Sunday, September 30, 2018

Nearly Waterloo – The Wargame

  Table at the Start of Game
This is not a recreation of the historical battle
Terrain and orders of battle are not historical

The orders of battle for both British and French are fictional. 

The British have 12 infantry brigades, 4 cavalry brigades and 4 guns
The French have 16 infantry brigades, 4 cavalry brigades and 4 guns

To win the French must take the cross roads by the end of move 12
The battle starts at 0800 and each move is one hour
Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Napoleon orders attacks on Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte
The reserve artillery will support the attack on Lay Haye Sainte
The Guard and cavalry will remain in reserve.

Wellington sends one brigade to support La Haye Sainte
Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
French advance brings them within range of British artillery
French artillery unlimber at close range to Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte 
Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
British and French artillery both open fire
French infantry skirmish Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte
La Haye Sainte garrison suffer casualties but pass morale test
Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
British garrison retreat from Hougoumont and Papelotte
Garrison of La Haye Sainte hold on
White stars indicate casualties
Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
British reinforce La Haye Sainte
French enter Hougoumont and Papelotte
British cavalry advance 
Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
French rout garrison of La Haye Sainte
French infantry approach ridge behind Hougoumont and Papelotte
French Guard and both cavalry corps ordered to advance in centre
Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
British artillery withdraw to main battle line
Napoleon orders a general advance towards the British position
Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
British counter attack La Haye Sainte

French win cavalry melee on the left
Also win melee on right and then charge and rout nearby gunners
Napoleon leads forward his Guard infantry and cavalry in the centre

Note.   Stars indicate brigades in rout
Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
The table has been extended at the top to include area behind British position
French attack, white stars indicates hand to hand fighting

British rout from ridge on left
French take La Haye Sainte centre left
French guard infantry and cavalry fight centre right
British hold on right
Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
French continue to advance
British start to retreat
Move 11 – 1800 to 1900
Reille has taken the hill on the left
Ney had broken the British centre with the Imperial Garde
D’Erlon has taken the hill on the right

Each white star is a British brigade in rout

With light casualties Napoleon has won the battle of Waterloo
Wellington has 15 of his 20 brigades in rout
The first half of the battle was fairly even and either side could have won
With the loss of Hougoumont and Papolette the tide turned
Despite holding La Haye Sainte through most of the battle
The dice just went against Wellington resulting in a one sided battle

Both started with 96 infantry, 16 cavalry and 16 gunners
British lost 41 infantry, 4 cavalry and 7 gunners
French lost 12 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1 gunner

Game Note
Despite the one sided result this was a very enjoyable wargame
The artillery were pretty ineffective on both sides
The cavalry combat resulted in a convincing French victory
But the battle was decided by the infantry combat
This was largely down to dice, which was very much in favour of the French
However the British held La Haye Sainte throughout most of the battle
Using the same figures and same tactics the British could easily have won

Slide Show
There is a slide show of the game here

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