Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Ligny 1815

 Refight of this battle with Lasalle: 2 days before Waterloo Napoleon must defeat the prussian army under Blücher before going against Wellington. The french have an appalling prospect before them, a numerically superior enemy entrenched in a series of villages along the river, Napoleon has the edge of better troops in his Imperial Guard but will that be enough to achieve victory?

PS: note my "scenario notebook" on the inferior left corner, many battles planned there!
 Behold the glorious tin foil river! (yes I left the cardboard at another place)
 Prussian center and left under Pirch
 Prussian reserve cavalry under Tielemann
 French right was commanded by general Gérard
 The center and left by Vandamme
 I took the role of the french since my father was tired of always being in numerical inferiority (history, like real life is never fair y'know)
 En avant! Guard and ligne marching against St. Amand
 Vandamme sent some more ligne to Wagenele
 The grand battery made it rain on St. Amand, to soften the pesky germans before the assault

 The prussians marched to cross the river
 Their cavalry manoeuvred to the Ligny-Torgrinne gap
 Vive l'empreur!

 Gérard kept out of musket range waiting for the prussian horse to come at him
 The ligne was repulsed, but the Guard routed the prussians and entered St. Amand 
 More prussians went on to crossing the river

 Wagenele was occupied
 The guard charged some prussian guns that inexplicabily were turned around
 Formé le carré, les prussiens sont sour nous!
 The Guard took some punishemt from the cannons in the hill
 The cuirassiers charged enemy hussars, but just pushed them back
 Instead of going for the guns the prussian infantry marched trough the field under canister for several turns, of course they were routed in no time
 Unsurprising repulse
 Vandamme concentrated now all his infantry against St. Amand la Haye, redeploying the guard to St Amand.
The Guards kept suffering from canister even tough they were in cover
 The prussian garrison of St. Amand la Haye now opened a lively fire on the upcoming frenchies, causing some damage
 The hand to hand before ligny bore notorious losses: Tielemann had been wounded...
 ... and Gérard killed! Now who's gonna tell Grouchy to go to Waterloo?
 After several turns of struggle the cuirassiers destroyed the lighter hussars
 Pincer attack on St. Amand la Haye by Vandamme's forces. They didn't dislodge the landwehr but eroded their forces
 Another unit of hussars was pincered: the disciplined french broke their square, formed orderly into attack column and then charged forwards; a true show of élan francais!
  Alas, the canister of the prussian guns was too much for them and the Guard routed for the first time in this blog's history! I should have retreated them behind the village (but the guard never rertreats!)
 Vandamme was wounded in the fight
 The prussian hussars routed, and that left a single prussian column against the french steamroller
 The french guns now set their sights on Ligny, causing some loss
 The prussian column failed to change their formation and wheeled about instead
 Vandammes's force finally broke the deadlock and expelled the prussians from the village
 With their lines broken in multiple places and having sufferd horrific losses, the prussians packed their things and went home. If we had played more turns the thing would have went like this: the prussian column would have routed, the guns on the hill would have been taken by Vandamme's troops and finally Ligny's garrison, all alone, would have been brought to the brink of destruction  by the french guns and then swept away by two or three french units.

 Well, second time that I command the french and second victory! Yes I have lost the Guard for the first time but it's better to sacrifice it to achieve victory than keep it in reserve like other players (two come now to mind) that preserve the Guard but lose the army just like in real life.

It didn't went much like the actual battle: the french didn't attack the prussian center, and the prussians sallied forth from their lines just to be cut down. A great french victory since not only just one unit was lost but the terrain and numbers were aginst Napoloen from the beginning.

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