Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Ligny - A Clash of Wills (Bills) Part One

 What a day and what a game! Blucher (played by Billy) wore his smartest straight jacket to oppose the arch villain Napoleon Bonaparte (played by William) on the field of Ligny for our 200th Anniversary 100 Days Campaign bash. Both sides were ably supported by various Billy's and others with the sole aim of eating as many pork pies as possible and detecting invisible windmills...no, don't ask. Players from far and wide attended but I lost count of them when I had to remove a sock. With Blucher under lock and key and Napoleon with his lips about a bottle of his own brandy the slaughter-by-dice could begin...
St. Amand occupied by part of Ziethen's I Corps
 St. Amand la Haie and the ground between also in the remit of I Corps
 Pirch's II Corps was east of Ligny
 Ligny was heavily defended and fortified.
 ...along with the farm house
 Thielemann III Corps on the left flank
 Enter the French. Vandamme's III Corps moves on St. Amand and la Haie simultaneously

 The players plans were a closely guarded secret. Agents used copious amounts of beer to loosen Colin's tongue but he had cunningly inured himself to its effects...by meticulous practice!
 All eyes are on I and III Cavalry Corps deploying facing in the direction of Tongrenelle

 Opening shots...
'Ayyy, Giuseppe I justa hadden idea'
 The Mario brothers discuss an idea for a game should they survive...
 Battery's soften up Ligny

 St. Amand begins to burn
 the assault goes in...
 Pressure is exerted all along the front
 More troops file passed Napoleon sans le windmill...no, don't go there...
 An envelopment is developing at Ligny
 combined with a frontal attack
 the Ligny brook is little obstacle to infantry
 Fighting is fierce for control of St. Amand
 The French appear to be everywhere
 the defenders prepare to take the shock
 On the higher ground behind the brook the reserves await orders
 Concentration of force looks telling in Ligny itself
 The third prong of the attack tries to force the other side of the town
 Prussian cavalry are sent to support the farm position
 Efforts on both sides are considerable
 fighting rages around St. Amand...
 ...pressure is relentless...
 the French are breaking through...
 Again, an envelopment
 More French head towards the high ground to cut off the supply of reinforcements to the beleaguered defences.
 The Guard Corps makes its appearance.
 Its gunners provide artillery support to III Corps (Vandamme) and IV Corps (Gerard)
 Gerard presses on...
 Ligny is in grave danger
 The French break in!
 but they suffer heavy casualties in doing so.
It looks bad for old Vorwarts! Perhaps now is the moment to unbuckle his sleeves and give him a sword (and take the whoopee cushion off his saddle)

Will the Prussians hold the line?

Is Wellington stuck in heavy traffic with a dickey sat nav?

Who stole the windmills?

For the answers to all this and much, much less...tune in next time for the grand finale!


  1. Spectacular photos and very exciting, though it looks rather grim for the Prussians. Your opening paragraph was one of the most charmingly demented things I've read in a while. Inspired lunacy in prose and wargaming, always a plus.
    Cheers, Michael

    1. Thank you, Padre. As you may remember from previous posts delineating between 'Bill's' is a task in itself. It's a day out for all of us and the company is as exciting, enjoyable and spectacular as the games themselves.

  2. From Ireland but not. It was a day for superman. The white knight does come to the rescue. I myself was bested by Bill R. Do you know what ? I had a super time. Thanks Men of Ayr. Really great day, em evening as well.

    1. A day well remembered in the annals of the empire....and so we raise a joyous toast to the next one DV.

  3. Great looking battle. Lots of Airfix figures- always excellent!

  4. Thanks. Always fun to get the old Airfix stuff out and show the young 'un's how it's done. The new stuff is great but there will always be a place for the originals.

  5. Airfix figures and I also recognised some paper buildings - a church and a barn. Figures I still have, but paper buildings sadly long gone (I think - I still have boxes of stuff to unpack).

    Exciting write up. I've only done a bit of Ligny, but enough to know it is important to get the brook right.

    1. Glad you found it exciting. I think it's the first time I've done Ligny, we've never had enough figures before. I like the paper buildings because you can make up a foam core centre and put the paper design over to make them very robust.

  6. Wonderful looking table! Love all the Airfix too!

    1. Thanks, Rodger. I love plastics; they should be getting more popular seeing as the price of crude is plummeting.

  7. Excellent post and equally excellent pictures!

  8. Thanks, Steven. Plenty more to come as I took around 180 pictures of which about 120 are usable and I'll post another 40 odd after this.

  9. So many questions...and so many beautiful pictures! Great looking game, seems realistic (at last more realistic than ours, with these mass of troops!) and a beautiful village. Love the write-up as well, most impressive report!

  10. Great stuff! I'll looking at your previous posts on how you made your terrain.


  11. You are welcome. I'll answer any questions you may have with pleasure.

  12. Brilliant post! Cracking collection!

  13. Your headings and comments have just given me a good chuckle.
    What a superb blog and a brilliant idea with your terrain table, which along with your games room looks huge.

  14. I'm certainly lucky in the war-games room department. It has always been a requirement that there should be space for my hobby wherever I have lived. Red sand really can't be beaten for moulding terrain with no seams and for providing unexpected dead ground. Thanks for the encouragement.

  15. I enjoyed the game. I have added the pictures taken of the battle on the final turn to my Website - North Ayrshire Wargames Club. With some close up pictures of Simon's detailed 20mm figures. The set up and following tidy up was epic too!! I will not forget Billy"Blucher's" ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK.

    1. Wouldn't be half the pleasure it was without your participation as umpire and psychiatrist. NAWC welcome to the blog.

  16. Magnificent, marvellous, massive game, worthy of the bicentennial and a witty and entertaining report as ever Simon.
    Well done all!

    1. You are very kind both in your comments and in you linking in to your excellent blogs.

  17. Another awesome post, your games really capture the splendor of the napoleonic wars.

  18. İt's a pleasure to see such a show and also the good old Airfix so well treated.