Sunday, 17 May 2015

Computer rant and Triples May 2015

It has been a struggle posting battle reviews the last few months, our aging laptop cannot use the modern version of Internet Explorer and the version it can use is not compatible with the 'updated' version of Blogger.  (Don't you hate it when things are 'updated'?).  The recommended Google Chrome option slows things down so much that only divine providence has prevented the laptop sailing through the window.  Anyway, I eventually purchased a new laptop thinking that it would make things easier.  How naive can you get?  I now have to combat the vagaries of Windows 8, which a manual tells me means  " I have 15 years of catching up to do".  There is also the small matter of finding the updated (that word again!) drivers for the camera and printer.

Rant over, for the moment.

Steve and I headed across the Pennines yesterday towards Sheffield.  Quiet roads meant that we arrived early and had to join the queue of gamers awaiting the 10am opening time.  There seemed to be a good attendance and there was the usual good selection of traders offering a bewildering range of all the 'essential' wargaming paraphernalia.   The range and number of games on offer seemed slightly less than in previous years.  With the forthcoming 200th anniversary of Waterloo it was inevitable that this battle would feature prominently.  The Ilkley Old School went back in time in more senses than one with their sand table game based on Plancenoit

General view of the table

The Prussians attack


French defenders
L'Orde Mixte put on a game based on the struggle for Hougomont, using the General de Brigade rules.


TheMosborough Old Boys had a Sudan game, featuring some beautifully painted figures on well sculpted terrain.





Among the other game which caught my eye was the WWII game from the Barely Legal group which was based on the Scheldt offensive in 1944.


and the 40mm AWI game from the Penarth group





It was also good to see a good number of youngsters taking part in the pirates game.


Of course I came away with a 'few' more figures to add to the mountain waiting patiently to be painted, but nothing untoward.

Overall a good day out, with those putting on games welcoming a chance to chat about the hobby and pass on hints and tips that may well prove useful.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Villette, a Grand Alliance scenario for Pike and Shotte

It is over 6 months since the last outing of the Grand Alliance figures, and that was the Lines of Castenay for which we used the Ga Pa rules.  Following our recent trials of the Pike and Shotte rules, Steve and I decided to 'push the envelope' and try the Grand Alliance period.  The scenario was very similar to the Castenay game.  Villete is a small, but significant staging point in the supply chain for the fortress of Namur, which is the main French objective for the campaign season.  As a preliminary to the besieging of the fortress, the French are anxious to prevent any supplies reaching Namur, to that end they are attempting to capture Vilette.  One battery has already been placed on a ridge, ready to bombard the town and Colonel Alexander Beattie of the engineers, is moving forward a siege  mortar and materials to construct a further redoubt.  The French already have one brigade of infantry (5 battalions) plus a brigade of cavalry (2 regiments) in place and further troops, (a brigade of 4 battalions and a cavalry brigade of 2 regiments) are on their way, under the command of the Comte de Salle Forde.

Unbeknown to the French; the Allied garrison of 4 battalions and two light guns, reinforced by a three brigades (2 of infantry and 1 of cavalry), commanded by the Graf von Grommit, have chosen that very day to sally out and destroy the French works. The low ridge, which is no impediment to movement is flanked by a marshy area to its right and has two wooded area close to its left flank.  French reinforcements will arrive either behind the ridge, or between the woods on the left (decided by a die roll).  The Allied brigade of grenadiers arrives after the action starts (delay is decided by die roll).  If the French preserve the battery and drive off the Allied force they are victorious.  The destruction of the battery, would be an Allied success, even if they had to retreat afterwards.

The French heavy battery, with Beattie's engineer wagon train approaching in the background
Von Grommit deployed his infantry in two lines with the cavalry on the right, correctly assessing that the terrain opposite his left was impassable to troops.  Even though the grenadiers had not yet arrived he ordered a general advance, there was no time to lose.  The first shot from the French artillery ploughed a furrow through the ranks of the Austrian infantry, but it did not halt their progress.  As the range closed the French infantry began to fire volleys and that from the Bavarians halted regiment Blitzenkron in it's tracks, causing considerable delay before they could recover their formation.

Confident in their ability, the French cavalry surged forward to engage their more numerous opponents. The army lists give the French cavalry a slight advantage in this period and I had mentioned this to Steve, just before he rolled the dice to decide which force he would command.  In the event he took the part of Von Grommit, but those claims about the French being 'the best cavalry in Europe' came back to haunt me.  In the melee both my regiments were badly mauled, streaming back shaken and in disorder; it was only the disorder in the allied cavalry, preventing their 'sweeping advance', which saved me from total disaster.

Aubusson driven back by Erbach
Fortunately, at this point my reinforcements arrived and even better, the cavalry appeared on my left between the two woods, putting them on the flank of the allied horse.  Here was a golden opportunity to hit the enemy whilst they were disordered.  The commander of the Spanish cavalry ordered his men to deploy from column into line and then charge, somehow the trumpet call was misheard and nothing happened ( ie I rolled too high in the command test).  One saving grace was that Von Gromit's cavalry were also stationary, (Steve also failed the command test).

In the centre a fire fight was developing.  Aided by their light artillery, the Austrians were gaining the upper hand against the French.  Solre and Languedoc were coming under increasing pressure and Salle Forde moved forward his second brigade to support the line.  The Austrians fired one more volley and then charged, Solre opted to fix their bayonets (once fitted the plug bayonet prevented the unit from firing its muskets for the rest of the battle), Languedoc relied on a closing volley.  Languedoc's volley stopped their opponents in their tracks, disordering them and forcing them to fall back to reform.  Solre met the charge of the Metternich regiment and after a close melee forced the Austrians to fall back. This gave them no respite because the light artillery now began to fire at them from close range.  Disordered, they were pulled back by Salle Forde, who ordered a fresh unit forward to take their place.  The remaining Austrian infantry concentrated their fire on the French redoubt; many gunners fell in the torrent of lead directed at them and the remainder fled the field, with the French artillery silenced the Allied front line now advanced on the French infantry.

The Spanish horse defeat Fugger
Hoping to take the pressure off the units to their right the Bavarians, supported by Remazy wheeled to attack the flank of the Allied second line.  Von Grommit countered this move by ordering his grenadiers to move against them.

Meanwhile on the French left the mutual inactivity pact came to an end with the Allied cavalry regiment Fugger charging the Spanish horse. Counter-charging the Spanish prevailed in the melee, but following up fell foul of the allied light artillery which Von Grommit had redeployed to support his right.  The Veningen Gendarmes and Erbach, now recovered from their earlier melee charged Aubusson and Vaillac. but could not repeat their success.  This time the French prevailed and the Allied horse were driven from the field, leaving Von Grommit desperately trying to put together a defence line on his right.

Toulouse fight for the ridge
The Hessian regiments Erbprinz and Lowenstein now attacked the ridge, trying to push the French line back. On their left Wartensleben moved through the abandoned battery position threatening the flank of the French line.  Erbprinz was defeated by Toulouse regiment, but they followed up too far and were overwhelmed by the fire from the Austrian regiments Herberstein and Furstenberg.  Zurlaben was threatened by both Lowenstein and Wartensleben but Salle Forde ordered the reformed Solre to charge Wartensleben and this helped to stem the Allied advance.  On the French left the Bavarians had stopped the initial charge of the Allied grenadiers, but when the latter were reinforced the Bavarians had to give ground., reforming behind Remazy.  This regiment defeated their illustrious opponents, causing yet more problems for Von Grommit, who now faced a situation with both his flanks in perilous circumstances and his centre coming under pressure from the two reserve battalions which Salle Forde had committed.

Assessing that he had fulfilled his brief of silencing the enemy artillery and disrupting their siege preparations Von Grommit ordered what remained of his troops to fall back into Villete.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Roundway Down - a Pike and Shotte scenario

It is a couple of months since the last ECW outing, so this week Steve and I revisited the Pike and Shotte rules.  Steve had chosen the action at Roundway Down and it is one of those battles that once you have gamed it you begin to wonder how the historical result was achieved.  The numbers involved were approximately Royalists; 2,000 cavalry (Wilmot) plus potential attack by Lord Hopton's infantry from Devizes (1,000?); Parliament c2,000 cavalry and c2,500 infantry.

The battle began with Wilmot's cavalry deployed in three brigades (ie units) with a small unit of dargoons and Prince Maurice's brigade in reserve.  Between the Royalists and Devizes was Waller's army.  This was deployed in the traditional manner with cavalry on the flanks and infantry in the centre.  In Devizes, to the rear of Waller, was Lord Hopton with four units of infantry.  He would intervene if Wilmot successfully rolled  a 6 on a d6 to activate him.  The dice decreed that I would take the part of Wilmot and with some trepidation I began to move forward against the numerically superior Parliamentarian force.  We used the Pike and Shotte special rule 'eager' for one of Wilmot's brigades and this cavalry soon outdistanced the rest and charged Heselrige on Waller's left flank.  It was at this point that things began to unravel.  The supporting Parliamentary artillery fired on the Royalist cavalry as they closed and disordered them.  Then the 'lobsters' fired their pistols and inflicted another casualty. My 'saving' dice all failed to 'save' and so these casualties 'stuck'.  In the melee Wilmot's men managed to inflict more casualties, but unsupported, they ended up drawing when the result modifiers were added.  Having reached their stamina level they had to take a break test and of course failed, falling back.

Wilmot attacks Heselrige
In the centre, my cavalry moved forward more slowly, (due to rolling 7's and 8's for command, which allowed me only one move).  This allowed the Parliamentarian artillery plenty of time to inflict casualties. Fortunately for Steve, he rolled quite a few 6's which disordered my cavalry and meant I couldn't give them any orders until they recovered.  As he threw a six on each of the next 4 moves this rather threw a spanner in the works!  Byron, on the left was more fortunate, that is until his charge left him 2" short of the enemy cavalry.  A round of hail shot and a pistol volley quickly sent him back towards the base line.  Just to put the icing on the cake, my reserve cavalry decided that they would be spectators for a bit and rolled a succession of 9's and above.

The game could have been over in 30 minutes, but for
1  Rolling a 6 at the first attempt so Lord Hopton moved his infantry out of Devizes and towards the rear of Waller's army.
2  Steve became infected by my ability to roll 'high' when attempting to issue orders and Waller's army stood it's ground rather than press home it's advantage against my cavalry.

Wilmot attacks Waller's regiment
After 3 moves Wilmot and Byron had recovered and moved forward again.  Once again Wilmot attacked Heselrige and this time prevailed, driving the 'lobsters' back behind Waller's own regiment of horse who were supporting them.  Wilmot followed up, expecting to achieve a decisive breakthrough.  In the melee they rolled 10 dice requiring 3 or more to inflict a potential casualty.  Against this, Waller's regiment rolled 8 dice requiring 4 or more.  The result was 8 - 6 in favour of Wilmot, we then rolled the 'saving' dice; each of us needing to roll 6 or more.  Steve rolled 8 dice and got 4 or more on each one.  My 6 dice can be seen below, only one 'save'.

 
With 5 casualties, Wilmot's had to take a 'break' test, they failed and had to fall back.  Waller's followed up,
meleed Wilmot's again and drove them from the field.  The reserve cavalry managed to stop the rot and halt Waller's charge, but both units became shaken and had to fall back.

Waller's infantry wait for Lord Hopton's attack
Lord Hopton's infantry had deployed and were now attacking Waller's second line, but they had had plenty of time to prepare.  The fire-fight between the musketeers was evenly balanced, but the intervention of Lord Hopton's pike blocks drove back the Parliamentarian line.  However, this was the Royalist's 'last hurrah'. The cavalry was a spent force.  In the centre, the seemingly perpetually disordered cavalry failed a 'break' test and fled the field.  Byron's cavalry, hit again by the Parliamentary artillery (another 6 inflicted a further disorder) also failed a 'break' test and followed their colleagues from the field.  With only the reserve cavalry remaining, Wilmot decided that the day was lost.  Left to his own resources, Lord Hopton fell back to Devizes.

At this point we called a halt and had lunch.  Steve and I chatted about how the rules had worked and we decided that the rules about disordered units not being able to be given orders and 'Initiative' which was limited to units within 6" of the enemy was too limiting.  We therefore adopted the 'Piffy' rule. (Piffy after the phrase "stood around like Piffy on a rock bun".  This enabled disordered units to fall back a move like Shaken units.

In the afternoon, we ran the scenario again, swapping commands.  Once again the Royalist cavalry struggled, although the central unit did at least manage to break the  Parliamentary infantry line.  However, they then became enmeshed in a melee with a mixed unit of musket and pike in 'hedgehog' formation and were driven off with heavy casualties.  Steve, had real difficulty getting Lord Hopton's force moving and once again by the time they deployed the Royalist horse had been defeated.

Monday, 20 April 2015

St Amand - a Shako scenario

The 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo comes round in just a few weeks. During June I am sure we will be treated to some great Napoleonic games at the shows and most Napoleonic gamers will be running their own versions of the battle.  The anniversary weekend coincides with the Phalanx show at St Helens. Steve and I will be putting on a game for the Lance & Longbow Society and thus the weeks before will be taken up with ironing out the scenario/rules/figures we will need. Therefore I decided to get a Waterloo themed game in early and as the action on the 18th June is so well known (and I don't have a single Napoleonic British figure in my 15mm collection) the choice settled on Ligny.  With a 6 x 4 table the best option was to concentrate on a sector of the field and so Vandamme's attack on the villages of St Amand and La Haye was chosen.

 Here is a map of the table layout.  For clarity I have not drawn in the hedges and fences around the villages.  The Ligny brook takes a full move to cross unless the fords behind St Amand or the bridge behind La Haye are used. (The bridge and fords are the only places artillery can cross).  Vandamme commands four divisions (25 battalions) of infantry (Lefol, Berthezene, Habert and Girard) with the latter arriving as reinforcements on turn 6.  Domon's cavalry division (2 regiments of light cavalry) is functioning as the flank cover for the army and can only be used in extremis.

Zieten's Prussians have two brigades (16 battalions of infantry) along the Ligny brook with Tippelskirch's infantry (8 battalions) and Roder's cavalry(3 regiments of light cavalry) available as reinforcements if the two villages are occupied by the French.

Berthezene's division
Overall, the Vandamme's strategy was to draw the Prussian reserves into action creating the opportunity for the decisive attack elsewhere.  Zieten hoped to slow the French advance by contesting the villages and then establish a second line on the brook, with a final stand (if necessary) at Brye.  Hofschroer, (1815: the Waterloo campaign, Wellington, his German Allies and the battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras) seems to have a generally low opinion of the Prussians. On page 235 he states:

"A substantial part of Blucher's forces consisted of raw levies capable of two basic manoeuvres; going forward in a state of disorder and backwards in a state of chaos."

Each of the Prussian brigades therefore has 6 2nd rate battalions and 2 1st class battalions (shako ratings) and the cavalry has 2 militia and 1 line regiments

The dice determined that Steve would command the French and Lefol and Berthezene's divisions advanced on the villages.  All the Prussian artillery was deployed north of the Ligny brook and therefore took little part in the early stages of the battle, waiting for the French formations to come into range.  With only 3 battalions deployed to hold St Amand,  Jagow's men were outnumbered 2 to 1 and soon had to fall back from the hedges and fences into the village.  Two of the attacks were repulsed, but the central sector of the village fell as the 2nd Pomeranian Militia was totally overwhelmed by the 1st battalion of the 46th Line. Lefol attacked a second time and secured one more sector of St Amand, ejecting the 1st Battalion of the 1st Silesian Infantry Regiment after a fierce melee.  The 2nd Silesian Infantry Regiment tried to recover the central sector from the 46th Line but was thrown back in disorder.  The 2nd Pomeranian Militia charged forward to cover the retreat of their comrades, but their bravery cost them dear.  A deadly volley from the French was followed by a bayonet charge which inflicted such heavy casualties that the battalion took no further part in the action.

Steinmetz at La Haye
At La Haye, Berthezene was also making good progress.  He had moved forward his artillery and after canister had softened up the defenders the 3rd Legere charged forward and drove the 1st Battalion 4th Reserve Infantry from the village.  Buoyed by this success the Legere continued over the bridge, attempting to gain a foothold on the northern bank of the Ligny brook.  However, they paid for their rashness as they were scythed down by canister and then charged by the 1st West Prussian Landwehr.

After 5 moves all the village sectors were in French hands and this triggered the release of Tippelskirch's brigade.  In view of the heavy losses Jagow had suffered, Zieten directed this brigade towards St Amand.  Vandamme also received reinforcements and Habert moved to the right of St Amand to outflank the line Jagow was forming along the Ligny brook.  Girard went towards La Haye where Berthezene was struggling to make headway.  Zieten had already moved the reserve artillery forward to support Jagow, and these guns came under increased pressure as Habert and Lefol's artillery, plus the French reserve artillery attempted to suppress them.


The action along the Ligny brook
Lefol was making pinning attacks against Jagow, buying time for Habert and Girard to come forward.  Berthezene also attacked again, preventing Steinmetz from aiding his colleague by extending his line to the left.  Girard's leading unit, from the 23rd Line crossed the ford and charged the flank of the 9th Reserve Infantry.  The Prussian unit dissolved into chaos and streamed for the rear, passing the leading battalions of Tippelskirch as he advanced to support Jagow.  The latter was in dire need of assistance, his command had losses nearing 50% and when the Fusilier battalion of the Pomeranian Infantry regiment was routed as it attempted to hold the other ford behind St Amand, it carried with it the remainder of Jagow's command.

As Tippelskirch hastened to deploy, Zieten commited Roder's cavalry in a last attempt to shore up his left flank.  Roder's men arrived just as Habert's infantry crossed the Ligny.  Luckily for the French they managed to form square in the nick of time.  Carried away by the thrill of the charge, the inexperienced Landwehr cavalry did not rein in, but continued towards the squares.  The experienced French infantry stood their ground and drove back the impetuous cavalry in bloody ruin.

23rd Ligne cross the Ligny brook
On the Prussian right Steinmetz was holding his own.  Berthezene's division had fallen back to lick it's wounds and Girard's men were struggling to cross the brook near La Haye.  However, it was on the Prussian left where the action would be decided.  An attack by Tippelskirch's leading battalions had been repulsed and as the men fell back they were charged in the flank by battalions from Girard's 23rd Line.  The Prussian line was in danger of being rolled up and Zieten requested more reinforcements.

We called a halt at this point.  The French objective had been achieved, more Prussians would be drawn into the fight near St Amand and this would reduce the number available to challenge the main French attack near Ligny village.  French losses had been heavy, particularly in the divisions of Lefol and Berthezene, but those of the Prussians had been even heavier.  In retrospect I could perhaps have cut my losses and pulled Jagow's men back behind the Ligny brook sooner.  This may have produced a more resilient defence against Lefol and Habert.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Rawkins Uniform books

I am sure that most of us who wargamed Napoleonics in the 80's had a few of the Rawkins uniform guides on their shelves.  For the time they were essential reading. Even though the illustrations were line drawings, the information on uniforms and organisation made their purchase worthwhile.   The books have been out of print for some years, but I recently received an email from Bob Metcalfe, one of the gamers who helps out on the Lance & Longbow stand at shows in the North.  He pointed me to a website where the titles can now be purchased on CD Rom.  These are new editions, with colour illustrations and greatly expanded text. They are very reasonably priced, roughly the price the paperbacks were all those years ago.  I ordered the guide to the Italian army and was delighted with the new edition.

 
So if you haven't already visited the historyman website (link above) it is worth a look.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Towton 2015

Last Sunday, Steve and I ventured over the Pennines once again to put on a game for the Lance & Longbow Society at the Towton Commemoration event.  We reprised the Hexham game we had run at York and again invited members of the public to join in.  We were in the barn along with several traders and a number of battlefield societies.  Visitors could chat to the re-enactors in their camp or go on one of the guided battlefield walks.

Here are a few photographs of the re-enactors and their equipment



It was cold and damp, but the living history enthusiasts stayed cheerful and did their best to inform the visitors.

In the barn I found the Northampton Battlefield Trust's stand very informative



For our part we chatted to quite a few of the visiting public, explaining about wargaming and the battle we were demonstrating.  Two people took us up on our offer of joining in and helped the Yorkists prevail (again!).  We played the game three times, with the Yorkists winning two outright within the allotted hour.  The third game was deemed a Lancastrian 'moral victory' as they still had one unit left on the hill when time ran out.  Many thanks to Bob for helping us on the stand and being such an enthusiastic supporter of the Yorkist cause!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Hagelsberg Aug 1813

Looking back it is six months or more since the 15mm Napoleonic figures were on the table; their last outing was for the Kukrowitz game at the end of August so a Shako scenario was long overdue.  I decided on Hagelsberg (or Hagelberg) which involved a force from the Magdeburg garrison under General Girard and

three brigades of Prussians under GM Puttlitz.  Girard had been ordered by Napoleon to particiapate in a joint advance on Berlin with Davout (from Hamburg) and Oudinot (from Dresden).  Oudinot's advance had been stopped at Gross Beeren and now Girard was on his own and having to cope with marauding Cossacks into the bargain.  Bulow eventually persuaded Bernadotte to allow an attack and the Prussians marched towards the French position. This is the map for my scenario based on the battle.



Girard holds the hill.  He has two brigades; Dupont (6 line battalions, foot battery) holds Hagelsberg and the right of the hill; Rivaud (5 battalions, a composite light cavalry 'regiment' and a battery) the left.  There is a third foot battery which can be placed at Girard's discretion.  His objective is to hold his position and maintain control of Klein Glein, which ensures his lines of communication back to Magdeburg.

Puttlitz has 14 battalions in two brigades under Hirschfeldt and Borstell  (7 battalions in each) and a brigade of light cavalry (Bismarck) with two landwehr regiments and one line regiment.  He also has two batteries of foot artillery.  The Prussians deployed their infantry in the woods where they got some protection from the French artillery.  Borstell on the left and Hirschfeldt the right.  Bismarck was in reserve in the open ground between the two woods as were the artillery.  All the infantry brigades, Prussian and French,include one skirmisher stand.



Supported by their artillery, the Prussian infantry left the woods, formed up and advanced towards the French position. Puttlitz intended to pass Bismarck's cavalry behind Hirschfeldt's infantry once the latter had moved far enough forward as there was more open ground on that flank.  Even though the Prussian guns were firing at long range Rivaud's front line soon began to suffer casualties.  However, as Hirschfeldt's men grew nearer to the ridge the French guns began their execution.  Particularly badly hit were a battalion of Frei Korps.  They were far happier menacing lines of communication rather than standing in line of battle.  Once the French changed to canister rounds and losses increased, the men could take no more; they broke and ran for the trees.To their left the Pomeranian Militia ignored these events and plodded on before halting, firing a volley and then charging their opponents.  The French line absorbed the shock and then repulsed this first attack.  Undaunted, the supporting militia also attacked,only to be stopped in their tracks by a devastating volley.



On the left, Borstell also moved forward. He edged to the lef to try and outflank the defenders, but Dupont responded by extending his line.  Once again the French artillery took a toll on the attackers.  Two Silesain line battalions charged into contact, but weakened by their losses they could not force their way over the wall held by the French defenders.  Falling back, they began exchanging volleys with the French, but could not subdue the fire of the tenacious defenders. Borstell next sent a column of battalions against the angle of the wall; but although the landwehr charged home they were unable to dislodge the defenders.  The brigade fell back to reorganise ready for a second attack.

Bismarck had now reached the right of the Prussian line, but he was too late to prevent a successfult French cavalry attack on Hirschfeldt's infantry.  One battalion of the 4th Reserve Infantry regiment strayed too far from its supports and before the inexperienced recruits could form square the French cavalry were on them.  Inevitably losses were heavy and as the survivors fled for the trees the experienced French cavalry officers held their men in check and ordered the regiment to fall back to reform.  They had seen the approaching Prussian cavalry and did not want to be attacked by superior numbers whilst still disorganised.


The Prussian hussar regiment had taken some casualties from the French artillery as they moved to the flank, so Bismarck put his two Landwehr regiments in the van.  As they moved forward to take on the French cavalry the left hand unit strayed into musketry range of the French infantry.  Their inexperience cost them dear as two well-directed volleys emptied many saddles.  The remaining cavalry charged forward and were counter-charged by the French.  In a brief, brutal melee the French prevailed and the remaining Landwehr cavalry fell back.

Both Hirschfeldt and Borstell sent their men forward again.  Once more the Prussians gallantly charged home through the French volleys, but once again they could not dislodge the defenders from their position.  The battered battalions fell back to recover, but with losses of 50% the survivors were not too keen to ry for a third time and so Puttlitz had to accept defeat and leave the field to the French.

I made a couple of errors compiling this scenario, the principal one being to make the defence too strong.  In retrospect  9 battalions against 14 Prussian battalions would have provided a better game, stretching the defence and making it more difficult to provide support for the front line.  Also, the original map shows the intervention of some Cossack units around Klein Glein.  Although the Cossacks may not be the most lethal attackers, they could have made the French 'look over their shoulders' and again stretch the defence. Particularly, they could occupy the French cavalry and enable Bismarck to pin some of the French defence in square and so support the infantry attack.