Monday, January 2, 2017

BBB: The Napoleonic Battle of Mont Gross Kaput 1814

The first game of 2017 was with my old friend Chris. We played a ad-hoc scenario using our 6mm Bacchus Napoleonic French and Prussian forces using vanilla Bloody Big Battles rules. I set up the map, and the OOBs. Essentially a French Army made up of three corps (1 French Infantry, 1 Italian Infantry, 1 Cavalry) and one Prussian Army (A Korps of Infantry and Cavalry, and a Korps of Cavalry)  met in a meeting engagement. There were 5 objectives. The side that held the most at the end of 7 turns of gaming would win. The French started with the Cavalry Corps on table, while the Prussians with the Infantry/Cavalry Korps. The other forces would arrive on T2.

The OOBs
Prussian Army
(II Armee Korp)
Von Ravlots

(Guard Brigade)
6 A,S  Vet SM 

(Brigade Von Kleist)
6  Trnd SM

(Brigade Katalinski)
6 Trnd SM

(Brigade Lonetree)
6 Trnd SM

(Brigade Desau)
6 Trnd SM

1 SA
1 SA
1 SA
1 SA

(1st Heavy Cavalry Brigade) 
6 A Trnd Cav(Dragoons)

 (Reserve Cavalry Brigade)
6   Raw Cav

(Reserve Cavalry Korp)
Graf zu Arnhaleft

(Guard Heavy Cavalry Brigade)
6 A Vet Cav (Cuirassiers)

(2nd Heavy Cavalry Brigade)
6 A Trnd Cav(Dragoons)

(Uhlan Cavlary Brigade)
6 A,S Trnd Cav

(Light Cavalry Brigade)
6 S Trnd Cav (Hussars)
French Army
(Armee de Observation)
De Grecia

(I Corps, French)
De Noire

(Light Division)
6 2S, Vet  SM

(1st Line Division)
6 S, Trnd SM

(3rd Line Division)
6 F,  Raw SM

1 SA
1 SA

(II Corps,Italian)
Principe de Apikio

(Cacciatori Divisione)
6 2S, F Trnd SM

(Regulari Divisione)
6 S,F   Trnd SM


(Cavalry Corps)

(1st Cuirassier Division)
6 A, Vet Cav

(2nd Cuirassier Division)
6 A, Vet Cav

(1st Heavy Division (Dragoons))
6 Trnd Cav

(2nd Heavy Division (Dragoons))
6 Raw Cav

(1st Light Cavalry Division (Hussars))
6 A,S Trnd Cav

(2nd Light Cavalry Division (Chauvex-Leger))

6 S Trnd Cav

A short video (audio problems were due to me forgetting to not close the mic jack. I apologize).

The battle saw the French take the two most rightmost(the large high hill) and leftmost (a village) objectives, while the Prussians took the town in the center, and a key hill. The French tried to take the Town, while the Prussian cavalry tried for the Hill and Village. Luck crowned the children of Der Vaterland. The Prussian cavalry was able to scale the high ground and storm the high hill. The Prussian infantry was able to hold the center. Thus the Prussians ended the game with 4 objectives, while the French with 1. A solid Prussian victory, a solid victory for Chris, and a solid defeat for me.

The table. Objectives are the large hill to the front, the town at the central cross-roads, the hill ridge to the far side, the hill across from it, and village at the far cross-roads. Start of Turn 1. French towards the bottom, Prussians toward the top.

end of First Turn. French cavalry tries to flank the cross-roads. Cuirrisiers mass across the stream from the town.

Prussian reinforcements arrive. 

The French 1st Infantry 

Prussian troops at the hill ridge and town. The red lags are the elite Guard units.

The Italian coprs going through fields towards the village.

Fighting for the far hill.

A German brigade that misread orders.

These two Prussian cavalry brigades (Dragoons and Landwer) did wonders in the game. They ran down the French flank.

The fight for the high hill.

The end. Red arrows indicate axis of attack.

The fall of the great hill

The iron wall that held the Town

The flank. The French held the Village, but the situation was untenable on a operational level.

The axis of attack. The Prussians left and right, the French center.

The village. Held by the Italians, but isolated.

The French losses.

The Prussians.

Thoughts: This was a vanilla BBB battle. Thus all weapons were smoothbore muskets, and smoothbore guns. In general I enjoyed the game. And the change from the Age of Rifles tactics and weapons to Napoleonic,within the framework of vanilla BBB, was interesting. The battle was less fluid than the later 19th century ones. The short range of guns, and their smaller lethality (always at this level of abstraction) made for a battle that was more of slug-match. The large number of cavalry in the OOBs also led to a lot of melees. Exploitations here were quite dangerous. Smooth-bore artillery at close range was a killer. Thus the battle became more fluid in the flanks were cavalry pre-dominated and artillery was scarce, over the saturated with guns and infantry center. All in all a good game, though I did feel the French OOB was too week for the ad hoc scenario.

1 comment:

Chris BBB said...

I agree, 'vanilla' BBB works just fine for Napoleonics.

I had a similar experience to yours regarding tactics. After playing lots of Franco-Prussian War and other late C19 games, when I first played some BBB games using Napoleonic weaponry I was getting my tactics all wrong - deploying my guns too far back, not appreciating quite how potent cavalry was when there are no breechloading weapons around - kind of the opposite of the familiar problem of generals fighting the last war, I had the problem that I was fighting the next one!


Bloody Big BATTLES!