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 !