Friday, July 22, 2011

Battle of Hervir Enconada Part II - Empire Napoleonics

As the battle re-commenced with the second tactical impulse of the hour, a clear shift in fortunes began to be felt.  Although the French had run off several British and Portuguese battalions and temporarily captured some guns, their troops were badly shot up and now facing fresh battalions.  Click to enlarge photos.

The French have broken through.  The second line must attempt to maneuver while caught in column.  The artillerists await their chance to re-man the guns.

A French assault on the left retires while routing

British left center stabilized, some guns re-manned

Desperate action as the French try both close action and firepower

As both sides drew a deep breath before continuing, a hesitancy ran through the ranks of Claparede's division to right-center.  Formations became ragged, ammunition was not brought forward and confusion reigned supreme.  [Empire translation: during the ME Determination phase the division fell into disorder.]

Disordered and hurt, an unkind cut

Disordered batteries, incapable of fire

The guns re-manned and the ridge re-occupied

1/48th and 1/57th finally win their duel with the "Terrible 57th" thanks to a large degree to the disorder result

The Portuguese hold firm in the center

The Westphalians attempt on Hamilton's Portuguese falls short

The French cavalry hastily redeploys over the new pontoon bridge

The hammering continues but progress is minimal
And then disaster struck to finish the battle.  Claparede's division, which had been disordered the previous hourly round had suffered even more.  Slowly at first, then steadily the men began to fall back.  Then picking up speed, tossing aside weapons and weight.  In a twinkling the whole remaining division routed.  [Empire translation: the maneuver element failed their "Determination Test" as badly as possible.]  Before checking to see the effect on other elements the French conceded the game.  No application of cavalry would make a difference now.

It was a difficult day for the French.  They tried close action and after some initial success, lost.  They tried to shoot it out and lost.  Despite an excellent force and the heroics of the Westphalians who repeatedly assaulted the Portuguese only to fail to close for push of bayonet, the French did not succeed.  In retrospect, poor placement of artillery and failure to use their inspirational leaders led to the Allies having a tactical advantage in most places.  Two of the French players were totally new to Empire and relatively new to horse and musket gaming, so it was a learning experience.  In Empire terms the British held the tactical initiative every hourly round, which is an unexpected result.  Honors to all, awaiting the next encounter.


  1. Fabulous game and love the pictures.

    You have a great collection of buildings and terrain also!

  2. Thanks, many years of collecting and painting. Though most of the minis are not mine.