Finally! After over a year working on both the British and the French armies for Lasalle now these troops have finally been inaugurated (together with the new gaming mat, that also had yet to see serious action). Today my good friend Bodo came over from Stuttgart, and we spent a very anjoyable afternoon battling for the “crossroads” – the Lasalle scenario that we had chosen by throwing a dice.
As you can see from the picture above, the landscape was a road connecting the long edges of our 1,5m * 2,5m table and two slightly offset roads running from it to both short edges. Where the roads met, four build-up-areas formed a small village. Along one of the roads was a corn field (at the right side of the picture) counting as rough ground, and just outside the picture a little wood. The ploughed fields are just for decoration and were treated as even ground.
The French (played by Bodo) had deployed first and thus had the first move. They started just with their core army, the heavy cavlary was not yet present – and since the cavalry commander sincerily lacked vigor there was a good chance they would not leave their breakfast for some time to come. Consequently, for the French it seemed a wise decision to fortify their position and go for the village.
After an at first inconclusive artillery duell fought in the centre the French battery was forced to limber, motivating the Brunswickers to attack the French right flank. Meanwhile, in the village a desperate run for the buildings had began, with four French and six British batallions racing for the best starting positions for the coming street-fight.
The limbered French artillery made the best of their forced mobility and swept over the battlefield to recieve the Brunswick attack with a warm wellcome. It was only due to some rather misfortunate dice rolls (probably wet pouder…) that the Brunswick cavalry still had the time to form up…
The cavalry was recieved by a fierce cannonade that crippled the unit, rendering it useless for the rest of the game. But it had reached its goal, riding over the cannons and sending the French battery to oblivion.
Meanwhile in the village…
While the first fight saw a French batallion surrendering to the superiour numbers of the British, soon more French joined in, blocking the retreat and thus annihilating one of the British “Buff”-batallions.
But luckily on their right flank the numbers had finally told and the village was conquered, giving the room for mounting another attack on the centre.
This dealt a heavy blow to French morale, which already had been shaken by the severe losses. The British attack on the left flank came to an end with the Brunswickers all but obliterated by the heavy cavalry in a powerfull cooperation with the battered, but hardy French veteran infantry. But with the British centre nearly untouched…
Certainly the fate of the French was sealed by the late arrival of their reserves. But this was at first not as obvious as it seems in retrospect. In fact the game was full of suspense and could at several points have taken a rather different path. Thus it was highly enjoyable, and I thank Bodo very much for not only letting me win (always a nice gesture when the host is inaugurating a newly painted army) but also for this great game!
For me it once again proved that Lasalle is one of the best wargame-rules around. With its elegant game-flow and its simple but coherent mechanisms it lets you concentrate on the battlefield more than on the rulebook and it produces both credible results and interesting, suspense-packed games. Thus with these two armies now in the field, I’m going to add each a second brigade as reinforcements: Heavy cavalry for the British and elite infantry for the French. But more of this some other time.
Have a nice evening and a nice Sunday, all the best,