Friday, 28 June 2019

Game 76 : Ligny : 16th June 1815

This was the classic 1815 battle of Ligny. It was, and would be here, a difficult battle for the Prussians. We played a variety of options, but in essence, the French would have the Corps of Vandamme, Gerard & the Guard, supported by Pajol, Exeleman and Milhaud. The Prussians would have the I, II & III Korps. Bulow's Korps would not be fielded as it would be all over and the same went for part of D'Erlons Corps and Lobau. We also expanded the rules to include skirmishers being deployed as companies from the parent line battalions for the French and also skirmish companies drawn for brigades for the Prussians. We also restricted the ability of "light battalions" to fully deploy into skirmish order. This detail can be had by writing in, but needless to say the systems work well and give you exactly the feel you might expect.
As always, I will leave the reader to look up some suitable map. You'll also be lucky in that the deployment of both sides were nearly totally historical. This has been a theme lately that we find the deployment mimics that used historically. I take some comfort from that as it leads me to think that the system is working well. 


 This is looking at the right side of Ligny. We also played the villages as being passable through by units on orders such as Manoeuvre providing the villages were not occupied by another unit in a combat formation.


This is the start of Vandamme' attack on the villages of St Armand on the Prussian refused right flank. The aim of the assault is to attract as many Prussian troops to this sector so that the centre of the Prussian line is weakened in numbers straight from the start of the battle.


 This is the I Korps cavalry deployed behind Ligny in the centre. Most of this formation would move to the right and get sucked into the combat for the St Armand villages.


On the Prussian left, the Prussians refused the option on advancing on the initial open French right flank south of the brook. The rationale that was because the brook was unfordable to guns, Prussian in this area might be defeated in piecemeal fashion. The plan adopted was to line the north bank of Ligny Brook and transfer as much as III Korps as possible into the centre.

This shows Pajol and Exeleman holding the French right flank. A lot of time was spent "watching" until the attack on Ligny itself started, then this whole flank advanced to cross the brook and keep as many Prussian units fixed in position.

This is looking from the high ground behind Ligny, in the Prussian lines, looking towards their right flank at St Armand. The infantry battle is in full swing. It is a bit of a grinder and more and more Prussian units are being committed to hold the position.


This is Gerard's attack on Ligny itself. It is nearly a Corps action with all 3 Divisions involved in the attack. The Corps would eventually drive out the Prussians, retire to recuperate and allow the Guard to move through the village itself.


The assault on Ligny from the French side. Prussians are positioned to reinforce and also to attempt to counter attack on the flank of the village.


Thieleman's III Korps pours onto the battlefield and marches immediately to the centre to take up a second line position in the centre.


St Armand falls to the French. This allows Vandamme to move along the flank of the village and threaten the high ground behind Ligny itself.


The Prussians on the high ground are caught in a pincer as one of Gerard's Divs advances to the left of Ligny to join up the attack with Vandamme to the right of St Armand.



The advance on the high ground picks up pace and the French Guard have now passed through Ligny to start their assault on the reserve Prussian line in the centre.


Vandamme has secured St Armand and now breaks through to the second Prussian line and also flanks the high ground which forces the Prussians to withdraw form that position. The main highway from Quatre Bras to Namur is now in imminent danger of being cut and the Allied armies will lose communication form each other.


The French Guard continue to pass through Ligny, including the cavalry and artillery.


The Old Guard Divisions of Grenadiers and Chasseurs are now advancing out of Ligny to assault the Prussian reserve line. They are now supported by Exeleman on their right, Milhaud and his Cuirassiers on their left and the Guard Cavalry immediately behind.


Milhaud charges a Prussian gun line. Some batteries, already weakened, withdrew but this unfortunate battery was cut down! Prussian infantry were forced into square to survive the attack.



The French Guard are about to fall onto Prussian infantry forced into square. Its really over now!


To the right of Ligny, the French Young Guard also get into the fray. All along the line, Prussian infantry, forced into squares, are being attacked by French Guardsmen. The Prussian army now retires!
All in all, this battle followed history quite closely. Although the French have the kit, it takes time and planning to dislodge Prussian infantry deep in their villages. We played 40 turns for the game, another record for us as being the longest.

Lastly is the casualty list, quite a bloodbath in some respects.
French Formations
Losses %
Prussian Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Imperial Guard : Drouot



I Korps : Ziethen



Friant
14
-
13
Steinmetz
31
-
-
Morand
2
-
16
Pirch II
50
-
-
Duhesme
3
-
0
Jagow
1
-
-
Guyot
-
0
0
Schutter
15
-
-
St Maurice
-
-
4
Roeder
-
14
-




Holtendorff
-
-
40
III Corps : Vandamme







Lefol
10
-
3
II Korps : Pirch I



Habert
6
-
0
Tippelskirch
21
-
-
Berthezne
20
-
0
Krafft
0
-
-
Girard
6
-
22
Brause
8
-
-
Domon
11
0
4
Bose
33
-
-
III Corps Artillery
-
-
9
Jurgass
-
3
-




Rohl
-
-
41
IV Corps : Gerard







Pecheux
18
-
25
III Korps : Thielemann



Vichery
18
-
0
Borcke
11
-
-
Bourmont
14
-
13
Krausneck
0
-
-
Maurin
-
12
29
Luck
25
-
-
IV Corps Artillery
-
-
130
Stulpnagel
0
-
-




Hobe
-
0
-
IC Cav Corps : Pajol



Monhaupt
-
-
4
Soult
-
1
0




Subervie
-
2
13
Not engaged







IV Korps : Bulow



IIC Cav Corps : Exelman



Hake
0
-
-
Strolz
-
6
0
Funck
0
-
-
Chastel
-
14
46
Losthin
0
-
-




Hiller
0
-
-
IVC Cav Corps : Milhaud



Prince William
-
0
-
St Alphonse
-
10
13
Braun
-
-
0
Delorts
-
6
21













 Here we all are, happily we also survived the beer and curries. Next up it is back to the Peninsular, the battle of Ocana in 1809. I'll let you look it up!

5 comments:

  1. Great report - the French seemed to play a canny game drawing the Prussians out of position & into the trap. This is the joy of having the time to let things unfold over 40 turns. What an epic encounter!
    Very best wishes for a sunny weekend,
    Jeremy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent battle report

    https://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

    Take care

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Truly a game in the grand manner. Hugely impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very impressive and you really get the feel of a large battle:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Everyone. Having a permanent table obviously facilitates having these games. Ligny was particularly pleasing as we took a game from start all the way through a ""campaign" day, starting from the approach of the armies to the withdrawal of the Prussians. I still intend to publish these battles so that the maps and OBs are available to all.

    ReplyDelete