Chris Palmer Saturday morning we were up early to do the final set-up for our big 12 player “Battle of Paris, 1814” game using “Fate of Battle” rules and 10mm figures on a 20 ft. table. The battle centered around the Montmartre Heights on the outskirts of the city, as Russian and Prussian armies attempted to storm the city and oust Napoleon. Joseph, who had been left in charge of the city while Napoleon was out trying to raise a new army, was supposed to have been fortifying Paris, but had only managed a few hasty defensive works as the enemy approached.
Buck Surdu, Dave Wood and I were the GM’s, but due to being short a few players, I ended up commanding a force rather than doing a lot of help with the game-mastering
|An overview of the battlefield near the beginning. The Montmartre Heights can be seen in the back left of the table.|
The game began with the Prussians and Russians making the march towards the slopes and coming under long range cannon fire. My command was located on the French right, were we attempted to fight a delaying withdrawal against superior numbers.
|A view of the battlefield from the other end of the table. The ranks of Prussians and Russians can be seen preparing to climb the slopes.|
As the battle raged on the Allies began to push further up the slopes. Meanwhile, on the French right, the canals and built-up areas prevented either the attackers or defenders from gaining a true initiative as movement was slowed and maneuver difficult.
|Buck Surdu, pointing, helps a player work out an artillery fire result.|
It eventually began to look to everyone that an Allied victory was inevitable, as the Allied forces neared the crest of the heights; but the wear of the uphill battle began to show on the attackers, as one after another brigade began to rout back down the heights. To everyone surprise it suddenly began to look like the French would be able to hold the heights after all.
|Dave Wood, the other GM, explains a rule to an onlooking player.|
As the game wound down there were some tense turns as the French and Allies, like two battered boxers, tried to land some decisive punches on the heights, but both seemed too exhausted to do so. When time was up, the French were declared the winner; as the Allies did not appear to have enough strength left to dislodge the remaining defenders from the hill.
|A close-up of some cavalry action on the French right, as a unit of Russian Cavalry appears on the flank and French cavalry turns to meet it.|
Everyone seemed to have a good time, and it was a great group of players who took part. I certainly enjoyed myself; even though no decisive outcome was had on the French right were I as located.
|The Allies push further up the heights, meeting a determined defense.|
|Dave helps measure a range, as fighting nears the crest. Some of the retreating Allies can be seen on the plain below the hill.|
|A shot of myself, maneuvering some cavalry to counter Russian cavalry dogging my steps as I attempt a gradual withdrawal.|