Sunday, February 7, 2016

Quatre Bras Historical Wargame

For Christmas my daughter got me Prelude to Waterloo: Quatre Bras by Andrew Field.  This book features the French perspective of the battle and has an excellent series of maps.  As I have the entire order of battle for both sides in this encounter at a 1:20 ratio, I thought I would try to recreate it through a series of scenarios.  My only real limitation was the size of my table, so portions of the battle may have to be broken down into two different scenarios from the same hour fought separately.

This is the full map from the book
This is the portion of the map that fits on my table.
The battle begins at 2:00.  The late start will have a very negative effect on the outcome for the French.  To start, a thinly deployed Dutch/Belgian division of fairly low grade troops will do its best to buy time for Wellington's redcoats to arrive.  Ney's first objective is to push up the road and secure a ridge that shelters the farm of Gemioncourt.  His advance is shielded by an immense swarm of skirmishers.  His artillery greatly outnumbers the allied guns.  Here is what the table looks like as the battle is about to begin.

Bachelu's Division with the targeted ridge in the background

Bachelu's artillery.
Bijveld's lone battery and the 27th Jagers will delay the French hoards for as long as possible.
Ney's secondary objective is to cut the road towards Ligny.  To that end, he wants to secure the village of Peraumont.  He sends a brigade of lancers and a large regiment of light infantry to accomplish this task.  They find the village empty.

The outskirts of Peraumont at the extreme edge of my table.

Wathier's lancers on their way to the objective.
Here are some of the other units that will be a part of the initial advance.

Two battalions of the 2nd Nassau deployed int the Bossu Wood

Campi's Brigade of Bachelu's Division

Gauthier's Brigade of Foy's division on the French left

Hubert's chasseurs on the extreme left flank

Jamin's Brigade of Foy's division ready to attack straight up the road towards Quatre Bras.
It's 2:00.  The battle is read to begin.

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