Saturday, June 25, 2022

Field of Battle 3 - Action at Eisdorf - Ulster Wargames Society

Set up and umpired FOB3 game today at the UWS meeting with adaptation of GDB scenario 'Action at Eisdorf' part of overall Battle of Lutzen 1813.

This one is an all infantry affair (only 1 lowly unit of Cossacks on table) with French attacking to gain control of bridge at Eisdorf defended by Russian forces (with a single Prussian artillery unit in support).

Jeremy and Brian (new club member) took the Russians whilst David T and David P (so many Davids at club !) taking charge of French.

This turned out to be very interesting and eventful game (as so often it is with FOB).

French had a turn when things just fell so well for them with combination of good cards and attaining 3 Moves segments with 2 Infantry brigades and with even rolls allowing them to pile in and melee with multiple attack columns against Russian lines, who only managed to recoil a single French unit.

This saw Russians taking a lot of casualties (ie morale chip losses) and led to their left wing quickly collapsing.

On Russian right it was more of a standoff as French essentially skirmished/refused and Russian were stymied by failing to move several times.

However the lowly Cossacks narrowly failed to defeat a unit of French lights caught in skirmish formation much to the relief of the French. 

The Russians had a glimmer of hope when their off-table reserve brigade of Foot Grenadiers (their best infantry) managed to deploy their guns and hit French in column with impunity from across river whilst their two units of Grenadiers deployed to left of Eisdorf.

However despite catching a single French column in flank and front they were repulsed with losses not once but twice !!

This same French battalion involved in this little vignette went on to further glory routing the Grenadiers entering Eisdorf and taking the bridge. 

French numbers on this flank then really told as Russians disintegrated and Russian morale completely collapsed and they failed their first Army Morale roll ending the battle.

So victory to the dastardly French. 

Russians were hampered by several reshuffles of deck that seemed to 'hide' their leadership cards until no one left to Rally and by some truly awful runs of dice rolls (Jeremy achieved a number rolls of 1 with any and all dice rivaled only by myself in battles past..........) the Russian morale was shattered early on by this no matter what the Army Morale level actually was. 

FOB can be a cruel game indeed (seems to kick a side when its down) but I just love the high playability (very easy to umpire) and the various episodes/events that occur to the joy of one side and consternation of the other, and just seems to play like a proper battle account (at least to my tiny wee mind) and a big plus is that even largish games are generally played to completion in a reasonable time (not always possible with more process/detail driven sets).

Russian initial deployment as French advance in center

French advance on right 

Later action as Russian left is being crushed (Grenadiers just arriving at bridge)

French have annihilated Russian left (note Grenadiers routing back across bridge) whilst stalemating Russian right wing.

Couple of pics 'borrowed' from Brian

View from Russian right in early stages.

The Cossacks who so nearly achieved glory and managed to survive to end

Russian Jager in skirmish being pinned with backs to river and overwhelmed by fast charging French columns

Also at club was a 15mm Black Powder game of Culloden run by Billy against David S which I sadly did not get to see much off beyond set up but which was won by British but with higher losses than historically (Brians pics again)


  1. Excellent stuff. FoB 3 still shines out for the very reasons you mentioned. The card draw was cruel to the Russians and an epic clash was easily managed and played, with immense enjoyment, in a decent time. I have yet to see that with another set. I know BP and KK have their benefits - but there is nothing like FoB that I have seen.

    1. Yes indeed always seems to generate a good game that plays to a firm result. Players used to set sequences of play and predictable opportunities to fire/move etc struggle initially to grasp the overall concept (eg only 4 opportunities to fire per deck) and its use of dynamic/decisive combat/firing (required to stop games lasting an eternity) but most do enjoy the playability. As you say other sets have their attractions (and as you know I do like a variety of rules) but none really surpass the overall gaming experience of FOB. Just got to embrace the scope and the chaos and realise you wont have total control :-)

  2. Great to see Culloden too - which I have FoB3 in mind for (i'll let you know ;) ).. Nice to see the wee Irish contingent in there too.

    1. I would have liked to see how Culloden played out with BP but was way too busy