Part two starts where I left off at the end of turn 6. From this turn onward I’ve generally been playing about a turn per week when I’ve had the opportunity. With just under a hundred units on the table its been fairly easy to keep track of things but I suspect I’ve inevitably made a few errors with the rules along the way. I also suspect I’ve been fairly passive in conducting the Allied defence. Each turn took about an hour to play in the end with notes for the write up being made and pictures taken. Writing it up and editing pictures has taken an age and when I tried to speed this up by using dictation software designed for use in medicine I got some strange lines
Here’s an extract:-“Term 7-This turn French manage to get 12 ABCs this is what they really need this means that they can get there and infantry assaults and the calorie moving forward they simply must get into LHS. Charlie puts himself this had the first 55th line using the glory option. Meanwhile the British for hesitant Brigade is including the heavy calorie which cannot come forward and challenge or try and delay the attacking French battalions.”
Here’s where I left off
This turn French manage to get 12 ADCS and this is what they really need because this means that they can get several infantry brigades on “Brigade assault” orders while using the “Forwards” ADC attachment to get the cavalry in support. They have been repeatedly knocking or dare I say hammering on the doors of La Haie Sainte for several turns and simply must get in . This time Charlet (not Charlie as the dictating software picked up!) puts himself at the head of the 55th ligne using the “Glory” ADC option in one last final effort. Poor brigade activation throws by the Allies result in four hesitant brigades this turn including the British heavy cavalry which cannot come forward and challenge or try and delay the attacking French battalions.
Not only do the French take the opportunity to launch charges on La Haie Sainte on the left flank again but also make their first effort against Papellotte on the right flank.
On the French right a 2/95th Ligne charges the 2nd Nassau and the 2/85th Ligne charges the 1st Nassau defending Papellotte.
Meanwhile Aulard (Donzelot’s 2nd Brigade) has reached the crest and decide to form up in mixed order.
The 2nd Nassau battalion throws a double six that results in a devastating volley on the attacking French . Despite the 4 casualties caused by this, the French passed their discipline test with a 9 and remained formed. Whereas the nearby 1st Nassau were ineffective in their attempts to see off their assailants.
Meanwhile back at La Haie Sainte the exhausted KGL’s fire has no effect on the charging 1st/55th Ligne.
In the Allied centre there is some surprise and consternation as the 3rd and 4th Lancers suddenly arrive at the crest, so presenting the Allied gunners with an both an opportunity to destroy them, but also a degree of fear.
Canister fire pours into the Lancers and they are halted in their tracks and forced to withdraw. Meanwhile Donzelot, in trying to advance becomes hesitant and his 1st brigade seem frozen to the spot for the second turn in a row.
Despite this the French advanced looks to be developing reasonably well all along the line. but it really is critical that they overcome the defenders of La Haie Sainte.
Meanwhile the 2nd Light KGL battalion defending it faces yet another assault and finally disperses when its strength falls to below 50% and the so the French finally enter La Haie Sainte.
On the right flank at Papellotte the French attack is pressed home and reinforced by the 95th Ligne resulting in the defeat and rout of the 2nd Nassau.
The start of turn 8 sees two faltering Brigade is on the Allied side, those of Ompteda and Saxe-Weimer. One in effect on each flank, and Saxe-Weimar vacates Papellotte leaving it to the French
On the French side Brue’s brigade is also faltering and though it rallies, its too late for the 85th Ligne who disperse. Again on this turn there are many hesitant brigades and again the French are having great difficulty keeping an attack of the size moving forward with ease and full cohesion.
As you can just about see in the picture above, the French now occupy La Haie Sainte
Meanwhile on the Allied right side Ompteda manages to rally his Brigade
On the Allied left Saxe-Weimar fails his command roll and this Reservist quality brigade, with 2 out of its 5 units in big trouble and already with the 2nd Nassau battalion destroyed, ends up with a “Save Qui Peut result when testing to recover from their faltering brigade status. By the time the retreat move is completed they are not far off the table edge
Meanwhile At the top of the crest the lone French divisional artillery battalion accompanying the infantry advance begins to fire on the Hanoverian battalions at close range
The 19th Ligne make a vain attempt to charge Lambert’s artillery, this turns out not to have been a wise move and back down the hill they go
Trouble is really brewing now as the 2nd/23rd Ligne advance and shock the Peine regiment in Vincke’s brigade.Then, when they retreat they leave a small hole whilst the unit on their right, the Lunenburg regiment suffers heavy casualties from the French battery deployed opposite the Allied battalions on the ridge.
Fortunately Saxe-Weimar rallies his depleted brigade on the table edge. It seems that events in the next few moments will be pivotal in the centre as the French cavalry start to charge
All along the line there are multiple charges as advancing French infantry battalions try to take out the artillery batteries that have been tormenting them as they have advanced. The 2nd/105th Ligne charge the foot battery in Bylandt’s brigade and though they make contact, they are somehow beaten off
The 1st Cuirassiers charge the 7th Militia, starting their charge so close that the militia cannot attempt to form square. Their defensive fire is poor and the cavalry plough through them entering the melee with elan.
The 13th Legere charge the 5th Militia
The 17th ligne charges Lambert’s divisional artillery and though the battery can manage to fire some of the guns,it eventually loses, routs and so disperses causing Lamber’s Brigade to falter.
Nearby the 4th Lancers charge Pack’s artillery who are well supported and by throwing a double six, kill Gobrecht the brigade commander and causing the charge to falter and so the eager lancers fail to get amongst the gunners.
The 21st Ligne tries to contact the 92nd Highlanders in a charge
In Grenier’s brigade the 2nd/25th Ligne charge the Lunenberg battalion who panic and lose their fire discipline and thus will melee at a considerable disadvantage being unformed facing a column charging with elan.
Not willing to let the infantry have all the accolades the 7th Hussars are lead in a glorious charge against Vincke’s by the Bruno, their brigade commander.
In melee on the other flank, the 1st Cuirassiers have a 10 vs 3 dice advantage against the hapless 7th Militia whom have little or no chance of survival.
The combination of these cavalry charges and those of the infantry in Schmitz brigade almost lead to a decisive breakthrough. When the melee’s have been fought Lambert and Bylandt’s brigade are both faltering. The only saving grace is that many of the advancing French battalions are battered and unformed. As the smoke from the musket fire clears it looks as if the Union Brigade will finally get a chance to attack those Cuirassiers and vice versa.
Thankfully both British Brigades recover from their faltering state – this was vital as a number of charges were about to go in and being on the receiving end of a charge whilst the brigade is faltering can be quite a disadvantage.
The 1st Cuirassiers charge the Scott’s Greys
The 17th Ligne melee with elan against the 4th British line who fight unformed
The 2nd/51st take on the 42nd Highlanders who have lost their fire discipline but still halt the charge somehow.The 2nd/45th Ligne take on Gifon’s Hanoverian battalion whom they defeat with the end result that of the whole Brigade then retreats
On the Allied side 12th Light Dragoons have an opportunity the ride down 25th Ligne whom have been left in an unformed situation when they fail a discipline test trying to form square. However its a bit of a setback for the cavalry when they lose by 6 in the battle of the dice and so fail to charge home
Overall the French continue to make good progress but just to be sure the attack is pressed home, guess who rides forward to lead the 7th & 12th Cuirassiers forward from reserve?
On a bright note Pack’s 1st regiment unleashes a volley against the 19th Ligne causing them to retire
Back to the cvalry action – in the subsequent melee, its a straight dice roll between the Cuirassiers and the Greys and perhaps not surprisingly the first and the second runs of melee are drawn with both regiments retiring well bloodied with 8 casualties each.
Back to the infantry now, the 17th Ligne overcome the 4th regiment in melee forcing the British to retreat and so an hole appears
The 7th Hussars have also managed to get amongst Vincke’s brigade and this brigade in turn falters and is pushed back
Vincke starts this turn faltering. He attempts to rally but fails and in a second attempt by using an ADC re-roll worsens his throw and ends up with a “save qui peut”result. This means that the brigade loses its ADC permanently, with retreating and routing units dispersing and the others sustaining two casualties each.
The 4th Cuirassier charge the Inniskilling Dragoons
The 13th Legere charge the 27th Regiment and end up in a melee with elan whilst the British are unformed. No wonder the British fight poorly, their muskets are bent!
The 17th Ligne hit the 1st Regiment and the result is a critical one with a 10 vs 2 throw in the French favour.
The 3rd Line Lancers again with elan ride down the hapless artillery supporting Pack’s brigade. Its all a bit of a blur for the artillerymen, just like the photo!
On the Allied right flank the Household Brigade moves to threaten the first brigade of Quiot’s division
On the Allied left the 16th Light Dragoons charge the French Hussars but this is the only good thing that happens on the allied side this turn as they cause 4 casualties and only receive 1. They push them down off the hill
The critical point is reached now . The Inniskillings charge and though they have less dice than the Cuirassiers they draw the first round of melee but fare badly in the second and rout. There are now cavalry retreating on the Allied side in addition to infantry and its all gone pear shaped. A full house occurs when Pack’s artillery are wiped out by the lancers
Things are desperate on the right centre of the Allied line now. This is because Ponsonby’s brigade is faltering, Lambert’s brigade is faltering whilst Bylandt is battered and at half strength with his 3 remaining standing battalion near their dispersal points and ready to run. Pack is now faltering and so is Vincke. Its like a row of dominoes faltering one after another.
The start of this turn finds the Allied side with 4 Faltering brigades and only 7 ADC dice to use to activate brigades. This I think is when the rules work really well (well maybe only if you’re on the French side!)At the end of this phase in the turn, Ponsonby has rallied but the Inniskillings are back on the shelf
Lambert manages to rally his 2 retreating units but Pack fails when he throws a 2 and loses another regiment and poor old Vincke gets another “Save Qui Peut” result and leaves the table. That’s it – I’m never trusting Prussians to be good substitutes for Dutch-Belgians ever again!
It really does look at all over the allies despite a last charge by the Lifeguard charge on the right, because the 54th Ligne form square in time and the cavalry fail to break in
The French Cuirassiers find yet more victims and Bylandt retreats and reaches the table edge leaving a hole in the centre of the line whilst the Lancers are off the leash
Best is err, well doing his best but likely the next recipient of unwanted attention
Look on the bright side- at least the road to Brussels is still blocked …
Perhaps the light cavalry can hold the French right off for a bit?
This is how it looks at the end – to the right of centre
To the left of centre-
Well there we are, all in all an enjoyable game, good fun to play even if played solo and over a long time. Its also been a report that I’ve enjoyed writing, even if a bit long winded. The game swung quite a bit making light of my initial feeling that the French had no hope and then a flurry of events went their way with good dice followed, resulting in an Allied collapse. What a brilliant set of rules though that allows you to handle a game of this size with relative ease