It’s been a busy year with work and the rest of life. Fortunately I was saved from another day of work by our local game guru, Ian (of Warflag fame). He invited my son and I to participate in a hypothetical Franco-Prussian War game using Piquet Field of Battle (2nd edition). Ian has scaled up the rules to make each unit a brigade and the ground scale is 1″ = 100 yards. Ian also opted to mount brigades on one stand (ala Volley and Bayonet), which I think has sped up the game at no cost to play-ability.
Overall the game involved a large French corps against a Prussian corps with allied German divisions. I was the overall French commander, but spent most of my time on the extreme right of my side’s force. In the original plan I wanted to keep our forces tight rather than spread out along the entire table, which is what wargamers always do. What happened is that my subordinates spread out like wargamers do. While a close game, the French suffered from poorer leadership (both commanders and a poorer quality deck of cards). In the end we lost, but we did better than most French forces in the Franco-Prussian War. The Piquet Field of Battle rules really do accommodate larger games. In this one we had five players per side with Ian acting as referee. Game time was about four hours, by which time the French had run out of army morale points.
It was clearly a grey-beards sort of game. I’m in my mid-50s and I was the third youngest player. At age 17, my son was by far the youngest. However, the players were exceptionally good overall. As many of these guys had been playing miniature wargames for over 30 years, they knew how to learn new rules, had a good grasp of tactics, and were gentlemanly wargamers.
Here are some photos from the game. All of the figures were provided by Ian and we played in his garage, which was nice as it was a rare sunny Oregon day. Ian also provided the photos.