Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Grossenfartz (Part 1)

This battle was run at the Sheffield Wargames Society in June 2013 and was a follow up to the entirely unprovoked Anglophobian invasion of Vulgaria. Tim organised the game, I provided the Vulgarian hordes and Mark Hides commanded the perfidious Anglophobians. We ran it using the successful 'half scale' game version ,substituting cm for inches and using half size units. This meant we could run it on a tabletop and save our poor suffering knees and backs.

Having played a few games of FLW now, I have been pondering how on earth you are supposed to attack stationary defenders who get to blaze away happily while their plodding opponents obligingly march into rifle range. For this game I had sufficient forces to employ an appropriate tactical response, straight out of late nineteenth century drill manuals. Concentration of effort (naturally), but also accepting that casualties would be appalling so:

i) open order to minimise losses, regardless of the reduction in effect for melee
ii) form up in successive waves to maintain the momentum of the attack a.k.a. step over the  bodies in front. A bit like the Russian charge in 'Enemy at the Gates'
iii) keep going, don't stop to fire or change formation, it just increases the time spent in the beaten zone

So essentially just line up and charge, but with the chaps sufficiently spread out that hopefully they could advance faster than the enemy could kill them. My own artillery would try to shoot them in as much as possible.

The Vulgarians assemble, the largest force used to date (albeit at half scale), six infantry battalions, two cavalry regiments, three artillery batteries plus various HQ types.

The Anglophobians deploy to defend the vital rail junction and brewery. They have dug trenches, what a rotten trick!

The brewery containing the very gassy (and highly volatile) Vulgarian beer.

Leading Vulgarian waves march on left of the railway line. Four battalions in open order supported lines and deployed in echelon, four waves in all. The Jagers are getting a bit ahead of themselves.

Field artillery dragged ponderously into position. Lack of table space meant I didn't use the limbers. The plan was to fire diagonally in support of the infantry, covered from fire to the front by the wood.

Anglophobian hordes smugly in their trenches.

Worms eye view of the Vulgarians.

The Vulgarian secret weapon! A steam train loaded with infantry and carrying and artillery battery. The plan was for it to crash through the Anglophobian lines once they had been softened up, sadly the train entered a little prematurely...

Another surprise! The Lancer regiment successfully flank marches and emerges behind the Anglophobian heavy gun.

At the same time, an Anglophibian armoured train makes an appearance, oh dear! The Anglophobian HQ signals frantically.
So, there we leave it for now. The opening moves have been made, and already there are some unexpected developments.


  1. The subtlety of the attack was a joy to behold.

  2. Walking slowly towards the enemy trenches in a great mass is what we are good at.

  3. Sounds like a plan ... not a good plan ... but it is a plan.

    All the best,


  4. Well, it was choice between walking slowly forward in a relatively thin line along the whole front or a relatively thick line on half the front.