Saturday, 8 June 2013

Thursdays Gaming, Talavera 1809, Battle for the Redoubt.

Thursdays evening game this last week was a return to Peninsular Napoleonics for us.
We have had a bit of a break from naps recently, so it was a fun return to the only naps period we play now.
I decided on a scenario from the excellent GdB scenario book 5 "Wellingtons Victories".

 An excellent book.
I decided on the "Talavera" Battle for the Redoubt scenario.
With four players, this seemed an ideal start to get familiar with the GdB rules again.

Glenn brought along his Westies and this seemed fitting as it was mostly Germans that fought for the redoubt.

The evening pitted myself & Andy with the Allied defence against Karl & Glenn with the attacking Germans.
The Scenario covers the French attack by Leval's German division upon the redoubt of  "Pajar de Vergara"
held by British & Spanish units on the left wing of "Wellingtons" army at "Talavera".
At about 2.30pm the German division picked it's way through the olive groves towards the redoubt.
Ten allied cannon placed within the redoubt opened fire as "Chasse" led the first assault forward with several Dutch and Nassau battalions.
Disciplined British volleys followed by aggressive charges, threw back the advancing Germans and Dutch.
Leval quickly reformed his brigade and advanced yet again, only to repeat the process against the solid allied defence.
To add insult to injury the retreating Germans were badly mauled and lost a battery to possibly the only successful charge by Spanish cavalry in the entire "Peninsular War"
At the close of the action, the redoubt remained firmly in allied hands.
The game played pretty much as the real event, with the lone Spanish cavalry playing a vital part in the game.
The French players objective was to take and hold the Redoubt until turn 12.
The British objective was to simply hold the redoubt until the end of the game (12 turns)

The game opened with the Leval's advance

Starting positions
  I commanded Myers Brits on the left of the redoubt and the Spanish Brigade (we used Portuguese) on the far left. I also controlled the 2 Spanish 12pdr's in  the redoubt.
Andy commanded Kemmis's Brits at the sunken road with the stone walls on the right , the Spanish "LEVY" class cavalry and the 3 British 9pdr's in the redoubt.
Karl faced Andy with Grandjean's and Potocki's brigades.
Glenn face myself with Porbeck and Chasse's brigades.
The French (Germans, Dutch, Polish) were mostly 2nd Line class with some line class.
The Allies were a few veteran/Line class but the Spanish brigade was Conscript/levy class troops.
The game was to last for 12 turns.

The first turn saw Porbecks 2nd line under Glenn suffer as the redoubt combined guns took aim on a single German battalion
A double six by Andy on the first roll of the game forcing a morale test that was failed and the battalion retreated off the table.
This forced a Brigade test that was also failed with the roll of a double one.

The double one misery strikes Glenn again.

The entire brigade would have left the table, but we have a house rule that allows brigades early in the game to rally at the table edge if they fail a Brigade test.
A sigh of relief from Glenn as the Germans reform to advance again.
Karl trundled forwards toward the sunken road with hes two brigades as he saw Andy order the Spanish cavalry from the centre to his right to aid with the threat of Karls advance.
The Redoubt at this time had no enemy units advancing on it.
As the game continued, Glenns Dutch under Classe engaged the Spanish on the far left as the reformed Porbecks brigade advanced again towards the redoubt.

Kemmis Brigade defending the sunken road.
The Spanish cavalry now reach the right flank and Andy changes their order to engage the German guns that have just deployed to his front.

The Spanish cavalry Falter in front of the deployed German Battery
The Spanish Levy cavalry (on poor mounts) charge the deployed battery. The battery opens up and stops them with a falter result.
The Faltering Spanish cavalry hold up Grenjean's entire German Brigade
On the left flank, a protracted firefight between Porbecks brigade and the Spanish brigade under Portago continues as the Brits under Myers move to support them.
Porbeck, now outnumbere, hold his ground as the redoubt is now open for the assault by Classe's advancing brigade.

Porbecks Brigade appears again in the olive groves.

The Assault on the redoubt begins.

Karl swings Potocki's brigade around and with a successful order change advances towards the redoubt to support the assault by Glenns Porbeck Germans.
Grendjeans brigade is still held by the faletring cavalry who have endured 4 turns of canister and two further falters.
Granjean's attmpts at changing his brigades orders have failed for 4 turns, Where is Leval shouts Karl as the French CiC gallops fron the other flank after helping Glenn to get his troops to assault the redoubt.

The German columns assault the redoubt
Porbecks Brigade charges the redoubt as all the guns open up on them with canister.
The massed columns are shattered as they close and the two lead columns fail their morale and retreat from the carnage.
A brigade morale is once again failed by Glenn and the entire brigade is removed as it streams back towards the olive groves.
Potocki's brigade on the back foot as Kemmis hits them in the flank.

At the same time Potocki's brigade under Karl advances across the face of Kemmis's Brigade behind the sunken road.
Andy spurs the brigade forward, the leap the wall and engage Potocki's Polish in the flank.
The lead Polish line breaks and runs from the Brits on their flank, unforming the battalion to their rear.
A brigade test will follow at the end of the turn.

Chasse's shattered Brigade in full retreat from the redoubt.
 By now, time was running out, we were on turn 9 and both assaults on the redoubt were in full rereat.
Porbeck's's brigade has gone, Potcocki's failed the Brigade test and were also leaving the table.
Enough is enough, Potocki's Brigade flees the battlefield

Kemmis brigade under Andy advance to see off the fleeing Polish.
Chasse starts to retire after not getting the Spanish conscripts to run away, with a morale roll of an eleven as one unit retreated.
We got to turn 10, the game was virtually over as the French assault on the redoubt had failed.
Grandjean's guns finally forced the Spanish cavalry to retreat and managed to change their order to advance as everything else was running.

Grandjean's Brigade, untouched and unengaged except for the guns that saw off the Spanish cavalry.
The French capitulated on turn 10.
Grandjean's brigade left the field in good order without sustaining a single casualty.
Chasse's brigade also retreated in good order as the Spanish brigade reformed to follow.
Kemmis's Brigade held the centre with the redoubt as did Myers brigade.
Porbeck and Potocki's brigades had been battered and were still running.
The redoubt guns had sustained one casualty and held firm.
A great game.
That played very similar to the actual battle.
The Spanish levy cavalry under Andy played a pivotal role.
Although they never managed the charge that caused so much damage in the original battle.
They did manage to tie up a complete enemy brigade for 6 turns and stood 5 rounds of point blank cannon fire, whilst faltering. Bravo lads.
We have left this game set up on the table for next Thursday.
We are going to re-play the game, but with a reversal of sides.
Myself and Andy will be playing the French.
Glenn and Karl playing the allies.
Lets see if Andy and myself can do any better with the assault.


  1. Glenn really is an unlucky guy.

    Nice batrep, with very cool pics. Thanks for sharing

  2. great looking game am looking forward to getting back into some gaming
    Peace James

  3. It was very funny seeing Karl totally absorbed into being distracted by the cavalry and failing to assault either the redoubt or my infantry. A great game

  4. My dice rolling is going from bad to worse. I couldn't even get a bunch of Spanish conscripts and levies, with bonuses from my guns for canister, to run away!

    Still, there were some positives.

    I didn't have over half my force held up by a unit of cavalry that was more akin to the bunches of kids on donkeys you see on Skegee beach! :)

  5. Good looking game and report. I'm interested to see the sides swapped replay.

  6. That was a great looking game, damn them dice gods!!!!

  7. Very nice report, with a great looking battlefield!

  8. I really the game, the river or stream gives it scope. By the way Kev, I have your gift at my site waiting for your approval, thanks for following my blog, Regards David @


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