The Battle of San Sebastian Pt3 (turns 7-13)

The rain continues to be a problem, with both sides musketry utterly pitiful and the French cannon equally useless in the main.

Close up of the centre of the battlefield around 10am

On the Spanish Left, steady advance up the wooded slopes continues slowly, the terrain rendering movement at half speed and inflicting disorder at every move. In the centre, the Spanish 1st Division pressed hard against the Brigade holding the French line, repeated bayonet and close musketry attacks on both sides causing attrition that could only end in one way, the French Brigade losing a unit and being forced back, all remaining units left in a precarious state of 1 CV each. It hadn’t been easy for the Spanish though, and most of the 1st Division were now in perilously low CV as well.

Turn 8

It was at this point that Blake issued an order to attack to the 4th Division who’d been behind “supporting” the 1st Division. They were to punch through the French left. The Legere on the slopes were not worried by this though and continued to tie up several Spanish units in futile musket duels that the Spanish were inevitably losing although not without cost for the French. Slowly, the casualties mounted on both sides, several Spanish attempts to charge up the slope met with close order volleyfire and heavy loss.

The French centre gives ground
Two battalions in column counter attack in the centre (The little “explosions” are disorder markers while the micro dice are the unit CVs to speed up play without needing a roster sheet)
Close fighting in the trees on the Spanish Left

Finally a battalion of the Legere were dispersed but the damage had been done and the rest of the Spanish were not in a position to follow up and take advantage, or possession of the slopes.

On the French left the battalions of the line regiment pushed up into the gap before them and attempted to slow the assault of the Spanish 4th Division. This they succeeded in doing, dealing some hefty casualties to several Spanish militia battalions and counterattacking to drive off several battered Spanish units from the 1st Division.

Turn 10
Positions at the end. Apologies for the terrible picture!

At 1pm, the Spanish 1st Division finally broke, it’s remaining units streaming to the rear. Neither the 3rd or 4th Divisions gave any sign of weakening, but the French left brigade also broke, several of its battalions melting away into the rain. Gen. Blake looked across his forces, took stock of his position and the lack of any sign that his reinforcements were coming and elected to fall back while he still had troops in good order to fend off the two French Light Cavalry Regiments that had so far been uncommitted in the battle. These cavalry pursued his forces for several hours, inflicting more casualties and disorder amongst his units but not without losing a few of their own number. This was not a rout however, but a covered withdrawal.

For now, the siege of San Sebastian continues, it’s residents dismayed that the sounds of battle grow more distant than closer…

The Battle of San Sebastian Pt2 (Turns 1-6)

Richard’s orders were very clear, attack as soon as possible with everything. Sadly Martin didn’t respond to my post so I’ve had to make some sensible orders for the French troops.

Initial deployment. The French troops at the bottom include 3 infantry brigades (white, green and blue dice) and a light cavalry brigade.

The Army of Castille’s orders from Gen. Blake (Richard) were very clear, attack as soon as possible with everything. Sadly Marshal Victor (Martin) didn’t respond to my post so I’ve had to make some sensible orders for the French troops.
The initial orders for the Spanish were to attack straight down the valley with the lead division supported by the rear division, while the left division would move onto the slopes of the hill to attempt to force the flank.

View from the Spanish lines. (Ignore the fact I’ve had to press into service British and Portuguese bases!)

French orders were to secure the slopes on the left and to hold the centre, but as soon as the Spanish thrust on the right was observed, Ruffin (the senior general present) ordered the reserve brigade from V Corps to move into the wooded slopes to protect his right flank. On the left, the 3 battalions of the Legere regiment moved to secure the heights before moving down slope to begin engaging the enemy forces in the valley.

Turn 2

Long range cannon fire did very little to soften up the Spanish due to the rain, although the better skirmish capability of the French meant that a few casualties were counted.

Turn 3

In the centre the leading Spanish units were taking casualties but pressed on, attempting to charge home but the initial attack was repulsed with heavy losses, one battalion sent hurtling rearward with 80% loss of Combat Value.

Turn 4
Turn 5
Turn 6

One bright light was the Spanish battalion charging the deployed Artillery from V Corps and driving that battery backwards before them, rendering them almost effective for the rest of the battle.

The Battle of San Sebastian

The sixth day of the online campaign sees the first battle to be fought between forces from the Spanish Army of Old Castille under General Blake (Richard) and elements of both I Corps and V Corps under Marshal Victor and Mortier respectively (although neither are on the battlefield).

This engagement has been precipitated by the Spanish offensive move from Vittoria to San Sebastian where a siege was begun several days before.

The battlefield from the North (San Sebastian). Both hillsides are steep hills and will be rough ground for all troop types. The woods are light, but will disorder Cavalry and non-skirmish infantry (pretty much everyone!)

The battle will be fought using my 6mm figures and the March Attack rules from Crusader Publishing. This is a first game for me using these rules but I’ve read through them a few times and they seem like they’ll do the job well. Sadly I don’t have enough Spanish troops now I’ve started basing all new figures on 60mm x 60mm for Blucher so I’m having to press some British and Portuguese into service as proxies but I’m sure they’ll do just fine.

As this is technically a meeting engagement, and both sides may have reinforcements hurrying to the battlefield, both commanders have been given the option of when to attack, the earlier choice of the two indicating the initiative for the first turn and the number of turns that can be played in the 12 hour March day.

Oh, and it’s raining…