Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Peninsular Campaign Battle 3 - Action at St Rodrigo

This game was based on the fourth scenario in Grant and Asquith's Scenarios for All Ages.  The premise is that a small Red force has advanced too far into enemy territory and Blue is attempting to destroy it with superior converging forces.  Red must escape with 80% of its forces intact to succeed.

The Situation:  After defeating Marshal Marmont's attempts to relieve the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, Wellington is focused on reducing the city's defences and organizing an attempt to storm the place.  However, although Marmont has given up on the city, he still hopes to arrange a blow against Wellington before the place falls.  His chance has come when his cavalry patrols have discovered that a column of Allied troops have probed too far towards Salamanca, unaware of the French positions.  Marmont has hurriedly ordered his forces to converge upon and destroy this rash detachment...

Allied Forces:

C-in-C Gen Berwick

2nd Division: Gen Charlton (Decisive)
1st Brigade: 2 Foot (Queen's Royal), 68 Light (Durham), 2/92 Highlanders (Gordons)
2nd Brigade: 2 Cacadores, 6 Line (V), 7 Line (V), 8 Line, 22 Line (V)
Artillery: Lawson's Bty RA

Light Cavalry Brigade: 10 Hussars (V), 15 Hussars (R)

Dragoon Brigade: 4 (Queen's Own) Dragoon Guards, 6 Inniskilling Dragoons

French Forces:

C-in-C Gen Sauret

1st Division: Gen Renault (Competent)
2nd Brigade: 1/113 Line (R), 2/113 Line, 3/113 Line
3rd Brigade: 1/116 Line (R), 1/119 Line, Irish Legion
Artillery: 1/1 Ft Arty

2nd Division: Gen Villeneuve (Decisive)
1st Brigade: 1/94 Line (R), 1/95 Line, 1/118 Line, 1/2 Nassau Infantry
1st Dragoon Brigade: 1 Dragoons, 10 Dragoons
2nd Dragoon Brigade: 19 Dragoons, 22 Dragoons
Artillery: 1/2 Hs Arty

3rd Division: Gen Panis (Competent)
1st Brigade: 2/28 Light (R), 3/28 Light (V)
2nd Brigade: 1/96 Line, 1/117 Line (R)
3rd Brigade: 1 Hussars, 6 Hussars

The Set-Up:

The Anglo-Portuguese forces are set-up in the centre, intending to punch  through the French force to the South.
The Initial Attack:
Hussars attack the French Light Infantry Regiment to the Left; Portuguese Infantry advance upon the French Hussars to the right - but the British Dragoons are held-off by the French Line infantry in the centre.

A wider shot: The French Dragoons are advancing quickly in the top-left; the French Infantry column  to the top-right is making much slower progress (in game terms, the French C-in-C is concentrating on spending his command effort on getting the Dragoons into range to force the Allied troops to turn-and-face, thus slowing their attempt to escape)
The Turning Point:

The initial Allied attacks were generally successful:  10th Hussars famous charge routing two battalions of 28e Leger, and the leading Portuguese infantry have pushed the French Hussars temporarily off-table; however, 1/117 and 1/96 Line have stood firm against the British Dragoons...and the French Dragoons are now approaching fast!  Meanwhile, the  remaining Allied infantry are making slow progress through the plowed fields...

La Gloire!

The French Dragoons have turned the tables in a magnificent charge led by General Villeneuve!  They have captured the British guns, routed the Inniskilling Dragoons and destroyed the hindmost Allied brigade  (8 Portuguese Line, 22 Portuguese Line) and snatched  victory from the Allies.  This may just save Marmont from Napoleon's wrath when Ciudad Rodrigo falls...The other Allied brigade escapes unscathed...

Game Notes:
Cavalry charges are quite risky affairs in Polemos General de Division, but sometimes, when they come off, the results can be devastating.  The success of the British Hussars and the French Dragoons were key moments (especially the latter), the failure of the British Dragoons (against both the French Infantry and the French Dragoons) equally key. This game played out quite quickly (eight turns), as the optimum strategy for both sides seemed to be all-out aggression.

Performance Ratings:
Allies: 4 Dragoon Guards*, 2 Cacadores **, 6 Line*, 10 Hussars***, 15 Hussars*, Charlton*, Berwick*
French: 22 Dragoons****, 1/117 Line*, 1/96 Line*, Villenueve**, Sauret**

Broken Units:
Allies: 6 Inniskilling Dragoons, 8 Line, 22 Line, Lawson's Bty
French: 2/28 Light, 3/28 Light

The following units were promoted to Veteran: 22 Dragoons, 1/96 Line
The following units were promoted to Trained: 15 Hussars
The following units were demoted to Trained: 22 Line
The following units were demoted to Raw: 6 Inniskilling Dragoons

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