Julian has a scenario that he calls 'Pont du bois' which he likes to use as a test of rules. We played out the scenario as a nostalgic game of the Quarrie rules in one of our early games. That left us thinking of 'Pont du bois' as a tough scenario, then we played Wavre. It's Pont du bois 'on steroids'...!
The scenario begins with Vandamme's (whom we always attribute with JCvD, of course!) divisions of III Corps facing the Prussians of Luck and Kamphen who are well-ensconced in Wavre, loop-holes and all, on the other side of the unfordable River Dyle. Dominique (to his friends, but certainly not Czar Alexander) is supported by Excelmans' dragoons while Hulot's 14th division of IV Corps faces off Schulpnagel's Prussians in Bierge and Teste's 21st division of VI Corps is opposed by a small detachment under Stengel.
Map of the tabletop from Fields of Glory (above) and view across the table looking east towards Wavre in the distance (below).
A bucket-load of luck is required if such attacks, made by only one 'unit' against troops in defensive positions, are to succeed.
Over on the western flank, there was a heap of luck for the French, as Teste's testie boys triumphed in the test of wills, driving off Stengel's men to cross the Dyle.
(Such was my excitement that I focussed the camera on the town of Limal rather than the troops!)
Troops on Habert's right flank look on, helpless, while waiting their turn in the Wavre mincer.
Hobe's men did indeed spoil Teste's ideas for a quick victory. The 6e will never live down their dishonour.
Things were going really badly for Vandamme's men. Not only could they not break into Wavre, the Prussians had audaciously crossed the river to the (previous) 'French sector'!
Back on the French left, Teste's squares had seen off the uhlans, so the infantry resumed their advance; cautiously with the Silesian hussars still about.
The hussars in turn charged, but Teste's infantry formed square and saw them off too.
Then over on the right it was 'bad news Prussians'. Teste's testing had developed into a full-blown flank attack, now supported by Pecheux.
The game had largely followed the history. The French took Limal and slowly outflanked the Prussian right, aided by a last turn capture of Brieges, but the Prussians remained firmly ensconced in Wavre.
Result: a 'limited victory' to the French.
Another fine scenario from the Fields of Glory scenario book. It had been great to get back into Napoleonics after a lay-off of 18 months (since Friedland in July 2016!).