This week I dug out my copy of the Neil Thomas 19th Century Rules and my 6mm Franco-Prussian armies. These are an apparently simple set of rules that have a bit more depth than they first appear. There's more info about how they actually play here.
Andrew and I played out the Pitched Battle scenario with my French attacking the Prussian's as we both struggled for 2 towns and a hill in centre of the field. Before the battle started we checked for any changes to our forces and both of us had troops delayed and arriving several turns into the game.
Both sides raced towards the objectives with my left flank seizing one of the towns while the Prussians managed to take the hill.
|The French capture one of the towns...|
The struggle in the centre was going to be the deciding factor and I had a moment of hope when my Zouaves got there first. The Prussians threw a regiment into the town and hand to hand combat, driving the Zouaves out and the breaking them completely...disaster!!
|...but the Prussians hold the hill|
On the French left the regiment occupying the town quickly became stuck with a bit of a dilemma...sit tight and hold the town but play little further part in the game, or venture out into the sights of the Prussian guns. Probably unwisely I chose to sit tight...at least that way I had one of the objectives although Andrew had neatly tied up an infantry and cavalry regiment.
|The battered remnants of the French centre fall back before the central town|
Over on the hill the Prussian artillery began pounding the approaching French columns and the advantage of steel rifled guns quickly showed and the casualties mounted. Fresh arrivals for the French joined in the struggle for the hill but the Prussian's cunningly hid behind the reverse slope and waited for the columns to arrive, denying the French the advantage of their longer range rifles.
By the time they'd arrived the artillery had done its job too well and most French units were pretty beaten up and there was no real chance of seizing the hill and I conceded the game.
|The French reinforcements head for the hill|
The rules themselves are a very short part of the book but give a good feel for this period... the artillery certainly works like it should!!
Neil Thomas has a new book just out "One Hour Wargames" which looks like it could be worth a read....link. His books are very readable and 1 hour time scale would be ideal to get a couple of games in during a club night. They also play on a limited tabletop space which is ideal for those of us without decent sized gaming space at home.