Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bloody Big Battles! Langensalza II

I finally got a chance to replay the BBB Langensalza scenario, this time with a better understanding of the rules. I commanded the Prussians again, but it was a very different game.

In the first game I had failed to get my troops moving and had fallen back on the defensive.  This left the Hanoverians free to cross the Unstrut and assault with their superior numbers.  If attackers are not halted by defensive fire, the actual assaults are resolved without the hardware advantage that would otherwise accrue to the Prussian Needleguns.

Before the battle: view from the Hanoverian side. The wide brown felt strips are roads. The thinner strips are streams. The dark green area to the centre-left is marsh.
In this game I fulfilled the conditions for keeping the Hanoverians at bay by continuing to probe the Hanoverian positions. Under the scenario rules the Prussians have to attack, but this can be very staged and piecemeal. With four units and various stages of 'attack', the Prussians could potentially delay the Hanoverians for 8 turns even without actually assaulting anything directly. The Hanoverians need to disrupt the Prussians to stem this advance. If they succeed the Hanoverians would be released to do their worst.

The Prussians by-pass Langensalza to threaten Merxleben. Apologies for the inverted Prussian blocks. I had attached some hooked pads to the bottom of the blocks to stop them from slipping but they stuck to the felt roads far too well. (They have since been replaced with paper.)
Frustrated by my delaying tactics, the Hanoverians moved two infantry units forward in the face of close-range fire from my Needleguns lining the  embankment of the stream. Luckily, I also took out the two central Hanoverian artillery units. This gave me a big advantage in the developing firefight. Far from stemming my advance the Hanoverian centre was threatened with destruction by fire.

The 25th Regt lines the embanked part of the Unstrut, bringing the Hanoverians under intense fire. One Hanoverian artillery unit has been stripped away.
By the end of turn 4 the Hanverians saw no hope of drawing, let alone winning, and conceded the game. BBB author Chris Pringle reported that he has won this scenario as the Hanoverians even though he was held up for 5 turns, but probably not from such an adverse position. As a small scenario, Langensalza is prone to variable outcomes, but that makes it interesting and worth replaying.
The 11th Gren Regt moves up in support. The second Hanoverian artillery unit is destroyed.
Anyway, I'm very glad to have now concluded a proper game and look forward to trying some American Civil War and Franco-Prussian War battles.


  1. That looks really good. Might have to investigate BBB further. Cheers for a really interesting report.

    1. I'm only a beginner so do check out the BBB Yahoo group. There are also lots of reports on TMP and various other blogs. The terrain takes a while to set up but the game runs smoothly.

      It makes the great battles of the nineteenth century playable with miniatures on a manageable table with the maps and OOBs all provided. It is definitely my game of the year.

  2. What a great looking wargame! The use of unit blocks, 'toy' wooden buildings, and £D hexed terrain makes it look and feel like a Kriegsspiel.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Bob

      As you will know, I owe a lot of inspiration to others here!

      I always think the blocks plus Hexon look very digital - like 'Civilization' and similar computer games. You can used them for any battle, any period and any rules and the uniforms are never wrong!

      I've since redesigned the block labels slightly. I'll probably post a picture with a link to a downloadable file.