Sunday, December 1, 2019

Spain is in peril: Iberian adventures

For Captain Garcia Fernando Pedro del Gama this was not a great way to fight a war. He had stood with his men for 6 hours. The sun had risen from the horizon and was now almost directly overhead, and still the Generalissimo sat at his table beneath the flapping canvas, lunching, drinking champagne, and tasting the delights of the roast hare, and chicken.  A conference of commanders, it they called it. He called it a long lunch at best, damnable disgrace and a waste of fighting time at worst. There were Frenchmen to attack, Spain to defend. He kicked at the dried grass at his feet, snorted in disgust, and turned back to face the French columns advancing now across the plain.

Another action on the Iberian Peninsular, fought using the Volley and Bayonet rules, and my 25mm armies. Each army comprised 3000 points, created using the VnB Road To Glory scenario system

The position after the first two moves, the French on the left, the Spanish on th right

The Spanish left had taken up position on the first hill that they came cross

French Dragoons moved out to attack the Spanish left

One of the two Spanish reserve cavalry divisions advanced to counter the French cavalry threat

The Spanish right. Captain de Gama's troops were pushed forward to attack the French

The firsat Spanish attack routs one French brigade, but one Spanish regiment is lost in the process

On the left the cavalry battle is joined

The French left wing attacks the town of El Django, ejcting the Spanish troops that had captured it in the opening moments of the battle 

The French also apply pressure to the Spanish centre

The Spanish counter attack El Django, but fail to break in to the town

The French troops are caught in a bottle neck in the centre

The French draw troops across to their right to develop the attack on the Spanish left, but leave a hole in their own centre. Spanish reserve troops advance to exploit the gapSpanish 

The Spanish right continues the pressure on the French left, causing significant casualties

The Spanish centre/left

The Spanishjcavalry have defeated the French dragoons, but bow a division of French Hussars advances ion them

Shoring up the Spanish left

The French pull two brigades back from the Spanish artillery

The Spanish left waiting on the next French attack

Spanish cavalry have launched themselves into the flank of one of the French cnenre brigades, driving them back

The French centre/left troops pull back to guard their own flank

The Spanish right wing attack continues to push forward

The Spanish troops took their moment sot withdraw form the field as night fell. Had they been saved by the impending darkness, or had they lost the opportunity to defeat the French invaders because the battle had started so late in the day. For Captain Garcia Fernando Pedro del Gama this left a bitter taste in the mouth. Long lunches, indeed. Battles and wars were not won on the back of long lunches, but on the back of decisive action, and this day had not seen sufficient decisive action. Perhaps next time.

At this point the game was called the hour being late. The Spanish left was in a very vulnerable position. The centre/left had lost a division under withering French artillery fire, and the reserves had been called forward to hold the line. We had delayed too long before beginning the fight.

It was agreed that the Spanish army had been bested. The defensive posture of the Spanish infantry o the left had meant that they ceded the initiative to the French to develop their attack as they wished.

However this was another great game, as they always are with Volley and Bayonet.

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