Here is a war diary documenting an epic encounter at the alternate Battle of Waterloo. This battle is available in the FREE Imperial Guard DLC for Napoleon: Total War!
Battle of Waterloo
June 18th, 1815
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
When Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, leader of the allied forces, came up against the might of Napoleon’s army, it was with a very real belief that the engagement could be truly decisive. This was to be the battle to end all battles, a red letter day in history, and a moment for heroes to be made. The Napoleonic Wars were coming to an end.
In Napoleon: Total War, gamers had the option to play as France in this key battle and, with it, change the outcome of history. Now, with the release of the Imperial Guard Pack, players have the option of commanding the allied army and condemning the pesky Frenchman to his exile once and for all. It was a challenge I found too hard to resist.
So here I stand, on the Brussels road, south of Waterloo. Most of my army is assembled on the reverse slope. There they will be relatively safe from Napoleon’s deadly artillery. The rest of my army is at Hougoumant on the right, with Jaegers hidden in the orchard. I also have units in the centre and on my left. It’s crucial I hold these armies; they will dictate the flow of battle.
Napoleon’s artillery is truly deadly, so I will do my best to stay out of their reach and neutralise them as quickly as possible. I’m hoping Prussian reinforcements arrive at some point, so if I can win the numbers battle until then I’ll be happy.
“Our men are running, sir!”
I’m not winning the numbers battle.
My rifles are starting to get chewed up by the advancing, deadly French fusiliers of line. They know it’s all or nothing and are advancing with great impetus. I order my rifles to occupy the nearby building, hoping to lure the French to my position. My defences are all set up around the ridge surrounding the house, so if Napoleon’s men are drawn to that location, they’re likely to take a pounding. Sadly, they’re not having any of it.
If this battle is going to be won, and if my men are to stand tall, then I need to take positive action. Sitting back and letting the French artillery have their way is going to be suicide – and I cannot simply rely on Blücher’s tired Prussian soldiers to come to my aid. I expect they’ll join the battle from the other side of the field, so their presence is unlikely to protect my front lines – if they even arrive at all.
I take the initiative. I group some of my cavalry under the leadership of the Earl of Uxbridge and order them to flank the advancing French fusiliers. Preoccupied with their advance, the French barely have time to turn face-on to my cavalry when they are hit hard. Their units immediately suffer a huge morale dent as my experienced troops send fusiliers flying through the air.
Having neutralised the threat of the fusiliers, I turn the Duke’s attention to Napoleon’s 8 and 12lber artillery. Onward they rush, and manage to deal some damage to the cannon. Napoleon responds by sending his lethal Dutch guard lancers to intercept the cavalry. Weakened by canister shot, my good Duke crumbles under the French attack.
The Duke has done well, though. He’s eliminated the fusilier advance and disabled two French artillery units.
Onward come the Dutch guard, and my defences must quickly adapt. I march my finest foot soldiers down the hill to face the oncoming French and form square as they begin their charge. Almost impenetrable to the cavalry, my foot soldiers hold firm. The Dutch lancers begin to rout and opportunity begins to knock.
Not before Michel Ney himself starts his charge, however. His powerful cavalry unit makes short work of one of my scuttling line infantry units, which was desperately trying to reform after a heavy artillery bombardment. Bringing a unit of lethal Empress Dragoons alongside him, Ney moves up and turns his attention to my now-advancing foot soldiers.
I form square again, but not quite in time. Ney’s charge deals a great deal of damage to my men and they start looking like they might rout. I respond by bringing the Duke of Wellington himself into the fore. I hover over the inspire and rally buttons, eagerly awaiting the advance of Wellington’s general’s aura. Wellington reaches the front just in time, and my troops receive a huge morale boost, spurred on by the Duke’s presence.
As the rain begins to fall, the Prussians join the battle. It’s suddenly looking grim for the French, and Napoleon himself. Still, however, he comes. Using all of his remaining units, Napoleon charges the Prussians, leading the line personally.
Meanwhile, I recover any units I can to take out the remaining French artillery, which is still raining down terror on my lines.
Blücher prevails, Napoleon falls. As the general falls from his horse, I sense he knows his empire has fallen. What will become of him now is down to the top brass, but I’ve done my job and, after a long and hard battle, consider him defeated.
He was a man after all.