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.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Peninsular Campaign Summary - October 1808

Peninsular Campaign Summary - October 1808

Andalusia and New Castile:

Castanos and Cervellon continued their desultory pursuit of Moncey.  Moncey briefly considered making a stand to defend the capital but the odds against him simply looked too heavy to be worth the risk and he has retreated North through the mountains towards Valladolid to come within range of support from Bessieres' II Corps.  Spanish supply and co-ordination difficulties hampered the pursuit and by the end of the month, only Cervellon's forces had managed to cross the mountains in pursuit, Castanos' army still remaining to the southwest of Madrid.  Cuesta's Army of the Centre and Elio's Fourth Army are now both in the area of Seville, incorporating its large garrisons into their combat divisions to form a strategic reserve for the Spanish forces.

Leon and Castile:

Bessieres finally managed to inflict a sizeable defeat upon Mahy's Army of Galicia, which then retreated precipitately upon its base at Astorga.  Joseph, in a surprisingly bold move, also managed to re-take Santander from Acevedo's Asturian Division and inflict some serious casualties onto that force.  The first sizeable French reinforcements from the Grande Armee - Lefebvre's IV Corps and Victor's I Corps, arrived at Bayonne and have marched south to the area around Burgos.

Aragon:

Remained quiet.

Catalonia:

More manoeuvring - Palacio has managed to reinforce Gerona whilst the blockade was lifted, and this means that the Spanish can hope for it to last out until 1809.  However, Duhesme inflicted two defeats upon Jacome's division, which has now been reduced to about 20% of its initial strength* and Palacio has been forced to end the blockade of Barcelona and retreat towards Tarragona, as his forces are now just too weak, even when combined, to be reasonably sure of surviving an attack by a single French division.

Valencia:

Cervellon has merely followed up Moncey as the latter general has retreated to a position on the North bank of the Tagus.  The French garrison of Madrid, in attempting to maintain the flow of supplies to the region has pretty much devastated the local area.  It will be interesting to see if this hurts the Allied or Imperial cause more during the winter months...

Portugal:

Quiet.  Gen Moore has continued his march to support the Spanish and has now entered Spain near Badajoz.

Game Notes:

Another quieter month, and although the Spanish have occupied Madrid - and thus able to establish the Cortes, hopefully increasing the ease of co-operation between Spanish armies, and successfully increased the garrisons of Hostalrich and Gerona, operations everywhere else have seemed to favour the French.  Bessieres and Joseph seem to have esablished a degree of superiority in Leon and Moncey has avoided being defeated by superior Spanish forces, so now that the French have five or so Corps in the Burgos - Palencia - Valladolid area, they are well placed to resume their offensive from a better position than their historical prototypes.

*I didn't play out this battle as it wasclear that the French were going to win in short order.  Normally these rules lead to quite bloodless battles, but the correlation of forces and commanders, plus a good French die roll, led to Jacome's division losing 75% of its remaining troops whilst trying to escape!

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