Somewhere in Spain – PoW AAR pt2

If you’re reading this, I hope you’ve read the first part otherwise it’s not going to make much sense to you! Got another two turns played today and the game has turned on it’s head from what I thought would happen.

Turn 8

One of the 2 French lines charged by the British Heavy cavalry form square, but the other stand shaken to recieve the charge, their ragged volley failing to stop the oncoming cavalry. Other French firing inflicts casualties on Spencer’s Division while W. Stewarts Brigade receive more cannister at close range and finally rout. They were down to 2 SP’s remaining though so I can’t complain!

The melee in the orchard sees the French cavalry driven off, while in the town Hills troops inflict heavy damage on the two enemy units and they both retire shaken. The British heavy cavalry win the melee, but fail to rout the enemy infantry who pass their morale test (and later form square), while the cavalry failed theirs and retired.

Town clear of French

Victor’s troops rally and unlimber a battery to fire on the town but otherwise don’t move as they don’t have the pips. He does send new orders to the Light cavalry to attack into the rear of the town.

Reynier charges a column up the slope into Spencer’s line but the remaining troops who fired fall short.

British Left flank

Spencer’s charged brigade fail their morale and go shaken, their volley forcing the French line to fall back but the column presses home. Picton’s artillery fires at a column recently retired from the fighting in the town and it routs, whilst skirmish fire from the British in the orchards cause casualties among the Dragoons. Hills counter battery fire against the horse artillery on the flank causes no damage but the battery flees as a result of a failed morale check.

Spencer’s (Blantyre’s) brigade takes heavy casualties from the column in melee and retires shaken.

Hill reorganises in the town spreading back out into town and refusing the flank to the French light cavalry. Wellington realises that it’s crucial that Beresford is brought into the fight, so orders both his and Picton’s divisions to support Spencer and engage the French of Reynier’s corps on the left flank. Spencer fills the gap in the line with Stopford’s guard brigade, not a bad reserve to have kept!

Hill reorganises his line

Turn 9

French firing does little harm to the Anglo-Portuguese forces and Victor & Reynier both know that this is their last chance, they can still break Hill and Spencer but it must be now. Good command dice enables Reynier to send 3 columns up the hill to meet the Portuguese and British line, his heavy cavalry charges Picton once more and Victor throws his last unblooded Regiment against the town. His light cavalry attack Hill’s artillery in a death or glory charge.

French cavalry attack Hill's artillery

Reynier gets up close and personal with Spencer

The Portuguese of Spencer’s Division don’t like being charged and retire shaken, while their compatriots in the orchard are so composed that they elect not to form square but to volley fire at the oncoming Dragoons, and Hill’s artillery calmly load cannister as the cavalry approach. Their fire kills Beaumont the cavalry commander and forces the cavalry to retire. Stopford’s volley stops the French column in it’s tracks but the rest of the fire from the British is futile and the French hit home.

The melee routs the unsupported artillery of Spencer’s Division but the others are drawn.

The French attack is stalled and Wellington now seizes his opportunity, personally commanding Stopford’s guards to charge the shaken column to it’s front while Portuguese Light cavalry charge one of the other columns on the slope.

Wellington joins the fray

Portuguese Cavalry charge

Beresford gets his troops started moving, wheeling them left while Hill moves his reserve brigade into square next to the battery so the cavalry can’t ride them down.

Hill's Square

In reserve no more. Beresford moves

At this point the French have lost 83 Strength points, including 4 units routed and one general killed, while the British have lost only 45 SP’s and 3 units routed. Victor’s Corps is spent and can’t possibly take the town, while Reynier is about to be swallowed by Picton’s and Beresford’s divisions on his left flank, with enemy cavalry to his front and the remnants of Spencer’s Division as well. It’s been a good game, but it doesn’t seem sensible to carry on from here as I seriously doubt the French can win given the victory conditions of taking the town.