The end of the 20:30 turn as seen from the Prussian side.
And from the French side. Note Napoleon camped out in the sandpit near La Haye Sainte...
Prussian Uhlans clash with French infantry who have formed square. Marshal Ney and the Empress Dragoons have also joined this combat, turning it from a minor Prussian bounce to a rout (I think I did that right, I had to make a rule interpretation).
Ney couldn't keep the Dragoons under control and they went after some unlucky Prussian troops that failed to form square.
But then the Prussian I Corps cavalry had their revenge, well, almost. Even disordered Guard heavy cavalry with Ney still pack a punch.
But on the other side things get interesting...
Blucher takes the II Corps cavalry and runs over a French battery before hitting some Young Guard who failed to form square (twice - the French used their last Free Roll).
And look who is in the distance?
Blucher, doing a better job than Ney in keeping his cavalry under control goes after Napoleon. The climax of the battle, if Napoleon is lost then that's it... There is a thirty percent chance... And the result was a 4. Napoleon moves to the join the Guard Chasseurs (this seemed fair, my house rule is to remove disrupted commanders for one move). I need to check that I correctly applied the multiple casualties that the Prussians received, mainly winners' losses which I adjudicated did not cause disorder.
Blucher finishes his ride to link up with the allies and finds them... Gone!
He realizes he is in terrible trouble now.
End of the 21:00 turn.
Blucher surveys the Allied position and wonders where they have all gone and more importantly what is he going to do now?
Turn round and charge the Guard Chasseurs! At this stage the French have command problems as Napoleon is focused on saving his hat and D'Erlon's Corps is fatigued (but then so is von Bulow's). The Prussians have attacked the formation of Guard Napoleon is attached to. The Chasserus attacked by Blucher failed to form square, a breakthrough could see them join the other combat and present a creditable risk. But it's not going to happen, regardless of the outcome (the Chasseurs perished) the Prussian cavalry is one off dispersal and with the winners loss their wild ride comes to an end.
End of the last turn, 21:30, view from the East. The Prussians could claim to have split the French line, but have nothing to back this penetration up with.
View from the South. The French are battered, but still standing. The Prussians never approached Plancenoit. There are a lot of French divisional generals reduced to commanding batteries. Maybe divisional guns, mainly horse artillery, should be removed along with the commander when all brigades in a division are dispersed?
View from the West. Should the French have been forced to send troops in pursuit of the Allies?
The view from the North.
And finally, Blucher negotiating for Prussia to join the about to be reformed Confederation of the Rhine. (At this stage Blucher's much battered army is trapped between Napoleon and Grouchy).
The final score.
The numbers are bases lost, an A is an artillery battery eliminated, a D is a unit dispersed and an F is a Free Roll used. Each side started with eight Free Rolls and ended with none so neither can claim a moral victory. The French, with the loss of one of the Old Guard Units was down 25 units and only four off their morale breaking. The Prussians had lost ten and were seven off their morale break point. The Anglo-Allies...
From the camera phone of Stephen N we have:
The Prussians had great hope for this cavalry charge.
But they were checked by the Empress Dragoons.
Napoleon cowering with his Guard after a lucky escape.
Yours truly looking on, pleased to get a successful closure on this epic.
And in a final dispatch, Stephen N as the overall Allied commander sends this report:
"Royal Navy embark the British Army for England five days later. Pipers play from the dunes of Dunkirk as the embarkation is completed successfully."
Basically this was a 2nd Edition Napoleon's Battles game with most of the new Built-Up Area rules from the new 4th Edition. Also from the 4th Edition were the new optional unit rally (but without penalty) and command rules. The small units are also something that are now favoured by the 4th Edition for historical games, although there is no real rule changes required.
Specifically the 4th Edition's change to interpenetration was not used. There was not a lot of interpenetration in the game, but enough of it to make a difference. The Anglo-Allied cavalry (for react counter charges) and the Prussians (as they were attempting to deploy) were perhaps the biggest and most critical uses. The French seemed to have plenty of space. There were times when interpenetration was desired but could not be performed due to lack of space to place the unit.
The model casualty counters were a joy to use (especially after a modification to keep the two parts together better). It would be better if they were smaller and perhaps integrated into the unit (possibly by replacing a standard base with an info base?). It would improve the attractiveness of the game to have markers for units' status to replace all the counters.
The printed contour map worked well as did the buildings and woods. I'd put some effort into toning down colours and adding texture from the map we used for the bicentennial game.
Units and basing, while not perfect, performed well enough. With small units some further counters are needed to better depict formation. This is really only the case with two stands and has always been an issue. It is just something that is more prevalent now.
Apart from the markers the main player aids were artillery templates and rosters. We had originally started with unit cards but I personally found the roster better as it could fit on one page (although the eyes were tested, but so were they with the cards).
The labels were a success, although a bit of colour to help identify parent organisations might be a help and relocation of the dispersal number away from the formation number as this caused a bit of confusion - 8D for example being taken as meaning 8th Division.
Waterloo Take Two just didn't happen by itself, not even with me helping. Accordingly I would like to acknowledge and thank those who had a part in making it happen.
Figures: thanks to Martin S, Dave B and Myron S for trusting me with some of their figures. They fought well and the game would not have been possible without them. It was also good to get the Scots Greys that had been superbly painted by Mark Woods back out on the table.
Terrain: thanks to Mark B for getting the map/mat produced and to Simon C for the buildings.
Players: thanks to Stephen N, Stephen B, Mark B and Mark W (ANF) for putting up with my umpiring and interfering.
Accessories; thanks Stephen B for the inspiring casualty markers.
Venue: thanks to Mark B for providing space for us to play and installing air-conditioning on Friday ahead of yesterday's session. The temperature high was 35 degrees centigrade.