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"1859, 1866, 1870 & All That" Topic

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Pvt Snuffy25 Nov 2018 8:03 a.m. PST

Austrian, Prussian, Bavarian, Wurttemburger, French uniforms of 1859 – 1870: Were they consistent thru this period? Or at least consistent enough that in 15mm there's no important difference?

What are the cheapest and easiest references for these armies in this period? Again, for 15mm level detail [not 28mm, or 54mm shelf displays!].

by way of explanation…
Many long-term gamers in my area, and lots of periods, armies, etc have all "been done". I'm considering the 1859 Italian War of Independence [and 1866 campaign], the 7 Weeks War [aka Koniggratz campaign] and Franco-Prussian War as 15mm possibilities. Particularly the great 45% off Christmas sale [I been good – right!??] from Old Glory 15s.

As a jump-start, a gamer pal has 1870 forces in 15mm, French and Prussians.

I'm thinking of getting some French to use in both 1859 and 1870, Austrians / Italians for 1859 and Bavarians / Wurtemburgers for 1866 and 1870. This will round out what he has and leave us several options to fight.

I have Weigle's excellent books / rules and am enjoying them.

Thanks in advance for help!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 8:27 a.m. PST

I use one army for each power throughout the period, but it's going to depend on how fussy your group is because there are differences visible in 15mm scale--French Epaulettes which disappear with the Republic and re-uniforming the hussars, for instance. And Austrian grenadiers. It's probably worth building a little extra artillery, so you aren't using Prussian Krupps for smoothbores in 1866, or Prussian smoothbores for Krupps in 1870, for instance.

But I'd say go for it.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 9:26 a.m. PST

Don't forget the Schleswig-Holstein War(s).
You can have Flashman in them evil grin

Pvt Snuffy25 Nov 2018 10:14 a.m. PST

Didn't Flashman WIN the Schleswig-Holstein wars??

So the French have epaullettes in Italay but they don't have them during the F-P war campaigns, or they remove them after Sedan and the fall of the Empire?

Tony S25 Nov 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

The French Guard in Italy wore bearskins; in the FPW they wore the bonnet du police.

As for reference, I use the Freikorps campaign booklets. Old school, black and white – but cheap and very, very thorough. I have their whole series across a range of conflicts. Very useful indeed!


(Sadly, it looks like they no longer offer all of them. The FPW books are not there anymore, only the 1859. Still, I'd certainly suggest buying it!)

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 10:57 a.m. PST

Flashman was involved in the first Schleswig-Holstein War but he was too busy scarpering through Bavaria to be in any fighting.

In the period under consideration, the Austrian infantry all wore white Kittels in 1859 and greatcoats on campaign in 1866. Also the light cavalry uniform changed quite a bit as well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 11:11 a.m. PST

Yeah, but "wore on campaign" is not the same as "different uniforms" at least to me. I don't maintain a full dress and an overcoat army for my Napoleonic French, much less a bicorne/white coat/shako with long tails/Bardin series of four.

Too many wars. Not enough time, money or storage.

PK Guy Brent25 Nov 2018 1:18 p.m. PST

My white coated Austrians do battle in both 1859 and 1866. Consider it "alternate history", if you will. I find the 1866 Austrians with overcoats to be the height of dreariness, and I love the white uniforms, so….

My 1870 French also fight in 1859. My 1870 Prussians fight in 1866.

In short, they are your armies. Do as you wish.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2018 7:04 p.m. PST

Minifigs 15mm Franco-Prussian War and their Crimean War offerings. Usful figs and equipment can be found in both ranges.

bruntonboy25 Nov 2018 11:42 p.m. PST

Don't get too hung up on the uniform differences. Do Austrians and Prussians for a great tactically interesting game. Add one more army (French) and get two extra and different wars…

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2018 12:17 a.m. PST

Mine double up – except for the krupp guns and some unique units

Martin Rapier26 Nov 2018 12:29 a.m. PST

I use the same figures for 1859 right through to 1870, and yes, my Austrians keep their nice white jackets throughout.

I do have some French on the more drab Republican uniforms, but they happily muck in to fight the Austrians in 1859 too.

Decebalus26 Nov 2018 4:43 a.m. PST

Biggest difference are the smaller german states, that changed their uniforms to the prussian model after 1866. Saxons for example.

And the difference for the austrians (white kittel 1859 vs. grey overcoat 1866) is more change than any other things gamers usual accept. (Fighting with/against white or dark grey is obviously more difference than the changes of hats and coat in the napoleonic french army.) I still build only one austrian army (for 1866) and dont care.

Perris070726 Nov 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

The French wore epaulettes up until the fall of the Empire, so both 1859 and 1870. Republican French armies did not wear epaulettes.

bruntonboy26 Nov 2018 1:13 p.m. PST

My Austrians are mainly in greatcoats for 1866 with a significant number remaining in their white coats due to the usual Austrian inefficiency of supply problems. additionally there are enough references from observers and their enemies in Bohemia mentioning white coat wearing Austrian infantry to at least suggest some wore them. For 1859 I'll simply assume the infantry have their greatcoats on because its a sudden rain shower.

Pvt Snuffy27 Nov 2018 6:30 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the thoughts.

I am leaning heavily towards Pendraken, 10mm for this stuff. I think the smaller figs will give a big-battle sort of feel.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

I think you are wise to go for 10mm. All my armies for this period are 6mm – but if I were to start again, I reckon I would do them in 10mm. It gives the right mass effect for a big battle, as you say, but it is easier than 6mm for identifying different units from their uniform details.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Lascaris27 Nov 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

I'm such a non-purist I use my FPW French as far back as the Crimean War! By my standard then you'd be fine. :)

AICUSV30 Nov 2018 7:58 p.m. PST

Some of the German states did change their uniforms in the 1860's . Württember. went to a double breasted Waffenrock. And I believe some changed head gear from Shakos to Pickelhauben during that period as well. But for 15mm I would worry about it.

Pvt Snuffy02 Dec 2018 9:41 p.m. PST

I think I'm heading in the direction of Bruntonboy's advice:

1 small army each for French, German, Austrian, and Italians.

Having set up some OG 15s on the table [granted, they are command decision, but same size / style] I'm actually kicking around going with Old Glory 15s. I am calculating that for the "mass" effect on the same size bases, Pendraken 10mm will cost twice as much as it takes about twice as many figs to get same impression. Altho they should paint quicker, there will be twice as many to paint.

So main issue is cost [twice as much] and aesthetics [do they look twice a good??].

Another important factor is the only dude who plays this period locally has 15s.

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