The French Army was equipped with the 1842T or 1853T rifle,
which is a MLR. On the rare occasions that the cavalry dismount
they will count as Confederate cavalry for firing. The artillery
was in the process of re - equipping with rifled guns. At the
start of the war the Guard and some of the rest were equipped
with RA, while the majority had SA. As the war progressed more
batteries were given rifled guns. I usually assume that all
the guns are RA, as the front line troops would get them first.
Also this gives the French a historical advantage its artillery
Tactical Doctrine: Fittingly
the army of the new Napoleon continued to use the tactics
of the great Napoleon. The infantry habitually used assault
tactics, normally in attack column. Indeed it was during this
war that the phrase 'furia francese' was coined to describe
the French. So all French infantry get the bonus's and disadvantages
of 'Assault tactics' when in attack column. In addition the
French emphasized 'elan', so they are also all 'Impetuous'.
Thus when in attack column French infantry will get +2 (+1
assault tactics & +1 impetuous) when in close combat.
When not in attack column, march column or skirmishing they
will get a -1 on the maneuver table. As the war progressed
the same tactics were used but in open columns rather than
the more normal closed columns. Open columns are I think best
represented by using the supported line formation. So some
units, particularly the 'African' units, may add supported
line as a formation they do not get the -1 to maneuver and
can use assault tactics in. Chasseurs and the "African'
units may use skirmish tactics, as can line units in some
Troop Quality: The bulk of
the French Army should be rated as 'Veteran', with the following
exceptions. The Imperial Guard are 'Elite", while the
'African' units and other elite units should be 'Crack'. Leadership:
Much of the higher leadership of the French Army owed its
position to political loyalty rather than skill. Therefore
many of the Corps and Division commanders should be "Poor",
while "Exceptional' commanders would be rare. In contrast
many of the lower leaders, unit leaders, should be "Exceptional',
about 1/2 to 1/3. They frequently kept their units in action
in the face of grave difficulties. See also "Army Commanders"
The following is the "standard" organization of
French Formations in 1859. Obviously there were many exceptions
to this in reality, particularly the Imperial Guard and 2nd
Corps which only had 2 infantry divisions each. The number
of stands given depict the units at full strength, in brackets
are the number of stands if the unit is skirmishing. The first
number is appropriate to the 1:300 scale and the second to
the 1:200 scale, if different.
|Corps HQ: 1 Leader.
|Corps Artillery: 2 / 5 Batteries,
mostly Foot but some Horse. RA.
|3 Infantry Divisions each:
|1 Foot Battery ( SA or RA) stand
|1 Chasseur unit of 4 (6) / 6 (9) stands
|4 Line units of 7 / 11 stands
|1 Cavalry Division:
|1 Horse Battery (SA or RA) stand
|2 Cavalry Brigades of 5 / 8 stands