Sunday, March 20, 2011


The latest Saturday afternoon game actually took place on Sunday because of a clash with Millie’s birthday.

Our game was a first attempt at playing 19th Century Principles of War. As my Franco-Prussian War armies aren’t properly organised for a historical battle I decided to honour the memory of the late Charles Grant by pitting the Grand Duchy of Lorraine against the Vereinigte Freie Städte.

John Wostenholme and I commanded the distinctly Gallic forces of Lorraine,

whilst Rob Connolly took on the role of the VFS commander Field Marshal Langemarck.

The Lorraine forces attacked on a broad front aiming to swing round and attack the VFS supply lines with our large cavalry brigade (a regiment each of cuirassiers, dragoons, lancers and chasseurs à cheval. The coloured cards are movement bases, used to disguise the exact nature of the advancing forces.

The VFS plan was less subtle. A massive column of infantry, preceded by dragoons, was to push forward in the centre and force its way into the two villages. The superior artillery (Krupp rifles of steel construction) was to form a powerful massed battery on the left.

Rob was unfortunate with his dice rolling and the VFS column took ages getting started. The Lorraine Chasseurs à Pied managed to get into the larger village first. It proved impassable to cavalry and the VFS dragoons were forced to pull back.

Here we see General von Busch, the VFS staff officer directing his artillery to fire on the Lorraine forces rounding the village. (Prussian General element by Irregular Miniatures).

This is the VFS Cavalry commander General Hamman. (Prussian commanders by Baccus).

And, of course, Grand Duke Louis of Lorraine himself (again from Baccus).

On the Lorraine army's left, the grand flanking manoeuvre eventually saw the imposing cavalry brigade form up to threaten the VFS lines of communications. In the foreground the Zouaves, Turcos and Marines of the second infantry brigade emerge from the woods.

The climax of the battle saw the Lorrainers taking casualties around the central village but looking well set up to defend for a while. The great mass of VFStroops spread out along the road was going to be threatened by the enemy cavalry.
As so often happens with a new set of rules, we ran out of time but the general opinion was that things had generally gone the way of the Lorraine forces. A prolonged slogging match would have followed the VFS organising themselves to continue their push forward.

I think I'll give Principles of War another go.


tzunder said...

Well that's a change of period.
Would have liked a clearer view of the minis, the low light makes them look muddy which is not your painting style at all. What scale/size was this? (i.e. height of minis).

Counterpane said...

They're 6mm scale, Tom. Doesn't make them easy to photograph at the best of times.

Actually, I have increased the brightness with which I'm painting in this scale since I painted these armies. 18th century Russians are quite a bit more colourful.