Friday 30 June 2017

AMG 17: Shock Horror - Der Alte Fritz concedes in Leuthen big game

The title says it all but such a significant event as this means we have given over the front page of today's Daily Blitz to our Sports, Arts and Culture editor, Sir Joshua Gregg RA, who reports direct from the Leuthen Stadium in Bohemia.  Well it would be direct but the messenger's horse has taken nearly two weeks to get to our office here in the UK West Country.

Austrian line up - Gary, Dave and Robbie 
Tony and Jim my Prussian colleagues
Colin made wise decisions from the end of the table
"It was a cold, snowy day in Bohemia but the crowds were heaving and sweaty with expectation as the Prussian Plunderers took on Vienna United in the big match final to decide the 1757 Championship.
The crowd went wild to watch such a gathering of stars
"Prussia had called on a new American player manager, Jim "Der Alte Fritz" Purky, fresh from his successes at such New World gatherings as the Seven Years War Association and the Bill P. Petite Guerre big game weekend. Fritz had also shown his ability at attracting a crowd by masterminding something esoteric called the Fife and Drum Forum. Vienna took the opposite approach by having a "puppet" leader in Dave "Smiler" Hall, who lulled the enemy by pretending to know nothing, and having a constant dialogue of advice from his two "assistants" - Gary "I know the rules" Phillips, and the legendary Robbie "Canny Gob" Rodiss.  Fritz was not so well served, but constantly gave encouragement to his two subordinates - on the left flank Tony "Scouser" Dillon and on the right,  Chris "Southern Softie" Gregg (no relation to your reporter).

Jim made this vignette specially for the occasion adorned by an exchangeable flag designed by Captain William Walker of Florida
"To sum up, Prussia sent a big attack led by Gregg on the right which was blunted by equal effort from Canny Gob opposite him. They had a constant North-South tussle the whole day turning the air blue with Northeast Gob-sh*** meeting West country charm, until both sides fell back pretty exhausted.  Scouser on the Prussia left wing was a master of the cautious defence, refusing to be enticed near the touch line by Phillips who instead packed the penalty box with his most powerful players (many of whom were on steroids it seemed) until Scouser played his master card and brought on the substitutes from behind him. But Phillips was made of sterner stuff, and he knew the rules better so the surprise did not last long before Scouser's reserves were spent, injured or sent off to the "sin bin".  Meanwhile in the centre Fritz put all his efforts into going for goal despite when consulting the runes they just kept showing him snake eyes! The centre forward, Billy Brummer, kept lobbing high balls out of the stadium and hitting Leuthen church, much to the discomfort of Smiler. Fritz was so forceful he eventually forced Smiler's players back behind the goal where, the latter suddenly found his substitutes bench had arrived at last and he sent them on in the 75th minute of the match.
Despite his success, and Fritz had by now occupied (admittedly very thinly) the whole of the Vienna penalty area, he had run out of reserves and could only fall back reluctantly to his own half while Smiler had gained confidence and was advancing up the pitch.

"Der Alte Fritz looked around and realised all hope of winning the Leuthen game had gone, and gentleman that he is, shook hands with Smiler and conceded before the final whistle had been blown by the excellent referee, Colin "my back hurts" Ashton.

"And now some more atmosphere with excerpts from my post match interviews with the leading game personalities:
DAF, watched like a hawk by Gary, makes use of his 1 on initiative by swivelling a unit
"Der Alte Fritz
Sir Josh:  Jim, defeat on European soil how do you feel?
DAF: Well just being here is a treat for me. It's not about winning but taking part. When I got the message from Prussia to manage the team and play from a central position too I couldn't wait, and it's a real pleasure to be able to work with Colin and see the magnificent Leuthen church with its four round bastions. Too bad my penetration of Vienna's defence was so limited but that's how it goes sometimes. I shoulda known when those snake eyes were staring at me early on that it would end badly but I'd come so far and so had the rest of the team we just had to go on till we were exhausted. I had some admirable help - Tony on the left tried as hard as he could, but up against Gary it was always goin' to be tough. On the right Chris knew what he was doin' and held out all day and never let himself be put off by the constant stream of gobsh*** that I could hear whenever our Billy Brummer stopped making those loud bangs.
Austrians and Reichsarmee infantry defend Leuthen church and village
Billy Brummer opens up on the Leuthen garrison
Dave and Robbie stand in awe of DAF's advance on Leuthen Church
Later DAF saw off the Reichsarmee and piled in against the churchyard
Calculate all your plusses and minuses properly!
View from the Austrian side of Leuthen
DAF' won a foothold but his thin garrison got counter-attacked
Dave's Austrians retake the churchyard
Sir Josh: What did you think of the Austrian performance?
DAF: Got to pay tribute to my opponents today. Even when things weren't goin' well for him there was Dave smilin' through everything. He kept asking for advice from Gary and he got advice from Robbie even though he didn't ask. I saw those two come to blows on the pitch a coupla times but I don't think it was serious. Colin kept playing the advantage rule so didn't intervene, I guess judging that we were better off exploiting their disagreements. I heard Robbie say often "I'll get us stick out to ye, man".... though I don't know what it meant it sounded threatening....Yeah,...they played well.
Sir Josh: And what next for you?
DAF: I'm off to have one of your European beers in the sunny garden, and tonight I'll persuade someone to buy me a Scotch on the rocks, preferably Macallan's.
Our American visitor is the only one sensible enough to wear a hat
"Dave "Smiler" Hall
Sir Josh: Third time at an AMG final Dave, what's the secret?
Smiler: Well Josh, I do what I always do. Be nice to everyone, except Robbie. Act as if I know nothing so everyone seems sympathetic, and learn quickly what the strengths and weaknesses are of the two teams' position on the pitch.
Sir Josh: So how did that help today?
Smiler: Well, Josh, I just pretended the team was short handed, I knew the substitutes would turn up when the pubs closed.  So I let Fritz come on, I didn't expect them to score but we just let them believe it would be easy then hit back with the subs. Gary and Robbie did well on the flanks so we wrapped it by the 80th minute....and I just kept never fails.
Not a smile but deep consultation with his adviser as Dave organises the substitutes bench
"Gary "I know the rules" Phillips
Sir Josh:  You're a veteran of big games Gary, we remember your Minden,  Closter Camp , many outings at the Ayton stadium etc, but how did this feel?
Gary:  Well, any game where Colin is the match official is a bit special. You can guarantee attention to detail, slick but fair refereeing, and a convivial reception to any potential argument. Not only that but Colin knows I know the rules better than he does and so he slips me a pocketful of red cards before the game saying "When my back is hurting Gary I rely on you to keep watch - be sure to catch any player trying to recover too soon, we need to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and lasting injuries". Well Colin's a humanitarian, you see, so he cares......about the players' welfare, but me, I just care about scoring goals.
Sir Josh: Yes, we know you were East Anglia's highest scoring player last season.......
Gary: Indeed I was Josh, but back to Leuthen - wanna know my secret?  I've got such good spacial awareness and great hearing that I can sense, even at the far end of the field, and above the noise of the crowd, when opponents are in trouble. Take Gregg for example. He tried to recover too soon so I slapped a red card on him "You can't move now till you've recovered properly says I", and I got him and others several times like that during the match and that helped Robbie and Dave get up the pitch and score......Know the never fails.
Gary points out a transgression to Colin as DAF's attack goes in. At right Robbie
consults the rule book to try to wriggle out of my attack :-)
Above and below: Gary had been busy with the red cards!

"Tony "Scouser" Dillon
Sir Josh: Tony, you too are a lover of the big game. You are a veteran of the Peter Gilder memorial stadium where they played the biggest games in the 70s and 80s yet I sense that you weren't getting the respect you deserve at Leuthen tonight?
Tony: No Josh I certainly weren't, and I think there were a certain amount of racial prejudice on show in Bohemia today. I would 'ave expected better from this crowd but there were shouts of "show us your t*** Lily Savage" on account of me accent yer see. An' cos I'm from Birken'ead.
Sir Josh: Sorry to hear that Tony, but your tactics nearly paid off, tell us about it......
Tony: Well, I'm a great admirer of the legend that is Stevie Gerrard, and so I played the gentle, careful approach, feeling out me opponent then playing it wide to keep 'im guessin'. Let 'im come to me, overreachin' 'isself, too far from his defenders....then the killer blow. So we 'ad a lorra lorra lads waiting around doing nuthin' and I went among 'em to raise spirits and started 'em singin' - "March on...march on....with 'ope in yer' yer'll march  a....lone, yer'll  march a....lone." 10, 000 voices as one, and then it 'appened. The noise must have got to Fritz cos the boss then unleashed the substitute up the left wing and caught Gary up the a** as he was about to take a corner kick.  We thought the match was won but it weren't to be as Gary seemed to 'ave extra strength (must be the steroids - even 'is hair is a brilliant colour). The man is very, very difficult to beat, but maybe next time.........yer never know, eh? But, hey - Man o' the Match me - the referee's choice of Most Gentlemanly Player, so it's true what they say - ref's as blind as a bat.

Tony's arm waving obviously impresses DAF enough to commit the left wing substitute.
Yes that is a cameo appearance by Phil Olley who had a walk-on part as
"Guest Aston Villa supporter"
Tony's "substitute" cavalry brigade comes on at the far baseline to take Gary
from behind (oops!)
But that yellow tape measure indicates a fierce reaction from Gary's hunky cuirassiers........
.....Which eventually catches Tony in the flank in exasperated is DAF's guest vignette that he changes to a red flag.
Fetch me my brown trousers Seydlitz!
"Chris "Southern Softie" Gregg
Sir Josh: Chris you're a veteran of the lower Southern leagues but haven't often had a chance to play with the big boys, how was it for you?
CG: Yeah Josh, you know me luvver, down 'ere in the West oi've spent most o' me loif turnin' out fer Cheltenham Town or vegan Forest Green Rovers, so to run out on the park for the Prussian Plunderers next to yer actual Der Alte Fritz was jus' magic! Leuthen stadium an 'all - Overawed, doesn't begin to describe it m'dear. (See what I did there with the accent - just pretending).  The roar of the crowd as we came out, and then I saw our opponents - tough Gary from the bleak East, and hard man o' the North, but legend in his own lunchtime, Robbie Roddis.  I began to quake with fear until  I saw Smiler Dave and thought "Maybe this won't be so bad after all" but then realised he lives in Nottingham - rubbing shoulders with the top knobs - Perry Twins, John Stallard, Peter Dennis, Ali Morrison and all that lot - they walk on water..........
Sir Josh: You had to face Robbie on the right wing, what was that like?
CG: The whole match was pretty strange but the tone was set early on when Robbie said something like "Reet ye gadgie wazzock, us gannin tae dunch ye canny an' propa t'dae, like, man".  I think he meant he was going to hit me hard! And so he did, time after time, but I kept getting back up until he said "Chris man, ahm in awe o' ye tactics", but I knew he was just employing one of his most famous ploys - sarcasm. I'd watched the other Gary - you know the one who does Walkers Crisps on the telly - give an analysis of it on Match of the Day, so knew what to expect. Robbie also tried to fool me by exposing one of his weakest players, Hans von Reichsarmee, to lure me into the centre, but I gave Hans the slip and went at double speed up the right flank past him. That was when the trouble started as Robbie released some really heavy metal that stopped me in my tracks and I never broke through all day.
Robbie exposes Hans von Reichsarmee
But I send my Cuirassier brigade right past
Which was just as well since his Cuirassier heavy metal appeared directly opposite
Sir Josh: It's rumoured you have a special relationship with the referee, any truth in that?
CG: (looking uneasy) do share a mutual love of,....and er...women partly out of uniform, ....nothing wrong with that! .....But there was a point in the game where Colin was looking decidedly under the weather so I ran over to help. It seemed his usual physio had gone off to Leuthen market shopping, so I asked what I could do for him. "Rub my back please" he asked, so I did, "Now lower and round a bit", so I did . "Lower than that"....NO Colin, I'm not going any lower people will start talking."
Sir Josh: Too late Chris, they already are!

Gary points Colin in the direction of a rule, the latter at that time supported
by his physiotherapist at the touchline
"Robbie "Canny Gob" Rodiss
Sir Josh: Robbie you are well known for the mantra "every one is entitled to my opinions",  so give us yours on this match.
Robbie: Waal Josh I knew it would be a fun dae when I saw thet charva Joachim von Zieten lookin' a reet bobby dazzla leadin' the charge up the Prussian reet flank. So I brought on the big boys tae fettle 'im except the Southern Softie proved a harder nut tae crack than us thought so I tells me marra, Dave  "Hoy owa here some gadgie from substitutes bench Dave, us needs to be gannin a belta at the howfing geet pile o' Tossers the Prussian have 'ere, man".  "Haddaway an' sh*te", says Dave - cos he speaks Geordie too when he's wi' us, so I knew us were gettin' no 'elp from 'im. Then the Southern Softie gives us a dunch in the kidneys and I jus 'stands there muttering "I don' unnerstan', is propa radgie about this" so us calls owa the ref but he's on Softie's side (they have a "special relationship - know what us means man?). So I told the ref he must be gannin micey and us storms of to the netty as us was bustin' from tae much coffee, like."
Sir Josh: Well thanks Robbie, that was very enlightening."

Hans von Reicharmee gets attacked eventually by Prussian Dragoons
Mutual destruction and repulsion by both sides heavy cavalry 
But then I reform and organise that blow to the kidneys in the form of a flank attack;
what's not to understand?
Robbie: Softie's twocked us measurin' stick, hoy us anawa one owa here, marra, afor ah get radgie an' dunch him propa.
Gary: He must get it correct, please give him a measuring stick
Colin: I'm sure you are right, Gary.
By me as CG
Now tongue firmly out of cheek no offence is intended to anyone. This was a lovely set of people to play with, even Robbie. Colin deserves massive praise for planning and devising the refight, providing the terrain and all the figures and umpiring mostly throughout (he really was in pain only recently recovering from a major operation), so a fantastic performance by him. Thank you Colin. Honours of War rules seemed to stand up well again with a big game although it is extremely bloody when two bodies of cuirassiers hit each other. Colin's game also showed over two days that the same terrain and orbat can produce a totally different game with different players. Please see his blog for a proper account of them
amg17-weekend-tale-of-two-battles-of Leuthen

Always plenty of vignettes on Colin's table
More from me on the rest of the AMG weekend later but for now I leave the last word with Robbie.

"AMG weeken' were pure belta an e'en tho' Southern Softie were there ee kept his political views and hummus eatin' to 'issel' so us was able to say -  Let's just be marras about it, alreet?  Next year - Howay man, the Wild Geese!"

Don't know what I did to deserve it but Robbie gave me this magnificent present.

"The Spy" by Robbie Rodiss, a nod to our mutual working lives

And see his wonderful blog too which is written in propa English

Thursday 22 June 2017

Battle for Hoeke Valley - the wrap-up

Sorry for the delay (and Tony has been hassling me over it! :-) ) but this post will attempt to wrap up what we saw and have learned from my battle report in the previous two posts. Thanks again for all the great comments and particularly for those compliments received in person at AMG 17 recently.

Just to prove I was there (second from right)
Here is the final score chart, which was a bit astonishing considering how hard fought the game had seemed.

So FRENCH 37 Victory Points to only 7 for the ALLIES! Neither side gained much for taking the opposition's high ground (area gained) but the French scored highly for complete destruction of enemy units and objective locations either held or gained.

The Allies attributed their losses chiefly to the highly effective French light cavalry. The Guard Lancers were Elite, and "shock" in the first round of melee. Line Lancers were also "shock" in the first round. Providing shock cavalry win a melee they automatically destroy what remains of the enemy infantry unit. We think this is too drastic and will change it to "rout" the remainder. Kevin is resistant to reducing the effect of Lancers since the real QB refight will depend on it, but the role of the Guard Light cavalry will be very restricted in our refight. (I encouraged Kevin to place them "up front" in this test just to prove the point). The Allies did have British Foot Guards on the table early so also had some very good troops and used them to hold on a long time.

All three Imperial Guard Lancer "squadrons" arranged  by Graham for attack
 by squadron column

Another Allied point was that the steep slope I had built with the stream at the bottom slowed them up a lot (we made it half speed up or down) and made their cavalry counter attack especially vulnerable. I sympathise to some extent, but it did help them thwart Graham's infantry attack West of Piron Woods. In our defence the whole terrain was designed by me but the objectives were decided by Kevin - he was stuck with what I wanted to build to a give varied flowing game that would look pretty spectacular. I had both the ridges in store in part finished form and was desperate for a game big enough to justify putting them on one table.  We learned that we need to make all the slopes in the QB refight "gentle" for movement yet ensure we allow plenty of dead ground by the undulations.

Allied cavalry "cautiously" sweep down hill
Looking down from the Ramskapelle Heights on the swirling cavalry attacks 

The Allied centre and right flank did suffer badly from enemy artillery fire, but the DB and Brunswick guns on their left gave as good as they got. If James' and Ken's infantry and cavalry counter attacks were broken up by fire then I can confirm that Graham and I found Richard's batteries on the other flank equally destructive and space limiting. So it balanced to some extent, but we mustn't detract from Tony's and Roy's expert combination of distance fire from Foot guns on the ridges and Horse artillery in the valley weakening the units they were attacking. We won't be changing this since in the real QB battle the French did use their artillery superiority well and several Allied batteries were considerably discomforted by them. As with any wargame, a lot of it depends on how the players use what they have!

The French Foot artillery batteries mostly occupied key ridge-top positions 

The other thing I introduced to the rules, given that our real refight will cover 4 day's playing time, was the idea that units could fall back to recover stands, but only up to one above 50% strength. They have to retreat to a place of safety in cover, or out of artillery range, or off the table and then get the right succession of rally dice, aided by appropriate generals and unit class. It's difficult but not impossible if a player is prepared to take one or more generals out of the fight to rally them.   I found the loss of two leaders on the French right made it not worth trying but Tony did it to effect, especially with the 1st Chasseurs. Kevin and I got the impression James would have done better if he had tried it with his Hanoverians ejected early on from the Chatelet area. Kevin likes the system and wants to keep it for the real refights.

Once some of these French battalions had lost their leader and broke from
losses it proved far too difficulty to rally them off table
But this rather poor photo shows the 1st Chasseurs coming back for more
late in the game

And while mentioning Kevin East, the man deserves an accolade from me. He will admit he's not very experienced at organising games but he planned this for a couple of months, worked up the detailed orbats and briefs for each side, spent a day at my place organising the units and status bases for everything, as well as providing the largest share of the 2,500 figures, and the model buildings used. He then umpired solidly for two days, masterminding both sides feeding in reserves, and while maybe not all umpiring decisions were rock solid, I think everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, including me, so thanks a lot Kev. Thanks are also due to James and Tony for their considerable efforts with creating great looking new units needed for the refight and which got an airing at Hoeke Valley.

Clipboard in hand Kevin was the tireless match official!

Now for me? - Lots more blogging, not least on the wonderful AMG 17 weekend, and then onto hosting another HoW game in the Cotswolds, followed by what remains of the Summer making four Hanoverian Landwehr battalions for QB...oh..... and the 12 foot x 8 foot terrain! ...and that's just my hobby.......

The victorious General Reille used up his reroll!

Friday 2 June 2017

Battle for Hoeke Valley- The Second Day's Play

My previous post, Battle for Hoeke Valley Day One action , created a lot of very positive comments for which the team are very grateful. Apologies for the delay for those keen to follow the story but real life has to be attended to in between blog posts!

The story so far
To summarise the first day's  play very briefly - On the Eastern flank the French under Prince Jerome held onto Pironchamps farm and looked as if they might break through the Dutch -Belgian line with an uphill attack to the left of the farm, but by day's end the battalions had run out of steam and poor morale dice took their toll. On the Western flank the French attacks, directed by Reille on the Chatelet area, with both infantry and cavalry, were initially repulsed, but extreme perseverance overcame the Hanoverian defenders and saw Reille and Bachelu make some headway by Move 7. In the centre the Imperial Guard Lancers forward wing mounted Hoeke Hill and saw off a DB Cavalry counter charge while the supporting second wing made ready to face reinforcements in the form of the British Heavy Cavalry brigade. French line lancers reinforcing the centre made a big cavalry clash inevitable.

An early start
The evening before, returning from the pub, players and umpires agreed that we had not got as many moves done as we had hoped and that Day Two reinforcements might be delayed too long to give new arrivals Ken and Roy a decent game. So we all got up early and breakfasted and were down in the wargames room by 0845, dice and tape measures in hand ready to do Move 8 before they came.

I have to apologise that as I had to take over Graham's troops and spent all day operating the French right flank infantry and artillery my understanding of the detail in the centre and left was rather limited. These overall shots help explain the situation.
I started by an aggressive advance on my extreme right to ensure the Nassau skirmishers were kept well away from interfering with two regiments of Foy's Division who began to arrive to reinforce my flank.
To the left of the foreground woods and orchard can be seen 5 depleted French battalions. This is the retreating remnants of Jerome's attack. One battalion tries to reform in the dead ground of Hoeke Hill, another retreats from the river, while one has formed column of march to get back quickly to the orchard. Two are routing at under 50% and will leave the field
Foy's four battalions and a battery can be seen arriving in the foreground. Way beyond them cavalry are contesting the river area and the ridge slopes, and in the very far corner another brigade of sturdy British infantry is just arriving
Second Wing of the 2nd Lancers of the Guard is charging the Royal Scots Greys,
who are supported by the 1st Royal Dragoons
But the Guards are supported by Pire with two regiments of Line Lancers
First wing of Guard lancers carries on the charge into the weakened
Dutch Belgian Light Dragoons, only to be hit in the flank by  DB  Hussars
This gives a good indication of the desperate struggle for Chatelet woods
Fully up to player strength now, I can take up the story to include Roy Boss, being a cavalry commander in the French centre, and Ken Marshall taking British reinforcements in the vicinity of West Hoeke Bridge.

Roy receives a briefing from Kevin
And then it is Ken's turn
The Scots Greys have successfully pushed back second wing of Guard
Lancers but in their pursuit have fallen foul of a flank attack from Line Lancers
West of Chatelet the 30th Foot again face cavalry, this time in line, and
 against 8th Chasseurs a Cheval
....and behind them 1/1 Foot Guards form square
General view across the valley to the cavalry melees

Quality tells as the 1/2nd Guard Lancers has fought off the flank attack by DB cavalry and concentrate on the 1st Dragoons......
.....defeat them....
....and follow up
Behind them things had turned out very badly for the Royal Scots Greys

Shoring up the defence of Pironchamps
General view of the eastern area: On the extreme right the Nassau firepower has seen off the tentative attack by 2nd Ligne.
The weak battalions are beginning to occupy the orchard and luckily I am able to bring forward Foy's battalions to make the situation feel happier
A close up of the right flank
A big gap has been opened as Jerome's men clamber back to the orchard,
 and DB 27th Jagers reoccupy Piron wood

Allied attempts to brace their right flank

More French reinforcements - Foy's 92nd Regiment de Ligne,
and the reformed 1st Chasseurs a Cheval
2/1 Foot Guards face another infantry attack
The Cameron Highlanders head Kempt's brigade and cross West Hoeke bridge 
French skirmishers in the crop field had been left open to a rear attack from the British Life Guards
Above and below: Chasseurs see off the 30th Foot and press on towards the Guards' square

A fateful move - tempted by trying to get enemy lancers within rifle range Ken crosses the Hoeke with most of the 95th Rifles, in skirmish order
Foy's men back up Bachelu with a serious push through Chatelet village 
In middle distance the 5th Lancers change face to line up for an attack on the crop
 fields where French infantry are already threatening the Highlander line 
Further West the Gordon Highlanders continue the line beyond the small wood 
Above and below: the 28th Foot cross West Hoeke bridge; Rogers battery deploys at the road junction and sights upon the 6th Chevaux Leger Lancer Regiment. The 5th Regiment get stung by rifle fire from the 95th. In the foreground, to right and left of the road, the Hanoverian Light Field battalions pushed out of Chatelet are trying to rally. 

Lancers' eye view of the 95th Rifles......
...and when they charged the open order riflemen were ridden down and dispatched

Balance of power changes on the Pironchamps flank

Around this time I was alarmed to see the vanguard of a Brunswick force
 arrive opposite me - an infantry battalion and a horse battery
Slowly I managed to get the weakened 1/1 Legere evacuated to the safer side of the
walled farm while performing a "relief in place" with one of the fresh battalions
 of 100th Ligne  
1/4th Legere had suffered taking on the Nassau elite companies, ending in mutual
withdrawal but I sent in 2/4th as a column attack against the white shako'ed
,Nassau line battalion, determined to keep them back 
Kevin confers with Richard as the latter brings on yet more Brunswickers
As the Brunswick infantry move forward my Foot battery from Jerome's Division
 manages to inflict some casualties on the Dutch Belgian Horse Artillery in the big battery nearby. 
The Guard Horse Artillery, under my command, had to cease firing due to running
out of ammunition, but was now being resupplied
A nice view of some of James' hard work creating all the Brunswick units. They have now moved forward to the hedge bordering the ridge crest

Multiple cavalry actions decide the centre ground
Guard Lancers led by Lefebvre-Desnouettes have pressed 1st Dragoons up the hill as far as they can go!
...but the newly arrived Brunswick cavalry have other ideas.

Baron Picquet's two French Dragoon regiments arrive on Lissewege Heights......
...then break out into two march columns to gain ground unopposed over Hoeke Hill 
They, in turn, are backed up by Guiton's Cuirassier brigade,  the regiments picking their way between the batteries
Behind Hoeke Hill they wheel left in readiness to form line. In the foreground Roy
has considered the Polish Squadron of 2nd Guard Lancers is "surplus to requirements" and
kindly sends it to reinforce my right flank infantry
Brunswick Hussars meet the exhausted Guard Lancers right on their back line.....
......and push them back downhill
By their side the Hussars' second wing meets a regiment of French Line Lancers

Deadlock at Pironchamps
Further East still the advance of French Dragoons ensures that the now-routing
27th Jagers have no chance to rally
Desperate action by Pironchamps Farm as I press forward column attacks with
Foy's troops to meet the Nassauers and Brunswick infantry descending the ridge
(Apology for the shaky photo - too much excitement!)

French consolidate gains at Chatelet

In the distance the Cameron Highlanders had formed square while the 95th skirmishers
 were over run, but they have seen off the French Line Lancers, for now. In the
foreground Scottish infantry present a stern front to the battle weary Bachelu
The 28th Foot guard West Hoeke bridge but Rogers' battery is now reduced to 50% strength
by counter battery fire. Foot Guards reform by the junction
A broader view across Chatelet Wood showing the natural break that has occurred between the battling infantry lines 

From the opposite direction the successive lines of French Dragoons and Cuirassiers can be discerned along the valley

The final battle photo with a yellow line showing the front line. Considerable French gaining of territory up onto the centre of Ramskapelle heights

Kevin and the Sunday players before packing up time
That familiar ADC of modern life, the smart phone, was bringing urgent news of significant road closures along the A40, and although it was only 1700 hours, Richard and James were concerned about their route home. Weighing up the battlefield with his practiced eye James said "I don't think one more move is going to make any difference, let's call it now".  That still left time to tot up the final points scores and have a jolly good analysis of the game before they went though.

So next time - Score results and conclusions on the game, and thoughts on how this will affect our refight of Quatre Bras