On 6 September we played the Battle of Waterloo again. I wanted to use the battlefield one more time before tidying it away and so invited four new players to come along. As in the first refight, this group were all new to the Blucher rules. In addition, only one of them had played a historical war game before: the others drew on memories of playing Warhammer. They all picked up the rules quickly and we fought the game to a conclusion inside one long day. In this game, the Allies deployed with a strong right flank, expecting a French left hook. The French duly obliged, but held on to a strong reserve including their two Heavy Cavalry Corps. Once the French left had engaged them, the Allies assaulted with their own left flank. The French screened this attack with a very light force and then launched their reserves against the Allied Centre. Thinned out to right and left, the Allies buckled between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte. Despite the best efforts of the British 1st Division, the French juggernaut chewed up its opposition and Allied morale broke. While the French had lost a lot of élan points, they had not lost many units so were a long way from their break point at this stage.
It had been a great game and all players said they would happily play again. With hindsight, it might have been better to use another scenario to introduce the rules, as the players learned some useful lessons to their cost. Unit handling got a lot better in the course of the day, especially by the Allies. We agreed to meet again soon for another game. Next time we might try the Battle of Montmirail, 1814, a scenario I’ve played several times with Napoleon’s Battles. I’ll be interested to see how this works with Blucher.
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