Another British/Iberian game, another loss!
This time my Spaniards survived more or less unscathed; it was my handling of the British that let me down.
In a three-handed game, I took on Robin and Ian with my whole Anglo-Iberian force, plus 2 highland regiments borrowed from Quinny. Ian brought his 1/72 French out of retirement for the match, so at least on that flank it was a battle of equal scale proportions for once!
Ian played the game perfectly after not playing for a long while (it helped that he'd sold his soul to the Dice God beforehand; more on that later!). His massed regimental charges were the perfect way to take on the British in line. I made a basic tactical error in not giving the flank facing Ian an artillery battery and also had my cavalry too far forward to be of any great assistance to my infantry, while Ian played a perfect all-arms attack.
Robin held the French left flank and used his cavalry dominance to hold that flank, but intimidated by the extra highlanders, kept a low profile until just before the game finished
|Ian's magnificent 1/72nd French army;|
mainly HaT and converted Italeri with Zvezda guns.
|Robin's Minifig French|
|My right wing including Quinny's ring-ins|
The French won the initiative on a draw when we both rolled a 1. Consequently, they managed to seize all the ridges before I could, dammit!
|Ian seizes the ridge with villages and farmland|
|He signalled his intentions early!|
|My left wing tried to anchor on the woods|
|The Spanish center faced a relatively quiet sector , which was how I hoped it would stay.|
|Spanish view of the village|
|The British deploy into line. It didn't stay that neat for long!|
|Spaniards hold the center|
|First contact! Even though vastly outnumbered, the 5/60th hold their own in an inconclusive skirmish combat|
Robin placed his artillery exactly where I planned to place it and brought up a lot of cavalry and infantry to support it. My foot gun battery did sterling work on his infantry, forcing one battalion to retreat after inflicting many casualties. However, my horse gun battery was wasted, stuck behind the ridge with no viable target to fire at. If only I'd put it on the left flank (or won the initiative roll!).
|Robin's forces facing my British and Spanish|
|Robin's line being harassed by the 95th Rifles with the guerrilleros offering distant encouragement!|
|Robin's artillery fire on the light dragoons|
|He rolls a 10 and injures the General!|
|He takes his moment and charges, while I meet him in a counter-charge!|
|Despite his numerical superiority and the addition of his general, the result is a draw!|
On the left flank, Ian cunningly moved his Chasseurs 'a Cheval just out of my light dragoons' charge arc to charge my light infantry, who easily formed square in time. That left them vulnerable to the infantry and artillery and also denied the infantry line on their right their support when the inevitable French massed charge went in.
|Light infantry form square and see off the Chasseurs while the light dragoons look on|
|The lonely infantry line now face a massed regimental force gearing up for a charge|
|My brave Glaswegian Highlanders holding steady in square|
|British being annoyed by tiralleurs before the charge|
|The 50th Foot attempt to get in position on the French flank without excessively exposing their flank.|
|Ian's charge goes in! My infantry fired and knocked off a couple of figures, but....|
|....in the pre-melee morale check, Ian rolls a 6....|
|....while I ...didn't! (This was the first of three 6s in a row Ian rolled for pre-melee morale checks, hence my suspicion about putting his soul on the market to Beelzebub and his minions)|
|The square puts in some flank fire as the massive column follows up on their victory, to no avail.|
|The 50th Foot tried shuffling further into the woods, but their flank still flapped in the breeze, offering a tempting target to Ian's lancers.|
|I roll the dreaded 1 in response to Ian's 6!|
Bye-bye 50th Foot!
|92nd Gordon Highlanders suddenly feel warm equine breath down their necks!|
|I reshuffle the deck chairs to try to keep things going another couple of turns.|
|My Glaswegians are charged again, but this time fail to form square. Adios muchachos!|
|Lancers push forward and the highlanders are dispatched in another lacklustre die roll from the British!|
|My Spanish light infantry and Walloon guards move in to plug the gap.|
|The British go into square while the Valencia Light Infantry in closed column withstand the victorious lancers|
|Robin's massive dragoon formation charged my lone dragoon unit who crumble under the weight and flee! Crap dice rolling doesn't help either!|
|In a last hurrah, Ian comes off the hill to charge the Walloons.|
|In a reversal of fortunes, I roll a 6...|
|...and Ian rolls a 1! |
Why couldn't that happen when it mattered?!*^%$@#!
Despite the Walloons' stout resistance, my left flank was crumbling and there was no way that I'd be able to plug the gap with Ian's reserves pushing forward. While Robin had cleaned up my dragoons he could have held my highlanders in square while his infantry and artillery pushed forward to deal with them properly!
As the day was drawing to a close, I took the opportunity to admit defeat and congratulated my worthy foes on a game well played.
A massive game with almost too much happening on the table to take note of, but it was played with a lot of bonhomie and a good time was had by all. If I played for a win each game, I think I would have given up a long time ago!