Saturday, 10 July 2021

Quatre Bras

 Last week, Mike and I played the Quatre Bras scenario at the back of the Black Powder 2 rule book.

We diced, and I chose the French attackers. Mike had the Dutch Belgians and the British.

Here we see the table set up with Dutch Belgians in position and the French about to dice for arrival. There are three French infantry brigades (14 battalions), one heavy cavalry and one light.  The Dutch Belgians have five battalions on the table supported by a light cavalry brigade. The British have been summonsed and will arrive on turn three.

The Defenders have occupied cottages and line field walls 

The local tavern owner has been told to move out !

The French get a successful roll and immediately charge in force

All along the line

Except the right hand brigade has to cross the stream which costs it some movement

The French light cavalry are out on this flank and they have already got across the stream

and are met immediately by the Dutch Belgian cavalry

The French brigade delayed by the stream now gets into contact with the enemy in the fields

Two Dutch Belgian battalions not engaged move up in the gap

The defenders hold all along the line, much to the frustration of Marshal Ney 

The French lancers have thrown back the opposing light cavalry and charge again

The French infantry suffer disorder in all their combats and battalions are pulled back to recover

but it gets worse - more units suffer in the same way. Indeed, the centre brigade is broken

The French cuirassiers had hoped to turn the left flank but in the nick of time, British heavy cavalry have arrived and charged into contact, supported by an RHA battery

No break throughs anywhere

The French lancers had recoiled with casualties and are now pursued

The "heavies" battle it out on the French left wing, just beyond the fields

The French right hand infantry brigade has also now broken

So French units are pulling back, including their artillery

At last, a French success, they throw back the enemy in the left hand field and advance - but British infantry have arrived just to the right of the road

British troops pour onto the table - and the lead French attack column has just become disordered

With the centre and ring wing gone and British infantry arriving, the moment has passed when Ney could have broken through

The cavalry have failed in their attempts too, so the day has clearly been won by the Allies - in fact, the Dutch Belgians hardly needed the British !

Ney has to retire with his tail between his legs !

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