Saturday, 24 July 2021

Paris in the Spring

 My gaming posts seem to have got out of step, so I'm not sure what has happened. I'll blame the pingdemic, everything else is blamed on it at the moment. Anyway, some months ago Tim put on another 54mm outdoor game, this time featuring the suppression of the Paris Commune in May, 1871. We played this in May 2021, so on the 150th anniversary. Steve, Russell and I were the rebellious Communards, while Lloyd and Simon were the nasty government forces. 

La Belle Paris. Perhaps not quite so belle after months of siege.

Fort d'Issy. This outpost was held by the Commune and the Versailles forces needed to take it first.

Notre Dame and the Hotel de Ville with various delegates clustered outside.

The imposing external walls with barricaded gates.

Government sappers with big barrels of gunpowder.

Garde Mobiles in Paris, sheltering beside Montparnasse (which also hosted a big umbrella in case it rained).

To the barricades! We distributed our motley collection of loyal soldiers and armed civilians around the makeshift defences. We also distributed various nasty surprises, such as molotov armed petroleuses, infernal engines and some assassins....

The ramparts were garrisoned quite thinly as they were far longer than we had troops to put on them, but the number of gates was quite restricted.

The government troops formed up to assault Fort D'Issy.

Quite a few of them as it turned out.

As the infantry lines rolled forward, Communard guns tore holes in the ranks. These soldiers evidently had decided D'Erlons approach at Waterloo was the one to adopt. The huge column made a very easy target for our guns.

View from the Fort. The attackers were still out of rifle range at this point.

More Government troops formed up on the right of the assault column. These chaps were  bit more spread out

They were even dragging a Mitrailleuse with them (the carriage is just visible).

The assault column reached the fort. There really weren't many left on their feet by now, but it was enough for the traitorous Colonel in charge of the defenders to pack up and go home, rapidly followed by the rest of his men. The Fort duly fell to the Government troops, as unaccountably the teenage drummer boy left behind to blow it up didn't light the fuse.

The garrison joined the city defenders, while the Government troops formed up to assault the city.

View from the ramparts. We were well supplied with artists and photographers to record the action.

Sadly our cunning plan to blow up the western gatehouse when full of enemy troops was foiled when a Government artillery shell (the matchstick) landed next to the big barrel of gunpowder. Oh dear!

BOOOM! The gatehouse, surrounding walls, and the defenders standing on them all vanished in a big puff of smoke. The Government troops formed up to rush the breach.

And on they came, rank on rank of them.

The central gate was taken fairly easily, but the attackers were reluctant to advance due to the gun in the redoubt at the bottom of the screen which fired shell after shell through the gate itself, mowing down heaps of attackers. 

The eastern gate was soon sealed off by a handful of Molotovs, which was deeply unpleasant for the attackers standing in the archway.

Sadly another Government artillery shell detonated one of our booby traps. The explosion also destroyed the city fire engine (and  all the Sapeurs Pompiers). Zut alors!

The mighty cannon holding the centre gate. The Government troops are slowly breaking out of their breach at the west gate.

The gun crew were eventually overwhelmed, which only left some civilians to hold the east gate barricades.

Oooer, whats this? A flying column  has been granted passage by the Prussians, and a  load of Government troops have appeared northeast of Notre Dame. Quell surprise!!

The Gardes Mobiles, egged on by a communist fanatics, are still up for a fight.

Another one of our petroleuses has an unfortunate accident while trying to demolish the gatehouse.

The government troops have put the fire out and march on into Paris.

The enemy pour into the centre and west gates too.

Back at the Hotel de Ville, a certain degree of consternation reigns.

Notre Dame in sight.

The motley bunch of civilians ahead aren't going to stop this lot.

Government troops press on into the city. That shady looking chap by the church is one of the assassins, but not much hope for a successful attack here.

Who is this running forward in the red dress though?

Kaboom! Molotovs rip into the tightly packed column. Ouch.

The Archbishop is being held hostage in this small hut, unfortunately he was earlier wounded by artillery fire, and when we went to check on his condition, he had disappeared. Nous sommes trahis!!

The Gardes Mobiles do their best but are heavily outnumbered.

Soldiers pursue the petrol bombers, but soon get lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleys.

Not many formed defenders left now.

The assassin comes a cropper.

It is pretty much all over now.

The Imperial Guard horse band comes on.

The Bretons reach the Hotel de Ville while a few die hard Communards wave flags in the square outside. With that, the delegates surrender and sue for peace. The Commune is over.

Meanwhile my character, has gone to join this gun battery. It hasn't fired a shot all game, and is now mysteriously pointing at the Communards.... all is fair in love and war.

That was loads of fun, with some beautiful toys to play with. Great to meet some people to play face-to-face as well. Many thanks to Tim for hosting and Sara for the catering.


  1. C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre: c'est de la folie!

  2. That looks like it was great fun.



  3. A marvellous bit of outdoor wargame and wonderful figures, as you said.
    Regards, James