Sunday, 4 October 2015

Bloody Big Battles - Langensalza 1866 in 2mm


We tested the "Bloody Big Battles" rules for the first time with our Montebello 1859 game, using 2mm figures. Before starting larger projects like Magenta or Solferino we found another smaller scenario, set in Germany, which seemed very appealing: Langensalza 1866.

The original Scenario from the Bloody Big Battles rules


The effort needed to prepare a game of this size is quite manageable. The 24 and 18 bases of troops respectively needed for the two sides were painted and based rather quickly. For the table we used, as for the Montebello scenario before, a cream coloured paper table-"cloth" (available from the company Dunicel), which was painted with an airbrush as well as artist's crayons. The rivers were given a shine with acrylic gloss coat. Cardboard cut outs under the cloth, combined with the appropriate colouring, created some very three-dimensional looking hills. For final details flock (Woodland Scenics) and model buildings (Brigade Models and Irregular Miniatures) were put on the gameboard.

The battlefield as seen from the North

The town Langensalza - 2mm buildings by Brigade Models

The Prussians in 2mm - miniature blocks by Irregular Miniatures

Historical background

Prussia declared war on the Kingdom of Hanover on June 15th, 1866. The Prussian western armies began to advance on Hanover from Hamburg and Minden on the next day. The Hanoverian army managed to extract itself from encirclement and broke away southwards in the direction of Göttingen. The aim was to unite with the allied Bavarians in the Schweinfurt area.

Infantry of the royal Hanoverian army in 1866

However, the Prussian high command succeeded in blocking the southward escape route with a small force under General Fließ. Although Fließ's orders were purely defensive, he was meant to prevent a Hanoverian sortie across the river Unstrut, he took the initiative and launched an attack across the river. This offensive was initially thrown back across the river by the Hanoverians. Our scenario begins at precisely that moment, at 11 o'clock A.M. 

The view from the South - the Prussian positions

Historical outcome

Despite the Hanoverian tactical victory at Langensalza, they did not manage to destroy the Prussian blocking force in their way. Exhausted and lacking ammunition the Hanoverian army was completely  encircled by superior enemy forces on the next day. King George V. and the Hanoverian high command realised there was no more way to avoid the surrender, which took place on 29th June, 1866.

A historical view of the battle: at the centre Mühle&Bäder (Mills&Baths), on the left the river Unstrut and village Merxleben, on the right the town Langensalza

The Langensalza 1866 scenario for BBB:

The scenario is available as a free download pdf-file from the BBB Yahoo group. On a 120 x 120cm size table, representing a battlefield of 7 square kilometres, the battle is simulated in 8 game turns ( 11 A.M. - 3 P.M.). 

Our gameboard

Four locations are marked for Victory Points: the villages Merxleben, Mills&Baths (Mühle&Bäder), the town Langensalza, as well as the southbound road towards Eisenach. The Prussian player wins if he holds 3 or more of these positions at the end of the game, if he holds two the game is a draw. If the Prussians hold one or none of these positions (reflecting the historical result) the Hanoverian player wins.
The Hanoverians deploy first, the Prussians have first move in Turn 1.

View from the North with Victory Points locations

The course of our game

Start of the game: deployment at 11 A.M.

11.30: Prussian moves
Historically the Hanoverians were commanded by General v. Ahrenschild, who was intimidated by the aggressive Prussian advances for some time and hesitated to cross the Unstrut to the south. This is reflected by a scenario special rule that prohibits any Hanoverian moves across the river, as long as the Prussians operate aggressively towards Merxleben. 

11.30: Hanoverian moves

The Hanoverians take up their positions. Prussian fire silences and pushes back the battery on the hill.

12.30: Prussian moves
 The Prussian vanguard attacks Merxleben.

13.00: Prussian moves
 The vanguard is thrown back over the Unstrut. A Prussian battery is driven away.

13.00: Hanoverian moves

The Hanoverians may now cross the river. Immediately the 4th Brigade crosses on the left wing via the Nagelstädt-Bridge.

13.30: Prussian moves
The Prussian vanguard and the 25th Regiment fall back on Langensalza after taking heavy casualties in a protracted firefight.

13.30: Hanoverian moves
 Also the 3rd Hanoverian Brigade now crosses the river, on the right wing.

14.00: Prussian moves
The Prussian 11th Grenadier Regiment advances on the right wing with artillery support. At the same time the other remaining forces take up defensive positions in Langensalza.

14.30: Prussian moves

 The 11th Grenadier Regiment is pushed back into Langensalza.

14.30: Hanoverian moves
 The Hanoverians advance concentrically on Langensalza....

15.00 Uhr: Prussian last Turn 
The Prussian player makes an isolated attack on the Hanoverian left wing. The aim is to prevent the enemy from taking the Eisenach Road and thereby winning the game.

15.00: end of the game

A flank attack by the Hanoverian 2nd Brigade drives away the 11th Grenadier Regiment towards the South. Massed attacks on Langensalza however cannot break the Prussian defenders. Thus the town as well as the Eisenach Road remain in Prussian hands at the end of the last Turn.


At the end of the game the Prussians could secure a draw by succesfully defending Langensalza and the Eisenach Road. The game was very exciting until the very end. The scenario is very entertaining and well-balanced. Our game lasted for about two and a half hours and, as usual with BBB, we could play the rules very easily and without paper-work. Even after pausing some weeks after Turn 2 we were again so accustomed to the rules' mechanics that we never had to look anything up other than the tables on the reference sheets. 
After the game the "table-cloth" was cleaned and rolled up in a matter of minutes, placed in a corner were it now awaits the next "Langensalza-drama" .

Prussian artillery batteries


  1. Again a diaroma-like table. Well done. Maybe one day you can publish a tutorial on how you make them?

  2. Hello!

    We will try to post a "making of" here, next time that we create such a table. Thank you for the positive feedback!

    The Scenario was great fun to play!

  3. Superb table - I look forward to your 'how to' in the future. I'm lured back to 2mm by this post!

  4. Superb. Well done. I love the table.