Friday, 29 May 2015

Battle of Waterloo - Enfilade 2015 - the player's deployment

Having completed the historical affair, we reset for the "what-Napoleon-could-have-done-with-his-deployment" game.

French Commanders:
Ron - Lobau,  Reille and Milhaud
Doug - D'Erlon with detached Guard guns
Bob - Druout and Kellerman

Allied Commanders
Stephen - Perponcher and Picton
James - Uxbridge and Prince of Orange
Seth - Clinton and Brunswick

Having a better grip on things, I recorded the players and their commands, and as was playing this time, had a bit better grasp upon the events.  But only a bit better mind you.
The view high above the Allies right flank from the west.  For those viewing from the upper bleachers, Hougomont is in the near middle with La Haye Sainte, and Papalotte in the middle and upper middle respectively.  Allies to the left, French on the right. 
Milhaud's Cuirassier Division deployed just to the east of La Belle Alliance 
For this battle, James took the Allied commands of Uxbridge and Prince of Orange while Steven, our newest "recruit" and fresh from deployment in Afghanistan and in his second game, took Perponcher and Picton, with Seth taking Clinton and Brunswick's forces.
The French were Bob with the Guard and Kellerman's heavy horse; Ron with Reille, Lobau and Milhaud and myself with D'Erlon and much of the French artillery.

The French planned to have the Guard swing around Hougomont to assault the Allied right flank rolling it up along the crest line while Lobau's corps will take on any reserves in the area and D'Erlon will  hold the attention on the Allies left with pinning attacks and heavy artillery bombardments.
The left wheel punch by the French but the Allies still holding the ridge ( represented by the road ) as it is difficult to coordinate combined arms attacks in the confined area this battlefield offers.  No doubt in the back of Wellington's mind.
Reille's forces under Ron's command.  Both he and I had very poor dice luck this game.
The French plan was perhaps good but our dice luck was extremely poor.  I rolled four 1's in consecutive turns for maneuver and thus could not bring up much of my numerous artillery to any thing like full effect ( I guess the ground was STILL muddy ! )  and even with hits, these were brushed away by equalling rolls by the Allied players.  Sigh.
The Allies withdraw from the crest to avoid the French random artillery fire - ineffective as it proved firing blind over the crest line and unable to maneuver to the crest.  The columns of French moving seemingly without much enthusiasm due to my pathetic dice.
On the French left, the Guard detached half of the Young Guard and a portion of the Old Guard to screen Hogoumount from their advance, with Kellerman's cuirassiers sweeping out around the French left. As they approached the ridge, the Guard cavalry took advantage of several mistakes on the part of Clinton and beat back the Foot Guards from the crest line, combining charges with barrages from the Guard horse artillery and bayonets from the Young Guard. Though they were pushed back quite a distance from the crest line, Clinton managed to re-organize and establish a new defensive position a short distance away. As Clinton was being pushed back from the ridge, Kellerman's cuirassiers found the Brunswick infantry exposed in open ground outside of Braine L'Alleud.   Brunswick attempted to stem the tide of cuirassiers around the allied right, and in the process made a powerful claim to assume the name "Die Hards" from the Battle of Albuera fame. Despite catastrophic losses, the Brunswickers refused to quit the field, merely falling back to a position where they could support and be supported in turn by Clinton's Foot Guards. At this point the French center and right had been pushed back from the ridgeline, and the assault was largely spent. The screening force around Hogoumont was still fresh, but likely too little to late, and the French acknowledged that the First Empire had likely well and truly run its course.
Lobau's Corps.  The green labels can be removed and replaced with other commander names for other scenarios. The black dice record combat effectiveness.  Paperless. Just the way I like it!
The French left earlier at the start of the battle before it went downhill :-))
The Allies kept commands tight, unlike in the historical affair.  One does wonder about Wellington's command structure, and it would suggest he allowed all his commanders only local control and was predicated on the idea that he would arrive in time to control in any disaster. It seemed to work however.  The hand is moving the Dutch 6th Hussars representing the Merlen's Brigade of light horse.
One of my infantry brigades in square - note the cube marker on the right - having bounced the Netherland horse (in the distance ) but now about to receive close fire from the Royal Horse Artillery supported by the Belgian heavy horse et al.
the action from Action 5 News 'copter!


Like the veterans of Napoleon some thirty further years into their lives as old men looking back at the good-old-days, we wargamers remember only the glory of the battle, won or lost, on the war-game table some days after the event.




14 comments:

  1. Nice AAR of a fire looking game, Doug. It seems difficult to play each other's games at cons. Either we"re hosting games at the same time, or signed up for other games, or just taking a break in between. It was very nice seeing you, even for brief moments, in any case.

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    1. We really must try to coordinate next year!
      take care,
      ...DougH

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  2. Absolutely beautiful looking game!

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    1. Thanks. We try to put on a "pretty" game. --grin--

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  3. A beautiful and very impressive report, love your photos!

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    1. I am a strictly point and shoot photographer but my camera seems to like poor, indirect, florescent lighting which is quite beneficial for the convention shots.
      cheers

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  4. Great photos of the well painted forces Doug.

    I am also impressed that you forced the French commanders to include a provision of troops from the center or reserve to deal with the Prussians .... even if the Prussians did not appear on the table. Too often in these a-historical re-fights the Prussians are omitted entirely and that makes for a French advantage that often translates into French victory, leading the gamers to wonder 'what if'...

    The Prussians refusing to quit the campaign after Ligny is what won it all for the Allies, just staying in the game mattered.

    Great show piece set you have there Doug. BRAVO!

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    1. Thanks for the 'cheer'

      You are correct that with the Prussian participation, the French have little hope of victory. They need to be done with the British and Allies very quickly and, with those forces behind the ridge, the French cannot use their artillery to 'soften up' the defences to allow quick combats and thus are significantly delayed allowing the Prussian masses to exert their pressure.

      The one great French victory, that at this convention, came when the Allies charged over the crest line seeing an opportunity for victorious combats, but in the long run, losing too much to the full power of the French cannon and thus ultimately collapsing. Wellington was not hiding but conserving by being behind the ridge.

      By playing numerous plays of the battle, one begins to understand the true nature of the occurrences and effects of the historic event and thus becomes a great educational tool.

      Now that the rules are more or less firm, we can truly concentrate upon other historical battles themselves which should be great fun.

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for the nice comment
      cheers.

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  6. Very impressive and inspiring! I am working on a similar scale for the game, Blucher. Are the buildings 15mm or 20mm?

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  7. They are listed as 15mm but might be a tad large door-ed for that scale however when doing buildings for wargaming one is best served to go down at least one scale ( if the minis are 28mm then do 20mm or even 15mm buildings) in order that their footprint upon the battlefield is smaller and more in line with the minis basing. If "in scale" buildings seem way too large on the tabletop.
    Thanks for the note.

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  9. Hey, Doug! Thanks for a very beautiful and enjoyable game! Hope to see you next year at Borodino!

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