Intro game went well, but due to a couple of last minute call off its was Andy and myself, so Andy took the command of the French.
General Replace M'ent standing in for the injured General Bonnet
And myself would be taking the part of Clinton, here seen receiving his orders to advance
The game started slowly for the British, with a small number of maneuver points, and having to negotiate the ridges to the east of Los Arapiles, the artillery did move up to the edge of the ploughed field but couldnt unlimber - whch would be costly!
The French first turn was a much more brisk affair, with several exploitations for each brigade and formation changes, Charles brigade formed into L'orde mixte and Gaultiers brigade just moving straight ahead, but then changing orders to attack - no messing around intended then!
The main protagonists of the evening, Gaultiers brigade with the 119th Ligne in the foreground and the 118th in the rear.
The French artillery on the Great Arapile opened up on the 2/53rd causing a causaulty which was easily passed, the French infantry of Charles brigade then found itself just in range of the British artillery, and more in hope than expectation opened fire, killing off a gun crew, so reducing the battery to 2 guns. The French were off to a good start!
Turn 2 saw the initiative go to the French, who then changed Charles brigade onto attack from advance, and exploited with Gaultiers brigade, who then moved forward into a fetching staggered formation
The French artillery and musketry from the advancing columns caused a large number of casualties (6 from 7 dice) on the 53rd who wavered, and also destroyed a limber from the artillery battery
For the British turn 2 saw a small advance for the 2 British brigades, the artillery unlimbered and the company of the 5/60th rifles got into range on the flank of the Gaultiers brigade, a smattering of small arms fire was distributed across the French units, but not enough to cause any discomfort Clinton had joined the wavering 53rd in readiness to help rally them and provide moral support if needed.
Turn 3 saw the French win the initiative, and advanced with Gaultiers brigade and Charles brigade, the firing this turn was less effective, but still managed to destroy another gun crew, leaving the British battery with only 1 working gun. The artillery on the Great Arapile had switched targets to the 1/11th but was ineffective.
Andy had hoarded his maneuver points for this point and blew them all on a mass charge, the 1st and 3rd battalions of the 118th would charge the 2nd Queens Infantry, the 2nd battalion 118th would charge the wavering 2/53rd, now with Clinton attached, to which Andy attached the French Divisional commander, and the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 119th charged the 1/11th North Devon battalion.
All charges went in, even the recruits of the 3/118th, now it was the turn of the British morale, which all held, and in fact the 53rd, with Clintons help, recovered from wavering to steady morale state, much to Andys incredulousness!
The 2nd Queens fired on the combined mass of the 2 battalions bearing down on them, which was too much for the recruits of the 3rd battalion who failed to charge home, however the men of the first battalion were made of sterner stuff and crashed into the 2nd regiment, who bent under the initial charge, but held (due to poor dice rolling by Andy it must be said) It then degenerated into a mass brawl with the French numbers telling, the 2nd routed, but the 1/118th lost 50% and recoiled wavering and disordered, in no state to follow up on there breakthrough.
The next unit in the line was the 2/118th againts the now steady 53rd. The 53rds stand and fire killed the attached Divisional general, but that was as good as it got them, as seeing the stand and fire didnt stop the French, the 53rd lost there nerve before contact and routed taking Clinton with them!
The 2/118th halted in good order on the posiiton of the 53rd, nervously eyeing up the advancing Portuguese brigade it had just uncovered
The 1st and 2nd battalions of the 118th charged home into the bloody 11th, who dealt a staggering 7 casualties from there stand and fire, but both French units still crashed home into the 11th who were still in good order. The 11th passed the initial resolve check for just losing the first round of combat, but being outnumbered 2-1 it quickly reached over 50% casualties and routed! Both French units were over 25% losses, but they stood there ground, disordered by the melee.
All British units passed the resolve checks, although the 32nd wavered as the 2nd routed past
(apologies, in the heat of the moment I didnt grab a picture, but here is a picture of the now big - blown in the initial British line)
The British turn 3 wasnt looking good, Hulses brigade could no longer generate any maneuver points, Hindes brigade was stuck, so the remnants of both British brigades moved to defend orders, as did Rezende's Portuguese, this used up all the maneuver points, so unless the shooting was successful in repelling Gaultiers now disorganised, but largely intact brigade it was
looking sticky indeed!
With little in the way of movement, it was straight onto shooting, Hindes brigade and the now depleted artillery caused hits across Charles brigade, but no resolve tests were forthcoming.
Rezendes brigade now fired on the marauding French battalions, causing enough hits to take the 2/118th over 25% casulaties and also hits on the 2/119 which was also over 25%.
Due to the somewhat dispersed nature of the brigade after the combat, and the fact that the units were disordered, both units routed! Huzzah for the Portuguese. The pressure had been lifted on the line by the timely intervention of the Portuguese (as usual some might say
Gaultiers Brigade in more disarray
We went for 1 more turn, but as the British won the Initiative and could now do even more damage to Gaultiers brigade before it could reorganise, we called it there.
Was an enjoyable evening, Andy grasped the concepts well, and his aggresive handling of a very average quality brigade (1 Drilled elite, 3 Drilled and 2 recruit battalions) with a sluggish brigadier very much caught me by surprise, and it was more down to me having reserves to plug the gap rather than anything else that prevented a French win.
We pretty much went through the gamut of all the mechanics, from MP generation, using them, exploitation, movement, shooting, close combat and resolve checks along with the various reasons for them, so should have a better grasp of the mechanics for the weekend.
If you stayed with the report this long, well done for sticking with my factual and rather dry recitation of events