Thursday, October 17, 2013

Advanced guard in the Peninsular

Word of the advancing French army had arrived in the Spanish camp in the early hours of the morning, and the Spanish Corps commander deployed his meagre forces to protect the vital bridge.

The French advanced guard arrived more quickly that the Spanish commander had believed possible.

It was apparent that the French left flank was weak, and so the Spanish commander advanced his right flank to threaten the French and hopefully slow their advance.

The Spanish commander felt secure in the knowledge that one of his divisions held the heights protecting the bridge. However seeing the French cavalry on their right threatening his own left, he ordered his cavalry reserve to the right flank.

The French cavalry (a force of Dragoons supported by a Horse Artillery battery) struck immediately, hitting the two leading cavalry regiments.

Meanwhile the left flank French infantry division struck at the forces that the Spanish commander had pushed forward.

He held in the centre in front of the heights.

The two leading Spanish cavalry regiments were driven back in route, disordering the remainder of the Spanish cavalry column. The French commander saw his opportunity, and the victorious French dragoon regiment broke through and hit the disordered Spanish cavalry.

The result was a series of consequential routes - the Spanish cavalry division had been neutralised.

The spanish cavalry fleeing in disorder
 On the French left the infantry attacks went in, driving the Spanish infantry back.

The French cavalry division now moved into the rear of the main Spanish position.

The French left went into the attack again, the Spanish commander having stabilised his flank.

However this time the French attacks were driven back.

The remaining Spanish divisional cavalry raced across in the attack in its attempts to eliminate the imminent threat to the main Spanish position.Another furious cavalry melee ensued.

The Spanish attack was driven off, but a second attack hit the disordered French dragoon regiment, eliminating it.

The left flank French attack appeared to be making progress.

The remaining Spanish cavalry struck again behind the Spanish lines ....

And finally the last of the French cavalry was eliminated.

The French left wing division had suffered a morale collapse, but attempted to keep up the pressure on the Spanish, advancing to threaten the bridge.

The main French infantry division now launched its attack on the central Spanish position blocking its path to the bridge, their position having been disrupted by some fleeing Spanish cavalry.

However the Spanish launched an assault on the French left wing division.

In the centre the main Spanish position had begun to crumble.

However the French left wing division had been eliminated, and the central infantry division was near breaking point. The bridge remained in Spanish hands and the French advanced guard commander realised that the opportunity to seize the bridge had passed as his forces were no longer strong enough to take the position. He would have to wait for the main body to arrive.

The game was fought using Frank Chadwick's Volley and Bayonet rules,  using my collection of 25mm napoleonic figures. The forces were composed using the points system provided in the Road to Glory scenario system, although the French force had slightly fewer points than the Spanish. The forces totalled around 1100 points. The scenario was a pretty classic one created on an ad hoc basis to provide a short game, and while it was indeed short (about an hour and a quarter) it contained everything that makes these games so wonderful, and everything I could hope for in a game. There were highs and lows for both players. exciting action, swirling cavalry melees, attack and counter-attack, as the advantage swung one way and then the other.

What a fantastic game, accompanied by a glass of Old Dark, and great company.


  1. Very nice indeed. Do I detect a whiff of Minifigs?

  2. Great stuff! Didn't realise you had Napoleonics Robin! Is there anything you don't wargame??

  3. Yep.. largely minifigs.. some now quite brittle (a dragoon horse broke at the legs during the game.. damn!!).

    And yes I'm a self confessed wargames harlot.. Can't resist shiny toys...


  4. Dear old Minifigs (most of mine are the same, though a few toys of other manufacture spice up the collection a bit..). I've never been able to get the hang of V&B - some oddities about it that I've never got past - but I have to say, that in this scale the games do give a fine appearance to the battlefield.