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Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Central Position - Vive La France rss

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Matthew Webster
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Allies: Steve (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/119882)
French: Me (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/119883)

The Allies take a much more defensive position than in the previous campaign. Perhaps this is to avoid the ease with which the French took Ghent then Brussels. Prussian troops are concentrated in and around Liege while Anglo-Dutch units are deployed at the other 2 supply bases. However the lack of forces from either army in the centre invites a repeat of history.

The French forces are split evenly between Beaumont and Phillipeville. They advance unopposed on Charleroi, despite the obvious difficulties in crossing the River Meuse. They further advance on Quatre Bras. Movement restrictions leave a small group behind in France containing vital infantry units that will be missed in the huge battle to come.

The Allies meanwhile have retreated. Units of both armies have concentrated in the 3 major cities including a large group (12) in Brussels. The stage has been set for an epic battle in the capital. Or will the Allies meet the advance according to history at Waterloo?

Aware of the mistakes made in the previous campaign the French advance the 2 groups now at Waterloo and Quatre Bras. If the Allies attack there will be plenty of reinforcements. But they don’t, so before the Prussians arrive the main force attacks Brussels while he second group, comprising cavalry and horse artillery, advances through Waterloo to Hal to provide reinforcements for the battle.

The reason for this interesting maneuver is a possible ambiguity in the rules. The new Columbia Games version states explicitly that, “Units may reinforce along a road section regardless of how many units moved along the section during the movement phase”. The Avalon Hill rules are not so explicit and merely state that “once the road maximum is met, the road is closed to further movement for the rest of that player’s turn”.

It’s the 189th June and the Battle of Brussels commences. The whole Anglo-Dutch army supported by a few Prussian units is defending Brussels with 4 reinforcements in Alost. The French attack with a main force of 8 units with 7 more in Hal. Can the Allies hold up against such formidable opposition?

The French open up with artillery then advance with infantry. The Allied columns are well defended so the cavalry will be needed soon. The battle intensifies as the reinforcements pour in. A weakness appears on the Allied left as it looks as if the massed artillery will be left unsupported. However, a similar fate seems likely on the French left. Meanwhile the French withdraw their depleted infantry in the center to offer the guns an opportunity to attack. In desperation the French throw everything at the Allied left including repeated cavalry charges but the reinforcements continue to arrive. Finally, as the infantry on the French left are eliminated the artillery on the Allied left are alone and are quickly destroyed. It’s a rout!

At this point there is another question for the rules lawyers. Unsupported artillery is engaged by both infantry and cavalry at double CV and cannot fire. The interpretation used allowed them to fire until they were engaged (which makes sense) which permitted the French left, comprised of 3 artillery units, to eliminate the advancing Allied cavalry and avoid a rout.

It’s victory to the French! The Anglo-Dutch have sustained 7 casualties; the French only 3; so that army is eliminated. More seriously for the Allies, 3 Prussian units have also gone. With only 6 turns remaining, and a unit lost at the end of each one, it looks like the game is over.

A brief race ensues. The French attempt to bring their remaining units, including vital infantry, from Beaumont whilst the Prussians must force-march their army from Liege and Tongres with only one group move per turn. On top of this attacking Brussels from the east is severely hampered by the river.

The remaining Allied army has concentrated in Louvain and Wavre. 3 straggling cavalry units are force marched into battle from Tirlemont in a desperate attempt to inflict damage on the French. They are immediately repulsed.

So it’s a win for the French at the end of the Allied night turn on 20th June. The 9th Prussian unit is eliminated due to the French occupation of Brussels. Attrition and casualties have taken there toll on the Allies.
 
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Pete Gelman
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Nice report, Grand Fromage!

Quote:
...a possible ambiguity in the rules. The new Columbia Games version states explicitly that, “Units may reinforce along a road section regardless of how many units moved along the section during the movement phase”. The Avalon Hill rules are not so explicit and merely state that “once the road maximum is met, the road is closed to further movement for the rest of that player’s turn”.


This same question came up in a session I just played (AH77 version). We shrugged and applied the road limits to reinforcements. I wonder - Which interpretation plays better?

Maybe the different number of number of units in the older/newer game versions is a reason for different rules on road limits?
 
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