Ligny - 16 June 1815
Napoleon had used speed and decisiveness to achieve the coveted central position between Wellington and Blücher. Napoleon’s chief goal was to keep the two allied armies apart and defeat them in detail. Ney moved against the concentrating Anglo-Allied forces at Quatre Bras, while Napoleon hoped to attack the Prussian army at Ligny, with the III and IV Corps. Blücher obliged by refusing to retreat even though his IV Corps was still not present. Napoleon’s attack started around 2:30, when he heard cannon fire from Quatre Bras. French artillery felled thousands of Prussians on the exposed forward slopes Soon Saint-Amand was in French hands. A counterattack was ordered, but not until Blücher intervened personally, was Saint-Amand retaken. Meanwhile at Ligny, the French IV Corps succeeded in capturing the church, but could not advance further because of lethal Prussian artillery fire. Subsequent French attacks to take Ligny were stopped at great cost. About 7:00pm, Blücher collected his last reserves to mount one more effort against the French left, stabilizing the Prussian line, but Blücher was wounded and had to leave the field.
Napoleon’s battlefield skills were waning. He should have brought up his I and VI Corps to win decisively but neither fired a shot. As darkness fell, Napoleon knew he could not destroy the Prussian army, but committed his Guard to cripple it and keep it out of the fight for several days. The Guard tore through the fatigued, disorganized Prussians, compelling a disorganized Prussian retreat. To his credit, Blücher was able to restore order and retreat toward the Anglo-Allied Army, making victory possible at Waterloo two days later.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Blücher
• 5 Command Cards & 5 Iron Will Counters
• Optional 5 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The town hexes, church and windmill form a Temporary Majority Victory Banner Objective worth 2 Prussian Victory Banners and 3 French Victory Banners for the side that occupies the absolute majority of these hexes at the start of the turn. The Prussians start the battle with 2 Victory Banners (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Ligny brook stops movement, but an infantry unit after a successful melee may take ground and a cavalry unit may breakthrough. In addition, cavalry unit ordered by a charge card, that attacks into, out of, or when it moves across or moves across on its breakthrough, will not gain the addition dice listed on the charge card.
(Update 2015-02-16: Richard Borg)