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Jun 4 10 3:28 PM

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This is an AAR of a game played in the last 5 weekends with a group of colleagues

Rules: Napoleon Battles III. There are very few differences with the old version 1. We intended to use Age of Eagles first but the owner of the figures wanted to try NBIII.

- Home rules: We include two main changes to the rules; enfilade and flanking. None of us liked the explanation of the designer that included the enfilade and flanking in the dice roll, so we made our modifiers. +3 for enfilading artillery and +1 for enfilading infantry. Flanking is considered when a unit starts its movement already passing the front of an enemy unit and contacts it in the flank or rear, -3 modifier for the flanked unit (unless it’s infantry and forms emergency square).

Figures: 15mm AB, Old Glory and Fantassin.

Map: As shown below. The organizer forgot to place an elevation in the British centre and the position of several roads were wrong, but mostly was ok. The map showed in the AAR is not exact and with troops or cavalry “appearing” and “disappearing” as the units were being separated and joining back from/to their main divisions or bulks.

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Deployment: Mostly historical. The allied setup their best units forward in the centre and several batteries ready to make enfilading fire, a couple of them in the back of La Haie Santé. The French deployed their Infantry columns in the front and all its artillery limbered after their infantry. The Prussians would enter on turn 8 (15:30).

Plans: The allied planned was to hold in the centre and left playing for time, creating a mobile reserve with the British units in the right flank which were to be shifted to the centre, this right flank would hold with three Belgian brigades and a couple of batteries. The left flank would hold as much as it could, receiving support from the cavalry reserve and if things were wrong it would retreat to the centre.
The French plan was to assault the allied left with D’Erlon corps and in the centre with the second corps forgetting about La Haie and Hougomount.

As I was part of the allied (in fact I was greatly honoured with the role of Wellington) I’ll account the battle from the Allied point of view and refer to the events from the point of view in this side.
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#1 [url]

Jun 4 10 3:36 PM

The Battle

Turn 1: The French infantry columns from the First (D’Erlon) and Second (Reille) French Corps begin advancing towards the Allied. There’s an inconclusive French cavalry charge in the centre which is pushed back by an emergency square formed by the British. In their turn, the British in the centre counterattack with a cavalry brigade who rout a French brigade but is pushed back in the pursuit when another brigade forms an emergency square.

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French Deployment - Below

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general view - below

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Turn 2: The French continue their general advance. The infantry columns of D’Erlon advance and rout a Hanoverian brigade but they receive a steady fire from enfilading British batteries and the infantry in La Haie which rout another French brigade and disorganise another one. In the Centre the French advance their batteries and more infantry from Reille Corps and two cavalry charge are done. One is met by a square and pushed back and another is disorganised before contact and with a bit of luck pushed back by a brave British line.
In the allied turn two French batteries in the centre are wiped by an unsuspected charge of a KGL brigade and another French brigade is rout by the Brunswick Uhlans. In the allied left, the Union brigade charges destroying a French battery and confronts a big disorganised French brigade successfully formed into emergency square. The British are repulsed but the French brigade is doomed as it’s disorganised and formed in square in canister range of two batteries and a British line.

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Turn 3: The French redeploy in the centre and begins an advance of the 3th heavy cavalry division in the allied Right. The bombardment of La Haie Santé begins by three French batteries. In the Left a Hanoverian and a Nassauer brigades are routed but an assault on a British battery fails and the French are routed. In the allied turn, the British rout a French brigade and disorganise another in the left, and in the centre the Allied redeploy.

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End of third turn in the right - below

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End of third turn in the left - below

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End of third turn in the centre - below

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Turn 4: In the centre the French cavalry charge and is repulsed with heavy losses, a great battery is formed but will not be able to fire until later. The Haie Santé is emptied of allied units by the fire of the three batteries and occupied by the French. In the Allied left, the French reorganizes and the Guard Cavalry are sent here, also since the last turn an inconclusive combat between the French 4th cavalry division heavies and the KGL light cavalry continues, it will go on for a couple of turns more with no victory for either side. The allied Left line is reorganising again as two brigades are rallied and another French brigade routed, in the centre the British guard begins advancing and yes, another French Infantry is routed by a cavalry charge.

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End of third four - below

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#2 [url]

Jun 4 10 3:41 PM

Edit: The photos are finally uploaded.

Turn 5: The centre stalls and a mutual bombardment begins, it’s mostly counter battery fire. In the Left the Cavalry begins a timid advance covered by the fire of three batteries, one of the batteries is destroyed by Allied counter battery fire. In the right side, the French 3th Heavy cavalry division manoeuvres trying to avoid the Belgian squares but is disorganised every time they move by artillery.

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End of turn 5 - below

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Turn 6: A couple of French cavalry assaults in the Allied Left are pushed back while in the centre the bombardment continues. On the right the French cavalry continues with their travelling and disorganization. In the Allied turn, the Brunswick Uhlans rout a further French infantry.

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End of turn 6 - below

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Turn 7: The French begins a desperate advance in the Left with the rallied left infantry of the D’Erlon Corps. A Belgian infantry is destroyed and a French brigade disorganised. In the Centre a British and a French Cavalry brigades are destroyed while another French infantry is routed. This turn the second French corps is fatigued and unable to advance anymore towards the allied (until the routed unit is recovered).

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End of turn 7 - below

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Turn 8: The routed unit in the second corps fails the rally so this corps continues fatigued. The French stop their cavalry in the Allied Left while sending the 6th division to this side (it was deployed to the centre after the great battery) to have some infantry available, and the Old Guard infantry begins advancing towards the centre. Another French brigade from the D’Erlon corps is destroyed making the division going into fatigue and leaving only cavalry to confront Allied squares in the Allied Left. In the centre the Uhlans charge again this time the great battery but fail miserably and are wiped in the combat, a British infantry brigade is destroyed by the bombardment. The Prussians appear at last on the battlefield going towards Plancenoit.

When the French observe the situation and having just two Young Guard Infantry brigades in reserve to stop the Prussians, about 13-14 French brigades destroyed against 4-5 Allied and the allied line still intact with their two main corps fatigued they concede defeat.

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The guard moves to the front - below

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The Prussians arrive - below

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The allied line still holds and even heavily supported by Cavalry, D'Erlon infantry is unable to advance further - below

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I lack the photos of the last two turns and the losses which are still on the camera along with some closeups of the troops (Edit: not now ), tonight I will extract them. In all the French attack was rather uncoordinated and the Allied local counterattacks kept the French outbalanced for most of the game and specially the first four turns, when the French began organizing combined arms attacks it was too late as the French infantry was badly damaged.

Allied Losses, there's a battery missing in the losses. Total: 4 Brigades lost and 2 Batteries - below

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French Losses, there are 5 batteries missing in the losses that were already stored in their box. Total: 12 Brigades lost and 5 Batteries - below

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The Brunswick Reserve Division- below

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#3 [url]

Jun 5 10 12:21 PM

Excellent AAR.

Sounds a very hard fought encounter.
Do you think the battle would have gone another way if you had used Age of Eagles instead of NBIII??

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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Jeremy Sutcliffe

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#4 [url]

Jun 5 10 3:07 PM

QUOTE (Drusus G. Rat Esq. @ June 05, 2010 12:21 pm)
Do you think the battle would have gone another way if you had used Age of Eagles instead of NBIII??

Always a fascinating question and one that's rarely amswered.

Thanks for a good and thorough game report

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#5 [url]

Jun 5 10 10:38 PM

QUOTE (Drusus G. Rat Esq. @ June 05, 2010 01:21 pm)
Excellent AAR.

Sounds a very hard fought encounter.
Do you think the battle would have gone another way if you had used Age of Eagles instead of NBIII??

Thank you very much. I have to complete the AAR with some more photos.

I'm sure it would have been very different. AoE does not give any benefit to the line over the column so the french attacks would have tried to concentre their attacks with columns and the british lines would have crumbled quickly.

I've played several games of AoE, all of them except one as attacker and didn't mind wheter they were French, British, Prussian or Austrian, we attacked in columns concentrating on few enemies each time and all games were easily won. The game fought as defenders was lost.

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#6 [url]

Jun 6 10 7:56 AM

Interesting - sounds almost like Age of Eagles are designed for a lower level of game than a whole (admittedly not a huge one) battle??

Drusus: you are a clever man!!

Cheers

Romain

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#9 [url]

May 11 15 4:32 PM

Napoleons Battles vs Age of Eagles question on this game

Thank you for posting - it looks great!  What do you use for movement trays?

Since you have played both Napoleons Battles and Age of Eagles may I ask which you would recommend over the other.  The statement about the lines crumbling and/or the attacker winning easily sound slightly disturbing.

We have  played Napoleons Battles many times and the arguments and figidty-ness gets frustrating.  Napoleons Battles was always our choice - everything is based etc for it - we have 5 different armies etc.

I just started reading the rules to Age of Eagles yesterday - so far it sounds pretty good.  Just hoping for a point of view on most especially since this is the battle I'd like to get on the table real soon or my miniatures are fading and my morale is breaking for a decent sset of rules

thank you,
-Dave

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