Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Waterloo - Testing the nerve of this aristocrat!

A loud report from a single gun signals the opening of the days formal 'hate'. Immediately the Grand Battery roars into life
Gunners sweat and limber riders soothe their mounts.
 The Anglo-Allied ridge spits out a reply.
 Bylant begins to suffer first.
 Meanwhile the first assault of the day goes in. Jerome, still smarting from his brothers comments the other day, is determined to make good on his instructions to attack Hougoumont...
 In truth, Napoleon may have been pleased enough to screen off the citadel but Jerome in his passion, and with the connivance of Reille, he draws more Divisions into the attack.
 With Jerome at the walls, Foy takes his Division through the wood...and dislodged skirmishers dart around to the cover of the covered way and the orchard.
 Observing the inundation of the château from astride the junction are Clinton's 4th Division and Colville's 2nd Division
 Bachelu's Division stands in reserve...for now.
 Not everything will go as on the actual day today because, after all, it's a game and there is some leeway. Some take that 'leeway' a little far but all is ably policed by Colin and Ross. Napoleon is satisfied thus far...
 D'Erlon's Corps is chomping along to the ridge but the Nassau's at Papelotte
 ...are under a tad of pressure...
 Leeway, as we've mentioned, has been granted, but the price thereof was a tactical retrograde step for D'Erlon...
 Suddenly, the lines forming the columns changed to columns. D'Erlon's innovation of arriving to face the Allies already in line, with the subsequent undiluted fire power, is scuppered. Indeed they 'came on in the same old way' and met the same fate.
 You can see why it was done. The hope was to survive the cavalry attack by being able to form square...but for that you would have to know a cavalry attack was in the offing...
 Picton's 5th Division is usually the main point of an attack in most war game situations but the tactic almost always comes unstuck because of the surprise element..."If I'd have know you were coming I'd have baked a cake"...and iced it with cavalry and horse artillery!
 Hanover, Vivian and Vandeleur watch the action at Papelotte....Nassau's doing fine...
 D'Erlon now bites off even more that he can chew by diluting his force to capture La Hay Saint Farm early...
 Meanwhile, scrumping over, Foy attempts to deliver a package...and he want's it signed for...
 ...and he really isn't taking leave-it-on-the-porch as an answer...
 Lobau's VI Corps is feeling the pinch and Boney sends the Young Guard with a carry out..
 Here 20 Div welcomes Bulow with open...fire!
 As Kracken man pretends he can read, you can see the extent of Bulow's Corps...it looks far more dangerous when your only 22mm tall.
 A second attack on the Nassau's...they are popular today
 At the ridge all is turning to chaos...
 The 'one shot wonders' are about to join in the fray...
 His Grace is quite calm...
 ...the Union Brigade is not....
 Big men on big horses about to make a mess of D'Erlon...
 Grand battery fire had to slacken in order to lessen the chance of blue on blue while the French mounted the crest...
 Columns form in order to let the cavalry through...
 Those Nassau's really are working hard...
 Meanwhile, Domon's Chasseurs and Subervie's line lancers put in a desperate charge to stem Bulow and buy time for the Guard to back up VI Corps...
 The Prussian's want revenge and are willing to pay dearly for it...
 ...endless lines of knackered men and horses perk up at the sight of their quarry and hurry into the attack (funnily enough to the strains of 'Prussian Glory' at that very moment).
 The Young Guard is now in place. At least they didn't have to retake it as per the original day.
 Bye, bye D'Erlon!
 ...'nuff said...
 As the right of the line disintegrates, the left is still going oblivious to its fate...

  ..the bodies pile up relentlessly...
 Plancenoit soaks up Prussians at an alarming rate!
 Foy gets no joy...
 Support from the ridge is limited to artillery and skirmishers...
 Prussian and French cavalry clash, yet again...
 ...more Prussians...
 ...more pressure...
"Ooh, la, la. Mon Oncle, look at all zeez Prussians!"
 Lobau looks across the field of glory...and wishes he hadn't bothered...
 Over at the road to Brussels the French are smashing the road blocks and about to take the farm...
 Sit rep pic...
 Ouch! the French are in the château...not good, not good at all...
 The ridge is clear. The cavalry didn't run onto the guns because the rearmost units went from column to square (originally there wasn't enough room) and some of the cavalry bounced back up the hill. Consequently, there was more cavalry available later....
 However, with the columns gone, for no result, the heavy cavalry began to mass. Napoleon is ill (no, he really is! He leaves the field all shaky and has a couple of paracetamol and is tucked up in the visitors bedroom - ever after to be known as le Callou - by Wellington. True story) Ney stands in his stirrups and surveys the scene.
 Lobau is still doing well and better than historically, even after giving himself a bit of a shock. He pulls back to Plancenoit with the remnants of his Corps to his backing vocals.
Behind and along the front stretching from the château to past the farm. Ney sees the mess on the ridge line and makes his historic decision. "Wellington's retreating..." and he calls on...

The cavalry.

Lobau holds Plancenoit
Zeithen is on the horizon going for Plancenoit,
the farm and half of the château is in French hands and the ridge is a shambles...

Next - "Give me night or give me Blucher." 




22 comments:

  1. Kracken man here, well it was a day of days. Yes I know it is out of context. I can read, it is just that the order was in German.... Much later in Italian. That as they say is a different story. Something to sleep on.

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    1. If we are preserved, Deo Vollente, we shall march together across the Peninsular. I shall endeavour on that occasion to make sure your orders are in yer maithers tongue.

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  2. Wow! I am really enjoying this epic dust up.
    I was hoping Wellesley would be ahead by a nose by this stage ;-)

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    1. So was I. Nevertheless we gallop to a conclusion. Glad you're enjoying it.

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  3. Very very impressive, beautiful photos and fantastic massive attacks...the road to Brussels is strewn with obstacles...excellent report!

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    1. Thanks, Phil. Wellington nearly sprained his wrist taking the pictures...you had to be quick with a pencil in those days!

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  4. Really impressive pictures. A joy to follow them.

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    1. Thanks, Stefan. I just snap away while the action goes on around me.

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  5. Truly amazing looking game and a good write-up!

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  6. Thanks, Ken. Glad you like it. It was a lot of fun, tricky, interesting and hard work, but fun.

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  7. Great narrative and wonderful pictures. Lovely to see the 1/72nd scale troops in action.

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  8. You certainly did not disappoint with the pictures or the battle report! Excellent reading and well done sir!

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    1. Thank you Steven. There will be a final post on Waterloo of course but there's never really an end to reporting on this memorable battle.

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  9. A great looking game and excellent battle report!

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  10. Good stuff, great attention to detail. Serried ranks, great pictures at troop level, gun smoke and an entertaining AAR. One of the best Waterloo renditions I've seen. Well done

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    1. You're too kind, sir. I hope the finale win be as good.

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  11. Long live the 1/72nd regiment of foot, artillery and horse!!! just great!!

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    1. Thanks, Joao. I've been avidly following you Western Desert stuff too. Very impressive!

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  12. I'm reading these posts backwards (It's ok, I know the ending, no worry about spoilers) and am amazed at how close to history it is. Was it planned that way, or do you think it's because Waterloo can really only have one outcome, and that it favours an Allied win?

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  13. Finally catching up on this Simon. Wonderful massive game and you all got 'stuck in' from the get-go!

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