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Subject: First Solo Waterloo 20 rss

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Iain
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now retired so time for more gaming!
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I recently received Waterloo 20 & Jena 20 from VP Games and was most impressed with the look of the components and the quality of delivery from this company. I played a game of Jena last week which resulted in a French victory and was great fun to play. So on to Waterloo..........





Starting Morale: French 8 Allies 7

Turn 1 French

No random event. The French spend a morale point to force march so as to envelop the Anglo-Dutch I Corps near Quatre-Bras. Another morale point is spent to commit the Guard against the Prussian troops at Ligny.

The fighting near Quatre-Bras is fierce with the Anglo-Dutch 1 Corps spending a morale point to commit reserves. Alas this is not enough to stop them having to retreat, worse this causes the unit to rout as they fail their roll on the 'Hazardous retreat' table. The French Ist Corps occupies Quatre-Bras where the Anglo-Dutch troops broke. To the east the French Guard troops force the Prussians from Ligny but the Prussian Ist Corps holds firm and pushes back a combined French infantry & cavalry assault.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 5

Turn 1 Allies

Not a lot of movement for the Allies as most of their troops are engaged with the French. The Anglo-Dutch Reserve Corps holds at Genappe while the Prussian III Corps moves forward to challenge the French cavalry who are holding one of the Prussian LOC hexes.

Those french cavalry countercharge the Prussian infantry but are forced to retreat, the infantry decide not to advance but to hold their ground and await developments. The attempt to retake Ligny from the French Guard is successful and the Prussian reoccupy the town. The Guard are forced to endure a break roll as they retreat next to the enemy; (being the Guard they pass the test!)

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 5

Turn 2 French

Random Event - Esprit de Corps The french roll and gain a morale point.

The French again spend a morale point to force march. Reinforcements in the shape of the VI Corps move up the road towards Quatre-Bras. The bulk of the French forces converge on the Ligny area to try and evict the two Prussian corps in the area. The III Cavalry Corps move forward and occupy Tilly.

The Prussian Ist Corps is shattered and breaks just west of Ligny. The Prussian II Corps is forced from Ligny and survives the break check for retreating next to the French.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 4

Turn 2 Allies

Random Event - March to the Guns Of no use to the Allies!!

Again not a lot of movement option for the Allies. The unengaged Prussian III Corps pulls back northwards while the Anglo-Dutch Reserve Corps hold at Genappe.

The Prussian II Corps is forced to attack at suicidal odds but somehow manages to rout back 5 hexes, the French Guard follow-up for 2 hexes where they will fight another Prussian unit after the coming night turn.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 3

Turn 3 French NIGHT

Random Event - Vive la France Of no use to the French!!

The French push forward across the board occupying their two objective hexes of Quatre-Bras & Ligny. No fighting due to the night turn.

Morale Levels: French 8 Allies 3

Turn 3 Allies NIGHT

Random Event - Threatening Weather Die roll 5 no effect

The Anglo-Dutch finally retreat from Genappe and move back down the road towards La Haye Sainte whilst the Prussians move back in the east.
Allied reinforcements enter the map near Hougomont & Hamme.

In the rally phase both the Anglo-Dutch & Prussian units roll low and are eliminated.

Morale Levels: French 8 Allies 5

Turn 4 French

Random Event - Conflicting Orders Rout marker placed on French Ist Corps

The French spend a morale point to force march and move up the road towards Waterloo. In the east they move into contact with the Prussian III Corps in such force as to threaten to overwhelm it.

In the ensuing battle the Prussians are forced to withdraw and then break with the French Guard again following-up.

Morale Levels: French 8 Allies 4

Turn 4 Allies

Random Event - Coordination Crisis No effect as the two allied armies are no where near each other.

The Anglo-Dutch units mass around La Haye Sainte, while the Prussian reinforcements who arrived during the night turn move towards the Dyle river.

The Prussian II Corps have to battle with the French Guard and are pushed back to Mont St Guibert with the Guard maintaining contact with them.

Morale Levels: French 8 Allies 4

Turn 5 French

Random Event - Intelligence Gathering No effect as not using fog of war rule.

Yet again the French spend a morale point to force march and push men up the road towards Waterloo. In the east the Prussian II Corps is again nearly surrounded by the French.

Only one battle this turn, the beleaguered Prussians are attacked again and again they survive although they are pushed out of the town and survive the ensuing rout die roll - how tough are these chaps?

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 4

Turn 5 Allies

Random Event - French Lethargy No effect as not using fog of war rule.

The Prussian IV Corps continues to move towards Wavre while the Anglo-Dutch units prepare for the battle to come around La Haye Sainte & Hougomont.

Those valiant Prussians of the II Corps are forced to attack the numerically superior French at minimum odds and.....roll a 6 which means they hold in place. These chaps are seriously tough.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 4

Turn 6 French

Random Event - Esprit de Corps Roll of 3, no effect to morale

No surprises on the French right flank where those tough Prussians are engaged yet again. French cavalry also races towards Wavre to try and beat the Prussian infantry to the town. On the French left they prepare to assault La Haye Sainte next turn but approach the Anglo-Dutch cavalry to the east.

The Prussians finally crack and break under the continual fighting that they have been forced to endure for the last few days. The cavalry near La Haye Sainte are forced to retreat as the French spend a morale point for reserves. The Allies do not have the luxury of doing this due to their low morale level.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 3

Turn 6 Allies

Random Event - According to Plan cards are reshuffled

The Prussian IV Corps wins the race and crosses the River Dyle into Wavre. No movement from the Anglo-Dutch corps.

The French IV Cavalry Corps are forced back from the forest east of La Haye Sainte with Uxbridges cavalry following-up.

Morale Levels: French 7 Allies 3

Turn 7 French

Random Event - Conflicting Orders The Allies place a rout marker on the French Ist Corps

French cavalry pin the Prussians in Wavre from one side of the river while other cavalry advance on the other bank. Ther is a lull near La Haye Sainte as the French prepare for the coming carnage. Only in the centre of the battlefield is combat brewing this turn

Uxbridge countercharges in the reaction phase and forces back the opposing French troops. French infantry attack the Anglo-Dutch cavalry and pay a morale point for reserves but are also pushed back. A good turn for the Allies.

Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 3

Turn 7 Allies

Random Event - Coordination Crisis Not likely to have any effect

Uxbridges cavalry move back to La Halpe otherwise no other movement and no fighting, so +1 morale to the Allies


Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 4

Turn 8 French NIGHT

Random Event - Intelligence Gathering No effect

The French spend a morale point to force march and move troops next to Wavre and La Haye Sainte. They then gain a morale point as per night turn rules.

Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 4

Turn 8 Allies

Random Event - French Lethargy No effect on night turns

No movement, no fighting +2 to Allied morale level

Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 6

Turn 9 French

Random Event - Esprit de Corps Roll of 5 French gain a morale point

The Guard move forward to confront Uxbridges cavalry (-1 morale) and we prepare for the battles at Wavre and La Haye Sainte.

Uxbridge countercharges again and pushes back the french Guard. In Wavre the Prussian IV Corps repels the 3 French cavalry units and breaks them all! This after both sides had spent a morale point to commit reserves to the battle. In the battle at La Haye Sainte the Allies commit the reserves but this is not enough and the Anglo-Dutch unit withdraws then breaks and the French advance into Mont St Jean. The French attack the Anglo-Dutch in Hougomont but are sent backwards; both sides committed the reserves.

Morale Levels: French 2 Allies 5

Turn 9 Allies

Random Event - Rally to "Old Forward" The Prussians seize the opportunity to attempt to rally the II & III Corps, the latter returns to the fray and boy are they needed.

The other Allied units hold in place awaiting the next French onslaught, looks like no fighting as the allies seek to gain a morale point.

Morale Levels: French 2 Allies 6

Turn 10 French

Random Event - According to Plan cards are reshuffled

French cavalry occupy Waterloo (an Objective Hex) while the infantry mass around Hougomont ready to fight the Anglo-Dutch troops who are still holding out. The Guard wait in reserve while the French III Corps are poised to move on the Prussians in Wavre.

The attack goes in at Hougomont causing the allies to break, the honour of moving into the town is given to the French IV Corps.

Morale Levels: French 3 Allies 5

Turn 10 Allies

Random Event - Coordination Crisis will have no effect

It's falling apart in the Anglo-Dutch sector of the battlefield so the only thing to do is...........attack!
The Prussian IV Corps marches out of Wavre to confront the French infantry lurking in the forest to the west of the town. Uxbridges cavalry also rides to support the Prussians in this attack.

The French III Corps routs back under this combined arms attack and then breaks; there is life in the allies yet (but not a lot!)

Morale Levels: French 2 Allies 5

Turn 11 French

Random Event - Esprit de Corps Die roll= 5 the French gain a morale point.

French cavalry gallop northwards to occupy one of the Allied LOC hexes while the infantry shift to the east to confront the Prussians and the remaining Anglo-Dutch troops. No attacks from the French, this feels like the lull before the storm.

Morale Levels: French 4 Allies 5

Turn 11 Allies

Random Event - According to Plan reshuffle cards

The Prussian II Corps moves into Wavre allowing the IV Corps to shift position to the west to support the Anglo-Dutch cavalry who are protecting the remaining LOC hex. Like the French the Allies are preparing for the likely storm to come next turn.

Morale Levels: French 4 Allies 6

Turn 12 French

Random Event - Conflicting Orders Not good news for the French, a rout marker is placed on the French II Corps, they will not be in the fighting this time around.

The French advance towards the Allies but are not able to come into contact with them, looks like another bloodless turn.

Morale Levels: French 5 Allies 6

Turn 12 Allies

Random Event - Coordination Crisis no effect

Allied troops hold in place. They are in good defensive positions and do not need to attack, night is coming.

Morale Levels: French 5 Allies 7

Turn 13 French NIGHT & LAST TURN

Random Event - Intelligence Gathering No effect

French infantry move up next to the remaining Prussian troops but both sides know that there will be no more fighting as we have reached a night turn.
Two cavalry units rally and move back onto the battlefield.
French morale rises as they recuperate during the night while the Allies morale drops due to captured terrain.

Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 6

Turn 13 Allies

Random Event - French Lethargy No effect on a night turn

The allied troops do absolutely nothing and gain 2 morale points through recuperation.

Morale Levels: French 6 Allies 8


So the game concludes with a marginal victory for the Allies due to their superior morale level at the end of the game. As happened historically it was "a damned close run thing". I did wonder at the start how the Allies could hope to win given the disparity in the size of the armies. However the onus is on the French to attack while the Allies can avoid fighting and increase their morale level. Also the +2 increase in their morale each night turn compared to the +1 for the French can be the difference at the end, as proved the case in this session.

As this was my first go at Waterloo 20 I cannot offer any meaningful insights into successful strategies for the two sides, however I can give my opinion that this is a fun game. It is quick to set-up and play and from a solo perspective - it works. I look forward to my next outing be it solo or with a 'real' opponent, either FTF or VASSAL.

regards
iain
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Steve Carey
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Terrific AAR, iain - I could envision my past games as I perused your narrative.

Did you draw a Random Event for the Allies on Turn 1? (only the French skip their card draw on the first turn)

Also, the Turn 1 French countercharge that failed does not provide the defender with an opportunity to advance. (units targeted by a countercharge are too busy defending themselves, and cannot advance)

Good use of Lull turns to build up Morale, and an interesting French strategy to conduct multiple Force Marches to pressure the Allies!

And what an incredible combat to Break three French Cavalry units simultaneously (that's one for the books!).

What an enjoyable game and series Nappy 20 is...one of my absolute favorites.
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