British Crest Prussian Crest

The Allies Cannot Win At Waterloo
The Full Barrett Meets the Prussians

By FM Sir Ken ‘Muddy’ Jones
Anglo-Allied Cavalry Corps Commander
Allied CiC
GdB Baron Richard Barrett,
Comte de Brienne
Commander, VI Corps, Armée du Rhin, and
la 1ère Compagnie d'Artillerie de la Vieille Garde

General Barrett made a boast in the Rhine Tavern that the "Allied Armies could not win at Waterloo". It seemed that the French generals had found an unbeatable strategy—one that the Allies could hope to frustrate. Naturally, I was curious. What was this unbeatable strategy? Did the French want to test their grand strategy for Waterloo? It seemed that they did.

And so, after a few more ales, General Barrett and I agreed to a match at Waterloo where the "unbeatable" French strategy would be put to the test. Moreover, we hit upon the idea to play an instructional game where observers from both armies could watch the action unfold. In this respect, the game was a success—more than 50 French and Allied officers were privy to the action as it unfolded. They were also treated to inside commentary about strategy and tactics from their respective commanders.

Although both commanders made strategic and tactical errors, the game turned out to be an NWC classic. The French unbeatable strategy turned out to be nothing short of an all-out assault against Wellington’s Army; the idea being to knock them out of the game before Blücher and his Prussian Army could intervene. The French strategy was destined to become infamous as The Full Barrett. As events unfolded, the French army was able to destroy Wellington’s army in a few hours—well before the Prussians arrived in any numbers. But the cost was high and the outcome of the game remained uncertain. Nevertheless, the French General was confident of victory. FM Blücher, however, was not intimidated by the French advantage.

Given the recent discussion in the Rhine Tavern on The Full Barrett approach to Waterloo, we thought the reader might enjoy following the action from the Muddy vs. Barrett match through the exchanges that occurred during the file transfers. At the very least, we thought they should be saved for the NWC archives. And so, for posterity’s sake, we bring you Muddy vs. Barrett in The Allies Can’t Win at Waterloo, featuring The Full Barrett.
In the Beginning…

(Barrett in italics) OK General.

Now, with FOW on, you can't see what I've done, nor I you. Sadly, I can't escape the realization that neither can our intrepid readers. Hence, I for my part shall be emailing the French college a description of my moves; I don't know how else to do this. Should, in the course of this match, through inadvertence or active spying, a description of a move etc. fall into my hands which belongs to you, I shall treat it as privileged, and undertake not to peek.

Turn 1
En garde, Anglais.

I see nothing new here.  I trust it gets more interesting.

French Infantry Attack

Here you are laddy. No, it doesn't get any more interesting than this. Want to give up now?

Monsieur: Surely you must have some other strategy than a full frontal assault across the board???  It is not very original.

You were hoping I might attack piecemeal? That aside, the tactics are a detail of a grander strategy. I am merely demonstrating to other officers a program of overall strategy which has always proven successful. I do not maintain that it has never been seen before, I really don't know. However, it does work. I am personally curious about how you are going to fare with it.

No, better to have all the French up front where I can see them. I just thought the French Grand Strategy might surprise me. No surprises yet but there is plenty of time.

Bear in mind, you actually have vastly more experience observing French tactics, than we do! You play us more than we play us. On the other hand, I have perhaps observed more Allied tactics than you (can't say for sure, just following the logic); what is amusing with this endeavour, is to share the French tactics with other French officers who haven't, historically, had any way to observe other Frenchmen.

French Attack
Turn 3

Monsewer: You will have a difficult time explaining this to the students at the École. God Save the King!

Au contraire. Cannon can be unspiked after the battle. Dead cavalry are still dead cavalry.

Ah, the old "stack of skirmishers" strategy. I didn't expect to see any of my cavalry return. I calculated what I could afford to lose for the number of guns that I thought I could reach. Tricky math, though.

The game seems to be garnering much attention.

Look at it this way. I am leaving you fewer troops to move.

The game should get attention. I have mentioned in the past that it would be great to view the final game of MOE, for exactly this reason. Not that I am MOE quality myself (before Bill jumps on me), but just that tricks and tips can be shared, and a good game is still a good game.

Personally, I fully expect you to toss surprises my way. Don't know what they will be, but I foretell their coming nonetheless.

I have a mailing list of 20 French. How many Allies have you got interested?

Cavalry Clash

Nice counterattack. I will have to concentrate on evening up the score in cavalry now. And you thought the Dutch were just going to watch?

They're Dutch. I don't really care what they do! (tee-hee, is Geert in on this?)

Napoleon with the Luck of the Irish?

Hae ye not bin readin' me bio, me boy'o? Luck o' the Irish, I have. For all the wee bairn watchin' from your wee schooly, in all their fine english finery, they might be wantin' to close their eyes for the next wee bit, as a fair bit o' bone and gristle will be flyin' about now.

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

We'll be awaiting your charges and preparing our reply. Remember, we always shoot the officers first.

No, you are playing English now, not Russian. Why don't you just let them surrender, like normal?

French Cavalry Attack

Napoleon has launched an all out attack after only an hour of battle. Thousands of cavalry charge the Anglo-Allied lines with dreams of victory and glory. The Allied battle lines erupt in flame, the clash of arms is like thunder and then all is obscured in smoke. Wellington holds his breath. The smoke begins to thin. THERE! THE LINES HOLD! Many have turned and run for safety but the bulk of the line is intact. Wellington wastes no moment in thought. "Order in the reserves. The French are disordered and unbalanced. We must hit them now." And the battle rages on...

Turn 5

Upon receiving Wellington's orders to attack, the Allied armies spring forward with great élan to the attack. Neither man nor horse, it seemed, could stand before them...

To all the English/Allied officers sharing in this exercise: watch and learn. Muddy is very very good at this. He will lose just the same, but at least he makes me wonder a bit.

Vive l'Empereur!
Brussels by dinner time.

Richard: I thought the "shock and awe" would have had more of an effect on your troops' morale. Apparently not, as they once again throw everything to the front. Very well...

Our morale is excellent , monsieur. We serve the lads camembert and champagne, that sort of thing, and I have always found that the troops work best when well provisioned. Bully beef and warm beer just isn't likely to do as well.

Well, General Barrett: I must say that this is a target-rich environment. I can hardly control myself, let alone my men. Let's see what kind of trouble we can cause...

A "target-rich environment". Hmmm. Not the best slogan I would have wanted my men to wear on their uniforms.

La Haie Sainte

Sir: You may wish to reconsider your invasion of the Lowlands. An Emperor without an army is a hollow man...

Silly. The invasion is already over. You just haven't stopped dying yet.

Turn 6

Your bullheadedness will only take you to your defeat...

Monsieur, I have seized 2 more of your beverage wagons. It is the beginning of the end for you beefeaters.

I have always preferred the Ale. I have my own personal wagon of it. The men will have to capture their own if they want their daily ration. No rest for the weary...

Looking a bit thin on the ground there, General. Are they all retreating off the map for Brussels?

Turn 7

The view looks good from atop my trusty steed. Wellington was just thinking that the French attacks were looking a little thin in places. Better send in the reserves...

That, as you will see, is not a problem. And mine, I think, are in much finer form than yours. We, mes amis, have feathers on our hats, in the finest tradition!

And its the Old Guard up the middle !!!

What's this? 700+ Coldstream Guards, led by Maitland himself, run chicken when trying to form square? Oh dear, oh dear. How will the London tabloids handle this one? Happily for his reputation, and in the finest British military tradition, Maitland successfully died where he stood.

Monsewer: Yes, I was quite shocked that my Guard battalion routed but they have rallied and look to redeem themselves. The lines are holding and in fact, Wellington has ordered yet another counterattack. Just too many opportunities to ignore.

We shall see who has the stamina...

I like to offer you as many opportunities as I can, out of fairness. Oh, and Ponsonby has gone down, again in the finest tradtions of the British military.

Turn 8

The best round for the Allies yet...

Not true; I've seen you lose much more in the past. Not often, but still.

Still straight ahead, eh?  Here's some more lead in your face...

It may lack in subtlety, but I have a pressing engagement, which is called "winning before the Prussians arrive". Your Guard are going down heavy. If I don't catch you, have a good holiday.

Monsewer: It is probably too late for that; in my humble opinion.

Oh, I see the signs of collapse in the Allied lines. I think time is on my side, this game Happy holidays to you nonetheless.

The Waterloo Panorama

True, but Wellington has taken everything you have and now he waits for singular opportunities -- like taking out chunks of the Guard...

Hmmm. Sadly, Wellington has yet to confront everything at the Emperor's side. It might dismay you to learn the number of fresh high quality Guardsmen who remain lurking, champagne and truffles at hand. Regardless, the riff raff can look after the motley crew remaining to our front.

Turn 10

The hinge of fate; the tide has turned in the French favor. The Allied line is still intact though.  Please copy to both addresses.

You wield the Allied line very nicely indeed. I usually have surrenders in hand by this point, just so you know. To your credit, KJ.

Richard: Back to you. That's a long French battle line. It looks so splendid when not obscured behind the smoke of battle.

It is splendid. You should become a Frenchman, you would enjoy the truffles and champagne.

Another line for Wellington; a few dozen steps back, turn, and face the enemy...

What's this? What light from yonder woods doth shine? Why, it is Grouchy, of course!

Turn 11

No, its Blücher's men trying to walk off a lunch of wieners and schnitzel...

Bring on your roly-poly farmers, my Old Guard have yet to affix their bayonnets.

So many French; I don't have nearly enough gunpowder for them all. I will have to be more selective. "Shoot the officers first..."
Old Guard = OLD Guard. The key word here is "old"; like in old men.

There are some serious holes in that line of yours monsieur. Time for the Wellington 2-step, once again.

Wellington is very good at two-stepping. We will greet your cavalry with another round of musketry. The Prussians can't find anyone to fight (yet).

Muddy: Nor will they. They may as well just turn around and head home.

Dear Richard: Please go to your Emperor and plead with him to see the futility of his position. Despite his best efforts, he still has Wellington's army before him (intact) and the Prussians are marching to his rear. Soon, the Grande Armée will be cut off and destroyed in detail. Convince him that this would not be good for France.

Sorry, I can't interrupt Him, He's dictating his victory dispatch for Paris just now.

Turn 12

Monsewer: I am sorry that your Emperor could not see his peril. Very well, we shall endeavor to make it clearer to him.

Had some modern email issues, but mostly sorted out now. Anyhow, your Prussians will doubtless be bought off with a wagon or two of wurst, so don't expect much from the farmers.

Richard: Yes, I best forget about the Prussians. They are easily distracted. Oh, just a reminder to keep an leash on those skirmishers; 3 hexes right? Nasty little creatures they are; run around everywhere causing all kinds of mischief.

1000 apologies. I had treated the countryside as safe French zone, and mine to travel across in safety (I assume you are referring to my skirms on the far right). However, I checked the MOE rule, and you are right. So, is it wiser for them to scamper to cover... or to stand still and wait for a battalion to arrive... or to fall back to a battalion. Regardless of which is wiser, it is my error, so your choice.

Richard: No, the men on your left were not my concern (though they will have to stick to covered terrain or be accompanied by a battalion before approaching the Prussians); the skirm that really stood out was the one on your far left that advanced and attacked and captured the orchards. Just a reminder...
The Prussians can't march; and now they can't shoot straight.

Here you go. Over-exuberant skirmishers have been coralled, with apologies. They pull back to the safety of battalion level protection. That, however, is the least of your worries. I expect the road to Brussels is starting to get rather crowded. By the way, what if a skirm could fight his way into cover, would that be ok?

Turn 13

A skirm cannot advance beyond the 3-hex limit unless it ends its turn in covered terrain. That's the way I have always interpreted the rule. Basically, they are leaderless and without direction. Indeed, Wellington may have to retire on Brussels and leave the field to Napoleon and Blücher.

You are running out of place holders, though I seem to be losing battles at 5:1 odds, which is a bit disconcerting. Bring on the sausage-meisters!

Indeed! But your men are exhausted. I have been watching the melée results and losses are nearly even. Wellington will escape and the Prussians will claim the victory.

My men are tired, it's true. Happily, there doesn't seem to be much need to go into square, nor am I routing much as you keep falling back. Damn, the English fight wars funny.

Turn 14

Wellington has survived another turn. I think he has several more left in him but I must admit that the ammo is running a bit low. Over to Napoleon for his next move.

Your position is overrun in numerous places; there is little route of escape, and most can't reach it. I think Wellington is going to go down in a blaze of glory, but he is going down; unless he wants to abandon his troops and flee the field, that is...??

Monsieur: The Allies have no lines. They are nothing more than several independent groups fighting the French wherever they find them.  If you push Wellington hard, he may be forced to order a general withdrawal. He has no intention of "going down in a blaze of glory". The idea is to live to fight another day -- of which there is plenty left to allow Blücher all the glory.
Sir Muddy, The Indomitable Cavalier

"If" I push Wellington hard? Sir, you wound me, but I admire your spirit. Your army is toast, regardless of propaganda to the contrary. The first thing the Prussians will see when they finally reach the field will be Wellington tied naked to a tree. Sadly, Uxbridge has been killed. My condolences.

Uxbridge was killed but so was Kellerman. A fair trade I think. Again, my losses were not so bad considering the shape of the Army and they were almost equaled by your own. The point score is not too much in your favor. Face facts... Napoleon has been given great advantage by the tardiness of the Prussians and has failed to win the campaign. Once the Prussians quit wondering around and reach the field, it will be another battle. The disadvantage is not too big to overcome. Later this afternoon, Blücher will be dining in La Belle Alliance. Sadly though, Wellington may miss the celebration.
Play on, sir.

Frankly, I think Kellerman the better general, but you did lose your de facto second-in-command. Prince of Orange next, General Hill, Picton and all the others. It shall be a very merry party this afternoon. But we shall have to clean up before those pagan Prussian boers want to join in. They just don't understand the art of merriment.

Monsieur: Wellington is set to receive yet another French assault. Yes, the results will be the same but there will be more blue soldiers left in fields to feed the grain. Its not too late for the Emperor to abdicate and return to France as a peacemaker.

Abdicate? The Lowlands are His again, and shortly both England and Prussia will be suing for peace. No surprise, really.

Seeing the French cavalry squadron approaching, Wellington pulls his sword and spurs his horse to the charge.  A staff officer beside the Iron Duke alertly grasps the reins of the Duke's horse and sternly demands that the Field Marshal preserve his self for the sake of the Army. Wellington casts a burning gaze at the staff officer, but slowly lowers his sword and turns his horse away from the approach of the French dragoons. He must get his army to Brussels and reorganize...

There is no army to retire upon Brussels with. Perponcher has been captured, and the rest of your officers are going to follow shortly. Wellington would do wisely to fall upon that sword of his—else he will be hanged at the Tower upon his return to England.

Its the luck of the Irish, I say...

Who? Me or Wellington? (Ken, if you want to get more Prussians on the board, I don't mind if you reboot the game as often as you need to make that happen, you know, juggle the need them, and this is just a slaughter at this point otherwise. You deserve better, you've been playing masterfully, as usual, and as I advertised you would to my Frenchies. I have demonstrated what I wanted to, now everyone wants to know what to do with the Prussians.)

Turn 16

Its your Irish luck. Its true; in the last two hours the tide has turned decisively in Napoleon's favor. But this is ONLY because the Prussians have been so tardy. I contend that if they had arrived in even a somewhat timely manner then this game would have been an Allied victory. Wellington, despite his annihilation, has destroyed much of the fighting effectiveness of your army. At this point, Napoleon can not stand against the Prussians. Even now, as I look at the score, I am confident that your victory remains in doubt. The most likely result is a draw -- even if the Prussians continue in their tardiness. Blücher has 30 turns to deal with the remnants of Napoleon's army.  That is enough time. Thus, I decline your offer to manipulate the odds. I intend to show that even under the worse of circumstances, Napoleon can be denied victory.

Touché and bravo. Always a pleasure.

Oh, and I forgot to comment on the assault against Mt. St. Jean. Truly, in all my days I have never seen 125 skirmishers lost in a chateau in one melee. Your attackers must have been the best of the best. I was hoping those attacks would result in a few hundred more French casualties. Salute.

I noticed that too, to my most pleasant surprise. I had just mentioned to the viewers that it would take about 4 more turns to seize the farmhouse,and then the defenders up and tossed in the towel. We must toast the vagaries of the computer program, assuredly. For the same reason as I have been losing an awful lot of 3:1, 4:1 and once a 5:1 odds attacks. I suppose it all averages out in the end.

Now, I forgot our rule again, and went and surrounded one of your Prussian battalions, including the use of one skirmisher in the open, after you went and wiped out the parent battalion. Mea culpa. I attacked with that skirm, in the hopes he would just die and solve the problem, but no such luck: What do you suggest? I suffer with these little rules, for this reason... erg!

You are losing those battle against the odds because you're red fatigued. Your whole army wants to lie down and get some rest; much like the Prussians...

Tired yes. But tomorrow, we will wake up. As for your surrounded Prussian, I declined to unlimber my artillery piece, as penance for my error. I will try to fix things next move, and hope that will do.

Turn 17

Service restored...
Awful nice of you not to unlimber your piece.  Remember, its ok to operate skirmishers in covered terrain -- just not out in the open; unless of course they are behind enemy lines, then they should stay put for the most part.

The rule itself is fine; it's my memory of the rule which isn't always up to the task. Wellington must be getting a little miffed with Müffling, I should think.

Müffling has been missing for some time and Wellington has half a mind to have him shot when and if he turns up...

Here you are then. Couple more Generals coming over to my place for dinner. Come on, you know you want to...

Sir: While it looks like the Prince of Orange (dandy that he is) and several more of my officers will be enjoying your French hospitality, Wellington has been ordered north to prepare the defenses before Brussels. Indeed, Napoleon's army has thoroughly bested the Anglo-Allies. 'Tis a sad thing, indeed.

Nevertheless, the second battle of Waterloo is about to start as the Prussians have finally arrived in some strength. So let us assess the situation. You have gained sufficient points to insure yourself a draw -- simply by having Napoleon's forces flee the battlefield before the Prussians. Even after Blücher recaptures all the objectives, the French have enough for the draw. IF, however, the French truly believe they can still earn a victory and decide to fight the Prussians, then the draw is no longer a sure thing. The decision is yours, Monsieur.

Are you suggesting that Napoleon "flee" the battlefield, as if he were a mere English aristo? Why, it's infamous! Allow me to demonstrate why indeed a draw is not a certain thing: that cuts both ways, monsieur. As a great French playwrite once said, (in Le MacBeth): "lay on Macduff". Show me your farmers, I have soldiers waiting to meet them.

Turn 18

En garde, Monsieur!

That's the spirit! Come on Blücher, there's plenty of beer in them thar hills.

BEER?? Double quick, MARCH!

Should have thought of this bait 5 turns ago. Sorry. Better start yelling about champagne, so that Grouchy feels inspired to march faster too. The Prince of Oranges is mine, though I don't really know what to do with the spotty little monster. At least Holland will be easier to negotiate with soon.

See, the minute you say "beer", the whole Prussian army comes to the field...

Let the Prussians see this field of slaughter, with the French guns calmly waiting, pointed towards them, and despair.

The man on his white horse, with his hat, sits peaceably, all the calculations already computed in his genius mind, and already planning how to bring schools and sanitation to Berlin...

The battlefield has taken on an ominous serenity -- but as the smoke clears, the Prussians are on the move...

Turn 19

Only temporarily. The French are streaming to their defense lines, stoking up a quick bowl of soup for the lads, smoking a pipe maybe, singing a few merry songs, and generally hunkering down for the onslaught.

They should hunker down real far and begin kissing their asses goodbye.

Never thought the Prussians were the kind to attack from the rear!

Unfolding nicely...

Uh oh.

Turn 20

Many will die to defeat the Corsican Tyrant, but they will die honorably for a continental peace...

Righto. That sort of dovetails with Nappy's plans anyhow; he just wants them to die, so I'm sure we can work something out.

Your paltry defensive movements are not intimidating Blücher's Prussians...

There, that ends your means of spying on my moves. Paltry though my defences be, they are mine, they are what I have, and I love them. At least now you can't watch them and make fun of them.

A small victory for you...

A life of small victories: Marengo, Austerlitz, Lodi, Smolensk, Eylau, Jena, etc. etc. etc.

Turn 21

Pushing through... Eylau? You call Eylau a victory? Yes, like Borodino was a victory.

Your progress is slow. We are almost at the halfway point. You going to make it on time? My boys are getting full, and are starting to doze in the afternoon sun.

Sorry, the wagons are heavily loaded with supplies for the victory party...

Why, thank you. How extraordinarily thoughtful of you. Almost wish I didn't have to kill the little rascals.

Its not even half a game yet. Blücher assures his Prussians that Napoleon has nothing left...

But he still has his hat, and that, according to the soon-to-be-hanged one-time Marshal, Wellington, is in itself worth 50,000 men on a field of battle. Hell of a hat.

Turn 22

We are ready and waiting.

The lines are dressed, the champagne has been served, the muskets are cleaned, letters and postcards written to wives and lovers (may they never meet), boots polished, dead English buried, pipes smoked, swords sharpened, etc. etc. A holiday mood encompasses the army of France. It is going to be a fine day.

General Barrett: Why thank you for burying the English dead; never mind those French fellows they will only smell better in the morning. Please, make yourself comfortable. It will be the last comfort you enjoy for some time. At least until France is liberated and the Tyrant is imprisoned.

OK mes amis Prus, en avant, si tu peux.

Monsieur: Blitzkrieg hasn't been invented yet...

You weren't watching my opening moves then. Always the question: where are the Panzers hiding? Small little actions ...

Do we need to write something up for the newsletter? Past the halfway mark.

Could we agree on a joint statement??

Turn 23

I was thinking more along the lines of commanders commentary on the battle up to this point and an assessment of the probable outcome. I don't think we would be in total agreement on these things. It might be interesting to know what you were thinking and when, etc. Since its in the past, it won't hurt future play. I have a full record of all plays. We could throw in a picture of the fighting here and there.

Well, I managed to drop 2 artillery pieces, which is more than I expected. Nasty little sharpshooters, even if they don't get a range of 5!

Very good shooting. I will kill those skirmishers later...

They seek us here, they seek us there...

Napoleon's army of skirmishers...

Turn 24

Blücher's army of drones. Can't be trusted breaking down into smaller tactical operational units. Farm boys, not killer professionals, like US.

No time for shooting, the Prussians are marching...

Can't shoot, is more like it.

No time to fool with this skirmish rabble...

Yet they make you fool with them. Pesky little skirms, well trained from the revolution, and 20 years of conquering Europe. Oh yeah, but Fred the Great died before he could teach the boys about that sort of thing.

They can't fight; they're too tired. They lay down and whimper like scared little puppies when pressed; and these are the Guard skirmishers.
Sir Muddy von Blücher

They've had a long day. There used to be an English army in these parts...;)

Turn 25

The Anglo-Allied army did not all retreat on Brussels. Some still remain.
Sharpshooters; Rule #1: Kill the officers first.

Dang! Lucky shot. We retire.

Blucher's command is growing rapidly. Soon it will be an unstoppable flood.
The Muddy One

It can never grow enough. Quality makes the army, not quantity. Quality, and position. And surprise. And a fanantical devotion to the Emperor....

My apologies but I charged into a village -- thought it was a building. Took me a minute to figure out why I didn't get the triple bonus. I will replay the turn if you think it is to your advantage.

I dont especially care. Even if you had clobbered me. In real life, cav could gallop into town, so why not in the game? I am a firm adherent of the belief that if the game engine allows it, it's allowed by me. War seems to be filled with unpredictable behaviour, and it was Nappy who did a lot to toss aside conventional conduct (cf the Italian campaigns against Austria). Blast rules! Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

Turn 26

Okey Dokey. Play on!

Clawed back a few points. The Prussians shall know we are here.

Yes, a few empty saddles...

And a few more...

I had to empty a few more to brush away your rabble.

That's fine with me. I know you can afford to spend cav like water. So keep it up; I have some entrenched positions for you to charge at.

First I must bring up several thousand more troopers.  Then you will see a charge.

Okey dokey.

The Coalition will shoot Blücher after this battle for having an army that won't march.

There is a fear factor. Or a beer factor; they are rather rotund, those Germans.

It better be the beer factor; I could accept no other excuse.

Turn 28

Works for me. Entirely understandable... march up to the enemy's guns en masse or stay at home and drink beer? Hmmm.

We'll see who's drinking the beer in celebration after dark...

It ain’t pretty but its holding so far.

I will beat your rabble with one arm tied behind my back -- looks like I will have to.

What on earth do you tie it on to, Englishman? Your tail?

Tale? Let me tell you a tale about the time I killed Napoleon. It was in a game of PTW against M. Nowacki...

Ya, ya. You must realize that He has oodles of impersonators, wanna-be's etc. In fact, whenever you win a game against the French, it wasn't really Him.

Back to the underside...Blücher Von Winner

Back to the depths, say I. von Wiener! Ha. Ha ha! (Gosh I'm funny) RB

Still plenty of time left...Blucher La Belle Ist Mein

Ask not for whom the Belle tolls.. None of us really know how much time we have, now do we? ;)

Turn 30

No; You're right. But I think your Emperor's time may be running out. Oh, he can slip away in his carriage during the night but I think his days as the ruler of France are coming to an end... N'est-ce pas?

I think the Emperor, as always, has matters nicely in hand. We have made it to turn 30, your troops are only making headway at some considerable expense against light screening forces. The only objectives taken have been only lightly defended. The Prussians have yet to stumble upon the bulk of the French army, which is well hidden and dug in... I am content to watch the afternoon sun set on the Prussian Empire.

You are correct to say that the Prussians have stumbled; but then I have to ask where? Where the heck are they? Stumbling around Belgium. They'll probably show up in Paris and surprise us both. :)
Sir Muddy von Stumbledore

Your German tourists are always welcome at the capital, as long as they remember to leave. RB

Some more Prussians have stumbled onto the field (and some away from it). And I've decided to see who is watching the back door. Sun is still up.

I don't think you can pull it off with the Prussians you've got. I'm pretty sure I outnumber you, and am well-entrenched. Let's see what this new batch of farmboys can do for you, then.

You may be right, but I might be lucky yet. However, I think I lost every single melée this round...

Turn 31

That was remarkably unlucky for you. Works out in the end of course; I recall a number of melées at 3:1 and even 4:1 odds which I lost, so there you go. Vaguaries of war. Struggle on, mudslinger.

Back to the Emperor's Puppet.

Few more empty saddles amongst your lot. Bring on the next thousand.

And still more Prussians coming along dragging their wieners behind them... but ready for fight. "On to the north gate..."

If nothing else, I am going to give your cavalry a bit of a complex. Whoever goes in front gets whupped, and that's going to get hard on morale. Assuming any survive and go back to tell the story that is...

Yes, another consequence of Prussian tardiness. But if the cavalry must go in first then they will go in with spirit -- to be followed by many more. Still plenty of daylight.
Sir Muddy—Liberator of Hougomount, Savior of Plancenoit, Count of La Belle Alliance, Despoiler of French Women, and Stalker of Napoleon

Your titles grow longer,like the shadows. RB

Turn 32

And as the shadows grow longer, the French soldier sees a Prussian lurking in every dark corner of a hedgerow or behind each trunk in the forest. There is no place to hide. Blucher is coming. Tell them all so they can save themselves.
The Prussian Shadow of Doom

Sounds like there's no place to hide because the Prussians already found all the good spots, Muddy. Now why would that be, d'ya suppose?

...and hell is coming with me. Blucher

You be Sauron, I'll be Gandalf. Forces of evil, and all. RB

Turn 33

No wizardry needed -- just brute force (and a bit of luck).

You have numbers, I hold the position. I have a white cloak, yours is nasty and smelly. We shall see, horned-one, we shall see.

Yes, we are coming towards the end game. Those guns will be of less value as the shadows grow deeper. Then my cavalry will come thundering out of the dark to take the head of Napoleon...

You will have no cavalry before long. My guns are only repositioning amongst the woods and towns where it will be even more gruesome for your troops. Come, toss in the towel; you know the world seeks the light of the Emperor, not the darkness of your medieval ways.

We too seek the Emperor's light. Show us his lantern and we will advance directly into the light.

Curse you, you found a hole. Fine, bring your cavalry in closer, I know what to do. RB

Yes, we shot a hole in the French line and came charging through. The cavalry will take its losses but your men will pay when the rest of the troops are up.

Turn 34

Not so fast, Mudboy. The hole is plugged, and your army is welcome to advance to the sound of the guns. The defense was designed for this sequence of turns (not counting the bit where I lost some Generals - that part wasn't so ideal).

Congratulations Monsewer, you have bought yourself some more time. What will you do when the sun goes down and the Prussians come charging out of the dark? Don't worry about your Generals, they are happy to be liberated.

The only way your Prussians are going to be charging are towards your rear. They are peasants, and haven't got the guts to walk up to the heavy guns of the Old Guard artillery. Let alone the Old Guard infantry, tee-hee.

Back to the attack. But I am beginning to wonder if the Prussians ate too much sausage on the way to the field. Their attacks lack spirit.

Turn 35

Be kind. They are Prussian, not English. Let alone French.

Hey! Who turned down the lights? I guess Nappy will be slippin' away in the dark...

All the better to pounce upon you, my dear. We are here, though you cannot see us so well. Come on into the murder-paths I've had waiting for you...RB

My, aren't we lucky with our melees... perhaps we shall both get lucky... Here’s Mud in Your Eye

Come in closer. Seems my guns are having trouble making out your black uniforms in the dark. Are you attacking, or running away this turn? Can't quite see.

I congratulate you on your defense. It has been most stalwart. But it is getting late and I must press your lines even harder. Therefore, I accepted your invitation to come closer. Indeed, I intend to stay very close to the muzzles of your guns for the remainder of the evening. Its getting late and the next few turns will be decisive. Will your men stand bravely? Or will they finally give up the brave front?

Turn 36

Sir, I thank you for the compliment. But as the day draws to an end, it is time to make clear who has mastery of this field. I regret, but you have overlooked an option available to my army: to go on the offensive. It is time to unleash some of my Panzers, and toss your rabble back to its hole.
Monsieur, you are, after all, fighting the French, and as you know, the Emperor's hat is worth 50,000 men. He did not conquer Europe by half-measures. En garde!

Ah, Frenchie: We knew that you were hiding some cavalry somewhere. Its nice to see them come out to play. Now that we know where they are, they are easier to kill. A game of cat and mouse would have been too time consuming I'm afraid. Well then, unleash your Panzers, my men are well armed with Panzerfausts and my own Tigers are lurking.

You don't get Tigers. Shermans at best. Come on then. Bring on such reserves as you have left to you.

Blücher is urging the men on, and they respond... Sir Muddy von Victory

Bring on your peasants, von V; from what I see, they are choosing NOT to close in on the muzzles. Pfah!

Comte: The fortress has been breached and I suspect that Napoleon will be running and looking for a place to hide. I benefit now from what you can't see. Blücher the Brave

Turn 37

Monsieur Mudflat: You may take it as compliment if you wish, but I always expected you to recapture Picton's Hill. I rather thought you might have done it before now, but that's no matter. I understand that you are having difficulties.
As for the Emperor, he recognizes that the day is nearly done, that he'd best find a good hotel and a meal, and has accordingly sent some officers off to make arrangements. He will, however, remain on the field for now, as He is of the view that He is in no danger.
You understand that Marshal Ney has yet to show himself too, eh? You really have a hard haul ahead of you, mon ami.

Now Sir: We all know that the objective isn't Picton's Hill. Its Napoleon and his army. An uphill battle for Blücher? I agree, but I always liked a challenge, and perhaps a little glory.
Ney? I see a firing squad in his future... or perhaps he can flee to America where criminals and revolutionaries are welcome. Von Wilder

Ney at Waterloo

You mean it's not Picton's Hill? Zut. Oh well, then you shan't mind me retaking it. As for Ney, it would be completely inappropriate to shoot him by firing squad. Surely he deserves to lead a final charge to his end? Could you imagine a man like Ney stirring up the colonials, and maybe leading an amphibious attack against England? Hmmm.. RB

Your heavy cavalry didn't do too well last turn. They must be tired. I understand. A noose for Ney, then?

Sir Mudslinger: You have not yet seen the limit of my curaissiers. Yes, the horsies are weary, but that's the price of carrying 2 inch thick titanium-reinforced iron-plating. Ney is not impressed. RB

Alright General, send in the rest of your cuirassiers. We will find them a place in the holding pen until the sun comes up and we can sort the prisoners. Ney? Is he still around? I thought he was half way to Paris already with the news of Napoleon's defeat. Your move. Muddy von Trash Talker

Turn 38

It is getting harder to find volunteers for this and that. Dinner is looking better and better for a few of the lads. Still, the beverage wagons are safe, and that's something to be proud of.
Merry Christmas Muddy; always a pleasure, though the years tick past and you continue to dispute my supremacy on the field.

Bonjour Mon ami: Joyeux Noël. I too am looking forward to a few bottles of good vino (Napoleon's private stock) and the telling of tales after a hard fight. As always, it has been a pleasure to dispute your supremacy (as well as your Emperor's). St. Nicklaus von Blücher

Herr Rudolph von Rosy Cheeks: I think you are going to need Santa and another 8 reindeer (donner, blitzen, etc, all good germanic boys) to pull through this particular snowstorm. Let's see if you have a miracle in your sack. Scrooge de Brienne

Never underestimate Rudolph and Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. They can pull a sleigh through the air! A slim chance... half the army re-ordered! We're pushing on with the desperate attacks. I will have perhaps 5 turns to storm the Farm.

I believe it! Now, if I just had some 88's...RB

And the New Year brings the Prussians many small victories...

Turn 39

There aren't any large victories to be had at this point, sorry to say. The Emperor however, is in good health.

In good health and hiding somewhere in Belgium... almost like exile on the continent.

There's always Switzerland, I suppose. I shall raise another army! I shall march out of the mountains and fall upon Austria... yes, yes, it can be done...RB

The Swiss? Yes, perhaps Nappy can rally the Vatican Guard, or look for sanctuary in the catacombs of Rome...

My, what a lot of teeth you have...RB

The mouth of a lion has many teeeeeeeeth. Where is the rest of your army? Blücher the Lionhearted

Turn 40

Yes, dash it all, where is Grouchy?? We are handing out pointy sticks to Marshals at this point. Barrett, crouching in the hedgerows, somewhere in Belgium.

Its a long shot but still a possibility...Sir Muddy.

Not a single enemy dropped. thats a first, I think. (whimper). RB

I'll be searching the forests of Belgium for the last French skulkers... Monsieur: I seem to have blundered into a hedgerow -- preventing my capture of your guns and resulting in some loss to myself.  I will have to be more careful. Too bad about the shirt. :) Sir Hedgerow Jones, Anglo-Allied Cavalry Corps Commander

"Do as I say, not as I do"—I confess I am obliged to retire Napoleon from the board. The hour is late, and he has things to do. Maybe he will meet up with Wellington somewhere. You seem to be learning that the Old Guard are easily as resilient as your erstwhile British Guardsmen. The Old Guard do not surrender...., etc. etc. Damn Moravian farmboys, they're everywhere.

Imperial Guard at Waterloo

Mon General: Seems almost historical does it not? Napoleon fleeing the destruction of his army and the Old Guard left behind as a sacrificial lamb. I have always had nothing but profound admiration for the fighting qualities of the Old Guard. Look at them, standing tall upon the hill. Liken it to the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.

Turn 42

I fear you may snatch a draw out of the jaws of victory. Kindly run more of your cav into the hedges,there's a good fellow. Low profile Barrett

Monsieur: One can only hope (fingers crossed and all that)... but there is not much left of the French army to capture. Yes, pity about those hedges ...Sir Muddy—Baron of Crossed Fingers

I think it is your draw to retrieve. Bonne chance. RB

LOL. Incredibly your battery of guns withstood an assault at 4-1 odds. The game is now even with a French victory still showing on the scoreboard. Let's dance the final number...

How sad, I can not retreat them to safety. Well, so be it. As commander of the 1st Company of the Old Guard Artillery, I suppose it falls to me to go down with my own guns. I believe the expression at this juncture would be "Merde".

Imperail Guard Artillery Commandant

A most appropriate utterance, noblely said. Lets mop up the place and turn out the lights.

Do your worst, Englishman. I stand upon my gun barrel, busted sword in hand, blackened by smoke, uniform in tatters, mug of ale firmly gripp'd, and taunt you with criticisms about the quality of English cooking. Leonidas Barrett

Mon Général: I got some reinforcements this turn to help clean up this French rabble and to properly parole all French captives.  Better late than never, I suppose.

I spit upon your reinforcements. Kindly remind me of your normal garrison duties, so I can register the game. May as well get something out of this teaser. RB

GdB Barrett: If you have no other vagabonds lurking about, I believe this concludes our little tête-à-tête. I congratulate you on your excellent play. Although you may find the result disappointing, I maintain that it is really the best result that the French can hope for at Waterloo. Napoleon may be able to crush Wellington and his army, but the Prussians will eventually deny the French a victory.

As to your contention that the "allies cannot win at Waterloo", well, that remains to be disputed (I didn’t win a victory). And so, I suggest we both go back to the drawing board and our respective military training academies and discuss what we have learned from this contest. Myself? The game only reinforced what I already knew -- that you are among the most honorable of French officers and can always be depended on to put forth a most gallant effort.

I am sir, your most humble and obedient servant.


Lt. Gen. Sir Ken 'Muddy' Jones
Officer Commanding
Anglo-Allied Cavalry Corps
Allied CiC

Monsieur, if ever there were a General capable of confounding the certainty of my strategy, it is you. Thank you for the game; as always, it's a pleasure. Perhaps one day I shall have the honour of returning your sword to you; but it was not this day. Bravo..RB

Allied Friends:

The game has ended in a draw (score=1441 and a bit shy of the 1500 needed for a French victory. I must say that I am happy with the result, although there were times when I thought I would both score a victory (based on early returns) and suffer a defeat (the long afternoon). Hopefully, GdB Barrett and I will find some time to prepare a nice account of the happenings for the NWC newsletter.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope the game was both entertaining and a learning experience (it certainly was for me).


Sir Muddy

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