It is a corps level game. We don't care what the regimental captain does. One cannot command skirmishers and be Napoleon. We don't even want to try.
It is thus, that we tried the 3rd Battle of Ligny. The first two games resulted in roughly historic results (see previous posts 1st Battle, 2nd Battle ) Now let us throw in all the "what if" options ! The theme for the convention was "obscure" battles. We all know of Waterloo, of this engagement, not so much......
|View of the early deployments|
|Another view of the early deployments|
|the initial fighting for Ligny|
|French guns deployed between Ligny village and St. Armand. As historically done, these will cause havoc with the Prussian reserves.|
|a view of the Prussian left flank. While good defensively against the French cavalry unable to assault the villages and unable to cross the stream, they would be foolish to attack the French horse of Grouchy's command placed alone on this wing.|
|Perponcher's Dutch-Belgian Division|
Perponcher's Dutch-Belgian Division sent by Wellington to help the Prussians. This is one of those "what-if" scenarios which I decided to add to this play of this historical battle. As I played it historically accurately in the previous two attempts, both of which resulted in the mimic to the actual action, this time I added all the possible contingents which 'could have' arrived to influence the outcome. Thus Bulow 's corps did arrive, as did the French corps early under Lobau. Perponcher was sent by Wellington as we must assume the Quatre Bras crossroad was not attacked early by Ney's French and thus this contingent could be provided. Probably historically accurate as Wellington would be unlikely to send any native British units away from his command and would have likely sacrificed these 'foreign' troops saying they were still part of his army and thus in the agreement to assist Blucher if he was not attacked.
In our re-creation, they came at Marbais at the right corner of the Prussian deployment area and were moving down along the French bank of the stream. They would have run into D'Erlons's corps at some point.
|Close-up of the Belgian Line troops part of Perponcher's command. I created these from Perry British torsos, Victrix British shakos (needed for without covers), French packs and their arms (for the cuff flaps! )|
There is not much to tell of the game itself as the players were running it themselves by the fourth turn and so with time to chat about particulars of the rules which came up from time to time, I kinda lost track of the play in between.
Nevertheless the result had the French lose on points with the Prussians still holding three of the 'key positions' despite losing large numbers. However in the 'post mortem of the game' all ten players were still around the table with smiles on and happy with the game. Fairly rare for most Napoleonic games I have known!
The 3rd Battle of LaRotherie
held the next evening
To allow a comparison for results between the various developments of the rules, we have chosen to use the same historical scenario. LaRotherie was the second major battle of the Campaign for France in 1814 and our third time running this game.
While we tried to be relatively accurate in the design, we must admit that Seth and I have not ..yet?... painted any Russians which under Blucher's aggressive leadership were foremost in the attack. So we substituted part of Seth's growing Austrian for them as well as he supplied the Austrians, Wurttemburgers and Bavarians who rounded out the Allies contingents.
For my part, supplying the French side, I spent some time in the hotel room, re-labeling some of those French elements which fought on Friday to indicate the new commands. If viewing the photos of our games, you might note that we leave a space at the rear of our stands to allow an attachment by temporary gummy tack a green piece of card with the historical General's name in order that the players can identify their command. Not too glaring when viewed by the casual observer.
|Early deployments of the Austrians (left) and French (right)|
|Looking from the Allies right wing of Bavarians and the weak French forces under Marmont which have fallen back to before the woods. The mass of Ney's Young Guard can be seen on the far side of the woods.|
|The "wurst" of ideas? A silly pun on the Austrian horse gun, well done by Seth and seen in 'yellow' on the right of the photo|
|The main thrust of the Allies against the town of LaR represented by my paper model|
|French Guard Horse on the loose in the Allies center attacking at will.|
Of course talk of Leipzig (only the largest battle of the entire Napoleonic era !!) keeps popping up..... we very silly boys.....
|Close up of my late war French Hussars (Perry plastics)||and representing a light horse brigade|