Canorobert was ordered to hold Vernéville, in front of the line that became the battle front of Gravelotte-Saint Privat, this would have left his corps hanging in the air unsupported and he refused.
We played a 'what if' if Tixier's division had no received it's order to reposition and had met the wrath of the Prussians.
French (Steve & Nick): 1st Division of VI Corps, 2nd Corps, 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division, 4th Cavalry Division, Guard Cavalry. All French apart from Guard classes as 'unreliable' need to score under command to move.
Prussians (Mark, Graham, and I): III Corps, X Corps and 5th & 6th Cavalry Divisions Graham had X Corps, Mark III Corps, I controlled the cavalry and the camera!
French: 1st Division VI Corps; Hold until relieved. Rest of French, get them out of there!
Prussian: Advance and engage the enemy (take the village and break through to the hills behind).
The Prussian plan, X Corp to take the village whilst III Corp skirted round to the right and attacked the French as they arrive piecemeal.
The Rules: Black Powder, cm scale, figures and terrain by me...
French deploy in the village and from the bottom of the table; Prussians arrive along the two roads at the top of the table, cavalry divisions to arrive from top right hand corner.
Tixier's Division deployed in the village.
French relief force deploy
Cavalry to the bottom, ignore the fact I forgot an entire French Division and had to fill the gaps with Wurttenbergers!
Turn One: The Prussians arrive, well, 50% did, lots of troops failed to roll enough to turn up, including my two cavalry divisions!
III Corps tries to skirt the village.
However, the plan wasn't being followed by the French, who rolled nothing higher than a 6 with their cavalry divisions movement dice all night and were incredibly moblie!
Turn two, Prussian 5th Division arrives, Hooray!
Prussian X Corps starts to line up for their assault on Vernéville, with artillery forming out into fire lines!
The French start to take damage from artillery.
The situation at the start of turn three, not III Corps cavalry has moved past the woods on the right, under fire from French in the village in the wood. The Prussian gun line is also starting to surround the one side of the village!
However the French Guard Cavalry division managed to switch flanks in one go!
...and the French
infantry were not too far behind either!
...even redeploying some of their infantry in the village to allow them to bring more Chassepots to bare!
The Prussians charge, but are shaken and disordered on the way in. Supported on all sides, the odds had been stacked in favour of the Prussians
Whilst III Corps tries to sneak past the village.
The French view from the village, facing the Prussian gun line, they have just lost one regiment to sustained artillery fire! The Mitrailleuse had just jammed after three turns counter battery firing.
That combat in the village raged on for another turn.
As 5th Prussian Cavalry division faces off against Forton's French Cavalry, each securing their own flanks
The French Guard Curassier and Carabiniers brigade hit an advanced regiment of dragoons frontally! This was never going to end well for the Dragoons on a minus 6 to their moral check!
Except look at their moral score..
Meanwhile, the Prussian attack on the village blew itself apart, the 18th infantry routed, taking the 56th Infantry and a brigade of Hussars form the Cavalry with it!
The Prussian gun line blew away another infantry unit, and then another attack was launched, which was eventually destroyed.
5th Prussian Cavalry tries to clear the flank (and fails)
At this point the French advance was continuing superbly, and their main battle line was forming up on the hills, while the Prussians had 16 batteries firing into the village! However their column sneaking up the right was not really advancing quick enough!
At this point the Tixier's division in the village was forced to withdraw due to losses, it's artillery pulled out, whilst the infantry remained in buildings or in combat.
and 5th Division Cavalry had to retire at the same time.
The result: Draw.
The Prussians took Vernéville, but the French had managed to get moving and secure a line anchored on the woods.
It would have taken the Prussians a while to redeploy their gun lines to deal with the French and support the infantry assault on the line, the chassepot fire would have been dreadful and it is doubtful the Prussians could have forced a hole.
There were no blunders all game, but the Prussians failed to move quickly enough in the centre or get enough troops on board quickly on their right, whereas the French (even with unreliable for all commands) were amazingly successful with their movement!