It was decided about a month ago to do a memorial game in the style of and to commemorate Donald Featherstone and his rules. 'S' set me a challenge to get my Franco Prussian War figures all painted ready for the game - which I manage to do - just !. We decided to dress formally as people in Don's early photos appear - 'S' sporting his fathers cravat and smoking jacket and myself a collar and tie . Here we are toasting Don's memory . I said to my wife "I don't like this photo it makes me look fat !"- she replied "but you are !, Hmm ! 'Et to Bruti' !
'S' steps back into 1960's mode . I've tried several different types of 'messing about' with photos techniques in this report to try and capture the period - some work better than others.
We played the scenario from Don's first book but with Franco Prussian figures instead of ACW ones. The Terrain was set up as close as I could manage to the Platteville Valley . I took the Prussians and 'S' the French (he's a bit of a Francophile). Here is the situation at the end of the second move , my Bavarians and Wurttembergers move towards the river as 'S's troops move down the road towards the bridge.
On move Three the rest of the units came onto their respective board edges, my Hussars came onto the table near the bridge and dashed across it much to 'S's consternation ! - my 'Coup D' Elite' !
On the other flank the main force of my infantry marched on .
The situation at the end of the Third move .
'S's troops way is blocked by the miniature bottle of Port.
'S's left flank with the French Lancers in reserve.
My Hussars cross the bridge and deploy and in the centre my infantry move over the river .
My Hussars charge the French line and block the line of sight of my deployed Artillery ! Rats!.
They take casualties but in a close fought melee they hold the French advance up !.
The French Mitrailleuse is knocked out by the Prussian gun .
The much depleated Hussars retire their mission completed - but at a cost !. So far Don's rules had stood the test of time ! .
On my right flank the infantry advances onto the table
And comes under accurate Artillery fire !
'S' counters it by sending his Chasseur's through the woods.
In the centre my columns cross the river to find their way blocked by 'S's Turco's.
The forces clash on the hill top and I start to get the upper hand !
'S' rushes reinforcements to hold up my attack ! - at this point the battle was defiantly going my way !. BUT I then did a series of things that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory !.
I ignored his lancers and moved my infantry up in column to cut his centre - they charged and my Jaegers and Artillery failed to stop them with supporting fire !.
Under Don's rules getting charged in the flank is NOT a good thing - they broke and were cut down by the Lancers - Oh dear !
In the centre my Bavarians lost their last officer, failed a moral test and fled back across the river , the Wurttemberg infantry on their flank then failed their moral test for a flank unit fleeing and broke as well - Oh dear !.
'S's view of the table - he had started pulling his units back just prior to my debacle now with a grin on his face he countermanded this and followed up my fleeing forces !.
The situation on the last move , the Bavarians continue to flee but the Wurttemberg unit is rallied by the Prussian High Command .
The French Zouaves move forward to control the ridge , urged on by their Cantiniere !
One of the only rule changes we made was to allow one French casualty to re roll a failed saving throw if a Cantiniere was present - if he was successful she had revived him with her brandy !.
To add insult to injury 'S' managed to cause casualties on my gun preventing it from firing . It was French victory - due to my mistakes and a touch of bad luck . We both agreed it had been a good and tense game , the rules worked well after 50 odd years and took only 2 hours to play . We hope it was a fitting memorial to a great wargamer . Who knows it may become a seasonal tradition !.
P.S. on seeing the photo of us in the first instalment, 'S' said that it did not make me look fat - only 'portly' - Not sure if he is trying to be kind or it's a pun !?