Saturday, September 26, 2015

Waterloo Take Two - Part 2

And what a part it was.

The Brunswick cavalry thought they would have an easy win against the over extended French lancers.  They didn't.  They ended up routing and leaving the French to be eventually shot to pieces by their infantry.

The French cavalry counterattacked in the centre.  The Guard Chasseurs a Cheval bounced, but the Cuirassiers routed their opponents.

They then charged into the Scots Grey and were wiped out.

The end of the 13:30 turn and the Prussians have arrived.

The 13:30 turn saw the Allies retake Huoguomont and disperse three more French units.

But the French counterattacked Huoguomont before the British Guards had a chance to deploy and after they suffered significant casualties.  The Allied hold on Huoguomont was broken.

At the same time Ney leads a Brigade of Young Guard to take La Haye Sainte.

While the Chasseurs of the Old Guard attack the remains of Picton's Division on the ridge, driving them off.

A combined attack goes in against a brigade of the British 6th Division, causing them to rout.

The Cuirassiers carry on to run up against the Scots Greys.  It ends badly for the French.

End of the 14:00 turn sees the French left wing stalled, but Huoguomont has been taken.

In the centre the French are advancing the massed battery against the main ridge on the Allied right while having taken La Haye Sainte and positioned the Old Guard on the ridge of the Allied left.

The French 3rd and 4th Divisions are well positioned on the extreme of the Allied left.

More Prussians have arrived and are snaking their way to support their allies.  The 14:00 turn was a bloody affair with each side losing eight bases of troops, although for the French this included the dispersal of three units.

Ney launches another charge on the Allied line, this time with the Grenadiers a Cheval.

Vivian and Vandeleur's cavalry are attacked.  The routed Hanoverian landwher look on in horror.

The British try a counterattack on their right which meets with some success, destroying the brigade of Dragoons sent to rescue to Old Guard battery which was also subsequently destroyed.

At the end of the 14:30 turn the French are regrouping on their left.  Reille's Corps is a bit battered and Kellerman's cavalry reduced to half strength, but they hold Huoguomont and have secured the left flank of the Grand Battery.

The fighting has died down a bit in the centre as the French consolidate and the Allies regroup.  It had still been a bloody turn with both sides losing a unit and suffering between six and eight bases lost. 

Bachelu's worn 5th Division is being sent to garrison Plancenoit covered by Domon's 3rd Cavalry Division.

Because the Prussians are coming.

So far the French have lost 43 bases which includes 1 artillery battery and 8 units dispersed.  The Anglo-Allies have lost 39 bases which includes 7 artillery batteries and 4 units dispersed.  Both sides have some very fragile units still in play, but the French have the upper hand in Free Rolls having five remaining to the Anglo-Allied's three.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Three into Two

Last night Simon took an RE 8 and I took a Sopwith Snipe up against Stephen N in an Albatross D2, Mark B in a Hannover IIIa and Matthew in a Halberstadt CL II.

Snipe is in the middle, Halberstadt is the yellow plane, the Hannover the purple one, the RE 8 in the top left hand corner and the Albatross top middle.

While the RE 8 tangles with two of the enemy, I close in on the Halberstadt.

A bit too close.

It's a hard way to get a kill, but a kill is a kill.

The remaining two German planes go for their own close encounter.

It does them no good.

I set my sights on the damaged Albatross.

Down it goes.  

But there is one German remaining...

The chase is on...

But it got away.

A game decided by collisions.

And now for the leaderboard:

I realise there is a bit of  a flaw with the leaderboard as it only contains the games I play in.  Oh well, it is my leaderboard and my blog so that's fair.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Waterloo Take Two - Rule Adaptions

The rules in use for Waterloo Take Two are Napoleon's Battles 2nd Edition plus some options from Edition IV - The Marechal Edition.  The original (Avalon Hills), 2nd (Five Forks) and 3rd (Lost Battalion) editions are very close.

Basic rules only with following additions/changes:

Napoleon rule, which is already factored in to the French morale factors.

Wellington rule, which allows him to be put on react and move like cavalry (he is plus 3 defence).  Comment - never seen this ability used.

Blucher rule, which provides a separate figure for Blucher who is a +3 attack and defence.  Comment - gives the Prussians their very own Ney.

Will not use the NB IV interpenetration penalty (which counts as rough terrain movement for infantry and cavalry) although I would like to note some examples as they occur. Comment - Arenschildt's cavalry brigade action in the 12:30 turn in Part 1 of the game.  The depth and interior lines of teh Anglo-Allied forces means a lot of interpenetration is going to be required.  Also, just seeing how a lead unit being disordered holds things up, I would not want any additional imposts on movement.

NB IV 10.4 (p80) Out of command units can try and self command (very important for Allied cavalry, but also helps French and Prussians) with a -3 to their response. If success Infantry and 12# half move, cavalry and horse artillery full move, on fail infantry and 12# no move, rest half move.  Comment - this is working really well.

NB IV 10.3 (p79) Routed units can self rally with a -3 to their response number.  Not using additional rout penalty on role of a 10.  Comment - this is working really well too.

Winner's loss occurs only as a result of combat (routing a unit in contact by fire doesn't cause a winner's loss, same as if it routs on withdraw,  although you do get to advance after combat if applicable)

Wheels are done at half speed (i.e. double the distance) and measured corner to corner.  Only restriction is no wheeling within an inch of enemy combat units.  Comment - saves having to us the template which produces basically the same effect and is a very easy concept to master.

A unit in column can turn 90 degrees as a change of formation (although a unit can often do this by wheeling and then moving sideways).  Comment - I want to look at formation changes as they seem unnecessarily restrictive.

Generals attached to a victorious modifying unit must advance with it to occupy the ground.  Comment - not such an issue given the self command option.

Generals over run but not eliminated return in the their side's next movement phase (means they miss a rally and command step).  Generals missing a turn miss a whole turn and come back in the movement step (i.e. miss two rally and command steps).  Same goes for replacement generals.  This is not so bad given optional rules 10.3 and 10.4.  Comment - seems to be working okay.  Means a general being displaced is a negative event, not a potential bonus.

Free rolls - eight per side (calculated as one per 4 turns plus 2 for Excellent Commanders - Napoleon and Blucher).  Comment - Free Rolls, love em!  A great indicator of a player's morale.

An infantry unit is only pinned from forming emergency square by being within one inch of a formed enemy infantry unit (this was the big change from edition 1 to edition 2).  Comment - in NB IV cavalry can again pin infantry.  I well recall the problems this caused in NB I so I'm not going back to this.  Infantry threaten by cavalry form square..

Small units.  Previously an infantry unit had a minimum of four bases (16 figures) and cavalry three (12 figures).  In the order of battle there are a few 8 figure cavalry units and 12 figure infantry units to better reflect the brigade (and in some cases large regiment) structure.  Comment - I've been playing with this for a while and it works well with historical scenarios.  Only complication is deciding which formation a two base unit is in and this gets me thinking of why cavalry has both a line and column formation when the movement and combat factors are so close?  For infantry I see line as deployed and column as maneuver, but for cavalry maybe line should denote react or attack.  Trouble is the depth of a cavalry base causes it to take up so much room.

Units withdrawing do so as columns using unformed movement (they are disordered) however first inch retains the units footprint for disordered units behind them.  Comment - I'm just trying this out as I found lines and squares withdrawing was a problem.  It was inspired by units in NB IV withdrawing from a  BUA do so in column.

Cavalry on react are classed as attacking cavalry.  Comment - this gets over the need for a counter charge rule.

Anglo cavalry start on react (not the DBC, BW or Cumberland).  Comment - the two sides start so close and teh French are in full view so the Anglo-Allied side needs some help.

Rough terrain movement , artillery cannot fire more than 1 inch into a wood
With the exception of the light green orchards, all woods are Dense which means movement in line or unlimbered or changing formation causes disorder.

Artillery may only cross streams at bridges while limbered or in march column.
Infantry and cavalry units may ford streams only in column or march column.
Cavalry units that are in a stream for any part of their movement are automatically disordered.
Crossing at a bridge in march column is without penalty
All other crossing is counted as fording and rough terrain movement

Contours create an artillery dead zone (see  Given the low profile of the terrain, BUAs and
woods in dead zones do block artillery fire.

Built Up Areas

Apart from the villages these are the chateaus and farms of Huogomont, La Haye Saint (including surrounding sandpit and sunken road) and Papelotte and La Marache (Smohain) (which also include sunken roads and extensive hedges).  All BUAs have a factor of +1 except Huoguomont which is +2 - this is a major change from the last game.

If the BUA is not large enough to fit a four base unit in then it is treated as no effect (for example the castle of Frischermont).

Two hits are required to cause one casualty to a unit deployed in a BUA.

Deployed units have their disorder number increased by one.

Remember to count as deployed a unit needs to be in the BUA and then change formation, if they are just in the BUA they only count it as cover.

When a unit defeats a deployed unit it occupies the BUA (i.e. advances fully into it), adopting a column formation.  As it is disordered it will not get the benefits until it remains stationary for a turn, and then changes formation to deployed (and hence able to use its LN combat factor) .  (I've just made the rule about occupying a BUA up as otherwise it would take three turns to deploy into a BUA after successfully attacking it - this way it takes two and gives the opponent time to counterattack.)

Each time a hit is caused by artillery, roll again and a 1 will cause a fire to start from 6# or 9# and 1 or 2 will cause a fire to start from 12pdr batteries or 3 for the BrHHA.  If occupied a roll of 1 to 5 puts out the fire, otherwise it burns for rest of the game.  A BUA on fire counts as rough terrain and disorders any units in or moving through it.  Note being reduced to rough terrain will limit the ability of most troops to deploy into it.

Each time a hit is caused by 12pdr artillery roll again and on a roll of 1 the defensive factor of the BAU is reduced by 1 (never below +0).

Movement in a BUA is not affected (but possibly should be, given the inclusion/abstraction of difficult terrain such as hedges and sunken roads).  Units cannot move through a BUA that is occupied other infantry, friendly or enemy (as they have barricaded the roads etc as part of their deployment).

Artillery cannot be deployed in a BUA (they can in purpose built fortifications).

Comment - I feel BUA rules need to attune to the scenario.  NB IV fixed the problem with fire combat that previously made BUAs death traps, although I don't agree with attacking units in column using their line combat factors.  I also lessened the chance of fire and damage, but also have lower values for the BUAs that are not fortifications.  I like the idea of a unit occupying a BUA after combat occupying the whole thing, something I interpreted as being a change in NB IV.  I don't like the idea of a BUA being automatically rough terrain or a unit being able to deploy forward into a BUA - you need to be in it to deploy.

Waterloo Take Two - Part 1

Napoleon (Mark B) was having a late breakfast when news arrived that the Prussians were coming. He decided on an immediate attack.

Mark from the ANF joined the French side and Stephen B took command of the Anglo-Allies (Stephen N would be arriving later).  Yes, it was two Marks versus two Stephens.  I umpired and mentored and tried out various rules from the new Edition of Napoleon's Battles as well as some variations I was testing (I will make a subsequent post on these rule adaptions).

The big picture at the end of the 11:30 turn.

Napoleon sent Ney against Papelotte and Smohain.   

Reille tested the defences of Huoguomont.  Note Bachelu all alone on the right.

Bachelu's division was very badly mauled by the RHA. 

Ney leads a division of heavy cavalry against the Anglo-Allied artillery near Papelotte.

On the French left Pire's cavalry attacks as Jerome's troops attempt to isolate Huoguomont.  Wellington uses a Free Roll to save Cooke.  These French attacks fail.

End of the 12:00 turn and Ney has started to contest the ridge on the Anglo-Allied left as the French are trying to push through the gap between Papelotte and Smohain.

The 1st and 2nd Ligne have attacked, but Arenschildt's cavalry spoil their attack.  This is a good example of interpenetration, the cavalry having come from the rear.  The units might looked like packed formations but they are around 80% empty space, the critical thing, and only possible because of the small size of Arenschildt's brigade, is that there still needs to be space to fit.  It is also an example of a combined arms attack (or rather defense).  The French infantry broke, but British cavalry (or rather KGL) went on to break against a brigade of Cuirassiers which then triggered a counterattack by the French cavalry that crushed another Anglo-Allied cavalry brigade which in recoiling disordered yet another cavalry brigade.

Ney attacks Papelotte and British cavalry attack the French 4th Division that has now crossed the Ohain brook.

The Carabiniers have now joined in the attack on the Byng's Guards brigade covering the rear of Huoguomont.

The Scots Greys make their first charge destroying a brigade of the French 2nd Division which had been badly shot up and then shot up some more by the RHA positioned to the rear of La Haye Sainte.

The end of the 12:30 turn.  The French have captured Papelotte, but their other attacks have been repulsed

Ney leads an attack on two Hannoverian Landwher brigades 

The defenders of Huoguomont are being worn down.

The Anglo-Allies counter attack against Ney.

Ney is triumphant!  Well, not quite.  The brigade to which is he attached is routed but he escapes.

End of the 13:00 turn.  Up till now the French have been losing more troops than their adversaries, but this changed with this turn.  Both sides have had a unit dispersed and have used two Free Rolls.

The other significant thing about the 13:00 turn is the arrival of Blucher.  But has he brought any troops with him?

Another major attack on the Allied right.  Is that the Cumberland Hussars about to engage the French Cuirassiers lead by Kellerman?

Huoguomont is attacked!

The Empress Dragoons and Guard Lancers charge the two British brigades in Picton's Division. 

The French cavalry are repulsed, but it cost Wellington three Free Rolls.

The attack on Huoguomont failed, but the defending Guards died to a man to achieve that.  The Allied right also has been pushed back.  The Cumberland Hussars have retired to Brussels to announce Wellington's defeat.  Are they right?

At the end of the French 13:30 turn we called it a day.  The Anglo-Allies have a chance to reoccupy Huoguomont and repair their lines.  The Prussians will also start to arrive.  

So far the French have lost 21 bases including 1 unit dispersed (Schmitz's brigade of the 2nd Division).  They have 6 Free Rolls remaining.   The Anglo-Allies have lost 14 bases including 3 units dispersed (Maitland's brigade of Guards, the 2nd Nassau and the Cumberland Hussars) along with 5 artillery batteries.  They have only 3 Free Rolls left.