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"Franco-Prussian, Austrian-Prussian Period Help" Topic

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Rusty Balls Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2020 1:57 p.m. PST

I apologize gents as I am running with scissors here. COVID boredom has forced me to look for a new period to game and as I am mostly a horse and musket guy I thought that this 1866 to 71 period might be a good and interesting extension. But I have to admit that my wallet wants to move faster than my knowledge of this period and these wars. I have ordered the 1866, 1870 and 1871 rules books to start with.

It seems like the scale of this period and weapon ranges would be a best fit for 6 or 10mm. Any recommendations on the best scale and figure manufactures? I would appreciate any guidance on how to best play this period.

Thanks in advance!

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART15 Sep 2020 2:36 p.m. PST

Well, I can't help much but your idea of 6 to 10mm seems like a thoughtful idea. Anytime you get into mass battles the smaller scales really strut their stuff. I would gladly dump my 15mm Samurai and British colonials for some Baccus sculpts.

DyeHard15 Sep 2020 3:02 p.m. PST

I agree that smaller figures fit the type of action.

Which is a bit sad as the uniforms are very nice and would be nice to paint on larger figures.

I attempted this in 6mm many years ago by converting figures by Heroic & Ros. They did not offer the Franco-Prussian war at the time so select ACW and Napoleonics had to stand in. Their figures are very nice and proportional for that scale.

If I were starting today, I would go with 10mm by Pendraken as the sculpts are excellent:

Also they cover all the major forces of the period.

belasirius15 Sep 2020 3:16 p.m. PST

I would second Tom Dye for the Pendraken also Perrin has some very good figures as well. Perring ia available through The Last Squre In Madison Wisconsin.

GunDogMiniature Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

I also highly recommend Pendraken 10mm – their minis are lovely, and their ranges for the nineteenth century are wonderfully comprehensive.

Prince Alberts Revenge15 Sep 2020 6:03 p.m. PST

10mm allows a little more detail to be added to the figures as opposed to 6mm. Baccus 6mm ranges are very nice though and there should be enough there for the main belligerents. I have Pendraken and they are gems. Pendraken also has the Danish (and many additional minor players) so you can game that as well.

You didn't mention 1859, but the uniforms are bit different for the French in 1870 and a good amount different for the Austrians in 1866 (white kittel vs grey overcoat). If you don't mind then there is that conflict as well.

The Bruce Weigle rules are awesome resources. Very good orbats and scenarios (even if you don't use the rules). I haven't found a set that I am in love with just yet. For painting guides, the various Osprey are good and On Military Matters carries some inexpensive painting guides as well. Additionally Foundry put out a nice, simple uniform guide with color plates that you can find online (and for free).

Perris070715 Sep 2020 7:40 p.m. PST

The Perry Brothers are in the process of producing 28mm plastic French and Prussians and they look "mahvelous"

AussieAndy15 Sep 2020 11:01 p.m. PST

I think that a lot depends on how much space you have. I have plenty of space, so went with Rank and File and Old Glory 15s. If you have limited space and want to game Sedan and Gravelotte St Privat (and who doesn't?), then 6mm or 10mm would be the way to go. I don't know about the 10mm figures, but Baccus is definitely the best choice in 6mm.

The Bruce Weigle books are a great resource, but I'm not a fan of the rules. We are using Age of Valour. Age of Valour is an adaption of Age of Eagles, which is in turn an adaption of Fire and Fury for the Napoleonic Wars. However, rather than use Age of Valour with Age of Eagles, we use it with Fire and Fury, as we were already familiar with Fire and Fury and only a couple of tweaks were required. Age of Valour is available on line at a very reasonable cost.

Martin Rapier15 Sep 2020 11:48 p.m. PST

I do 1859, 1866 and 1870 in 6mm using Irregular figures (who also have a vast range).

Rules have come and gone over the years, currently playing around with the Portable Wargame and various iterations of Neil Thomas rules.

Captain Bob16 Sep 2020 1:41 a.m. PST

I personally think that 10mm is the best compromise scale for FPW. I have mostly Red Eagle FPW figures with the odd Pendraken. The Neil Thomas rules are a good starting set of rules as well.

xLAVAx16 Sep 2020 3:32 a.m. PST

I am doing the same and I went with Pendraken. The amount of detail you can put into these minis is amazing…

Decebalus16 Sep 2020 5:10 a.m. PST

I use 28mm and think you can play all rules you like. We even played Grand Tactical with 150% scale and it worked perfect.

Recommended Manufacturers are North Star (ex-Helion) and Eagles of Empires. That the Perrys will bring a 1870 range was already mentioned.


The battle of Nachod 1866 played with BBB.

Rusty Balls Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 6:56 a.m. PST

Thank you all for your suggestions and comments!

xLAVAx – Wow, those are amazing figures. Nicely done. Might I ask what rules you decided to use too? I assume the basing is particular to the rules you intend to use. It looks like a nice compromise of size and number of figures.

A couple of mentions of Neil Thomas rules – what is the name of this set?


coopman16 Sep 2020 7:03 a.m. PST

Neil Thomas has a book on 19th Century Wargaming that is very interesting and worthwhile.

Nichts16 Sep 2020 7:06 a.m. PST

Pendraken figures are the way to go -huge range, beautifully sculpted, decent range of flags as well. For rules 1871 is the most user friendly of Bruce's rules, and I think there are mods available to use it for the earlier conflicts. There is also BBB by Chris Pringle, and Age of Valor(?) by Bill Grey which are both interesting takes on modifying Fire and Fury principles. Realistic Wargames ‘To the Last Gaiter Button' and ‘Trapped like a Fox' are both excellent for large scale games such as Koniggratz and Gravelotte. Volley and Bayonet have also stood the test of time. Lots of choice!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 7:10 a.m. PST

The Jackson Gamers use Larry Brom's "Chassepot and Needlegun" rules with 25/28mm figures. Sample of mine -- link

But if I was starting over, I would also go with either 6mm (Baccus) or 10mm (Pendrakon). For rules I think I would choose "Bloody Big Battles" [ link ] They can be used for just about any of the wars in Europe (and the US) from the 1840s to 1900. We've tried them in a Russo-Turkish battle and they worked well.

Especially for the Franco-German War, one needs to portray the grand maneuvers that were especially used by the Prussian high command as their corps and divisions "marched to the sound of the guns." IMO that can only be done with the smaller sized figures.


tschuma149816 Sep 2020 7:31 a.m. PST

10mm Pendraken are very nice figures. I currently have about 1000 Austrian and 1000 Prussian painted and have not played in awhile. They might need a good home.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2020 8:57 a.m. PST

Belasirius: DyeHard is not me. In this case, the post could have come from me as I have to agree with his post! Guess great minds think alike, eh, Brian? (DyeHard)

Tom Dye

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2020 1:45 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the kind mentions of BBB. There are plenty of other good rulesets being mentioned above too; which one suits you best will be a matter of taste.

To help inform that decision, there are lots of reviews of BBB collected on the BBBBlog (use the 'Review of BBB' label to find them all):

And you are welcome to join the 878 people already on the BBB group:

There are lots of scenarios in the group files to add to the 9 FPW ones in the rulebook (and don't forget the 'Bloody Big European Battles!' scenario book that has 16 more for assorted C19 conflicts).

Hope this helps!


Bloody Big BATTLES!

xLAVAx17 Sep 2020 4:33 a.m. PST

@Rusty Balls

They are based for grand tactical, so either 1870, 1871 or BBBs.

Lots of options. I'm still in the building phase.

Rusty Balls Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2020 10:15 a.m. PST

Thanks to All!

I have BBB and Field of Battle 2 so I guess I need to pull them back out and reread. I think between these and the 18xx rules and To The Last Gaiter Button I'll have some good choices.

Looks like 10mm Pendraken is the solution for me.

Off we go with the credit card!

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2020 11:01 a.m. PST

10mm Pendraken are really nicely done.

This is a period that really needs smaller scale figures for the mass effect.

Vidgrip Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2020 1:06 p.m. PST

28mm figures from North Star are my favorite. Wargaming 19th Century Europe by Neil Thomas is my suggestion for the rules.

Onyrevient20 Sep 2020 5:23 a.m. PST

I'm just back to wargame after 20 years. I have made my first order to Pendraken but I have a lot of question about this period/figurines.

First, look like all 10mm brand are not compatible.
witch brand are compatible with Pendraken ? magister militum , red eagle ? thank

Sparta22 Sep 2020 1:33 a.m. PST

Baccus 6 mm 1870 range is excellent. I have 4 corps in 1:20 scale. The scal allows actual battle ranges in a tactical game as opposed to the bathtubbed systems or "brigade unit" games.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2020 11:51 a.m. PST


MM 10mm are slightly larger than Pendraken. They mix in the same army, not in the same unit.

Not familiar with the Red Eagle product.

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