The Battle of Borny-Colombey: 14th August 1870

The first thing that needs to be said is that this is not a 'stand alone' scenario. It is a version of Bill Haggart's excellent scenario for Volley and Bayonet, which is located at Volley & Bayonet: Borny-Colombey . What follows is a version of this scenario for my own amendments to the popular 'Fire and Fury' rules, all the real work has been done by Bill and my contribution has been just to adapt this to my system. What follows is the order of battle, victory conditions and notes to convert this to my system, all the other information you need is at the address above.

This scenario is not strictly historical, in that the real battle produced little more than some indecisive skirmishing, although it was strategically extremely important, resulting in the French army being besieged and effectively taken out of the war. Instead it attempts to put the commanders into their historical counterparts position with a range of choices available to them, particularly the French. Therefore you will find that the French are presented with the choice of three sets of victory conditions, reflecting the three most realistic options open to the French army at that time.

The French were facing the prospect of being surrounded by their German enemies. The first option then is Attack, to attempt to break out of the closing ring if their enemies, by ceasing the roads that would have enabled them to join their comrades elsewhere. The second option is to Withdraw, to attempt to get off the table as quickly as possible in the hope of being able to secure an escape route somewhere else. In this option it would be important to keep casualties to a minimum for the break out attempt. While also a rearguard action will be needed to ensure as much as possible of the French army is withdrawn. The final option is the Dither option, this is close to representing the historical option that Bazaine, the French commander, choose. In this option the French are trying to 'win' the battle by maintaining possession of the field. While simultaneously attempting to withdraw as much as possible of the French army for a possible breakout attempt elsewhere.

Scale and Notes:

The game is set in 1:300 scale. The French player is the first player of each turn. The game starts with the Prussian 15:00 turn and finishes with the French 20:00 turn. There is no French 15:00 turn or Prussian 20:00 turn. Before the game starts the French player or players must choose which set of victory conditions the game will be played to. They keep this secret from the Prussian player, but must inform the umpire (if there is one) or otherwise record somewhere their decision.

Orders of Battle (large, 1:300 scale)

The French Army:

1 in 3 'E' unit commanders, dice for it or allocate them.

III Corps:

General Decaen - 1 Ldr (dice for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 6)

1st Division: General Montaudon - 1 P. Ldr 2nd Division: General de Castigny - 1 Ldr
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 18th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 51st Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 62nd Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 81st Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 95th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 /
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 15th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 19th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 41st Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 69th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 90th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
3rd Division: General Mettman - 1 P. Ldr 4th Division: General de Bauer- 1 Ldr
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 7th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 7th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 29th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 59th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 71st Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 11th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 44th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 60th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 80th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 85th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3

IV Corps:

General de Ladmirault - 1 P Ldr (dice for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 4)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 2 Horse Batteries
2nd Division: General Grenier- 1 P Ldr 3rd Division: General Count de Lorencez - 1 Ldr
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 5th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 13th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 43rd Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 64th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 98th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • 2nd Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 15th Ligne Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 33rd Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 54th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 65th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
Cavalry Division: General de Clerambault - 1 Ldr  
  • 1st Brigade(Chasseurs a Cheval): 5 / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade (Dragoons): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 3rd Brigade (Dragoons): 4 / 3 / 2
 

Imperial Guard Corps:

No commander (dice for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 2)

1st Guard Division: General Deligny - 1 P Ldr

  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery *
  • Guard Chasseurs: 4 / 2 / - I (5 / 3 / - L)
  • 1st Garde Voltiguers: 6 / 4 / 2 I
  • 2nd Garde Voltiguers: 6 / 4 / 2 I
  • 3rd Garde Voltiguers: 6 / 4 / 2 I
  • 4th Garde Voltiguers: 6 / 4 / 2 I

II Corps:

No commander (dice for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 2)

1st Division: General Verge- 1 P Ldr 2nd Division: General Bataille - 1 Ldr
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery or 1 Foot and 1 Mitrailleuse, both damaged..
  • 32nd Ligne Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 55th Ligne Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 76th Ligne Regt: 4 / 3 / 2
  • 77th Ligne Regt: 4 / 3 / 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery.
  • 3rd / 12th Chasseurs: 3 / 2 / - L
  • 8th Ligne Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 23rd Ligne Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 66th Ligne Regt: 6 / 5 / 3

Fortress Troops:

1 BLA(i.e. Prussian style guns - these were siege artillery) each in Forts Queuleu and St. Julien. They face south west or south east respectively, they are fixed in position and can not be moved or turned. They receive the benefits of hard cover, i.e. -2.

Notes: All Mitrailleuse batteries noted with a * start the game damaged.

The Prussian Army

1 in 3 'E' unit commanders, dice for it or allocate them.

I Corps:

General von Manteuffel - 1 Ldr (roll for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 3)

  • 1st Jager Battalion: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • Von De Goebens Cavalry Brigade (Uhlans and Dragoons): 5 / 4 / 3 **
1st Division: General von Bentheim - 1 Ldr 2nd Division: General von Pritzelwitz- 1 Ldr

  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 1st Grenadier Regt: 8 / 5 / 3
  • 3rd Grenadier Regt: 9 / 6 / 4
  • 41st Infantry Regt: 8 / 6 / 4
  • 43rd Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 4th Grenadier Regt: 8 / 5 / 3
  • 5th Grenadier Regt: 9 / 6 / 4
  • 44th Infantry Regt: 8 / 6 / 4
  • 45th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5

VII Corps:

General von Zastrow - 1 P.Ldr (roll for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 3)

  • 7th Jager Battalion: 4 / 3 / 2 L
  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery.
  • Corps cavalry (Hussar and Dragoon): 3 / - / 2
13th Division: General von der Osten-Sacken - 1 E.Ldr 14th Division: General von Kameke- 1 Ldr

  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 13th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 15th Infantry Regt: 5 / 4 / 3 E
  • 55th Infantry Regt: 5 / 4 / 3 E
  • 73rd Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 39th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 53rd Infantry Regt: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 74th Infantry Regt: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 77th Infantry Regt: 5 / 4 / 3

IX Corps:

General von Manstein- 1 E.Ldr (roll for 'E' unit commanders or allocate 2)

14th Division: General von Wrengel- 1 Ldr 1st Cavalry Division (part): General von Hartmann - 1 Ldr

  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 11th Grenadier Regt: 8 / 5 / 3
  • 25th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5
  • 84th Infantry Regt: 9 / 7 / 5
  • 85th Infantry Regt: 8 / 6 / 4
  • 1 Horse Battery
  • Cavalry Brigade (Cuirassier and Dragoons - from IX Corps): 6 / 5 / 3

 

Deployment and Reinforcements

The Prussians

I Corps, 1st Division: Within 6" of Nouilly in any desired formation.

I Corps, 2nd Division: Within 6" of Noisseville in any desired formation.

I Corps, Corps Troops: Within 6" of Nouilly or Noisseville in any desired formation.

VII Corps, 13th Division: Within 6" of point 13 on the map, in any desired formation.

VII Corps, 14th Division: Within 6" of point 14 on the map, in any desired formation.

VII Corps, Corps Troops: Within 6" of point 13 or 14 on the map, in any desired formation.

IX Corps: Within 6" of point IX on the map, in any desired formation.

1st Cavalry Division: Within 6" of Peltre in any desired formation.

The French

III Corps, 1st Division: North of Colombey on the hill and within 10" of Colombey, but not within 12" of the Prussians. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

III Corps, 2nd Division: In March Column and Limbered within 6" of point 2 on the map.

III Corps, 3rd Division: Within the Bois de Borny forest. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

III Corps, 4th Division: Within 6" of point 4 on the map. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

IV Corps, 2nd Division: Within 6" of Mey but not within 12" of the Prussians. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

IV Corps, 3rd Division: Within 6" of Villers l'Orme but not within 12" of the Prussians. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

IV Corps, Cavalry Division: Within 6" of point C on the map, but not within 12" of the Prussians. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

IV Corps, Corps Troops: Within 6" of St. Julien, artillery is limbered.

1st Guard Division: Within 6" of point G on the map. Infantry in any desired formation, artillery is limbered.

II Corps, 1st Division: In March Column and Limbered within 6" of point 1 on the map.

II Corps, 2nd Division: Off table, may enter at point M from the French 16:00 turn (see Victory points). In March Column and Limbered.

Terrain

All towns, villages and woods give a -1 defensive and fire modifier.

The two forts give a -2 defensive and fire modifier to their artillery unit.

The River Moselle, in the North West corner of the map, is unfordable.

All other streams are 1" wide and are fordable by infantry and cavalry units. Artillery may only cross at bridges and where roads cross the stream.

Map

This is taken directly from Bill Haggart's excellent scenario. It is at Map .

Victory Points

For all scenarios if the Prussians control the road exits marked M, then all French units on the table count as destroyed. Except for the Withdraw option, the normal victory point schedule for Fire and Fury is used. With the exception of cavalry and light infantry units, for which victory points are awarded at half the normal rate.

Attack:

The French:

Lose 5 victory points if the 2nd Division, II Corps is brought on table.

Gain the following victory points per turn for each of the roads off the west or south of the battlefield.

At the beginning of the Prussian 16:00 phase - 4 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the Prussian 16:30 phase - 3 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the Prussian 17:00 and 17:30 phases - 2 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the Prussian 18:00 to 20:00 phases - 1 v.p per road.

The Prussians:

Gain the following victory points per turn for each of the roads off the west or south of the battlefield.

At the beginning of the French 16:00 to 18:00 phases - 1 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the French 18:30 to 19:30 phases - 2 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the French 20:00 phase - 3 v.p per road.

At the beginning of the French 20:30 phase - 4 v.p per road.

Dither:

The French:

Lose 5 victory points if the 2nd Division, II Corps is brought on table.

Gain 1 victory point for each unspent Infantry unit the French withdraw off the map at point M, including 2nd Division, II Corps.

Gain 1/2 a victory point for each unspent Chase, Cavalry or Artillery unit withdraw off the map at point M, including 2nd Division, II Corps.

The Prussians:

Gain 10 victory points for controlling the following at the end of the game - Mey, Borny, Grigy, Vallieres, Fort St. Julien and Fort Queuleu.

Withdraw:

The French:

All victory points that the French get for causing Prussian casualties are halved.

Lose 5 victory points if the 2nd Division, II Corps is brought on table.

Gain 1 victory point for each unspent Infantry unit the French withdraw off the map at point M, including 2nd Division, II Corps.

Gain 1/2 a victory point for each unspent Chase, Cavalry or Artillery unit withdraw off the map at point M, including 2nd Division, II Corps.

The Prussians:

The Prussians triple all the victory points they would get for causing French casualties.

All French units that have not withdrawn at the end of the game count as destroyed and the points are tripled.