Having decided how to run the campaign, the next problem was how to organise the armies. The most important consideration was to use all of the model soldiers (see 25mm model soldiers) as often as possible. I also wanted to have evenly matched armies, but to have subtle difference between different nationalities. I wanted to avoid "super armies" (for example the British) who would be so strong that they would win all battles. Or alternatively such weak armies (for example Spanish) who would automatically lose every battle. There is not much fun commanding an army that is bound to lose.
I wanted each game to give all players an equal chance of winning. This might be achieved by allowing the weaker army to start in a strong defensive position, or it might mean three weak corps against two stronger ones.
There are 9 armies (see 28mm model soldiers), and each has its own order of battle. Each is different, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. We will examine just one in detail, the Second French army.
There are 6 commanders in each army (except the Spanish who do not have a reserve). The reserve commander is available to command a cavalry or artillery reserve created by the army commander. The cavalry or artillery are withdrawn form their parent corps and placed in the reserve. This must be done before the game starts.
There are three grades of commander
French armies tend to be have better commanders (1 Gifted, 4 Average, 1 Poor).
Russians are less talented (3 Average, 3 Poor).
The poor Spanish are the worse of all (1 Average, 4 Poor - no reserve).
Infantry have three fighting capabilities.
Class (C) - represents morale and determination
Firepower (F) - effective masses musket volleys
Skirmish ability (S)
Each ability is graded
A - best
B - average
C - poor
Each army has a general ability for their infantry. For example the French are average class, poor firepower and good skirmish ability. This does not mean that all of their infantry have A class skirmish, but they have a higher proportion than Russian infantry, who are only average at skirmishing. On the other hand the Russians have good class, and the French only average class.
Cavalry have two fighting abilities
Class - same as infantry
Type - heavy, medium, light, lancers and cossacks
Artillery have two fighting abilities
Class - same as infantry
Type - 12, 9 and 6 pounder - different ranges
Each of the four corps have different abilities, usually the first corps is the strongest, and the fourth the weakest. A corps which is strong in infantry, will often have weak cavalry or artillery.
Within the corps the first infantry brigade will usually be the best, the fourth brigade the weakest.
When planning the battle it is often a good idea to use the reserve commander to group cavalry or artillery for a particular task. However this will leave one or more corps weaker in either cavalry or artillery.