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, 18 September 2013

Campaign Battle 01: Baylen Revisited

I have just finished playing through the first battle of my second recent attempt at re-fighting Peninsular Campaign (after IT difficulties and a two-foot Godzilla wrecked my previous attempt).  Amazingly enough, the battle was almost identical to the Battle of Baylen, both in situation and outcome.  Dupont had divided his force, keeping the divisions of Fresia and Vedel busy requisitioning supplies around Andujar while detaching Gobert to incorporate a couple of battalions of raw infantry then occupy the position at Baylen.  Unfortunately, Castanos and Reding were able to take advantage of this, Reding occupying Baylen and interposing himself between the two forces.  Castanos then launched an attack across the river towards Andujar so Dupont left a rearguard to delay him and tried to burst through Reding's defences.

The terrain:

View of the battlefield looking South, with Andujar in the top-right.
The Forces:

Imperial French:
C-in-C Gen Dupont (Plodding)

1st Infantry Division (Gen Vedel - Plodding)
2 Bns Raw Infantry SK2, 12 Bns Raw Infantry SK1, 4 Bns Trained Swiss Infantry SK0, 1 8lb Foot Bty

Cavalry Division (Gen Fresia - Plodding)
3 Regts Raw Heavy Cavalry (unarmoured Cuirassiers), 3 Regts Raw Light Cavalry, 1 4lb Foot Bty

C-in-C Gen Castanos (Competent)

1st Infantry Division (Gen Venegas - Plodding)
2 Bns Trained Infantry (SK2), 2 Bns Trained Infantry (SK1), 4 Bns Trained Infantry (SK0), 3 Regts Raw Dragoons, 1 8lb Foot Bty

a further three infantry divisions comprising another 13000 Infantry (26 Bns), 2000 Cavalry (6 Regts) and 30 Guns (5 Btys) were deemed to be following up Venegas' Division and could enter the table as space allowed and need required.

5th Infantry Division (Gen Reding - Decisive)
2 Bns Trained Infantry (SK2), 2 Bns Trained Infantry (SK1), 2 Bns Trained Infantry (SK0), 6 Bns Raw Infantry (SK0), 1 8lb Foot Bty

The Deployments:

Two brigades of Vedel's Division guard the town and the hills opposite the river, while the remainder of Dupont's force is ready to march East (left); Reding's Division approaches from the East, Venegas' troops can just be seen over the river

 The initial moves were centred on Dupont's attempt to get troops across the stream and Reding's attempts to occupy the defensible positions on the hills.  Venegas attempted to bring up more troops whilst bombarding the Swiss troops defending the hill to the East of the town. All three were more or less successful: Dupont got a large proportion of his troops over the stream, Reding occupied one hill (northernmost) exclusively and disputed possession of the other, Venegas' artillery proved very effective and forced one of the Swiss Bns back.

The first crisis:


Looking West towards Andujar.  Reding's Division attempt to block the French breakout while leading elements of Venegas' Division have destroyed the Swiss occupying the hills to East and West of Andujar and bypassed the brigade defending that town.  Time is running out for Dupont's men...

A closer view of Venegas' troops' progress

The Final Throw:

Some of Dupont's infantry, supported by Light Cavalry are thrown back by Reding's regulars with conscripts supporting (red markers indicate disorder levels, with units being broken when they reach three).  A subsequent bayonet charge destroyed the French brigade in the best 'volley and charge' style.
Reding's other regular brigade repulse the French in similar fashion.

At this point the game ended as the French force's morale collapsed.  A pity, as the Spanish infantry above also failed their morale check which would have allowed a small fraction of Dupont's force to escape although the arrival of Venegas' troops ruled out the escape for the majority of the French.  As it was the capitulation was total and history was more or less re-created...

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