Tuesday, 18 November 2014

D'Erlon's Attack - The Mega Post

 We learned a great deal from the weekend punch up. Big slice of the Waterloo experiment so, big post.  Here is how it went...
Grand battery was well, er, grand...
 Ten batteries (Brigades) of French artillery. Colin found a use for the old Airfix Guard. Well, the heads at least.
 They fire over the columns. Lesson one; Artillery must be closer than extreme range with no draw back facility (for bouncing round shot) due to the mud.
 Proves just too ineffective.
 Columns ok...nice size of flag...
 Second columnar advance treads down the corn...check flag sizes?
Hey! Whaddaya tink off ma bellisima guy's eh?
 Napoleon watches the advance closely...
 Allies in La Hay Saint wait..

 ...barricades manned...sorry, personed.


 Grenadiers advance to contact the farm garrison.

 It's a two pronged attack.

 Allied artillery opens up. Lesson two; Allies should only be allowed canister.

 The farm comes under attack quickly.

 The columns take a pounding for a long time. Lesson three; Allied ridge is too far back.
 Bringing it forward will expose the Allies to more danger but the French to less. The Allies would then be able to utilize the reverse slope more effectively.
'Bonjour....vive l'Emperuer' 
 French column reaches the Netherlanders...


 The right prong of the farm attack takes the first barricade...
 The supporting fire...
 ...stops as the columns get close...
 Allies reverse slope, as usual...
 Dutch guns take a massive toll of the French infantry.
 The men are unafraid. That will be shining bright, literally the French are blinded, so we'll gloss over that....
 The other column gets a taste.
 Nice flags...
 The fight at the farm is heating up...must be the manure.
 Surprisingly, the Netherlands troops are fighting with great pluck...and luck.
 The Grenadiers are in!
 Voltiguers keep the skirmishers back and reinforcement is close at hand.
 Voltiguers again. This time they harass the artillery.
 The Hanoverian Regiments watch the inexorable approach of this large column with some trepidation.
 ...but the journey has been a ridge too far for the infantry...and not a parachute in sight.
'Picton! Get your Division onto the ridge. Time for the cavalry, I think'
 The Peer watches the action with intense interest. The Netherlanders don't break.
 Oops, cavalry...
 ...one shot Guard cavalry too...(from the 1st Fire-and-Forget Division)
 Looks serious from here...
 ...more so, for the left hand column, from here...
 Casualties are pretty horrendous...for the French.
Right hand column breaks...and away they go...
 Left hand Division according to the rules can make hasty squares...
 So, lesson number four; No squares. Too little time and/or space....not that it makes much of a difference...
 Units get destroyed left, right and centre...
 Retreat becomes rout...
 Squares become mush...
 Cavalry goes berserk...
 Guards go for the guns...
 ...and end up as dog food...
 SG's go to join in the fun...
 Now the British cavalry have completely lost the plot...as per usual...
 Infantry to the ridge line...
 ...and support the Hanoverian's...
 Shock, horror, the farm falls...a bit soon but hey, ho...up goes a (reasonably sized) flag.
 The French may gain the cross roads after all...
 They engage the Hanoverian battalion's...
 ...it was in the balance...
 Meanwhile, back at the races, they were going for the guns.
 Lancer's. Cool, efficient and disciplined.
 ...collision imminent...

 It isn't looking good...

 ...blown, hurting and exposed, the British are out of options...
 ...on to the guns...
 ...in to the fray...
'On, lads, on to the painting bench!'
 ...bang, crash, wallop, what a picture, what a photograph...goes the song!
 The victorious French (over large flag, centre of picture) leave the field chased by the tardy Netherlands cavalry. Re-learn lesson; ridge too far.
 ...as, unlike in the actual battle, there are no more Brit cavalry (on account of them being dead) to assist back to Allied lines...
 So, off they go to the guns!
 ...a few more wasted regiments...
'Mon Oncle! We nearly 'ad zem, but our flags were too big!'
 Napoleon considers his next move...having taken the farm...


'I left my sunglasses over there..'
 The Peer comforts his senior commanders. Infantry is key...
 The cavalry is gone but the ridge is safe...
 ...and half the farm is now back is Allied hands, Huzzah!
 So, too, the first barricade and the sand pit...
 ...but the field is a mess...
...and the cost high for even honours.

We learned much and hope to make the main event as accurate as we can.

Thanks to everyone who took part; especially Mark who provided us with so many shiny people, Colin for staying just sober enough to umpire, Ross for moving so much kit and Andy for making it despite a bad accident...

Next: If you go down to the woods today...you'll find it full of French trying to get into Hougoumont.