Sunday, March 13, 2016

BLACK POWDER Napoleonics
Demo Game at
Cullison's Cards & Games, Jonesboro AR
Got a chance to demo some Napoleonics for some new friends this weekend with a short Hasty Attack scenario.  Will and Cody, pictured with me, and Matthew each got to enjoy a spirited introduction to 28mm Historical gaming.  The guys are veteran Warhammer players, so the principles of you go I go move shoot and melee were already in place.  Lot of fun to see their joy at trying out a new historical period for wargaming.
The scenario was simply made up to accommodate my current forces available on the Prussian side.  The layout was a fair to moderately dense area of terrain somewhere between Charleroi and Quatre Bras on the French/Belgium frontier.  Napoleon's forces are advancing to try to drive a wedge between the Allied forces of Wellington and Blucher so he can defeat each in detail.  Cavalry has bypassed the area for easier routes of advance, and the lead brigade of a French Advance Guard has made contact with a Regiment of Prussians that are part of their army's picket outposts.  The forces are well balanced, so it's about who maneuvers to concentrate combat power the best, as well as who the ever present Dice Deities favor!
Not much action in the first turn other than some ineffective long range cannon fire as the French advance all along the line, pushing their Legere battalion out to get set up on a wooded hill from a position to bring fire along the enemy right and center.  The Prussians return the favor by pushing their Fusilier battalion out to occupy a rock wall position in the center of their line.  The remaining Prussians wait to see how the enemy attack develops before maneuvering to meet it.

The Prussian commander has his Volunteer Jager riflemen screen his Musketeer battalions advance on his far right to support the Fusiliers and to meet the advancing French.  He leaves his Landwehr battalion and its supporting cannon in position on his far left.  The "grumpy old men" of the Landwehr punished the French attack on the Prussian middle and routed a French Ligne battalion with musket and cannon fire.  Blucher would be so proud of them! 

Things start to get very tense in the middle as the French close in on the Fusiliers behind their rock wall.  Pointblank volley fire leaves them Disordered and Shaken, just one casualty away from having to test morale, but the Fusiliers bravely stand their ground. 

The Prussian Jagers rout after being hit hard with musket and cannon fire.  The French Ligne and Prussian Musketeer battalions "toe the line" and pour point blank volley fire into each other.  Casualties are high but both forces hang on, relying on musket fire as the commanders are unwilling to charge an enemy until they are weakened to the point they can't effectively defend.

Finally, the French win the musket battle.  A Prussian Musketeer battalion routs and another one falls back Disordered and Shaken.  The Fusiliers can only watch as their right flank folds.
The French brigade commander attaches to a Ligne Battalion and carries them forward to finish off the Prussian Musketeers who fell back.  The Prussian right is broken, the Fusiliers and Landwether have to fall back to their left and rejoin their army, and Napoleon's troops have opened the way to Quatre Bras!
Great fight guys!

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