Sunday, 29 September 2019

Battle of Ligny

Yesterday we played my Ligny scenario for Muskets & Marshals. The game went well, and we managed to complete the required eight turns. I commanded the Prussians whilst Tony and Goya played team French, this is what happened.

View of the table at the start of play. St Amand-La-Haye is the
white building nearest the camera, St Amand is the cottage to
the right and the church model at the far end of the table
represents Ligny. Prussians to the left, French to the right.
The French got off to a spirited start with Goya attacking
St Amand-La-Haye and Tony attacking Ligny.
The two French units on the large bases are from Tony's
collection. He brought these along as they are mostly Hinton
Hunt figures and they performed annoying well.
As the French close in on St Amand-La-Haye the 1st Silesian
Hussars rush forward to intercept - well, they had to didn't they?
The same scene from slightly further back shows the solid
French infantry columns pressing forward. However there are
Silesian Landwehr holding the village so I'm not worried!
This shows the centre of my position. The gun on the hill has
taken a few casualties but otherwise we're in good shape. The
2nd Silesian Landwehr are being moved to the right to help
shore up the flank.
This is from behind the French left showing that Goya's
infantry are starting to take some casualties as they advance.
My hussars mix it with French lancers whilst the dragoons move
up in support. This is the first ever action for these hussars so
they're bound to do well.
A close-up of the intense fighting for St Amand-La-Haye.
Pretty much the same scene but I like the photo.
Meanwhile over at Ligny, Tony has just captured the town.
This was a bit of a shock and I only had a unit of Landwehr
on hand to plug the gap (S-range from Goya's collection).
Fortunately reserves are on the way. I managed to release all
three of my reserve units in a single turn and sent the Guard
and the Silesian Musketeers to counter-attack. Blucher himself
accompanied them - "Vorwarts!"
The centre of my line held firm as the French were having
problems getting their Guard units to activate, the Grumblers
finding it hard to believe Napoleon actually wanted them
to fight rather than just look pretty.
Over on my right things were not looking so good. My hussars
were following the time honoured tradition for new units by
legging it to the rear, and St Amand-La-Haye had fallen.
This was the do-or-die moment at Ligny as the counter-attack
goes in. Sadly as you can see from the markers it was not a
huge success and very soon I had 3 units streaming to the rear.
"Rally, mein kinder, rally!"
Well they did but it was too late.
At the 11th hour (turn 8 actually) the Brandenburg infantry managed
to retake St Amand-La-Haye denying the French a decisive
Finally the Young Guard arrive but it's all over now. The Old
Guard (top left) appear to be having a picnic but roll on June 18
I say...

The final result was a marginal victory for the French with a win of 8 points. It was a hard-fought affair with a fairly historical outcome. My thanks to Tony and Goya for a most enjoyable day.


Rob said...

Gosh, you were well lucky in activating your reserve while the French managed to recreate almost historical levels of confusion / inaction allowing the Prussians to escape to fight another day and another blog post I hope.
Don't be too hard on those delightful Silesian Hussars, frontally charging fresh infantry is not a great idea even for their heavier brethren.

Stryker said...

Rob, of my 4 Silesian units I think 3 had routed by the end of the game so the hussars were in good company!

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Your games are always such a feast for the eyes. Fantastic.

Best Regards,


MSFoy said...

Nice report, Ian. It was a really good day - thanks again. There were a number of classic highlights, as ever, but it will take me a while to get over the memory of the Old Guard Grenadiers rolling a 1 in three straight turns as they stubbornly refused to march on to the field until the fighting was nearly over. A you said, no wonder they were the Immortals!

Stryker said...

Stokes, thanks for that, I think half the fun for me is the look of the thing!

Stryker said...

Tony, yes that was fun (for me!) the dice will always generate a laugh or two!

the Archduke said...

What a classic. Good to see guards on both sides behaving like, well, guards. But what has happened to Silesia? Congratulations all.

Stryker said...

Archduke. it was a bad day for Silesia but at least they fought!

Matt said...

Too many virgin fresh painted units seems to be the problem. Should have had a few officers just in primer to steady them.

Stunningly good looking game all the same!

Stryker said...

Matt, now you've explained it I see the error of my ways!

Wellington Man said...

The wee men are all little gems, Ian!
An excellent game all round, by the looks of it.
Best regards

Stryker said...

It was a good game Matthew although I could have done with your Lutzowers!

Ross Mac said...

This looks and sounds like just the sort of thing that pops into my mind when someone "Napoleonic wargame". Must be early conditioning.

Great stuff!

Stryker said...

Thanks Ross!

Mark Dudley said...

That looks like a fun game and for me shows why 20mm is such a good scale to both paint and game with.

Stryker said...

You're right Mark because even on a 6'x4' table there was plenty of space when everything was deployed (approx 600 figures). It helps that I have my troops based quite tightly together!

James Fisher said...

Super game Ian. The French must have thought that they were in business when they took Ligny so early. A good fight back by the Prussians to re-take St Armand-la-haye to even the ledger.
The figures look magnificent. I really like your use of black and white photos too.

Stryker said...

Thanks James.

'Lee. said...

Superb looking game Ian, figures and table in harmony in traditional style. The overall look is both nostalgic and really inspiring. I see so many posts featuring huge 28mm armies fighting over fully textured terrain on the Napoleonic FB page but few match this in my opinion.

Stryker said...

Thanks Lee, these are the sort of games I always wanted to play it's just taken a few years to get there!