“Waterlitz” : Command & Colors Napoleonics

Rich and I played our first game of Command & Colors: Napoleonics this morning (Saturday, April 2nd). As detailed in the previous post, I built terrain for the “Waterloo” scenario but substituted my Austrians for the British and my Saxons & Bavarians for the Allied troops vs. my French. My 6mm collection had not seen the light of day for several years – not since we had stopped playing “Grande Armee.” It was good to see them on the table again and I was quite pleased with the epic look of the terrain & figures. Rich chose to play the Allied side, while I commanded the French.

The game opened on the French left with the assault on Hougoumont. We were surprised how easily unsupported troops could be dislodged from terrain features, including the built up areas, but I’m figuring you have to take into account the scale of the game and the scope of what is going on in a rather large Hex. Im guessing that each of my Units (mounted on 2″ Litko stands) must equate to roughly a division of troops and each 3″ hex must be about 100-150 yards in scenario scale. In any case I quickly overran Hougomont with a Light Division but was counterattacked by the Grenadier Guards which annihilated the French Light Division in the next card play sequence. Hougomont would change hands several times during the course of the game, but would eventually fall back under Allied control. The French Left Flank would remain the focal point of the game for several turns. As in the historical battle, it seemed to draw much of the attention (and resources), especially in the first few turns

Meanwhile, the action shifted to the French Right Flank and the action became very hot & heavy around Papelotte. The French took control of Papelotte in the middle of the game and despite all Allied efforts, Rich could not wrestle it back. The loss of the built up area cost the Brits a victory banner each turn, which would prove their undoing. Sporadic fighting would ensue on the French right for the remainder of the game, but focus began to shift toward the map center for the final portion of the game

By late game, the Allies held Hougomont but had lost a couple of divisions in the fray. Both sides began to focus on the map center and I lost an infantry division in a sharp exchange near La Haye Sainte. The walled farmhouse changed hands several times as well. The highlight of the latter portion of the game was a grand French cavalry charge (Cavalry Charge Card) which featured the French Cuirassier Division overrunning an Allied Minor Infantry division and then a supporting Light Cavalry Division in the breakthrough move. This satisfied the French victory conditions and the game was called.

Final score was French (8) vs. Allied (2). Losses were 3 Allied Divisions (Units) destroyed vs. 2 French Divisions lost. Thinking that the game was a bit lopsided in favor of the French, I played a second game today solo and achieved much the same results. Game #2 yielded a score of French (8) vs. Allied (2). Same losses – Allied 3 units lost vs. French 2.

Game balance is a tricky thing with these types of games, as the card draw is all important and somewhat dependant on luck. Our inexperience with the system is of course a factor as well. We could have done a much better job on supporting our units so that retreats were less of an issue. All in all though, I’m feeling that when we replay the Waterloo scenario we should “write in” two special rules: (1) The Allies ignore 1 flag when deployed in the BUA’s and (2) At the start of any turn in which the Allies hold all 3 BUA’s, they score 1 victory banner. I think this may help the Allied side and give a better game. I highly recommend this game though – we had a blast and thought it was the best of the Borg games so far. I hope that GMT releases the major nationality stats & rules soon. I can wait to properly field my Austrians using their own stats!

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One Response to ““Waterlitz” : Command & Colors Napoleonics”

  1. Interesting…. rule changes and additions? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

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