Monday, December 17, 2018

Pedroche 1811 - a Small Matter

Well, it's a modest game, but we got another 28mm Napoleonics bash in this year.  Not the one we had in mind, but a pleasant diversion nonetheless.  James S had purchased a basically (but acceptably) painted British force online for a decent price and wanted to get them on to the table, I felt sure we could oblige, so myself and Gav took control of some of my French to face them.  I loaned James some Artillery and Riflemen for the night to fill out his ranks, but it turns out he had enough infantry for 8 regiments at my normal 24 figure unit size!  Too much for my French, the table size or one evening to handle.

The deployed arrays

The battlefield is split by the Arroyo da Santa Maria river, a fairly insubstantial water course, fordable with difficulty at any point, but obviously easier at the bridge on the West-East main road.  A small farmstead lies to the northwest on the British side of the field, whilst, open woodland covers the eastern side.

This was James' firs game of Black Powder in several years, so it was to be largely a rules refresher, plus an introduction to mine and Gav's fast'n'loose style of gentlemanly play.  Nonetheless, to ease James' comprehension of the rules, I stuck to the actual Albion Triumphant (Vol.1) army lists for the forces; developing small matched forces without our usual tweaks to the system, and slapdash "that feels right" army composition.

Broadly the forces were:

British left

British right
 James had two brigades, one with a Guard and two line regiments, supported by a Battery of 6lb guns and a company of riflemen; the other of a Highland regiment and two line Regiments, with an attached regiment of light dragoons.

French left

French right
 We had slightly more infantry on account of the sheer quality of British troops in the rules (lordy, they are ridiculous!), our first brigade being two French and two German line regiments, with an 8lb Battery attached; our second having three French line regiments and a regiment of Heavy Dragoons.

Opening moves
 The British led the attack marching a unit in line up to the eastern road, but James Guards blundered off to the rear of their own guns.  Progress around the farm was slow by comparison, but reliable.  The French opened up a steady artillery fire in response, alongside a more effective general advance.

Early hits on Brits
 Jmes revised his lines to allow for the confused Guards, and his realisation that the British in line may have more firepower, but took up so much more battlefield real estate, reducing his tactical options.  He aimed to cover the river and make the farm a fortification.  For our part we covered our left with a Square to trap his cavalry, whilst aiming to use our more mobile units to attack his troops with greater force.

 Attacks develop on the French Right
 Tied up fighting the square (British cavalry can't help but charge), we were able to charge our heavy horse into the British flank and drive his cavalry off.  Meanwhile Gave aimed to outmatch the British in the farm with fire.  Optimistic, but the British shooting proved cautious as James tried to save his 'First Fire' for the opportune moment.
The Light Dragoons run,  The Heavies line up a new target
In the centre a French line regiment caught the Highlanders in Square and slowly pushed them back.  Meanwhile on the far right the German regiments hit the British line and only their 'Steadiness' saved them from flight.

But at the river crossing the French did suffer a reverse as a line unit broke from vicious fire from the British before them.

Late on
But alas, with the extensive clarifications of the rules and the limited time available to us of a Thursday night (further curtailed by our club AGM being the same night)  we had to call it quits at this stage.  With only one unit each lost I felt it fair to call it a draw, although I naturally felt the advantage at the stage we reached lay with the French.

Still it was mainly the intention to get James back up to speed on the game, and to consider options for the future.  James has at least as many French as Brits somewhere, so it could allow us to much enlarge our games if we so wish in future.

And to be honest, it is another good reason not the switch to BP 2.0; as I feel no urge to relearn or reteach another version of the rules!


No comments:

Post a Comment