|¡Viva los valientes!|
In a long delayed return to the club, I took part in a game at the last Croydon meeting with Bill and Baden against Jim and John R, where Bill, Baden and I played the Anglo-Iberian forces against John and Jim's Franco-Westphalian forces. The Spanish started on the board, occupying a central village, while both sides had an advanced guard starting on the edges of the board.
With Baden a late joiner, I took control of the Spanish, while he took over my Anglo-Portuguese element. Bill controlled his separate Anglo-Portuguese force.
While my Spaniards held all the built-up areas of the town, I still had a substantial reserve and a big force of John's guerrillas. I had several small units of cavalry which I planned to use as a nuisance force against enemy infantry. Which would have been a clever plan, had the enemy advance guard not been almost exclusively cavalry. Good news for my infantry, but not so good for my teeny-tiny cavalry units!
|Baden's advanced guard|
|The Spaniards holding the town...|
|...and their reserve.|
|Allies move off first.|
|The cavalry moves up the reverse slope.|
|My spanish lancers suddenly find themselves in a bit of bother...|
|...which included close range artillery form the ridgeline!|
|The anchored line forms on the village's left flank with the Walloon Guards anchored by the square of light infantry.|
|Baden's light dragoons and horse battery move up to protect the Spanish flank.|
|On the other flank, Bill's Portuguese and British light infantry move up, supported by more light dragoons.|
|The guerrilleros fan out into double skirmish line in front of the town.|
I thought that I was going to be in all sorts of bother until Baden's advance guard turned up, but with my best troops in an anchored line, they were relatively safe from the hordes of enemy cavalry. My cavalry weren't so lucky! As we won the initiative, I sent my Extremadura lancers to see what was over the rise to the front. They soon found out! They were soon sent packing as French hussars and a horse gun battery set themselves up right in front of them. After losing a figure to artillery fire and failing their morale test (run away!), John charged his hussars at the rest of my hapless cavalry (run away, again!) and cleaned them all up in the process of one charge and its follow-through! However, my gunners had fled to the safety of the adjacent square and my converged grenadier battalion was on had to fire into the flank of the now stranded hussars and encourage them to decamp to their lines. Baden had managed to square up his infantry in the danger zone, so didn't suffer any adverse effects of the rampaging hussars, so despite the loss of some puny cavalry, we came out of it relatively unscathed.
|My lancers suffer a casualty from artillery fire and fail their morale test!|
|That's the signal for John's hussars to charge at my artillery, forcing the Spanish dragoons to counter-charge.|
|Even though my cavalry was in line and his were still deploying from column, his better quality coupled with better dice rolling resulted in the dragoons being smashed and breaking for the hills.|
|The gunners managed to shelter in the adjacent square during the cavalry scrap.|
|The victorious hussars carried on into the hapless heavy cavalry, who were caught flat-footed.|
|When I rolled this...|
|...and John rolled this, it could only result in one thing:|
|Fortunately, Baden's infantry were made of sterner stuff and squared up before the hussars made contact.|
|After bouncing off the infantry squares, the hussars were caught between a rock and a hard place; or the horse battery and the converged grenadier battalion!|
|The artillery missed, but the grenadiers' shot to the flank of the cavalry had the desired effect; the resulting morale test caused them to retreat behind their own lines.|
The problem now was to survive the incessant artillery fire raining down from the ridgeline. The square of light infantry anchoring one end of the anchored line eventually lost 30% casualties, but survived the morale test. I replaced them with the grenadiers who began copping casualties almost immediately. A counter-battery duel seemed to be a good idea, as the Spanish guns were heavier and more numerous, but John brought up more guns until I was outgunned. Even the eventual addition of Baden's batteries couldn't outgun the enemy, once John brought up his 12 pounder battery with the arrival of his main body.
|The artillery crew safely remanned the battery and continued firing on the enemy.|
|After the light infantry square was targeted by the enemy, it was time to remove them from the anchored line and replace them with the grenadiers in closed column.|
The enemy infantry turned out to be mainly Westphalian, (though John also had what seemed to be an entire fleet's worth of Sailors of the Guard) and immediately showed that they are not made for Iberian conditions: Jim charged Bill's Portuguese cacadores who sheltered behind a stone wall and then decided the better of it after failing their pre-combat morale check. John advanced a brigade's worth of infantry at the village, while my guerrillas wasted a lot of powder trying to skirmish against them. He had peeled off one battalion and positioned it in line to screen the advance of the rest, so this was the unit the guerrillas potted away at. Surprisingly, they actually managed to add a disorder or two on the line. If I wasn't going to stand idly by and allow John a free swipe at the town, now was the time to do something about it. I now had rear and flank support in the shape of Baden's troops, so I decided to throw the Walloon Guards into the fray. They boldly marched up to the Westphalian line and launched a blistering firefight. Though I was outnumbered, my quality was a lot better. I knocked off a couple of his figures to the loss of only one, and survived the resulting morale test, while the Westphalians didn't. They retired from the field, leaving the approach of the other units to the village vulnerable to attack.
|The enemy's main body rolled to enter the board!|
|Jim juggles the cavalry to make way for his infantry on their right|
|John's main body moves up the reverse slope.|
|Well, hello sailor!|
|The guerrillieros feel discretion is the better part of valour and retire behind the town.|
|Baden's main body arrives on the board and combines with the advanced guard: the Portuguese foot battery unlimbers next to the horse battery.|
|John's position on the ridge line also has cavalry backed artillery batteries.|
|Jim's cavalry audaciously charge their opponents, dismissing the infantry fire on their flank...|
|...to smash into the light dragoons, who were caught flat-footed!|
|The results were inconclusive, with both sides retiring, but Jim had forced Bill's artillery crew to abandon their guns.|
|Baden's cacadores in square were attracting artillery fire and suffering accordingly.|
|John's Westphalian infantry begin their approach, breasting the ridge...|
|...and fanning out into line.|
|The guerrillas, having plucked up their courage, advance on the enemy but only waste their powder.|
|Baden's British line infantry moves up in square on the Spanish flank...|
|...filling the gap between the Spanish and Anglo-Portuguese batteries.|
|More British line infantry moves up on the outer left flank.|
|John's Westphalian columns advance behind the cover of the battalion in line.|
|Their target obvious!|
|La Marins advance behind|
|The guerrillas desperately pop away at the advancing enemy, to no effect!|
|Out on the far flank, Bill's light dragoons get handled roughly by the Westphalian cuirassiers.|
|Jim's charge on Bill's cacadores, however, falls at the last hurdle (so to speak!) and halts at 2" with disorders!|
|John's infantry line moves to protect the approach of the rest of the brigade. The guerrillas finally land a punch and inflict a disorder on all the infantry to their front! Finally!|
|That's the signal for the Walloon Guard to march forward and engage the enemy in a firefight! Blammo!|
|The resulting casualties and morale check cause the Westphalians to retire, while the Walloons retain the field. Huzzah!|
The line's supports move up on either flank in closed column to anchor it against possible cavalry attack.
|Behind them, British and Portuguese columns of the rearguard supply rear support.|
|On the far left flank, Baden starts a flanking manoeuvre with infantry and heavy cavalry.|
|The Portuguese and highlanders form up beside the Spanish held village.|
|The grenadiers crack after suffering more losses from artillery fire and failing their morale test, leaving the Walloons' flank exposed.|
|The Walloons soon follow after suffering too many casualties.|
|The remaining closed column of light infantry are attacked and soon follow the others!|
|However, the battered grenadiers recover to threaten the Wesphalians' flank.|
The game ended with the Spanish still safely ensconced in the town with Anglo-Portuguese support on both flanks. The Westphalian infantry seemed to have spent themselves in attack, but there was still the Sailors of the Guard who were yet to be committed. As the Franco-Westphalians had failed to take the town, it was technically an Anglo-Iberian victory, but the battle still had a way to go before a clear result was possible. Time was the victor in the end!