Franco-Prussian War Battle 7

A 6mm Principles of War game which was played at Tom's house in April 2023. My thanks to Tom for supplying the photographs and text.

In today’s game the French 12th Corps with elements of the 5th Corps are facing Prussian 5th & 6th Corps from the 3rd Army. This was an encounter game where each side initially had one command deployed on each line of communication with one new command to be deployed each turn. The French lost the initiative roll and got to choose the extra possible objectives and placed them on the two road junctions and the hill on their left flank. The Prussians positioned their objectives on the road junction and the church.

The French placed the maximum 25 points to each of the two road junctions on their side of the table. They allocated their 12th corps to the central line of communication with the 5th Corps and cavalry division on the left hand line of communication. The cavalry division had orders to engage the objective hill on the right, The infantry divisions from the 5th Corps had orders to engage to beyond objective 5 on the road junction and to hold. The 2nd Division,12th Corps had orders to advance beyond objective 1, then hold. The 1st Division was to advance to the hill to their right and hold the 2nd Division's right flank. The 3rd Division had orders to advance and deploy to the 2nd Division's left.

The Prussians placed their maximum objective points on the crossroads and the church and 50 to Objective 3 on the hill on the centre line. The Prussian 5th Corps was allocated to the centre line of communication and the 6th corps to the left hand line of communication. The army commander joined the 5th Corps, 1st Division and corps artillery with orders to take objective 3. The 2nd Division with the Corps commander had orders to take objective 4 in the church leaving one regiment to occupy the objective and then to move forward to form a link with the 6th Corps. The Prussian staff officer joined the 1st Division 6th Corps and corps artillery with orders to move along the road beyond objective 2 and to hold. The 2nd Division had orders to advance through the woods and then to advance on objective 1. 

In the game, everything seems to go to plan for the Prussians. Their concentrated artillery with the C-in-C and 1st Division forces the French cavalry back from objective 3, routing two brigades in the process. The 2nd Division taking objective 4 and then deploying on the hill next to the impassable wood and their divisional artillery having the best of the artillery fire fight with their French opponents. The French 5 Corps advance along the road and deploy to hold their objective.

On the other flank the French infantry all reach their objectives and deploy, as do their Prussian opponents. Over the next few turns the Prussians use concentrated artillery fire to put pressure on the French right. Once the Infantry in the French 1st Division become shaken the Prussians infantry in the 2nd Division advance with two regiments in assault column and two in line as fire support. Although taking heavy casualties the two Prussian infantry battalions manage to force home the charge and break their French opponents.

At the end of game the French were holding their two objectives (50 points) plus 50% of their forces remaining so have 100 points. The Prussians held all three of their objectives (90 points) and had 85% of the army remaining totalling 175% giving a major victory to the Prussians.

The game seemed to go very historically, the French with low initiative being conservative with their objectives and then being outflanked by the more aggressive and manoeuvrable Prussian forces.