Scenarios for Lasalle and Blucher Napoleonic rules
The two Napoleonic rule sets we play regularly are Blucher for Corps, and Lasalle for Division level games. I prefer a historical scenario where possible although pick-up-and-play games are easy to play and good fun with both rule sets.
Scenarios for Lasalle
House rule for playing with Lasalle
I bought Lasalle when it was first published but didn't play it for some time. Like other Sam Mustafa rules these are innovative but not gimmicky, flavoursome but not fiddly. The unusual sequence of play 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 in this formation, they tend to 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...
Sam Mustafa has announced that some time in late 2020 or 2021, a rebooted version of Lasalle will be released. I am looking forward to this very much and have started a painting and basing project for my 15mm and 6mm collections in anticipation.
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.
This is the order of battle and reinforcement schedule we used for our refight of Waterloo in the summer of 2015. The starting point are Sam Mustafa's 100 Days unit cards. I did not produce my own map at the time, so don't have one to share I'm afraid. I based the measurements (at 1BW to 300 yards) on the Waterloo Companion by Adkin.
Forest hexes. Each patch of forest is lettered for identification purposes.
Main roads (dark brown)
Minor roads (tan)
Railway line (black)
Open hexes. Although ‘open’, these still represent farmland with fields and hedges, streams and ditches.
Hex rows are labelled with letters. Individual hexes are identified by counting away from the left of the row containing the letter (including part hexes). Thus, La Redoute is in hex E7; Saint Michel de Livet is in hex J3.
Each player has various assets, including fighting men and women, vehicles, technical resources and bases. As the campaign is under way at present I am not listing all of these on the website yet. But examples include
German infantry section with Opel lorry
Active Maquis cell
Sleeping Maquis cell
Every turn, each player receives a briefing on events in the previous turn, along with one or more tasks for the turn ahead.
A turn is not a fixed period of time but an episode in which something happens. Each turn, the players will receive a briefing on the situation and should then issue orders to their assets to allow them to deal with the current challenge. Play is similar to a Dungeons and Dragons approach: they will not be constrained by mechanical rules although these exist in the umpire’s set. The umpire will try to carry out the players’ instructions and will report the outcome at the end of the turn.
That said, the players are given some guidelines:
Lorries can reach anywhere on the map using the road net. Their passengers can then disembark and move on foot. I will presume that lorry-borne units will return to base at the end of the turn unless a player orders them to stay in another village or town. The gas powered lorries risk breaking down but otherwise are the same as the Opel lorries.
The Steyr heavy car and kübelwagen can reach anywhere on the map, not just on the road net.
Troops on foot may walk up to 4 open hexes, either from their base or from the point where a vehicle has transported them. I will presume they will return to base at the end of the turn unless a player orders them to stay in another hex (troops on foot can bivouac in non-urban hexes).
The tank can travel up to 12 hexes in a turn and will end the turn where it has been sent (ie it won’t return to base at turn’s end). It derives no benefit from roads.
Players may issue contingency orders, for example to lie in ambush or to look out for a signal and then take another action..