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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Reidseltz, 1870

Bismarck’s Wars, 1870, 10mm

This was another game laid on by Gerry Henry, using figures from his vast 10mm late 19th century collection. Of course, you could melt a whole Corps down and still not have enough lead for a decent 28mm battalion, but even the most ardent scales snob has to admit that this “looks” like a battle. I’ve played 28mm Franco-Prussian games, but they’ve always lacked the “big battle” appearance you get from these smaller-scaled games.fpw-latest-14The battle was essentially a repeat of the one played out two weeks ago – the Prussians were attacking a line of hills held by a smaller French force. The big difference was that this time we’d learned our lessons. There were going to be no heroic charges – we planned to let our guns do the talking.fpw-latest-10In fact the game became a glorified artillery duel – one the Prussians were bound to win. The French tried to respond, but inevitably – over the space of an hour or so of gaming – their gun batteries (and pesky Mitrailleuse machine guns) were silenced, and the German guns could then turn their attention to the French infantry. This “softening up” was vital – without it the Prussians would simply be shot to pieces. However, it doesn’t necessarily make for an interesting game.fpw-latest-12The French could do little but get pounded, while the Prussian players spent the evening champing at the bit, waiting for the chance to get to grips. In the end the advance never happened, apart from one one flank. There the Prussians launched their attack too early, and paid the price by being mown down. Everywhere else the German infantry lay prone, waiting for orders that never came.fpw-latest-07While this was something of a non-game, it was also another part of that Franco-Prussian learning curve. Gerry has invited us all around to his house in a few weeks (8th November), where he’ll be laying on a full-sized game – a refight of the Battle of Fröschwiller – with his specially-built terrain, and up to four Corps per side. We’ll need all the experience of troop handling we can get before the big day if we’re going to take on the French and win…fpw-latest-19


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