Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Long March to Battle

I finally got to play my Talavera game tonight. I had scheduled a game with some able players but this ended up falling through due to work commitments. I then failed to summon the motivation to play it solo before I left on a lengthy vacation. The battle was left on the table while I was gone.

I was able to reschedule for today and the battle was played to a conclusion this afternoon with fellow Armchair Commanders Jonathan and Martin. Jonathan commanded the French and Martin commanded the British, leaving me with the fragile but well defended Spanish.

We scenario allowed a free set up but we opted to try and replicate the historical deployment as best we could. The French marched the bulk of its army toward the Spanish army, cowering behind their defenses. They left one division to screen the British and sent another division across the river threaten the British flank.
French advance in the foreground and mass troops in the background left

The Spanish sent a rider galloping for Wellesley begging for reinforcements as the French were forming up to push against their fortified lines. The British obliged by sending their light infantry brigade from the reserves to fill an obvious gap in the Spanish defense. The Spanish also sent in an infantry brigade from the reserve to fill another gap as well. 

French view of the Spanish defenses

The French continued their redeployment toward the Spanish. In their haste, they failed to adequately screen the columns. Wellesley saw his chance and sent the British over the river to put in a spoiling attack. This was a little risky as the British abandoned their defensive terrain to do this and could be overwhelmed by French superior numbers. They had good success with the attack and forced the French to deploy 2 divisions against them that ere otherwise heading to battle the Spanish. The French could not capitalize on the British exposed position due to some poor activation rolls and worse reinforcement rolls. 

British spoiling attack goes in, surprising the French in column

The French division trying to flank the British line had some initial success in drawing off units, but was eventually repulsed with  heavy casualties. 

Battle overview

The French probed the Spanish lines but never seriously threatened it. They did not have the reserves they had hoped for to sustain an attack against the entrenched Spanish. a British brigade managed to break through and destroy the French HQ. The remaining British withdrew behind the river due to increased threat from French cavalry deployed from reserve.

View from the French lines as the British withdrew back across the stream

The French morale broke after the loss of their HQ. We agreed that the French numbers had been reduced enough that a successfully  breakthrough could not be achieved.

Victorious British brigade after knocking out Jordan's HQ

Good chance we will try the scenario again switching sides so stay tuned for the rematch results.


  1. Great looking game. The re-texturing of your table top is working a treat.

  2. The new mat looks great in action! Hopefully I'll be able to make the next game.

  3. Thanks Ross. I hope we can game soon too.