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Vive l'Empereur» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Wavre not just a sideshow. rss

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jim maher
Dublin 16
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Last evening a friend and I played the Battle of Wavre with 15mm miniatures and Vive L'empereur rules.We both agreed at the end that it had been a truly great game. As such I thought I would post it on the net (first ever!) just I suppose to encourage people to have a look at the game of which I am a huge fan so here goes.

Just briefly the game is a Battle cry variant. In my opinion the two main differences are you only get 10 command cards you choose 6 to play each round and the following round you must use the 4 remaining cards plus 2 of your choice from the previous six this allows for more command control I believe. Secondly the combat resolution system is different some may say convuluted but in my view works really well. Just one other issue we were playing the advanced rules(which are available on the Gio Games site) Anyway to the game.

The Battlefield

The river Dyle dissects the battlefield. It is impassible except at 5 crossings at Limalette amd Limal on the French left flank and at Berges and Wavre (2) on the right. The Prussians have garrisoned the towns and the hills above are bristling with Prussian units waiting. The French are primarily set up on the two flanks with some cavalry in the center there is considerable forest on the french side which will slow the advance particularly on the left flank.

Battle Strength

Although historically the French outnumbered the Prussians in the game the Prussians have 3 more infantry units (very slightly weaker) and the French 2 more cavalry units with equal artillery nos.

Victory Conditions.

French 5 Prussians units. Prussians 7 french units however every 3 prussian units exited off the road on their right flank counts as one French unit lost

French Dilemma

Do I attack on both flanks or focus on one- not many units to kill but how to get across the river intact?

Prussian Dilemma

Do I exit my 6 units on the right flank and gain 2 vps but this exposes my flank completely or what?

Opening Exchanges.

French initiative: Wavre looks impossible to attack it is so well defended right now so playing the French I try to push an artillery unit (big mistake) and an infantry unit over the bridges at Limatte and Limal. My opponent has decided to not only stand but to react aggressively.In a short space of time I lose my artillery unit but manage to gain a foothold by capturing Limal from the garrison. Both armies focus on this flank with just token bombardments at Wavre on the French left flank. I get a second infantry unit across at Limal with losses from bombardment. A fierce counterattack by the Prussians causes more losses and fleeing remmants are drowned in the Dyle as the bridge is blocked by French cavalry units trying to push across. With little activity on their left flank the Prussians start moving men to cover the pressure on their right. I finally get an infantry unit across at Limatte plus some more cavalry at Limal with more losses.The Prussians attack Limal furiously but the infantry in the town hold steady and a retreating Prussian unit is wiped out by a cavalry charge when it becomes too disorganised to form a square. Still very little happening at Wavre as the armies look across the river at each other. On the other flank the battle around the two towns is furious another French Infantry unit is lost but a Prussian artillery unit is overrun when it moves too close to the frontline.

The Prussians continue to move support troops towards their right flank with french cavalry trying to harass them and catch them in the open but the Prussians use the hills very cleverly to twart this.From a very shakey start to French have clawed themselves back into the battle. A suicidal french cavalry attack on a full artillery battery is rewarded when the gunners take fright and fail to fire at the charging unit and are completely overrun.Due to the heavy fighting a couple of weakened Prussians units have escaped down the exit road

With some redeployment of the Prussian units around Wavre French troops become more aggressive on this flank.Bombardments on both side have caused casualties including most of the Prussian unit in Berges. A very rash attack across the bridge at Berges by a glory hunting french general causes his death and the entire cavalry unit he was commanding. French troops try to cross at Wavery but are beaten back by well placed Prussian Artillery. As evening draws in (I know this is not historically accurate!)the battle is finely balanced. The Prussian need to kill one more french unit or exit one more unit of their own down the retreat road. French need to kill one more Prussian unit. Having the initative the French hurl one more infantry unit across the river at Berges and overrun a Prussian infantry unit. As in real life it may have been a marginal French victory but it was a strategic Prussian victory( as it allowed Blucher reinforce Wellington and it tied down 33000 French troops which might have turned the tide at Waterloo).

Final Thoughts

We both thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt as if we were in a real battle. My experiences with these rules have been consistently good including an edge of the seat battle of Waterloo. I can't really say why they works so well but they make for a fun and exciting game and is'nt that what we are all looking for. Finally apologies to all for any historical liberties I have taken !

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