Another Grognard Classic
As one of the games included in the Doncon "Grognardcon",
this finely balanced classic attracted 18 dedicated players who
pushed pieces from Ligny to Mont St. Jean. Four past regulars
were unable to attend but the field included four "resurrected"
grognards who hadn't played in many years. Like last year, many
aggressive players chose the French to capitalize on the ten-sided
combat results table and reduce play time. The free play format
and Grognardcon were hailed by all players as ideally suited
for this and the other classic games. Hats off to Bruno for his
stellar work! Rob Beyma, Pat Mirk, John Clarke, and Bruno Sinigaglio
amassed enough points to qualify as the semi-finalists.
In the first semi-final game Rob's French launched the traditional
three-pronged assault toward Wavre, Nivelles, and Quatre Bras
on Pat's Prussian/Anglo-Allies (PAA) who massed his forces South
of Quartre Bras. Rob's French pushed hard toward Wavre but endured
a series of DR results in the center while Pat's counterattacks
enjoyed D Elim results. By mid-day on 17 June, Rob's French had
closed to Wavre and this flank threat forced Pat's PAA to slowly
fall back in the center and west to doubled positions in the
center of the board. On the morning of 18 June, Rob broke through
in the center while it looked like Pat's approaching Prussian
IV Corps had trapped the French between Wavre and the Dyle River.
However, Rob's French skillfully crossed the lower Lalasne River
while a gallant French cavalry unit gave its final measure to
delay the IV Corps. By late 18 June, The French had achieved
superiority near Mont St. Jean and in a final massive general
assault, cleared the road to Brussels for a French victory. Rob
was again in the Final.
In the second semi-final game, Bruno's Frogs took the field
against Clarkey's PAA. Bruno had been harping on John all week
about throwing away too many of his one-factor PAA units as delayers,
so John decided to play Bruno's game and fall back immediately
to the Quartre Bras heights and gap. Bruno's frogs obliged with
a 2-1 surround vs Steinmetz on the heights and two simultaneous
1-1's vs 15 factor stacks in the gap. Steinmetz died on a DR
and the 1-1's yielded an exchange and a DR. Clarkey's PAA reciprocated
with counterattacks that yielded an exchange and a DElim. The
slugfest at Quatre Bras lasted three more turns with similar
carnage and finally ended with a French surrender when Bruno
rolled two AElim's costing 30 factors plus another four in soak-offs.
The losses at the end of the first day were French 84 vs PAA
51. Bruno's goal of crushing all of the Clarke-Smirk Floridian
entourage was not realized (this time). John prevailed and got
another opportunity to face his old nemesis Rob in the final.
The two finalists were familiar protagonists who had met in
previous championship games. Rob once again commanded the French
conscripts and Old Guard, while John directed the combined PAA
armies. Rob opened in three attacking columns, but John's forward
deployment signaled early attacks from the British out of Quatre
Bras as the Prussians advanced from Ligny. Rob immediately counterattacked
with almost his entire right wing. The blood bath at Ligny continued
and it was obvious that John had inherited General Blucher's
renowned aggressiveness as he ordered another major assault into
the French and again sortied from the Quatre Bras heights seeking
to kill Rob's 8-4 Old Guard artillery. While John's attack was
successful, in the heat of battle he overlooked two French units
lurking to the west. Rob's French ferociously counterattacked
and used his positional advantage to surround a number of PAA
divisions. At the end of just five turns, Rob had lost 55 factors
but John's PAA were down 100 factors, so staring defeat in the
face John conceded to "Napoleon" Beyma who claimed
his six crown in the event.
Join us in 2007 to enjoy this true classic of maneuver, attack
and counterattack whether to re-live past glories of youth or
dethrone some old geezers. Waterloo lives!