Franco-Prussian War Scenarios

This section provides a number of Franco-Prussian War scenarios for use with Volley and Bayonet. These scenarios been updated, unless noted otherwise, to support the latest version of the rules, “Volley and Bayonet: Road to Glory”.

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Wissembourg 4th August 1870

This bloody little battle opening the Franco-Prussian War saw the unsupported division of General Douay of I Corps, with some attached cavalry, which was posted to watch the border, attacked in overwhelming but poorly co-ordinated strength by German 3rd Army. As the day wore on elements of one Bavarian and two Prussian Corps became embroiled in the fight which was notable by the complete lack of higher direction by the Prussians and blind offensive haste by their low level officers. The scenario can be found here.

Spicheren 6th August 1870

A confused and bloody action which saw the disorganised elements of two German armies (First and Second) shake themselves out of a traffic jam north of the Saar and break like a stormy sea against the French II Corps of General Frossard which had entrenched itself on the precipitous Rotherberg Height overlooking the Franco-German border. The Germans won the day at the cost of several thousand killed and wounded but the defeat is generally thought to have been caused by the lack of support that Frossard received from elements of French III Corps (Bazaine) some divisions of which were no more than 4 miles away. The scenario can be found here.

Froeschwiller, 6th August 1870

Fought simultaneously with Spicheren, this encounter battle pitched the highly motivated Third Army, victorious at Wissembourg two days previously, against the finest corps of the French army – MacMahon’s 1st. The French held their ground all day until finally pushed back by great weight of numbers and savage German artillery fire. Once again nearby French troops failed to move in support; a division of Failly’s 5th Corps arrived in the evening just in time to cover the retreat but too late to save the day. The scenario can be found here.

Borny-Colombey, 14th August 1870

Bazaine’s French army had begun a congested retreat through Metz. The III and IV Corps were covering the withdrawl East of the fortress city. Although First Army commander Steinmetz had orders to avoid engaging the enemy, one of his brigadiers, von Goltz, decided to stop the French. The unplanned battle that followed represented one of the few times during the war where the French outnumbered the Prussians on the battlefield. The scenario can be found here.

Mars La Tour, 16th August 1870

During the first four weeks of the Franco-Prussian War, there was one day one single day when the French were presented with the opportunity of defeating – indeed of destroying, the chief instrument of the German military machine and of making good their escape. Whether that would have influenced the final course of the war is a matter for speculation. What is certain beyond argument, is that the war and with it the future of Europe was decided at Mars-la-Tour on 16th August 1870. The scenario can be found here.

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