Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Wavre

The Battle of Wavre, quite a significant battles of the Napoleonic era. This holding action by the Prussians helped the main body of Bluchers army escape and reach a rather more well known battle, taking place just to the west, at Waterloo. It also denied Napoleon the use of some much needed troops, in the form of the 3 corps under the command of Marshal Grouchy.


The Waterloo rules are once more undergoing refinement, but this time in 15mm, with the figures supplied by Dave M. Prussians commanded by Matt and Tel, French by Tony and Dave M.

The Prussians decided to split their forces around Wavre and send off a large detachment to reinforce the west (right) flank as that seemed to be the most urgent situation, given that the French had more than enough troops to launch a two pronged assault.


The initial mad dash occurs from the Prussians as they head westwards to Limal. This included sending the bulk of their cavalry which was not going to be much use to the defense itself but could help if the French did breakout. Some thought was given in sending them across the bridge at Limal to harass the French who had difficultly getting their men forward, but in the end it it was decided it was best not to slow things down even further.


The artillery duel soon became one sided as the Prussians preferred to concentrate on the columns of marching infantry, rather than counter battery fire. The infantry columns took a pounding, and were disrupted as a result, slowing down the preparations for assault as a traffic jam built up behind them. As more French guns deployed into position the Prussian artillery soon got smashed around.


A poor unit of Landwehr were sent out to mask the guns while they attempted to recover, but given the full weight of the opposing artillery things didn't end well for them.


When the initial assault on Limal finally came in it failed, as the dug in Prussians repulsed the already weakened French column. No assault occurred on Wavre itself as the French were still marshalling their troops into position as the game ended.

Historically Grouchy won the day but took the whole day to do so, giving the Prussians the strategic victory. The battle went likewise on the tabletop, as despite success at repulsing the initial assaults, and having units in place to rotate into or retake the villages, the pounding they would receive from the artillery and from when the main body of French troops could support the assault should prove to be decisive.

No comments:

Post a comment