Sunday, 22 July 2012

Clash at Almendralejo, 1811

This was the first time in a while that I have had a game with Angus Konstam. It was a bring all your toys to the table type of game and unusually I had the most toys. The game had a ridge running down the middle of the table which the Anglo-Portuguese were holding in some strength. No really objectives other than have a go.

The British had 3 brigades of infantry and a cavalry brigade plus 3 batteries of guns. The french had 2 large brigades of infantry and 2 cavalry brigades plus 1 large battery and a small battery of horse artillery. Myself and Bart played the French while Angus the British.

The French plan was to launch a fierce assault on the allied left in order to try and get the British commander to commit troops from his reserve to shore it up. This would be followed by the second French infantry brigade assaulting the remaining defenders of the hill supported by the light cavalry on the right and the Dragoon brigade in the middle which if the flank assault had gone well would be able to come in on the flank of the troops defending the hill.

The game started well for the French as the assault troops swept up through the light woods to the front pushing the skirmish screen in front of it. Bart playing his role on the refused left flank engaged in an artillery duel and held his ground. The French assault force debouched from the wood and formed a 3 battalion firing line with 3 battalions in reserve. In the exchange of fire while hits were registered hardly any casualties were caused with some good saving dice being thrown. The next turn saw the French swinging their reserve battalions down and round the flank covered by the advancing firing line things were not looking to hot for the Portuguese.

To counter the French assault the Portuguese wheeled the gun battery around to face the threat it promptly shredded a poor French battalion with canister unable to take it the battalion fled the field. This however presented a glorious target of opportunity to the Dragoon brigade commander. It was all going to come down to 2 movement dice and the dice said yes. Having just finished painting the 3rd regiment the author was just slightly excited. The Dragoons smashed into the flank of the battery the result was inevitable and after sabreing all the gunners the dragoons retreated recoiled back to some comparative safety.

The infantry of the French right had managed to turn the Portuguese flank and were pressing their advantage home. 1 Portuguese battalion was destroyed and 2 more were not in good shape some lucky dice were keeping them on the table. The British commander now decided to commit his reserves to the try and shore up his exposed flank. Sadly that was as far as we got we did not get through the turns at the usual rate and poor old Bart had not moved a figure in anger. 1 or 2 more turns would have seen the main assault going in aganst the allied centre, while the french had a great position it was far from over and the allied centre still had quite a bit of combat power.

It was an enjoyable game and it is nice to get all the toys out especially the dragoons.

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