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Subject: Epic Waterloo - 2v2 battle report - 250th anniversay of Wellington rss

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Stanislav
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This past weekend, the Waterloo 1815 memorial celebrated the birth of the Duke of Wellington with reenacted maneuvers and firearm demonstrations. It was a blast to experience and after visiting the excellent museum, we went home to execute our own little reenactment – Commands & Colors EPIC style.

Before I begin the battle report, I really must thank Guillaume Gleize for his terrific fan-made Waterloo Epic scenario. It is a very well-designed scenario and incorporates the Prussian reinforcements in an intuitive and straightforward manner. It was an amazing experience to fight out this legendary battle in epic scale immediately after visiting the actual battlefield.


Pre-battle field trip. In the bottom left corner, the commanders from left to right: Anton Bonaparte, Alexander Ney, Rasmus Wellesley, Stanislav von Blücher

As in our 2v2 Epic Eggmühl, we drew lots to distribute the roles for the battle. My brother Anton received the honour (and pressure) of impersonating the French Commander-in-Chief, Napoleon himself. Alexander, always ready for valiant cavalry charge, stepped in the boots of his second-in-command, Marshal Ney. Meanwhile, Rasmus and I ended up swapping roles from our joint Eggmühl triumph: Rasmus assumed the role of the Duke of Wellington, while I was his eager aide-de-camp as well as Prussian commander Field Marshall Blücher.

We allowed free communication between the two team mates, but only the designated Commander-in-Chief was allowed to look at his side’s hand of command and tactics cards (and was not allowed to explicitly say what cards he held). The C-in-C always had the final say on selecting cards, but the execution of each card was ultimately up to the officer who received it. All of this added an extra element of immersion and fog-of-war for the junior officers. It really works excellently!

Now, let the battle report begin.




Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815)


Order of battle. French start with 6 command and 4 tactician cards. Allies with 5 and 3, respectively. First to reach 15 victory banners wins

The French start the battle in an aggressive position. Their commanders realize that Hougoumont, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte are worth one victory banner each. They also know that they have little time to waste. Reports indicate that Grouchy might not be able to pin down Blücher’s force near Wavre, and the 72-year old Marschall Vorwärts is determined to come to Wellington’s aid before it is too late.


At the start of every Allied turn, the Allies roll a die. If the result is not a flag, the Prussian force advances one step. At the ninth step, Blücher’s force arrives and augments the Allies with one additional command and tactician card.

FIRST PHASE

The battle commences with an infantry force march on the French left. Napoleon is determined to seize control of Hougoumont, perhaps inspired by the visit to the actual farm earlier in the day. Wellington is equally determined to hold the crucial strongpoint. As a result, the bloody fight for Hougoumont would go on to dominate the entire first phase of the battle. The French manage to expel the valiant British troops for a brief moment, but the Allies reclaim it quickly. Several units suffer heavy casualties, but neither French nor Allied units break entirely, maintaining the tension for many turns.


The French open the battle with an advance on Hougoumont, which would prove to be the most hotly contested point of the battlefield.

In the meantime, Napoleon has ordered his well-positioned grand battery to concentrate on the exposed Dutch-Belgian infantry in front of the Allied-controlled ridgeline. These soldiers take a heavy pounding, and even as the Allies scramble to get them to safety, the Emperor inspires his cannoneers with an artillery combat bonus, which helps the French claim the first victory banner of the battle.


The fearsome artillery batteries of “The Little Corporal” claim first blood

While all of this is going on, the right section of the battlefield (from the Allies’ perspective) sees almost no action. The French are content to hold their ground, while the Allies conduct some cautious maneuvers forward. Their intent is to keep the French right checked, while preparing for the much-anticipated arrival of the Prussians.


The situation after the first handful of turns. Almost all casualties suffered around Hougoumont, which remains in Allied hands. The Prussians march on in the distance.

French: 1 victory banner. Allies: 0 victory banners.

SECOND PHASE

With many weakened units on his left and reports of Blücher on the march, Napoleon decides to shift some of his army’s focus from Hougoumont to the central section of the battlefield. Wellington senses the pause in the French advance and seizes the initiative. As a consequence, Allied cavalry successfully routs the French horse artillery near Hougoumont. Meanwhile, Wellington orders the fearsome British Light Riflemen a step forward in an attempt to snipe at Reille and his severely weakened infantrymen. The rifles fail to find their mark however, and French dragoons retaliate with a thunderous cavalry charge. The riflemen swiftly form a square, but a timely decision by Napoleon to break the square seals the fate of the brave Brits.


Wellington’s gambit fails and the invaluable riflemen are lost

The struggle for Hougoumont rages on, sapping strength on both sides with French casualties mounting in particular. Simultaneously, however, the French centre advances menacingly towards La Haye Sainte. The British line infantrymen within the farm walls distinguish themselves thoroughly. First, accurate musket fire fells a slightly weakened French grenadier unit. Then, an inspired decision to strike first at the advancing French bayonets repels the first French melee attack on La Haye Sainte.


The Allies show that La Haye Sainte will not be given up without a fight

Meanwhile, Napoleon orders Ney to probe the Allied left as a diversionary tactic. The Allied forces around Papelotte are well-prepared, however. They unleash a series of devastating musket salvos on the advanced Young Guard, who just about manage to maintain cohesion. At the same time, reports spread throughout both camps that Blücher’s Prussians will join the battle imminently. They have not taken even a single turn’s break in their determined march forward.


Prussians at the doorstep (picture taken at the time of the first French assault on La Haye Sainte)

French: 2 victory banners. Allies: 1 victory banner.

THIRD PHASE

The French advance has been halted in all three sectors. Even though they are behind in victory banners, the spirits in the Anglo-Allied camp are high and rising, while Napoleon and Ney appear worried at the lack of progress. Grouchy’s failure to delay Blücher for even a moment is a cause for much dismay and many swearwords among the French.

Some action takes place in the centre and the French right, where British Guard Grenadiers suffer heavy casualties. Just then, the Prussians arrive on the field with trumpets blazing through smoke-filled air.


Blücher arrives and wastes no time in assaulting the French right

The Prussians confidently charge into the extreme right of the French formation, immediately dispatching a full-strength unit of French hussars. Simultaneous march orders move more of the Prussians forward and towards the centre, all of them eager to join the action.

Napoleon’s confidence is shaken, but not stirred. He persists with a determined assault on La Haye Sainte, and his infantrymen deliver at last. The stubborn British defenders are forced out, and a French objective victory banner is secured soon thereafter. Meanwhile, however, the French suffer losses on both flanks, including near Hougoumont.


French forces at last seize La Haye Sainte, but they suffer heavy losses elsewhere.

Napoleon is forced to virtually give up on seizing Hougoumont after Wellington rallies its British Light Infantry defenders back to full strength. The staunch defenders dispatch a weakened French unit in the vicinity, as the bodies pile up around the smoking farm. Its cost in human lives, ammunition and time spent begin to seem fatal to the French command staff.

French: 3 victory banners. Allies: 5 victory banners.

FOURTH PHASE

The Allies feel momentum swinging firmly in their favour. Without pause or hesitation, Blücher’s vanguard advances boldly towards Plancenoit, with the French right being swiftly rolled up. With equal confidence, Wellington orders his units in the centre, including his Guard Heavy Cavalry to advance in an attempt to push the French out of La Haye Sainte.

These aggressive moves do not go unchecked by Napoleon, however. On the Allied left, Saxe-Weimar and his Nassauers are killed by a vicious French bombardment by Napoleon’s Guard Foot Artillery. On the Allied right, meanwhile, highly accurate musket fire on the move by French chasseurs dispatches a weakened unit of infantry.


French Guard Foot Artillery distinguish themselves in the French centre-right.

At this critical phase of the battle, Wellington realizes he has put the precious Guard Heavy Cavarly in harm’s way without much to show for it. They attempt to fall back but are felled by the French infantry inside and near La Haye Sainte.

The Allies are rattled by this loss in the centre, which is looking increasingly vulnerable. However, Blücher restores the Allied sense of momentum with a highly effective bayonet charge on the French right and centre-right.


Blücher and von Bülow personally lead the bayonet charge on the weakened French right, while two other Allied units seek to gain the central ridgeline of the battlefield

With all of this hectic action taking place in the centre and the Allied left, Napoleon successfully maneuvers his units on his far left around Hougoumont and towards the battered right flank of the Allies. He tasks his brother Jerôme with the crucial task of seizing the initiative and giving Wellington a new headache to worry about – before it is too late.

The new threat on his right notwithstanding, Wellington succeeds in his efforts at forcing the French out of La Haye Sainte. Meanwhile, Blücher and von Bülow smell the scent of impending victory and push impetuously towards Plancenoit. The last remnants of the Young Guard continue to elude the two Prussian commanders, baiting them forward – dangerously far ahead from the rest of the Prussian force.


The French army has suffered heavy casualties across the board and have lost La Haye Sainte

French: 8 victory banners. Allies: 9 victory banners.

FIFTH PHASE

The morale of the French army and its commanders is on the brink of collapse, but they refuse to accept defeat without one last shot at glory.

A final push in the centre is ordered, spearheaded by the Old Guard – with Napoleon in personal command. The British defenders in the sector take aim and let loose a series of devastating volleys. The Old Guard is stopped in its tracks, then the unit is felled altogether with Napoleon seriously wounded. He is finished as frontline leader, but even as he is rushed away bruised and bleeding, he continues to give out orders, lest his troops lose the will to fight on.

Indeed, Napoleon and Ney now decide to give up the centre and concentrate their efforts on the flanks. They see that the Prussian advance units are far from the bulk of their army. Blücher’s confindent – yet foolhardy – attack on the French lancers near Plancenoit fails repeatedely, and this gives time for Ney to mount his counterattack. French cuirassiers and the Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale are unleashed upon the Prussians, while Napoleon orders his Guard Foot Artillery to support Ney’s advance.


The French, led by Ney, pounce on Blücher’s advanced Prussians as the battle for Plancenoit intensifies

Wellington realizes Blücher’s serious predicament. The Duke sends out orders for the remaining Prussians and Allied forces on the left to advance and support the Generalfeldmarschall’s thrust. But the aide carrying Wellington’s instructions is killed by a French cannonball and these orders never arrive. The fog of war thus plays its cruel part and Blücher is neither supported nor ordered to fall back. Soon enough, the Prussians are forced into squares by the flashing sabres of Ney’s troopers. A desperate struggle ensues.

Without an opportunity to order his left wing, Wellington focuses on the weakened French units in the centre with some effect, while fighting off the latest (and sure the last) French attack on his right. In the latter section, French cavalry takes heavy losses, but manages to break through the Allied line and assault its rear. The Allies suffer at the hooves of Jerômes cavalrymen, even though they eventually beat back the attackers.

The fighting in these closing turns is fierce across the entire battlefield. French bravery in the face of overwhelming odds notwithstanding, their casualties have been mounting steadily. Even as Blücher’s units struggle on without support, the Allies reach 14 victory banners, while the French have only 11.


It is all set up for the grand finale as the Allies push forward in the centre, while the French fight on near Plancenoit and on the far right

Wellington orders his infantry in the centre to attack the weakened remnants of the French formation in the sector. However, the exhausted troops fail to land the coup de grâce. The Duke can hardly believe that victory continues to elude him and his men, but he remains cool and confident. There is no way the French will claim four victory banners in a single turn.

Napoleon and Ney know they have only one shot. One opportunity. They would seize it or die trying.

Drawing on his own experience as an artillery officer – and in recognition of the high effectiveness of his cannoneers on the day, Napoleon orders a bombardment. Meanwhile, Ney orders attacks on both flanks, focusing on the beleaguered Prussian squares and on the exposed infantry on Wellington’s far right.

The first to fall is von Bülow’s battered square. The French forces dispatch the exhausted Prussians and force von Bülow to fall back. Then, the French artillery in their centre-left takes aim at the Prince of Orange and his weakened heavy cavalry. The Prince survives, but his troopers are all killed.

The French now need two victory banners to win. Napoleon puts his faith in his most effective unit. A grand battery, led by his Guard Foot Artillery, takes aim at Blücher and his weakened jägers in the Allied centre left. The cannonballs are unleashed and as the dust clears, Wellington sees – to his horror – that the jägers lie dead or dying and that the valiant, but impetuous, Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher lies lifeless on the field.


The French secure a stunning victory as Blücher and his men are killed by Napoleon’s Guard Foot Artillery

The French score the final two victory banners, as the Allied army disintegrates. The Emperor is victorious.


Final result. Napoleon and Nay gain control of the field, as the Allies are routed and the fate of Europe left uncertain

Result:
Allies: 14
French: 15




* * *



Absolutely EPIC experience. Wow. Amazing scenario that ensured action across the entire battlefield with many interesting options and decisions to make. In the end, we, the allies, were punished by advancing too far with an element of the Prussian army without having sufficient “Order Left” cards to back up the attack. The draw of the cards (including the courier rack) at the end was disappointing, but of course, we should have allowed the main body of the Prussian reinforcements to catch up before committing. Mistakes are punished in this wonderful system. It all just seemed so easy as the French left seemed to disintegrate and the one-block Young Guard just too juicy a prey to let up. In the end, the French cavalry and artillery reserve proved decisive, even as their infantry force had been almost completely destroyed. Amazing.

That final French turn just left us all breathless and almost without the ability to comprehend the sheer epicness of the turnaround. Even in defeat, this battle will live on as a memorable and highly enjoyable experience. Thanks again to Guillaume for the scenario and to my friends for this five-hour epic that easily achieves legendary status within our C&C group.


Victors Alexander Ney (left) and Anton Bonaparte (right) seize the day in unforgettable fashion


Hope you enjoyed the report – I can only keep recommending both Commands & Colors: Napoleonics as well as its EPIC version, which takes a brilliant system and makes it even more memorable!
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Mayor Jim
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+1thumbsup Excellent! Great pics too. I don’t have epic yet, but this is getting my interest up...
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Stanislav
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Thanks, Jim. I must say that Epic has exceeded my expectations.

Regular C&C is so great because it consumes less time and requires fewer players (just one buddy!) than my other board games. That means it is by far my most played board game (Ancients and Napoleonics both).

Epic does away with those two advantages, requiring more players and more hours. But the scale, the banter, the dilemmas, the thrill of receiving a card from your C-in-C and immediately seeking to do the most with it (or thinking "what on Earth is he thinking...?") just makes for a very fun and memorable experience.

The good thing about designing such a modular system is that both variants are great and fun in their own right. I still won't attempt an Epic battle on a weekday evening (which is totally doable and enjoyable with regular C&C). But for those special occasions with more time and players available, I know I'm in for a wild thrill.
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David Groves
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MayorJim wrote:
+1thumbsup Excellent! Great pics too. I don’t have epic yet, but this is getting my interest up...


You must get Epic, Mayor Jim, it's fantastic. This is why I keep on writing threads about when the next Epic/Grand Battles expansion is coming out.

I really can't wait.

Dave
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David Groves
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Thank you for the Battle Report. A Brilliant read and a stunning victory; literally snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Amazing

Dave
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Mayor Jim
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David Groves wrote:
MayorJim wrote:
+1thumbsup Excellent! Great pics too. I don’t have epic yet, but this is getting my interest up...


You must get Epic, Mayor Jim, it's fantastic. This is why I keep on writing threads about when the next Epic/Grand Battles expansion is coming out.

I really can't wait.

Dave

Dave...thanks for the plug. Maybe I’ll get it over the summer...we’re doing a total redo of the kitchen now...priorities whistle
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Chester Sleezer
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A hard fought victory but within a few short months Napoleon's raise to power will be crushed once again when the Armies of Austria and Russia put an end to his short live campaign.

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Michael Ross
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What a fabulous report of what looks to have been an excellent game. Thanks for sharing.
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Guillaume Gleize
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TY very much for the kind words Stanislav!
Such great pleasure to see you guys enjoying this scenario.

For info I'm also exchanging ideas on the Facebook CCN page and for sure CCN.net

TY also for the report because it helps me find out if the scenario is balanced the historical way. I'll keep on surveying if not a little too much "French oriented". I made 5 scenarios overall that you can find on ccn.net and if you want to test some online with some day just private message me.

About any CCN Waterloo there is a very new tendency here for the French player to ignore completely the Prussian advance, stay in defense (oriented front and right) and make many moves to organize a monster grand battery to crush the opponent batteries or oblige Wellington to make the "Wellington tactic" (hide everybody behind the hills) then the French start to attack when weak somewhere or when the Prussians are arrived and forced to place some units close to the French right. Because this is not very historical nor "lovely" we hope this is not coming from a "too strong grand battery rule" or a default in my Waterloo settings? But ok we'll keep of trying to beat this brand new French tactic and I'm sure we'll find a way to counter this "chicken" attitude that is not worthy of the Emperor!

Regards - GG
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Mayor Jim
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GGleize wrote:
TY very much for the kind words Stanislav!
Such great pleasure to see you guys enjoying this scenario.

For info I'm also exchanging ideas on the Facebook CCN page and for sure CCN.net

TY also for the report because it helps me find out if the scenario is balanced the historical way. I'll keep on surveying if not a little too much "French oriented". I made 5 scenarios overall that you can find on ccn.net and if you want to test some online with some day just private message me.

GG01 Austerlitz basic board
GG02 Waterloo basic board
GG03 Waterloo epic board
GG04 Berezina epic board
GG05 Leipzig epic board

About any CCN Waterloo there is a very new tendency here for the French player to ignore completely the Prussian advance, stay in defense (oriented front and right) and make many moves to organize a monster grand battery to crush the opponent batteries or oblige Wellington to make the "Wellington tactic" (hide everybody behind the hills) then start to attack when weak somewhere or when the Prussians are arrived and forced to place some units close to the French right. Because this is not very historical nor "lovely" we hope this is not coming from a "too strong grand battery rule" or a default in my Waterloo settings? But ok we'll keep of trying to beat this brand new French tactic and I'm sure we'll find a way to counter this "chicken" attitude that is not worthy of the Emperor!

Regards - GG

Thanks for that info...to build a monster grand battery would require some lucky card draws I would imagine?
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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MayorJim wrote:
GGleize wrote:
TY very much for the kind words Stanislav!
Such great pleasure to see you guys enjoying this scenario.

For info I'm also exchanging ideas on the Facebook CCN page and for sure CCN.net

TY also for the report because it helps me find out if the scenario is balanced the historical way. I'll keep on surveying if not a little too much "French oriented". I made 5 scenarios overall that you can find on ccn.net and if you want to test some online with some day just private message me.

GG01 Austerlitz basic board
GG02 Waterloo basic board
GG03 Waterloo epic board
GG04 Berezina epic board
GG05 Leipzig epic board

About any CCN Waterloo there is a very new tendency here for the French player to ignore completely the Prussian advance, stay in defense (oriented front and right) and make many moves to organize a monster grand battery to crush the opponent batteries or oblige Wellington to make the "Wellington tactic" (hide everybody behind the hills) then start to attack when weak somewhere or when the Prussians are arrived and forced to place some units close to the French right. Because this is not very historical nor "lovely" we hope this is not coming from a "too strong grand battery rule" or a default in my Waterloo settings? But ok we'll keep of trying to beat this brand new French tactic and I'm sure we'll find a way to counter this "chicken" attitude that is not worthy of the Emperor!

Regards - GG

Thanks for that info...to build a monster grand battery would require some lucky card draws I would imagine?


mmm Not that much: Just a couple of center cards! And because with this tactic the French do not care about the advance of the Prussians: They have all their time to do it! For sure if they also find a bombard or fire & hold: It's a massacre! To be honest I never liked very much the arrival of the Grand Battery rule like I dislike everything making the fire stronger than the move and thus immobilize the game!
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David Martin
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I'm late to the party on this one, but I just wanted to chime in and say your report was suitably epic for such a grand battle. Well done.

Of course, I would've liked to have see Old Nosey and Marschall Vorwärts, pull it out—but bravo to Ney and Nap for the tremendous effort.

I have the Epic expansion, but it has yet to come out of the shrink. Your report is desperately making me want to change that. Cheers!
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Michael De Meirleir
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Brilliant AAR.
And the Duvel in one of the pictures is a nice touch...
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Stanislav
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Thanks for the comments, guys.

@Guillaume, it's really cool that you constantly review and revise following feedback on your scenarios. I must admit that none of the players involved in our game thought of "waiting" for the Prussians. I guess we were caught up in the historic narrative, but the French players did not see the Prussians as "targets" as much as a "threat" even though they are obviously a bit of both. So the way you have designed the scenario actually led to some very historic developments (including the determined but ultimately fruitless assault on Hougoumont) and the brief French seizure of La Haye Sainte.

I think that the Grand Battery rule is ok (even though my team felt the brunt of its destructive potential!), but maybe it should simply be limited to "two artillery units" and it would do away with the potential problem of a MONSTER Grand Battery.

@David, thanks and I can definitely recommend getting Epic out of the shrink ASAP. We have only done Eggmühl and Waterloo so far, but we can't wait for more. Personally, I would love to try out Eylau (there is a fan made scenario on C&C.net).

@Michael, of course! The only beer that sees more "action" than Duvel in our boardgame group is Julius. Especially when we play Ancients ;-)
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Guillaume Gleize
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To be said: Even if I'm not fan of the Grand Battery rule: I will never touch it! I never changed any unit & terrain rule. I'm already know as the bad boy who refused and changed some few rules of the 5th edition (Tactical cards) and 6th edition (Epic & LGB) so I don't want any extra bad publicity LOL!
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Mayor Jim
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GGleize wrote:
To be said: Even if I'm not fan of the Grand Battery rule: I will never touch it! I never changed any unit & terrain rule. I'm already know as the bad boy who refused and changed some few rules of the 5th edition (Tactical cards) and 6th edition (Epic & LGB) so I don't want any extra bad publicity LOL!
ninja

Yes...play the games as published.
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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MayorJim wrote:
GGleize wrote:
To be said: Even if I'm not fan of the Grand Battery rule: I will never touch it! I never changed any unit & terrain rule. I'm already know as the bad boy who refused and changed some few rules of the 5th edition (Tactical cards) and 6th edition (Epic & LGB) so I don't want any extra bad publicity LOL!
ninja

Yes...play the games as published.


For sure the maximum possible! If playing online or in someone else's home: Yes 100% official rules (plus I bring a bottle of wine)!
But in my home with my buddies we change some rules and we enjoy it for years and more than 450 battles (plus I open some bottles of wine)!

GG
 
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David Martin
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Sunnycool wrote:
@David, thanks and I can definitely recommend getting Epic out of the shrink ASAP. We have only done Eggmühl and Waterloo so far, but we can't wait for more. Personally, I would love to try out Eylau (there is a fan made scenario on C&C.net).

If you can get Eylau to the table, I'd love to read another account of the action if you can find the time. The Russians are probably my favorite nation to play in CCN.

As for getting Epics out of shrink, hopefully I can make that happen at some point this summer. We shall see.
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David Groves
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dmartin1982 wrote:
Sunnycool wrote:
@David, thanks and I can definitely recommend getting Epic out of the shrink ASAP. We have only done Eggmühl and Waterloo so far, but we can't wait for more. Personally, I would love to try out Eylau (there is a fan made scenario on C&C.net).

If you can get Eylau to the table, I'd love to read another account of the action if you can find the time. The Russians are probably my favorite nation to play in CCN.

As for getting Epics out of shrink, hopefully I can make that happen at some point this summer. We shall see.


Yes, I would love to see more reports from these guys.
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David Groves
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GGleize wrote:
TY very much for the kind words Stanislav!
Such great pleasure to see you guys enjoying this scenario.

For info I'm also exchanging ideas on the Facebook CCN page and for sure CCN.net

TY also for the report because it helps me find out if the scenario is balanced the historical way. I'll keep on surveying if not a little too much "French oriented". I made 5 scenarios overall that you can find on ccn.net and if you want to test some online with some day just private message me.

About any CCN Waterloo there is a very new tendency here for the French player to ignore completely the Prussian advance, stay in defense (oriented front and right) and make many moves to organize a monster grand battery to crush the opponent batteries or oblige Wellington to make the "Wellington tactic" (hide everybody behind the hills) then the French start to attack when weak somewhere or when the Prussians are arrived and forced to place some units close to the French right. Because this is not very historical nor "lovely" we hope this is not coming from a "too strong grand battery rule" or a default in my Waterloo settings? But ok we'll keep of trying to beat this brand new French tactic and I'm sure we'll find a way to counter this "chicken" attitude that is not worthy of the Emperor!

Regards - GG


Yes, this battle report prompted me to solo this into the early hours of this morning (rubbish at work today, by the way) and got a French victory using a grand battery to destroy Wellington's guns (some lucky rolls and picked up Bombard card) and then forced him to retreat behind the ridge.

Battle then went to the flanks as Wellington tried to damage French right in anticipation of the Prussian arrival until French managed to get two Forced March cards (one from rack and one from deck) plus Bayonet charge, which enabled the frontal assault.

At this point the Prussians arrived on turn 10 and started to dismantle the French right but it was all too late. La Haye Sainte fell and d'Erlon mounted the ridge with Grenadiers supported by Ney with cavalry - Bingo.

The Old Guard just sat around spectating.

Will play again this weekend.
Dave

PS - it was good to see that the Allies nearly won the scenario reported here but also good to see that you can't take victory for granted. Perhaps the balance of the scenario is just fine.

EDIT - Played again this morning.

Excellent game with plenty of thrills and shocks.

Again, the French damaged the British artillery early on and Wellington retreated behind his range of hills. This time the French got some good centre activation cards early on and made a general advance towards the British centre. Ney also sent forward two batteries of the French artillery to get close to the ridge and be in position to support the infantry when Wellington finally moved back onto the ridge to hold back the French attack.

A well timed cavalry charge card appearing in the courier rack saw the destruction of the French batteries now sitting in open ground. However, Ney had brought up the heavy cavalry to support his advance and so they counter attacked and saw off much of the British cavalry.

Reille had also moved units forward on the other side of La Haye Sainte and a struggle was going on around the woodlands at Hougoumont.

At turn eight the Prussians arrived bang on schedule and so we now have desperate fighting across the field. A well timed Rally card put all of the British artillery back into commission which mounted the ridge and blasted d'Erlon's assault to pieces. The French now unable to return fire because of Ney's risk taking with the French artillery.

With French back on their start line in the centre, under considerable pressure on their right and reserves all but used up on the left, a body count of 13 to 8 in favour of the British and a hand of cards offering five activation cards on the battered left and a probe card for the centre Napoleon decided to call it a day.

A very, very good game. Well done GG.
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Paul Brown
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Super replay reports.

I don't have this game but these replays & comments fierther convince me that, on the whole for our hobby, victory conditions are secondary to the gameplay and the narrative it generates! Throw in the social side of a good multi-player game & bingo!

Keep the replays coming.
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David Groves
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DotarSojat wrote:
Super replay reports.

I don't have this game but these replays & comments fierther convince me that, on the whole for our hobby, victory conditions are secondary to the gameplay and the narrative it generates! Throw in the social side of a good multi-player game & bingo!

Keep the replays coming.


Paul

If you like light war games and like the Napoleonic era this game is a must. All expansions are good and varied from each other but if you do buy into the series the Austrians and Prussians probably offer the best value and Expansion 5 Marshals and Generals etc is a must.

Dave
 
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David Groves
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I'm going to play GG's Leipzig this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it.

Having looked at the French line up it has a great mix of different units for a change, which looks fun. I've noticed that fan made scenarios seem to get us away from the usual Line and Light French infantry set ups.

dave

EDIT:

Played my first game of this epic and it is excellent. GG has managed to do the impossible and create a well balanced version of Leipzig and with Napoleon fighting on all sides this is not an easy task.

The game was a warm up with a serious game play over the weekend but it was close with the Emperor just two hexes from leaving the field (damn Grande Manoeuvre card) with a full 18 victory points but with the Allies just catching up at the end. It didn't help the French that they lost three leaders during the battle.

Lessons learned, French - move the Emperor to the edge of the board sooner. Allies - make better use of the bulk of troops that start on the Allies left as the battle ended with lots of units left unengaged.

A great scenario with plenty of decision making, a wide range of interesting and fun units and bloody combat starting straight away with the lay of the first card. With both sides playing well and each player blessed with some good dice rolls and card pick up this one should be a nail biting scenario from start to finish.

It's a must try.
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Sam Smith
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Fantastic report guys, well done, keep them coming please! Like David, this is making me want to get this on the table asap, so I must first sticker up my Prussians and get some subordinate Marshalls to volunteer....

On balance, I do think there is a bit of a tendency with the design of games on some very famous battles (Waterloo and Gettysburg spring to mind) to, perhaps unconsciously, give changing history a better-than-even chance. So Lee/Heth press ahead aggressively on day 1 at Gburg and Napoleon is on fire at Wloo, doesn't get too fixated on Hougoumont and keeps Ney's cavalry in check etc etc. I'm ok with that - in fact I really rather like over-turning history! - but only up to a point. The French waiting to ambush the Prussians in their entry hexes would pass that point for me.

I wonder if maybe variable Victory Conditions for the French might be an interesting approach - if this proves a problem for more experienced players? I.e. at game start its not actually certain the Prussians will ever turn up in sufficient numbers and so at the outset the French have to score more VPs to win. Only if and when the Prussians do appear do the VPs change down. This would encourage more aggressive/historical French play: after all, Boney's whole gambit for the campaign was to defeat one enemy before the other could come up.
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Stanislav
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Thanks for the comments, Sam. I agree with you about the balance between historical and "win maximizing" play styles. I think that within our group, it would not have occurred for us to "ambush" the Prussians, but maybe it's 'cause we're not ruthless enough in exploiting such "glitches". It's not our style.

On your proposed fix, the idea of variable VP conditions for the two armies has been proposed elsewhere - exactly since both armies did not always have the same objective. It's an interesting proposal, but I have never considered it to be necessary. And if scenarios are played as a campaign (see my proposal on one way of doing that here), it easily captures the feeling that one side is actually fine with losing the scenario - as long as it is costly enough to the opponent (when appropriate).

I really think that the relatively simple nature of the system is a massive asset. Compared to other fan-made scenarios, I really appreciate that Guillaume kept his special rules very short and very clear. And in the end, the Allies decide how many Prussians arrive at the battlefield. If they do not want to spawn any of them close to the French backline, it is already an option with the current rules.

That's just my five cents. If people really abuse the situation, then I understand the need for a "fix". But until that is a well-established problem, I am actually in favour of keeping the rules as they are.
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