The consensus of the usual players was for a Napoleonic Game.
Having recently visited the Elite Miniature website I spotted a great scenario on there. I decided to give it a try. The basic plot is that a Spanish garrison is holding a town blocking the advance of the French. The British with a few Portuguese are rushing to help save the day.
Here are the Orders Of Battle
The table was 9×5 and dominated by 2 large tree covered hills and a large town in the the centre. The focus was the town and this would be the first time this type of feature had such a prominent role in one of our games and would test the rules.
French commanders 1,2,3 and 4 and their direct commands were placed on the French table edge.
The Spanish were the only Allied units on the table and they were holding the town. Initially one unit holding each quarter of the town, artillery on the road deployed facing the oncoming French and the Dragoons outside awaiting a suitable target.
The French enter their table edge
French ( Swiss) advance on the town
Spanish Dragoons wait alone outside the town
Spanish move around the town to help defend against the French columns
British reinforcements start to arrive
French Chasseurs advance through the wood on the hill while their artillery fires on the town.
French Horse artillery bombard the town from the hill
Spanish cannon fires in defence from the town
French assaulting the town
More British reinforcements
British Cavalry reinforcements turn up
British light Dragoons hit the French column
British light Dragoons hit the French column
Over there Sire. Wellington is made aware of French forces coming over the hill.
French light cavalry skirt the town for easier prey elsewhere
most french columns get into Square
French Reinforcements in the shape of some Italian Infantry turn up
The Irish are in the town
The town on fire!
Portuguese finally arrive, too late?
The main French attach lead by Brigadier Heller advanced towards the village in columns with skirmishers to the front. As they got close the Spanish dragoons fancied making a name for themselves and charged. They contacted a unit of skirmishers before they had a chance to fire ( They decided to stand and fire but rolled a score on the fire dice for the range at which they fired that was greater than the distance to the cavalry). This meant they were automatically wiped out. The dragoons realising how easy it was carried on into the French columns. Here they hit a column before it could get into square but it held and for the next couple of turns a furious melee was acted out which ended in the dragoons being wiped out although they had inflicted some damage to the infantry. What this really did though was to brake up the attack so that not all the French hit the town at the same time! This gave the Spanish to move all the infantry to the half of the village nearest the French. In our rules each building represented can hold a battalion. Attacking the town gives the defender a +2 advantage. To get into the town the Spanish must either be destroyed or vacate a building which would allow the French to move in and then fight house to house). Over the next 6 turns the melee continued to ebb and flow with both sides at times thinking they had carried the fight. Unbelievably the Spanish morale held even though casualties were building.
In the meantime more French had arrived and were moving through both hills to envelope the town. the horse battery deploying on the hill to give supportive fire into the town. The British had also started to arrive. Deploying either side of the road and bracing for the expected French attacks.
Back in the town the fight was grinding to an end. The Spanish had gallantly fought to the last man. The artillery being the only surviving unit but that was in full route, not being rallied before it routed right off the table. The town was open for the taking. How could get to occupy it first? This was were the British were given a life line, by the French! A random event was drawn and it was “The master spy” card. This allowed the next activation card to look at the follow 6 activation cards and rearrange into an order that suited them. A very powerful card. This could have allowed the french to activate their units first and then place the “end of turn” card before any British card. Unfortunately this did not happen and in a panic the French place the End of Turn card as the next to be drawn, therefore ending the turn. Next turn the British were activated first and allowed them to move reinforcements into their end of the town. The French did move into their end of the town but now they would have to get involved in house to house fighting.
The British were not having a great day, their firing was not causing the casualties they hoped for and losing all faith they moved more and more units into the town. The French right flank came down off the hill to engage the British moving into the town. This advance was only halted by the late appearance of some British and Portuguese Light Dragoons to their flank. The Light Dragoons went in catching a French column in the flank. It did mange to hold though. This fear caused the remaining French units to all form square. I could almost feel the sense of Christmas coming early for the British artillery seeing this new dense target that surely even they could not miss.( They had been rolling terrible dice). The panic in the British was also true on their right flank as they abandoned their position upon the french cavalry coming down the hill and raced for the town, leaving a few skirmishers to stem the on coming cavalry.
Last turn of the day heard the British give a sigh of relief as the Portuguese infantry finally turned up. The French had their cavalry and Italian reinforcements also turn up. Everybody now have the confidence that they could win the day.
In all we had about 5 hours of full on gaming with many breaks for tea and chatting and an hour or so for lunch.
It was decided that we would leave the game as was and continue next month. So Part One is complete what can Part 2 hold? Will any more reinforcements turn up, will the squares hold, can the French clear the town or can the British clear it.
Figures and terrain are all from my collection, mainly Perry and Victrix with a few Elite. Town and trees were homemade.
Rules – Our own house set called “King George Commands and We Obey”. See link to rules on side of page if interested.