Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Battle of Ladonchamps (7 Oct 1870)

I ran this battle last Monday at the excellent Falkirk and District Wargames Club, using Piquet Field Of Battle 2 rules with 15mm figures. 



John & John played the French ... 



.. Douglas & David the Prussians ...


The scenario is based on that in Bruce Weigle's "1870" book, whose scenarios and ORBATs are excellent .. "This was the final engagement of the French Imperial Army, and the last time that the eagles of Napoleon were carried into battle. Marshal Bazaine’s Army had been invested in Metz since 19 August. With the army’s food supply running out, Bazaine made a last attempt to extricate a portion of his army by attacking northwards...".  Bazaine then decided to just make it a raid ...

The key objectives for the French are the fortifications in the centre


and on the Prussian left - which is also defending the line of retreat to the Moselle


These fortifications represent the fortified farms, etc which contained the supplies which the Bazaine intended to recover.

As the battle starts, here in the French centre, with troops pouring across the river .they attack the central fortifications - with the range benefit offered by the Chassepot rifle, frustrating the Landwehr whose Needlegun rifles do not have the range to reply. 




On the French right, troops cross the streams to move in on the fortification on the Prussian left, surrounded by marshy land. The reserve artillery moves boldly too..


.. and the view from those Prussian fortifications ..


Meanwhile, on the French left, Prussian reinforcements emerge, and the French decide to run away for the woods ...


.. and here they are, somewhat congested ...


And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, a division of Prussian Cavalry appears in the centre .. Douglas and David discussed who should take charge of this command .. David says "you can, provided you promise to be suitably rash with them .. "! :-) The 4 regiment cavalry division charges through their infantry and artillery .. and the first regiment is destroyed by French artillery fire .. still, there are 3 left ... but he did what he had agreed :-) ...


Meanwhile on the French right, that reserve artillery is having a decisive impact on the almost-flanked Landwehr in the fortification


And in the centre the French eventually take the central fortification .. in the prolonged absence of any Move cards for the Prussians, and not enough Artillery Reload cards for their liking ..


This proves decisive, as the cavalry are unable to make any headway against the Chassepots and well-managed French artillery. The Prussians are down to zero Army Morale P
oints and choose to call it a day (or ein Tag, I suppose)...

And a good game was had by all it seems, and in under 2.5 hours .. Douglas commented how well the differences between the armies came out in the ranges and power of the artillery and infantry weapons.






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