Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Game 70 : Vimeiro 1808

This was the Battle of Vimeiro, 1808. This is a nearly all British affair fighting the French. The armies are relatively small and so both sides had ample room to manoeuvre and try different stratagems. The British are in 2 rank lines and this will confirm the working of the rules vis a vis 2 rank lines versus 3 rank lines. We also introduced the skirmish company rule. French & Brit line battalions can detach their integral light company and use it in the same way as skirmishers from dedicated light battalions. Again, I'll leave it to the reader to brief themselves on the layout of the battlefield. The British are defending, the French attacking. These battle are also fought at the Brigade level with suitable rules for Brigadiers.
 

The above is the British right flank resting on a hill with a battery in support. Two French Brigades are advancing, one of line infantry and one of light infantry which has deployed fully in open order to occupy the wooded areas that are on the extreme right of the pic.


This is the centre of the line, with Vimeiro itself. Two French brigades were in this area including the reserve Grenadiers. The village stats are somewhat inferior to European villages, defence factors are lower reflecting the type of building prevalent in the Peninsular.


This is the British left flank, also on a hill that has blended so well into the table that it is not obvious! But it is a hill. The French are advancing with two Brigades and there is a third brigade out of shot to the left of the pic that is attempting a flanking manoeuvre.


Another shot of the centre taken from the French lines. The British would hold their ground and fight their defence in front of the village.


The action escalates on the French left. The French are driving through the wood on their far left to try and enfilade the hill. The British are using firing lines to some affect and the French are advancing in columns of attack screened by their battalion skirmishers. It was nice to see the tactics being used reflected those actually used by those armies, based on how best to fight the battle rather than some response to doing what they did type approach. We can see that the rules have encouraged both sides to exploit their individual strengths.


Vimeiro comes under more pressure. A mix of columns with and without skirmish support and artillery slowly forces the British back to the village. But taking the village would be a tough nut as losses on the columns are mounting as they continue their advances.


The French on their far right begin to make progress in driving in the British left flank. But this was taking a long time, the 71st Highland battalion in open order inflicting a lot of casualties as it was forced to slowly give ground under this attack.


Back the French left where the French have "taken the hill" and continued their advance to try and finally break the British line. Here they got stopped. The firepower from the British lines and artillery support was inflicting too many casualties on the French. They decided to retire to the rear of the hill where they would gain respite from the fire. Job done, the British would re-organise their left and maintain the line.


In the centre the British are deployed with full battalions in firing lines. This would dissuade the French from a full frontal assault and this sector would then become a stalemate.


On the French far right, the flank attack had initial success. The British reinforced the gallant 71st and these fresh infantry battalions stabilised the flank. The British adopted rear slope tactics to remove the French artillery numbers advantage and this flank fell quiet as French losses had also risen to a level may a direct assault could well be fatal.


Here we all are, rogues gallery. The game was a great success. The French favoured the use of columns with skirmishers out fron supported by their artillery army and numerous cavalry. The British favoured the fire power that can be delivered by the 2 rank lines. The British also have specialist rifle companies and the combination is considerable in terms of fire power.
Both sides used the tactics best suited to their armies and this just happened to be howe they did it historically. I see it a win for the players and a big win for the rules.
The result. Typical! The French did not break the British line. Conversely the British were not strong enough to counter-attack. So both sides ended where they started. Again, for me, a great result as this reflects the majority of Peninsular actions.
As in other games, the losses were recorded and are given here.

 
Play Test 1
 
 
French Formations
Losses %
British Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Soult
-
-
0
Wellington
-
-
19
Brennier
21
-
-
Acland
18
-
-
Solignac
34
-
-
Anstruther
19
-
-
Charlot
11
-
-
Hill
24
-
-
Thomieres
31
-
-
Ferguson
27
-
-
Kellerman
27
-
-
Fane
23
-
-
Bruyere
-
7
-
Bowes
5
-
-
Margaron
-
14
-
Nightingale
0
-
-
 
 
 
 
Taylor Cav Brig
-
17
-

We actually played the game twice, the above account is for the first game. The result the second time around, even with seeing how the armies faired in the first game, was roughly the same!!
The next battle will be a repeat of Vimeiro with a different set of players. It will be intriguing to see how it plays out. Until then...........

4 comments:

  1. Excellent battle report

    http://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

    Take care

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting Ged
    Are you happy with how the British are working out?
    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Adam,
    Yes. The system works exactly as you might perceive form reading history. We also find that both sides adopt the actual tactics historically used by their nationalities, without having endless rules to make this happen. The only rule added is one for troops below seasoned grade. If French, they get a -2 morale if in line. If Brit, they get a -2 morale if in column. That's it. Works like a dream.

    ReplyDelete