Sunday, June 18, 2017


Yesterday at the NWS games day I umpired a game based on the French III and IV Corps, plus the Imperial Guard, attempts to wrest control of St Amand la-Haye, St Amand and Ligny from the Prussian I and II Corps.  The players were James of the ANF, Mark B, Darren, Stephen N and Stephen B respectively.  Simon was expected to put in an appearance as d'Erlon, but we ran out of time.  So it goes.  As can be seen it is a big game to try and do in one day (from 08:00 to 16:00 was our allotted time).

The battlefield from the Prussian side.

And from the French side.

Instead of the standard nine by five table I was using a five by four (actually it is six by four mat, but 12" of the right hand side was not in use - Grouchy was there somewhere keeping von Thielemann occupied).

For the Games Day I had been planning to do a smaller, say 400 point Napoleon's Battles game.  It   would have been about half the size of this Ligny scenario.  The difference was I was going to arrange a pregame map setup using the Blucher Scharnhorst system.  However James is a stickler for historic games and purely by chance I found I had this cutdown scenario for Ligny.  I say cutdown as it is not as big as the Ligny scenario that appeared in Avalon Hill's The General magazine circa 1990.  I couldn't recall where I had got the cutdown scenario from, but have since identified it as Rafael's.  I used his map, notes and basic OOB, although I did change it a bit to go back to the Napoleon's Battles standard cavalry ratio (1 figure represents 80 troopers) and a few other mods based on the research I had done for the Waterloo game back in 2015.

The rules were 2nd Edition with BUA fighting, and brigade self rally and self command rules from the 4th Edition.  I also played that if a general was used in a combat, he stayed with the unit he was attached too.

Vandamme immediately launched attacks on St Amand la-Haye and St Amand.
They were unsuccessful.

Ziethen launched Roeder's cavalry on the French left.
It was uneventful.

Blucher looked on from his vantage point near the windmill.

French heavy cavalry was sent across the stream.
An interesting move...

The Ligny brook was deemed to be one inch wide (100 yards) rough terrain with only infantry and cavalry able to cross and then only in column or march column.  French HC have a 4/1 modifier for rough terrain.  Their formation is also four inches deep, that meant it required at least 16 inches of movement to cross.  In column their move is 13 inches.  It was going to take some time. 

And as can be seen the Prussians have massed a lot of guns.
(Although they were soon blown away by the massed artillery of the Imperial Guard).

A second attack, or was it a third, on St Amand la-Haye met with success.

But attacks on Ligny itself were repulsed.

Fighting continued for St Amand.

The battlefield at end of play.

I felt the game was playing well.  As Game Days are very much social events the focus was on relaxation rather than competitive play.  The players, while all very experienced Napoleonic gamers, were not that familiar with Napoleon's Battles rules (it had been a while since our last game).  Having me as umpire made it all work smoothly and I didn't have to refer to the rule book at all.

We played six turns (15:00 to 17:30).  The French had used one Free Roll, lost 14 bases and 2 artillery.  The Prussians had used three Free Rolls, lost 9 bases, including one unit dispersed, and 5 artillery.  There were about eight turns left to do.

I'm planning to do this game again, especially as I now have all the units labelled etc.

All the figures were mine, apart from the AB Napoleon which was Darren's.  All the terrain was the NWS' apart from the windmill which was mine.


James has provided an excellent report on this game with lots of wonderful photos on the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship blog.  Check it out.


  1. Looks like a great game�� and a fun day!

    1. Thanks. As I was busy umpiring I missed out on taking photos of all the action which is why this post, representing eight hours of gaming has so few photos compared to other posts.

      Also still working on perfecting labels, however advancing years have required a larger font than what I used 30 years ago.

  2. Looks like a terrific game was had! You almost make me want to resurrect my own long-dormant corps level 15mm Waterloo project. Seriously.

    Best Regards,


    1. Thanks. My Waterloo project is ongoing, but I think I now just about have all the French I need, although some can be improved for 1815. The Allies are mixed, but fun to do. But I still need more Prussians if I'm ever to do the full Ligny.

  3. A fabulous game and day Mark. Thanks again for organising--even if I did 'bully' you into it, haha!!

    Looking forward to finishing off the Prussian properly in v2--we'll nail Stephen's feet to the ground for that one, hey?!

    1. It was good I found Rafael's scenario to provide the inspiration.

      My role as umpire was more cat herder than rules interpreter.

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  6. Congrats on a great looking game. I've done this scenario at Cold Wars and the only comment I would make is that Ligny village straddles both sides of the stream and you seem to have at only on the Prussian side of the stream. Any reason why or is this from Rafel's set up?

    1. Thanks. The Ligny set up was from Rafel. You are right about it straddling the stream. I need to look at having Ligny as two BUAs one each side of the stream, just one BUA overriding the stream or two BUAs with no stream. I've been surprised by the number of maps available, although they might be based on the one source which is credited as "Rousseau". It shows Ligny as both sides, but also as quite a spread out village. Researching is a part of the hobby I enjoy, just need to keep focussed.