General Situation: Gen Blake's Army of Galicia has made a measured advance Eastwards from its starting base at Astorga towards the main French supply route to Madrid, that going from Bayonne via Vitoria and Burgos. Bessieres' troops have withdrawn in the face of this pressure as the Marshal tries to gain time for enough troops to concentrate to defeat the Spanish. As Bessieres could not concentrate enough troops to defend Burgos, he withdrew Northwards and his adversary, sensing weakness and a fleeting opportunity to battle the French II Corps at a numerical advantage, masked the small French garrison at Burgos and pursued him North, bringing him to battle to the Northwest of Miranda.
Spanish Army of Galicia (CinC Gen Blake) with 22000 Infantry and 48 Guns in four divisions (Cagigal's, Martinengo's, Riquelme's and Portago's)
French II Corps (CinC Marshal Bessieres) with 15000 Infantry and 54 Guns (Mouton's Division, Dorsenne's Imperial Guard Division, Lasalle's Cavalry Division, Corps' Reserve Artillery).
|View from behind Blake's troops looking towards the French positions (Cagigal's Division to the left, Riquelme's Division to the right)..|
|View from the Southeast - some Spanish troops from Portago's Division observe Miranda from the South.|
|Spanish troops of Cagigal's Division have attacked on the Northern flank (bottom) as have Martinengo's in the centre but have been repulsed in both cases. They are reforming for another go.|
|Ferocious artillery fire from both sides creates opportunity in the centre but the Spanish attack is repulsed once again. The artillery from both nations was particularly effective in this part of the battlefield.|
|Situation as above, but with the Imperial Guard clearly visible at the bottom of the picture, beginning to outflank the Spanish rearguard brigade.|
|Lasalle can be seen pursuing the Spanish rearguard brigade, which Blake is personally commanding at this point. The majority of the Spanish are getting away, but the Imperial Guard managed to overrun the majority of Blake's guns before this.|
Bessieres' casualties were quite light - approximately 450 all told. The Spanish losses were much heavier: approximately 2000 battle casualties with another 4000 or so prisoners.
Game Notes: A really enjoyable game. I don't play Marechal... as much as the General de Division set in Polemos Napoleonics, so it was interesting to see the differences in action again. The 'phased' combat in Marechal is genuinely exciting, as it can be quite a fine decision as to whether to continue any given combat or to 'stick' and hope that your troops have already done enough to win it (there is an outcome of combat phase, so it is possible, but unlikely, that your troops will get the better of the combat in terms of territory or casualties, but still lose by their morale dropping first). The combats which resulted in the defeat of Cagigal's Division were quite finely poised but French boldness was handsomely rewarded!. It is also noticeable how quickly attacks on narrow frontages can happen - and how quickly and far beaten forces can retreat!