Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Battle of Beaumont part 2

The following was played on June 23, 2016.

A belated report on the finale of our Beaumont 1870 battle, part of our ongoing Franco-Prussian campaign. Real Life intruded. We picked the game up again two weeks later.

Kaiser Bill didn’t make it, so Rick switched from command of the French 7 Corps the previous session and donned his spiked helmet.  Ken continued commanding elements of the German V Corps and the Bavarian I Corps. The point of the game is for the French to escape across the Meuse River bridges (off camera to the bottom left) and make for the dubious safety of Sedan. While the strategic situation isn’t rosy, the game is quite interesting. We picked up on turn 7 (of 10). I already knew that the French needed very good movement rolls to get enough units over the two bridges.

The valiant rearguard of the French 5 Corps kept driving German attacks to ground with Chassepot fire.

On our right, the 7 Corps rearguard was too pugnacious when they should have been running.

Bugles sounded and sabers flashed. Bullets flew.

Matters grew serious in the center.

And on the right.

French cavalry on the left were shot down.

French artillery in the center had mixed results.

Things on the right got worse.

On the last turn of the game, the gallant 5 Corps rearguard was shot down by massed needlegun fire.

The 7 Corps rearguard was attacked front and rear and wiped out.

Bavarian infantry drove off one French artillery battalion, then had a lackluster fire fight with remaining battalion.

The last act by the French was a dusk cavalry charge on the left. Prussian infantry fell back and the cavalry were lucky to escape under cover of darkness.

The French needed 10 infantry brigades and 6 artillery units escaped to “win” the game. We got 7 infantry off and 6 artillery units.

So the Germans go on to Sedan with a free re-roll for their victory here. We played 4 turns in 2 and a half hours, slower than usual since we didn’t have 4 players.

The game was very interesting. For all the fighting, the critical points in the game were when French units stalled  and blocked the Meuse River bridges, twice on the first day we played and once during the finale. This ensured that the French could not win. I also think I fought too much and didn’t run enough.

Final losses: French 19 infantry (4 ran away), 2 cavalry (2 ran away) and 2 artillery battalions. German losses were 10 infantry, many shot down by the valiant 5 Corps rearguard.

That’s it for a while. We will likely leave the 19th Century for the 4th and 5th to play the old board Game Decline and Fall this week. Then we’ll break for July 4th and all. The kepis and Pickelhaubes will be back later in July. 

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