Victory is determined by the Morale of the Coalition powers ( Brussels especially) to continue to wage war. Success is the only thing that will allow the continuation of the war. Should Napoleon be successful, morale in Brussels will fall and the campaign will end.
Kevin Zucker, designer for the series, has set two basic ways to alter the morale level for this entry: (1) victory or defeat in battle, or (2) capture or loss of important cities.
I’ve circled the three cities that are a part of the victory conditions and objectives for the attacking French Forces.
Ghent to the left (the map is not quite North straight up, but close) is worth 1 morale point. Brussels , in the center, is worth 2. Finally Namur , to the East, is worth 1.
The Sambre River, marked clearly, is flowing down from the juncture at Namur and is a major dividing line.
Operations to the East of the river will not facilitate either an advance on Ghent or Brussels now will it facilitate combat between France and the Anglo-Allies.
June 12, 1815
The French movement phase has a lot of activity today. Major reinforcements arrive and move on to the board first.
Then the 6 APs are used, and finally initiative movement.
The Invasion Commences
On this day, June 12, 1815, French forces of the Army of the North under Emperor Napoleon crossed the border from France in to Belgium. The invasion day is marked and the clock is ticking.
Movement in, around, and over the border will result in combat today.
The screenshot below shows all French movement for this day.
June 12 – Combat
Anglo-Allied and Prussian forces perform Forced Marching moving forces close to the approaching French and in one instance initiating combat.
June 12 will see three engagement in and around the Belgium city of Mons.
The the west of the city, south, and east. I’ve added a few graphics to this image. Red lines indicate the approximate front lines of the Anglo-Allied forces.
Blue the French. Finally, a compass arrow indicates the path towards Brussels.
What of these attacks? This is the road straight to Brussels. And what have the French used to engage the enemy on this path?
Nothing short of 3 full corps.
Combat will be over quickly as the Major Generals engaged on the Anglo-Allied side are very overmatched.
Some pursuit will be required to finish them off and the field will belong to France. These initial skirmishes go to the French
Fog of War
At least part of the fog of war has been lifted on this day. At this moment, Wellington knows precisely where an enormous amount of French strength has been positioned. How we he react? What does Napoleon have in his pocket?
What would you do?
June 13, 1815
On the Invasion Day the Coalition forces are still limited in their movements. That will be lifted for Invasion Day +1, today.
First up is the French movement. Some forces advance from the area of the 3 Corps we saw yesterday. Combat will be initiated on this day as well.
June 13 – Combat
In this case it turns out French forces have run in to significantly larger Anglo-Allied forces. These battles could get ugly for France.
Heavy losses result to the French in all 3 instances. Roughly 10sps are lost to maybe 4 Anglo-Allied. An ugly day for France. Too many more of these and there won’t need to be a decisive engagement like Waterloo.
However, the city of Mons falls and the road to Brussels is now wide open. Also, the Anglo-Allied Corps under Hill has been located.
June 13, 1815 – The Coalition
Finally, the Coalition has APs available and can start to react to the situation. 8 APs for this turn, Invasion Day +1.
Twice what France has for this day and 33% more than the French had prior to the invasion.
Time to move.
Anglo-Allied forces come together toward the area south of Brussels.
Meanwhile, Prussian forces continue to advance to the south along the Sambre River.
At this point the center of gravity for the French effort gives every appearance to be west of the Sambre River in a line running straight up the map, a bit North by Northeast, roughly towards the city of Brussels.
Prussian forces give every appearance of advancing along the western bank of the Sambre River towards the advancing French. Anglo-Allied forces give every appearance of consolidating strength in an area roughly south of the city of Brussels.
What would you do next?
Pursuit is the story of the day today. The Coalition forces are pulling back and consolidating. Movement well north by northeast towards their positions is the objective of the day.
Much movement will happen today. 4 APs are declared but Napoleon declares openly to his enemy much of the movement will be false units.
Roughly 10 units on the board are moved for these mere 4 APs. The enemies of France have only a 2 in 5 chance of guessing correctly which
moving unit is truly a unit of the French army and which is a dummy unit.
Initiative kicks in a number of more moves, far more than could possibly be accounted for without dummy units.
Where is the heart of the French army?
Where is the Emperor?
Where is Wellington and Blucher?
June 14 – Combat by the French
Very little combat this day, so far. We will see what the Coalition forces do.
The French 2nd Corps under Reille engages a Major General from the Prussian Army.
It is over quite quickly.