Saturday, 24 October 2015

Quatre Bras - LFS

A little while ago (just before I went on holiday) I played this game, based on Quatre Bras using the Le Feu Sacre rules. These rules have a lot going for them in my opinion and I was pleased with how well the game ran. In fact it's probably the most ambitious game I've done yet; I did stretch the play over two days playing solo.

Here's a view of the battlefield from the South-East (French side). In the background you can see Gemioncourt, beyond the stream Quatre Bras itself & to the left of that the Bossu woods. (The buildings btw are by Tiger Terrain.)

Here is a view from the Dutch side. Perponcher's Division is deployed to defend around Gemioncourt farm. 

Ney's French (Foy and Bachelu's infantry divisions and Pire's cavalry) approach. Three artillery batteries were quickly unlimbered to support an assault on Gemioncourt.

On turn 2 the Foy launched the assault on Gemioncourt, defended by the 5th Belgian militia. The artillery batteries did their work...

...and soon the Belgians were ejected and the French took control of the farm.

Meanwhile on the, Bachelu's troops advanced towards battlions of Dutch Light infantry and Nassauers. The Dutch had chosen to try to defend the line of the stream rather than standing in the trees of the Bossu. A brave decision.

The next turn saw the French continue their advance and on Foy's right, Jerome Bonaparte's division was spotted. The Dutch look quite outnumbered here but the flag across the stream (next to Wellington in fact) is a 'blind' which conceals Picton's Division.

On turn 4 Foy's troops crossed the stream and attacked more Belgians. The personal support of Foy who committed to the fight (unlike Perponcher who was too far away or Bjilandt) helped ensure that the Belgians were pushed back (though not broken).

Meanwhile Picton's Division was spotted. Behind them is another 'blind' which conceals the Brunswickers.

Turn 5 would prove to be a decisive time. The French attack develops on the left and their cavalry superiority was key. First, one unit of chasseurs forces the Nassauers into square

Then another charges across the stream against the the Dutch lights (who did not have time to form square). The Dutch unit breaks and shortly afterwards so does the unit of Orange-Nassau infantry who were supporting as the chasseurs breakthrough onto them.

On the French right, Jerome's troops start to cross by the Merle pond and take on the Black Watch. Crisis for the Brits as Picton goes down. (A very lucky & key result for the French this one).

More bad news for the allies on the left as Bachelu's columns now close on the Nassauers' square which has already taken casualties.

By the end of the turn Perponcher's defence of the Bossu has gone. There is little between the French and Quatre Bras it seems.

Not quite so. The Brunswickers are revealed as the next line of defense  while in the centre Van Merlen's cavalry party with the French lancers. (This was one of several not very decisive cavalry engagements here).

Turn 6 saw Jerome continue to press hard against Picton's divsion...

... and with considerable success. It begins to look as though the Brits were badly demoralised by the loss of Picton.

Turn 7 and Bachelu &Pire continue to advance towards Quatre Bras. However, there are now some defenders deployed in among the trees (Alten's Division).

On the far side Kellerman's cuirassiers, who had chosen to delay their entry, arrive.

By turn 8 Foy's troops are within striking distance of Quatre Bras. Here they are pushing into the last troops of Perponcher's division; a militia battalion.

Then the cuirassiers charge against Picton's Hanoverian militia and the inevitable happens.

Meanwhile Cooke's Division of Guards arrives hoping to stiffen the defence.

Turn 9 sees fierce fighting in the Bossu but Alten is pushed back by Bachelu.

While in the centre the French break the Brunswickers opening the way to an assault on Quatre Bras  itself 

And  L'Heritier turns up with a Division of dragoons; the last of the reinforcements.

At this point I called the game having run out of time. Although the French had not actually taken the cross-roads, they had all but done so and it was hard to see them really being stopped in the next couple of turns. Though Cooke's guards might have been able to counter-attack the rest of the allied defense was looking very depleted.

All in all an excellent game. The French attacked decisively and the Allies were never really able to organise a coherent defense. Interestingly the result came out pretty similar to when I played QB with Age of Eagles rules about a year before. I plan next to do some LFS in the Peninsular, though it might be a while before I get organised.