Sunday 18 November 2012

The Battle of Hal 1815 - A Fictional Napoleonic Batrep

The Rejects got together last Sunday, well 6 of us anyway to play possibly our last weekend game of the year, boo, hiss I here you cry!!!

This is a long post, so you may need to go and make yourself a cup'o'tea and a sandwich before you start!

Postie the evil GM had been planning this "What If" scenario for ages and a mighty fine fight it was too. Pop over to Fran's and BigLee's blogs for the French side of the story, for the Brit, Dutch-Belgian and Hanoverian side of the story keep reading...........

The Battle of Hal 19th June 1815

Yesterday Blucher's Prussian army failed to turn up at The Battle of Waterloo, thus giving Napoleon a very quick victory. But Wellington had already planned for this failure, he retreated North-West between the town of Hal and Brussels. Wellington had left an army postioned as a rearguard,  full of mainly conscript Dutch-Belgian's and German's commanded by the Prince of Orange's younger brother Prince Frederick. This morning Napoleon sent out his scouts who informed him of the army waiting at Hal, he then ordered part of Reilles corps to attack Prince Frederick's intact army which had been covering the British retreat.

A word of warning, Posties collection is massive but he doesn't own every regiment, so some units are being subbed by others.

The Dutch Division commanded by myself Lt Gen J Steadman, with the 
CnC Prince Frederick of the Netherlands in the centre.

The 4th British Division under Lt Gen Sir Charles Colville. Commanded by Reject John

The French opposite me, Commanded by Smiffy, the CnC Comte Honore Charles Reille, 
I was a little perturbed to find that the first 7 units were all Leger regts and all were Elite!!!

The French, opposite Hal commanded by Fran, the Comte Maximilien Sebadtien Foy, 
while BigLee, Comte Hippolyte Marie Guillame Pire, commanded the Cavalry.

Prince Frederick of the Netherlands.

 In the first turn I pushed my 2 units of skirmishers out on my flanks to harass the French while Smiffy, changed into skirmish formation with all 7 Legere units.

Bloody hell!! Hanoverian reserves arrive on the first turn behind Hal,  the Prince Regent's Hussars 
and  the Breman and Verdun Hussars, move around the town of Hal to hopefully put a stop
 to the advancing French Cavalry

In the background you can see the advancing French while in the foreground the British 
allies are trying to get into a better position. All the units with red flags are 
Hanoverian Landwehr, not really what you want in the front line of defence!!

Fran squashes his left testicle again, laying on the table trying to reach his troops!
Note the empty crisp packet behind him??

Smiffy started to make pretty patterns with his troops, instead of charging forward,
 my force consisted of 2 Jager units, 3 Line units and a whooping 6, yes 6 bloody Militia!!!

 John had to move a unit into Hal, but this left us with no reserve.

And moved a Hanoverian line unit up to the hedge to plug the gap.

The positions at the End of turn 2

 The French keep winning the first move, that also gives them the first fire, not we you need!!

First contact, 4 charges, but who would be the victor?

Postie came and whispered to myself and John, that our re-enforcements have 
been spotted, we looked at him blankly, the FOG of War had struck, we both 
wrongly read a note he gave us previously and thought our reserve force was 
behind the main Dutch-Belgian army, so it was as much of a shock to us as it 
was to the French!

The units with the Orange/white and blue flag are the Dutch/Belgian Militia.

 BigLee moved his 2 Lancers regts up behind his 2 charging Chasseurs. And also gets his Cavalry reinforcments on the table, Baron Nicolas Francois Roussel d'Hurbal commanding the 12th Cavalry Division, consisting of 2 Carabiniers and 2 Cuirassiers!!! They move straight on heading for the centre of the battle.

 As Smiffy advanced I pulled back my Jagers.

It's not looking good for John's troops?!?

The Prince keeping his fingers firmly crossed.

If only Smiffy hadn't advanced to the hill, the whole French flank would be open.

2-0 to the Hanoverian's, they thrash both French Chasseurs who both flee. Big-Lee caused 
No casualties at all!
 One units flees through a unit of Lancers (on the right)

Both Hanoverian's follow up and carry on their charge straight into both Lancer regt's

 Polly want a cracker!

John throws great once more and beats both units again, losing only 2 figures for his trouble, both Hanovarian Hussars capture the colours of the French Lancers, the 5th Lancers rout straight though the flanks of both the 1st Carabiniers and the 2nd Cuirassiers, disordering them, while the 6th Lancers rout through the already fleeing Chasseurs.
What a mess!!!!

Lee wasn't happy, he he!

So what looked like a devastating Cavalry advantage, was quickly becoming 
more even, but could or would  John carry on his magnificent assault on the French??

 Meanwhile down the other end of the field, I charged the French gun with a small unit of Combined Grenadiers  unfortunately they managed to evade me just in the nick of time, I was 2mm out!

The men and units of the Indian Brigade under Col de Jong, consisting of East and West Indian regts!

As Smiffy had moved a major part of his force to contain the Dutch Indain Brigade, I advance
 my best troops forward leaving the Militia where they were, if I moved them at all, I'd have 
to throw a D6, on a roile of 1 the unit would be disordered. Its bad enough having an army 
of mainly Militia and you certainly don't want then disordered!!

Fran moved up to close range and gave a devastating volley, aiming at the Hanoverian
Landwher, to try and make them fail their morale.

Oh Sh!t said Lee, as John carried on with the charges the next turn, hitting the disordered Carbiniers in the flank and the chasseurs in the rear. The yellow markers are disordered markers while the blue mean the unit has captured a colour, this gives points at the end of the game. You can just see the black marker on th Chasseurs at the bottom left unit, that means they've lost a colour, obviously that's not good!

John moved forward his best units the Brits to fire on the flank of Fran's stationary infantry.

Oh dear, we can't believe it???
John won both melees again, the Chasseurs were destroyed by the Breman and Verdun Hussars, while the Prince Regent Hussars made the Carabiners rout?!?
By this stage we were all in a state of shock. Poor Lee's dice were absolutely appalling!

And it got even better for us as Big Lee then failed  2 Brigade checks forcing all the 
French Cavalry to retreat a full move back. 
You should have seen Fran and BigLee's faces!

 Look at that hole??

I moved my skirmishers up to fire at the French gun, but we lost the first move/fire again!!!

Smiffy continued to make pretty patterns, what a nice curve.......

Both sides continued to whittle away at each other.

Our first real disaster a fluke shot onto the 18th Dutch Militia, hit and killed the 
Major-Gen de Eerens, this could be trouble as it could cause a brigade morale check.

Which it did, the now leaderless 2nd Brigade withdrew 12 inches back!
Not good news for us.

The Hoya Landwher were pushed back away from the front line due to a failed morale check.

On the otherside of the field, Smiffy attacked and fired with gusto, knocking back both Jager units.

Guess what? 
Yep! John charged once more, the Breman &Verdun Hussars hit the French Lancers in the rear AGAIN, 
wiping them out. The B& V Hussars fought 9 melees, they won 7 and drew 2, only losing 6 casualties, while the Prince Regent Hussars fought 3 melees and won 3 melees also at the cost of 6 casualties. 

Smiffy then destroyed my combined Grenadiers with musket fire, which caused a
 brigade check, which I only just passed.
But it was all too late for the French, as it was getting dark. The points were added up giving a massive victory of 20-10 to John and myself. 

A dejected Fran huddles in the corner trying not to be noticed.

John receiving his very well deserved  MVP award!
I did feel sorry for BigLee and his bad die rolls.........but not for long!

What a game!!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Bloody good write up of a horrendous game. I have never, EVER, rolled such bad dice! Ye gods its was an utter massacre!! Kudos to John for having the guts to press his advantage but you have to agree he bucked the odds by a long long way.... I may give up wargaming to take up macrame or something.

  2. That is one awesome battle report! Also that photo of Fran taking a photo - I thought he was a lot taller!

  3. What a game!!
    Haahahah Phil!You all look like you had a great time guys! :)

    1. It was a great game, me and John certainly enjoyed it, not sure BigLee did though??

  4. Wow. Excellent batrep Ray, even if the French lost... but then, what can you do against
    such a cavalry leader?

  5. Long, ok, but very exciting...I have not eaten any sandwich! Very nice Ray, a great AAR with a large suspense, militia and landwehr were in the centre of the batlle, very nice too but, but...the colours of the french lancers were captured! And you let it go?
    Once again, very nice AAR, I really enjoyed!

    1. We captured so many colours they just got forgotten in all the rush!

  6. I read Fran's report first. I would like to know who supplied Big Lee's dice so I don't buy any from there.

    1. Well he did say he was bringing his own, next game!!

  7. Very well done Ray. Love all the pictures capturing the action (and enemy generals in their 'moments'). Looks like a fun game.

  8. Hi Ray,

    Brilliant report and pictures sir! I suggest a very large standard for the B and V Hussars for their really impressive performance - also perhaps buying Lee some more dice may be in order....;-)

    Great read and it has made my afternoon!

    All the best,


    1. Cheers Dave, I think the hussars should be raised to Guard status for every game we play from now on! As for Lee.............the least said the better.

  9. Very nicely done Ray, lots of great pics and plenty of action here. Poor Fran having so much trouble with his crackers, squashed and pinched and losing the game to boot. You should have bought him some Burger King to make him feel better!

  10. Nuts being squashed and fingers flying. My goodness.

  11. Wow, great report and the game looked excellent. I was cringing for Big Lee as I was reading it - the Dice Gods can really roger you senseless at times. Poor guy!

    1. he didn't have a good day of it the poor lad!

  12. Thanks for the advice I made a brew and sat down for 5,10,15 to read, this a great long report. Very interesting and looked to be an excellent game would loved to have been there. Thanks for sharing

  13. I like such "What if" scenario's! Great battle report and pictures! Thanks for sharing!


  14. Like I said on Fran's blog, always seems like you win all these contests. Is this true? Is Fran that bad?

  15. Maybe Lurker needs to put some black varnish on the dice next time?

  16. Great battle and some wonderful pics too. Bravo Ray

  17. That looks like a fantastic game, great what-if scenario too.

  18. Now that is EPIC! Fantastic post.

  19. Epic game and well done on your victory

  20. Great AAR Ray and congrats on the win. Is Fran laughing his head off in the "Lee wasn't happy" photo?

  21. What an epic report. Fran should have manned up and fought on, you only need one testicle.

  22. Holy.. you had way too much fun didn't you!?

  23. A very interesting AAR, Ray. The Cavalry action was fantastic!

  24. Reminds me of a game where I was caught cold by a brilliant flank attack by six French Battalions - it seemed 'end game' for me but a desperate charge by 1 Regiment of Light Dragoons and 1 of Heavy Dragoons forced a panicked formation change to squares, 4 of which I broke, thus completely destroying the whole attack. Glorious, but have to admit, John's charge excels that by far. Never mind Fran, tomorrow's a brand new day!


    1. I don't think I'll ever see any collapse like this again.

  25. Great report again, good to see it from more points of view.

  26. Excellent batrep, Ray! I love it when a side bucks all expectations aided by fickle dice and dodgy decisions! Well done!

  27. Great reading, but it's actually HalLE ;-)

  28. Great report Ray - enjoyed the pics very much. I thought I looked unusually handsome - cheers - Max S Foy

  29. Some of those sweeping cavalry engagements are top-notch mini-porn Ray. Looks like you guys had yourselves a terrific day :)

    1. Well the Allies did, not sure the French players would agree??

  30. Why don't you write a full battle report next time Ray and not a quick brief.;-)
    Seriously though great battle report and pics! I like Fran's finger gesture of good sportsmanship and camaraderie. Bad luck for Lee.


    1. Fran was such a happy chappie throughout the game!

  31. You were right about the cup of tea. Nice battle report.

    Too bad about Fran's damaged testicle, perhaps the club should start wearing some sort of personal protective equipment.

  32. what an excellent write up and the Pics were awesome. My heart goes out to Lee, been there too many times myself.

    Sounds like you have a great bunch of misfits.
    Keep the game reports coming


    1. I've thrown bad dice like anyone has, but I've never seen such consistant crap dice!

  33. Great report Ray, though I must saying reading the antics you guys get up to is half the fun of reading the actual report!

  34. Wow...this was an epic game and battle report. Again it has been proved that the dice-gods rule.

  35. well it it was very long... exciting too. I almost ate my dinner while reading that post, well a plate of food, half my dinner then.

  36. Mention in despatches for the B&V and the Primce regent Hussars - possibly elevations to what amounts to a peerage in Dutchland... I formed the impression that much of the Allied luck might have been due to some chances the French took in manoeuvring their cavalry Corps... Sometimes you make your luck, good and bad. Doesn't stop it being a fluke, though!

    Excellent pics of what turned out to be a well-fought rear-guard action by Wellington's Allies. Although from a wargame point of view, a decided success for the Allies, how would it go in a campaign? I suggest that this action would have bought Wellington a good 24 hours. It would take at least that long to ease hurt the French Horse received, and it is possible that the Allied Horse will have established a dominance that might last the duration.

    Would it have stopped Napoleon's advance? No; though some of the careers of his regimental commanders would have taken a hit no doubt. 'Tell the general in command from me that he's no bloody good!' with these words Napoleon is said to have sent a ADC to the commander of 3rd Dragoon Division at Austerlitz.

    Will there be a follow-up to this action, then?

  37. The French had to throw a dice to see where their cavalry re-enforcements came on, for them anyplace but where it turned up would have been good.
    Like you said I think Napoleon would have gone on to take Brussels, but then the rest of Europe would have taken him out again.
    I like the idea of carrying on the battle, I'll have a word with Postie about that for a future game.

  38. Hi Ray, loved the report and ran out of sandwich! Thats what I like about wargaming, you can have a great day with your bestest mates....and make them cry like little girls!!

    What rules were you using for this game btw?

  39. LOL! And we did too! We use Posties own version of General de Brigade, he's changed them to make them a little more simple for simple people, like the rest of the Rejects.

    1. I wouldn't mind seeing those.....Any chance of sharing the simple GdB rules Ray?

  40. Awesome report and photos Ray. Shouldn't give Lee too much of a hard time as those dice gods turn against us all at times. Enjoy it while you can though!

  41. Nice batrep and photos. Some great pics there Ray.

  42. Cripes Ray, its a epic! Well done all.

  43. Tea is now cold and the sandwichis uneaten. Excellent battle report and a lot jollier than a similar one I've read.

  44. Great report and impressive win. Poor Lee, I think I can see the smoke from the dice bonfire from here.

  45. Your last game of the year? Say it isn't so! At least you were told you were number one, how cool is that?

    Love the warning of a long post in the beginning and the suggestion of of some tea...ha ha ha!!

  46. Super pics (is Fran asking for one more of something ?) and I hate you lot being able to play on such a vast table with such lovely kit.

    1. I think it was more like fcuk u! It is a grand table, if you ever find yourself in sunny Kent, your always welcome to a game.

  47. Another (comedy) classic report. Some of the photos and captions had me in stitches.

  48. Very nice report. Glad some of you had fun. Did you paint any of the figures?

    1. Not 100% sure but I know I painted 2 of the units of Dutch Jagers, the French Cuirassiers, 1 unit of the Lancers and the now famous Breman and Verdun Hussars!

  49. Cracking game Ray and a very entertaining report nicely written with a touch of humor. Great stuff.

  50. Great Report Ray - sounds like a good fun game

  51. Great write up Ray! Thanks for sharing all the pics.


  52. Great stuff Ray, thanks. I have been waiting for sometime to sit down to read and enjoy this game report. It was well worth the wait!

    1. Cheers James, It was a great game, Posties still working on the follow up battle, hopefully we'll get that going in a month or two???

  53. Congratulations for all you guys playing throughout all those Battles this year____so far.
    Splendid presentation of Battle Report,and great model soldiers on display Ray. BB