Sunday, December 2, 2012

French 1, Anglo-Spanish 0, Confusion 2

This Friday just past I took on John R.'s French with my Anglo-Spanish forces. In a foretaste of what the summer's going to be like we've had one day that nearly broke 40° Celsius mark followed by a couple of extremely humid days that felt hotter than they really were. Friday night was one of those nights and consequently didn't aid either of us in following the rules properly or remembering what to do in certain situations. I had an of instance where I thought I should have smashed his cavalry but inexplicably didn't, and another where his charge against my line seemed uncannily successful, but I also made a dumb recruit mistake which I can't in all fairness blame on misinterpretation of the rules!

In another example of heat addled brain-power, I brought my camera, but minus batteries and SD card! Luckily I brought my phone, so at least you can view some grainy images of the night's action.

In the end, the result didn't really matter as we were both there to have a bit of fun, and that was achieved! I had some success in skirmish combat and with my Spanish infantry, including my new light infantry, but my British line infantry and cavalry had an underwhelming night. I really haven't come to grips with the linear tactics of playing British, even though they are some of my favourite units in my collection.

Anyway, John had the bulk of his forces on my left wing with a further brigade in the centre. Ove on the right, he had an artillery battery and a large hussar regiment to protect that wing. I'd split my British into two brigades with the Spanish in the centre to act as a reserve.

The action started with John advancing his skirmishers and a cavalry vedette to m yside of the ridge, while his forces lurked behind it. I sent my skirmishers to dispute the ridge and managed to force his back. When skirmishers of equal quality and number face off, it's usually an exercise in frustration, resulting in stalemate. Not this night! My dice were cooperative and I ended up pushing his skirmish screen back and inflicting casualties. I was wary of his large regiment of lancers that I knew had to be somewhere behind the ridge, so I didn't do anything rash like advance too close to the ridge, but my light dragoons were copping casualties from his horse artillery.

In the centre I moved my foot battery to the top of the ridge and moved infantry up in support. Stupidly, I plonked one infantry line directly behind the battery, just asking for trouble! that trouble came when he charged the battery after having a few casualties inflicted by close range fire. The battery stood to their guns and were wiped out, but because the infantry behind them were too close, they bore the brunt of the follow through of the French charge without being able to fire and suffering the disorders of having the routing artillerymen crashing through them. Stupid recruit mistake!

Meanwhile, John angled his lancers to aim laterally at my now weakened centre. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to charge his annoying horse guns and hopefully clean up his lancers with a charge into his flank. I managed to force his guns to limber and flee, while his lancers managed to turn to face my oncoming charge. Even though I didn't manage to catch him in the flank, I did catch him flat-footed, which should have counted for a lot. As it turned out, I was the one who was sent packing with losses, while he hardly suffered at all! I think we missed something in the pre-melee morale check. Anyway, it was all downhill from there; the lancers charged in the next turn and cleaned up my light dragoons, while a similar thing happened on my right where his hussars, aided by his guns cleaned up my heavy dragoons. Another battalion of infantry was broken in the centre and he started a wide flanking manouvre on my left. Things were looking crook!

Another regimental charge by his infantry sent another British line backwards (a retreat, rather than a break; phew!) which left my gallant Spanish dragoons with a difficult choice to make. I'd angled them to threaten another French battalion, but now they found themselves with 2 battalions at close range on their flank. If they stayed where they were, they were toast. First, I tried scaring them away with the Spanish light infantry on their flank; no dice! Second, I decided to take the lesser of two evils and move away from the threat, incurring a flank shot and the resulting morale check. Being Spanish cavalry, I expected them to melt like fog before the sun but, no! They survived the morale test with one casualty, to move around to provide a threat to the encroaching French hussars' flank!

Meanwhile, the Spanish light infantry fired into the flank of regiment in front of it when it charged forward. They weren't as lucky and failed the resulting morale test, retreating back over the ridge. As it was nearing time, we agreed to end it there with a moral victory to the French, seeing as my cavalry had evaporated while his had the opportunity to create havoc. However, I was heartened to see that the troops I had the least expectation of, were teh ones who ended up being the most successful; namely the Spaniards!



Fowards, boys!

Le Français

Combined arms on the left flank

My gallant Spanish dragoons

British 9 lbers surprise the skirmish line!

John's horsmen with pointy-poky sticks!

John's skirmishers advance to cover his flanking move

The infantry should have stayed there, or even backed off, to survive the inevitable charge.

But, no, I moved them right up behind the doomed guns!

It looks heroic, but...

...the inevitable happened...

...and this is the result of heroics!

Skirmish combat!

My dragoons charge (and miraculously leave his skirmish line unharmed...hmmm, missed something there!). John turns to face, survives my charge and...

...counter-charges my blown light dragoons next turn! My skirmish line was saved by the tree line just to the left queering John's line of attack (phew!).

Run away!

Run away #2!

Another mess!

Spanish dragoons feeling a tad exposed!

Things looking a bit crook!

The Spanish light advance and fire, to no effect!

Spanish dragoons make their Great Escape!

John's regiment flees back over the ridge after second flank shot form Spanish lights.

2 nice gaps in both lines!

John's flanking move receives cavalry support...

...while the other half of his lancer unit pins the infantry to the front. Game over!


  1. Nice AAR, difficult day for the Spanish dragoons !

  2. NIce post Rosbif, and I always find myself drawn to those Spanish dragoons. Some of the best-looking uniforms in the business.

    They sure seemed lucky this outing!

  3. Good narrative on this batrep, RB. I was briefly puzzled by the 40 degrees in December thing, but then recalled the whole upside down, inside-out craziness you lot have going on down there. I'll trade you for our freezing rain if you like? ;)

  4. Great report there Rosbif and those Spanish Dragoons are lovely.


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