The Battle of Gravelotte / St Privat: 18th August 1870

The battle of Mars la Tour / Vionville on the 16th of August had been a day of missed opportunities for the French. Escape to the west was now growing increasingly difficult, as the Prussian army moved to secure their grip on the roads westward. Bazaine, the French commander, therefore decided to pull back from his positions around Vionville and Rezonville. He moved back towards his base at Metz into a strong position and then sat back and waited for the Prussians to do something. The 17th was spent by both sides in skirmishing and recovering from their exertions of the previous day. On the 18th the Prussian army had completed its concentration and it marched towards the first 'set piece' battle of the war.

The Cemetry at St Privat

The purpose of this page is to provide scenario details for the Battle of Gravelotte / St Privat (18th August 1870). The scenario is for use with the Mit Blut und Eisen rules for the mid Nineteenth century European wars - Mit Blut und Eisen.

Note: The version for the old rules is here - Fire and Furia Francese scenario

 

Scale and Notes

It is possible to fight many scenarios with the information on this web page. Yet it is my opinion that only two versions of this battle are playable. Firstly you may play the historical battle in the northern sector, the Battle of St. Privat. This was the sector of the decisive action of the battle and is the most suitable as a game. The northern sector can be played either as it happened historically or it may be played with both sides having non historical reinforcements. The French Imperial Guard Corps and the Prussian X Corps were both potential reinforcements for this sector, although in the event the Prussians weren't used and the French never reached the battlefield in time to effect the battle.

In addition to the above the other sectors could be played but with the warning that they are not very playable, for the Prussians in particular, and they will not, in my opinion, make an enjoyable game. 

Alternatively you may choose to re fight the whole battle.  It is likely, as with re-fighting the other sectors, that it will not be a very enjoyable game. For this reason I have included the map, order of battle, etc needed for fighting the wider battle but I have not provided full details. If you wish to re-fight these parts of the battle you will need to work out some victory conditions to balance the game (and good luck to you if you can!)

The French player is the first player of each turn. For the battle of St Privat the game starts with the Prussian 14:00 turn and finishes with the French 21:00 turn. Otherwise the game starts with the Prussian 12:00 turn and finishes with the French 21:00 turn. There is no French 12:00 turn, 14:00 turn if playing St. Privat, or Prussian 21:00 turn. 

Orders of Battle

The French Army:

Roll for unit commanders ratings

All French infantry are armed with the Chassepot rifle (2BL) and all the artillery is all RA.

Note: You may remove all the cavalry, except the 1st Reserve Cavalry Division, if you are doing a historical refight. Only the 1st Reserve Cavalry Division was engaged in the real battle.

Northern Sector:

VI Corps: Marshal Canrobert (2)

Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries

Ammunition: 2Ammunition Wagons

1st Division: General Tixier (3)

3rd Division: General Lafont (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries
  • 9th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Pechot): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Dais): 5 / 3 / 2

  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Sonnay): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Colin): 3 / 2 / -
  • 9th Ligne Regt (from 2nd Div): 3/ 2/ -
4th Division: General Levassor-Sorval (2) 1st Reserve Cavalry Division: General du Barail (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Marguenat): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Chanaleilles): 4 / 3 / 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Chasseurs): 3 / 2 / - (+1 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Chasseurs): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)

Other Sectors:

Commander in Chief: Marshall Bazaine (2)

II Corps: General Frossard (2)

Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery

1st Division: General Verge (2)

2nd Division: General Bastoul (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 3rd Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Valaze): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Jolivet): 4 / 3 / 2

  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 12th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Pougett): 3 / - / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Fauvart-Bastoul): 4 / 3 / 2
Attached Division: General Lapasset (2) 2nd Cavalry Division: General Valabreque (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 14th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade: 4 / 3 / 2
  • 1st Brigade (Chasseurs): 4 / - / 3 (+1 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Dragoons: 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)

III Corps: Marshal Le Boeuf (1)

Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 2 Horse Batteries

1st Division: General Montaudon (2)

2nd Division: General Nayral (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 18th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Aymard): 5 / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade (Clinchant): 4 / 3 / 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 15th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Nayral): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Duplessis): 4 / 3 / 2

3rd Division: General Mettmann (1) 4th Division: General Aymard (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 7th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Potier): 5 / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade (Arnaudeau): 5 / 3/ 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 11th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Bauer): 6 / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade (Sangle-Ferrieres): 4 / 3 / 2
3rd Cavalry Division: General de Clerambault (1)  
  • 2nd Brigade (Dragoon): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 3rd Brigade (Dragoon): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)
 

IV Corps: General de Ladmirault (2)

Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery

1st Division: General de Cissey (1)

2nd Division: General Grenier (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 20th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Brayer): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Colbert): 4 / 3 / 2
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 5th Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Bellecourt): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Pradier): 5 / 4 / 3

3rd Division: General de Lorencez (2) 4th Cavalry Division: General Legrand (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 2nd Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade (Pajol): 4 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade (Berger): 5 / 4 / 3
  • 1st Brigade (Hussars): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Dragoons): 3 / 2/ -(+1 LC)

Imperial Guard Corps: General Bourbaki (3)

Corps Artillery: 2 Horse Batteries

1st Guard Division: General Deligny (1)

2nd Guard Division: General Picard (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • Guard Chasseurs: 1 base
  • 1st Garde Voltiguers Brigade:  5 / 3 / - I
  • 2nd Garde Voltiguers Brigade: 4 / 2 / - I
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery, 1 Mitrailleuse Battery
  • 1st Garde Grenadiers Brigade:  4 / 2 / - I
  • 3rd Garde Grenadiers/Zouaves Brigade: 3/ 2/ - I

Guard Cavalry Division: General Desvaux (2) 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division: General Forton (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Light): 3 / 2 / - (+2 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Dragoon/Lancer): 3 / 2 / - (+2 LC)
  • 3rd Brigade (Cuirassier): 3 / 2 / - (+3 HC)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Foot Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Dragoon): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Cuirassiers): 3 / 2 / -(+2 HC)

Army Artillery Reserve: General Canu (1)

  • 3 Foot Batteries
  • 4 Horse Batteries

 

The Prussian Army:

Roll for unit commanders ratings.

All infantry are armed with the Needle Gun (NG) and the artillery are BLA

Note: You may remove all the cavalry, except the 1st Cavalry Division, if you are doing a historical refight. Only the 1st Cavalry Division was engaged in the real battle.

Northern Sector:

II Army Commander: Crown Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia (2) (see 'Special Rules' below)

Guard Corps: Prince Augustus von Wurtemberg (1)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry (Guard Hussar and 2nd Guard Uhlan Regts): 3 / 2 / - (+2 LC)

1st Division: General von Pape (2)

2nd Division: General von Budritzki (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • Guard Jager Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Foot Guard Brigade: 6 / 4 / 2
  • 2nd Foot Guard Brigade: 7 / 5 / 2
  • Guard Fusilier Regt: 3 / 2/ -
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • Guard Schutzen Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Grenadier Guard Brigade: 6 / 4 / 2
  • 2nd Grenadier Guard Brigade: 7 / 5 / 2

Guard Cavalry Division: General von der Goltz (2)  
  • 1st Guard Cavalry Brigade (Cuirassiers): 4 / 2 / - (+3 HC)
  • 2nd Guard Cavalry Brigade (Uhlans): 4 / 2 / -(+2 LC)
  • 3rd Guard Cavalry Brigade (Dragoons): 3 / 2 / - (+2 LC)
 

X Corps: General von Voights (3) - see Special Rules below

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery.
  • Colonel Caprivi (Staff Officer)
  • 10th Jager Btn: 1 base
  • Corps Cavalry (Dragoons): - / 3 / 2 (LC)

19th Division: General von der Osten-Sacken (2)

20th Division: General von Kraatz-Koschlau (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 1st Brigade: - / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: - / 4 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 1st Brigade: - / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: - / 6 / 4

XII (Saxon) Corps: H.R.H Crown Prince of Saxony (2)

  • Corps Artillery: 3 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry Brigade (Reiters): 3 / - / 2 (LC)

23rd (Saxon) Division: H.R.H Prince George of Saxony - (2)

24th (Saxon) Division: General von Holderburg (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 1st Saxon Brigade: 7 / 5 / 3 
  • 2nd Saxon Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4
  • Saxon Schutzen Regt: 3/ 2/ - or 1 L base
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 1st Saxon Jager: 1 L base
  • 2nd Saxon Jager: 1 L base
  • 3rd Saxon Infantry Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4
  • 4th Saxon Infantry Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4

12th (Saxon) Cavalry Division: Count Lippe (1) 5th Cavalry Division: General von Rheinbaben (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse battery.
  • 23rd (Saxon) Cavalry Brigade (Guard/Uhlans): 3 / 2 / - (+2 HC)
  • 24th (Saxon) Cavalry Brigade (Reiters/Uhlans): 3 / - / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 1 Horse Battery
  • 11th Cavalry Brigade (Mixed): 4  / 3  / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 12th Cavalry Brigade (Mixed): 3 / 2 / -  (+1 LC)
  • 13th Cavalry Brigade (Hussars): 4 / - / 3 (LC)

Other Sectors:

I Army Commander: General von Steinmetz (0) (see 'Special rules' below)

II Corps: General von Fransecky (2)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry Brigade (Dragoons): 3 / 2 / - (LC)

3rd Division: General von Hartmann (3)

4th Division: General von Weyham (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 2nd Jager Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade: 6 / 4 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 1st Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3

VII Corps: General von Zastrow (2)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry Brigade (Hussars): 3 / - / 2 (LC)

13th Division: General von Glumer (2)

14th Division: General von Kamecke (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 7th Jager Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 1st Brigade: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3

VIII Corps: General von Goeben (2)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry Brigade (Hussars): 3 / - / 2 (LC)

15th Division: General von Weltzien (2)

16th Division: General von Barnekow (1)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 8th Jager Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 1st Brigade:5 / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3

1st Cavalry Division: General von Hartmann (1)  
   
  • Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery
  • 1st Brigade (Mixed): 4 / 3 / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 2nd Brigade (Mixed): 4 / 3 / 2 (+1 LC)
 

III Corps: General von Alvensleben (4) - see Special Rules below

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1 Staff Officer
  • Corps Cavalry ( Dragoons): - / 3 / 2 (LC)

5th Division: General von Stulpnagel (2)

6th Division: General von Buddenbrock (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries
  • 3rd Jager Btn: 1 base
  • 1st Brigade: - / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Brigade: - / 4 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries.
  • 1st Brigade: - / 4 / 3
  • 2nd Brigade: - / 4 / 3

IX Corps: General von Manstein (2)

  • Corps Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries
  • 1 Staff Officer

18th Division: General von Wrangel (2)

25th (Hesse) Division: Prince Louis of Hesse (2)
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot Batteries
  • 1st Brigade: 7 / 5 / 4
  • 2nd Brigade: 6 / 5 / 3
  • Divisional Artillery: 2 Foot batteries, 1 Horse Battery
  • 1st Hessian Jager: 1 base
  • 2nd Hessian Jager: 1 base
  • 1st Hessian Brigade: 5 / 3 / 2
  • 2nd Hessian Brigade: 5 / 4 / 3
  • 25th Cavalry Brigade (Reiters/Dragoons): 5 / 4 / 3 (LC)

6th Cavalry Division: H.H Duke Wilhelm of Mecklenburg - Schwerin (2)  
  • 14th Cavalry Brigade (Mixed): 4  / 3  / 2 (+1 LC)
  • 15th Cavalry Brigade (Hussars): 3 / - / 2 (LC)
 

Deployment and Reinforcements:

French Deployment:

All French infantry units have the option to deploy at the start 'Lying down'.

VI Corps:

In Roncour (D2/E2): 9th Ligne Regt in Line facing north

Between Roncourt and St Privat (D4), on the high ground: 1st Brigade (Sonnay), 3rd Division, 3rd Division artillery and the artillery of the 1st Division. The infantry are in Line and approximately facing north west. Artillery is deployed. The 1st Division artillery is next to St. Privat. 

2nd Brigade (Colin), 3rd Division is detached from the command in Ste Marie aux Clms, square A3.

Around St. Privat in squares D4 and E4 or north of the diagonal road in D5 and E5: 1st Division minus the artillery. Deployed in any desired formation and facing anywhere through west to north west.

South of St. Privat and no lower than row 5, on the high ground: 5th Division and the Corps Artillery. The artillery is deployed and the infantry in Line, in 2 lines and facing west.

1st Reserve Cavalry Division.

In squares E4 and E5:  Artillery is limbered and the cavalry may be in any desired formation, facing west.

Note: The above forces are all you need for the St. Privat scenario, except for possible reinforcements from the Imperial Guard and others (see scenario notes).

IV Corps

In squares D6 and E6: 1st Division. Artillery is deployed and infantry is Line or Skirmish formation facing west.

In squares D7 and D8: 2nd Division and the Corps Artillery. The artillery is deployed and the infantry are in Line or Skirmish facing from west to south west.

In squares E8 and F8, within 3" of the road that exits in square F10: 3rd Division and 4th Cavalry Division. All units are in March Column or Limbered.

III Corps.

All infantry, artillery and mitrailleuse units in this Corps that are not deployed in a built up area are in entrenchments. See 'Terrain: Entrenchments' and 'Special rules: French Entrenchments'.

Between La Folie and north of Leipzig, on the high ground: 1st Division. Artillery is deployed and infantry are in Line or Skirmish.

Between Leipzig and Moscou and on the high ground: The Corps Artillery, 2nd and 3rd Divisions. All artillery is deployed and the infantry is in Line, Supported Line or Skirmish formations. All units can face from north west to south west.

3rd Cavalry Division: In any desired formation 6" to 12" behind the Corps Artillery, 2nd or 3rd Divisions.

In squares C12 and D12 on the level 2 hills and in St. Hubert: 4th Division. The artillery is deployed and the infantry in Line or Skirmish formation. Units are facing from north west to south west.

II Corps.

All infantry, artillery and mitrailleuse units in this Corps that are not deployed in a built up area are in entrenchments. See 'Special rules: Entrenchments'.

In squares D13, D14, E13 and E14, on the high ground and west of Rozerieulles: The Corps Artillery, 1st and 2nd Divisions. The artillery is deployed and the infantry are in Line or Skirmish formation. Units can face from west to south.

In squares E14 and F14: The Attached Division. The artillery is deployed and the infantry are in Line or Skirmish formation. Units can face from west to south.

In square F12: 2nd Cavalry Division. All units are in March Column or Limbered.

French Reinforcements:

17:30 2 Ammunition Wagons from the reserve artillery arrive at VI Corps. Place them within 6" of VI Corps Commander.

The other French reinforcements are not used in historical scenarios as they were not used in the historical battle. If playing a 'What if' battle then the following units are also available as reinforcement; The Imperial Guard Corps, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division and the Army Artillery Reserve. See scenarios below for more details.

 

Prussian Deployment:

VII Corps

13th Division (S): 1st Brigade, 7th Jagers and 1 battery; in squares D16 and E16 and west of the river. The units are deployed in any desired formation.

2nd Brigade, 1 battery; in squares B16 and C16 and east of the river. The units are deployed in any desired formation.

14th Division, Corps Commander and Corps troops (S): Deployed in March Column or Limbered in squares A16 and B16.

VIII Corps

I Army Commander and all of the Corps artillery (S) (a total of 7 batteries): On the level one hill in squares B12 and B13 in any desired formation.

16th Division, Corps Commander and Corps Troops (S) (except the artillery): In squares A12 and A13 in any desired formation.

15th Division (S) (except the artillery): In square A11 in any desired formation.

IX Corps

Corps Commander, Corps Staff Officer and all of the Corps artillery (C) (7 batteries): In squares B7 and B8, north of the road and not on the hill. The artillery are limbered.

Prussian Reinforcements

The information in italics is for use when designing your own 'what if' games and gives you an indication of when units were available as reinforcements. Of course there should be then some sort of delay built in before the unit can arrive - a dice roll?

12:30 (S) In square A11:1st Cavalry Division in March Column or Limbered.

13:00 (C) In square A7 or A8: 1st Hessian Brigade, 1st Hessian Jager Btn, 1 battery and Prince Louis of Hesse (all from 25th Hessian Division) in any desired formation.

(C) In square A9: 18th Infantry Division, minus the artillery, in any desired formation.

13:30 (C) In square A7 or A8: 2nd Hessian Jager Btn, 2nd Hessian Brigade and 1 battery (all from 25th Hessian Division) in any desired formation.

(C) In square A8 or A9: All 7 batteries of III Corps artillery and III Corps Staff Officer.

14:00 (N) II Army Commander and all of the Prussian Guard Corps except the Cavalry Division and the units below. In square A5 in any desired formation.

(C or N)1 battery, 2nd Grenadier Guard Brigade in square A6 in any desired formation. These units count as attached to IX Corps if they fight in the central area.

(C) In square A8 or A9: 25th Cavalry Brigade and 1 horse battery, 25th Hessian Division in any desired formation.

(C) In square A8 or A9: From now on III Corps and 6th Cavalry Division can arrive in squares A7 to A9.

14:30 (N) 24th Division Commander, 12th Jager Btn, 3 Foot Batteries from the Corps artillery, 12th Corps Staff Officer and 3rd Saxon Infantry Brigade, 24th Division. In any desired formation from the west in square A1. These units may exit off the table to the west and re enter the table later with the rest of their corps if desired.

(N) All of X Corps, the Guard Cavalry Division and the 5th cavalry Division can arrive in squares A5 and A6 from now on.

16:00 (N) X Corps Staff Officer and the X Corps Artillery in squares A3 to A6.

17:30 (N) If the 14:30 reinforcements have not exited the table, see above. The rest of 24th Division in March Column or Limbered in squares B1 and C1. Otherwise the whole of 24th Division appears here.

(N) In Squares D1 and E1 the remainder of 12th (Saxon) Corps, not mentioned above, in March Column or Limbered.

18:00(S) In square A13: II Corps in March Column or Limbered.

(N) In squares C1 or D1 the 12th (Saxon) Cavalry Division in March Column or limbered.

Terrain

1 square is 6 base widths wide.

Key to Built up areas:
C1 & D1
Montois
D2, D3, E2 & E3
Roncourt
A3
St. Marie aux Clms
A4
St. Ail
D4
St. Privat
E5
Marengo
A6
Habonville
D7
Amanvillers
A8
Verneville
B8
Champenois
B8, B9, C8 & C9
Envie
D8
Montigny
B9
Chantreine
D9
La Folie
D10
Leipzig
A11
Malmaison
D11
Moscou
A12, A13, B12 & B13
Gravelotte
C12
St. Hubert
D13
Point du Jour
E14
Rozerieulles
E14 & E15
Jussy
F14
St. Ruttine
E15
Vaux

Light Woods: Units within light woods do not receive any combat modifiers. Movement is at 3/4 speed through light woods. Light woods block line of sight as normal woods.

Woods: As in the standard rules.

Hills Level 1: As in the standard rules.

Hills Level 2: Level 2 hills are in most aspects treated the same as in the standard rules. Units on Level 2 hills can though see into woods that are on ground level or level 1. Any fire into such units will still get any combat modifiers applicable but they do not block line of sight for units on level 2 hills. In addition units gain an additional 4" to their maximum range when firing from a level 2 hill down onto a ground or level 1 target.

Built Up Area: Generally as in the standard rules. The following built up areas though receive a -2 fire and melee modifier. 

Roncourt, St. Marie aux Clms, St. Privat, Amanville, Montigny, La Folie, Leipzig, Moscou, St. Hubert, Point du Jour and Rozerieulles.

Many of the villages of the area had a large number of stone houses and in addition the French army had prepared these for defence.

River / Stream: River E16 to F15 is unfordable and no unit may cross it during the game. Stream B10 to C16 is a 1" wide stream but it located in a deep gorge and very difficult to cross. It is impassable by artillery and mounted troops. It costs infantry 12" movement to cross and it must be accomplished in one turn. Therefore an infantry unit must be next to this stream at the beginning of it's move to attempt to cross. Then it must obtain a full move to cross to the other side of the stream. If the unit is not in skirmish formation a Disorder marker is placed on the unit.

Road to the east of Gravelotte: The road to the east that goes through the woods and across the stream has a gap either side of it. This gap is wide enough for a two stand wide to travel through the difficult along this road at normal speed. To gain the benefit of actual moving along the road, and the greater movement allowance that this brings, the unit must still be in March Column formation.

Entrenchments: Some of the French units are deployed in entrenchments. These confer a -2 fire and close combat modifier in addition to any others that might apply. In addition to this units may 'take cover' within their entrenchments. Treat this as if the unit was 'Prone' for moving. Such units receive a -4 modifier in fire combat from units which are not firing from level 2 hills. They give a +2 in melee combat, -2 for the entrenchment but +4 for lying down. In addition such units may not fire until they have 'stood up'. See also French Entrenchments.

Special Rules

Ammunition Wagons: One of the contributing factors in this battle was the shortage of French artillery ammunition in this sector. For this reason ammunition wagons are used in the battle of St. Privat. When artillery batteries of the French VI Corps obtain an 'Out of Ammo' result they do not use the normal procedure to replenish their ammunition. 

They still must withdraw, as outlined in the rules. In addition though they must end their movement in contact with an ammunition wagon. They may then replenish their ammunition but the ammunition wagon is removed from play. If no ammunition wagon is available then the artillery may NOT replenish it's ammunition. It can, of course, still fire at short range, up to 4", as outlined in the rules. Ammunition wagons move as artillery and may be captured or destroyed in charges in a similar manner to artillery. Ammunition wagons may also be destroyed by fire but may only be targeted if they are the only possible target for a unit.

French Entrenchments: The two French Corps that had entrenchments did not simply have one set of them, they had a whole network. To simulate this without defining numerous positions I suggest the following, although of course there is nothing stopping you plotting them if you desire. 

Each French unit is given two 'entrenchment' markers, a strip of card with a direction arrow on it. One of these is placed in front of the unit when it is deployed and it leaves it in place when the unit moves. In any subsequent move a unit may declare itself in another entrenched position and place the second marker in front of its position. It can only do so if it is on a hill and within 12" of its previous position. If it moves again it leaves the marker behind. Any unit may 'occupy' an entrenchment marker that does not have an 'occupier' as long as it faces in the direction of the arrow on the marker.

Army Commanders: The Prussians have two army commanders in this game. These may command any unit on the table and thus may 'place' any artillery they wish to. In addition they may provide a plus, if they are eligible to do so, on the Manoeuvre Table as long as they are within 3" of the unit testing. They may not attach to a unit. 

Prussian III and X Corps: These two Corps had been heavily engaged at the battle of Mars la Tour / Vionville two days before. They were still very exhausted from this and except for some of their artillery were not engaged in the historical battle. They may though participate in 'What if' battles but all units stat the battle as 'Worn'.

French 1st Division, IV Corps: The units of this formation were in the central sector but in position where they could fire into the northern sector. When playing a northern sector scenario, the battle of St Privat, some fire from this division can be used by the French player. 

All fire from this unit is measured from the point where the level 1 hill leaves the table in square C5. If any Prussian units are within 8"  of this point they may be hit by 2D6+3 fire points of small arms fire. In addition each fire phase the French player rolls a D6 to see if an artillery battery can fire. On a roll of a 1 or a 2 it can't otherwise it can. It too measures the range from the point where the level 1 hill leaves the table in square C5. It then adds 8" to this to determine the number of fire points available. Any off table fire points can be adjusted as normal, i.e. for flanking fire, formation, etc. Also they can be used in combination with fire points from on table units.

So for example the French player decides to fire the of table artillery at a Prussian unit that he thinks is close enough to the fire position. First of all he rolls a D6 to see if the artillery is available, he rolls a 3 and it is. Then he measures the range to the target from the fire position and finds it is 19". Normally this would be the 16" to 24" fire bracket but because he must add 8" to the on table range this gives a range of 27" and he uses 4fire points. 

The next Prussian phase the Prussian player moves his unit within 8" of these units fire position. During the French defensive fire phase the French player decides to fire at it with the off table battery and any available small arms. First he rolls a D6 to see if the artillery is available, he rolls a 1 and it isn't available. Next he rolls another D6 to find out how many small arms fire points are available. He rolls a 5 and adds 3giving a total of 8fire points he can use against the target, or indeed targets.

If you are not playing the battle of St Privat then the reverse is done for this unit. Each turn it must roll a D6 for its artillery to be available in this sector, on a 1 or 2 it is. If any Prussian unit is within 12" of any unit of this division then all the units are available to fire in this sector. Also the units in this division are not allowed to move more than 8" from their original position.

3rd Guards Brigade: These units, 1 battery, 2nd Grenadier Guard Brigade, are part of the Guards Corps but they were sent south to aid IX Corps during the historical battle. They can fight in either the Northern or Central sector and have an impact on both. If you are re fighting the battle for the northern sector, St Privat, the Prussian player decides where they will be deployed. 

He may decide to use them on table in the northern sector. In which case they arrive with the rest of the Guards Corps in square A5. Alternatively he can use them off table in the central sector, i.e. they are not actually used in the game. If this option is chosen then the Prussian player can stop the off table fire from the French 1st Division, IV Corps (see above). For three whole turns, 3 Prussian phases and 3 French phases, he can declare that this unit is mounting a diversionary attack on the French 1st Division, IV Corps. 

This means that form this 3 turns this unit may not fire from off table. The turns that they can't fire must be consecutive. In the historical scenario these turns must be either the 16:30, 17:00 and 17:30 turns or the 17:00, 17:30 and 18:00. In the 'What if' scenario the Prussian player can chose when he wants the 3 turns to start.

Also if the Prussian player commits these units he will lose 2 victory points that he will receive for using them off table.

Scenarios:

Recommended Scenarios: These should provide balanced and enjoyable games.

St Privat (Historical): 

This scenario covers the historical battle in the northern sector of the French line that was mainly held by the French VI Corps.

Terrain used: This scenario uses the terrain in rows 1 through to 5.

Start time: 14:00 Prussian Phase

Finish time: 21:00 French Phase

French forces used: VI Corps, 1st Reserve Cavalry Division and two ammunition wagons, i.e. all those units marked with a (N) above. The artillery of the 1st Division., IV Corps is represented abstractly in the game.

Prussian forces used: II Army Commander, Guard Corps, XII Corps, X Corps Staff Officer and the X Corps Artillery, i.e. all those units marked with a (N) above.

Special rules used: 'Ammunition Wagons', 'Army Commanders', '3rd Guards Brigade', '1st Division, IV Corps' and 'Prussian III and X Corps'.

Victory Conditions: The normal victory points schedule is used. In addition the following scenario specific victory conditions apply.

The French

10 v.p's for control of Roncourt at the end of the game

10 v.p's for control of St Privat at the end of the game

15 v.p's for control of St Marie aux Clms at the end of the game

5 v.p's for control of Marengo at the end of the game

1 v.p per turn at the beginning of each French phase that the French control St Marie aux Clms

1 v.p per turn if there are no Prussian units within 12" of the level 1 hill the French deploy on. At the start of the French phase, for the 16:30 and 17:00 turns.

2 v.p's per turn if there are no Prussian units within 12" of the level 1 hill the French deploy on. At the start of the French phase, for the 17:30 and 18:00 turns.

3 v.p's per turn if there are no Prussian units within 12" of the level 1 hill the French deploy on. At the start of the French phase, for the 18:30 and 19:00 turns.

The Prussians

5 v.p's for control of Roncourt at the end of the game

10 v.p's for control of St Privat at the end of the game

5 v.p's for control of St Marie aux Clms at the end of the game

15 v.p's for control of Marengo at the end of the game

2 v.p's if the 3rd Guards Brigade is not used on table in the scenario

 

St Privat (What If)

This scenario is similar to the above but with the addition that other forces which could have been committed to the battle are available.

Terrain used: This scenario uses the terrain in rows 1 through to 5.

Start time: 14:00 Prussian Phase

Finish time: 21:00 French Phase

French forces used: As above, in addition the Imperial Guard Corps, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division and the Army Artillery Reserve may arrive as reinforcements.

Prussian forces used: As above but all of X Corps is available along with the Guard and 5th Cavalry Divisions as possible reinforcements.

Special rules used: 'Army Commanders', '3rd Guards Brigade', '1st Division, IV Corps' and 'Prussian III and X Corps'.

'Ammunition Wagons' is also in effect, although with modifications. The 'Ammunition Wagons' that arrive with with the Imperial Guard Corps are used as outline in the rules above. But once the Army Artillery Reserve is on table this rule may be ignored. They bring with them enough ammunition to supply the needs of VI Corps and the normal rules apply from then on.

French Reinforcements: The French reinforcements can either be already arriving when the battle starts or the French player can roll for them to arrive during the game.

Whenever the reinforcements arrive they arrive in four groups. Group 1 is The Imperial Guard Corps Commander,  the 2nd Guard Division and 2 Ammunition Wagons. Group 2 is the 1st Guard Division and the Imperial Guard Corps Artillery. Group 3 is the Imperial Guard Cavalry Division and the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division. Finally Group 4 is the French Army Artillery Reserve.

If the French player chooses to have the reinforcements already arriving then the Prussian player receives 5 victory points. In addition Group 1 of the French reinforcements is placed on the table in square D5 at the beginning of the game and before the Prussian player deploys. They are in March column or limbered and must be placed within 6" of where the road exits the southern end of the table. He may then chose to rolls a D6 to see if he gets an additional move with the reinforcements. If he rolls a 3, 4, 5 or 6 then the Group 1 troops may make one move before the battle starts.  Also Group 2 are placed on the table with the same restrictions as above. Then the French player may chose to roll a D6 again and if they get a 3, 4, 5 or 6 both the on table groups may move again, while Group 3 is placed on the table. Finally a third roll may be made which if successful allows the on table groups to move again and the fourth group to be deployed on table.

In the above procedure all units have a full move they don't need to roll for it but no unit may move off the level 1 hill they start on. If at any time a 1 or 2 is rolled then the procedure is halted. Also in the event of all the rolls being successful no more than 3 rolls may be made. Lastly for each additional move the French player receives the Prussian player receives 1 victory point. If the process is halted by the dice roll the other reinforcements will appear in square D5 and will march on to table from the southern edge. One group will appear in each French movement phase and in numerical order.

Alternatively the French player may elect to roll for his reinforcements instead. The primary advantage with this is that there is no victory point penalty but the arrival of reinforcements is uncertain. At the beginning of each French phase the French player rolls a D10. On the 14:30 turn he requires a 10 for the reinforcements to arrive. He requires an 9 or higher on the 15:00 turn and a 7 or higher on subsequent turns. If the French player successfully rolls for the arrival of reinforcements then during the French movement phase the Group 1 reinforcements appear in March Column or limbered from the southern edge of square D5. In each subsequent French movement phase the next, in numerical order, French group arrives.

Prussian Reinforcements: In addition to the normal reinforcements received, see the reinforcement schedule above, the Prussians can receive other units. Starting with the turn after French reinforcements arrive, or the 14:30 turn if they are on table at the start of the game, the Prussians roll for reinforcements at the beginning of their phase. They roll 3 ten sided dice, one each for X Corps, the 5th Cavalry Division and the Prussian Guard Division. The first time they roll they need a 10 for X Corps, a 9 or 10 for the 5th Cavalry Division and an 8, 9 or 10 for the Guard Cavalry Division. On each subsequent turn this number is reduced by 1, but can never be less than 6 or more. So on the third attempt the Prussian player will need 8 or more for X Corps, 7 or more for the 5th Cavalry Division and 6 or more for the Guards Cavalry division.

When a formation successfully rolls for arrival it can march on from the western table edge into squares A3, A4 or A5. Units arrive in March column or Limbered and may not arrive with 12" of any French units. The Cavalry divisions each arrive in just one phase but X Corps arrives over three phases. On the first phase following a successful roll for arrival the Corps Commander, Corps Staff Officer and all the artillery of the Corps (7 batteries) arrive. On the next Prussian phase one division of the Prussian player choice and the Corps Jager unit arrives, followed on the next phase by the other infantry division.

Victory Conditions: The normal 'Fire and Fury' victory points schedule is used, as modified under the European and 1870 modifications. In addition the following scenario specific victory conditions apply.

The French

5 v.p's for control of St Marie aux Clms at the end of the game

5 v.p's for control of Montois at the end of the game

5 v.p's for control of St Ail at the end of the game

10 v.p's for control of any two of the above at the end of the game

20 v.p's for control of any two of the above at the end of the game

The Prussians

5 v.p's for control of Roncourt at the end of the game

5 v.p's for control of St Privat at the end of the game

10 v.p's for control of Marengo at the end of the game

10 v.p's for control of any two of the above at the end of the game

20 v.p's for control of any two of the above at the end of the game

5 v.p's if the French deploy their reinforcements at the start of the game.

+1 v.p per move the French reinforcements make before the game.

Optional Scenarios:

These are only really guidelines for if you wish to re fight these parts of the battle. It is very difficult or nearly impossible to recreate the battles and make them balanced and interesting to play for both sides. As I mentioned above these scenarios are likely to be very frustrating for the Prussian player and should only be attempted with some thought. This is particularly so if an historical game is to be played. For the Prussians the central and southern sectors are just not good to play historically.

I hope at sometime in the future to perhaps explore some of the 'what ifs' below in more detail but I just don't have the time at the moment. So please feel free to contact me at nick@wfgamers.org.uk if you would like some further advice about these scenarios. 

The Centre

Terrain used: This scenario uses the terrain in rows 6 through to 10.

Start time: 12:00 Prussian Phase

Finish time: 21:00 French Phase

French forces used: IV Corps, half of III Corps artillery, 1st and 2nd Division, III Corps and the 3rd Cavalry Division. 

In addition the Imperial Guard Corps, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division and the Army Artillery Reserve may arrive as reinforcements if you are playing a 'what if' scenario. Although unless playing a 'What if' battle this would definitely be a case of 'kicking a man when he is down'.

Prussian forces used:  IX Corps,  all 7 batteries of III Corps artillery and III Corps Staff Officer. The rest of III Corps and the 6th Cavalry Divisions are available as reinforcements in 'what if' games.

Special rules used: 'French Entrenchments', '3rd Guards Brigade', '1st Division, IV Corps' and 'Prussian III and X Corps'.

Scenario Suggestions: Historical: This is likely to be a big none event historically. The French should get big victory points for staying where they are and the Prussians are nowhere near strong enough to attack.

What ifs: Here the victory points for terrain should be in favour of the Prussians. They should get big points for holding objectives in column C or further east and points for holding objectives in columns A and B. The Prussians should be able to call on their off table reserves, the rest of III Corps and the 6th Cavalry Divisions, on any turn after the French have left the hills. They should do so in a similar manner as in the St Privat what If scenario.

The French could also commit some or all of their reserve here but that will make things very hard for the Prussians. So make the French pay big points for using the reserve, use the idea from St Privat but make it twice as expensive. Similarly the terrain victory points will hae to be heavily in the Prussians favour.

 

I Prussian Army in the South

Terrain used: This scenario uses the terrain in rows 11 through to 16.

Start time: 12:00 Prussian Phase

Finish time: 21:00 French Phase

French forces used: II Corps, half of the III Corps artillery, 3rd and 4th Divisions of III Corps. In addition the Imperial Guard Corps, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division and the Army Artillery Reserve may arrive as reinforcements if you are playing a 'what if' scenario..

Prussian forces used: I Army Commander, II Corps, VII Corps, VIII Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division.

Special rules used: 'French Entrenchments' and 'Army Commanders'.

Scenario Suggestions: Historical: This is a very similar situation to in the centre, see above. the only difference is that there should be some incentive for the Prussians to attack. Perhaps using Steinmetz to randomly go to formation commanders and make them advance in some way. With an incentive for the Prussian to advance they get massacred, without it you get stalemate!

What ifs: Again there is some scope for some good 'what if' games here. The Prussians would receive victory points for each turn that the could keep units near the original French position / north or east of the stream. This would encourage them to advance and take the fight to the French but not go crazy. The French would receive victory points for capturing objectives in the south and west by the end of the game. Once again the French Reserve could be used here, use the same arrangements as above. Victory points cost as St Privat, increase the Prussian victory points for being forward and decrease the French for capturing Prussian held terrain.

 

Gravelotte / St Privat

Terrain used: This scenario uses all the terrain.

Start time: 12:00 Prussian Phase

Finish time: 21:00 French Phase

French forces used: All except the Imperial Guard Corps, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division and the Army Artillery Reserve. These units may be used if you are playing a 'what if' scenario. You may remove all the cavalry, except the 1st Reserve Cavalry Division, if you are doing a historical refight. Only the 1st Reserve Cavalry Division was engaged in the real battle.

Prussian forces used: All the above except that only all 7 batteries of III Corps artillery and III Corps Staff Officer are used in a historical re fight. Similarly only X Corps Staff Officer and the X Corps Artillery are used from X Corps in historical scenarios. You may remove all the cavalry, except the 1st Cavalry Division, if you are doing a historical re fight. Only the 1st Cavalry Division was engaged in the real battle.

Special rules used: All

Scenario Suggestions: Historical: This is maybe not as bad as the previous two scenarios historically. The French should get big points if they hold the line all across the table. But only small points for holding individual locations if there is a 'breakthrough' somewhere. The Prussians should get the opposite, big points for a 'breakthrough', etc. It should be made very clear to the Prussian players in the Centre and South that there job is to pin down as many French as possible. Even if this means 'dying' in large numbers. Player using these commands should get double points for causing French casualties and half points for their own, or something similar.

What ifs: The most obvious 'what if' to do with the whole battle is to just play the game without many of the historical restrictions. I would recommend that fewer player be used than would be normal. That way if a sector 'bogs down', as is likely,  the players will still be able to actively play with other forces. 

Another alternative would be to allow one, or both sides, a freer deployment. The French being free to deploy their forces anywhere in their historical deployment. While the Prussians could assign any of there forces to any of the sectors. If this is tried I would assume that forces can get to their deployment sector at 11:00 for the southern sector. 12:00 for the Central sector. 14:00 for the western edge of the northern sector and 17:30 for the northern edge. Then have a dice roll for delay and include a modifier for numbers, say an 9 or 10 on a D10 with a +1 for each Infantry Corps or two Cavalry Divisions marching to the sector. Units in reserve can be behind others which would mean that they will arrive after the leading unit and probably at a random time, use the same idea as in the 'what ifs' above.

I hope you enjoy playing the scenarios. If you have any comments, criticisms or would just like to let me know how your games went, then please contact me at nick@wfgames.org.uk