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"Froeschwiller 1870 BBB, end game" Topic

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vtsaogames26 Feb 2016 1:01 p.m. PST

Last week the Corlears Hook Fencibles started a game of the 1870 battle of Froeschwiller using the Bloody Big Battles rules. Part I is here TMP link
We played 6 turns of this 10 turn game. Yesterday we returned to the fray. The brave Turcos who had been holding out in a village to the right front of Froeschwiller went under, swamped by Prussians. Even then they managed a tie before going down, keeping the Prussians from exploiting the hole immediately. The battered Zouaves in the town shifted to their right in an attempt to close the gap. One of my last artillery battalions moved up in support.


On my left, the valiant 8th Bavarian Brigade was hit in rear and front at the same time and drove my troops back. They had wiped out a French brigade in the first half of the game. They are contenders for a battle honor finials added to their flag.

Prussian infantry surged into the town, going low on ammo as they poured a storm of bullets ahead of them. The Zouaves still had a toehold on the southern edge of town. If they could stay through the turn, the Prussians would be denied a point for taking the town before turn 9.

It was not to be. On my half of the turn, heavy fire (they rolled 12 on 2D6) terminated the Zouaves with extreme prejudice. The Germans had sole possession of the town just before turn 9.

The lone French artillery battalion kept the mass of shot up German infantry at bay.

On my left, the cavalry and infantry hit the Bavarians front and back again. This time they managed to force the stubborn Germans back.

My center was looking rather porous. French cavalry came up, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My right flank artillery was silenced. It limbered up to pull out when a hail of shells came in.

My movement dice lit up. Both French brigades that had been thrown out of town rallied and made full moves. They went into town formed deep and absolutely thumped the lead Prussian brigade, which was disrupted, low on ammo and spent. They then exploited into the next Prussian unit and just managed to get them out of the town. If I could hold the town for another turn it would be a technical French victory.

Rick's move dice went cold and none of his units would attack. I thought I had it made. One of Bill's units got up and charged. My feeble defensive fire didn't stop him from closing. Three brigades of Germans and a battalion of Krupp guns at point blank range wiped out one of the two French units. Bill's 20th Brigade stormed back into the town.

A unit on my right flank was being fired on from 3 sides by two brigades and a couple battalions of Krupp guns. A decent roll might see the unit wiped out, which would reduce me to 4 infantry brigades (of 10) and give the Germans another point. Bill rolled ordinary dice on both fire phases in the turn and the unit survived. This is what kept me from ordering another counter-attack on the town. There were a lot of weapons aimed at it. Instead, the brigade hid behind the town, taking some desultory fire from the disrupted 20th Brigade.

My remaining artillery was silenced by German infantry. As they limbered up, the French cavalry charged to cover their withdrawal and managed to force the lead German brigade to fall back.


The game was over and we had a technical tie. I'd done better than MacMahon in the actual fight. But my corps was so shot up we would have to withdraw under cover of darkness.

Losses were extremely high. French losses were some 20 – 24,000 infantry and 96 guns. German losses were some 19 20,000 infantry and 24 guns. Bavarian II Corps CO von der Tann had his horse shot from under him late in the battle.

We had taken 3 hours and 40 minutes to play the last 4 turns, though they were very active. With three players all events had to be resolved one at a time.

My critique: the Germans mad little or no attempt to flank me, basically making a heavy frontal attack. They were shot down in droves by the superior French rifles, while their Krupp guns made life short and brutish for the French. Both sides need work on using artillery but it is a stronger part of the German arsenal.

This makes two ties in two battles. In both the French would have to withdraw so the strategic situation would remain much the same as in the actual campaign. The next battle will be Borny/Colombey if I can make a decent stab at the rather complex terrain. It wont be until mid or late March, depending on when the Prussian CO can next show, hopefully with two other Fencibles.

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2016 2:33 p.m. PST

FIRST RATE -- i am now heavily into the game myself !

KTravlos26 Feb 2016 4:30 p.m. PST


ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2016 12:22 a.m. PST

Epic and glorious! And great camerawork – there's a really intense feel to those photos of the fighting. Too bad they didn't give Pulitzers for photography in 1870!

Bloody Big BATTLES!

vtsaogames27 Feb 2016 7:43 a.m. PST

A more detailed account of the fighting in the town of Froeschwiller (as best as I can recall):

Turn 4: French fall back into the town under a hail of artillery fire and heavy pressure by Prussian infantry.

Turn 5: Prussian infantry climbs onto plateau, masking their artillery. A full division in deep formation charges the town. Chassepot fire stops them short of the town.

Turn 6: the lead Prussian brigade rallies and charges the town. The one behind them isn't ready and watches. The lead brigade is disrupted but gets into the edge of the town and is thrown back. They are outnumbered by the garrison.

Turn 7: Another Prussian attack is stopped by rifle fire. Krupp guns are moving onto the plateau but the are still masked by swarms of their own infantry. Cries for help from the dwindling Turcos in the French center see the Zouaves move by their right flank partially out of town.

Turn 8: a coordinated attack by 3 Prussian brigades advances through rifle fire to the edge of town. They pour fire into the town just before they close and cause heavy casualties. Two French brigades are pried out at bayonet point. The Zouaves still have a presence in the south edge of town.

But heavy fire by other Prussians south of the town scatters the Zouaves and the Germans hold the town at the end of the turn.

Turn 9: The Prussians who seized the town remain disrupted. Another brigade, shot up in earlier fighting, advances through the town and assaults the French who fell back from the town. This allows the disrupted troops to refill their cartridge boxes. The attack is stopped by French rifle fire and the brigade becomes spent.

Both French brigades rally and charge with the bayonet, routing the spent unit. The French plunge on and narrowly defeat the disrupted Prussians, recapturing the town.

Turn 10 (last turn): Fresh Bavarians move up to fire on the north side of the town. Fresh Prussians are in close rifle range but decline to attack. A battalion of Krupp guns unlimber at pistol range of the east side of town. 20th Brigade (XI Corps) charges the southeast corner of town. French rifle fire doesn't slow them down. A storm of bullets and shells nails two bases (of the 5 in the town). I remove a 2-base unit. The 20th Brigade closes and narrowly defeats the French. The Prussians are back in control.

I consider throwing the unit back in but recall the number of other units who can draw fire into the town. Prussians remain in control.

Phil the french13 Mar 2016 2:49 a.m. PST

Spectacular and exciting, thanks for sharing…

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