Monday, March 6, 2017

Battle of Halle 1815

Over the weekend our group fought out a what if scenario I had designed to use Ken's extensive collection of Waterloo troops. We used the Black Powder rules by Warlord Games as it was the easiest set of rules to get back into gaming Napoleonic's. Attending the game was Mike (Dutch), Myself (British) and Ken (Hanoverian) on the Allied side, while Chris (14th Division) and Mark (12th Division & Cavalry) commanded the French.

The basic premise of the scenario is that Hill's II corps situated around the Belgian city of Halle had been ordered to march to and join Wellington with the main army. Hill had been covering the Allied lines of communications in case Napoleon tried to send troops to severe that link, and in this case he did just that. Napoleon has sent Marshall Gérards VI corps to cut off and turn the allied flank. Both corps had some difficulty traveling along the country roads and bumped into each other around the small hamlet of De Boukendael.

General Hills allied force comprised of Lyon's 6th Hanoverian Brigade, Johnstone's 6th British Brigade, d'Hauw 1st Netherlands Brigade and two Hussars regiments from the Hanoverian Cavalry Brigade.
British Infantry near the hamlet, Hanoverians off in the distance holding the right.
VI corps fielded both brigades of Bourmont 14th Division and one brigade from Pécheux 12th Division.  Berruyer 2nd cavalry Brigade from 7th Cavalry Division also supported the attack on the right flank.
GdB Toussaint 2nd Brigade, one battalion not seen as it is moving through the woods.
The French were attacking and started off with a general advance. Only one brigade was late off the start line, but they too were soon moving towards the Dutch (we had no blunders during the game, a first I believe!). From left to right, columns of French infantry advanced with skirmishers out front trying to disrupt the allied battle line.
The six battalions of the 30th and 96th Ligne regiments from GdB Rome's brigade.
They attacked on the French right. 
On the Allied right, the Hanoverian Brigade bore the brunt of the initial attacks but held fast against the onslaught of French Battalions. Remarkable even the landwehr battalions did not break from the initial stress of the French attacks.
The guns of the Hanoverian battery were not able to engage the fast approaching French columns with much effect. 

The French battalions of GdB Mazarny 1st Brigade attacking.

Two field battalions from Major-General Lyons 6th Hanoverian Brigade.

The French attack against the Dutch battalions holding the shallow ridge slowed once they reached the top and discovered several more infantry battalions, as well as cavalry and artillery supporting the forward infantry battalions.

A charge by Verden's Hanoverian hussars was thrown back by counter charging French Hussars, who carried on into the Dutch militia battalions. Fortunately they formed a disordered square and the hussars retired to their own lines after inflicting numerous casualties on the square, though unable to break it. 
British 9lbs fire on the French infantry lining a small woods.
The British in the center had been relatively idle initially just exchanging artillery fire with a French battalion formed upon the edge of a small woods. So to relieve the pressure on the Dutch, two battalions of British infantry (one the 91st Highlanders) moved to support the Dutch by advancing on the French columns. They then spent the rest of the battle exchanging close range musketry with french skirmishers.

The battalion supporting the 91st late in the battle reformed to face to its right and engaged the French battalion which had been poorly engaged by British 9lbs. However this extra weight of fire soon drove the frenchmen out of the woods.
91st Highlanders face off against French skirmishers from a battalion of the 30th Ligne
By now the battle on the French left versus the Hanoverians was coming to a head. The lead battalion of the 9th Legere broke and then the rest of Mazarny brigade began to retire from the field. Though Mazarny was able to send forward his last fresh battalion to cover the retreat ... this of course broke the hanoverians!

1st battalion / 44th Ligne - The Rock of De Boukendail 
A battalion from Toussaint 2nd Brigade had pushed ahead of the rest of the brigade. They charged the Hanoverian battery and routed the gunners, then were counter charged by a german field battalion but held and then broke the germans. Before they could reorganize they were charged by a British Battalion (2/54th) but even though the British surge into them several times, they held on before forcing the 54th to retire! They only quite the field after the rest of the brigade was broken.

This brought an end to the battle in an Allied victory, though just. The Dutch were only holding on by miraculous efforts of its junior officers (ie Mike kept rolling 6's for his morale saves!). Though as noted above the unit of the game has to go to chris French battalion, it passed seven breaks test, most them at -2 or more during the game!

While not my best scenario, it is was pretty good and balanced overall; I believe everyone had a really good time and that is the main point of these games. Not sure when we'll next do a game, but think it will be in the 1813 Leipzig area with Prussians, Russians and French.


  1. Wow, what an impressive looking game.

    1. Thanks, we tend to go overboard on even our pick up games :)

  2. Wow, what an impressive looking game.

  3. Great looking game! Of course, I can't remember a game without blunders, so I fear your next game may be cursed with them, but time will tell :)