Wednesday 25 October 2023

Valour and Fortitude v2 Battle Report

John and I played a trial game yesterday evening using the second edition of Valour and Fortitude. I rearranged the terrain from last Saturday’s game and used the 1808 Swedes and Russians who had been bloodied in the same game. I took the Russians and John the slightly reinforced Swedes as I’d just completed the second half of the Savolax Jäger, seen here:

The Russians were again the attackers. My plan was rash and poorly executed but it gave us plenty of opportunities to run through the rules. The river was impassible for all troops except over the bridge but I reckoned putting my horse artillery supported by a regiment of cavalry would be a good way of bringing the full weight of my artillery to bear on the Swedish line as I would be able to enfilade it nicely. Meanwhile my infantry would advance and engage the Swedes as quickly as possible and try and overwhelm them.

The Russians are advancing on the Swedish left. My jager battalions have moved into the wood in the centre to counter the pesky Finnish jäger my cavalry was rooted to the spot refusing to move.

Unfortunately the Swedes were able to present a pretty solid line to face my advance, with their Savolax jäger advancing through the woods to threaten my flank, and more importantly the half-battery of guns deployed on the road. 
The Russian right is getting a bit bogged down and also is starting to take casualties from the enemy jäger and artillery. 

The Swedish dragoons about to ride down one of my battalions.

After one of my battalions broke under the effects of the fire from the jäger John decided to attack me with his cavalry. He rode down one battalion ( above) which was not able to form square but recoiled when it tried to charge the battalion seen here that had wisely chosen to form a square despite being shot at by enemy guns and infantry.

Meanwhile in the centre things were getting bogged down as I was unable to dislodge the enemy troops from the woods despite being able to get stuck in with the bayonet. (As it happens we made a mistake with the rules so I probably would have driven off the Swedish jäger in the wood).

My left flank advanced and was held up by the combination of enemy artillery, infantry and more bloody jägers! I tried to avoid masking my artillery which caused my columns to bunch together and cause all sorts of problems for me. 

My far left over the other side of the river. My plan to deploy the entire horse artillery battery on the Swedish flank while being safe from interference went pear shaped from the start as I repeatedly failed to activate this brigade, until I realised I could use one of the event cards to get at least one unit moving. One half battery did manage to deploy just this side of the bridge but the other was too slow.

By now we had played six turns. Had we not been stopping to check the rules we would easily have got into double figures and we may even have got a clearer result. As it was, I had failed in my objectives and in the process a brigade had wavered, giving John a victory point. I’d also lost four battalions of infantry, but we won’t talk about that!

As for the rules, I think we both agreed that had we not made so many errors and misunderstood some of the key parts of the rules then it would have had a significant positive impact on the game. It might also have helped if we had read the section on terrain effects! 

The actual mechanics are quite straightforward and the rules themselves quite simple. In some ways they are a bit ‘Black Powder light’ (not a criticism) but only insofar that the troops characteristics are similarly presented. Activation, shooting (before movement), actions and melee are simple but not simplistic, and I like the shooting before actions sequence, especially as if a unit shoots it cannot move or perform any allowed action. The morale rules are effective and can be quite severe if the player isn’t careful. The event cards also added a little unpredictability and fun to the game.

For an evening game over a couple of hours these could be a good choice, as a result would be almost guaranteed once the players became familiar with them. I am uncertain how they would work for one of my big multiplayer Saturday games, as we might find ourselves finished by lunchtime, but I guess I shall happily have to try them and find out.

I had amended the Russian army characteristic sheet in the rules to reflect better ( well I think so) the army of 1805-1809 and created a new one for the Swedes/Finns. I think I made the Finns, especially the jäger, too good but that can be easily remedied.


  1. On your problems moving the artillery brigade
    Unles he has changed a lot the rules of that an artillery unit is eigther in column or deployed and if you fail the order i think they still get a bit of movement due to being in column but this was on version one so i dont know

    1. That’s in Black Powder. Nothing for limbered artillery I can see. Of course I should have moved them first then their brigade would have an automatic activation.

    2. It seems that they had remove it on the second version thanks to note it
      Im not as familiar with v2 as i was with v1

  2. Not tempted to try them out myself, but interested to follow your efforts.