Early Morning, June 18, 1815, somewhere near Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.
A squadron of the 5th Belgian Light Dragoons, part of the patrols to the west of the main Allied positions are watering their horses at a pond. A sharp-eyed trooper pointed out the green clad horsemen coming from the east. “They are our boys”, declared the junior officer squinting into the early morning sun. The sergeant, remembering just yesterday fighting the French Chasseurs with a similar uniform to their own, was not so sure. "But do I dare warn the officer, he questions himself, the young man is most pickish."
With this narrative, I start a solo game in commemoration of “Waterloo Day” with a simple die roll: 1 or 2: the sergeant says nothing, 3 or 4: he voices his concern, 5 or 6: the officer indeed discovers his error and orders the squadron to mount up immediately.
|The Belgians(left) verses the similarly uniformed French Chasseurs(right)|
The roll was made and the unit, while still in disarray from mounting up moments before, impetuously charges the oncoming orderly French horsemen. Nevertheless the Belgians fought the French Chasseurs to a standstill for several minutes until the Belgians, defeated, retreated away. The French unit reformed by were surprised by the charge of the 4th Dutch Light Dragoons, who had moved down the road from the north unobserved. Their charge from road column was considered unformed but was equal to the French initially and for many minutes the swords rang out across the open field.
|The 4th (Dutch)Light Dragoons moving down the road towards the fight|
|And the Dutch attack the Chasseurs|
Finally the combat was won by the Dutch and the French retreated. But the French commander not yet ready to concede defeat, ordered his disordered troopers to about face to yet “face the enemy and for the Emperor!”
The Dutch and Belgians quickly reordered their ranks. While the French commanders might have wanted to offer battle, the French troopers seemed unsure about the prospect and were slow to reform. The Dutch, close-by, had no problem making the distance to the French Chasseurs and slammed into them. The Chasseurs lost more casualties and galloped off back to the east in great haste while the Dutch could claim no casualties but for a few slight sword cuts.
While battle called Waterloo would be started in a few hours, this was a bit of a fun little tabletop action to commemorate the 207th anniversary for the Napoleonic wargamer.
Of the play: It was done solo. The rules are one of my own devising which basically are a "can do or can't do" on a 6+ roll on 2d6. For this battle combat of all Light Horse, roll 12 dice with any 5+ producing hits (4 needed to make a casualty) but the most counting as a combat win. Defeated gallop away, the victorious unit rolls to see if it reforms or not. If not, fight with 6s only.
The figures are Perry plastics, with the Dutch and Belgians my conversions. (don't tell anyone the Dutch are indeed on Fireforge Medieval horses!)