Miniature Addiction Wargaming with miniatures

Clear the woods

Intro

A Friday night throw together game this was our first attempt at a scenario based around Hougoumont. We used Sergio Laliscia’s Sixty-One Sixty-Five company based American civil war rules for this re-fight. I had been thinking along these lines ever since a friend had introduced me to this great little set of rules, but had no concrete plans other than to paint some figures and hope something would eventuate. Unfortunately at the time of playing this not all the figures we needed were painted so there are a few old bits box draftees glued onto sabot bases to make up numbers. Hopefully this doesn’t detract too much from the visual appeal of what was a truly great game.

Battlefield

The six by four table sketched below details the terrain layout for this game. We agreed before the battle that both the orchard (5) and light woods (8) would provide light cover for only our skirmishers. The openness of the wood and orchard would not affect line of sight (ergo command or musket range) or movement. Red (Allies) and blue (French) lines depict the initial deployment zones, while a single section of British guards would enter the battlefield around the side of the shed (6) when/if it rolled a six.

  1.  Vegetable Gardens
  2. Formal Gardens
  3. Kitchen Gardens
  4. Dirt Tracks
  5. Orchard
  6. Shed
  7. Open Fields
  8. Light Woods
  9. Hedge Lines

French

& Allied

Forces

Allied

  • 1st Company :  1st Battalion/2nd Nassau regiment
  • 2x 8 man sections with attached skirmishers
  • 2nd Company : 1st Battalion/2nd Nassau regiment
  • 2x 8 man sections with attached skirmishers
  • 1x Section : Der Lüneburg light Hanoverian battalion
  • 1x 8 man section with attached Jaeger skirmishers (rifles)
  • 1x Section : Der Grubenhagen light Hanoverian battalion
  • 1x 8 man section with attached Jaeger skirmishers (rifles)
  • 1x Section :  2nd battalion Coldstream guards
  • 1×8 man section with attached skirmishers

French

  • 1st Company : 2nd battalion/1st Légère
  • 2x 8 man sections with attached skirmishers
  • 2nd Company : 2nd battalion/1st Légère
  • 2x 8 man sections with attached skirmishers
  • 3rd Company : 2nd battalion/1st Légère
  • 2x 8 man section with attached skirmishers
  • 4th Company : 2nd battalion/1st Légère
  • 2x 8 man sections with attached skirmishers

Phase 1: Deployment and opening moves

With his Nassau deployed in the vegetable garden and the orchard occupied by the Hanoverians the Allied player pins his hopes on the Coldstream guards turning up quickly in order to hold the right flank. Winning the initiative he decides to push forward into the woods to slow the French progress as mush as possible until the guards can arrive. Leading the way the Nassau skirmishers leap the hedge and cross the dirt track heading into the trees. Somehow there is a mix up with orders (even with the unbroken chain of command) and the Hanoverians fail to move off handing the initiative to the French.

Resolving to attack the Allies before help can arrive the French begin to move forward. Alas just as the first few skirmishers move deeper into the woods the French command also falls into confusion and the initiative passes back to the Allied player.

With no sign of the guards and the French seemingly unable to coordinate their attack the Allies push on to the edge of the wood before coming under sustained fire from French voltigeurs.

Continuing problems in the French command have resulted in a single company (two sections) on their right flank out distancing the main body. In an open field and well ahead of any supporting units they now find themselves dangerously exposed.

Phase 2: The French attack builds as the guards arrive.

Any hope of quick relief brought by the sudden appearance of the British quickly disappears as they seem reluctant to engage the enemy. Mean while in the centre the French voltigeurs make short work of the last few Nassau light troops, those that are not killed out right fall back to rejoin their parent units. This in turn makes way for the French main body which now throws its full weight against the buckling Allied centre.

Leaping the orchard hedge line the Hanoverians cease their moment of glory and smash into the confused mass of French in the open field. This attack coupled with some well timed volleys from the dwindling Nassau units, in the centre, causes the French attack to first stall then real back into the trees.

Final Phase: The last attack.

Shaken but not beaten the French quickly rally. With their voltigeurs still reeking havoc on the Allies main formations the reformed French companies advance and rejoin the fray. Here the battle hangs in the balance yet again as both sides blast each other with volley after volley of point blank musketry. Thanks mainly to the efforts of their NCOs (rallying any faltering troops) the battle slowly swings in the allies favour and the French begin to fall back.

 A near run thing

Links to past just played pages