Thursday, June 25, 2015

Many Shades of Quatre Bras

Over the past 10 days I have had opportunity to play out the Quatre Bras scenario a few times.

Ney in command at Geminoncourt Farm
With a Garden Wars game, I laid out the troops to do a solo game, to examine the battlefield and get a better sense of what challenges there were that day.

Sadly my own challenges included a call out to drive for the family, so the game was suspended early.

Then I had opportunity to do a game demonstration at my son's high school.

With four lab tables pushed together we had a fine battlefield.

field as seen from Picton's left rear, Bossu Wood to the top center of the image

Anglo-Duch lines of Pciton, with Wellinton's command just behind Quatre-Bras

The French prepare to cross the stream

By turn six the situation had gone poorly for the French attackers

Jerome was stuck in the woods

Dutch units were standing firm in the face of French assaults

French units in Bossu wood were taking hits and not pressing forward

By turn nine the situation had further deteriorated, Bachelu had retreated his whole division and Pire was not able to pick up the slack.  Picton's force was going to hold their ground.

Not all was perfect for the Anglo-Dutch though, as the Brunswick division had also retreated...

Picton had gone over to the attack to drive off Bachelu
By turn 10 it was clear that the French could not dislodge Picton's division and with the collapse of Bachelu and Pire it would not be possible to reach the crossroads at all.  We ended the game at this point.

Then on Sunday 21 June, I did a game demonstration at the local farmer's market.

smaller table, so only the center/right of the field was represented

Bachelu's Division charged into the woods in three columns

The Brusnwick force was deployed in a series of lines

The field on turn two as seen from the French left, Foy's division in the foreground

by turn five, the Brusnwick force was coming under attack on the flank, as the battalion covering the woods had fled the field, leaving a gap in the dark black line

on the French right, Bachelu had smashed through the woods and was now coming onto the flank of Picton's forces

the broken flank of the Brunswickers, their nerve gave way as the Duke of Brunswick rolled a "2" for the Division morale and they fled en-mass

by the end of the turn, Merlen's cavalry had also been pushed into action against Pire's lancers, half of the formation was gone and again a "2" was rolled ... again the result was a retreat from the field ... Wellington was running out of troops.

By turn eight the action was decided as the Guards under Picton were hit enfilade in the flank by a French column and the melee went all for the French a 6-1 die roll sealed the guardsmen's fate and Picton's Division left the field with 80% battalions broken.

The center of the field, littered with dead men & horses

French battalions surged into Quatre Bras, long before any re-enforcement could come up
Many thanks to Jeremy, and his wife, for good sportsmanship and patience on the hot day.

Now only one more Quatre-Bras game is planned for this bi-centennial year at the InCon event in August.

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