Friday, 6 March 2009

On to Brussels

I ran my Waterloo scenario using Leipzig-Lite this week. It was relatively easy to set the scenario up as it has a similar unit scale to Horse, Foot & Guns, so I essentially just used the OBs from my old Waterloo-Wavre game, but leaving out Wavre this time. I had the Prussians arriving on a random dice throw through the afternoon instead.

There isn't any set ground scale, but based on the troop density, each square seems to be around half a mile (which fits in with artillery range) so it was fairly easy to set the terrain out. Somewhat to our astonishment, the game actually worked quite well. The C3 'system' introduced enough friction to things so that players couldn't do everything they wanted, and had to think ahead. Combined arms tactics were rewarded as the French managed to unwittingly repeat D'Erlons unsupported mass infantry attack in the face Allied horse, foot and guns and they promptly paid the price. French cavalry rushed to the rescue but D'Erlons Corps was fatally weakened by this reverse.

This prompted Reille to tackle Hougoment, but in the face of the Guards, supported by artillery and backed up by Dutch-Belgian troops, they too suffered heavy losses. Napoleon finally committed the Guard while Reille and D'Erlon pinned the flanks. As the Guard engaged, D'Erlons Corps broke so Lobau marched up to fill the gap. After a brief struggle, the Guard managed to rout the weakened Allied right wing, but not before they in turn broke Reille. The battered Allied left wing took to their heels as well, but Reilles troops carried the Guard with them. This left Lobau to face the entire Prussian Army on his own, and the Prussians set about a vigorous pursuit from which only one result was possible.

There were some good ideas in there, I liked the corps break point idea, and the very simple bonus for combined arms worked very well. Overall it flowed like a real Napoleonic battle, although there was little reason to keep a reserve, much more efficient to put everyone up front, which would require a bit of thought. Terrain effects would also need some work, there is no consideration of high ground, and I seriously doubt the ability of heavy cavalry to operate effectively in woods or built up areas! The use of skimishers when the basic elements are divisions also seems unnecessary. I've been looking at retrofitting Rifle & Kepi to cover Napoleonics, and there are some eminently blaggable ideas here to differentiate the earlier period.

Next week I hope to try out Ian Drurys 'Combat 300' with a battalion sized engagement in Italy, and I've already got a scenario set up and ready to go, but found a number of contradictions and oddities when transcribing the rules into a playsheet. We'll just have to see how we get on.

1 comment:

  1. Any chance of this - or something like it - appearing at COW2009?