25mm Napoleonic Battle
With Eagles to Glory

This game was a test of a new set of rules for Napoleonic battles by Larry Brom. On the same day that the Jackson gamers ran this test game, Larry and his Friend George Carr Sr. ran another large test game in New Orleans. .

Photo by Ed Sansing

A view from the Prussian side, Travis' units advance toward the town.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Most of the Prussian cavalry. They had a long way to go once they entered the table.

Photo by Ed Sansing

French Dragoons and Saxon heavy cavalry commanded by Ed Sansing are shown in the foreground. Just behind are some of Jay's Saxon infantry. In the far background is Phil Young's French Division. The French Plan was to concentrate three French (or French-allied) divisons, two of infantry, and one of cavalry, against half the Coalition army and wipe it out. This was designed to put the entire coalition force into bad army morale state. The French plan did not work.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Jim Pitts commanded the forces on the extreme Coalition left flank. His forces were made up of a brigade of Russian cavalry and infantry. Travis Melton had a division (two brigades) of French infantry in the center of the field. These two were the targets of the French plan.

Inability to move swiftly through complex terrain and tremendous resistance by the Russians under Jim Pitts on the Coalition left foiled the French plan. Naturally, the French players blamed poor dice rolls!

Photo by Ed Sansing

A Russian brigade under the command of 'General Pavlov" (Jim Pitts) deploys in front of the French heavy brigade. Repeated charges by the French and a like number of counter-charges by the Russian Cavalry deadlocked this flank till Stribling's infantry divison finally arrived after 4 turns.

Photo by Ed Sansing

"General de Division' Russ Schnieder's French troops deploy to cover the French Army's left flank.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The French cavalry in melee with the Russians on the French right. Unfortunately the French light cavalry went up against the Prussian heavies and in the background the French heavy cavalry hit the Prussian infantry.

The new rules, in an effort to simplify things, assumes infantry will automatically form square. Unless the infantry is disordered charging them with cavalry is a bad, bad, bad idea.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Prussians on the coalition right flank, commanded by Sean Pitts and Fred Diamond advance on the French left. The Prussians have "curled around" the town and are advancing from the front and the flank on the French division commanded by Russ Schnieder.

The Coalition units took several turns to get in position but when they did attack it was with devastating force.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Russian cavalry, after routing the French heavy and light cavalry brigades, follows up across the stream. Jay Stribling's infantry finally reach the front.

Photo by Ed Sansing

An interesting position. The Russian infantry shown advanced, forcing the withdral (per the rules) of the French Heavy cavalry. After the cavalry evaded the infantry - they fell back to the left out of the picture - the French guns had a very nice target. Naturally poor die rolling lost the chance to cannister the Russians!

The Players:

On the Coalition side:
Jim Pitts
Fred Diamond
Travis Melton
Sean Pitts
On the French Side:
Russ Schnieder
Phil Young
Jay Stribling
Ed Sansing

Photo by Ed Sansing

General Schnieder (seated) is feeling the pressure on the French left. Fred Diamond moves his Prussian infantry forward. Phil Young (The French Commander) looks on in shock as the French left flank begins to crumble.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The four units just to the right of the stream are Jay Stribling's French infantry. They have finally gotten to the front, deployed into line. crossed the stream and are pushing the Prussians back. The Russian infantry brigade shown on and touching the hill had falled back due to poor morale, but rallied and came back up.

Photo by Ed Sansing

After a see-saw fight in the town, the French units under Phil Young and Jay Stribling are finally able to push Travis Melton's Prussians back. Following up, the Frenchmen routed after losing two men on the last turn of the game.

Ed Sansing summarized the game this way:

"On Saturday September 1, 2007, we play tested a new Napoleonic era rules set. It was written to be used as a "quick play" Napoleonic rules set for war game conventions. We had some problems with it.

During the battle one of the French flanks collapsed and several units routed from the field. The Coalition forces were the winners."

SO - Who won this battle anyway?

As Ed Sansing said in his comments above: "During the battle one of the French flanks colapsed and several units routed from the field. The Coaltion forces were the winners."

It is hard to put it more plainly than that. Your humble webmaster, as he is constructing this report, looks back on the game - and winces. It was hard to move troops, but easy for them to rout. Hard to get them into position to attack because of the maneuver rules, but easy for them to rout.

Fire had no effect on anything, you could shoot at units for the whole game and they never even had to test morale. But in melee, if you lost 1 man more than the enemy, your entire Brigade routed - not just the battalion in combat.

We found that the other play-test game played that same day, reached a similar conclusion. Larry Brom replied to our game report, saying "That is what play-testing is for! Toss those rules away and I will start again."

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