Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A near run thing at HRGG

Last Saturday saw another Blucher game take place at the Hamilton Road Gaming Group located in the Crouch Branch of the London Public Library.
The players were Cecil (Craufurd), Mike (Hill) Jordan (Ney) and I (Drouot)
A battle using two 305 point armies using the 100 days lists.

Both sides split their armies into 2 all infantry corps and an all cavalry corps. The British attached all eleven of their foot batteries to brigades, opting for the additional die when shooting, but massed their 3 horse batteries and attached it to the Cavalry corps. 

The French attached a cavalry brigade to each of their infantry corps and massed all their artillery into 2 Horse, 2 Heavy and 3 Foot units.

Both sides had an army morale of 6.

The British set up with their cavalry on their right, Craufurd's corps on the hill and Hill's corps behind the woods on the British Left.
The French set up their cavalry corps on their Left, I Corps with Drouot attached in the middle and Ney's II corps on the right.
Stars represent the objectives
Ney sent II corps forward over the hill at Hill. French I corps occupies the village and sends 3 more brigades forward to fix in place (and reveal) the British on the hill.

The entire British cavalry corps races into the centre to threaten Ney's open flank, its horse battery opens fire and scores 3 hits.
II corps advances on the far side of the stream and the British cavalry rushes to threaten their flank. in the foreground French Heavy artillery opens fire on Craufurd's troops.
The French heavy batteries open fire on the British on the hill, causing some casualties, the French Cavalry corps waits in reserve.

Ney's lead brigade takes 2 more hits from the British Horse battery (they are down to 1 elan), Ney Swoops in to rally them, does and dies! (it's turn 5).
The death of Ney
Hill and Ney exchange fire for a few turns, with II corps coming off worse. Its actions only manage to fatigue only 1 British brigade, which cravenly retires. At one point Ney's successor got his cavalry behind the Hill's front line and charged a unit in the rear, with an infantry brigade flanking it as well, but was unable to break it, and the cavalry ended up retreating off the opponents table edge (counting as broken).

French I corps engages in a firefight with the Craufurd's troops on the hill, while Ney's successor fights both Hill's II corps and the British cavalry corps.

Ney's corps eventually gets ground up having 4 units Broken (counting the cavalry that left the table) and many units sitting at 2 or 3 elan, but drawing all the enemy cavalry to the far side of the battlefield, at which point the French cavalry corps goes into action, moving onto the flank of Craufurd's corps, which forms squares, and the French Artillery gets to work softening them up and cavalry charge them, quickly breaking 5 units in three turns.

On the far side of the British cavalry make another attempt to break some of Ney's troops but a series of bad rolls for the British see no French units lose a single combat.

Both side are sitting at 5 units broken.

Craufurd's surviving brigade falls back towards the Northern ford, looking to join with Hill, but a French cavalry brigade forces them to square. Five French batteries open fire on him, the first 4 (15 or so dice) and do a total of 1 hit, then a horse battery, barely in range, open fires with 4 dice and gets 3 hits (three 6's and a 2) breaking him.
The open spot just in front of the French Cavalry is where Craufurd's last brigade was destroyed by the fire of 5 massed batteries.
The British army has 6 units broken (in Blucher at the end of each turn victory is checked by asking is your army Broken?), so they regardless of what they do they have lost but as the French are one unit away from breaking themselves, we decided if the British can break a French unit they will get a draw. They launch 3 Brigades of cavalry at 2 French infantry brigades (a slim chance, but a chance) the French are in squares. The don't break either one and the game ends with a French Victory.
British cavalry preparing for their last ditch attempt to deny a victory to the much detested French.
Result: Crafurd's Corps was completely destroyed, Hill's corps had 2 units retire and a bunch of casualties (hill died trying to unsucessfully inspire his troops), Ney died and 5 of his Brigades followed him. Drouot did little, except attach himself to THE Horse Battery and claims it was him laying the guns that resulted in its exceptional last shot.

22 turns.
4 1/2 hours
4 Players (2 of which had never played Blucher before).

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