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Oct 28 15 9:49 AM

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Is it advisable to use full strength battalions for GdB?

As a GdB beginner, I have done an inventory of my miniatures and decided I want to build the Korps Tauzentzien that fought at Schleiz and formed the front at Jena. Early in the 1806 campaign, most battalions were close to their paper strength. The French battalions were beefed up by dividing the men of 3rd battalion over the first two of a regiment. French battalions had 8 companies of 120, plus a company of 80-90 grenadiers. Theoretically, this would translate as 8x6 and 1x4 figures, for a total of 52. In all scenarios and in the rulebook, the French have a maximum of 36 figures. I was able to get a hold of WI#158 with the Auerstedt scenario, and this has 36 too. When this is the absolute maximum for French troops, I should not use Saxons and Prussian troops at maximum strength either. It would mean that Saxons ought to be at 4x6 and Prussians at 5x6 or 4x8 if you use relative strengths (about 75% of full strength). Am I correct in my thinking? I would love to put a 40 (5x8) miniature Prussian musketeer unit on the table, but it would be wrong compared to French maximum strength.

Schleiz is an interesting little battle. Near the windmill at Oettersdorf, Saxon Chevauxlegers under Hochheim used their carbines at 60 paces to stop a Murat-led 4th Hussars charge, and countercharged from uphill. Murat narrowly escaped being taken prisoner. Belated reinforcements by the 27th Légère and the 5th Chasseurs à Cheval solved Murat's problems.

The Tauentzien Korps include one of the heroes of Jena, the "Aus dem Winkel" Saxon Grenadier Batallion, which protected the retreating/routing Prussian army by forming square and slowly moving towards Kapellendorf, music playing. Hohenlohe was inside the square and was given ample amounts of Aquavit by Oberstleutnant von Winkel until Rüchel's Corps arrived.


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#1 [url]

Oct 28 15 10:11 AM

Full strength battalions

Hi Greuthungi,

                welcome to GdB!  A very interesting battle you propose!

I think you could do either, but just remain consistent between the two: either paper strengths for both, or suggested campaign strengths for both.


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#2 [url]

Oct 31 15 8:47 PM

Battalion d'élite

Thank you Beresford,

To make matters even more confusing, I just noticed that Tauentzien's direct opponent at Jena had a converged elite battalion. Suchet's division of Lannes' 5th Corps combined all grenadiers and voltigeurs in the division into a battalion of 6 companies. These fought as skirmishers together with the 17th Légère under General de Brigade Clarapède. The remainder of the battalions were missing 180-200 troops this way, which made their size around 700 men, which was the same as the Prussians. Most other divisions didn't do this, like Tauentzien's opponent at Schleiz, Drouet's division of Bernadotte's 1st Corps. So for Jena I could use Tauentzien's corps at full strength, but at Schleiz only at 75% (about 1:25 figure scale), if I want to keep the French at 36 figures. It does seem strange that there was only one battalion d'élite, you'd say there would be one per regiment in the division.

Source: Bressonet.

Ah well, I better get painting!

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#4 [url]

Nov 11 15 3:24 AM

The French battalion structure you are talking about using is based on the earlier "revolutionary era" battalion.  It is normally represented in 20:1 by 8 companies of four figures each, with the entire battalion able to skirmish.  (32 figures, 4 grenadiers, 28 fusiliers, mounted 1 deep and 4 wide) The Old Guard retained this battalion formation for the entire Napoleonic period.   In 1804 one fusilier company was converted to a voltigeur company.  In 1808 the battalions were converted to 6 companies of 6 figures each, 1 voltiguer, 1 grenadier, and 4 fusilier, two figures deep and three wide.  That is the formation that the GdB rules use for the French.  If you want to be historically accurate for battles before 1808, simply use the 32 figure battalion I described instead of 36.  For understrength battalions, remove 1 or 2 stands of 4.

- Chris Salander

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