Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Play Test of "Monster" Franco-Prussian Game, Part 1

The Jackson Gamers gathered at the church fellowship hall on Labor Day for a play test of a "monster" Franco-Prussian game we're planning on running at the Colonial Barracks convention the first weekend in November.

We had 10 players (which included 3 player-referees) on two big battlefields and one smaller battlefield.  The two big battlefields pitted two players on each side initially controlling a division of infantry (approximately 13 battalions each) plus supporting artillery.  On the smaller battlefield, two players controlled the cavalry of each side (9 Prussian regiments versus 8 French regiments).  After the cavalry battle was decided, the winner got to bring in a reserve division from his side on one of the tables.  Two turns (or so) later, the cavalry battle loser got a reserve division from his side on one of the tables.

For total forces we had:

      Five Prussian infantry divisions (which included Bavarians and Wurttemburgers) and one infantry brigade (a total of 61 battalions), plus supporting artillery (16 batteries)
      Three Prussian cavalry brigades, each of three regiments (1 cuirassier, 5 dragoon, 2 uhlan, 1 hussar)

      Six French infantry divisions plus one infantry brigade (a total of 76 battalions [57 Prussian battalion equivalents]), plus supporting artillery (13 batteries and 4 Mitrailleuse batteries)
      Four French cavalry brigades, each of two regiments (2 cuirassier, 1 dragoon, 2 lancer, 1 hussar, 1 chasseur, and 1 Spahi)

That comes to a total of over 3400 figures and 98 guns.  This is probably the largest 25mm/28mm game we've staged since our college days in the early 1970s.

Here are the first set of pictures taken by Col Campbell.  Please click on an image to enlarge it.

One of the two main battlefields with French on right and Prussians on left.

The other main battlefield with French on right and Prussians on left.

The cavalry battlefield with French set-up in foreground and Prussians being set-up on far side.

The big cavalry melee - 2 French cuirassier regiments versus 3 Prussian regiments (cuirassier, dragoon, and uhlan).  In the background a French brigade of two light regiments are attacked by three Prussian regiments.
And the result --both French brigades were cut to pieces and fled the battlefield.  The French cavalry division commander (foreground) looks on in amazement and horror that his vaunted "La Arme Blanche" was defeated so easily.  Just before this debacle, another French brigade of a dragoon and a lancer regiment had been sent packing by the same Prussian cavalry.

The French right flank light cavalry brigade (lancers and Spahis) advance to revenge their heavier compatriots.
But they are defeated by the Prussian dragoons and uhlans.  It was just not meant to be for the French cavalry on this day.

Moving over to battlefield #1, a massive German column (Bavarians and Wurttenburgers) attack through the woods against a French line.
And send the French reeling back, eventually to withdraw entirely from the field.
On the right, a Prussian force advances against a French battery but get slowed by the heavy terrain.  The white rings show some of the casualties the battery caused.

A Prussian battle line faces French troops dimly seen in the woods ahead of them.

They are a regiment of Tirailleurs Algerien (Turcos) who have been called from Africa to help defend La Belle France. 

The fight between the Turcos and the Prussians rages to the left of the village (held by Prussian jagers) while French reinforcements advance onto the battlefield in the background.  Unfortunately the Prussian bayonets are too much for these vaunted North African warriors and they also flee the field.
Some French Garde Mobiles are attempting to restore the battle line so recently abandoned by the fleeing Turcos.  Some of the French artillery is trying to bring the advancing Prussians under fire but to no avail.

Switching over to battlefield #2, a reinforcing Prussian division advances against the French, behind the front line Prussians.  Earlier this hill had seen fierce fighting between the defending Prussians and the attacking French, who weren't successful in driving the "Boche" back.

There will be more pictures posted as soon as they are received and edited.