While I was living in Wisconsin I've been playing Martyn quite a lot at Command and Colours: Napoleonics using Vassal, but we are both big fans of General d'Armee
and we had made tentative arrangements to get a game in when I was back in the UK.
With the Corona Virus restrictions lifted I was able to get over to Martyn's on Monday for a game. Martyns collection for the 1815 Hundred Days Campaign is much larger than mine and as my troops are still in a container hopefully somewhere mid-Atlantic all the figures pictured are from his collection.
I would play the French and Martyn the Anglo-allies.
The attack started as expected with the Grand Battery on the southern ridge launching an Artillery Assault while the French skirmishers swarmed into the valley ahead of the columns.
Martyn made the eminently sensible decision of about facing Bylandt's brigade and retiring them over the hill although not before they had been severely set upon by the artillery. The British artillery also suffered badly, the Royal Artillery 9pdr Battery destroyed outright and the Dutch-Belgian battery badly damaged and forced to retire behind the ridge.
The Royal Horse Artillery battery fared badly too, the first rocket misfired and careened into the 1st KGL Lights while the second rocket prematurely ignited on the frame exploding and scattering the crew!
With no Anglo-allied units visible on the ridge the French columns pressed on, Bourgeois's Brigade scattering the 95th Rifles from their position in the Sandpit and Donzelot supporting his skirmish line with one of the battalions of the 13th Leger cresting the ridge and forcing the troops of Bylandt's brigade to retire and be replaced by fresh troops of Kempt's brigade
On my right I did not fare so well, both Grenier's and Marcognet's Brigades had some terrible commands rolls and wasted a lot of time milling around at the foot of my ridge. Taking advantage of this chaos Martyn was able to reinforce Best's Hanoverians with Lamberts Brigade making that end of the line a much tougher prospect
Just as I got my right flank motivated again, The British Union brigade appeared in the valley and launched themselves at them, again halting my advance and forcing me into square. However, Gobrecht's lancers threw themselves in a seemingly futile attempt to support the infantry and were performing much better than expected!
In this shot you see just how lucky I was and how unlucky the Union Brigade was as the 4th Lancers roughly handle the Eniskillens.
Even when they did win the combats the Union Brigade seemed to regularly go Unformed and the Grand Battery was able to exact their toll on them.
Both sides seemed to be exceptionally fortunate for rolling double sixes at many opportunities, but the double ones were also in abundance for both of us.
With the cavalry stalemate in the centre the Infantry were able to push on, but fighting over the ridge with the support from their artillery neutralised the French were suffering against the solid British lines.
We took a break for lunch and then were back into the fray.
There was a brisk action around Le Haye Sainte that went on for most of the game and I'll cover here as a footnote, Quiot's brigade was able to use concentrated musketry to eventually force 2/KGL Lights from their stronghold, but they dithered as they were about to take the farm and 1/KGL Lights were able to replace them.
A massive, but inconclusive cavalry melee between the Cuirassiers of Milhaud and Somerset's Guards took place to the west of the farm.
We played for about seven hours before I had to call it a day to get home to start work, in that time we had managed fourteen of the twenty turns of the battle. At this stage it would probably count as a minor victory to the Anglo-allies, a few of their infantry brigades had been roughly handled, the Union brigade was on it's last legs and their artillery support was gone, but their best infantry was fighting on the rear slope of Mount St. Jean and none of the French infantry were in a good position or shape to break through them.
Martyn has a fantastic collection of figures and terrain and I hope we can do this again soon.