First game of the year

This game is a Napoleonic fictional battle set in Spain. Its designed to get my opponents used to the Principles of War rules and the couple of small house rules that we’ll be using. Terrain will be typically Spanish, steepish hillsides and a small BUA. (Actually the terrain is very sparse because I want to get the game moving) The French have caught the British who’ve turned to fight and are defending their line of retreat.

The order of battle for this fight is losely based on parts of the Nafziger OOB for the Anglo Portuguese Army of September 1810 and various Nafziger OOB’s for French forces. Strength points are worked from the strengths recorded by Nafziger and will have a d4 added to them at the start of the game.

  • C in C – Wellington (Reliable)
  • 1st Division – Spencer (Average)
    • 1st Brigade – Stopford (Coldstream Gds, Scots Fusiliers) 2 bases – 11SP
    • 2nd Brigade – Blantyre (2/24th, 2/42nd,1/61st) 3 bases – 10SP
    • 3rd Brigade – Pakenham (1/7th, 1/79th) 2 bases – 11SP
    • KGL Brigade – (1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th KGL) 4 bases – 12SP
  • 2nd Division – Hill (Reliable)
    • 1st Brigade – Stewart (1/3rd, 2/31st, 2/48th, 2/66th) 4 bases – 12SP
    • 2nd Brigade – Inglis (29th, 1/48th, 1/57th) 3 bases – 11SP
    • Attached Portuguese Brigade – Pack (1&2/1st Portuguese, 1&2/16th Portuguese) 4 bases – 13SP
  • Cavalry Division – Payne (Poor)
    • Brigade – De Grey (3rd & 4th Dragoons) 2 bases – 6SP
    • Brigade – Slade (1st Dragoons, 14th Light Dragoons) 2 bases – 6SP
    • Brigade – Anson (16th Light Dragoons, 1st KGL Hussars) 2 bases – 6SP

All British units count as High Fire Discipline and Skirmish troops, equiped with rifles, while the Portuguese count as Conscript and non skirmish troops.
Additionally, the British players will have 2 foot and 1 horse artillery batteries to allocate to the divisions as they wish, no more than 1 to a division. These will have 6SP plus a d6.

  • C in C – Victor (Average)
    • Light Cavalry Brigade (2nd & 4th Hussars, 26th Chasseurs) 3 bases – 11SP
    • I Corps
    • 1st Division – Ruffin (Average)
      • 16th Legere 3 bases – 11SP
      • 24th Ligne 3 bases – 12SP
      • 96th Ligne 4 bases – 11SP
      • Artillery 2 bases – 6SP
    • 2nd Division – Lapisse (Average)
      • 9th Legere 3 bases – 11SP
      • 8th Ligne 3 bases – 11SP
      • 45th Ligne 3 bases – 11SP
      • 54th Ligne 3 bases – 12SP
      • Artillery 2 bases – 6SP
    • Cavalry Division – Milhaud (Average)
      • Dragoon Brigade (3rd & 6th Dragoons) 2 bases – 10SP
      • Cuirassier Brigade (1st,2nd & 18th Cuirassiers) 3 bases – 10SP
      • Horse Artillery 2 bases – 6SP

The British players Matt and Peter decided to line the crest of the large hill and to be in a position to move forward to occupy the smallish spur running towards the French positions. As Marechal Victor, I opted to place my infantry immediately into attack columns in front of the larger hill, while my cavalry division was placed on my left flank towards the same spur.

Infantry Divisions in columns of attack ready to move off
View of the main British position atop the hill from the French perspective
View of the left of the British position with the spur in the middle-left

The first turns were purely manouvre and movement, with my infantry divisions moving at speed over the open terrain towards the waiting British and Portuguese atop the hill and my cavalry moving quickly to intimidate the British right. His cavalry was caught somewhat out of position and to defend his strung out infantry brigade he opted to charge my Cuirassiers which had been shaken by close range canister and infantry skirmish fire. The resulting morale roll of a ‘1’ meant they instantly rallied and countercharged. Suddenly the British thought better discretion the better part of valour (they failed their morale test to go into steady troops) and stood shaken in front of a brigade of dragoons who opted for glory and hammered into their flank. The subsequent combat was over quickly, the British light cavalry routing and shaking the infantry in squares behind them. Unfortunately the dragoons who had the option of pursuing didn’t have the movement to contact the square and the opportunity was lost as he rallied it the following turn.

British Cavalry get hit in the flank
British Cavalry have routed shaking the square but my dragoons can't reach it

On the main hill my columns were finally getting close having a torrid time of clambering the steep slope under skirmish and canister fire. Several regiments were thrown back in confusion but a round of decent command dice meant I had enough to rally and push units back into the breach. The crisis came to a head with a column charging home against a British brigade in line, who failing their morale roll fired shaken and failed to stop the column getting in close for some “choppy choppy”. Again the subsequent combat went well for the French and the British were pushed back taking casualties and inflicting none.

French columns making hard work of the climb uphill

Back on the spur the dragoons again charged home against British cavalry, Dragoons of their own this time and again the British were routed leaving their Cavalry division at less than half strength and infantry again in squares to protect themselves.

Situation at the end of the evening looking down the line of British positions

And at this point time ran out, but we’re leaving the game up to test out how feasible the rules make fighting withdrawals. Overall the French have lost 28 Strength Points, but the British only 17. However, they’ve also lost 12 SP’s from routed units leaving things evenly poised. We’ve not encountered any issues as yet from having more or less bases per unit than the proscribed 3 and we’re enjoying the game!

One thought on “First game of the year”

  1. Hi Gavin, great 6mm figures not painted baccus before but might give them a try now iv,e seen these.
    Also like the ww2 troops, will keep an eye on your site now . Great work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *