Sunday, 19 April 2015

Franco Prussian Fracas, Beumont.

For our Wednesday night tabletop delectation fellow Strategist, Adrian, put on a Franco Prussian scenario from his endless cache of Volley and Bayonet scenarios. The figures and all the terrain were from his immaculately painted collection.

French commanders confer.

This evenings game was Beumont. I know zilch about this real life battle so google it to see what really happened.

The battle was a holding action by the French to allow their baggage train to escape following a prior defeat at the hands of the Prussians.
The French set up with troops holding the Southernmost village astride the main road with more troops covering their Left flank.
Way back down the road to the North another large French force are defending the bridge to maintain an escape route.

The Prussians begin the game arriving from the Southern baseline with  more troops due on turn two and a large Bavarian force set to appear on the Prussian left flank about midway along the table.

I 'll keep the narrative brief and try to put some sense of order to the accompanying photos as my recollection of events allows.

French defend the line of retreat while the baggage scarpers.

 The Prussians were quick out of the blocks and quickly pushed forward their infantry whilst deploying their guns to shell the town. As the commander of this particular force I knew that I couldn't afford to waste time pointlessly assaulting the town so opted to get to grips with the French infantry pronto.

Prussian forces advance

Bring artillery down on that town!

French defenders about to cop hell.

No sooner had the Prussian gunners unlimbered their guns than they were bringing down accurate and telling fire on the French. The French responded with some indifferent volley fire.

The Prussian infantry soon came within range of the French Chassepots but, as turned out to be the case for most of the night, failed to inflict enough casualties to halt the Prussians.

I kept the pedal down and was soon trading fire with French units right across my line while still pummelling the town and nearby French infantry with artillery causing one French infantry unit to rout. I brought my remaining guns round the French Right flank and covered their advance with a unit of cavalry (Dragoons)
At this moment my ally, Geoff,, arrives on the French left flank with his force.

Prussians appear on the French Left flank. (See red dice)

Clearly the French are in a very sticky predicament here as their rear is threatened and they face a strong force to their front. Fortunately they are stationery so receive a double complement of dice when firing...not that it does any good. They don't even slow the Prussians down.
The plucky French commander throws in a cavalry attack against the Prussian Hussars and a melee quickly ensues.

French Lancers charging Prussian Hussars.

Unfortunately the French crappy dice throwing continues and the French Lancers are routed.
The Prussian infantry follow up with a massed assault on the French from front and rear. This is too much for the French and they are driven back towards the centre road and the retreating baggage train.

Now it is the turn of the Prussian's Bavarian allies to arrive on the French right flank. Their light blue uniforms and checker-board flags make a stirring sight. Their aim is to head off the baggage and block the French line of communication.

Bavarians arriving on the French right flank

They are met by stiff French resistance and both sides trade fire and face off in a number of mellees. As the game progresses this half of the Bavarian command eventually goes exhausted however the remaining half are still in good shape and advance en-mass to sit astride the main road forcing the French to move from defending the bridge to shoving them out of the way.

Meanwhile down my neck of the woods things are progressing to plan as I push aside the French on my Left and in partnership with my ally Geoff bring overwhelming pressure on the centre.

By now French units are routing or are being destroyed at such a rate that it is only a matter of time before they reach the inevitable morale collapse. By comparison Prussian losses are minimal. Clearly the dice gods favour the Prussians this night as the dejected French Commander, Chris, can only stare in disbelief at a continual succession of one's and two's whilst his opponents roll sixes with ease. As one who has been on the receiving end of this sort of thing on numerous occasions I couldn't help but feel for Chris.... fortunately his wife is a trained counsellor.

French baggage in sight

I detect a note of despondency in the French Command

 The situation at turn six sees Chris's French command suffer morale collapse as expected, leaving the way clear for the Prussians to race forward with their cavalry to begin assailing the French baggage and with their escape rout cut the French call it a day.

Prussian Dragoons eyeing up the French baggage train

Thanks to Adrian for putting on another challenging and attractive game and thank you the 'Dice Gods' for smiling upon me this night.

My celebratory beverage of choice for the night was.....Longbeard Blonde

Longbeard Blonde, IPA, intense hops and lingering fruit notes....outstanding!

Some more of Adrian's superb troops


  1. Great looking game with gorgeous troops and terrain. I'm not familiar with the period or tactics, but it would seem to be a blend of Napoleonic and possibly the early months of WW1.

  2. Excellent game, and fortune certainly favoured the Germans. It's a fascinating period, where both sides failed to apply any lessons learned by their observers in the ACW. General Sheridan was an observer for the US in this war, and he made some very pithy (and pungent!) comments about how it was conducted.

    By coincidence I had a 15mm FPW collection which I sold to a bloke named Adrian before I emigrated. ;)

    1. Thanks gents. I don't claim to know much about the period but I've always fancied the look of the thing. I doubt Id have the patience to paint a whole army, mind you I'm sitting here staring at a bunch of under-coated steampunk figures and for the life of me I just cant get motivated to start painting. I think Ive got painters block.

  3. Great looking game, love this period just putting my own small 1870 force together. Looking forward to seeing you guys game the FPW again your set up is so good!

  4. What a splendid looking game, these troops are fantastic, love the Prussian Dragoons especially...