Just putting on some of the big games on my blog from the last few years. This was from 2015 when we played our 200th Anniversary game at my house. It was a great turn out with 5 players on the French side and 4 players on the Allied side. We played free deployment and with both sides not knowing if Blucher or Grouchy (or even both) would arrive on the flank.
I set the table up in a L shape, all the troops are off the table at the start.
The Allied Players, left to right; Carlos, Jose Angel, Toni and myself.
The French Players, left to right; Miguel, Francois, Vicente, Salva and Javi.
The game wouldn't have been possible without other players bringing some of their collections as well. Javi very kindly supplying some of the British.
Whilst the French players were upstairs discussing their tactics and sorting out commands, The Allied Players were deploying their troops. Any troops behind the ridge were replaced with playing cards (including blank cards) so there was an element of doubt for the French where the Allied units were placed.
Most of the Allied troops are not deployed because they are behind the ridge.
I was in command of the British flank, Units on the ridge and defending Hougoumont were placed on the table.
The French players after making their careful plans of attack begin to place their troops.
View from the Allied side as the large French columns are placed on the table.
With the help of Javi, I explained the special rules for the game.
One of the special rules was for the arrival of Grouchy or the Prussians. I had written a number of messages about the sighting of troops (or lack of signs) on the French right flank. We used real time as a trigger to a dice roll to see if either side received any messages.
So between 9.00 to 1.00pm 1-4 no message
5-6 one message
2.00 to 3.00pm 1-3 no message
4-5 one message
6 two message
4.00 to 8.00pm 1-2 no message
3-4 one message
5-6 two messages
The messages have a brief description such as "Light cavalry are sighted on the flank" these are weighted with +5, +10, +15 or -5, -10 and -15 points. After 5pm and every hour after the points are added up and when they reach a certain amount then the French or Prussians are placed on the field. This gives each side a level of knowledge or uncertainty when the troops are going to arrive.
Wellington takes up his position on the ridge.
Napoleon with his Imperial Guard
The French Centre begins their advance.
Panoramic view from the French side.
Toni was in command of the Allied left Flank and did a very good of delaying the French advance.
This time, Napoleon wasn't messing about and had sent his Imperial Guard in the first attack, advancing onto to La Hay Sainte.
The Highlander Regiment from the British Reserve Corp managed to hold onto the village of Smohain until the very last turn.
A view from the Allied controlled village of Papelotte.
The French emerge from the woods to finally attack Hougoumont.
The French Cavalry begin their attack between La haye and Hougoumont.
Close up of the French attack.
Hougoumont under increasing pressure from the French VI Corp
Hougoumont was on the ropes, and to its flanks the French cavalry had reached the ridge so therefore the Allied troops behind the ridge were deployed.
Break time for a BBQ and the swimming pool to cool off.
The French infantry reach the ridge but are counterattacked by the Allied cavalry.
The French Cavalry supported by their horse artillery begin to charge the Allied infantry squares behind the ridge.
The Imperial Guard finally take La Haye Sainte.
The pressure on the Allied centre is growing.
The Prussians finally arrive, more or less the same time and place historically.
Unit of Cuirassiers destroys three infantry units including a battalion of riflesthat had not form in square in time.
More Prussian arrive but move slowly through the woods allowing the French to hurry reinforcements to block the advance.
The game finished with the French taking all of the ridge apart from one Dutch battalion that was under my command. Due to the victory conditions technically this meant the Allies had held the day although if we had chance to play another turn then it would have been surely a French victory.
It was a great game played on a very sunny and hot day. We had used Lasalle rules for the game due to all of us knowing the rules although it had been a few months since we had played them. It was one of the largest games we have put on with over 3828 infantry, 624 cavalry and 65 Artillery.