General Situation: Bessieres is continuing his pursuit of the Army of Galicia, now under the command of Gen Mahy. Mahy's troops were trying to gain some respite at Plasencia, but on the approach of the the Imperial II Corps, has moved North to oppose its crossing of the Ucieza river to the North. Bessieres has reconnoitred the Spanish position and improvised a pontoon crossing during the night, ready for a crossing at dawn...
II Corps (CinC Bessieres - Decisive)
Imperial Guard Division: 3000 Infantry, 1000 Light Cavalry
Lasalle's Division: 1000 Light Cavalry
Merle's Division: 7500 Infantry
Mouton's Division: 9000 Infantry, 1000 Dragoons
Artillery: 48 Guns
Totals: 19500 Infantry, 3000 Cavalry, 48 Guns
Army of Galicia (CinC Gen Mahy - Plodding)
Maceda's Division: 1500 Infantry, 1000 Light Cavalry, 12 Guns
Cagigal's Division: 3000 Infantry, 12 Guns
Martinengo's Division: 1500 Infantry
Portago's Division: 7500 Infantry, 12 Guns
Riquelme's Division: 6000 Infantry, 24 Guns
Trias' Division: 3000 Infantry
Totals: 22500 Infantry, 1000 Cavalry, 60 Guns
|Mouton's division continues, but the Spanish are massing ready for a two-sided assault...|
The Crisis of the Battle:
A clear and outright Spanish victory to resume the campaign. French casualties were in excess of 5,000, including many prisoners from the shattered brigades of Mouton's division, which was a galling fate for his lead units which had performed so well in turning the Spanish right. Bessieres was clearly right to call off the action, as the chances for the decisive success which had inspired him to seek another battle against the Army if Galicia in the first place had gone. Bessieres plan was simply too bold and he was punished accordingly, although he wasn't blessed with much luck, continually losing the initiative to Mahy for a succession of key turns. On balance, a more central crossing point might have served him better, or a more defensive outlook after crossing. Either way, this probably marks the end of Bessieres' pursuit of the Army of Galicia - both sides will have to take stock and decide if either can risk resuming the offensive unless they are reinforced.
A suitably intense game of MdE to re-start my campaign. Some of the mechanics were quite tricky to implement in this battle, because of the unusual dynamics of the attacks of the Spanish on both sides of the French 'corridor'. I'm not sure I got every call correctly, but hopefully it was 'about right'. And as a soloist, I only have to please myself...
I do think that it can be more difficult to sort this kind of thing out with element-based games compared to individual or sub-unit basing systems however, as the larger bases seem to interact with each other in more complicated ways. I may ask the author Chris Grice a couple of clarifying questions on the yahoo group so that I will know for next time!