I know ... I can see the purists cringing already ...

Although it is stretching things a little to pass off SYW Prussians at Jena Auerstadt, but bear with me here and see if the mass effect makes more sense first.  For purely Revolutionary War, I think the SYW crew works really well.

For my AB Jena Prussians, I have done the same thing using real AB artillery crew, and slipped in a SYW Austrian 3lb cannon from Eureka's 18mm range .... so my crimes against historical correctness are not completely out of balance :)

Ill just make a note here, that on the left the 3 figures in the command group are New Sculpts from Lancashire Games, and significantly nicer than the line figures.

They will have some new remastered Prussian line out soon ... which I am looking forward to.

In the meantime, I couldnt resist collecting the last batch of the run-out figures. 

Out of Production as they now are ... I can selfishly declare these old figures as now  'highly collectable' !!  hahaha !!

The Regiment - 2 Battalions in line. 

Here is a very cool solution to the problem of labelling units on the table I think. 

To avoid the ugly clutter of printed unit IDs  .... which can start to look very un-Napoleonic very quickly, I thought I would try this idea. 

Glued on to the back of the base at an angle is a wooden pop stick, given a coat of wood stain, and then labelled using a metallic ink pen.  Highlighting via a black permanent marker..

Still needs a little care to put together,  but its a lot easier to make than it looks.

 For once, I think I have found a pretty cool compromise to having labelled unit bases, without wrecking the look of the game. What do you think ? 

As an added bonus, the wooden label at the back of the Sabot base acts as a border to stop the troops sliding off the edge as the Battalion base is moved about.

Here we go - Regiment in Battle line, 2 Battalions up, with an appropriately varied ratio of mounted officers and battallion guns depicted.

Add in another Regiment - this one is IR 32 Hohenlohe, mounted on Prussian standard Sabot bases, and labelled appropriately.

Now we have a Brigade lined up in  Battle array, 1 regiment up, with 1 regiment in support.

Starting to get the picture now.  

3 or 4 or these sized Brigades lined up making a Division, and hopefully its looking like a Prussian force of the period.


  1. I like the Popsicle stick labels a lot, Steve!

  2. Appreciate the time you took to write this