Scenarios for Lasalle and Blucher Napoleonic rules
Playing with Lasalle
I bought Lasalle when it was first published but took some time to get around to playing it. Like other Sam Mustafa rules these are innovative but not gimmicky, flavoursome but not fiddly. The sequence of play takes some getting used to but is at the heart of the system.
After several games, one aspect of the rules was getting in the way. Much discussed on the Honour forum, it is the fact that infantry battalions in column are able to form up touching side by side and overwhelm an enemy line. Of the various house rules suggested in the forum, I chose the following.
If an infantry battalion in column is in contact with the enemy and has friendly column(s) to its flank within 1BW or less, the battalion loses 1 combat die per flank so affected. Note the friendly column need not be in the same combat or indeed in combat at all.
I find this provides a disincentive to bunching up but it isn’t too harsh and is easy to remember. The less we mess with Mustafa, the better, as his systems are carefully judged and every house rule risks causing unexpected consequences...
Leipzig, 1813: Kleist assaults Markkleeberg
The following Lasalle scenario covers the attack by Kleist’s column against Markkleeberg on 16 October 1813. The order of battle comes from Digby Smith’s Leipzig for the Allies, Scott Bowden’s Grande Armée of 1813 for the French; and Mariusz Lutosławski’s Armia Księcia Józefa for the Poles. Every book tells the story of the attack a little differently. But the bones are consistent: Kleist attacked and broke into Markkleeberg and advanced in the open ground between this town and Wachau. The Poles, supported by Semelé’s French Division, counterattacked. By the end of the day both sides were more or less back to their start lines but Kleist held on to a corner of Markkleeberg.
Having played several games now, I have really taken to the Blucher rules. Like so many sets by Sam Mustafa, they are deceptively simple: even small rules elements can have an important effect on play. After years of loyalty to Napoleon's Battles for Corps/Army level games, I have, I think, shifted to Blucher.
I produced the attached prompt sheet to help new players get into the rules as quickly as possible. The notes on it are not immediately visible in the quick reference sheets in the rulebook. We play that 1BW equals 3".
This scenario is relatively small for Blucher and plays out in two to three hours. The challenge for the Prussians is to keep up the pressure on the French left. The French should try to keep reserves to hand to regain lost real estate before the Prussians dig in. The French player should not take risks with his resources: however tempting, he is better advised to keep his reserves in check rather than go looking for trouble in the Prussian lines. Aggressive cavalry commanders should beware!
This is a scenario for Blücher using the small scale in the rule book. See the battle report on the blog. Small numbers of high quality French Guards take on greater numbers of Russians and Prussians. A chance to get stuck in with the Old Guard for once.