Jackson Gamers' 1870 battle in 25mm
Using Larry Brom's Chassepot & Needlegun rules.
Ill Met at Gravemont-St. Privy

Photo by Jim Pitts

Veteran gamer Russ Schneider sorts out his French division prior to the beginning of the game.

This game took place on August 4, 2007 in a classroom at SOUTHWEST ACADEMY in Jackson MS. In this game, we used Larry Brom's Franco-Prussian War rules set called Chassepot & Needlegun

We began the terrain set-up shortly before 10am. We finally got all the troops deployed and the game started about 10:45am. The Jackson gamers believe in a relaxed gaming atmosphere and the leisurely set-up, punctuated with admiration for the troops and many witty (?) remarks, is not to be rushed. We took a lunch break at 12:45pm and then resumed played till around 3:15pm.

The North German confederation was represented by the following Generals: Jim Pitts - commanding the Prussian 6th division, Jay Stribling commanding the Prussian 5th Division, and finally Ed Sansing and Bill Hamilton, each with a Brigade of the Prussian/allied 7th Division. At the start of the game, only one brigade of the 5th Division was on the field for the Germans, along with a Dragoon regiment, and two batteries of guns, also belonging to the 5th Division.

The French forces had one division with a brigade each commanded by Fred Diamond and Phil Young. Russ Schneider led the other French Division, and Sean Pitts commanded the large separate French Brigade. Like the Prussians, the French began the game with one brigade of infantry, one cavalry regiment (a light cavalry unit from Africa) and two batteries of artillery.

Robert Whitfield was the game-master and devised the scenario and the terrain set-up. Both sides began to receive reinforcements on turn 3 and the final troops began to arrive on turn 5.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Prussian dragoons advance on the flank of Wurttemburgers and Bavarians, all commanded by Ed Sansing.

There were only two units of cavalry in each army. This was too little to influence the outcome of the battle, but they could have been worth victory points if they had been able to reach the enemy's rear. The French cavalry were thrown in to stop the advance of one of the the 7th division's brigades on the extreme south of the battlefield. Both were destroyed.

The Prussian cavalry was still in existance at game's end, but it had not been able to reach the enemy's rear area.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Two battalions of Zouaves, under the command of Phil Young Pitts, advance against the German forces.

What were the opposing forces?

In Chassepot & Needlegun, German infantry units are 24 figures strong, consisting of six stands, each with four miniature figures mounted on them. Cavalry units for both sides consist of 8 stands, each mounting two figures, for a 16-figure strong regiment. Artillery batteries for both sides are made up of three stands, each with a miniature gun and two gunners.

The Prussians had two complete divisions, the 5th, and the 7th and also had the 6th division which had only one brigade on the field. Each complete division consisted of two brigades, each of two regiments of three battalions of infantry. The 5th and 7th divisions each had one dragoon regiment attached to them. The 5th division had two artillery batteries, the single brigade of the 6th division had two batteries and no cavalry, while the 7th division included three artillery batteries.

The French army Consisted of two divisions, each of two brigades and an overstrength 5th brigade, consisting mainly of colonial troops summoned home from the army in North Africa. The French infantry battalions were 18 figures strong, consisting of six stands, each mounting three miniature infantrymen.

The French army had two regiments of cavalry and six batteries of artillery, plus a battery of Mitrallieus machine guns. The French artillery and cavalry were organized identically to their German counterparts.

Photo by Jim Pitts

A battalion of French infantry climbs a hill in the center of battlefield with other French units behind it in support.

Photo by Jim Pitts

With Zouaves holding the woods to their left, two battalions of Foreign Legion advance against the Germans.

One of the reasons that we played this game at SOUTHWEST ACADEMY was that we could set up a long table with a 12' long by 6' wide playing length. The sizeable Franco-Prussian war forces that we have painted demand a large gaming area. In our previous FPW 25mm game at HOBBYTOWN, we had too many troops for the smaller table there.

Photo by Jim Pitts

The Prussian 11th Brigade, commanded by Jim Pitts, advances behind the main German line, marching through the heat haze to the German right flank. Counting other Prussian units in the rear of the column, this gives a good idea of the size of a German Division in our games.

Photo by Jim Pitts

A line of French mitrailleuse machine guns, supported by naval infantry to their right rear, provide fire support to the Zouaves in the woods.

Photo by Jim Pitts

A long look down the length of the batttlefield. Prussian 5th division commander Jay Stribling points out a target to French division commander Fred Diamond while Sean Pitts, another French commander and Robert Whitfield, the gamemaster, look on.

SO - Who won this battle?

The Prussians won the battle. Both sides had similar victory conditions. Each enemy unit driven from the field was worth 10 points. Capturing the roads into the enemy's rear was worth 20 points, and each unit passed into the enemy's rear was worth 15 points. Each enemy stand of infantry, cavalry or artillery, and each enemy staff officer killed, counted towards "major morale." When the enemy reached 50-odd stands lost, Unit morale for individual units would began to be reduced.

At the end of turn 6, when the Game-Master called for a count of stands lost, the French had lost 58 stands, while the Germans had lost only 29. The French morale was reduced. We played one more turn and the Prussians were within 12" of capturing one of the roads into the French rear. There were no French reserves and no troops available to stop the brigade of the Prussian 7th division which was advancing toward the French rear, although the exit point was within rifle fire range of several French units.

Robert Whitfield proclaimed a German victory at that point.

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