28 May 2024


Last Sunday, on very short notice, Graham, David and myself got together at the Abyss to fight the Battle of Ligny. The scenario came from the Hundred Days sourcebook put out by TFL and David Brown for GdA. I have fought several of the later battles from the book, it is a campaign structure, with 6 battles. I have not be able to fight any of the battles involving the Prussians as it is only recently that we have acquired Prussians troops, but we do have quite a few now. I am not sure why I picked Ligny over Charleroi (might be as Napoleon has not been painted yet!), but I usually do things out of order. We have already played two of the three scenarios from the Battle of Waterloo, we will save Placenoit for last. Probably do Charleroi next and then the big one in my mind.....Quatre Bras. I would like to get the rule changes under our belts before we fight that large battle.
The Battle of Ligny took place 2 days before the Battle of Waterloo, our scenario was focused on the French left flank of the battle with Vandamme leading the French and Zeithen leading the Prussians.

The Battle Setup

Myself and David took the French, eventually having 3 brigades each while Graham had the Prussians with 5 brigades. We took the scenario directly from the campaign book but made all the adjustments as required by the rule changes in GdA2. For victory the French had to capture 3 of the 4 BUA's or alternately victory would be assigned to the side according to the rules in GdA2. 
The table from the French left flank with the 6 brigades on the table to start the game, 3 for each side.
These are the entry points for each of the 11 brigades in the Line of Battle. The Prussians had 3 brigades on the table at the start, they placed none in reserve but had 2 reinforcing brigades come on in the sixth turn. The French only placed 3 brigades on the table at the start of the game, keeping 2 reserve brigades and having one reinforcing brigade again arriving in turn 6. 

The Action

Berthezene advances on the left flank
The Prussian skirmishers and the garrison troops prepare to do battle, for the first 3 turns we quite messed up fire from garrisons, the French suffered unnecessary losses
The Prussian cannon get ready to shred the attacking French
The Prussian centre becomes somewhat nervous
The attack on the right flank of Logarde's brigade
Graham made some nifty tags
Overview at Turn 3, the French have maintained their battle line in their advance towards the 2 villages
With some support by their 2 artillery batteries deployed on high ground.
Turn 4, the French Cavalry have been released, to counter the Prussian Cavalry
The Prussians repel the French from St Armand La Haye, but are less successful with St Armand and Ligny. Berthezene has to withdraw to reorder his troops
Lefel presses his assault on St Armand and Ligny, we have now almost figured out how garrison fire works and how to assault them.
Turn 6, all troops are on the table, the Prussians are advancing Hulsen on their left flank and Steinmetz in the centre. It might be too late. By now St Armand has been captured, Logard is about to assault Ligny.

Turn 7, Logard captures Ligny, and Girard advances on the right to meet Hulsen.
Turn 8, Berthezene has assaulted St Armand La Haye and drive the Prussians out.
We decided to call it as this point, it would be hard to say if the French could have held the 3 villages, as Steinmetz, was rapidly advancing towards both St Armand La Haye where the French were particularly weak, with Corsin's brigade being slow to support. It night have also been difficult to hold Ligny as the game was set at 18 turns. But the game was well played by all.
Final positions

We played 8 turns, in maybe a little over 6 hours, there was a lot of faffing about at the beginning of the game organising the brigades and getting them on the table. This was also the first game we played with BUA's and we made lot of mistakes that I shall not go into. So a lot of time was spent in the rulebook trying to figure out how garrisons fire, are fired at, and how charges and combat work. Suffice to say, we initially got it all wrong at the start but by the end of the game we had it sorted aside from one small issue with combat in garrisons that I only discovered the next day. I believe for me, the rules are really starting to gel, I think it will still take a bit more time to get skirmisher function completely down. I am really starting to realise that these are a great set of rules, which make a lot of sense when you take the whole package together. I look forward to the next game.

Victory Points

French- Victory for taking 3 BUA's, Points: 4 Demoralisations (3 falters and one dispersed unit)

Prussians- Points: 7 Demoralisations (3 falters, 3 dispersed units, loss of cavalry brigade)

Napoleon's Last Victory was Upheld

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