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"OOB Rule of thumb for Bn size" Topic

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877 hits since 29 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Last Hussar29 Dec 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

I'm looking at 1809 France/Austria (5th coalition) OOBs

Lot of them list the Battalions that took part (or 23rd Rgt- 2 bns, for instance), but for FoG I really need some rough idea of strength.

I don't particularly want to buy lots of books, and from experience they often don't give numbers either.

So for rough maths, what should I work on per bn, inc Wurttenburg, Saxony, Bavaria and 'Black' Brunswickers? (I won't be sticking just to historical battles, I'm also playing for fun!)

If it lists a Division strength is it reasonable to assume the brigades/regiments are fairly evenly split.

Ditto Cavalry.

also I get lists where it tells you how many gunners, but not number of tubes (weird) – whats a good ratio- I'm assuming that number will include drivers, farriers etc, so not just crew.

Last Hussar29 Dec 2018 3:17 p.m. PST

As I waited for the 'cross post' I found a site for AoE – I know its a version of F&F – What does a base represent (150/200 like F&F). Is the 'Step loss effect' the same as F&F?

MajorB29 Dec 2018 3:42 p.m. PST

I always use a rule of thumb of 600 men in a Napoleonic battalion.

JMcCarroll29 Dec 2018 5:12 p.m. PST

French paper strength of a battalion is 6 companies of 120 men. In service, 600 sounds about right.

Trierarch29 Dec 2018 6:05 p.m. PST

Generally my rule-of-thumb has been 500 men per battalion.

somewhere in the 400 to 600 range is quite common in those cases where we have actual numbers.

Comparing the strength of Austrian units between Aspern-Essling and Wagram make for an interesting exercise in the effects of campaigning and fighting murthering great battles.


Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Dec 2018 6:21 p.m. PST

Last Hussar:

AoE is 360 Infantry or 180 Cavalry or one battery per stand

Losses are stands removal like Fire and Fury. Units are Large regiments (Austrians/Prussians) or Brigades (6-8 stands on average. I use large brigades for Austrians (15-18 stands) to reduce their flexibility on the battlefield. I do 14+ stand Divisions for the Spanish for the same reason

khanscom29 Dec 2018 6:21 p.m. PST

From Tarbox and Bowden's "Armies on the Danube 1809":

8th Corps (Wurttemberg) estimated @540/bn.

7th Corps (Bavarian) ranging from 219- 653 per bn. with 630 probably being the typical size.

9th Corps (Saxon) ranging from about 370- 506 per bn. with 500 or a little less being most common.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 11:39 p.m. PST

As above, I go with 500 men as an average.

Major Function29 Dec 2018 11:53 p.m. PST

Here is some info on the Brunswickers


Martin Rapier30 Dec 2018 3:14 a.m. PST

As above, in the absence of any other info, I'd assume 500 men per battalion.

Last Hussar30 Dec 2018 4:43 a.m. PST


I have in my head 200 cavalry per sqd. Is this right

Rod MacArthur30 Dec 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

You might fifnd this article from my website useful for infantry battalion strengths:


The similar one on cavalry squadron strengths is:



Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

In general, I would say 200 per squadron for cavalry is too high. More like 120-160, but there were many exceptions.


Last Hussar31 Dec 2018 8:17 a.m. PST

Thank you all.

marshalGreg31 Dec 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

best make them at the typical strength at a campaign start.
90% or more of paper strength. It is easier to set-up untis per national organization for all period gaming and remove a base to two for a reduced strength unit for a specific battler and time.
And most units started the 1809 campaign at or near full strength.

Gill's Thunder on the Danube or the later campaign book on Wargram to be best investment.

for example my collection being 1:20
I have Davout's III Corps with 36 per battalion.
Demont's 4th battalions at 18 per [360] ( most of these are missing the 2 elite companies and the present co were under strength per historical OOBs)
Hollenzolern's III KORPS 48 [960 for 1& 2] and 36 [720 for the 3rd batt]

John Edmundson31 Dec 2018 11:32 p.m. PST

You could do worse than visit link which has the orders of Battle for the armies at Aspern-Essling. You'll see a pretty huge variation in the strengths of the various battalions, even within a single division or corps. While it's designed for 1:50, it includes the actual strengths in men too, per Castle, Boué, and Gill. There's a discussion of how he used those sources too.


Last Hussar02 Jan 2019 5:09 p.m. PST

I've been using this for my 'base' list, but might want to try the odd historical.


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