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Reichshoffen 1870 & Magenta 1859 : Commandos at Saint Nazaire

Number: 73

Price £16.95
Game Series

Product Description

Theme:      Magazines and Books      Multi Era      Discounted      Open Copy     

Open copy, un-used.

The second release of the "Les Grandes Batailles de Napoleon III" series.

Vae Victis 73:
The games is designed by Luc Olivier, Riccardo Rinaldi, Philippe Klarman and Nicolas Zamichiei and is one of the three games in the issue.

Together with Magenta 1859 the game is the second release of the "Les Grandes Batailles de Napoleon III" serie.

As with all Vae Victis games, the counters need to be cut out and mounted. The rules are entirely in French, although translations are available online.

The Battle of Magenta, June 4, 1859, was the first major clash between France and Austria during the Second Italian War of Independence. Magenta 1859 recreates it using the same rules as Solferino 1859 and Reichshoffen 1870, as well as the same scale (one hour per turn, 600 meters per hex, brigades). Unlike its siblings, the game has almost no special rules.

Napoleon III commands the French and, though scarcely comparable to his uncle, well overmatches the Austrians' sluggish and late arriving Count Gyulai. Unfortunately for the French, Napoleon enters far away from the bulk of his forces and takes a long time to get within command range. Until then, formations may move effectively only when their commanders make successful initiative rolls, and the largest French corps suffers from an initiative penalty for the first several hours. (Its commander, General Mac Mahon, moved slowly while waiting for a Sardinian division to come up to cover his open flank. This caution did not, however, prevent him from becoming the hero of the day. The Emperor rewarded him with the title "duc de Magenta".)

The battle starts at 10:00 a.m. and lasts 10 turns, with many brigades not arriving until the afternoon. The forces (and the map) are only about half the size of those in Solferino, and the victory conditions are simpler: Each side gets one Victory Point for each hex it holds in the town of Magenta (which has three) plus one for each demoralized enemy corps.

The Battle of Reichshoffen, also known as Froeschwiller or Woerth, was one of France's early disasters in the disastrous Franco-Prussian War. It is most notable for a desperate and futile charge by the French cuirassiers and for a children's song that begins C'était au soir d'la bataille de Reichshoffen.

The scale of Reichshoffen 1870 is the same as Solferino 1859 (600 meters/hex, 1 hour/turn, units are brigades). The rules vary only slightly: French defensive fire and Prussian artillery are both more effective than in the earlier game, reflecting the two nations' technical advances in small arms and cannon, respectively. French heavy cavalry have two opportunities per game for a charge à la mort, which can strike anywhere within five hexes of a French headquarters - usually without effect but useful if saved for just the right opportune moment.

Other rules changes are based on the armies' command problems. The French army has no commander-in-chief. Marshal Mac Mahon, the hero of the Battle of Magenta, "although physically present on the battlefield did not direct the battle". As a consequence, French formations can act effectively only by passing initiative tests. (Optional rules give the Marshal a chance to be slightly or fully effective.) On the Prussian side, there was quite a lot of initial confusion; brigades cannot launch coordinated attacks until the commander-in-chief, Prince Frederick William, arrives on the scene halfway through the action.

The battle begins at 8:30 am and lasts for 10 hourly turns. The victory conditions are simple: The Prussians must occupy four villages in the center of the map; otherwise the French win. The map is slightly less than half the old Vae Victis standard, sharing a sheet with the one for Magenta 1859. The counters must be mounted and cut apart.

Base postage cost: £1.50

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