Wargames To Go 13 - Franco-Prussian War
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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The usual geeklist where I can record the games I play for the next podcast episode, others I won't make it to (but are interesting to consider), and so on.

I've now moved back to California, but have one more France-located topic to cover for the podcast. The Franco-Prussian War is another topic I didn't know much about when I started. Some historians say that in 1870 it set the table for the 20th conflicts that define our modern world.

Be sure to follow the blog & podcast itself over at https://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/68153/wargames-go-131...

-Mark




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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
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1. Board Game: Franco-Prussian War 40 [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I've had it for a while. From what I've read, I'm not really looking forward to this one. More fiddly than I'd like.
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2. Board Game: The Franco-Prussian War [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:6026]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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A well-regarded game AND the magazine article. Sounds perfect. Maybe I should start with this one.
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3. Board Game: Deathride: Mars-la-Tour 1870 [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:5487]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Vasey & his designs are interesting. Eager to see what's going on here.
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4. Board Game: L'Aigle Foudroyé [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Not sure that I need another title (actually, I'm sure that I do not), but this is tempting
 
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5. Board Game: La Campagne de la Loire [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Whereas this one is double-blind, not something I'm likely to play
 
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6. Board Game: The Sedan Campaign, 1870 [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:10652]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I read mixed things, but it doesn't look so bad to me. Trying to obtain a copy.
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7. Board Game: Reichshoffen 1870 [Average Rating:6.11 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I'd LIKE to obtain a copy, but with no easy sources--and too many games already on this list--I will let this one pass by.

Nope, wrong--I decided to order one. Seller was in Spain, and the mag got to me pretty quickly and inexpensively.
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8. Board Game: Prussia Rising [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I had a good experience with this designer's other PNP games. Eager to try this one.

I printed four 11x17 sheets and glued them together to make a large version of the map. Now that I'm back home the counters are better than I was able to make for myself in France. I use matte board from an art supply store. The counters are single-sided, which helps, too. I had my trusty Oregon Laminations corner-rounder, as well.

Now I just need to PLAY it.

 
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9. Board Game: 1870-1871 La campagne de l'Armée de l'Est [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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One of the later VV mags (after issue 100) that features mounted counters. That's a welcome improvement. (And still a bargain!)
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10. Board Game: La Bataille de Paris 1814 [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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This isn't even about the FP War. However, it's directly about the previous attack (and conquering) of the capital city. These events factored heavily on the minds of France's next military generation. The fortress system and city walls built after 1814's events led to the endgame of the FP War--the siege of Paris.



A fine little game for me. I've played a lot of Vae Victis games, but I think this was my first one from the recent publication era, when they include diecut counters instead of ones you have to paste up. That's nice. Are all of that new maps small like this, just half-sized? That would be fine with me, too. Especially if they're this attractive.

As for gameplay, this was closer to the light combat system that I've been wanting to complement lighter rulesets. Yes, the historical scenario is imbalanced, so a French "win" comes from delaying the surrender of Paris longer than actually happened (even by hours). I liked it for the history, showing which allied units arrived when, where, and how the pushed their way through the French defenses. Including some tough fights for hills and other defensive locations. If you want a more balanced game, you can play the alt-hist scenario where Napoleon himself retreated from Waterloo to the personal defense of Paris, bringing a corps with him. That would have more fireworks.




I really love this map. So evocative. This is the setup for the standard scenario.



The reinforcement schedule for the allies is an impressive bunch of stacks. As a Californian, I normally don't find my home on a wargame map, so it was special to study hex 1103 in this game. That's where my Paris (Vincennes) apartment was, though in 1814 I think it was probably farmland next to the fortress.


Here's when & where the allies broke into Paris' perimeter defenses. It's only a matter of time, as the French don't have enough units to resist. Although the game includes Napoleon himself and another corps(?) that could've been there, had history been different. I didn't try that scenario.
 
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11. Board Game: Also Ran [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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"Also Ran" is never a game I play for these podcasts. It's just something I use as a separator for games above (that I might play), and ones below (that I don't plan to).
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12. Board Game: Duel of Eagles [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Just learned about this. Since I like magazine games, it would be good to track down a copy of this Paper Wars issue game (if possible).
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13. Board Game: Asalto [Average Rating:5.29 Overall Rank:12254]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Belagerungs-spiel, as this asymmetric classic dating to the Napoleonic era was originally known, is not a game about the Franco-Prussian war. However, this particular German edition was made for the French market shortly after that war ended.



What makes it interesting (and funny) is its realistic but unlikely art: The board shows properly uniformed French artillery officers at work, but they are firing what are unmistakeably 1870 Krupp breech-loading siege guns - exactly the ones used against the French in the siege of Paris!



See an image of German gunners at work with the real things here:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=xc5JHp...
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14. Board Game: The Franco-Prussian War [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:10684]
suPUR DUEper
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Villa Hills
Kentucky
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A much older SPI version.....
 
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15. Board Game: On To Paris! [Average Rating:6.92 Unranked]
Bill the Pill
United States
Oneonta
New York
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Was leaving this off just an oversight?
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16. Board Game: Von Moltke's Triumph: Fall of the Second Empire, 1870 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Thinking about it (I don't own it).
 
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17. Board Game: Teutons!: Assaults on the West, 1870-1940 [Average Rating:8.87 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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The first of this triple-game set is the FP War.
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18. Board Game: At Any Cost: Metz 1870 [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Not quite ready in time for my podcast, and probably a bit larger in game scope than I'd play (I think).
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