Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of entries over the last couple of weeks. I wasn’t at the club last week as I had just been released from hospital. There was no entry the week before, as I hadn’t got around to writing it when I was rushed into hospital. I would write one for that week, if I could remember what happened! I mentioned that to Sandy, he replied: “I can’t remember, either….Just tell them Neil lost!” Which is most definitely not the case, I don’t remember much about the Napoleonic game we had, but I DO remember Neil won……
So, this week it was Franco-Prussian war, a period I don’t have any toys for (and even if I did, they wouldn’t be in 10mm….) We were trying out some rules that German Michael was adapting/tinkering with. Sandy and I took the French and Michael commanded his (kind of) countrymen. It turns out Sandy doesn’t have the toys in this scale for this period either and we borrowed some of Jack’s. The forces were decided and the armies deployed and we were ready to rock.
The French deployment…
…and the Prussians….
The French won the initiative and moved first. I had the left wing division, Sandy had the right and we co-operated in the centre, which we used as a “reserve” division. I moved forward and brought my artillery in range of the Prussian division in front of me. I fired one battery at the Prussian cavalry and inflicted some damage and drove them from the table (temporarily). Sandy also moved his division up, but did not have the range to fire anything. We edged the reserves forward in the middle, except the artillery and cavalry, which joined my division.
Michael, after suffering casualties from my artillery, indulged in some counter-battery fire on Sandy’s division – to devastating effect! Having eliminated the French artillery on his left, the cowardly Prussian began moving most of his right wing over to his left. What little he did leave on his right, he hid behind the crest of the hill (something I would’ve teased him for if it wasn’t a classic Wellingtonian tactic).
French advance and damage the Prussians….
…while the Prussians begin moving to their left…
Turn 2 and the French win initiative again. Since there was a distinct lack of opposition in front of them, the French left division wheeled to their right and began to sweep along the ridge. I had advanced far enough that I could fire on the Prussians with my infantry and machine guns as well as the artillery. This meant the French began inflicting some real damage on their left. Over on the right, Sandy was also causing Michael some problems, pushing back Prussian infantry with some well executed volleys, forcing the Prussians to ‘bunch up’ near their table edge.
On his turn, Michael continued his “redeployment” over onto his left and skulking behind ridges, except for some cavalry, who charged my cavalry and pushed them back, but didn’t destroy them. His artillery did that, but only to 1 brigade, the other survived.
The French begin to sweep the ridge…
…the Prussians begin to bunch up…
Third turn and the French go first again. The left continue their sweep along the ridge, pushing more Prussian units off the table, albeit temporarily. The French centre moved forward to keep pace with the left and the right continued apply pressure, including a cavalry charge of their own. The Prussians did better than in the previous rounds, but still suffered casualties.
On their own turn, the Prussians attempted to advance and fire, but couldn’t match the volleys of the French.
Fourth (and, as it turns out, final) turn and the Prussians finally win the initiative. However, it did them little good, as the entire turn was a bit of a stalemate for both sides.
The French continue their sweep….
…while the centre consolidate their position…
It was at this point that Sandy had to leave. I offered to carry on for a bit longer, but Michael was so disheartened by the poor showing of his beloved Prussians, he decided to surrender before he suffered humiliating defeat!
We had a quick post-mortem of the rules and it was decided that there was a bit more tweaking needed, but not much. Sandy suggested a slight change to the firing system. It’s a pretty brutal system (but the firing was brutal in that period, apparently) and Sandy suggested it be changed from “I move and fire” as it is now, to an “I move you fire” method. Other than that, it is a nice set of rules, quick, easy to pick up and very enjoyable.
Nothing has been decided for next week yet. Rommel and a Peninsular encounter have been suggested, but it’s still unsure and everything is subject to change, anyway!