Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Battle of Baltanas - Set Up

Start 0800

22 July 1813

Battle of Baltanas

Campaign Background

Both armies have now moved to the north bank of the river Duero.

Wellington is determined to strike at Soult and force him back towards Burgos before he can concentrate his army at Baltanas

The battle starts at 0800 22 July 1813.

Table at start of battle

Wargames Table

Baltanas is the village in the centre of the photograph

The top road leads to the north coast

The bottom road leads to Madrid

The right hand road leads to Burgos

The left hand road leads to Valladolis

Villates 7th corps are deployed in and around Baltanas

They have orders to hold the village

Sarruts 8th corps will arrive top right at the start of move 4

Hills 1st corps will arrive to the right of the woods on move 1

Pictons 3rd corps will arrive on the left hand road on move 1

Villates corps at Baltanas

Game Notes

1st British corps start the game with cavalry campaign casualties

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 9

1600 to 1700

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of Move 9

Soult has ordered Leval to withdraw towards Valladolid. As they do so the square on their right finally break, but the remainder of the corps is in square and able to withdraw without further loss.

Villate’s corps are in firm control of Valladolid, and the British have withdrawn out of artillery range.

The British hussars had tried to Opportunity Charge the French artillery as they withdrew from the broken square, but failed their morale test. The whole French corps is now ready to withdraw towards Valladolid

Rule Note

A cavalry brigade wishing to make an Opportunity Charge must make at least 4 with 1D6. In this case the British hussars were C class, which is a minus one. If they fail to pass the test they are unable to charge.

Effect on Campaign

The failure to take Valladolid is a serious set back to Wellington.

The casualties on both sides have been light so far in the campaign, and Wellington has managed to cross the river Douro. But he has been unable to force the French to withdraw to the east and allow him to consolidate his hold on the river crossing. He will have to bring his army over the river Douro further west than he wanted.

Soult must now decide whether he is strong enough to go on to the offensive and drive Wellington back across the river, or whether to retreat to Plaencia and concentrate his army there.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 8

1500 to 1600

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of Move 8

4th corps continue to attack the French. Their artillery failed, yet again, to hit the square. But the rifle brigade moved into skirmish range and did score one hit. However the square once more made their morale, though they are now Shaken. The remainder of the French corps is trying to redeploy in case the square finally breaks.

Wellington has joined 4th corps, and is bringing up the reserve brigade in person.

Rule Note

CinC can take command of one brigade each turn and order them to do anything he wishes. However that takes his whole turn and he can not move elsewhere or issue any orders to his corps commanders.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 7

1400 to 1500

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of Move 7

1st British corps have retreated out of range of the French guns, so the attack has failed.

On the opposite flank both sides have casualties and either side could break.

1st British corps have retreated out of range, and the French corps are on Hold orders.

Wellington’s attack on Valladolid has failed.

The British artillery have fired on the French square, and missed again (third time). The Rifles have rallied, but are unable to skirmish this move. One good, or bad, dice could make all the difference on this flank

Rule Note

The British have been particularly unlucky with their dice in this game.

First the 4th corps have consistently rolled low for their Command Points, so the whole advance has been slow.

Then their artillery have only hit the square once, and despite three casualties the infantry made their morale.

Finally the elite rifle brigade have failed their morale due to a roll of one on D6.

It all makes for an interesting game!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 6

1300 to 1400

19 July 1813
With Wellington’s assistance 1st corps has finally withdrawn out of artillery range. However it is a simple manner for the French gunners to manhandle their guns forward and remain in range.

On the opposite flank 4th corps are suffering casualties and their advance is in danger of falling apart.

Both the highland brigade and the square have suffered casualties. The French gunners have manhanded their guns forward, bringing them into range again.

The hussars have formed column to edge past the French square, and to avoid their artillery. The rifle brigade have suffered casualties, and are shaken. Bad luck seems to have followed the elite 4th corps throughout this campaign

Rule Note

This has been one of those games when the French (Jan) can do no wrong with their dice, and the British (Paul) can do no right. The artillery on the French right rolled two on a D6 to hit the leading rifle brigade, and the riflemen rolled one on the D6, causing them to lose their morale and become Shaken.

The British gunners managed to hit the square which carried over two casualties from the previous battle, but they rolled a six and made their morale!

Its worse that all of this is happening to 4th corps (which includes the light division), and they had the same sort of luck in the previous battle.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 5

1200 to 1300

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of move 5

Despite Wellingtons best efforts, 1st corps can only slowly retreat out of artillery range, due to the French chasseurs, and continue to take casualties.

On the opposite flank 4th corps continues to approach the French line. The hussar brigade has moved forward to pin the French flank, but the artillery have managed to unlimber in canister range due to the protection of the infantry square

Wellington has ordered 1st corps to withdraw out of artillery range, but the French chasseurs force the nearest infantry to remain in square. To make matters worse the French have 12 pounder guns, with their increased range.

4th corps move ever closer to the French line. The Cacadores have reached the far side of the farm (building removed until they are in position). But the French guns have unlimbered within canister range. The side which moves first next turn will have a great advantage.

Rule Note

Wellington’s only hope of success now lies with 4th corps. The combination of the longer range of French artillery, and the absence of any British cavalry, mean that 1st corps will not be able to renew the offensive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 4

1100 to 1200

19 July 1813

Situation of the end of Move 4

The advance of 1st British corps has halted due to the loss of their hussar brigade. They are still in column of march, and vunerable to an opportunity charge by the French chasseurs.

The 4th British corps are doing better. They have reached the farm and one brigade is taking possession. The French are redeploying their artillery in a bid to counter this pending flank attack

The French chasseurs declared an opportunity charge on the limbered artillery, but the gunners managed to reach the safety of the nearby square. Wellington has changed the orders of 1st corps to allow them to withdraw out of artillery range to regroup.

4th British corps approach the flank of the waiting French corps. The cacadore brigade are moving through the farm to take possession. The gap in the French line has been left so that they can deploy their artillery there.

Rule Note

The French artillery has a longer range than the British, and this can cause considerable problems for Wellington’s men. This is particularly so when they do not have sufficient cavalry cover, to allow them to threaten the enemy gunners.

This situation is worse by the fact that the British horsemen are all C class, the French all B class. As a result it is difficult for the British to get their cavalry close enough to threaten the enemy gunners.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 3

1000 to 1100

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of Move 3

The French chasseurs have charged the British hussars covering the approach of 1st corps. The hussars failed their morale, and met the charge at the halt. They immediately broke and routed through the infantry behind them. The chasseurs failed their morale, and pursued the hussars. The infantry brigade which the hussars had ridden through made their morale, and managed to form square, which caused the chasseurs

Both the French chasseurs and the British infantry in square are disorganized. The remainder of 1st British corps are still in column of march, and will be exposed to an opportunity charge by the chasseurs next turn.

Rule Note

A brigade which is charged by the enemy must make morale to counter charge. The British hussars rolled a 1, and failed their morale. They have to remain stationary, which is minus 2 in the subsequent cavalry melee. The French chasseurs rolled 10 on 2D6, and the hussars broke without fighting. Two casualties on the hussars, none on the chasseurs.

A cavalry brigade which routs the enemy must test their morale to see if they pursue. If they do so, as in this case, they roll another dice to see whether they pursue the brigade which they routed, or the nearest enemy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 2

0900 to 1000

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of Move 2

1st corps continue to advance in column of march, but with the hussar brigade in line to cover them.

Top left 4th corps have arrived and are moving left to outflank Vidals corps who have deployed to meet them.

1st corps advance in column of march, covered by the hussar brigade

4th corps also advance in column of march, but move to the left of the farm to approach the flank of Vidals corps deployed to meet them.

Rule Note

Moving close to the enemy in column of march is dangerous, because brigades cannot fight in that formation. Both British corps have deployed their cavalry in line to protect the infantry and artillery from enemy cavalry.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Move 1

0800 to 0900

19 July 1813

Situation at the end of move 1

Villate moves part of his garrison out of Valladolid to cover the approach of Vidal’s corps (top) from Duenas

On the left Wellington and his 1st corps approach behind their cavalry screen.

Villate has his corps in place to hold Wellington at bay until Vidal can come to join him.

Rule Note

The French deployment outside of Valladolid delays Wellington’s approach, because his brigades can not make multiple moves when within 16” of the enemy

Vidal is not affected by this rule, because there are no enemy troops at the top of the table, where he is approaching.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Battle of Valladolid - Set Up

Start 0800

19 July 1813

Battle of Valladolid

Campaign Background

On the evening of 18 July Alten sent orders for 4th corps to withdraw from Duenas to join 1st corps who would attack Valladolid at first light.

Patrols from 6th French at Duenas reported that the British were retreating towards Valladolid, and Villate ordered his corps to march south at first light.

The battle starts at 0800 19 July 1813.

Table at start of battle

Wargames Table

Valladolid is the large town bottom left

The other three buildings are farms

The road top to bottom is from Santander to Cuellar

The road left to right is from Tordesillas to Burgos

Villates 7th corps are deployed in and around Valladolid

They have orders to hold the town

Levals 6th corps will arrive on road top centre on move 1

Hills 1st corps will arrive on road bottom left on move 1

Altens 4th corps will arrive in top left square on move 2

Valladolid at start of battle

Game Notes

4th British and 6th French have not had time to regroup since their battle at Duenas, so all casualties will be the same as at the end of that battle.