Saturday, 19 May 2012

Napoleon wins Waterloo

It’s a little ironic that the last of our Wellington’s Battles should end in his defeat at Waterloo!

I had doubts about playing Waterloo as a wargame again, but it seemed a shame not to do so to complete the series of Wellington’s Battles.  Unfortunately it did not prove to be a particularly enjoyable game, and it would have been nice for him to have won the last battle in the series.

Even with our intention of playing a wargame based on the battle, rather than attempt to refight the battle, we were still constrained to make it look a little like Waterloo.  This resulted in a crowded table, particularly in 28mm.  

It also meant that Wellington had to fight a defensive battle, whilst Napoleon had all the fun and initiative.  

The sequence was similar to the battle, as it must be if you set up the table based on the historical deployment.  

There was an inconclusive skirmish around Hougoumont, which resulted in Wellington supporting both the farm and La Haye Sainte.   This allowed the French artillery to do quite a bit of damage, particularly the garrison of the latter.   Wellington deployed half of his guns between the two farms, and this allowed the French light cavalry to take them out.  They suffered in doing so from musket fire from the two farms, but the damage was done.

The d’Erlon attacked the left hand British ridge.   The Guard and heavy cavalry moved forward in support, but out of artillery range.  This prevented the British cavalry from charging d’Erlon, but they still took casualties and lost 50%

Finally the Guard and heavy cavalry rumbled forward in the centre, and Wellington ordered a general retreat.   End of battle, end of series.

We don’t usually fight our games to the bitter end.  What would be the point?   Once it is obvious that one side has lost we tend to finish the game and anticipate the outcome.

Fortunately the Gera PBEM campaign is now sorted out and going full blast.   I am waiting for orders for Move 2 of the campaign, and it looks likely that there will be at least one battle during that move.  So it appears we have finished our Waterloo just in time.

You can find the Waterloo battle report here

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