Monday, March 12, 2012

A notable Spanish victory

So after gaming the grand tactical we shift to the micro tactical.  20+ years ago I wrote "Tirailleurs en Grande Bandes" for skirmish level Napoleonics.  Something to use my original  and much beloved Airfix figures with.  Now it is still a work in progress, but makes it for a dramatic and bloody game.  Hope you enjoy our see-saw affair from yesterday.
French and their plunder, I mean baggage on the move.
Long view of the table.  Spanish guerrillas lurk in the distant woods.

Each side had four infantry units ranging from 18-30 figures and one medium gun apiece.  The French were burdened with three wagons or coaches to exit off the table.  All the British and Spanish had to do was wait.

Redcoats and Spanish lights block the road.
95th Rifles in line look to flank the French in time.

Each unit had two cards in the deck assigned to them with possible actions on a card being; fire, reload, stand up, charge, etc.  The deck contained two jokers as well.  The first jokers would allow a free action to be assigned by the commander in chief to any unit depending on whether the card was French or Allied.  The second joker went to the other side.  This often had a critical effect in the game.

The effects of rifle fire, even on skirmishers.
Guerrillas emerge from the woods to attack.
French push on as their gun deploys behind the skirmishers.
French grenadiers engaged the guerrillas and though outnumbered quickly had their way with the ill-armed if surprisingly motivated Spanish.  In the center the rifles continued to decimate the French and it was clearly going to take some serious action to get the wagons through.  Cannons employed a "bounce stick" as shown in Charles Grant's "The Wargame."  Although they had several chances during the day, they only took out one man.
The French goal is in the upper left corner.
A trophy perhaps?!  The gun is eliminated.
Impacting the British in close order.

It seemed that despite the horrendous casualties to the Rifles, that by leaving the road the wagons might escape.  The British gun was neutralized and although a rump of survivors rallied, the redcoats were gone too.  Then came the Spanish to the rescue.

Rifles advance, Harper survives a cannon shot.
Rightly judging the French were getting away, the Spanish charge!
After a melee.  Red pipe cleaners indicated wounded men.
The Spanish over-run the French skirmishers, even defending higher ground.  They drag the teamsters from two of the wagons and rejoice!  The third wagon escaping seemed to matter little.  Vive el Rey!
The Spanish strike the ill-prepared French.
Over-run!  Wiped out!  Captured!
The French grenadiers and some few surviving French attempt to retake the wagons as the Rifles slowly advance.  Although the grenadiers, most of them carrying wounds with them, manage to drive off the Spanish they in turn are forced to retire (run). 

Grenadiers hit the Spanish lights while others advance.
This left the virtually unscathed Rifles to hold the field (the French gun made off the way it came) and probably write that they won the day.  But it was a Spanish victory!  At least in this Frenchman's opinion.  A most dramatic action with the advantage see-sawing back and forth.  In the end it seems God is an Englishman because the cards came up exactly as the Allies needed.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you getting out the ol' Airfix collection. A nicely-sized modest game too. On several weeknights our local group do games this size too. Recently we had a two-session US Cavalry game; an old dormant collection.