French vs. Prussians 1815: Battle of the Two Farms

This WR after action report covers the 2nd recent napoleonic game at Bob’s. Fielded armies were the 1815 French and Prussians for a level pointed matchup on a cloudy rainy day.

French OOB: 1815 organization of two Corps. WR’s and Daniel’s 1st Corps had Middle guard division, 3 infantry divisions and attached light cavalry division. Dan’s 2nd Corps had 3 smaller infantry divisions and attached light cavalry (lancer) division.

Prussians OOB: 1815 organization with two artillery heavy Korps. Bob’s Prussians had 2 landwehr heavy infantry brigades, Prussian guard infantry and kavallerie brigades, and attached kavallerie brigade. Rob’s Prussian Korps had 3 normal infantry brigades and attached kavallerie brigade.

Tabletop deployment was different. Instead of the face off lines setup, we rolled for starting zones, including possible deployment zones on the flanks. End result was the French deployment zones was along one table side but Rob’s Korps started on the French left flank. A small deployment gap was created between the Prussian Korps….could the French take advance of the situation? Weather for the tabletop was cloudy day.

French plans: While WR holds off the Prussian flanking Korps, Daniel and Dan both assault the Prussian Korps before them, seize the two farms complex and roll forward to the rescue of WR’s hard pressed left flank.

Prussian plans: Link the two Korps together with a right face march by Bob’s Korps, contest the two farms position while Rob’s Korps crushes the French open left flank position.

Tabletop set after the determination of starting location zone. Daniel surveys his terrain creation…Good job Daniel! Tabletop lighting gives the broken clouds effect with lit and dark zones.

Both plans seemed to create an interesting game….what happened next quickly gave advance to the Prussians.

Another view from the other table end. Both armies French (left) and Prussians (right and top end) have finished their pre battle wooden block deployments.

Opening moves….Rob’s Prussian Korps slowly descends on the open French left flank. The woods constrained his quick deployments. Initial cavalry sparring produces limited result and ends with long-range cannon bombardments. Good for the French!

Initial miniature deployments on left flank. French light cavalry division vs. Prussian kavallerie brigade.

In the center disaster…Daniel attempted to quick strategic march mode up the hill to quickly position himself for the assault on the two farms. A bold move! Unfortunately, the Prussian cavalry rode forward and prepared to charge the morale disordered French columns. Facing the Prussian cavalry, Daniel could either hold in place (go into battle mode standing stationary in columns, no squares) or retire quickly in strategic mode behind the deployed Middle guard division behind him. The wise course of retirement took hold and the leading French division ran behind the Middle guard to recover. End result was the French assault on the two farms was set back for several turns as the Prussian Korps linked up.

French left fully deployed as the Prussians approach. Prussians have kavallerie brigade at right and infantry brigade left of woods.

View after the French steeplechase back down the hill. French infantry started where the Prussian kavallerie now positions itself. Middle guard division squares puts any Prussian thought of pursuit quickly out of their Prussian minds. Prussian guard kavallerie brigade appears on far flank of the two farms complex to threaten WR’s advancing infantry into squares.

The Middle guard forms up to fend off the Prussian kavallerie. Ending positions after the Prussian right kavallerie brigade chased away the initial advanced French division…now passing in retirement to left of village. Dan’s French division approaches on the right of photo.

As Dan’s right flank Corps slowly advances against the side stepping Prussian infantry opposition, the Prussian kavallerie retires from the deployed French old guard battles attached to the Middle guard division. Too hot!

WR’s French infantry forms up below the two farms complex sheltered from the Prussian kavallerie’s direct attention. Prussian guard kavallerie hold the two farms flank position.

The French under WR are deployed to meet the Prussian flanking attack and assist assaulting the two farms with Daniel’s infantry commands.

Prussians viewing the battle seem satified….they have achieved a linked position, contesting the two farms complex and Rob is pressuring the French left flank.

Prussian view of deploying French (table center) advance on farms. Prussian kavallerie retires after chasing the lead French infantry division back.

Prussian kavallerie charges by Rob end in losses on the French position. The massed Prussian artillery rolls into position to start the bombardment of the French squares. A small French Chasseurs a cheval effort to catch Prussian artillery while limbered just slows the Prussian advance instead (center of picture below).

Initial Prussian kavallerie charges end in losses on the French position.

French Chasseurs a cheval, with their divisional leader nearby, charge the Prussian disordered artillery but an infantry battalion behind the batteries forms successful square to repulse the fool hardy French cavalry.

French Chasseurs a cheval approach the Prussian artillery….prepare to charge!

Prussian artillery is pounding the French position as another Prussian brigade crosses the stream to apply pressure on the weakened French left division.

Steady Prussian pressure on the left flank French squares.

A cloud goes by, in its shadow the French assault the Prussians landwehr defenders of the two farms complex. Prussian kavallerie now face the advance French light cavalry of Dan’s Corps.

Middle guard advances in squares while French infantry contest the two farms. Dan’s advancing light cavalry (off picture) force Prussian kavallerie to face off (top right).

Back on the French left flank, Prussian kavallerie time an excellent charge to destroy two French artillery batteries. French ill fortune continues as Prussian round shot sails into the French ranks. Losses are mounting….can Dan’s Corps arrive in time to pressure the Prussian left flank?

Prussian small victory. A well-timed Prussian charge by Rob removes two French batteries from the active role. Bravo Rob!

Close range musketry and column assaults continue in the two farms complex. French Middle guard and line battalions face Prussian landwehr fighting hard to hold the position.

Battling lines and columns in the two farms complex. French viewpoint.

Prussian view of the two farms battle. Landwehr showing their grit.

WR’s is forced to retire some of his artillery since the weakened squares cannot defend against the Prussian advancing kavallerie. French Chasseurs a cheval attempt to charge Prussians crossing the stream and delay their plans.

Advancing Prussian line with their massed artillery is punishing the French left flank.

Prussian view of their advance against the French left flank. Steady Prussian pressure is working.

General view of the tabletop action on a rainy day. Daniel did move during the day….and was “caught “texting” under the table edge once…..the modern man. Rob at upper table corner. Bob and Dan on right side of table conferring on the Prussian vs. French cavalry fights before them. Dan’s infantry approaches the hill with two farms.

Having broken the 1st Prussian landwehr line, the French advance to met the next Prussian landwehr hedge position supported by artillery. French and Prussian artillery duel as skirmishers face their opposites.

Two farms battle continues, 1st Prussian landwehr line broken, but more Prussian deploy behind the farm position.

Rob’s Prussians slowly advance at the pace of the artillery changing positions forward. Occasionally, wiser Prussian kavallerie will show themselves to chase away the French skirmishers.

Rob’s Prussians look great….chasing down poor “innocence” French volitguers…..ha ha.

Battle continued in the two farms sector with French victorious again against the next Prussian landwehr line. But, with the pending arrival of the Prussian guard & grenadier brigade, the French two farms advance grinds to a halt. Dan’s two fresh divisions arrive near the two farms but the artillery pounded French left now has to retire outside of the massed Prussian artillery. Dan sends one of his divisions to support the French left but in general, the French can only hope for a tied game…with advantage to the Prussians. All players concur….so handshakes all round. Battle ends for another day before the two guards may met on the tabletop.

As always, thank you Bob for hosting the monthly game at your gaming garage. Thanks for Rob and Dan joining Bob, Daniel and WR on a cool rainy day.

Miniatures from the collections of Bob (Dan’s controlled French Corps and his Prussians), Rob’s and his Prussians, WR with his French infantry and Middle guard. Middle guard was composed of 3rd and 4th Grenadiers \ Chasseurs 1815 period.

Loads of information on our gaming rule set is linked here: Napoleonic Game: Rule, Videos and files. These file treasury contain national characteristics, sample game play videos, charts and game reference material.

Napoleonic 25/28mm club meets generally every 3rd Saturday of each month at Bob’s, travels to local hobby show or HMGS-PSW conventions. Miniatures are not required to join in playing at the games. Just willinness to come out and roll some dice. Email or call WR directly for future game information via the About the Wargamerabbit blog page information.

Till the next napoleonic game……cheers from the warren.

WR war correspondent

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3 thoughts on “French vs. Prussians 1815: Battle of the Two Farms

  1. Again the blocks introduce some broader maneuver into the game. Looks like fun.

    Stealth (and otherwise) texting generally considered acceptable during lulls in the action at our games! I recall a funny story by the LA guys where the gamer was really intense, and one of the guys got texts from his girlfriend reminding him they were due to meet, while he kept stalling. Gotta have your priorities straight… just not recommended to try this with your wife, LOL!

  2. Excellent AAR, great reading. If I remember correctly we used to use the blocks with Koenigskrieg and I thought them a natty idea, especially when the odd one or two were fake!

    regards
    dave

    • Dave,
      Thank you for viewing the blog posts. Yes, we use the blocks for “dummy commands” all the time….typically one or two blocks for the average game. What the blocks represent varies between armies and what the player elected to roster for that command. Understrength commands are common…like two regiments for the division instead of three or four regiments. Cavalry vs. infantry….maybe a grand battery of artillery is facing you. Knowledge is limited until the forces enter effective long range. There is a system of ADC / Scouts for scouting purposes….and senior commanders / Scouts have a “greater visibility” information range compared to the lower “divisional/brigade commanders. Creates a bit of uncertain knowledge for the game atmosphere and informational confusion in the army chain of command. I do need to suggest for Bob to blend his blocks into the tabletop terrain. The blight green color detracts from the visual effect. My blocks set has “terrain neutral” with grass flocking on the upper surfaces as seen in the videos.

      The blocks idea is also transferred onto the map movements when using grand strategic maps. The Salamanca 1812 battle AAR used the map format for off table movements. The map counter go directly into the circular holes on the blocks to represent the command marker (ID the block) when the counter enters the tabletop “zone”.

      Cheers from the warren
      WR aka Michael

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