Monday, 2 February 2015

Ligny - Last Hurrah!

 En avant! Vive L'Empruer! Vive le plastique! A veritable tidal wave of extruded plastic crashes against the resin walls of Ligny...



Gerard's IV Corps makes a mighty effort against the centre piece of the Prussian defence


More Divisions advance to eliminate the effects of the casualties amongst the van

Gunners work into a frenzy keeping up their supporting fire


Old Vorwarts chews at his buckles as the Prussian artillery replies from the hill and the Corps Commanders commit just enough reinforcement to avoid catastrophe

 Meanwhile, at La Haie and St. Amand, the French are seeing more and more success


 St. Amand is well alight but the flames and smoke are ignored by the French attack columns (a risky move if you're plastic!)

 The village and farm prove to be no bar to French elan! But the Prussians reinforce quickly...
 Everywhere you look the French are breaking through
'You heard the boss, charge!'
 Blucher dislocates his shoulder, pulls the straight jacket over his head, collects his $10 bet from his amazed staff and orders 'VORWARTS! ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!'
 A counter attack swiftly strikes back at the French now occupying most of Ligny
 Prussian arms attempt to stem the flow of French columns
 ...more file through the town...
 Exelmans III Cavalry Corps spreads out to cover the flank of IV Corps attack while Pajol and his I Cavalry Corps move in behind to pressure Tongrenelle
 With the subtlety of road works on a one-way system at rush hour the Prussian cavalry squeeze between obstacles to charge the opposing cavalry...
 Back at Ligny itself the remaining Prussians are steadily being annihilated
 ...the bodies from both sides pile up...
 The French have free access to and through Ligny but are unable, or unwilling, to take the fortified farm building.
 The garrison holds on...
 The way by the Ligny brook itself is open to the French
 la Haie falls and the French move onto the Prussians flank. All counter attacks have failed so far.
 Blucher, ordering every available unit to attack and taking a pregnancy test (which turns blue if you're having a hussar) joins a cavalry charge in person
 A lot of Prussian cavalry...but outnumbered three to one.
 Ziethen watches his Commander disappearing into the melee with his only hope of a successful withdrawal, most of the cavalry, and decides on a final push....
 He punches out at every point of the arc to his front...
 It is desperate and probably hopeless, but worth a go.
 His left is still quite intact...thus far
 ..and the cavalry might yet pull it out of the bag...
 So.....CHARGE!
 Tongrenelle is the secure shoulder; screened but little tested by Pajol.
 ...and would, in any case, be a fairly tough nut to crack.
 This gratuitous piccie of the Garde Grenadiers a Cheval (background) is because I finished them so late they were actually drying on the battlefield...
 The IG shift position. In this particular space-time continuum they ain't gonna get to play...and not a Delorien in sight
 The inexorable advance continues...
 The Prussians are thinking only of what is needed for a withdrawal not to become a rout.
'Oh, look, a camera...Hi mum!'

 It doesn't look like Ziethen will get away, he really needs a miracle
 The French reinforcements are totally unimpeded
 Ligny is outflanked...
 ...now on both sides
 The last gasp of the Prussians. They throw themselves at the French in Ligny town centre
 The farm hold out...
'Mon ami, we will take ze shine off zeez Prussians n'est pas?'
 St. Amand is once again contested by Ziethen...
'Dazzle 'em , lads, dazzle 'em!'
 Morale is still high amongst the Prussians
AND THEY'RE IN! The Prussians take back Ligny despite everything. It is, however, a pyrrhic victory as they cannot hold on to their hard won gains. The IG is on the way and the Prussians are spent.

And so, as Blucher is pulled from under his horse blanket (with a real horse in it) and appoints his goldfish 'Percy' as his senior ADC, the Emperor of France moves confidently on to his next enemy not realising that for le Tondu it is indeed the last hurrah.

Many, many thanks to the chaps for playing their parts so magnificently and with much conviction. Gratitude inexpressible to the umpires and to those who have brought , silly hats and nibbles and brought down the cost of Brent Crude to a level where this game is affordable.

Next time: Vapnart...um..Varpannat...er...Vanpartank...The York Show, a report on my first ever visit.

18 comments:

  1. What an epic game - great photos and battle report. Let's hope Blucher can still manage to link up with Wellington!

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    1. I don't think he'll have too much trouble. His Chief of Staff will carry out his wishes. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Brilliant what a lovely looking game SRD! Loads of eye candy!!!

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    1. Thanks, Paul. We aim to please. Aesthetic appeal means a lot to us.

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  3. Absolutely wonderful looking game!

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  4. Most impressive, seems to be a fantastic game!

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    1. We enjoy it and take it seriously but remembering that it's only a game of soldiers.

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  5. Great stuff Simon. Was a certain somebody role-playing Blucher or something?

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  6. Great photos - they really do justice to the scale of the game/battle you have undertaken. Massive!

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    1. Thanks, Sun. I just click loads of pics while we play. That's why sometimes things look a little jumbled up. It may be that I've chosen a shot half way through a movement phase.

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  7. Truly inspiring. I kept willing the Prussians to win as I went through the pictures, and wanting Blucher to pull a rabbit out of his hat .. or is it an elephant out of his stomach?
    I dream of doing something similar in 6mm, maybe when i retire, at this rate.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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  8. Thanks a lot for your kind comments. I thought it may end up as a French walk over but I was pleasantly surprised at how tenacious the Prussians proved to be in the end...at least it was a fairly historical outcome.

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