Some where in Spain 1809 two Armies met one Spanish the other French. The French were along way from home but had been encourage by their Emperor that there were rich pickings in Spain. The Spanish Army was half trained and lacking in effective cavalry, but were fighting for their own homes, family and freedom from the oppressive French. Today's battle was a 'Table Top Teaser' from The Wargamers' Annual Vol 1 in which the Spanish forces took up a blocking position in hope of stopping the French advance. Andrew provide the French, which were mostly Perry Miniatures and painted by Dragon Painting Service and the Spanish were all my re-based Front Rank Miniatures. The unit were either 32 or 36 figure battalions. Cavalry either 8 figures for the Spanish and 18 figures per regiment for the French. Rules played were those of Andrew's Fortune & Glory - but for big battalion games.
The Battle started with the pre-drawing of positions on a map, followed by placement of Brigades and finally declaration of orders. As the Spanish were in a blocking position Andrew and his French force were on the attack. His main attack would fall on my lightly held right flank. There I had placed four battalions of infantry (two of which were militia) in hope of holding a piece of high ground. Andrew deployed to regiments of Dragoons, four battalion of French Line and a battery of guns. More then enough one would thing to roll over the four Spanish units with ease.
The Spanish take up positions
However this was not the case. After over an hour of fighting my Spanish held the French in check and finally forced the French columns to turn about and rout to the rear, dropping knapsacks and rifles as they fled. This was the end of the majority of fighting on that flank except a late charge from the Dragoons, which my boys repulsed after forming square and firing off a few volleys. Overall it was a great game, lots of big battalions and nicely painted figures. What more could you want?
Elite Swiss - Perry Miniatures painted by DPS
The next phase of the battle was centered on the high ground to my center, where after my only battery was destroyed counter battery fire from two of Andrew's batteries, the French sent two of the Elite Swiss battalions to take the high ground. The Swiss broke two of my battalions to there front and then began to make the steep climb up to the summit. Here a desperate battle ensured but the Swiss too were finally pushed back by guerrilla lancers and Militia unit I had held in reserve. On the French right flank they had better luck. The French Light Infantry managed the push the Spanish out of the small village and their light cavalry managed to destroy all my cavalry. But by this time it was too late and the game ended on turn eight as a Spanish victory. The French had failed to take two of the three objectives and the Spanish still held the main positions - but only just.
The French advance.
A view from the Spanish lines of the french advance.
And again from the French.
Orders are dispatched to Brigade Commanders for the coming assault.
The first French attack columns close in on the Spanish right flank.
On the French right the Light Infantry advance to attack the town.
Spanish Cavalry await orders to attack.
French attack columns close with on my Spanish in a vain hope of breaking that flank.
Sorry Andrew but your boys could not hack the pace.
With the attack falling on the Spanish General Andrew Parr quickly re-gained the initiative and put in strong attacks along the rest of the Spanish battle lines.