June 19, 2017 by wargamerchris
This is of course the 202d anniversary of the battles in Belgium which finally put told to the career of the French emperor.
We’ve played two anniversary games in the past two years – including a massive recreation for the 200th – with thousands of figures to a side.
Tonight, for a variety of reasons, we only had about an hour to set up and play our game. We chose a local action around La Haye Sainte.
As I mentioned, with time shorter than usual, we were determined to get a game in. We have the Albion Triumphant supplement to Black Powder and also had in hand the La Haye Sainte boxed set scenario book. When son #2 set it up he had reduced the forces to six French battalions and three batteries to throw against three battalions of KGL, Welsh, and one unit of Rifles (with Sharpe on the board) and some Dutch skirmishes and one unit of Dutch cavalry.
With the time limit so imposed, we used units that came out of the first few boxes of troops we came across rather than dig out all etc. So you’ll see.
My unit skirmishing in the orchard had to take the first break test for shooting…
And then there were only two units of British/ KGL in the farm area.
These were the stand-ins for the Dutch skirmishes on the right of the farm…
The KGL in front of the sandpit foolishly charged a unit of line in the open…
The move wasn’t foolish until they failed to defeat the single battalion of line and the French commander threw in two more battalions…
One break test later and the gentlemen in red moved away from the field to reassess and the grenadiers et al charged against the final line unit (Welsh my son says) in barn end of our LHS.
I threw in my Dutch cavalry on the right in relief of the Dutch light infantry. There was one small unit of line in the way and they would never form square in time… then the cavalry rolled for a single solitary move, falling short of the square which had flawlessly formed… still it was largely even so something had to go my way.
Do I even have to say that my Dutch cavalry lost and then my break test was absolutely consistent with my excellent luck so far… off they went to join their comrades in arms in Brussels….
This then is how the ‘barn’ at LHS looked on the end of the last turn…
Two years ago, in the grand game, as Wellington, I lost in less than ten turns when the massive French attack in the center smashed through my lines and my counterattack failed.
We actually had fun with the quick game and it really led to a good few laughs and shouts of French triumph. The terrain is based a little bit more on Sharpe than history, and the Prince of Orange was sniped fleeing the farmstead – a little Cornwellian history. A miniseries is very dangerous in the hands of a middle-school mind.
Last year I lost the to/fro at Chateau Hougoumont on the right flank…. Last night I failed miserably to hold in the center. (I also lost as Wellington in Waterloo Stratego at Christmas when he first got it.). My 11 year old is developing an imperial sized ego when it comes to Waterloo….