19th Century, 10mm, Field of Battle 2
The time is September, 1870, with two of the great European powers clashing to see who is the new needle mover on the continent. Will the Prussian advantage in artillery rule the day, or will the French elan and fighting spirit be able to carry the day? Rules are Brent Oman’s card based Field of Battle, with scenario designed by members of Hackley School’s game club. See the War College listing for our seminar!
On Saturday afternoon, Jared and Dillon, a graduating senior from Jared’s school and long time game club member, ran the Franco Prussian War scenario that the game club had designed and play tested.
Peter observes: The whole era from the Crimean War to the Franco-Prussian War has always seemed to me especially suited to an “Imaginations” approach. In the Franco-Prussian War, the French have the advantage of the best small arms, and their “secret weapon”, the Mitrailleuse, but their abysmal leadership and poor tactical doctrine make it hard for them to win. The Prussians have excellent leadership, and their devastating breech loading rifled Krupp Gun artillery, as well as numbers. With more even numbers and better French Leadership and doctrine (ie, deploy the Mitrailleue as an infantry support weapon) , the battlefield balance might be considerably redressed!
Orders of Battle:
Earlier on Saturday, at 10 AMy, Jared and Dillon presented a well received talk at the War College:
“Historical Gaming in the School Classroom: A How to Guide from both the Teacher and Student Perspective” Speaker: Jared Fishman Location: Conestoga Room Description: Since 2008, the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY has been a model and leader in terms of historical gaming both inside and outside the classroom. This seminar will focus on how the game club started, why it is valuable, and more importantly, the benefits of other schools adopting a similar model. Teacher Jared Fishman and student Dillon Schaevitz will share their experiences and run a game based around the Franco-Prussian War later in the day.
About Jared (from the War College Bio):
Jared Fishman has been a history teacher for over 13 years, most of it at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. He was the recipient of both The Mary Lambos Award in teaching and the Davidson Family History Chair. A lifelong member of HMGS (Historical Miniature Gaming Society), Jared has helped to integrate gaming culture into the Hackley community, running numerous game clubs for both MS and US students and founding the NYSGA organization in 2016 (New York Student Gamer’s Association). Most recently, Jared helped pen an article for Wargames Illustrated, and continues to explore new possibilities for the expansion of NYSGA into more schools, and ran a NYSAIS conference in 2017 (New York State Association of Independent Schools) entitled, “Roleplaying, Games, and Simulations in the Classroom”.
3) It fosters the development of skills in mathematics, computation, and probability.
The lone troop of Austrian Chevau-Legers (with but one UI) sees a Bavarian regiment expose it’s flank to them. If they can survive flanking fire from the Bavarian Lights on the Berg…
In the event, they do indeed shrug off the fire and charge, routing the opposing infantry.
Battle of Glen Shiel – 10 June 1719Thursday, 2:00 PM, 3 hrs, Players: 4, Location: Commonwealth: CW-12 GM: Tim Couper Sponsor: None, Prize: None Period: Jacobite, Scale: 28mm, Rules: Piquet Field of Battle 2 Description: My common theme is “the final battles in the Jacobite uprisings”. Glen Shiel was the only pitched battle of “the ’19”, a brief and ill-fated uprising, fought between (mostly Scots) Government troops and an alliance of Jacobites and Spanish. These ‘rebels’ advanced from their base at Eilean Donan castle, taking up a strong defensive position, preparing fortifications to meet General Wightman’s Government troops advancing from Inverness … Is the Hanoverian leader the Wight-man for the job in hand?
Battle of Sheriffmuir – 13 November 1715Friday, 2:00 PM, 4 hrs, Players: 8, Location: Commonwealth: CW-11 GM: Tim Couper Sponsor: None, Prize: None Period: Jacobite, Scale: 28mm, Rules: Piquet Field of Battle 2 Description: The final battle of “the ’15”. John Erskine, Earl of Mar, commanding the Jacobites, now controlled much of the Highlands and had just taken Perth. He then moved his 12,000 men towards Stirling, where Government troops under John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, were based. Argyll chose to fight on a moor east of Dunblane, where the Jacobite forces were somewhat surprised to find them. Will Campbell prove to be soup-erior?
In addition, here’s an excellent narrative from the standpoint of the Jacobite C-in-C, Erik Engling, a thoroughly delightful fellow:
Tim was very kind allowing me to play as the Jacobite “army commander” as my ability to move and pick up figs at the moment is very limited. Rather confused the other Jacobite commanders on our side of the table a bit but we adjusted. Thanks as always Tim!
Hope the description of the game is not too long and is of interest as I do believe it reveals a number of items I learned from and took for granted in the game.
Army Commander for the Jacobite is a D8 and the Government is a D10. During the game, the government commander was having a hot die rolling and my effort was off on many occasions, but it did swing as it always seems to do in FOB2.
Unfortunately, I did not quite understand that the folks to my left had not played the rules before and the nice gents to my right had played FOB2 with ACW armies. Ooopps! The battle plan for the Jacobites? Naturally, have the lowlanders on the left move forward and hold off the government foot and dragoons while the remainder of the army of Highlanders moves as fast as possible and charge the center left of the Hanovarians and hope the fighting ability wins out before musket fire takes over (the game the government muskets were firing at 6” range).
I do believe all Jacobite commanders were certain the army commander was completely mad.
And…the first few turns did look that way. What I had failed to explain is the Jacobite deck is feast or famine. There are either five or six Lull cards and a sprinkling of movement, melee and uncontrolled charges. Chalk up that up as one thing I learned to explain the next time to new team mates. I had completely forgot to explain how the army worked!
As the early parts of the game reveal in Tim’s photos, the government troops did well with movement (frequently 2 or 3 forward) and timely reload cards while Lull cards for the Jacobites came up with disturbing regularity and the government commander continued his winning ways… but…Tim kept reminder the Jacobite players that rallying was key with the highlanders and the leadership cards were keeping our units in the game….if we could just get just win a convincing initiative roll!
As Tim’s photos also show, the government’s left hand cavalry charge met with a poor fate after an initial success and was very similar to Historicon 2019 result while the charges on the government’s right side showed such promise but untimely dice rolling allowed the lowlanders to hold on and actually rout one of the Hanoverian units (as an aside, the Jacobite group commander at the far end of the table had rolled, I believe, five “1”s in a row for movement …..never, ever moved as far as I recall in the game until the last final drive).
At this point, two events occurred that FOB2 players may be familiar with all too often. The first, I completely forgot to talk to the lowlanders on the left being totally focused on getting the Highlanders to move forward and use any Tactical Advantage cards we held to break the line and I had no idea we were out of command chips! Had I known, I likely would have suggested a different course of action that the next charges as the lowlanders, tired of waiting for the army commander to give them any direction, took their own chances and charged a fully loaded government regiment while two Highlander units did the same on the right. It should not have worked…
All three cases, the government forces had that FOB2 moment where the dice just went the other direction. No IU losses. The charges went forward and broke all three units. What were the chances?
As the next few initiative rolls and cards came forward, the tide started that turn and more government troops started to rout and one could sense the shift had started. Then I drew the Army Morale Card. Oh Heck!
To my shock and delight I was told “Oh, we have six chips”… …”Excuse me”.. So we find out that the government forces were out and we were now gaining chips as the Hanoverians were losing more IUs. Another moment to learn from that the game is not over unless the swing is so severe….
Finally, we had the one initiative round. The one where you win and it is 8 cards. You get the melee, infantry firepower, movement, uncontrolled charge, you know…the ones where you might as well figure out how much the opposing army loses units off the board type of turn. IT was the same here. At the end of that turn, the Jacobite had 26 morale chips and we decided that this really was insurmountable.
I do believe the Lowlander Jacobites would have liked to finish their combat (honestly, they really had deserved it, but there was nothing there for the government player to do but just lose more IU and give away more chips).
I hope this was not too much detail and too over the top but it really reminded me that there was many instances of rules, events and moments that I had actually forgotten as we started to play. It had been a year even though I had read the rules multiple times before coming to the convention.
Now…if this recap was interesting at all….just wait for Culloden….
That was an epic story…
Thanks for indulging me,
Battle of Culloden Moor – 16 April 1746Saturday, 11:00 AM, 4 hrs, Players: 8, Location: Commonwealth: CW-12 GM: Tim Couper Sponsor: None, Prize: None Period: Jacobite, Scale: 28mm, Rules: Piquet Field of Battle 2 Description: The final battle of “the ’45”. The Duke of Cumberland, pursuing the retreating Jacobite forces under Charles Stuart, had advanced to the Moray coast, east of Inverness. The Jacobites, reinforced by French regulars, awaited the arrival of the Hanoverian force on the now famous Culloden moor.
When Tim runs a game, you’d best be prepared for a steady stream of bad puns and other witticisms!
Here’s the report of Culloden In Tim’s words on his own blog: