Wellingtons Victory......! Not as good as Beethoven's Eroica Symphony No.3 - dedicated to Napoleon..........................but it will do for ole hakey...
Will be playing this battle totally vanilla as it is a short battle; so the A.I. cannot get up to any serious mischief.
My expensive board war-game is arriving today...............................early Easter present.
The battle has begun........ A discharge of smoke from an English battery on the far left of their line brings down two soldiers of Ruffins southernmmost regiments. Further sporadic firing of guns rolls along the English line on the Medellin hill to the Pajar de vegera. Ruffin's tirailleurs already exchange fire with the Spanish before them. General Merlin has split his cavalry command in two; sending half to support Ruffin and the remaining to advance with Villatte's formation.
Screen 9. Centre Sector.
French formations move forward slowly while artillery batteries begin to locate themselves in forward positions. Marshal Victor moves to a point behind the Casjacal Hill.
Southern sector. No Change,
Screen 10. Northern Sector.
Gen.Brig. Barrois' attacks a Spanish line formation with 2 battalions in column. The Spaniards hold. ( I was expecting more from this; which goes to show that these Spanish formations are not a pushover ). The French also lost 27 men in defensive fire......Groooan ! Added to this was a lucky shot by the far left English battery which knocked out a French gun while unlimbering - not gentlemanly behaviour on behalf of the A.I. General Villatte deploys his men in line - ready to advance by drum beat. Spanish formations are deploying more extensively and some of their cavalry have made an appearance while the English cavalry have vanished from sight.
Screen 11. Centre Sector.
Fortunately ; French gun batteries are starting to come into play and riposting well. ( Note : In the boardgame by Clash of Arms - you could make the English lie down with prone markers - as General wellesley gave the order historically - being the scoundrel he is...... I do not see Blucher or Kutusov ordering their men to lie prone.....not sporting ....is it. The whole object is to fire metal projectiles at each other...not at empty space. Hmmm !....If everybody decided to lie prone on a battlefield........what sort of a battle would that be ???
The 7/1st French battalion makes good loss of some English skirmishers who had previously routed a French tirailleurs company.
Screen 12. Southern Sector .
Milhaud's cavalry move forward.........a lead detached, scouting squadron comes across abatis before Talavera.
Rufffin becomes increasingly engaged with the foe before him. Most of his regiments have deployed into line. To his left ; Villatte's formation has surprised a regiment of Spaniards who have been solely occupied with a fire- fight with French skirmishers to their front. The unexpected arrival Of the French on their flank may prove difficult for morale. Merlin's French cavalry have attracted the attention of the English guns who now have a wide choice of targets. More French guns are now bombarding the Medellin Hill........( The Spanish incursion into the marching formation of Villatte may be a benefit or not.......Villatte may be softened before he hits the English left flank or he may be useful to dispatch the Spanish with extra force ; leaving Ruffin with less of a struggle , which could release some troops to aid Villatte with his attack......at a later stage ).
Screen 14. Centre Sector.-
Enemy regiments are starting to move forward against Sebastiani. Further along , lapisse has deployed a strong line of Tirailleurs to harass the English.
Screen 15. Southern sector.
Sporadic firing begins between leval's lead elements and Spansh defenders. A report back to Milhaud that there are a fair number of Spanish defenders manning the walls of the town of Talavera and within the woods to the north bodes illf for an early seizure of the town and somewhat negates his cavalry arm; unless infantry can be sent in support. Milhaud informs Marshal Victor immediately.
Musketry fire runs along Ruffin's and Villatte's front; the Spanish intent on trading fire and holding their positions. French guns continue to bombard the far left of the English line. General Merlin holds off his cavalry and awaits events ; his horseman itching to be unleashed amongst the enemy.
Screen 18. Centre Sector.
Enemy formations begin to feel the weight of French firepowwer. They are foolish to leave their wooded hill positions. Marshal Victor briefly rides onto the Cascajal height to ascertain the strength of the English advance and slowly turns his horse and lifts his hat and points it at Latour-Mauboug's large cavalry force and then towards his lower right sharply' indicating that they should stop and wait. The signal is verified by a short bugle blast as all the horses stop.
Screen 19. Bombardment of Enemy.
Screen 20. Southern Sector.
Half of Leval's formation encounters Spanish resistance along a line of entrenchments to the North of the town of Talavera.
General Milhaud meanwhile, hastily orders his cavalry to take cover in the trees as a Spanish gun battery starts to unlimber in the clearing between the woods North and South of the Talavera highway. He awaits some infantry support...
Just bought this- paperback version at a nice price. It looks promising - published in 2010 and as we all know; Quatre -Bras is a bit under represented. It is one of my favourite battles since I had the magazine game SPI version.
Almost finished the Battle for Paris book - definitely a book for grognards with patience as it is more of a forensic analysis. I was very disappointed with the number of proof-reading errors - you would expect about half a dozen in the whole book - not 30 + sigh. It put me off the Ney at Quatre -Bras book which will be another forensic analysis........Sigh !..........with errors.
Also got Gill's Thunder on the Danube - Aspern in P/B....this looks really good.
How long will the Spaniards hold ?. Spanish cavalry move along the northern slope of the Medellin Hill; hopefully not to attack Villatte. The far left English battery uses canister shot to dispel French skirmishers before them rather than fire on Villate's formed infantry behind - good!
Screen 22. Centre Sector.
Screen 22. Centre sector.
There has been some French skirmisher routing which does not bode well; as fleeing units dampen ardor among the remnants. Further strengthening of the enemy frontage but as yet no concerted attempt to fully engage the french line. Marshal Jourdan has released the French operational reserves which include Polish and Guard regiments.
Screen 23. Southern Sector.
Screen 23. Southern Sector.
Milhaud's lead squadron has managed to enter the town of Talavera - which seems empty of enemy units. No victory points...........
The Spanish have withdrawn slightly under pressure from Ruffin's attack, and have been flanked by a small contingent of French troops. Villate's formation moves steadily forward with Gen. Brig.Cassagne attacking an English battalion of around 300 men under Rowland with 3 battalions of his own. This has caused heavy loss to the enemy. The swift French move forward has also caught a body of Spoanish cavalry with their britches down. Further along; ( Unfortunately , a cavalry charge by one of Merlin's cavalry regiments has been spoiled by a - Detached units cannot melee attack message - this must be an error in coding - which would have destroyed the KGL unit as it's target ?)
Screen 25a. Melee close-up.
Screen 26. Centre Sector.
French artillery continue to pound the enemy lines with little respite. An attack by 2 English battalions led by Gen. Mackenzie did manage to rout a French battalion with 50-50 loss, who ran into the nearest wooded area ( during their own phase ). This was counter-charged by Gen. Brig. Laplannes who achieved an almost equal result.
Screen 26a. Melee close up.
Screen 27. Southern Sector.
Leval's men encounter resistance at every point. A furious assault by a Nassau regiment due easst of the Portina brook fails to disloge a stubborn spanish unit who cheer their own success. Further south - the scouting squadron of Milhaud's command has blindly run into a Spanish regiment which proceeded to open fire at near point blank range; unseating 44 French troopers including Capt.Lorras.
The Battle is decidedly turning in favor of French arms. The enemy have lost one Spanish supply train and two English gun batteries totalling 12 guns. Niiiice ! The only negative piece of action was the capture of Gen. Chasse who will be exchanged for a minor Spanish nobleman of ill repute - drink wise. There has also been some routing of 4 French battalions, which is surprising but inconsequential for the moment. The spanish line before Ruffin continues to move back into the fields for some cover except for one notable unit who has decided to move forward. These brave but foolhardy opponents are now enfiladed on the right and left. The far left English gun battery has been destroyed. Spanish cavalry are being raked by some of Villatte's men.
Screen 29. Centre Sector.
Gen.Cassagne has again performed well with the bayonet- taking down Elliot's English gun battery. A further melee attack has been repulsed by the enemy; who seems to be enlarging their presence before Sebastiani.
Screen 29a. Melee Close-up.
Screen29b. Melee Close-up.
Screen 30. Southern Sector.
French scouting squadron seems to have been destroyed; probably was eliminated by opportunity fire when moving away from enemy infantry. a Spanish cavalry unit has appeared unexpectedly on the Talavera approach road - it will suffer the revenge of Milhaud's cavalry, who will show no quarter.