Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Spanish Ulcer - The battle of Granja de la Abundancia, Spain 1810 (Black Powder)

This last Sunday I was joined in battle by my friends, Kurt F., Matt V., Andrew Y., Bob T., Steve B. and Eric E.  This was the scenario "The battle of Granja de la Abundancia" that is right out of the Albion Peninsular Scenario book.  We played it with some modifications to the forces in 15mm scale.

Many of you have seen and played this battle before but this is our first time trying this scenario.  Let me introduce our full house of players.

Player Introductions
So we finally got Kurt to show up.  I have missed putting him in bad situations and above all missed his trash talk from across the table.  And of course we are to always suffer from his Monty Python like French accent.  It has been a little hard to get him to play with us so it was a pleasure to finally have him join us.  Life just seems to get in the way of our gaming doesn't it?  Andrew Y. was in attendance.  He is fairly new to the Club and has a big interest in Nappy and Civil War.  He seems to really like Black Powder so he wasn't going to miss an opportunity to play again.  Good to have you with us.  Matt V., Bob and Eric are regulars and we have been wargaming together for years now.  Steve is new to our group.  I worked with Steve for years and I found out about a year ago his interest in history so I finally got him to join us for a battle.  It was great having him join us and we were surprised at his knowledge of history.  Thanks for coming over.

So we had a really good bunch of guys play in this battle.  Everyone is pretty laid back and having fun was the order of the day.

Of course I served up some food and drinks and I also displayed the map (below) with a memo stick on my TV in the Theatre room so either force could step away from the table and discuss tactics.

The Battle
There are points for objectives as you can see by the map from the Albion Triumphant book below.  We used the special rules for the British Steady Line and Pas de Charge and Attack Columns for the French.  We had Kurt, Matt and Andrew playing the French Commanders and Eric, Steve and Bob playing the British/Portuguese commanders.

As it describes in the scenario book the French are hard pressed for supplies.  The British find out about this "raid" on the "Farm of Abundance" and attempts to cut them off.  The hill at the top of the map I call "Cross Hill" to make it easier to identify.  And of course being in Spain I made a Cross on a mound and placed it on the hill.

The battle was listed for 12 turns but were able to call it around turn 10.  As you can imagine the French had the numbers in Infantry, Cavalry and Guns but the British/Portuguese forces had the quality.  If the tables were turned and the British had the good opening moves then this could have been a totally different battle.

The French plan was for Kurt on the French right flank to send his large battalions at Cross Hill and grab the 3 points.  In the center Matt was to rush his Cavalry command to the center to start pinning down the British in place.  Get them into square and overall be a nuisance which was accomplished.  Andrew was to take the Farm and hold it from the British.  And I have to say that they pretty much stayed to their plan and accomplished their missions.  Very good maneuvering by Kurt and Andrew keeping the momentum and taking their objectives.  Although, both of the French flanks took many hits and a majority were shaken or close to it by battles end.

The British Commanders took a similar plan but with lousy movement dice it was going to be a long battle.  Steve on the far left stormed the hill but the French were already well emplaced.  Eric on the far right took his Light Brigade and moved on the Farm.  His elite Cazadores ended up breaking but he had enough troops at the fences where we decided to give him some points along with the hill he controlled.  Now for the center which also had some tough fighting.  Bob did everything he could to keep the center from breaking.  He was charged by Attack Columns, Dragoon's and Chasseur's, suffered Horse Artillery fire but he stood his ground.  Special mention has to go out to the Highlander Battalion.  They took it on the chin and kept making their Break Tests.  Nice work in the middle Bob.

Honorable Mention
On the French side we have to give Andrew the player of the game for accounting for 5 points of the French 9 points.  For the hill he controlled and the Farm.  On the British side we have to mention the stand of Bob and his Highlanders.

Again, great job by all.  Thanks for coming over and I will schedule another battle soon.

P.S. The allies lost both Portuguese units  which might say something for quality?  The line did not get the British Steady Line, First Fire, etc rules.  But the Cazadores did get some quality attributes, Light infantry, Elite, etc.

So I have again tried to create a "picture book" of the battle with the captions embedded (ala Tony Fryer).  I hope you enjoy the post.

(I think some of  you don't know you can just click on the pictures to explode the view.  Better to see the captions.)

You can see that if you don't move quickly it can
become a difficult fight.
Slow Allied movement

French Cav and Horse Battery denying the road

Need to note the French Horse Battery was deployed well
forward by the tree line. This made them targets for the British
Rifles who ended up breaking the battery. 

I think I mentioned the square being destroyed when it actually
had to retire two moves from the Attack Column attack by Kurt.

There was a point where Kurt "Blundered" with this Attack Column
but he rolled well enough to save it from doing something
embarrassing like run off the table.
It was the only "double 6" roll in the game for orders, damn!

Andrew's capture of the Farm. You can see his units
flanking the Portuguese!

We called it after 10 full turns.  The British were not close
to penetrating into the French half of the table at this point.

Okay that's all I got....man this takes some time...lol.


yorkie said...

Thanks for the report, It may take some time but worth the effort!


Mitch Berdinka said...

Very nicely done!

Phil said...

Nice report!