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 2
Markkleeberg, 16 October 1813: Prussians and Russians versus French and Poles
I have converted the following scenario from Lasalle 1 to the newly released Lasalle 2. It was the subject of our first face to face game after lockdown and we greatly enjoyed it. It is reported in my blog post here. Lasalle 2 is very different from the original and/but it plays very well. After our game I tweaked the scenario a little bit, by removing the sudden death victory conditions. In our play through, the Allied player chose to go for the sudden death route to victory and completely ignored the village. This gave a great game but it didn’t feel much like the actual engagement, where Markkleeberg was the focus of much of the battle.
The Danube Valley, 21 April 1809: “Bristling with guns”. St Hilaire assaults a hilltop position
This scenario concerns a part of the combat between Davout and Rosenberg on the day before the battle of Eckmühl. The whole combat is covered in the Laichling scenario for Blücher, attached below, while this game focuses on St Hilaire and Deroi’s attacks on the hilltop position that anchored the Austrian left wing.
The original version of Lasalle got me back into collecting and playing Napoleonics at the tactical level. Now the new edition has been released (February 2021), I doubt many people will continue with Lasalle 1. But the two rule sets are so different that I can see myself dipping back into Lasalle 1 at some stage. So I’ll leave our house rule and solitary scenario on the page for now.
House rule for playing with Lasalle 1 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...
The following Lasalle 1 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. I wrote two blog posts about it, one on planning the scenario and one battle report. 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 Blücher refight of Waterloo, described In my blog posts on planning and playing the game. The starting point for the Unit strengths are Sam Mustafa's 100 Days 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.p