Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Defence of Ciudad Espanola

In "Albion Triumphant", the Black Powder Peninsular Campaign supplement, we noticed that the Battle of Granja de la Abundancia game we fought recently has a follow- up game, titled as above, a mini-campaign, as it were.

In this, the forces used before continue but reflect the casualties incurred previously plus the victors,  the French, gain a fresh brigade, Lapasse's consisting of three battalions of Grenadiers, a foot battery & a horse battery.

The British have to defend their base, Ciudad Espanola.

French start line, Lapasse sends his guns forwards as Maurice gets a triple move and has his infantry already crossing the river


Maurice has 4 battalions plus a foot battery

The British commander, Scholey has left a small detachment of Rifles protecting the bridge and they open fire on the approaching French

This is the town of Ciudad Espanola which the British must hold.

 Lapasse gets his guns up on to high ground ready to give the enemy a pounding.

And Dupont's brigade arrives on the French right flank

Maurice is firmly across the river on the French left.

Lapasse's grenadiers now appear on the road heading for the bridge.

Open fire ! The first cannonade.

Which has an immediate impact on the Cacadores placed in front of the town.

The Rifles cause some disorder with their accurate fire.

British artillery is now spied on high ground the other side of the river and they return fire.

The Grenadiers rush the bridge
  
as the Rifles give ground

A French gun receives fire and is disordered

Courtesy of the Royal Artillery opposite.

Dupont gets his men up to the river's edge

The French have two batteries deployed on the large hill.

The KGL Hussars are ordered to charge the lead French column which forms square

as the Cacadores move up in support.

Here we see the whole might of General DeBell's command.

On the British side, Lane has debunked from town and now advances on the left.

The Hussars melee with Maurice's front unit

unknown to the French at this stage, British Light Infantry are positioned in the woods behind the right flank of the Cacadores.

The French Grenadiers are across the bridge and in assault column.

DuPont's men wade across the river, heading towards the enemy artillery.

Brune's light cavalry have now arrived on the battlefield.

View from behind the French lines at this juncture.

The Grenadiers push on

but are then surprised by Lane's brigade which hits them in the flank.

The front unit of Grenadiers are destroyed

but the French have thrown back the KGL cavalry in disorder.

With one British gun out of commission for now, the French columns try and climb towards them.

The Grenadiers are now backed up on the bridge until Lane's threat can be dealt with.

French light troops have charged forwards to engage the British in the woods

as the French line rolls forwards left of the road

The French get the better of the action in the woods and the British flee.

Lane's men have disordered the second Grenadier battalion which is causing confusion at the bridge head.

The one active British gun has succeeded in disordering the lead French column heading towards them.

So the other battalions are ordered to divert past them and attack Lane in flank

Lane's rearmost unit takes the brunt of the attack.

Maurice's men have now launched an attack on the Cacadores as the KGL Hussars have broken

Maurice's light troops are passed through the woods by a second battalion.

whilst they try and recover from disorder.

The tough Cacadores put up a fight

but are forced back by the French columns, watched by Lane.

Weight of fire has destroyed one British gun, leaving one to break up DuPont's attacks.

The Cacadores refuse to break even though outflanked by Maurice's men in and around the woods.

Now Hoole in the town reveals a Scots unit set up behind the walls.

Lane is now losing the fight against DuPont's men

as the French artillery keep up a remorseless fire.

The final British gun goes !

after a hard long pounding.

Lane only has one unit left now.

This is Brune's cue to bring forward the cavalry, fording the river as the bridge is still blocked.

French everywhere !

The Cacadores keep on fighting, even though disordered and with casualties mounting

DuPont's columns now menace the town.

No quarter !

The Rifles have managed to extricate themselves from the fight in front of town and now snipe the enemy light troops by the woods.

Brune tries to find space to gallop his horse artillery across the river.

as Lapasse's guns are dragged across on the right.

Cacadores with their backs to the wall.

Lane's men have now all gone and the way clear for DuPont to assault the town.

Attack columns get ready.

Brune's cavalry charge the Cacadores

throwing them back beyond the town but they in turn receive casualties from the Scots in town.

and troops firing from windows and doors !

One regiment retires and then the second gets disordered !

Brune's horse artillery now blast the Scots destroying them

which clears the way for Dupont's assault columns

However, the buildings are fiercely defended - one French battalion is destroyed and the Grenadiers are having the same problem on the far side of town

Two bounds of melee for the buildings fails to dislodge the British defenders

and French casualties mount.

The British have held on for the designated 12 bounds and the French failed to take the town - British victory !

We played this game by e-mail. I set up everything at my place and Steve relayed his orders for me to  enact.  I would send him pictures as the game developed so he could see what was happening.  It worked ! Never as much fun as having an opponent with you in the room of course, but a fair substitute in the circumstances.

Next report will be our big Black Powder club game with twelve participants !

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