Last Eagles - The Battle of Ligny - Setup

Scenario 1:  Vandamme's III Corps lurches forward on the French left, towards the beautiful village of St. Amand.

It was a New Year's gaming resolution of mine to gradually attempt to make the shift from digital games to tabletop games.  My goal is to put a new wargame on the my very small gaming table once per month.

I've changed my January game probably three times (without starting any of them) and landed finally on my newest game purchase Ligny -Last Eagles - The Battle of  June 16th, 1815 from Hexasim.

In true Sharp End fashion, I am reading the rules while playing the introductory scenario.
GD Dominique Vandamme

The game components seem very nice, though I have only a few games to compare them too.  I appreciate the map work, the absence of numbered hexes (an interesting choice), the typefont and the rounded counters.  I especially appreciate the latter as I don't have anything to clip my counters.

OOB's are presented by scenario and printed in full color on heavier stock paper.  Because there aren't numbered hexes, the game designers instead number starting areas on the map and give you instructions to place your forces within a few hexes of the numbers.  I like this, because it gives you a little more investment immediately in the game, instead of relying on someone else's historical choices.

Another great design choice as far as I am concerned is the smaller introductory scenarios 1 and 2 to help facilitate learning.  The size is also perfect for me as I have a small table to keep the game setup on.  The first scenario is four turns long and takes place between 3PM - 6PM on June 16, 1815.

The historical French command consists of GD Vandamme's III Corps of approximately 17,000 men and 30 guns. The Prussian player commands Von Zieten's I Corps and elements of Von Pirch's  (maybe 25,000 men and almost 200 guns).  I did a quick count of Prussian forces in the game and came up with 24,000 men (each strength point represents about 100 men).

The Prussian left wing at game start is empty.
Vandamme was a career officer with a reputation as a hard charger and competent commander.  He was also known for his brutishness.  In my reading about the Peninsular War, I don't remember coming across him and as it turns out after Austerlitz and the siege of Breslau, he spent most of his time living and fighting in the East. After Napoleon's failure at Waterloo, Vandamme was exiled briefly to America and lived in Philadelphia until being recalled by the French government.

Von Zieten, the Prussian commander for scenario 1, had less experience than Vandamme and so I know little about him (his Wikipedia page is pretty sparse).

Placement of Prussian forces

The Prussian army has less men on the map than their subsequent waves of reinforcements, so at the outset of the battle, I have made the strategic decision to abandon one of the four victory locations(in this case four major buildings on the map), on the Prussian left wing (pictured above (it has a slightly yellowed background beneath the building).

Hopefully, by consolidating my forces near the remaining victory locations, I can hold out long enough to prevent the French commander from winning.

More to follow...


Zardoz said…
Are you playing that solo or with another player? There's an interesting Facebook group for solo boardgamers that I keep an eye on. Finding local opponents for complex boardgames was always the killer obstacle for me; moving into cyberspace via Vassal or PBEM PC games proved to be the only solution. If I want live local players it's Settlers of Catan or nothing here. :-(
And, don't forget, when you've had your fill of hex 'n' counter tabletop gaming, you can move onto gaming with miniature figurines and modeled terrain. There's another whole lifetime of gaming to be had there!
Chris said…
Zardoz I am playing solo! I can see miniatures in my future.
Matthew said…
It is interesting that you mention moving from digital games to tabletop. I myself have started to make a bit of a switch too. Since I love World War 2 history I have started a 15mm German Panzergrenadier company which I can use for flames of war, battlegroup, bolt action and many more rulesets available.
Chris said…
Hi Matthew. I find myself wanting to absorb more about each of the battles I am interested in and don't get that always from a digital game. I have long admired the faithfulness to detail that the miniature gamers have. I also think the rulesets I have read are all pretty well thought out and I appreciate that. Thanks for the comment!

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