Saturday, 9 November 2013

Quatre Bras: Part 2 - Charge it to the plastic

No apologies for the size of this post. What a cracking evenings war gaming we had. Casualties ran high (number of Billy's down 50%) but despite the valiant efforts of both sides we had a historical result....
French Horse Artillery didn't use its mobility but hammered away constantly
 The French light cavalry attacked in column and had early successes against the allied artillery and looked close to hooking the flank but they were blown (little horse blown marker)
 Squares took a bashing but held. Picton immovable on the slight rise in full view of the enemy
 Lancers took on more artillery. Pire's cavalry being sacrificed at an appauling rate in fairly uncoordinated attacks
 Gunfire support constant.
 Strangely, the French HQ in Gemioncourt passed few orders presumably happy with the plans as it stood. Ney and Foy let the cards (dice) fall as they may.
'Why is the pub always closed in these places? Italy, Prussia, Russia...C'mon Ney, he says, it'll be like old times, he says, I'll rule the world and you can be Marechal of France, he says. Honestly, I'd settle for the bar being open....'

 Counter battery causes casualties
 The French a wrecking themselves on the squares
 Getting forward in the centre again
 More coordination between all arms
 This is going to take some careful timing...

 Kellermann arrives with the Cuirassier's. Billy spits out his Bakewell slice.

 Under intense pressure the Nassau's finally break but Alten is there in the nick of time.

 After sorting out the traffic jam Cooke gets forward to support the X roads Allied right flank just as the enemy starts the other arm of their pincer
 Now moving along nicely the DB cavalry get new orders get through to the other flank before Pire breaks though Picton
 Light cavalry do handbrake turn....
 Meanwhile, Picton waves his brolly at the French....temper, temper....
 Cooke gets into the gap...
 Thundering across the plain Kellermann's 'Gross frere's' (and they seem pretty gross to the Allies) cause an extensive changing of the underwear and much triumphal gloating from certain Billy's...
 Infantry and heavy cavalry hit the KGL

 Battering them into Scotsmen.....sorry picture slightly out of sequence

 Alten beats back three column assault
 Centre still holding...just

'Gentlemen, we need another handbrake turn....schnell'
 Orders to cavalry changed again in the light of Kellermann's attack

 It looks alarmingly like a sticky wicket for the KGL
 ...British Infantry...
 ...and any surviving gunners.
 They came on in the same old way....
'we can see you...'
 The French are so busy elsewhere that they see happy just to pin minor forces on the edge of Bossu Wood
 Handbrake turn effected...
 Cooke gives them the old cold.....plastic
 Fire support for Kellermann
'Go on lads...see 'em off our land'
 Cooke does good work but will be vulnerable should he change formation to get through the wood after battering down the French brigade.
 ..and closer...
 One regiment impacts the square...
 ...and one hits the Duke.
 After...just love those dead battalion markers.
 Down goes the Duke of Brunswick under flailing hooves and cold steel.
 Just in time DB counter charge (we don't have Brunswick Lancers yet)
 ...and get bounced. Is this the end......?
 Alten's men see off the French columns yet again. Much slapping of French foreheads.
 Now our slalom-ing DB light cavalry charge through the cross roads and throw themselves at the Cuirassier Regiments. Enthusiastic nutters.
...crashing into contact...
 Amazingly, the day belongs to the Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry. Casualties are massive. The sound of French jaws hitting the floor is only drowned out by Allied cheering and clinking of mugs of tea. Billy is ecstatic but Billy is distraught....Billy would be proud/disgusted depending on the Billy.
 Picton isn't going to be moved now.
 ...unless he's ordered back to some place on the map St. Jean near a village called Waterloo.
 Ney has shot his bolt. Both pincer arms have been broken off...
 The Allies will pull out. There will be no joining with Bucher's Prussian Army at Ligny now.
The French have kept the Allies apart but have let the Anglo-Dutch depart.

The casualties were approximately 5000 Allies to 6000 French slightly higher than the historical result of 4000 to 5000. It went to the wire though just as it did 200 years ago.

We'll be doing all the Hundred Days Campaign battles before we do the 2015 Waterloo day but we'd be hard pressed to get such a stimulating game as this has been.

Many thanks to Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy, Colin, Stewart and everyone who knows me.