02 May 2013

By Fire & Sword: Division list construction basics

Following up on my article on the mechanics behind Skirmish lists with an article on Division lists.
Division lists are both similar and different to Skirmish lists.

The similarity lies in how you construct each regiment, which is the building stone of your Division. Regiments are made up of several banners/companies/sotnia's or whatever units are called by each nation. And just like in Skirmish lists the Regiments are made up of a core level amount of troops, optional add-on units and additional troops that expand you regiment. Regiments also have their own Regimental commanders and junior officers to help you control the regiment in the field.

The difference between the Skirmish and Division level is mainly tied to Skirmish lists being "warbands" that mix a lot of troops in one single force, while a Division is made up of 3-5 regiments, each made up of a distinct troop type or at most a variety of troops closely tied together that would historically make up a larger formation. An example of a regiment made up of mixed units that would historically form a regiment would be a Cossack regiment.  Cossack regiments include both regular Cossack infantry, Registered Cossack infantry, limited amounts of Cossack cavalry support, war wagons and may field Cossack Rabble as an optional support unit.

But even in cases with "Pure regiments" made up of a single troop type - such as the Reiter regiments, you often still have a variety of options such as being able to equip some of the Reiter companies with armor, add companies with Arquebus handguns to back up your pistol armed Reiters, fielding veteran or regular companies and so on.

So, while a Swedish Skirmish force may mix Reiters, Dragoons and Musketers, the Division level Regiments are divided into troop types - Reiter Regiments made up of Reiters, Dragoon Regiments made up of Dragoons, and Infantry regiments made up of Pike&Shot troops.

Each regiment is built as an isolated option, and you need 3-5 regiments (this is the same for all armies in the book) to form a Division. All armies must field at the very least 3 regiments, which form  the backbone of your division, and the last 2 are completely optional.

All armies have several regiments to pick from and you can build a Division with a lot of different configurations. However, each Division army list also comes with requirements that you need to fulfill. A "Swedish field division" is required to field at least 2 Reiter Regiments, and may skip out on infantry support completely. On the other hand a "Swedish Garrison division" is mainly made up of infantry and requires you to field at least 2 Infantry Regiments.

The pictures in this post will show how I'm putting together a Polish Crown Division, regiment by regiment. This should give you a good idea of how building Division army lists work in By Fire & Sword.


  1. Excellent stuff, Anatoli, thanks for this.

  2. Nice division but unhistorical because you have late crown cavalry regiment and old type infantry from 1649-56

    1. and volunteer regiment from 50-66

    2. Doesn't matter if the book does not have year restrictions for its division build and lets players pick both late and early skirmish forces. And let's be honest that the whole arguement here revolves around 3 more bases of Pancerni instead of 3 bases of cossack cavalry. If that is a gamebreaker then I don't know...

    3. If you however play a campaign with a fixed timeframe then I agree about keeping things either early or late, as mentioned in my previous post.


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