Monday, 25 June 2018

Games 64 & 65 : Albuera takes 3 & 4

I think we have exhausted Albuera as a useful test bed for Peninsular battles. In conclusion, we have found no unexpected funnies or had any really odd results. The 2 rank line for the Portuguese and Brits works very well. Not unsurprisingly, the length of a British Line Btn, in line, is what needs to be managed by both sides.
The Light Infantry amendment where we now deploy intrinsic skirmishers has worked very well.  I've added a few piccies from games 3 & 4. Game 3 was a variation on a theme where the French main assault was directed from their right flank.
You will also see the French artillery massed into a single area. This was a result of the terrain with the stream and also the Allies realising that reverse slope tactics was the best way to nullify the French artillery superiority as this arm was larger than the Allied artillery arm.


This was the massed French artillery. The only other detached artillery were the horse batteries accompanying the cavalry. The other reason to mass the artillery was to shorten the French line as they do not have the luxury of sheer numbers over the Allies.


Close action on the French right where their main assault was made. French Dragoons were in action against British Heavies and Guard Heavies. The result of the initial contacts were bloody draws, but the French had the numbers to keep pressing. The Infantry advance in columns to exploit the Cavalry action and fall upon the Portuguese.


Some time later the Dragoons were ready to go again, this time supported by the Vistula Lancers. These were faced by the rallied British cavalry, but numbers were going increasingly in the French favour.
It was at about this point that this game was called. The Allies would be driven back from the village itself and forced to retire down the escape road.


This picky has been included to show the Portuguese deployed in full lines. French Infantry with skirmishers deployed are advancing upon them. The Portuguese are in turn supported by a GKL Light Btn deployed in full open order. The Btn in the mid ground is a single unit. The Btn in the foreground is in a 4 rank line. The highlight of British firing lines were 2 volleys given by British Fusiliers to advancing French Dragoons. The first volley took 20% of the Dragoons out of their saddles. The 2nd volley put the Regiment into the 3rd bracket, non combat worthy for all intents and purposes.


This is included as it shows the Spanish Division of Zayas in full assault mode. The Division was the best in the Spanish army and included the Guard and Irish units.


I've included the casualty tables again. The French did well but 2 Divisions are getting close to the critical loss limit of 30%. The Portuguese suffered in this battle although they did get to withdraw out of the line and start to return stragglers. Latour's Light cavalry also suffered quite badly. I've not included the 4th game losses as we never really finished it. One highlight was the entire loss of a KGL Light Btn which rolled 3 for morale when in fully extended  open order. Oops!!

 
Play Test 3
 
 
French Formations
Losses %
Spanish Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Soult
-
-
6
Beresford
-
-
9
Godinot (1st Brig)
9
-
-
Stewart (1st Brig)
0
-
25
Godinot (2nd Brig)
6
-
-
Stewart (2nd Brig)
13
-
-
Girard (1st Brig)
4
-
-
Stewart (3rd Brig)
25
-
-
Girard (2nd Brig)
9
-
-
Stewart (KGL Lt Brig)
45
-
-
Werle (1st Brig)
18
-
-
Cole (1st Brig)
0
-
0
Werle (2nd Brig)
18
-
-
Cole (2nd Brig)
13
-
-
Gazan (1st Brig)
21
-
-
Cole (3rd Brig)
12
-
-
Gazan (2nd Brig)
14
-
-
Hamilton (1st Brig)
5
-
19
Grenadiers
10
-
-
Hamilton (2nd Brig)
38
-
-
Latour (1st Brig)
-
-
1
Hamilton (Ind 3rd Brig)
46
-
0
Latour (2nd Brig)
-
24
-
Port Cav Brig
-
60
-
Latour (3rd Brig)
-
8
-
Lumley (1st Brig)
-
17
-
Latour (4th Brig)
-
61
-
Lumley (2nd Brig)
-
28
-
 
 
 
 
Blake
-
-
28
 
 
 
 
Lardizabal
10
-
-
 
 
 
 
Zayas
8
-
-
 
 
 
 
Ballasteros
10
-
-
 
 
 
 
Loy
-
19
-
 
 
 
 
Espana
26
-
6
 
 
 
 
Villemur
-
24
-


Game over, off to the pub again! The Brits work fine, but handling the units in full line takes some working out. I'm sat down as I was plying the other 2 and had to run up and down the aisle to play the game (well, walk briskly!)
Next up we are back off to Russia. This is a game, a what if set in 1812, based on actual actions that occurred in the Crimea campaign and has been designed by Graham, sat on the left above. We'll see what that has in store for us!!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Game 63 : Albuera 1811 take 2

This was the second playtest of Albuera. The sides are nicely balanced and the first game worked well and showed no real issues with the introduction of 2 rank lines for the British and Portuguese. The game was played different tactically, very useful as it helps to increase the range of testing as more different situations will arise.
The tactical side was different for both sides. The French would launch a major attack through the woods with Infantry and Heavy Dragoons. A major assault would be launched on the right with Infantry and Light Cavalry. The French centre would be screened and held lightly.
The Allied deployment was also different in that the British held Albuera in strength and the flanks were held by the Portuguese and Spanish, the Spanish on the right facing the French debouching from the light woods.
 
 
The French attack from the French left. Two Divisions are attacking with two Brigades of Heavy Dragoons in support. They are facing Spanish


This is a Portuguese Brigade formed up in line. Attacking frontally is difficult and bloody as the attackers, unless outnumbering the defenders 3:1 are likely to be unformed in the attack and the battle becomes one of attrition. The attrition tends to favour the Allies as they tend to have the greater number of Btns, the downside is the potential quality of the Allied Spanish and Portuguese. Its a gamble to go "hell for leather"
 


A Spanish Division forms square to protect itself against the French Heavy Dragoons. Despite having good artillery support, the Dragoons never quite managed to break any squares, close but not close enough!



The British strongpoint was Albuera itself. The French had gathered enough strength to approach the village directly. The British were hampered by space and so their vaunted firepower was never utilised to full affect. In hind sight, the village was not a good place to deploy as on the rest of the battlefield, the Allies were out shot by the French.

 
A Portuguese Brigade in Line. It would be involved in heavy fighting but still fight off various assaults by both French Infantry and Cavalry. Ultimately, the losses grew and so the formation did retire towards advancing British reinforcements that would stabilise the flank. The other flank was in disarray, completely turned and the Allied supply/escape route in danger of being cut off. 


The gamers looking as happy as usual except Steve (in the middle) who is passing comment on the behaviour of his Spanish troops!
Lastly, I've included the casualty returns for comparison from playtest one.
 
 
Play Test 2
 
 
French Formations
Losses %
Spanish Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Soult
-
-
24
Beresford
-
-
0
Godinot (1st Brig)
17
-
-
Stewart (1st Brig)
12
-
13
Godinot (2nd Brig)
25
-
-
Stewart (2nd Brig)
3
-
-
Girard (1st Brig)
3
-
-
Stewart (3rd Brig)
0
-
-
Girard (2nd Brig)
0
-
-
Stewart (KGL Lt Brig)
11
-
-
Werle (1st Brig)
9
-
-
Cole (1st Brig)
0
-
0
Werle (2nd Brig)
28
-
-
Cole (2nd Brig)
28
-
-
Gazan (1st Brig)
16
-
-
Cole (3rd Brig)
0
-
-
Gazan (2nd Brig)
4
-
-
Hamilton (1st Brig)
34
-
6
Grenadiers
0
-
-
Hamilton (2nd Brig)
3
-
-
Latour (1st Brig)
-
-
3
Hamilton (Ind 3rd Brig)
19
-
44
Latour (2nd Brig)
-
-
0
Port Cav Brig
-
49
-
Latour (3rd Brig)
-
-
9
Lumley (1st Brig)
-
0
-
Latour (4th Brig)
-
-
27
Lumley (2nd Brig)
-
0
-
 
 
 
 
Blake
-
-
25
 
 
 
 
Lardizabal
16
-
-
 
 
 
 
Zayas
29
-
-
 
 
 
 
Ballasteros
15
-
-
 
 
 
 
Loy
-
74
-
 
 
 
 
Espana
25
-
19
 
 
 
 
Villemur
-
50
-
Next up is a third playtest over a week long period. This should exhaust the play testing and then we will be on to different Penisnular battles with larger armies and greater complexity.