Set in Germany 1813
The Battle of Grossbeeren

Jim Pitts was the was the game-master for this game, set in Prussia in 1813. We used the To the Sound of the Guns rules, which is a modification and expansion of the older "Brom Napoleonic Rules" formerly on this web site. The troops are nicely painted "true 25mm" soldiers, Minifigs and Scruby mainly, and they belong to Jim Pitts.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Jim Pitts (in the light colored shirt) the gamemaster, gives instructions concerning the scenario as Phil Young (the French commander and soon to be the defeated French commander) looks on

Photo by Ed Sansing

The French commanders - Left to right: Fred Diamond (Cavalry commander), Jay Stribling, Mark Gilbert, Larry Reeves (who was replaced by Robert) and Phil Young. Not shown are Liz Hesseldorf (Artillery commander) and John Murdaugh.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Prussian commanders - Left to right: John Hesseldorf, Sean Pitts, Travis Melton (The Prussian C-in-C) and Mike Todd. Not shown: Ed Sansing (who was taking the photo!).


When the second part of the 1813 campaign began, after the Austrian declaration of war against France on August 12, Naploleon sent Marshal Nicolas Oudinot to take Berlin. With some 66,000 troops, Oudinot drove back the outposts of the much larger army of Swedish Crown Prince Jean Bernadotte (a former French marshal).

On August 23, the French stormed into Grossbeeren, 12 miles south of Berlin. Prussian General Freidrich von Bulow rallied a Prussian force which threw back the French with a loss of 1,500 men. Despite its small scale, this allied victory saved Berlin. With his momentum gone, Ouidinot withdrew in haste to Wittenberg.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Prussian line looking from left to right (east to west?) Mike's 4th Korps in the foreground. Ed Sansing commanded the troops in the town. Travis Melton had 3 bns and the artillery on the hill. Sean Pitts had the cavalry and John has 3 landwehr battalions on the Prussian right flank.

The town near the top of the image is Grossbeeren, and the two buildings nearer the camera represent the village of Kleinebeeren.

Photo by Ed Sansing

A view of the Prussian deployment. You can see the center and right flank, just before "the curtain went up."

Photo by Ed Sansing

The screen that separated the armies during the set-up has been removed and we see the French cavalry on the French right flank.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Prussian view of the French center. Battalions of Saxons in column seem ready to assault the town. Only later did the Prussians find out that most of these battalions were Saxon Landwehr - militia quality. Due to the French/Saxon players not reading their scenario closely enough, this was a surprise to them also!

Photo by Ed Sansing

An overhead view showing part of the French artillery and then their left flank.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The last known picture of intact units of the 4th Prussian Brigade. In their parade ground formations the battalions seem ready to repel any enemy to their front.

Unfortunately for these poor infantrymen the devious French cavalry, under the command of Fred Diamond, came at them from their left flank.

The battalion in the foreground neglected to form square when their movement card was drawn early in the turn. - I'll bet they had a bad feeling about that!

Pithy sayings by Ed Sansing (one of the Prussian players) as he recorded the action on the table:

Photo by Ed Sansing

The end of the Prussian left flank. One Saxon heavy cavalry regiment hit a Prussian infantry battalion. When the infantry (NOT in square) lost the melee, it routed. The small jager unit then routed at the sight of their fellow Prussians fleeing .

The Cavalry then tested morale, and upon finding it good, was allowed a "Bonus move." On this "Bonus" attack the cavalry hit 2nd Prussian infantry battalion. The Prussians also lost this melee but they fell back in good order after it, between the buildings of Kleinbeeren.

The Cavalry then tested morale agian, and upon finding it STILL good, was allowed a final "Bonus move. it then hit the 3rd Prussian battalion in the rear, these infantry did not stand and routed to a position just outside the walls of Grossbeeren.

The cavalry had enough movement left, while cantering after the fugities, on blown horses, to hit the 4th Prussian battalion, again in the rear. Needless to say, that battalion also routed.

The cavalry ended up just short of the Prussian guns (as shown in the picture).

Photo by Ed Sansing

Sean Pitts has moved his cavalry to cover Prussian the left flank by holding the bridge. The French are advancing on the center and on the Prussian right.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Fred Diamond moves the rest of the French cavalry around the Prussian Left flank to get behind the Prussians and then off the board. The French were able to exit 2 units of cavalry for what should have been substantial numbers of victory points.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Prussian landweher distinguishes itself! Standing their ground, being pointed at by John Murdaugh, their fire caused the French left flank to fall back or rout. The yellow circles behind 2 of the units signify that when they have to determine their base morale for the first time it will immediately be raised, since they have routed units by fire and have taken no casualties in return.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The fight around the town of Grossbeeren and "the hill." In the early to middle part of the game our infantry fire and Travis' artillery were able to hold back the French. The hill also protected units that fell back and gave them a chance to rally out of the line of fire.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The French regroup and push their attack John Murdaugh (along with some of Phil Young's units) have caused one of (Prussian) John Hesselrig's Prussian Landwehr units to fall back, another to rout and the 3rd is being attacked in close combat. John Hesselrig fought a delaying game and was able to keep the French infantry out of the Prussian rear on his flank.


The Prussians won the battle! They were able to keep the French from taking the town of Grossbeeren. That cost the French 3 victory dice worth of victory points and nullified the points that they would have gotten from their cavalry units which exited the battlefield in the Prussian rear. The Prussians received 6 dice of victory points for thier possession of the town. The point difference between the French VPs and the Prussian VPs was more than 20 points. Overwhelming!

The Game-Master, Jim Pitts, put it very succintly in his advice to the French players, at game's end: "The next time that you need to take a town, don't try it with Landwehr!"

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