Recommended lists for using the French?

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EccentricOwl
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Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by EccentricOwl »

Hey there. I've got a friend who's interested in getting into historical wargaming. He's really liking the idea of playing a French army. I am curious, however, what list I should be using?

I have the "Blitzkrieg" book but they're obviously all aimed at early war. I'm curious if there's any kind of consensus on a mid or late-war free french list, for example.

Munin
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by Munin »

Because of the early fall of France, there wasn't much in the way of a centralized military authority to make sweeping organizational changes to ho the French Army was structured. It appears that French forces in general largely kept their early-war organizational structure. Even as they were later increasingly equipped and supplied by the US (especially in North Africa and Italy), it looks like the basic platoon structure stayed the same. If you're playing Senegalese Tirailleurs or North African Zouaves or Algerian/Morroccan Goumiers, the "Colonial Troops" list (which is identical to the basic Metropolitan list) on page 61 of the Blitzkrieg 1940 sourcebook is likely your best bet.

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DougM
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by DougM »

I thought the Late War French were equipped by, and generally organised as per the Later War US Army lists?
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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Not all some were equipped by Brits too.
Not sure avout organization think the OP needs to narrow it down a fair bit from French whole of war to get some accurate answers.

EccentricOwl
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by EccentricOwl »

I was more looking for "recommended purchases." I'm not sure where to buy at 28mm as well; Warlord seems a bit pricey.

Free France for example would be interesting, I'm not sure if any such lists exist.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by Truscott Trotter »

French 28mm are also.made by Crusader games but not sure if they are any cheaper than Warlord.

If you are looking for a cheap retailer and are not in the EU I can reccomend Frontlinegames.de

Different lists will require different figures and thus different manufacturers eg North African French is Perry or Askari not so much Warlord.

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Baldie
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by Baldie »

I got crusader and warlord and like em both.
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DougM
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by DougM »

One option might be Free French in the desert, but the French Liberation Army fought in just about every theatre in the Med, then on to DDay and Torch. I'm not sure who does suitable figures but I reckon the Perry Miniatures US GI plastic would be a good basis. Add in kepis and the French flag arm badge, and you are off to a good start.
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lebedo
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by lebedo »

Well, it depends the unit you want to depict and the time. In example, 1 DFL was armed, organised and equipped like british troops until 1944 when it changed for the us weapons and organisation. 3rd DIA could be depicted with US uniforms but french helmets. Also, french riflemen had a few Garand, but their combat weapons were the lee Enfield and the Springfield. Lots of Thompson too. You can also mix fm 24/29 and BAR.

Levi the Ox
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Re: Recommended lists for using the French?

Post by Levi the Ox »

As others have pointed out there's quite a bit of variety available, so I'd recommend talking to your friend about what you both want to collect and play. If you have a regular gaming partner it always helps to pick out armies that compliment each other. Generally, you can approach it one of two ways:

#1: Pick a battle, campaign, or theater that you are interested in gaming and then work from there to figure out what uniforms (and therefore miniatures) are appropriate for the troops involved.

#2: Pick a "look" you like for uniforms and equipment you want to see on your miniatures, and then figure out where it was used.



Miniatures-wise there's a bit of a spectrum.

A unit with complete French uniforms and equipment will be pretty distinctive on the tabletop. This look would obviously fit 1939-1940 best, but can pull double-duty as generic Vichy or Free French for the rest of the war, although you'd need different armour support. The catch is that to the best of my knowledge nobody does them in plastic, and metals do tend to be pricier.

A unit with mixed uniforms and equipment depends on the combination. I'd definitely recommend French headgear for the visual distinction: as others mentioned, kepis or Adrian helmets on British or US plastic figures would cover a wide range of Free French units, especially in the MTO. Other weapon/uniform combos might be trickier: while one bolt-action rifle can often pass as another, different support weapons might need to be converted or supplemented with metal figures.

Units completely equipped by Britain or America could be done quickly and easily out of various manufacturers' plastic kits, but would only be visually differentiated by their organization, if at all.

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