Monday, September 26, 2011

French get crushed in Spain

25mm Napoleonic using General de Brigade

Our most recent wargame, played on Saturday the 24th, featured a scenario set in Spain during the year 1811. It pitted a force of 12 battalions of French line infantry, an artillery battery of 4 sections, and 3 cavalry regiments against an Anglo-Spanish force of similar size with the exception of the Allies having 2 artillery batteries of 3 sections each. I acted as the French commander and also managed the French lines from the town to the right wing. I also controlled the two cavalry brigades (deployed on the right wing and to the rear of the right wing's wood lot) as well as the lone artillery battery. This left Carl and Eddie with a brigade of infantry each to hold the left side of the line.

The Allies made a general advance and began to engage our lines on the first turn. On the right wing the French Hussars galloped forward and soon engaged the KGL Dragoons in a series of charges and counter-charges that lasted the entire span of the game. In an improbable series of events, each side took turns launching cavalry charges that would throw back our opponents but then we could not make the follow up charge that would finish them. By battle's end the KGL Dragoons and the French Hussars were both at 50% strength.

The French left wing rapidly crumbled under the weight of British firepower. After only a few turns the left wing had been compelled into squares and began to suffer under artillery fire. French cavalry began moving from the right wing to the left wing to counter the British cavalry but arrived too late to help. A few rounds of artillery fire broke the French formations and then they were ridden down by the cavalry. This process was quickly repeated on the other French brigade on the left and it too was soon streaming to the rear.

At this point the French army had suffered enough and, much like our previous ACW game, the last turn saw a series of decisive Brigade Morale Tests that forced the French back as one roll after another was failed.

My commanders on the left apparently suffered the "cursed dice" syndrome and rolled horridly for the entire length of the battle. Coupled with the fact that they had no cavalry or artillery support, until it was too late, it would seem that their broken brigades were a foregone conclusion prior to the battle beginning. In reality, their inexperience in playing Napoleonics and some unlucky dice did them in.

I will post a few photos when I get a chance to connect my camera for downloading...

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