Monday, May 9, 2011

If Losing is Character Building....

...then I must have the most well-developed character in the club! Another meeting, another loss, this time to John 'le renard' and his fistful of fightin' French f*&#ers!

I tried to keep a defensive line between the farm buidling and the woods with the cavalry on my right to try and keep his at bay, but with 2 squadrons of Cuirassiers and 3 of chevaux legere-lanciers to my 2 of light dragoons, that was a tall order. Also he had a battery of 12 lbers that had a painful bite (luckily they only bit once and that was painful enough). What undid me in the end was not noticing the battalion of large mustachioed chaps with dead wombats on their heads, until they launched their charge!

My British infantry spent far too long in column and I wasted precious time using one of my best battalions in skirmish order, when they would have played a better role in being the second line of defence. Yet again I had a cunning plan which I was going to spring the turn after the one that stuffed me!

My British and Allied force

The French (boo, hiss!)

John's 2(!) squadrons of Cuirassiers

The French view

My brave boys.

Too crowded on the right flank. Also, my better troops were wasted on the left flank.

The cavalry size each other up. I decided to even the odds a bit and launched a charge, but even with the numbers I couldn't do more than a draw! John looks unimpressed in the background!

The 9th LD waiting, while the 13th prepare their charge

The respective vedettes say 'how d'ye do?'

The charge goes in...

...but ends where it starts (plus 1 disorder and a blown marker).

Unfortunately, the French also suffered the same fate.

Meanwhile, the 9th stayed in echelon in the hope of threatening the rest of the French line.

Just off to the left is the horse-gun battery that started to do some damage to the stationary 9th.

The situation after the inconclusive cavalry battle.

John's chevaux-legere lanciers then charged the blown 13th, who decided that discretion was the better part of valour and fled rather than be destroyed. The valiant 92nd popped at the lancers and knocked one off.

Run away, chaps!
Later, they were going to launch a long-range charge in column at John's advancing infantry, but he'd launched his Guard Grenadiers before I got the chance :-(

The doughty 92nd remain in square even though the 12lber shots tear through the ranks!

The 12lber battery in question. The highlanders managed to move into the lee of the hill to avoid the heavy metal of this battery.

John's legere disperse into skirmish order.

My 95th rifles were wasted on the cavalry-heavy left flank, so they formed square behind the horse-gun battery to provide the gunners with a bolt-hole if needed.

The 50th foot awaiting events in column.

An arty shot of the Portuguese through the only British unit in line.

The British 6lber foot battery did some sterling work on the chevaux-leger lanciers to the front, forcing them further back.

General Sir Thomas Atkins KB, GC in command!

My Spanish 9lber artillery

John's legere advance

The guns ignore the skirmishers and continue to target the lancers.

I put the 50th foot in an anchored line from the 92nd's square to the farm building on the left and squared up the Portuguese behind the British foot artillery and broke up the light battalion in preparation to counter the French skirmish line.

John's lancers thinking up a dastardly plan...

...and here they come! The Spanish battery attempted to maneuver into a better position to get the advancing French infantry, but triggered an opportunity charge by the lancers! The Spanish gunners flee to the safety of the 92nd's square, while the Walloon Guards are caught flat-footed and are unable to form square, but are brave (or stupid) enough to stand their ground! The 9lber horse gun battery to the left takes one of the lancers out during the charge, but the highlanders miss!

Fortunately they survive the charge and only suffer a retire (indicated by dead 'un) with minimal casualties.

The Portuguese column then takes the lancers in the flank, dispersing them.

Bye-bye lancers! But they've done the job of neutralising the Spanish guns for the moment.

Meanwhile the mass of French infantry lumbers forward.

The gunners' view of the target-rich environment.

On the right flank the 5/60th tried to muscle the French skirmishers away, but suffered a defeat in the skirmish combat and are pushed back with losses.

The 71st GHLI try their hand at skirmishing with the French, inconclusively.

John launches his right hand cuirassier squadron in column at the 9th Light Dragoons who win the encounter, seeing off their heavy opponents...
...but are then charged by the other, fresh, cuirassier squadron. No more luck for the 9th; the blown marker and disorders spelled their doom!

The time was ripe for John to launch his Guard grenadiers.

They carried on through the line and crashed into the poor old Portuguese battalion's flank. Ouch!


  1. Sad to see the dastardly frog take away a win. Better luck next time. What manufacturer are the Spanish figures (gunners and infantry) ?

  2. Thanks Conrad. I'm thinking of replaying the crisis moments to see what else I could have done to save the day, and maybe learn what to do next time! I've got to do something to pull off a win!

    The Spanish and Portuguese infantry are Kennington/SHQ and the gunners are a conversion of the HaT 1805 artillery set.

  3. Well it was rousingly well-told, even if it was a defeat on the field.

    Analyzing chess defeats we use records, diagrams, a 3-D reply and conclusion is-- either a big blunder because you didn't see something, or else the other got there first with the most men.

  4. Fantastic photo's and write-up, nice one!!


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