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The Battle of Woerth, 1870

Some gamers like their games to be ‘fair’;  same number of ‘points’, same number of guns and rectangular fields because the rules say that all the world’s fields are rectangular! What happens to such players when they play games set in a period which by all accounts is ‘unbalanced’ or “broken” for the younger generation. In 1870, the Prussians have better artillery ,  and their command and control is ahead of their French adversaries. The needle gun had literally swept the gallant Austrians from the field of battle just a few years before. But, the French rifle was a nasty surprise to the Germans plus they have all the best uniforms……

We used Mike’s skillfully amended Regimental Fire and Fury rules. The amendments allow the Prussians to thicken their skirmish line whilst retaining a formed line and a reserve. The French looked nervous as the Prussians arrive at the Sauer River.

My French division hoped that the ridge would save me from the German Korps artillery. My elite light infantry would have the onerous task of holding the forested lower slopes.

My own batteries opened an effective fire on the advancing Prussians. Unfortunately this meant that John would wait for his artillery to win the battle for him, and that meant silencing all the French guns.

John was only happy to advance in the dead ground before my light infantrymen. As each German unit rose above the ridge, my rifle fire made up for our artillery weakness. Even my machine guns proved their worth. The Prussians ducked back down into the dead ground. Another furious barrage arrived and flattened my batteries.

My troops on the left were on the forward slopes of the heights. In this assault the Prussians combined artillery support with fast moving infantry. The French infantry clung on and contested the ridge.

But, John had underestimated the furia Francais. MacMahon’s zoaves raced forward on the right and restored the situation, the ridge was still held but it had been costly.  My thanks to Mike for being the perfect host! Jon’s demands for even more artillery were turned down!

Filed under: Black powder wargames, despertaferres, Hobbies, Miniature wargames, Uncategorized, Wargaming

About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. watching episodes of Peppa Pig together, and recreating great moments of military history using toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in The Collectivo Despertaferres wargames and duelling association who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse). Find me also on Facebook "Despertaferres"!

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