The streets of Ligny is an introductory scenario for Hexasim’s Ligny 1815 - Last Eagles game. It is an unusual scenario in that it shows an exploded view of Ligny village, with individual buildings highlighted and each side throwing a full corps into the fray.
|From the box cover|
I put the 4 turn scenario up as an exercise to get back into the system before I visit the most recent module - Quatre Bras, for that full battle and so this post is just an overview on how the game went, with the Resource Section having a link to an earlier post that more fully describes the system itself.
Please use the ’read more’ tab for the rest of this post.
The introductory scenario cuts out some of the nuances from the full game, so here, orders are fixed and an early ending to the turns will not be diced for.
Both sides have objective orders that make the church the objective. This means that units moving must take the unit nearer the church or be at the same distance at the end of the movement. In addition, units may move freely within 3 hexes of the church and units that wish to move contrary to the above can take a Independent Movement test, but if they pass, will only get half movement.
|Game area with the village and the brook.|
Victory Conditions. There are 4 hexes that give VP’s. They are the major buildings in the village and they are marked with dice on the above map. The dice showing ‘6’ (in the middle) is the church, which is the Geographic objective for both side's orders. Control of each hex yields 2 Victory Points at the end of each turn and at the end of the game, destroyed units yield 1 VP each.
Above, the Prussians hold the village. They have set up in two of the four victory point hexes (centre and right - lower end of map) and also hold the top end of the village (left wing) each position has an artillery battery. On the road behind Ligny is von Pirch with the rest of the Prussian corps. Elements of II Corps are also making the battlefield and they are two hours away.
Gérard’s IV Corps (French) have to set up within 1 hex of the La Ferme des Flaminettes road. Speed is of the essence before the Prussians concentrate and so Gérard does not open the battle with his artillery, but rather sends a large body of infantry to directly attack the centre, with mixed infantry and cavalry units to press the flanks and so the French plan is one of brute force and speed.
[note, there is a previous full AAR and explanations of system mechanics in another post as listed below in the Resource Section].
The French advance on both wings, preparing for an assault, while the centre makes good progress and immediately clashes at the farmhouse in the centre (Ferme d’En-haut), intending to overwhelm the defences and open the way to the church behind the farm.
|Opening assault at the farmhouse|
The defenders with artillery at short range badly maul 69th Ligne, who take heavy casualties (flip) and fall back, but the other regiments press on with the attack. They inflict crushing casualties, but the Prussian defenders hang on!
The French again push in the centre, while both flanks also make contact, with the cavalry trying to work around the flanks. Their artillery had unlimbered in front of the village, but it made little impact, but the French were compelled to push into that weakened centre before Pirch arrived.
|French assaults in the centre and both flanks.|
The results are mixed, but some serious consequences unfold for the French attack. In the centre the French suffer heavy losses, but press on and destroy the 4th West Landwehr and their accompanying Horse artillery, capturing the farmhouse and getting their first foothold in the village. On their left flank, they fail to prise the Prussians out of the Château, but on their right something of a disaster unfolds.
The cavalry had crossed the sunken road to get behind the Prussian position, while 4 infantry regiments assaulted frontally into the face of close range artillery fire, which devastated 96th and 63rd Ligne, causing them to rout. At the sight of this, 50th and 44th Ligne called off their attack.
[note, in the full game, a leader can suspend an order for a turn while they concentrate on rallying routed units. However, the special rules to this scenario state that an order cannot be changed. I may be taking this too literally, but I felt that meant that the objective had to be the priority and that routing units will eventually just leave the field. I am okay with this as I have always disliked rubber router type rules.]
As Pirch reaches the front line with his lead units, he occupies the church and then throws in a counter-attack against the 30th Ligne at the farmhouse, but it is half hearted (poor dice!) and fails.
[note, there are now 39 combat points worth of French routing from the battlefield, this is getting ever tougher for the French].
|four regiments fleeing!|
Again, Gérard's guns have little effect, but on their left, 16th Dragoons and 8th Chasseurs á Cheval cross the stream and get behind the Château, while the infantry conduct another frontal assault. They inflict grievous losses (flips), but the Prussians grimly retain possession of the Château. On the French right, with that wing now totally collapsed, the cavalry re-crosses the sunken road and falls back to cover the flank.
Gérard personally leads an attack against the church, but the defenders are now just too strong, but better news comes from the left as the Château falls and this effectively frees up that wing to press towards the centre. The only unit at immediate hand for the Prussians to interfere are the 7th Infantry and they move up to the bridge over the stream, causing the 16th Dragoons to fall back.
|The Château falls and 7th Infantry move to the crossing.|
Despite this sudden advantage and the French now having two out of the four victory point hexes, the Prussians are still relatively strong or more to the point, the French have lost their offensive capability. That, taken together with lead elements of Prussian II Corps units being about to reach the battlefield, makes the French position look impossible and the will to fight on is weakening.
However ..... Gérard still sees chance to seize the moment and he orders his left wing at the Château to bring pressure on the centre, but first, they must deal with 7th Infantry at the bridge. Even with the cavalry on the far side of the bank, it becomes a hard fight and in the end 9th Léger have just had enough and rout. At this point it becomes obvious that further engagement is just going to further harm IV Corps and Gérard reluctantly orders his men to disengage and fall back.
|All lost as Prussian reinforcements |
reach the village.
A snapshot of the victory conditions to date shows that the Prussians, who had more casualties (routers not included in casualty tally), but had held the buildings longer, have one more Victory Point than the French and this gap was only going to get wider, so a Prussian victory and a judicious French retreat has the right feel.
I have always found this scenario tough for the French, as they are up against the clock, but it makes for a fascinating game and the system handles Landwehr so well, in their large lumbering formations that are both formidable in melee when defending, but very brittle with their low morale, that only gets much worse once they take losses and flip.
It didn’t take long to get fully back into the swing of the rules, but there is a lot of nuance in these rules, so another full re-read is what I will be doing before Quatre Bras hits the table.
Also, I fancy a return to the full Ligny battle, which being a two mapper, generates interesting things happening right across the map at any one time and the inter-relationship between Corps activity and situation is a lot of fun. I have also added a link to the replay of a full Ligny game for those who want some insight how orders and activations play out.
My sister webspace COMMANDERS is a bit more snippet based than here. Link.
Previous post with AAR of ‘Streets’ and system notes. LINK
Previous post concerning the full Ligny battle. Link