Monday, 22 August 2016

For what it is Worth

Paining over the last week has how shall I put it... been a little sketchy.. that was because I was dog sitting, and they took up a LOAD of time. But it was rewarding (not financially but) emotionally as I now have two extra doggie friends. And NO I will not be looking after anyone else's so don't even bother to ask!

My reward was also Spanish Chocolate.  And I do like trying chocolate from different countries.

Then of course I was at the club yesterday and peter wanted to try a set of rules "Bloody Big Battles" which are meant for some bloody big battles. Firstly let me say I really liked these rules and can see them being used for so many games.

Peter had also sorted out a game of Franco Prussian Wars. In fact it was the Battle of Worth. (Hence the post title). Here is a link to the real battle. ( Click me! ). Firstly let me say I know almost NOTHING about the battle or the war or the weapons or the troops.

 Matt was Bavarian Commander, opposite him was Bob the French commander and opposite me was Richard the other French commander. And I had the Prussians. Both Matt and Myself were given the task of 1) Holding the town of Worth and 2) taking a Hamlet close to the French start line.

And anything you read from now on is where it all goes wrong!

I had 2 Units, 1 in the Town and one being shot at by artillery in the open approaching the town. Matt also had two infantry units one camped in a hamlet on the road and one approaching the town in the open. he also had an artillery battery.

Facing Me Richard had 5 units of infantry, 1 of Cavalry and 1 of artillery. While Bob had 2 Artillery, and one of Machineguns and either 3 or 4 infantry. And remember I am under orders to attack!

As my troops were armed with needle guns (Max range 6 inches) while Matt and all the French had breech loading rifles (Max range 12 ")

The firt thing that happened is that Matt failed to activate his troops which could have made it into the town to help me. My Infantry under artillery fire were "Disrupted" And Richard sent a unit to assualyt the town and Bob sent a unit to assault the Hamlet.

Both assaults were repulsed but with casualties on both sides. And then our reinforcements start to arrive.

In Turn 2 the French lead a very strong 3 unit assault against  Worth. With only 1 unit to defend the place I was pushed out of the town and the French now held it. So I would need to get it back!

My Unit on the road also get surrounded and charged by cavalry. I do manage to beat the cavalry off, but again with losses.

 Having beaten the Cavalry off I now have the initiative. so My Infantry charge the Cavalry. I Cannot think of any real life battle in which Infantry charge cavalry and the Cavalry receive the charge. But nothing in the rules says he could not so that is what Richard decided to do.  Bravo Richard you used the rules to circumvent historical accuracy. I was expecting the Cavalry to ride out of range and thus continue my charge into the Artillery which was unlimbered and not facing towards me.

Score 1 for playing the rules and not the period or the game.(I may sound bitter about this but I think IF you are playing historical games you should play realistically!

Still I lived with the Reffs decision and did not throw my toys out of the pram. But seriously think about it what would you do sacrifice your own mess mate and friends in order to save a group of people you hardly knew at all.

Anyway in the Melee I rolled a dreaded 1 and Richard rolled a 6. I think we can all guess the result.

To the right my troops fleeing from Worth in disorder. While the French loitered about no doubt stealing Beer and chickens!

 Matt does manage an attack on the right of the Village while some of my reinforcements attack the left of the village. Again I rolled a 1 and Richard rolled a 6.

While things were bad for me Matt was also struggling and not having a 2d6 dice roll over 6. So the Right wing wing was failing to make any progress and the left wing was close to collapse.

Do not forget we are supposed to be attacking!

 Finally I get some Luck and Ruichard decides to pursue out of the town leaving it undefended. Shame I have nothing which will get in their. Matt rolls a 12 (on 2 d6) and runs out of Ammo. So has to spend the next turn sitting on his arse and not taking the fight to the French. Not his fault, you cannot beat the dice.
 My infantry on the right of the town continues to survive and is slowly getting whittled down. And then Shaken, disrupted, out of ammo (I also rolled double 6 the following turn) and just down to 2 stands decide to hold their ground.
 More reinforcements turn up for us. Perhaps too little and definitely to late. You can see to the right just how far I am pushed out of the town.
 In the last two turns though we do manage to hold our ground and start fighting back. As we now have a critical mass sufficient to focus on specific French units as opposed to the other way around.

We finished on Turn 7 of a 10 turn scenario. All our reienforcements had just arrived and More Bavarians were beginging to circle around the French position. The French had taken the fight to us and it showed, they had only 4 infantry units left and they were battle damaged. But The Prussians had failed to take any designated territory.
 If we had been able to continue for the last 3 turns (We could not other hall usurers were due to arrive) I do think we would have won. Matt had managed to circle a Grand battery, Cavalry and Infantry  behind the French and was now closing on his positions and shooting them with artillery in the rear.  The French were on so few troops their wing was due to collapse.

Overall it was a good game but with bad luck for the Prussians on the day. Tactically I would not do much different. Most (but not all) of the Prussian assaults resulted in me rolling a 1 and Richard rolling a 6 which did tend to mean I was usually fighting at a 5 point disadvantage.

But no matter how good or bad you play you can never beat the dice.
The rules worked well though and I would happily use them again.


  1. We are all slaves to the fickle dice gods mate. Very nice write up and glad you enjoyed the game.

    1. Thank you Carl. I did very much enjoy the game and the rules. They were simple and easy to understand and I think would adapt well to Colonial, Napoleonic or even WSS.

  2. Last wargame I played in saw infantry charge my cavalry, totally threw me off what I was trying to do as I'm that used to reading about infantry defending against cavalry, either with pikes or going into square. Apparently things are different in Ancients games.

    Do you know of anyone who could get you some of that chocolate from Japan? The strange flavoured type, that you would never have thought anyone would think to flavour chocolate as.

    1. Thank you Roy. I cannot think of any historical battle where infantry Charged cavalry! If you were on a horse and loads of people charged towards you. You would either evade or countercharge, in which case it counts as a cavalry charge against disordered foot. (As they are no longer formed in mass ranks.) Until rules writers acknowledge this it will always happen.

      As for Japanese Chocolate I think I MAY know someone.... there is a local guy who does import some Japanese sweets and Drinks... I will ask.

  3. An "interestng" battle, but Infantry Charging Cavalry ?
    I can't see it myself, but someone will undoubtedly find an instance of it. Nevertheless, at leats you had a game and probably a lot of fun too despite your seemingly pitiful dice rolling efforts.

    1. Thanks Joe. I recall NO TIME in History where cavalry voluntarily stood still to take a charge by infantry. But as you say some bright spark will know of one! And I should say Matt's dice were even worse than mine.

      But being positive it was a fun game and if we were to continue to turn 10 (we stopped on turn 7) I feel confident that Matts Rienforcements would have reached both objectives in time. (Matts Cavalry could reach it in a single turn from where we left the game.) But as we have both said it was an enjoyable game.

  4. Chocolate, did someone say chocolate!? Don't think I have ever tried Spanish chocolate, if you are anything like me you'll need to go back out dog walking to work off the pounds!

    1. Thank you Michael. I have now tried the chocolate. 1 Square of each bar and I is not to my taste. But a it is the thought that counts AND I really do like trying sweets and chocolate from different countries.

  5. As a chocolate connoisseur myself, nothing tastes quite as good as Cadbury's chocolate. I have tasted many chocolates but not Spanish chocolate but I'm not surprised it failed to live up to expectations. Still, as you said, it was the thought that counted.

    1. Thanks Bryan Cadburys is very good chocolate, not my personal favourite but definitely top 5. And just as Important as the thought I got to try something new, which was exciting.


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