Grand Manoeuvre Tests for Franco-Prussian War

Grand Manoeuvre posted up their playtest rules for the Franco-Prussion War version of their game. Go check ’em out.

Grand Manouvre


From the update:

The test of the rules for a Franco-Prussian war variant went very well today.

Here’s a short description of the main events in the test:

The first part being a counter-battery duel between two French and two Prussian batteries went true to form, with the French guns being knocked out quite quickly and then a Mitrailleuse battery was destroyed by unopposed fire – the range being too great for the fall of shot to be observed.

This was followed by an optimistic advance of a Prussian Guard Grenadier brigade on the French lines.

The first Prussian line the leading battalion of each regiment was halted at about 1,000 yards from the main French positions. It was also stopped short before its skirmishers could engage the French.

The second line was halted before it became intermixed with the first, but it than took fire as the French attention switched from the pinned troops of the leading battalions, who presented less of a viable target to them.

The Prussian morale was reduced to the point that the impetus of the advance was lost and the brigade was made to check its morale. This test was passed, but another was forced upon them when units in the second line took hits and also became either suppressed or pinned.

The first line gradually recovered its order and recovered from the suppression effects, but was then fired upon again, with very decisive effect; and the fourth unit’s morale was affected and the Prussian brigade tested its morale again; this time it failed and the command was forced to retire one move.

In the advance the Prussian brigade had taken fire from 5 French battalions, which is probably the most that could have engaged considering how units were spaced at interval along the French line in that battle.

Given some cover from terrain or support from other corps, or artillery formations, the Prussian advance could have gotten closer and as close as some accounts say that the advances were stopped initially; to about 600-800 yards.

It is worth noting that the “German Sources” book has reference to the Prussians getting to within (needle gun) rifle range after some time, and after which they were forced to “advance by rushes”. We had this movement represented by suppressed units if they were not also disordered – as the Prussians were quite good at dealing with disorder, or better at ignoring it, the effect of their rallying in the morale phase represented this quite well.

In this I have extended the range of combat outcomes from the basic (Napoleonic) Grand Manoeuvre rules to combine the effects of suppression and pinning with order and morale states. It looks like these outcomes will be adequate to model the reactions “modern” infantry to varying weights of fire they might encounter.