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How to replicate Dubois suport of d'Erlon at Waterloo  

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lascaris@yahoo.com
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26/04/2020 3:57 pm  

Hi David,

Question for you regarding a specific incident at Waterloo. During d'Erlon's initial attack his left flank was supported by Dubois' brigade of cuirassiers. The other brigade of Watier's division, under Travers, remained in its original deployment location and later was part of the cavalry counterattacking Uxbridge's charge. I can think of several different methods to allow for this in ESR, with various concerns about each, and I'm curious which you think is preferable or, if I'm completely wrong on all of them, what you would suggest!

1. Watier's division could just be modeled as two smaller formations from the start. I don't like this as it is not consistent with the rest of ESR's scale of command.

2. Pre-battle Dubois could be removed from the division and attached to d'Erlon's corps. I don't like this either as it would then preclude the brigade's participation in the grand cavalry charges later in the battle.

3. The French could use a leader action to split Dubois off as a detachment. This works but lowers the effectiveness of the brigade as it has no leader benefits now and, as there is no mechanism to recombine a detachment, makes the subsequent use of the division in its entirety awkward.

4. My personal favorite, which means I'm likely wrong (!), is to give the division support orders. It doesn't appear that there is a requirement that the entire division move along with the unit it's supporting so it seems possible that half the division could move alongside d'Erlon while the other half was static. In this case it's not a huge distance as the advance is only on the order of half a mile or so.

Anyway, your opinion would be appreciated.

 

Thanks much, 

Tom V.


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David
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26/04/2020 4:06 pm  
Posted by: @lascarisyahoo-com

3. The French could use a leader action to split Dubois off as a detachment. This works but lowers the effectiveness of the brigade as it has no leader benefits now and, as there is no mechanism to recombine a detachment, makes the subsequent use of the division in its entirety awkward.

Hi Tom!

If I was to do this myself, I would use #3, there is an optional rule that effectively says [paraphrased]: "if you want to do something that would seem to fall into the category of a Leader Action, but there isn't one explicitly for it, so long as the rest of the players/host do not object, perform it as a Leader Action", and that would allow you to recombine the Formation should you wish to. As to the Formation having a Formation Commander when separated for a detachment, on a scenario specific basis you could certainly have Formation Commanders for the purpose – it becomes a judgment call "did XYZ junior commander really do a good enough job to justify being represented separately?"

-David


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lascaris@yahoo.com
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26/04/2020 4:09 pm  

Thank you very much for the quick reply! I understand your rationale on picking option 3 as, although I didn't mention it, option 4 felt a bit cheesy even though not explicitly outlawed by the rules. 🙂 These are great rules and I think we all appreciate your support when the occasional question arises.


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