Wednesday, September 02, 2015

InCon SHAKO II Demo Game of Quatre Bras

With the bicentennial years of the Napoleonic era coming to an end this year I had set my sights to get in at least one game of Quatre-Bras.

When the InCon games team asked if I could do a tabletop miniatures game demonstration, I knew that this was the venue for running a large game.

a massive battle for Ney, even the magnetic tag has become battle scarred from all the use recently
full field, from the Anglo-Allied point of view

troops deployed at the start of turn 1, seen from French right wing

Commanding the French, I put the men in columns with artillery to open the action, then follow up once the infantry had moved off

this Allied commander put the Brunswick formation up front and center with two lines of battalions

Picton (newly finished in his HAT!) with his Division

Dutch men had pulled back from the woods and made ready with cannon to blast the French as they came out from the woods

French line from the far left

more of the French line, showing the hill at Geminoncourt Farm
This was a 'demonstration game' so the players could come and go as they pleased, push some lead, roll some dice or not.  There was a fair amount of just talk, both about the game specifics - I had a long engaging talk about painting, mixing colors, casting my own minis etc and other talks leading into discussions about history and military operations doctrine of the period.

the French move off in columns to hammer the Allied lines, a visitor takes over command of Jerome (far left of the French line)

rushing into the woods

the heavy battery at the top of the hill was pouring fire into the Brunswick lines (seen in the rear are more of the cosplay going on at the event)

Wellington had a full court press coming at his lines and, at the moment, no reserves to help shore up the line
the field at turn three, no major losses yet the Brunswickers were facing intense pressure

more Anglo-Allied troops arrive

a massive column was marching to the rescue in the center

more French were pouring into the woods, no Dutchmen remained to hold them back
The discussions continued throughout the day, as observers came and went.

now French cavalry had joined into the action, the Brunswick lines were crumbling

Anglo troops rush into the center

Dutch battalions ready themselves for the coming storm of Frenchmen

still pushing through the woods, more French columns surge forward

while Picton's men stand firm and trade fire with French Battalions
during Turn four, Wellington's command was over-run, then on Turn five, the cavalry that had sent Wellington fleeing was itself destroyed

Dutch lines now were fully involved

French were spilling out of the woods everywhere
by turn seven the Anglo-Allied final reinforcement had arrived, though it would not be enough to stop the Dutch and Brunswick Divisions from fleeing off the field.

Italian painted troops were used as Jerome's French Division for this game

Jerome's forces rolled over the hapless Dutch, only losing one battalion in the process of eliminating seven from the field!

With Brunswick troops dead all around them, French storm into the town of Quatre-Bras, 1/2 of the victory was now achieved

Picton's Division continued a grim defense

while deep in the center of the Allied line, the first reinforcement division was taking post around the scattered command of Wellington's field headquarters; in the foreground are the dead Chasseurs a cheval that had scattered Wellington in turn four
The Anglo-Allied commander then had to depart the game.  We shook hands in good fellowship and I continued to maneuver the troops on the table alone - for a half-turn, as there was soon a new Allied commander and my Jerome player had returned to take command again of the French left flank.

Turn nine and the situation for the Anglo-Allies had gone from bad to worse, only the two reserve Divisions were left now facing all of the French, though many French Divisions were wounded.

the former Dutch positions, now vacant

95th Rifles (lower left) were having to hold back battalions of French

Quatre-Bras, looking from the now vacant lines of Picton, who had also fled the field

with not enough troops to halt the French, Wellington chose to withdraw from Quatre-Bras.  A complete victory for Ney!

a white board used to advertise and update the viewers on the goings on in the game.

The final game team.
This was the InCon 2015 game demo of SHAKO II rules featuring the historical battle of Quatre-Bras.

I also took a photo of the tabletop markers that I use to mark disorder and rout of units.


Ross Mac said...

Good job!

James Fisher, FINS said...

Top stuff David.
You under-stated it. Wasn't that your third Quatre Bras for the year?!
A good way to bring new people to the hobby. Do you reckon that any were 'converted'?

MurdocK said...

Actually James it was the fourth, but who is really counting?

The first one in February was a 'warm up' for this presentation and a chance to do a game with my son and his friends.

The other two were fill in games that I put on the table that was suddenly available.

I do not think any converts were found here.

The one I did at the farmers market in the summer did bring me to the attention of someone in the Library that is looking to set up some games over the fall. So I have a table to run a game on September 19th, I am planning to do some 'meeting engagement' stuff with these same troops (no need to re-base anything and the Brit v. French is popular enough) on the 19th.

Only one Saturday a month will be available, so no idea yet if I could find any other interested players.