1870, published in 2001, was the first of the original Grand Tactical Rules trilogy for the mid-19th century wars of transition, specifically to accommodate the many large-scale engagements of the Franco-Prussian War, from a few divisions to several corps per side. The intention was to enable gamers to recreate very large battles without getting bogged down in extraneous details more appropriate for regimental-size skirmishes. Indeed, the normal command per player in most games is a corps or two: two to six infantry divisions. Morale and fire modifiers, multiple movement and fire opportunities, and national or troop type nuances have therefore been kept to a minimum in the interest of finishing a reasonably faithful approximation of a large historical battle in an afternoon. A half-scale variant of the basic rules enables smaller engagements to be fought simply by doubling the number of stands per unit.
Although the original rules remain popular for battles of up to 2-3 corps, the new 1871 fast play rules have mostly superseded them for larger battles. Much of 1870’s historical and bibliographical information (and none of the original scenarios) were not replicated in 1871, however, making 1870 valuable for that reason alone. All the basing and command and movement rules remain unchanged between the original and updated versions. As with the other Grand Tactical Rules, there is an updated quick reference sheet (and rules summary) for the revised, quick-play 1871 rules here. This will enable much faster resolution of 1870 battles using the new 1871 fast play improvements.