Lasalle V2: Fighting retreat near the Pyrenees
Just south of the Pyrenees, 1814: a division of British troops clashed with elements of the French rearguard. The format was 250pts Lasalle using my 30mm (half) based Epic scale armies. My actual French opponent found out recently one of his ancestors was an officer in the 2nd Cuirassiers, and even received the Legion d’Honneur after Wagram. So faced with the pressure of that history, decided he’d be perfidious Albion this time. His forces deployed in a long line and advanced.
I’d put my best infantry in the centre right, a grand battery on the hill and then assigned my Lancers to support a hook to the right to take that village. It was held only by Hanoverians, with two units of light cavalry to keep my infantry honest. I aimed to refuse the left flank and stationed cavalry there too to stall the likely British advance.
Early artillery was effective and one of the Landwehr units broke almost immediately. The British shifted more cavalry and their horse artillery. Their Hussars rashly lined up my shaken battery for a charge and got lethal canister for their trouble.
To the left of the central village, my line feigned an advance…..
Then withdrew as the Veteran highlanders and 95th Rifles of the British centre surged forward. Concerned, I detached a unit of the elite 13th Legere to add some spine to my conscripts.
The British were not impressed. They took the village and mowed down my infantry all along the line. Then untroubled by a few casualties of their own, they levelled bayonets and charged.
On my left, the game had devolved into stalemate with the British comfortable with their overall progress and uninterested in moving up to get charged by French Hussars. Likewise, those Hussars had an idea of just what Veteran musket fire could do and were not going to push the issue. On my right though, the combination of the Grand Batteries attention and a daring charge by French Lancers had seen off another Landwehr battalion. The last of the brigade cowered in the village, watching on while a unit of light dragoons was caught in a charge by the second lancer unit and routed totally.
And there it was. In the centre, things were exceedingly dire for the French. Just one more volley boys! But it was not to be. While devastated, both remaining French battalions clung on for bitter life. Remember those rash British Hussars? Their ragged remnants were ultimately cleaned up by the victorious French Lancers. And now, those Lancers rode to the rescue of the French centre, crashing into the rear of a British battalion, and winning the day!
Another dire situation rescued by sudden death victory - Vive La France!
After game thoughts: This wasn’t one of the set table layouts and we just played ‘all in.’ The table size is my standard ADLG sized 120mm x 80cm mat with Warlord Epic scale figures on 30mm bases. I setup the table and my opponent chose his army and table side. The lists are the same as we’ve been using for previous games. I’m on a major Star Wars thing at the moment (son and dad egging each other on) but once this season of the Mandalorian fades from my mind I might have to find some space to paint up more options. I’ve got Cuirassiers almost done and feel like the British might love to not have Landwehr so will give them some heavy Dragoons. This game was incredibly close. When playing that British list I’ve always tried to keep the Landwehr out of the firing line because we always finish on sudden death and you don’t want them contributing two kills toward that. If you look at the second picture, there was a wood behind the village on the British left flank and I’d have hidden Landwehr in there.
Overall though, my version of events is: those British Hussars hadn’t tried to get clever and get into my Grand battery, the French would almost certainly have been beaten.