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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Napoleonic Battle French vs. Prussians - General de Brigade rules

By Joe Moore and Eric Lauterbach

 Friday we got together and played the General de Brigade rules for Napoleonics in 15mm with French and Prussians.  Joe's figures are painted for the 1813-1815 period and we conducted a French positional defense of a crossroads against a Prussian attack.  The French had a mix of four infantry battalions, two artillery batteries and two cavalry regiments in two brigades, and the Prussians had six infantry battalions of varying quality from line through Landwehr, two artillery batteries and two squadrons of light horse.

GdB is organized at the battalion/squadron/battery level.  Infantry battalions usually have between 24 and 40 figures to the unit, while cavalry squadrons are anywhere from 12-48 figures in size.  Gun sections are represented by a gun representing two actual field pieces.  Units are given orders to assault, engage, hold, or withdraw (among others) and can only perform certain things within the confines of their orders.  Commanders are represented and affect morale, melee, and orders change.  The sequence of play is determine initiative, conduct compulsory moves from last turn (retreats/routs for example),change orders, declare charges, move fire, melee, and check morale. Since the rules are fairly new to us we decided on a meeting engagement to give it good test. The French are moving down the road when the Prussians show up to cut the road and take the village.

Prussian Lancers

The Prussain Infantry

Attack of the Band uniforms!  French in overcoats the only way to go.

The French Cavalry return to the village when the Prussians arrive.

The French at the end of the column.

The French army strung out on the road.

Oh.. no the Prussians are attacking!

The Prussians advance to cut the road.

French Battalion

Turn one the French move the cavalry 

Long range cannon and musket fire.

The French foot artllery batteries deploy

Horse battery continues its long range fire killing a few.

As the Prussians advance the French Dragoons and Hussars prepare to charge.

Prussians advance.

Landwehr Uber Alles!!

You cannot stop men who wish to be free!! Advance!!

French Horse Battery softening them up.

The Prussians advance and fire.

The landwehr wisely go to square.

The Musketeers Battalion fail their form square roll this could be bad.

The Dragoons charge home!

The battle is desperate

The Prussians shoot a few horsemen on the way in.

The Prussians press the attack on the village.

The Prussian Battalion is crushed by the Cavalry

The infantry is ridden down.

The Dragoons are well handled and obey the recall order...the Hussars not so much as they continue into a square.

The Prussian squares hold.

The Prussian infantry attack is getting hot for the French

The French are outflanked and a Battalion breaks off and runs.

Prussian Lancers attack a French square

The Lancers bounce.

With Lancers about to charge the guns the gunners seek shelter in the square.

Prussians press the village hard.

French Hussars battle the square to no avail.

French attack column counter-attacks.

The Lancers charge again!

The lines are getting confused 

The French seam to be holding.

The Prussian attack has been pushed back.

The Prussians fall back to regroup.

The Prussian attack was slowed by artillery fire and cavalry charges that stalled their left wing advance, and on the right a lone French legere battalion that went into square stymied the efforts of two squadrons of light cavalry. But the cavalry did manage to silence a French gun battery that found protection within the square.  Prussian losses mounted to the point where further attacks were pointless, but the French defenders had likewise been worn heavily by the engagement.

The rules feel right for the period and have a fairly intuitive aspect that makes them relatively easy to apply.  A single person can handle about a brigade of troops given the need for orders and the number of figures to be move turn to turn.  It's a good system.

Big thanks to Joe Moore for all his beautiful figures and showing me how to play!

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