Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Thursday 30 April 2020

Position Magnifique turns 6 & 7.

Turn 6.
The Prussian 88th regiment deciding to exploit the weakness of the centre left of the French line was ordered to charge forwards using cold steel, but cold steel means nothing when facing both the French chassport and, for this game at least another double six!

Five casualties and again killing the Prussian officer on the serendipity table faltered the Prussian division during the charge. I, as umpire and player of both sides decided that the 88th would go in against the French regardless of the falter (nobody argued against me!).

With a good roll for the Prussians and a mediocre one for the French, the 88th prevailed forcing the French regiment to retreat.

However the remaining French regiment to the right of the gap, even with ten casualties inflicted upon it managed in the firing segment to knock off the one remaining casualty left to the 88th thereby eliminating it completely. The air was thick with lead.

Above, the end of turn 6.

The French left still looked in severe danger in danger of collapse and so it proved, a desultory roll on the Falter table proved to be the end for the French left flank division a withdraw result saw it leave the table having had enough. The Prussians continue to push through the woods while the French reserve cavalry move to their left to try to fill the gap.

Turn 7.
As in history, sometimes, as in wargames, the only immediate force at hand to plug the gap in the left centre was a French curiassier division from the reserve so McMahon turned and ordered it forward.

Prussian divisional light cavalry can just be seen in the distance over the ridge crest, directed by officers on the ridge to the French curiassier, it was too much of a threat, the charge commenced.

Charging downhill the French heavies carried all before it forcing the Prussians to retreat. The curiassiers occupied the position right in the face of a Prussian regiment.
Note: At this point I decided to use the charge procedure for cavalry from the General de Armee ruleset rather than Picket's Charge in the future as I think this encompasses European methods rather than the civil war ones better.

You could have predicted what was going to happen, during the movement phase the Prussians surrounded the exposed French cavalry and simply blew it away inflicting ten casualties on a small unit removing it from the game. You would have got a different result if the Gen de Armee cavalry sequence had been used.

More proof of the power of the chassepot on troops in the open, though this Prussian regiment had suffered some casualties previously as soon as it exited from the village it was destroyed by French fire, rolling a nine on the fire table and three additional CD dice casualties. Unit destroyed, division falter, though it has to be said that this Prussian division had Hesitant marker on it for the past three turns!

Schmidt on the Prussian left finally gets moving, I suspect he saw what was going on to his right!

View from the Prussian centre.

Finally, the Prussian right continuing it's progress through the woods.

Laters guys.

Monday 27 April 2020

Position Magnifique turns 4 & 5.

The position at the beginning of turn number four was of the Prussian centre stalled having had their firing line driven back, their left hesitant and biding it's time knowing full well that the task of taking the French occupied village to their front would not be at all easy and only the Prussian right hand division pushing up successfully through the woods.

Fire between the two sides continued during turn four with the only notable event being the forced retreat of one Prussian regiment in their centre, three other Prussian divisions rolling hesitant due mainly to the low number of ADC's available to both sides. Faily quiet, things were about to change drastically!

Even though the Prussian firing line had been driven off the supports still managed to give this Chasseur battalion a pasting as they had failed to withdraw out of the close range of the needle gun.

Now believe you me and the lads at the club will confirm it, I never throw dice like this.
The French line infantry regiment behind the earthworks roll a double six at effective range, five casualties and an Elephant test plus a Serendipity test for the double six. Then to add insult to injury, from their four CD dice get two more casualties, 7 casualties and a retreat result from the Serendipity test!

Next unit along, ten on the dice roll -1 for the Prussian firing line giving  three casualties and two extra from  the four CD's rolled. Five in total stripping two stands from the Prussians (they were carrying one). They stood, but only just.

On the French left in the woods with Prussian Jagers on their flank and a formed Prussian regiment in front these French Chasseurs took a hammering and then threw a double one on their Elephant test routing in the process, top picture is where they were, bottom is what they looked like afterwards.

With one unit routing this faltered the whole left hand French division and guess what, yep even with a re-roll two ones in succession resulted in the division withdrawing 30cm, losing two casualties in each unit, eliminating the routed Chasseurs and their divisional artillery. Merde alors!

The Prussian right forging forwards to take advantage of the crumbling French line, the Prussian artillery having finally crushed their French counterparts. The French centre is flanked.

Leaving the two lighter brigades the French corps heavy cavalry brigade starts it's move towards the rear of the ridge to plug the gap. The French reserve artillery has been attempting to move for three turns now but require a 5 or 6 to release them, historically accurate I'd say.

Next turn maybe tomorrow.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Position Magnifique, turn 3

I will leave an comments on how the rule adaptations are working or not until I get to a point where I feel I can summarise, keep in mind though that this is not an exercise on how to fight to win a wargame during this period but a set of  tactical examples played through to show the rule changes I have introduced. For example the Prussians have thrown caution to the wind and advanced in the centre before softening the French infantry up with their artillery and will likely pay the price, but I wanted to show what the rules do if this were to happen. Lets see:

The pictures above show the general situation at the beginning of turn 3, The Prussian division on their right is as ordered pushing on through the woods taking advantage of the cover provided. The two central divisional commanders however have taken it upon themselves to push up hard to the French line after only an initial artillery bombardment which although it has severely damaged one group of French artillery and driven off another, has left the French infantry untouched.

The Prussian left hand division has remained in place following orders and is continuing to bombard the French line, one French battery is damaged, the other driven off.

One of the remaining French artillery units having already suffered casualties (10 and they disperse) then rolls a double one, they therefore run out of ammunition and must withdraw to the table edge to replenish before returning. If this happens to the Prussians they must only stay in place and not fire for one full move, they are then considered to be resupplied. Historically this was the case, the French ammunition supply wagons were way back behind the lines.

A photograph showing the red casualty markers placed on the Prussian supporting infantry not from direct French fire but incurred in order to reinforce the forward Prussian firing line one PIP incurred for one stand replaced up to eight maximum. This is done during the Prussian movement phase.
Very important while I think about it, movement does not inhibit firing, all troops can move and fire, unlike the Pickett's Charge rules when they suffer a -2 for doing so. As you may imagine this makes a big difference.

The roll of the dice!
First picture above, French emplaced infantry in a single firing line aiming at the formed Prussian unit in the distance, crap dice, incurred a Fire discipline (smoke marker) and caused no casualties.
Second and third picture above, French emplaced infantry in a single firing line aiming at the Prussian divisional skirmish line, -1 on their dice roll (remember the difference between firing at Prussian divisional skirmish screen -1 and other skirmish troops -2) plus three CD's, one for troops in a singe rank firing line and two for Chassepot at effective range. four casualties and a 'see the elephant' (discipline) test, one red marker and I set the one infantry stand to one side to show the damage. The Prussians were forced to retreat and were unformed in the test.

Finally moving along the line the top picture shows what happens when you throw a double six!
So, standard volley at effective range twelve -1 = 11, four casualties plus an 'elephant test'. 4CD's, one for veteran unit, one for single line unit, two for Chassepot at effective range, the die 5 hits (6's at long range, 5 & 6's at effective range) giving a total of five hits. The Prussians were carrying previous hits so two stands removed and the double six forced a 'serendipity test' were the Prussian colonel was hit and the unit routs!
So both Prussian divisions in the centre were now without their firing line, their support columns exposed to French fire and one of the divisions was now faltering because of the routed unit. Bloody hell.

The right hand Prussian divisional firing line engages some French Zouarves at 15cm, six stands firing, six dice, -1 die for firing into woods but +1 die for needle gun at long range (10 - 20cm). sixes required, two rolled, two casualties on the French.

The Prussian reserve artillery and divisional cavalry moving up in support.
Could be nasty for the impetuous Prussians, we'll see.

Thursday 23 April 2020

Position Magnifique, turns 1 & 2.

Following on from yesterdays post I intend (famous last words) to show at least a couple of turns of the game each day with a bit of explanation about the adaptations I am introducing for the FPW, so here goes:

I won't go into an in depth description of the Pickett's Charge rules upon which These adaptations are based but suffice to say that each brigade in each force in those rules contributes one ADC PIP to the pot, these are then rolled, one die per PIP and pass on a D3-6, you then us the available PIPs to enhance various aspects of command to enable actions to take place. The Divisions in my FPW adaptations count as Brigades so on this instance the Prussians have four and the French have four, I allocated two extra to the Prussians to show their better command and control capability while the French got one extra giving a total of six for the Prussians and five for the French. After die rolls the French allocated 4 ADCs (1 PIP each) all brigade re-rolls while the Prussians allocated 6 ADCs, two Artillery Assault (2 PIPs each) with two Brigade re-rolls to go with them (1 PIP each) to try to make sure those brigades (Divisions) passed.
I have allowed the Prussians to allocated Artillery Assault enhancements at close and effective range in 1870 but not in the Austro Prussian war of 1866 as in 1866 they kept their artillery much further back and were therefore much less effective. In 1866 they can allocate Artillery Assault at long range only, this will encourage the Prussian player to use their artillery as they did historically. In both 1866 and 1870 however the Prussian Krupp artillery will receive 2CD when firing at close or effective range, the French rifled artillery will not get these two CD.

So as an example the Prussian divisional artillery, representing three batteries but treated as one for rules purposes, on top of the opposite hill firing at 64cm thereby within effective range rolled a total of 6 (two red dice) on the artillery firing table, minus 2  firing at deployed artillery which gives a 4 result - 1/2 casualty. They successfully rolled to round that up to a whole 1 casualty. The additional CD dice were then rolled, two for Breach loaders at effective range and two for Artillery Assault requiring a D4, 5, or 6. The Prussians rolled two D5s and one D6 to inflict a total of four casualties on the deployed French artillery in one round. Good shooting! As they had done pretty much the same the previous turn and in addition the French had inflicted a Fatigue Casualty upon themselves to bring the total number of casualties suffered up to Nine, one short of the ten needed for the dispersal of the artillery unit the French decided prudence being the better part of valour that they should withdraw the artillery off the ridge. Two rounds and one French artillery unit forced to get out of town!

Above can be seen a Garrison of elite French Tirailleurs Algerien occupying a forward post in-front of the French main line. They are within 40cm of the Prussian artillery and therefore in effective range. A standard Garrison gets 3CD, +1CD for elite, +2CD for Chassepot at effective range, but  -2CD for firing at a deployed battery = 4CD. They require D5 or D6s to hit at effective range, D6s at long. They roll two 5s and therefore inflict two casualties on the battery. I wanted the Prussian artillery to be very strong at effective range but also to be under threat from the French Chassepot when in those sort of positions.

On the left hand side of the French positions the Prussians have pushed forward taking advantage of the wooded area to cover their approach. Seeing this the French send forward a Tirailleurs Algerien regiment which can disperse into skirmish formation (four skirmish stands replacing the formed unit) and a Chasseur battalion of three stands (the stands behind are simply there as markers to differentiate those formations from a brigade (division) skirmish screen). In the photograph the French have fallen back from the Prussian brigade (division) skirmish screen as the previous turn they were caught within the 10cm Effective range of the Prussian needle gun. As noted above both the chassepot and the needle gun receive a 2CD bonus for firing at this range, the difference is of course that the Chasseport fires at 40cm effective range while the needle gun only at 10cm.
It can be seen that the eight stand Prussian divisional skirmish screen has been hitting the Tirailleurs hard. They would get 1CD per stand, 8CD, -2CD for firing at skirmishers total 6CD thrown requiring D5s or D6s to hit at 10cm effective range or D6s at 20cm long. The French got too close!
Also can be seen the Prussian reinforcement of the skirmish screen. As the screen incurs three casualties and looses stands the Prussian supporting units can replace one stand per movement turn incurring one casualty on the supporting infantry unit behind (within 15cm), standard practice in the 'German' army system.

The final picture for today shows the Prussian 9th Division under Von Sandrat pushing forward towards the French entrenchments on the ridge. For this scenario I decided that as happened historically in the early phase of the war that the Prussian commanders would on occasion throw caution to the wind and advance before the artillery had had time to 'soften up the opposition. Before each Prussian movement turn if the Divisional commander threw a D6, off he went towards the French line!
Well, it's taken longer to write this up than play the two turns but it lets the reader have an idea of the systems used. Any thoughts or constructive criticism will be welcomed, I'm a ways off the finished product yet.
Maybe tomorrow chaps.
Take care,