Friday 1 December 2023

Friedland 1807 With Valour & Fortitude

We played a big game of Valour & Fortitude last night - an ambitious project since whilst we have all played it at least once, none of us really know the rules. We chose a bath-tubbed refight of Friedland; the attacking (initially) Russians had four or five brigades of three units plus artillery, whilst the French were initially defending with about four brigades, but had as many more arriving as reinforcements. The Russians had to grab an objective in the French lines (literally) and then carry it off their side of the board, nicely simulating their initial attack followed by their falling back in the face of increasing French numbers.

Here's the setup, with the Russians on the right and the French on the left.

The Russian advance was slowed by streams and by us trying to work out the rules for a whole range of things. The lively discussion occupied some time. There's a logic to the rules that's not always obvious and sometimes not explained as clearly as it could be. 

I was commanding the Russian left under Bagration (and, yes, we occupied some time working out how to say Bagration). My cavalry engaged that of the French and, frankly, didn't do that well.

The French had anchored their right on a small village, so it seemed rude not to attack it. I massed up some infantry, hampered by the infernal streams.

Meanwhile my other infantry brigade (I'd been trusted with two of them) was forced into square because of French cavalry. Ralph decided to see how hard it was to charge squares. It's hard. His cavalry fell back and was slowly shot to pieces by the infantry and supporting artillery.

My troops kept pushing forward, but what's that on the table edge?

More French! On no!

The reinforcements started to make their presence known, and the Russians prepared to fall back. At that point we ran out of time, and given that the Russians had suffered  two brigade morale failures and teh French none it was really a French victory at that point.

It took us a while to get going with this game, both with the setup and the play - the former because of the size of the scenario and teh latter because of our inexperience with the rules. But once we'd got past the first half of the evening we found that the mechanisms flowed pretty well, and all of teh players knew what they were doing and, more importantly, how best to achieve what they wanted to do (always a key thing to know how to do in any set of rules). They have some quirks, but are very playable and surprisingly quick. I think with a less ambitious scenario - we did deliberately set out to try and break the game - we could get a decent conclusion within an evening.

My thanks to Ralph for putting together all of the kit, Caesar for putting together the scenario and the other players for a great evening. 


  1. Nice punchy batrep and great photos - love the low angle shots.

  2. Great pics and report, sums up the experience well. V&F has simple enough mechanisms to allow players to concentrate on being a general rather than a rules lawyer, and shove large volumns of little lead men into the meat grinder. Entertaining to watch!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...