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  • #84707

    I’m starting to plan a Napoleonic game based on the historic battle of Quatre Bras using ‘General D’armee’ rules. This will be a day long, multi-player game with a considerable number of troops. Our biggest G D’a game so far.

    I understand it was a draw in tactical terms, but both sides could be given credit for strategic success. The allies prevented the French from seizing the cross roads & using this to advance to either flank or straight ahead. The French prevented the Anglo-Dutch from re-enforcing their Prussian allies at Ligny.

    What I need are simple victory conditions, achievable in the time frame. Preferably a set of them so as to allow degrees of victory. Clearly, holding the cross roads at the end of the game should count for much. What else, both specific & generic, should be considered?

     

     

    donald

    #84709
    Norm S
    Participant

    It may be fair to say that the game in effects starts and concludes as an automatic draw, as both sides wanted to support the Ligny battlefield and both found themselves pinned on a different battlefield, in effect cancelling out each others numbers. So what does that leave?

    The situation did cause d’ Erlon to counter-march back and forth each day between the two battlefields, essentially denying both battlefields of his 20,000 troops, perhaps that could be factored in as a strategic consideration.

    I would make the crossroads an objective, simply to give a focus to the battle, but perhaps having regard for the above, casualties matter as much as anything else.

    If either side can get any units off board via the lateral road, perhaps that should be worth victory points, plus making this conditional to also controlling the crossroads at the moment of exit for bonus / bigger VP’s  might help drive the story and raise the significance of both crossroads and lateral road.

     

    #84715

    Thanks, Norm.

    So, if I awarded, say, 10 VPs for possession of the crossroads & a minus 1 for every unit routed/destroyed that might produce a situation, albeit “gamey”, like you are describing?

    I’ll mull over it.

     

    donald

    #84740
    General Slade
    Participant

    Funnily enough I was looking at victory conditions for Quatre Bras only yesterday after following the link to the Junior General site that John D Salt posted in Whirlwind’s thread on Napoleonic Naval Rules.  There is a scenario there which suggests that victory should depend on control of the three roads exiting the map board: the road east to Nivelles, the road north to Brussels and the road west to Namur.  The French have to control at least two of these to win.  If they control one it is a draw and if they control none it is an Anglo-Allied victory.

    http://www.juniorgeneral.org/waterloo/quatrebras.html

    This seems quite sensible to me and I think would prevent the game from descending into a slugfest around the crossroads itself.

    #84742
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I agree with Norm’s suggestions, if you need that formal clarity.

    For myself, I prefer to use the historical objectives for focus, and then decide which army has improved its position more to adjudicate the result.

     

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84779

    if you need that formal clarity. .

     

    I do. More importantly, my pals do. The post-game discussion (often the best bit of the experience), throws up all sorts of stuff but aiming for a clear objective is not unlike what a real general must do.

    donald

    #84788
    Norm S
    Participant

    Thanks, Norm. So, if I awarded, say, 10 VPs for possession of the crossroads & a minus 1 for every unit routed/destroyed that might produce a situation, albeit “gamey”, like you are describing? I’ll mull over it. donald

    Yes, perhaps something like;

    6 VP’s for possession of the Crossroads at the end of the game.

    2 VP’s for every friendly unit that leaves the table via the lateral road (heading towards Ligny), if they are also in possession of the crossroads at that moment.

    3 VP’s for every enemy unit that is removed from play due to enemy action.

    1 VP for every routing unit currently on the table at the game’s end.

    Chance of a Sudden Death Victory if a player kills the other side Army Commander (say 50 / 50).

     

     

    #84802
    Whirlwind
    Participant

     

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Whirlwind.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84822
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    @ donald,

    I agree with you.  The interesting thing about Quatre Bras orders-wise is that it was very unlikely that Ney would achieve his written objectives (they envisaged light opposition only so had him pushing forward towards Brussels as well as pushing units towards Ligny) but he didn’t know this at the start of the action.  So the problem with Quatre Bras I think is that depending on the objectives, our wargamer “Ney” won’t play it the way that the real “Ney” did.  Specifically, it can be set up so that Ney is better off doing something attritional in a way very different from his real-life counterpart (and very unusual in the Napoleonic period).

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84844
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    Without wanting to get into the whole casualties-vs-geographical-objectives debate, I would like to note that at QB these are not the main armies but only fractions thereof, so relative casualties are that much less important. I think I’d vote for a tweak of General Slade’s suggestion and have 4 locations: the crossroads itself, and 3 locations close to the 3 road exits (but far enough from the table edge to allow a proper fight over them). French need to hold 2 of these 4 for a draw, 3 for a win.

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BBB_wargames/conversations/messages

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.co.uk/

    #84845
    Norm S
    Participant

    I have just spent the weekend playing Ligny and as the French player, you really do feel desperately short of an extra corps and it would be easy to scream ‘Where is d’Erolon’! and lacking this extra corps really does put you in the shoes of the French. The mirror of this of course is Ney screaming ‘where is d’Erlon’! and perhaps this off-board reserve column and the fact that Ney spent such effort in try to call / re-call it, could / should in some way be reflected in the QB game or its victory point determination.

    #85381

    I’ve done some further thinking about a QB game (which won’t be until May).

    One factor to consider is the length of the game. This will be crucial in terms of fairness & in offering the scope to finish. I am going to have to put a lot of thought into this: 12 game turns seems too long to fit into a day but I think to allow the game to progress in something like an historical way, it may be needed. I will have to work out when & where the re-enforcements to both sides arrive. Picton’s British line brigade, Kellerman’s cuirassiers etc. This will be crucial.

    Another interesting aspect lies with command. The brave but inexperienced Prince of Orange initially commanded the Allies. I think I’ll handicap them an ADC to reflect his inexperience. At some point, the Duke of Wellington will arrive & be given an extra 2 ADCs. It should be noted ‘General D’armee’ uses the number of available ADCs to harness a player’s ability to command & control.

    I’m mostly a fan of manoeuvre in wargaming but I think not here. The game will need to start with 3 French infantry & 2 French cavalry brigades on table. These will be in combat formations. The Allies will have a Dutch-Belgian infantry brigade & cavalry brigade placed in front of the village & in the wood. I’d like shooting to start by Turn 2 – 3 at the latest. It should be noted “brigade” in GD’a terms is more like a division.

    I don’t think I’ll allow the possibility of D’Erlon’s brigade turning upon the Allied flank….

     

    What do you think about any/all of the above?

     

    donald

     

    #85394
    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    I don’t think I’ll allow the possibility of D’Erlon’s brigade turning upon the Allied flank…. 

    I suggest just abstracting d’Erlon by imposing some time pressure on the French. If they take some specified objective(s) by the end of a specified game turn, then Ney is sufficiently confident of success at QB that he doesn’t call on d’Erlon to come back and help him but confirms that d’Erlon should head for Ligny. This earns the French an extra victory point.

    Chris

    #85396
    Gaz
    Participant

    I recommended Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames in a recent post elsewhere. As far as I recall there is a simple QB scenario in that book, where victory is determined by possession of the cross roads following a set number of turns. One added complication that Neil adds to the mix is the slow arrival of the Allied forces to the battlefield. This adds an extra level of excitement for the Allied commander, trying to hold the position until the rest of the allied forces arrive.

    The arrival of d’Erlon would be an interesting “what if” scenario, but personally I would leave that for another day.

    #85403
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    A lot has to do with how long each turn represents. 15 or 30 minute turns give Ney quite a lot of time to bash the outnumbered Dutch-Belgians before help arrives. Short turns allow the French to wield tighter control than was possible in the real thing and I believe is why so many wargames set in this short campaign yield French victories.

     

    I’ve played  QB with Volley and Bayonet and later a home-brewed set of rules that both used hourly turns. It gives you a whole lot more respect for Ney. Picton and Brunswick show up during the second hour. If the French move first (IGO-UGO) that gives them two turns to paste the Dutch-Belgians. Then the numbers are nearly equal. True, the French still have the better force but the situation has changed drastically and yet more reinforcements are on the way. Guiton’s 800 cuirassiers are no match for the 12,000+ troops of Alten’s and Cooke’s divisions. Within a few hours the Anglo-Dutch outnumber the French by 50%. That’s a tough situation in any rules set. If your game expects to represent the whole fight, not just the opening rounds, the French have a hard time later on.

     

    As for the One Hour Wargames scenario, the total defending force (after all reinforcements have arrived) is equal in numbers to the attacking force.

    So I’d say give the French some points for being at the crossroads any time during the game, to prod the French player into attacking. Also points for either side being able to send units in good shape off the road to Ligny. There is also the strange event: Wellington appears from the road to Ligny after the battle starts, fresh from his meeting with Blucher. That always led to a mad scramble in our games as the Duke avoided French cavalry.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by vtsaogames.

    This too shall pass

    #86175

    I’m starting to plan a Napoleonic game based on the historic battle of Quatre Bras using ‘General D’armee’ rules. This will be a day long, multi-player game with a considerable number of troops. Our biggest G D’a game so far. I understand it was a draw in tactical terms, but both sides could be given credit for strategic success. The allies prevented the French from seizing the cross roads & using this to advance to either flank or straight ahead. The French prevented the Anglo-Dutch from re-enforcing their Prussian allies at Ligny. What I need are simple victory conditions, achievable in the time frame. Preferably a set of them so as to allow degrees of victory. Clearly, holding the cross roads at the end of the game should count for much. What else, both specific & generic, should be considered? donald

    The French were to drive Wellington back and then fall upon the Prussian flank.  The English/Allies were to re-enforce the Prussians on their right.  To me, there are two objectives that the English must hold.  They must hold Quatre Bras as it is part of the Namur road but it also lays along their line of communication with Brussels.  They must also hold Thyle or other towns east along the Namur road as this is the direct route to Ligny and their Prussian allies.  The final objective would be Gemioncourt.  That is along the French line of communication.  So, to me, those three objectives are important for this battle.  On a final note, it should be judged if the English or the French would be able to march troops to Ligny at the end of the battle.  Army condition could be the determining factor as well as possession of the objectives.

    Allied reinforcements are pretty well laid out.  I don’t think anything needs changed here.  One of D’Erlon’s divisions arrived at the battlefield in the early evening of the battle and did not participate in any fighting.  As a simple “what-if” you could dice somehow for an early arrival.  Maybe start rolling at the beginning of each French turn in the last quarter of the game to see if a French division shows up.  On a ‘6’ the division shows up.  Otherwise, it arrives on the last turn of the game.

     

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

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