We played with the equivalent of a Corps per side with all the toys - Cavalry, Artillery, and of course the Infantry - the Queen of Battle. Admittedly this is the first time I've ever played the NT 19th Century rules, and also the first time I've ever played a FP War game - so I had almost no pre-conceived notions about this game or the period. I can tell you, however, if you're like me and your thoughts about the FP War are: "Napoleonics with longer-ranges," you're mistaken!
|2 companies of Bavarian skirmishers lead the way. All of my troops are in column in order to move. In these rules, you may not move in line unless you're a skirmisher unit.|
|General Von Oberdorf|
|note the small village on top of the hill. I send a detachment to capture it however as fate would have it, Alex captures it first and my troops must take the village by storm!|
|Alex's French troops advance!|
|Note the infantry column on the right headed towards the town.|
|In my center, I send troops towards the wooded area which will be my jumping off point to mount an assault against the rear village, in French control.|
|Moving the Prussians up through the road and into the woods!|
|Prussian Hussars! (actually Napoleonic Austrians, but you get the idea!)|
|In the foreground, note the masses of cavalry galloping towards each other! The small hill there would be the scene of a brutal back and forth action almost the entire evening.|
|Prussian cavalry assaulting the hill to be repulsed with extreme prejudice! Note my infantry going up the slope on the far right as well. Alex turned the hill into a fortress!|
|Prussians back in command in the village on the right. The red bead means a stand lost. "Hans, is this a pig sty?" "Ja Herr Oberst"|
|Firefight! Prussian infantry battalions fire against a French battalion arrayed against them in the valley.|
|The situation in the valley. |
|A swirling cavalry battle on the left.|
|Cavalry. My Prussians were gaining some ground but were eventually forces back.|
|Prussians go into the assault after emerging from the woods.|
|The fight against the hill is going Alex's way. I need to keep enough of his forces pinned down for my lighting (blitzkrieg?) assault against the flanks!|
|The French Guards are treated roughly here but they'll have their revenge! Note the "1" on the Prussians.|
|Press the attack, boys! Vorwarts!|
|Lots of red beads on my Prussian cavalry, too. The assault in the center must now go in or we will surely lose the day!|
|last picture of my Prussians going in to finish off the unit in the upper right in the woods on turn 7, only to be sent packing! Lots of exciting things like this happened during the game.|
First lesson - this is NOT Napoleonics, which I was maneuvering like it was. Infantry units are lethal in the defense. The rules don't even let you attack if you have the same amount of bases.
Second lesson - I did not use my direct-fire artillery properly. Ironic for a former artillery officer but the artillery does not need to keep pace with the advance. They need to find a nice dominant spot to observe and fire at-range. As Alex pointed out, the French rifles shoot 3" further than the Prussian rifles, and so can fire on you for an entire turn before you can turn your rifles on them. Your artillery can be causing casualties all the while your troops are moving into position.
Third lesson - cavalry is much more vulnerable than it used to be especially to infantry fire.
Many thanks to Alex for a great game and a real learning experience. I am looking forward to playing these rules again and also hoping Alex gives the ACW and Napoleonics the same treatment!