Sunday, 2 September 2018

Blucher AAR - The Battle of Alexandria

We were after a a game for this fortnight so I visited the ‘oldmeldrumwargamesgroup’ site and seconded one of Ross’s fine scenarios for Blucher,I picked the Battle of Alexandria. 

From the game, the British Guard in Line await the French Dragoon's second grand charge!

I cobbled together a tabletop, using an off white sheet, my river section to represent the coastline, some felt for a lake, painted masking tape for a dry canal and whipped up a Roman ruin BUA to complete the set up. My figures aren't 1801 period but sufficed for the game!

I updated the scenario with some special Rules with the below after reading others reports on game balance and to encourage both sides to attack

-Sir Ralph Abercrombe at Risk can +1 to units dice rolls in Close Combat
-Only British Guards have Skirmish Trait for British (to aid French balance)
-First Turn of French Close Combat one '5' scores a hit in each attack by a unit (night surprise attack)
-British Flotilla has Firepower of 2 up to a range of 2BW and Firepower of 1 from 2BW to 4BW with unlimited shots (to aid French balance)
-Victory conditions are changed slightly to add an incentive for both sides to 'attack'
British Victory
Minor if French Army Breaks
Major if French Army Break and at normal movement rate (with French removed from the board) their Infantry can reach the heights on the west board edge in the remaining turns at normal movement
French Victory
Minor if British Army Breaks
Major if when the British Army Break the French occupy/have units on either the Roman Ruins or the central hill in the British line (the one with the 3 on it in the set up picture)


Overall scene of action with French on the left; the blue arrows show the path of the first two French attacks the red ones show the advance of the French right and lastly the green arrows show the last French advance and the grand ride of Finch's Light Dragoons....  

The French started of action along the coastline and for a brief moment Lanusse’s troop had control of the Roman ruins but men from Stuart’s Brigade secure it and garrisoned the position, the French wisely kept clear of it after that. While that tussle ensured the cunning Frenchies lined up their left wing for a major attack on the British centre. Roise’s Dragoon’s swept up to the British crest line and took on the British Guards who bravely faced them whilst in line. Al and I went with this tactic as even though the Guards had to re-roll their hits as infantry against cavalry they would never give up ground and it allowed them to fire!

The Dragoon’s repeated their charge and were again held off while Lanusse infantry tried to force the British back south of the Roman ruins. The stoic redcoats held and there were heavy losses on both sides. At this point the French right wing took up the cudgels and Reynier’s infantry advanced up to the British, there was a firefight a British charge and some more shooting both sides took losses but neither dealt any decisive blows. After regrouping the French left, Lanusse, Rampon and Riose launched another push up the hill lead by their heroic Dragoons. Redcoats from the Guards and Coote’s Bridages held again both sides took losses. During this action Finch’s Light Dragoons slipped around the French flank along the coastline near the Roman ruins successfully charging the 88e Ligne and dispersing them, the French left was exposed..

At this point we reached the end of turn 29 and the game was over!

Some Pictures!

Lanusse's troops drive Moore's redcoats from the roman ruins! A good start for the french! 

In the background Stuart recaptures the Roman ruins while the French left lines up to change the british foot guards...

The leading Frenchmen from the 4e Legere are pushed back from the wedge they drove in the British line between the Roman ruins and the hill...

The french second charge on the British centre was repelled and Doyle's Bridge advanced, realising they were exposed to the french horse they rapidly pulled back... 

Close up of Doyle's advanced Brigade..

Mid game the French right can be seen in disorder and regrouping (rallying) in the top left, bottom left the French men of Reynier advance to cover them

Finch's Light Dragoons late in the game ride down the 88e Ligne and are poised to roll up the French line!

The battlefield after turn 29 with the British on the left. Finch's horsemen are in the bottom right just above Stuart's troops garrisoning the Roman ruin. As can be seen both sides units are jumbled from continual advancing and retreating. Only on the far left of the British line can three units be seen in any order abutting the corner of the blue felt...err lake.

The result a draw with two British units lost and three French ones destroyed. At the end the French army was fully spent with many units down to their last fatigue point whilst most of the British units had taken heavy casualties as well. Stu’s tactics were good as he attacked and regrouped continually as the French. Al and I on the British side never were in a position to take advantage of the French as they withdrew and rested their units. We should have deployed our cavalry earlier to the coastal area where the French had left a void to be out of range of the British vessels guns. Anyway everyone enjoyed yet another round of which of Ross’s scenarios to pick next! Oh and I must write up the Piave AAR...


  1. Thanks for the excellent game Darling and Alan.

    The more I play Blucher, the more I like it. Simple to grasp, quick to play, lots of plot twists and opportunities. Big ups to Ross for the scenario.

    The single biggest factor in the game were the command pips for the French. The one opportunity to exploit the weakened British line came early with two charges lined up under the General's command, which would have broken an already weakened British right. I chose to rally two units in the rear for 4 pips expecting at least a 4 on the three dice. Unfortunately turn ended before my general could spur the men into action, so they were left flatfooted, the British line sealed the weakness, counter attacked the french foot and dragoons and the opportunity never really came again. I never let the command dice hurt me again, but they did in restricting my tactics. That breakdown of C&C determined my strategy, I could concentrate on one flank or the other, but not both for fear of committing troops and then not being able to maneuver them. The British were able to rally with excess pips to spend. C'est La Guerre :)

    I would not have lasted many more turns in the face of an all out British counter attack, so I was fortunate in the game halting on 29 turns. The British achieved the strategic victory and Alexandria would have fallen the next day :)

    It was good to play in an aggressive way. I still don't get why people think artillery is overpowered in Blucher, it is minimally effective and not at all to be feared imo.

  2. oh, and Blucher works so well in 6mm.

    I have to ask how the brits managed to coerce some ruskies into helping them out in Egypt ? :)