Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Peninsular Campaign Battle 08 - Crossing of the Duero

The Situation:

After some indecisive manoeuvering around Salamanca, both sides simultaneously have spotted an opportunity to split their opponents by seizing a crossing of the Duero to the West of Salamanca.

The Forces:

ANGLO-PORTUGUESE FORCES


Anglo-Portuguese C-in-C: Gen Sir William Berwick (Competent)

The Western Force:

1st Division: Maj-Gen Robson (Competent)
1st Brigade:
1/5 Northumberland**
3/27 Inniskillings*
55 Westmoreland (V)
2nd Brigade:
1/4 King's Own
1/61 South Gloucestershire ***
1/92 (Gordon Highlanders) *

Divisional Artillery:
7 Coy/8 Bn RA (Lawson's) 6lb

2nd Light Cavalry Brigade:
10th Prince of Wales Own Hussars (V)******
15th King's Hussars

2nd Dragoon Brigade:
3rd Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards ***
5th Princess Charlotte of Wales' Dragoon Guards (V)



The Northern Force:

2nd Division: Maj-Gen Charlton (Decisive)
1st Brigade:
2 Queen's Royal **
68 Durham (Light Infantry) (V)
2/92 (Gordon Highlanders) (V)
3rd Brigade:
2 Cacadores (V)**
6 Line (1 Porto) *
7 Line (Setubal) (V)
8 Line (Evora) (V)
22 Line (Serpa)

Divisional Artillery:
5 Coy/1 Bn RA (6lb)

1st Dragoon Brigade:
4th Queen's Own Dragoons *
6th Inniskilling Dragoons (R)

IMPERIAL FRENCH FORCES

French C-in-C: Gen Sauret (Competent)

1st Division: Gen Renault (Competent)
1st Brigade:
1/28 Light (V)
1/32 Light
2nd Brigade:
1/113 Line (R)
2/113 Line
3/113 Line (V)
1/116 Line (R) **

Light Cavalry Brigade:
1 Hussars **
6 Hussars *


SOUTHERN FORCE

2nd Division: Gen Panis (Competent)
1st Brigade:
1/94 Line (R)
1/95 Line
1/118 Line
1/2 Nassau Infantry
2nd Brigade:
1/119 Line **
Irish Legion **

1/96 Line (V)
1/117 Line (R) *
Divisional Artillery:
1/1 Foot Artillery 8lb
2/1 Foot Artillery 8lb


4th Division: Gen Villeneuve (Decisive)
1st Brigade:
1 Dragoons ***
10 Dragoons
2nd Brigade:
19 Dragoons
22 Dragoons




The Battlefield:



The Anglo-Portuguese will approach from the West (Left) and , after a delay from the North (Top);  The French  will approach from the South and East.


The Approach March:

The shape of the battle -the terrain favours the French to reach the bridge first; the Anglo-Portuguese artillery labours over the open ground to keep up with the infantry and cavalry

The French Dragoons Victorious!

A long run of success for the British Hussars is reversed - the 10 and 15 Hussars can be seen routing off to the North after losing a protracted melee against the 22 and 19 Dragoons.  The French have also secured the bridge and united their forces...but note the British Dragoon Guards (3 and 5 Regiments) ready to charge from the top-left....

The British Dragoons Victorious!

The first phase of the charge of the Dragoon Guards is successful, the French Dragoons are routed and their supports are in severe disorder - the whole brigade is about to retire from the field...

The Second Phase:
...and the British Dragoon Guards then rout the second French Dragoon brigade for good measure, thus splitting the French forces.  In the epic battle however, both C-in-Cs were amongst the casualties, both severely wounded and out of the battle.  The  Anglo-Portuguese infantry has now come up in support.

The Moment of Crisis:
The French infantry managed to force the British Dragoon Guards back, however, the British and Portuguese infantry have successfully advanced through the wounds and forced back their respective opponents - the battle is now in the balance.
The British Victory!
The French infantry succeed in forcing back the leading British units  (note the red 'shaken' markers).  However, the defeat of the flanking French units around the wood to the North, and more importantly, at the bridge, leads to a collapse of French morale and the whole force retires, the key moment probably being the smart volley and charge to defend the bridge against the French attack from the South, which led to the French brigade retiring in disorder.
As a result of this battle, 1/113 and 1/116 Line were promoted to Trained; 3 Prince of Wales' Dragoon Guards were promoted to Veteran, 15 Hussars were demoted to Raw.

Game Notes: As usual, this was a scenario from Scenarios for All Ages played out using the  Polemos General de Division rules.  All figures Baccus 6mm.  The game lasted just over 90 minutes of playing time.  This game had some tense moments, but was perhaps not the best game of the campaign.  The reason for this is that nearly all the scenarios are designed for a 7'x5' table, but my table is 5'x3'.  In most scenarios this didn't matter, but in this one it did as it ensured all the action took place in a very small portion of the table and it all felt pretty cramped.

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