Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wellington I ain't!

After a week off down the coast at Dad's (the Easter Bunny found the kids thanks to his GPS Satnav apparently!) I'm finally attending to the backlog of stuff I need to post to get up to date, although Mrs Rosbif would say that I need to placate my blogging cravings after going cold-turkey for so long. I've got a book review to come, as well as a show-and-tell of 'What I did in the holidays' ie. finish the Italian Gardes d'Honneur and a 12-figure French infantry battalion using more Lancier Bleu head conversions. Stay tuned!

Quinny's running a campaign based on the situation facing Wellington in the Iberian Peninsula in 1809. I'm taking the British command while John R., Tim and Robin are taking the French commands respectively in the north, centre and south. So far we've played one battle, the weekend before Easter, that occurred outside Talavera (not equivalent to the real battle as the terrain was randomly generated) where Tim's command stopped my advance to Madrid.

I had a cunning plan that would take in hand my propensity to spread my forces too thinly in the attempt to guard every inch of the board, by concentrating my command to attack Tim's left flank with the intention to turn his defensive works and roll up his line. What I didn't take into account was that I was playing Tim! I should have taken it as read that he wasn't going to remain behind his earthworks if he saw a good opportunity for a counter-attack, and of course counter-attack he did.

I'd made the mistake of leaving my left flank wide open and allowing him to use his maneuver moves against me, suddenly filling the vacant space on my left with lots of cavalry accompanied infantry and artillery. I thought I'd pulled my cavalry back far enough to counter the worst of the threat, but a long range charge by his Chasseurs a Cheval caught the 13th LD in the f..k.n' flank, whereas if I'd left them en echelon and just withdrawn them slightly, I could have possibly survived his charge. What would have slowed him down was if I'd put the 13th LD further to the left accompanied by a couple of infantry battalions and possibly an artillery battery. That would have prevented his maneuver movement sweeping around on my flank and given me breathing space to counter his threat. As it was, he smashed the cavalry and crashed into my infantry causing two battalions of the Scots Brigade to break and flee, namely the 42nd Highlanders and the 1st Foot, both of which held family significance for Quinny. Not only did I play tactically abysmally with his figures, I disgraced the Quinn family reputation by having his Grandads' regiments flee from the table!

I tried to resist the oncoming tide with generals whizzing across the table to try and rally broken units, but the only thing to do was to issue a break-off order to try to preserve the rest of the army, otherwise it would have been a very short campaign indeed!

Starts off well; maybe I should have left it here!
Tim's entrenched infantry with cavalry support
Quinny's lovely Front Rank British infantry
His Front Rank Portuguese
and his Front Rank Highlanders
My cavalry leading
Earthworks with dastardly French infantry readying their evil plans!
Tim's left flank; the focus of my plodding attack.
The cavalry head up the hill, while the light companies and Cacadores skirmish ahead
The field from my right flank. His dragoons have ceded me the hill; I should have followed up more quickly.
The infantry followed in closed column just to be sure, which slowed things down.
The 9th LD on the extreme right flank advancing in echelon with a vedette on the forward slope
Infantry advancing behind the cavalry screen.
The Scots Brigade angling towards the lee of the hill with the 13th LD closing to provide flank cover (or I thought it was!)
The 42nd Highlanders and 1st Foot oblivious to their fate.
The guns that were going to sit on the hill and pound all that was before them.
The RHA battery on the crest were the only unit that did any damage to the French all day.
13th LD  trying to protect the flank
RHA battery in action against the French while the 9th LD goes forward.
Tim's French Chasseurs expand from column into line by the time they crash into the flank of my hapless Light Dragoons...
...then through a battery and into the flank of the Black Watch!
The gun crews flee with only a couple of guns per battery.
The rest of the army are caught with their pants around their ankles!
The Black Watch cross paths with the gunners as they both flee.
The Cacadores form square, but are faced by horse guns, too, while the other British battalions try to get in position to do something other than die.
Meanwhile, my flanking attack tries to go ahead with too little, too late. Tim's column tries to get in on the 9th LD's flank while the infantry is on the wrong side to help.
The rest of the army in all sorts of the bother. At least the Portuguese are in an anchored line, bubt aren't facing the right way to take advantage.

The crumbling left flank awaiting it's fate
With the General trying to rally the routing 42nd Highlanders, and the French infantry threatening to outflank the remaining force, the only option was to issue the break-off order, so that I could live to fight another day.
With things wrapped up in our game I took some photos of the other mega-game taking place on 3 tables. Russo-Austrians against Franco-German forces.
This massive game ended up a stalemate.
Jenko's Rhinebund sausage-eaters. Wurttembergers and Wurzburgers (I think)
Jenko's Hessians.
Robin's Light infantry


  1. Win or lose, that looks like it was heaps of fun!

    I would have loved to have been there.

    Very nice report!

  2. Great Post!! It certainly sounds like a great game. The photos are first class. Nicely done Monsieur!

  3. Thanks all!

    I was a bit dark on myself after having a cunning plan that failed so miserably. Playing with Quinny's beautiful figures is a definite plus with this campaign. As it was only the first battle, there'll be plenty more to come before we're finished (if I don't shoot myself in the foot again!).


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