Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Battle of Granja de la Abundancia : A Black Powder Game

A game around at my Billericay War Rooms today, taken from the Black Powder Peninsular Campaign booklet "Albion Triumphant"

Both sides had three brigades, each to reflect typical formations available in the Peninsular.

The British were approaching from the left, the French the right with the main target being the farm and crops shown centre bottom of the map (this was worth 6 victory points whereas the hill dominating the road junction was 3 and the two lesser hills 1 point each. The start points for each side were also worth 1 point if kept, 3 if captured by the enemy).

This is how it looked for our game.
French end.

British end.

The French (me) won the toss and brought on Brune's cavalry brigade first

Steve Clarke elected to bring on Dale's "Light" brigade first.

Led by the KGL Hussars.

The 1st French Chasseurs a Cheval deployed into line as their Horse artillery followed with 2nd Chasseurs following up.

Rapidly, to start with, as the large hill is reached.
  Behind these came Maurice's infantry brigade

The British now get a move on and the KGL Hussars gain the hill first with lines of infantry following up behind.

Portuguese Cacadores make for the woods just south of the road junction.

Dale seen here urging his men on.

His small Rifle unit have breasted the first hill as they head for the farm.

Maurice's brigade leave the road to head for the farm too.

Cavalry clash ! The French Chasseurs charge the KGL Hussars

KGL cavalry are rated as ferocious as we found out ! 

The Cacadores have deployed into skirmish formation as they get to the woods, Rifles not far behind.


The 1st Chasseurs a Cheval have been routed and are removed from the game !

The KGL Hussars elect to retire to reform near their supporting infantry.

Maurice's columns continue their advance on the farm.

and deploy into attack columns

Their brigade artillery move up too.

General Scholey orders the Rifles to hurry up and take the farm.

The one and only British artillery battery now makes an appearance and heads for the high ground.

Reformed, the KGL Hussars closely assisted by infantry now take the large hill.

The KGL Hussars and 2nd Chasseurs a Cheval now clash at the foot of the hill as the French horse artillery open fore on the enemy infantry.


Neither side wants to lose !

but eventually the French come off best and the KGL are removed from play as destroyed.

At this point, Dupont's Brigade has rapidly advance in column to attack the British line on the hill.

As Maurice's brigade gradually approach the farm land.

Dupont's columns receive fire from the British infantry on the large hill

As Maurice's men finally reach the farm land, the Rifles take pot shots at them.

Hoole's brigade are now seen marching towards the large hill.

Colours to the fore !

Now Maurice's men form up to attack the farm which has been occupied by the Rifles.

A real tussle is now taking place on the hill top

The Portuguese have firm control of the woods and fire at the enemy columns.

Charge !  With one battalion disorganised, Maurice sends in the second battalion with support from a third.

Despite numerical advantage, the French cannot displace the British infantry line on the hill.

The British guns now add their weight of fire against the French attacking the farm.

Brune having re-ordered his remaining cavalry sends them in to assist Dupont's infantry brigade on the hill.

The struggle for the farm continues with the Rifles holding on.

At last, the British line has cracked and gone but more British troops are coming.

Line against attack column, just as it should be !

The French are relentless and even the tough Scots are finding this too much

They retreat as another unit is sent forwards to try and halt the French.

But Brune has not finished, his Chasseurs a Cheval now launch a flank attack on the two British battalions facing the enemy columns.

They hold for one round

but one breaks on the second round, and the other shortly after,

as Maurice's infantry finally capture the farm from the Rifles, who are all killed.

Other British infantry have arrived near the farm but too late to save the Rifles - or the farm.

Maurice's men have now deployed into line, protecting their gains.

We had now fought the 12 bounds allotted for this game and it was a clear French victory - as they occupied the farm (6 points), the large hill (3 points), one smaller hill (1 point) and their own start line (1 point).

The British were left with one hill (1 point) and their start point (1 point).

Some tense moments though and half way through, it could have gone either way, especially when brigades on both sides failed their command rolls - always when you least need it but thats Black Powder for you !