Friday, August 23, 2019

Franco-Prussian War Skirmish Using Bolt Action

Had a great play test using Bolt Action for a Franco Prussian War skirmish game today thanks to my buddy, James S. He also didn't show up empty-handed, but had a 6-pack of Guinness Stout to add to our discerning rules review during the game. Both sides had 8 units a piece. The Prussians having the only cannon on the battlefield and the French a "hero" who could lend his Morale value to units in his area of influence. Here are some images from the game with captions of game play as best I could recall. James chose to run the French and I ran the Prussians. We set it at 6 turns, with victory conditions being the occupation of more than half the buildings, of which there were 4 total, and/or killing off more than 50 percent of the enemy. Oh, and we were using the 1st edition rules as neither of us have the 2nd edition.
Prussian Jaegers assaulting Zouaves occupying a building. The Zouaves lost the combat and were routed out - this even after using their 2 Attacks in HTH. We actually played this out after the game, which the French won, just to see how HTH would work.
Zouaves and Chasseurs a Cheval firing upon attacking Bavarian infantry. The Chasseurs were given a -1 to hit while firing their carbines from the saddle. This was at the end of Turn 2, I think.
French Line Infantry occupying a building - which they managed to do for the entire game, even after being shot at by Prussian and Bavarian foot, as well as the Prussian 12 pounder. The -2 to hit while in hard cover was very helpful.
Unit dispositions after the end of Turn 1. Prussians advancing on the left, and French on the right. Note the tree stumps in the "wooded" areas. The area in and around the stumps were considered light cover. I found them convenient to use, particularly with multi-figure bases, as they can be moved around a bit to fit the bases.
Zieten Hussars firing upon Algerian Turcos after making an advance move. They caused a Pin, but no casualty in this turn. Litko "Disordered" markers were used for Pin markers.
End of Turn 3. French infantry occupying two of the four buildings, and also in firing line along the hedges to stop the Prussian advance.
Two Bavarian infantry squads attacking the French right. They sustained a lot casualties during the game due to the longer range of the Chassepot rifles. I gave the Chassepot a 24" range and the Dreyse Needle Gun an 18" range. In spite of this disadvantage, the Bavarians still managed to inflict a good number of casualties on the French, particularly their cavalry.
Prussian infantry sustaining a lot of fire from multiple French units. They were eventually wiped out with the French ending up occupying the building.
Another Prussian squad advancing and firing upon the French behind cover.
Zieten Hussars taking long range fire from Turcos in cover in the distance. French Line Infantry along the hedges having taken a lot of Pins from both the Hussars and Prussian foot.
French left, with their "hero" lending his Morale support. It was not enough for the French Line Infantry on the right above, as they were eventually routed off the table.

That all said, the French were victorious in this skirmish. They held more buildings at the end of Turn 6, and had a few more units left than the Prussians. It was a see-saw battle for the most part, and if I had used the cannon a bit more effectively, it may have helped turn the tide. In any case, both James and I felt these rules work excellently for this scenario. He later admitted that he initially had reservations about using Bolt Action for this period, but he quickly changed his mind. I don't plan to change this scenario for an upcoming game day at Fort Steilacoom next month. However, I may add a few more units if they arrive in time. Best wishes to you all and thanks for stopping by.

28 comments:

  1. Awesome again! Fantastic idea to use rules :)

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    1. Thanks, Michal. Love using these rules - very simple, yet enough flavor for a fast-playing and enjoyable game. Best regards, Dean

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  2. Nice to see the figures in battle, really interesting idea and period interested to see how far you go

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    1. Thanks, Matt. Yes, I was hoping the rules would work and we think they did quite well. I kept believing that since the rifles really are "bolt-action" - albeit first generation, they should. Warmest regards, Dean

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  3. While as a Bavarian I don't really feel comfortable to be labeled "Prussian" alongside with actual Prussians, I can imagine it not making much difference for anybody not involved in German tribal politics.
    Joking aside your game looks absolutely fabulous and it seems a lot of fun was had. I think BA is an excellent ruleset for use in this period and I'm looking forward to read of your further exploits.

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    1. Lol! I tried to give the Brave Bavarians their due credit whilst holding out at the bridge. They really did well considering the concentrated French forces against them. I do believe the rules worked well for this period; at least for skirmish. I may have to look for a some Bavarian cavalry to add to the mix. Warmest regards, Dean

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  4. Lovely looking game and it sounds like transporting bolt action back in time works well! Your buildings complement your excellent figures really well!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks you very much, Iain. I do believe BA worked perfectly for this skirmish scenario. Keeping the units small also worked well - kind of like platoon vs. platoon action. Best regards, Dean

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  5. An inspiring game report: makes me want to pull out my Prussians and have at it with my Danes or Austrians. I can't say I'm a fan of Bolt Action for WWII, but taking it back to the basics of rifles and a few direct fire guns might work much better. Looking forward to future reports.

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    1. Thank you very much, Ed. My buddy is sitting on the fence about picking up the Austrians from the North Star 1866 line - I told him he won't have to worry about Prussians as I'll add more if needed. :) Warmest regards, Dean

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  6. Nicely looking game, Dean. Will be interesting to see a french mitrailleuse here :)

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    1. Thanks, Dmitry. Yes, I'm anxiously awaiting Eagles of Empire to release the mitrailleuse - as well as their French Cuirassiers. Best, Dean

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  7. Great looking game and figures Dean! Hope the Guinness was good?

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    1. Thank you much, Fran! Yes, the Stout went down well with the battle. Helped ease the Prussians' late defeat; as it did their courage earlier on. :) Warmest regards, Dean

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  8. Very spectacular and intense battle! Continue to develop this interesting subject, Dean.

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    1. Thanks, Denis. I've already committed to running this game a few more times in the coming weeks. I've also ordered a few more Prussians from North Star. Kindest regards, Dean

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  9. Looks like a lot of fun, it's great to get the collection you have just been working on out on the table.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Scrivs. Yes, a nice game without needing a whole lot of figures. Kindest regards, Dean

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  10. A fabulous looking game with a great table and very nice looking figures. A very interesting use of Bolt Action, as well!

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    1. Thank you very much, Andy. I think it would work for Russo-Japanese War too - skirmish, of course. I may someday get some Russians to oppose my Old Glory RJW Japanese troops for these rules. Warm regards, Dean

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  11. Lovely game, terrain, and figures Dean. Five star. Stout is always a welcome addition to any game, although I prefer a cold lager myself! 😀

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    1. Thank you very much for the kind words, Mike. I actually had a lager too! :) Best regards, Dean

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  12. Great looking game to set off your wonderful figures. Looks like it would work well as a convention game, too!

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    1. Thanks Peter. I hadn't played Bolt Action for a few years, and have been pleasantly reminded how much fun the rules are. Great for new players and convention games, IMO. Best regards, Dean

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  13. Pardon my ignorance but in this period did the infantry also fight house-to-house battles. I'm really not well read about tactical warfare in this period and always assumed battles were fought in formations in big fields (shows you what I know!). I always placed house-to-house fighting with WW2 onward!

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    1. Sure - as far as period artwork shows - check out the Battle of Bazeilles. Best, Dean

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    1. Thanks a lot, Christopher! Appreciate the visit and nice comment. Best, Dean

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