Last week, Lee and myself got together to try out using the Command and Colors Napoleonic combat system with our own rules. Overall rather pleased with the result but need to make a few more changes to the rules to make the combat fit more comfortably with the rest of the rules but it sure speeded up the game process without making the game a bit of a lottery.
We made good use of one of the Waterloo boards for the scrap. I played the Prussians with Lee playing as the French. The forces were almost carbon copies of each other in numbers but quality was a little different as I was fielding a few Landwehr units.
The French had to deal with a woods to their front that partially split Lee's force. This long term did not have a great effect but was a worry at the start.
Meanwhile I had a village that I was able to garrison before the French could come to grips with me. Again the choosing of which units to activate was to become very important as the battle wore on.
Both flanks seemed to get going quickly whilst my centre was quite slow and was to struggle to close the gap once we got to close quarters.
Lee was first to strike causing me a strength loss on one of the supporting battalions. I was not in position to do anything back to him on that flank so just had to take the punishment. Artillery given the opportunity can really wear you down.
On the other flank it was soon the same story but with me dishing out the hurt. Indeed the artillery on this flank was to prove the most effective of the game.
Prussian cavalry tends to be weaker than the French but I got the better of the first clash wrecking two regiments though I lost one in return and a second was left weakened by the clash.
View of the whole battle, my centre is still trying to catch up whilst my cavalry have taken up a position on the hill (bottom right). Lee is now in a position where his cavalry are vunerable due to one flank being wrecked and the infantry at the top of the photo are two moves away from being charged in the flank.
Lee went for broke attacking both the town and my supporting troops. If he fails he will face almost certain defeat. Win and the tempo of the battle changes to his tune.
The result was an overwhelming success. French charging into melee are quite effective and the dice were certainly going his way. Two of the three Prussian battalions outside the town were destroyed whilst the third was almost wiped out but was sent in full retreat almost off the table.
Meanwhile cool musketry from my Prussians drives off most of the French but one battalion stuck around for the cold steel.
It was not to last as the French drove off my right hand flanks cavalry and turned their attention to my infantry forcing one Battalion into square.
The view from the flank shows the effect of around four turns of fighting. A lot of gaps on the table and a result looks possible in the one session.
Indeed I felt the Prussians at this point would withdraw, I had just the one cavalry regiment, fresh from hitting a battery of guns in the flank but unable to help out the infantry on the opposite flank. I would need to head for the board edge and hope to retain enough men to fight another day.
Total play time was about two hours and whilst we both agreed it was too bloody and needed some tweaks we also thought it fitted well with our aim for the rules. We each had 12 battalions of infantry, 6 regiments of cavalry and three gun batteries so not a tiny battle. With the proposed changes and double the number of troops we still expect to get a game finished in a single session. We don;t have long to wait as we will be playing tonight, this time in Spain by French against Lee's British, I will let you know how it went.