The Black Watch at Quatre Bras
(can't quite make out the name of the artist)
In the first half of this battle report, the French forces had moved very aggressively. Donogh had with characteristic clarity targeted the Dutch-Belgian positions on the Allied right and had inflicted crippling casualties. The French managed to wipe out four Allied units with no return, had managed to replenish their line with fresh units and withdraw that had been cut up in the initial assault.
After scoring four of the nine points required to win the game on the French left, Donogh handed over to Capability Savage who launched a predictably dangerous assault in the centre. This inflicted another two casualties, but the French lost as many in return. The Allies have managed to move their powerful British Guards on their right and appear to be about to swing the battle in the centre, but with a score line that is reading 6 - 2, they will need to be both lucky and good to pull off a victory.
Supported by Brunswicker Hussars, the Dutch light cavalry counter charge the French line in the ridge
But fail to make an impact and are driven off by the French infantry in line.
After clearing the woods of Allied troops, Donogh had wisely withdrawn his weakened units. Mr. Target and General Creanor decide that it's time to knock off some of those wavering troops.
Meanwhile on the French right, another column advances under General Bechelu only to be shattered by a blast of grape from the Dutch guns
"Right, well that didn't quite go according to plan..."
"...but I am assured that we will triumph in the centre."
"Isn't that right McCarthy?"
"You're not a hopeful man, are you McCarthy?
"That Dutch artillery officer, I like his fancy hat. Go get me his hat, McCarthy."
General Eager decides to make an appearance. The Allies pause to take stock.
General Berthelu takes the Dutch guns at the point of the bayonet. Capitaine McCarthy (no relation) is dispatched to the rear with the commanders hat as requested.
"It's a very nice hat, McCarthy. Thank you."
"You're welcome, Sir."
Unfortunately for the 45ieme Ligne, the Fourth Foot and the Black Horde of Brunswicker Hussars clear them off the heights and send them streaming utterly broken to the rear.
However, the situation is looking black for the Allies. The ill advised advance of the British Grenadiers on the British right had ended in disaster. They have inflicted casualties, but nowhere near enough.
"You see General Creanor, The Lord tells me he can get me out of this..."
"Really, Sir? I thought you had a rousing speech that was going to inspire the men?"
Unfortunately for the Allies, the French cavalry, who have been swinging the lead for the game so far advance and force the 4th Foot into square. The Second Battalion of the 8ieme Ligne move forward and give them a volley in square, breaking them and sending them streaming to the rear. This defeat cracks the Allied resolve and the Allied army begins to retreat.
Well done gentlemen.
(Mr. E in characteristically "hiding out of the way of the camera" pose)
It was a good tight game, the French seemed to have all their own way at first and then things began to unravel in the centre. I think Mr. Target (a CCN newcomer) and General Creanor made the best of a bad situation, but were ultimately undone by Donogh's decisive strike in the early game. This allowed the French to put the Allies on the back foot and they were never really able to cut down that lead.
A fitting christening of the War Room and one I was delighted to host - the first of many I hope. A good game, good company and good red wine. At least I found it so, Benedicamus Domino*.
*With grovelling apologies to Hilaire Belloc.