Sunday, January 28, 2018

Waterloo 20 with My Wife

Night, June 16th. Through heavy fighting, the Allies have been forced out of Quatre Bras and the Prussians from Ligny.

I've persuaded my wife to do some reading on Waterloo. She's chiefly reading Bernard Corwell's Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles and may progress on to some other works, including a volume of personal accounts of the battle. To help her understand the situation and choices facing Wellington and Napoleon during those four days, we're playing through Waterloo 20 from the GMT Fading Glory set.

Early in the day on June 16th, during the pitched battles for the towns.
Napoleon, due to illness, was not able to commit the Guard at Ligny during the afternoon. Ney managed to take Quatre Bras during the afternoon but a counterattack by the Anglo-Dutch pushed the French back out as dusk fell. It was not until evening that the Imperial Guard was able to dislodge the Prussians from Ligny and Ney, with the help of D'Erlon 's Corps managed to finally secure the Quatre Bras crossroads.

Morning of June 17th, the French under Grouchy advance beyond Ligny
One of the reasons I love the Napoleonic 20 games is the level of narrative generated from such a simple system, with only 20 unit counters on the board. I've been trying to play as historically as possible to give Terri a better reference as she reads. This is her first time trying a hex-and-counter game. She's picking up the rules quickly and I think getting a decent basic understanding of Napoleonic warfare.

June 16th, night. Heavy fighting left both sides fatigued
The Prussians regroup and in the evening of June 17th attacked Grouchy in the area of Mont Saint-Guilbert, stopping a French flanking maneuver
Where have the Anglo-Dutch gone?
Unfortunately for Terri, she's also just learned about being defeated in detail. She left her Anglo-Dutch forces strung out and separated on the Brussels Road. In a series of lopsided combats, many in the pouring rain, the Allied army was eliminated - not without some cost to the French, but completely broken, nonetheless. For a variety of reasons this had less impact on her morale than it might have, and it's conceivable that she can still manage a draw. She's done very well though and I'm happy to have a spouse that will play wargames with me!

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