Saturday, 2 November 2013

Quatre Bras 2pm - Part One

It's 2pm and the Allies are beginning to arrive in more force. The order is as proposed by the scenario in the Shako 2 rules book. We have arrayed our Billy's in order (only 4 this time) and, after some discussion as to the collective noun for a group of billy's (a 'hill' of Billy's, perhaps?) we commence to roll the bones, as they say.....

Picton and the Duke of Brunswick's troops are arrayed across the cross roads. Perponcher is mainly in the Bossu Wood backed by Merlen in reserve. Alten followed by Cooke are a distance off and may be too late to influence the outcome....

 Light troops out! Enemy to your front!
 Ney and Foy are close by in Gemioncourt setting up the artillery as the columns move through
 Losing no time the French push on to cross the brook under quite an accurate fire
 Clearly the lake is impassable but it must be closely skirted to try and turn the Allied flank
 The Duke of Brunswick encourages his troops
 The wood is filled with the sounds of battle (i.e. Billy's throwing dice and cheering/booing/belching with the occasional Colin thrown in)
 Standing fast, the British watch the frontal attack developing and the attempt at an outflanking move
 French battery deploys safely behind the water
 Pire's cavalry move to follow the flank move
 Shaking out into formations the French cavalry prepare to launch themselves before the big brothers of Kellermann in the shape of the Cuirassier's get into play
 Ney and his ADC's watch and adjust the plan according to the amount of cheese and wine it's costing
 RHA try a cross fire of their own
 French reply
 Billy bites his nails (of Orange that is...what is that collective noun?)
 Wait for it, wait for it.....
 Columns connect with line in the wood
 As Perponcher gives some ground in the wood the cavalry prepare to envelope the opposite flank
 All the while the centre just holds on under fire
 First attack beaten. Blurry picture but has a 'dead battalion' marker to show high watermark so far
 Front unit in square but the rearmost caught in line and destroyed
 Alten begins to arrive
 Centre still holding
 Counter battery fire. Artillery stick does not indicate direction of fire...just the indiscipline of a Billy. No playing equipment on the table! Only figures, scenery and approved markers. No dice, tapes, rules, food or drink! OK! Calm blue water, calm blue water....rant subsiding....rant subsiding....
 Gunner sweat
 Picton cajoles
 Fire exchanged
 French accept casualties in deploying
 They come on in the same old way
 Dutch backing up the Nassau's
 Dutch gunners await the target they can hear but not see

  Dutch receive columnar attack. Stout fellows all.
 Main line gets hit
 Alten gets mixed up with the Dutch Belgian Cavalry

 And Cooke arrives to add to the traffic jam
 Meanwhile the Nassau's are doing a sterling job holding up Jerome on the left flank of the French attack through the wood.
 Squares let the cavalry wash around them
 Gunners on a sticky wicket
 Cavalry do execution as only they can
 Pressure builds in the centre
Cooke may yet plug the gap

A pleasant time was had by all and we hope to have enough Billy to finish the game next time. Tune in again for more 'Billy' war games action.


  1. Great looking game, Simon - well done to all involved!

  2. Very impressive. Some great looking Airfix figures in there.

    In the third photo, of Ney and Foy, there is a dismounted cuirassier - it reminds me of the one with the Airfix set (I recently painted two for old times sake) - but surely it is not a conversion of that figure? Must be some other manufacturer - do you recall the company?

    1. We've got 'em all...Airfix, Italeri, Zvezda, Strelets, but this chap is from the old Esci (now Italeri) Cuirassiers. Standing on an 'L' shaped base with helmet under arm. Unlike the Airfix Cuirassier who wears his helmet. Well observed that man.

  3. A very cool looking game Simon, full of colour and spectacle!

    1. Cheers mate. Now you can see where it will all fit in come the big day.

  4. This is a TRUE wargame! Great!!!