Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Battle of Grünfeld

The traditional December gave of BAR (Batailles de Ancien Regimes) convened for a Russian-Prussian game at the home of rules author Bill Protz.  To add a little twist to the usual slug-fest, a walled chateau on the Russian right and a large hill in the center were worth 50 victory points.  Additionally, the side with the fewest casualties got another 50 points.  The huge table had rear areas for reserves and rallying, all in play.

There were the equivalent of between 13-14 battalions of 60 figures per side, a smattering of cannons, 100+ heavy cavalry and 36 light.  To give them table time and as a gimmick, my untried pioneer half-battalion was placed in the order of battle.  They had an assortment of push carts loaded with explosives, ladders and hand-held grenade launchers.  With the Prussians starting the game in possession of all the VP places, the onus of attack was totally upon us.  Hopefully the specialty figures would prevail.

This is just the back table after the first move.  This area is in play.
Prepared to fight a classic linear battle.

Pioneers forward!  Probably rashly as it turned out.
A natural choke point was on the right.  As I was fighting on the left I can just report that my impression was that our forces came through one at a time and were crushed one at a time.

The objective on the right.

The afore-mentioned choke point and the rest
of the table stretching off into the distance.

Russian cuirassiers advancing to get to grips quickly.

Newly completed combined guards battalion from my Imagi-
Nation, Litharus.

A card driven game, the opposing lines move towards each other.

The first of two successful cavalry melees on the left. 

The second clash, also initially successful.  Infantry fire had
softened up one of the Prussian units.

On the right Prussian jagers and adventurous light cavalry exact
a toll.

BAR is a decisive game so units were whittled down fast.  Here
my grenadiers rout.... again.

Still not getting any closer to the chateau.

Bye-bye boys!  Have fun storming the castle!

At this point I thought we were making progress
on the left and center.

The center advancing as the Prussians retire a bit to reorder.

Six cannons defend the top of our objective.

On our right-center, the Prussian attack begins.

A view from the chateau.  This sector had their own deck of
cards to set the pace.

Wait, what is SHE doing here?!  Lady Pettigree?

The routed Prussian cavalry does the statistically unlikely and both
rally.  Placing my disordered and difficult to maneuver Prussians
at a disadvantage suddenly.

The rumps of units begin to fall back as the right-center crumbles
in the distance.

The Russian commanders, not liking what they are seeing.

Despite the firing cards being hugely in our favor, we still crumble
before Prussian volleys. 

The hill remains firmly in Prussian hands.

We begin to be flanked on the right-center.

No progress is made against the chateau.  Cossacks ride up to
it but are helpless to do anything.

As the outcome was obvious, it was not part of a campaign, and there was birthday cake to be had, I conceded the game on behalf of the Tsar and Grand Duke's forces.  I'm really not sure what happened.  Each turn a card is drawn to see who moves first, then another for firing.  If a joker is drawn it can be used to "trump" an unfavorable card when you really need to move or fire first.  We had two jokers in hand when we conceded, the cards had been so favorable.  Casualties are "saved" by a d6 roll so perhaps one side was really hot or cold or both.

The important thing was ten friends played a visually spectacular battle, had a fine lunch and cake, and shared time together.  Thanks Bill for hosting and congrats to Der Alte Fritz for the win.


  1. Thank you for posting an AAR Michael,
    I was as surprised as you the two regiments of defeated Prussian Kürassiers rallied. Had they not, your victorious horsemen could have caved in the Prussian infantry which had no flank protection facing you. It could have been a crossing there T of two Prussian battalions! That would have been amazing. Thank you for attending and bringing your resplendent army.

  2. A great looking table with lots of handsome figures.