Inaugural battle in the new War Room - but solo due to the Lock Down. More Black Powder Peninsular action. This is an encounter game - neither side was prepared for a fight and brigades were fed in piece meal (on a throw of a 5 or 6 at the beginning of each turn).
The river runs the length of the table, French appear on the left, British the right. To start with, the British have the advantage - three infantry brigades and light cavalry out on both flanks.
but not for long - on comes a big French infantry brigade with divisional artillery and two cavalry brigades
The British C-in-C orders a Portuguese brigade to advance to the bridge
but the French have the same aim and they move quicker
and there are far more of them !
a mixed KGL & Brunswick Brigade head for the woods protected by Hussars out on the right flank
a French light cavalry brigade now arrives opposite the Hussars
whereas the right flank has the Berg Lancers with horse artillery
The French C-in-C gets his 12 pounders to deploy centre of the battlefield
The French infantry have got to the bridge but have to change from attack column to cross it
The French cavalry out on their left canter towards the river as their horse artillery set up on a bit of high ground
The two opposing light cavalry brigades clash once the French cross the river
First round to the British Hussars - one enemy regiment is flung back and the Hussars smash into the Chasseurs that were supporting.
So both French regiments find themselves thrown back to the river banks
The Guards Brigade starts to get some attention from the French battery at long range
The French infantry are over the river and four attack columns have waded across
Now the British have a problem
The British cavalry advance once more intent on dispersing the French cavalry from the field
Not to be out done, British Light Dragoons advance on the left flank, cross the river and gain the hill at the confluence of the rivers
Their horse artillery deploys on a hill and gives fire - the Guards are in the background
Three battalions plus Royal Artillery
The Portuguese have changed into line to get maximum firepower on the advancing French columns
Cavalry clash again
The French have broken and flee the field
Masses of French infantry attack the Portuguese
The Berg Lancers are content to sit next to the artillery and see what happens
The attack goes in but the Portuguese have managed to disorder the lead French unit
and they survive the attack - French troops retreat
but more step up
The British C-in-C encourages the Portuguese
Two disordered French regiments have retreated
The British Light Dragoons now cross the river and threaten the Berg Lancers who are taking fire from the British horse battery
So far so good, the British lines have held but one Guards battalion has retreated disordered due to enemy artillery fire
The Portuguese counter attack
as the KGL Light Battalion swings round to present a line facing the enemy flank
and a welcome sight - a fresh Portuguese infantry brigade marches on, to the right of the Brunswickers
Its a bit of a traffic jam as the KGL try to make room for the new arrivals
a RHA battery has managed to establish itself on high ground enfilading the bridge
this causes problems for the French occupying the bridge itself
the Portuguese attack falters
Out on the British right, the elated Hussars cross the river to attack the enemy left flank
Officers are still trying to sort out the Allied brigades
Another arrival - a French Lancer brigade arrives in the centre - they are directed to head over to the left flank to stop those pesky British Hussars
A French heavy battery is all that is protecting it now the Chasseurs have disappeared
The French are still holding the bridge
More arrivals - a French infantry brigade arrives on their right flank
The French artillery has disordered the advancing enemy Hussars
Alarm ! The Portuguese brigade has had enough and withdrawn but the French are not in great shape either !
The Guards brigade attacks
as the KGL/Brunswick brigade moves forward too
The second Portuguese brigade has advance right up to the river on the right
The British Hussars charge again but the French gunners are ready
the Hussars have pushed their luck too far - the front regiment breaks
and now the French lancers head for the remaining regiment
The French have reformed and attack the KGL
The plucky Hussars decide to charge the French Lancers !
The Brunswickers and KGL form into attack columns and counter attack
as Portuguese troops join in the flank fire towards the bridge
and the Guards have charged too - surely this will break the enemy ?
Melee ! Surely, the Hussars are over reaching themselves again ?
The French stubbornly hold
and the Guards have broken !
But the good news for the British is that the French brigade has taken too many casualties and the brigade has broken - they must retire
The Hussars have retreated but the Portuguese are ready to plug the hole on that flank
One Guards battalion has gained the heights dominating the river line
but fresh French infantry are heading their way in numbers
The French Lancers have seen off the British Hussars with the help of their horse artillery
Here they come ! Four battalions in attack columns
The French 12 pounders still hammer away
The broken French brigade has retired back over the river
The RHA on the hill belong to the Hussar brigade so they will be limbering up to leave too
For a moment, the KGL/Brunswickers survey a clear field
The Guards fire at the approaching enemy infantry
The British and Allies now form a mutually supporting line along the river bank
"We must hold, men"
If this works, then we can take the bridge
But the 12 pounders are cutting swathes through the British lines
One French battalion gas become disordered but the attack goes in
The British Light Dragoons charge, forcing two French battalions into squad before retiring
Retreating French infantry cause a problem for the French commander
The Guards hold and disorder a second enemy battalion
they fall back
but the fight continues on the hill
a second round sees the Guards broken - now the whole brigade is bust and must retreat
The British C-in-C can't believe it !
With nightfall approaching and the British centre gone
even though the big French brigade has had enough, the smaller one has taken the hill the other side of the river and the British have nothing there to stop them - apart from light dragoons.
The French 12 pounders have damaged the KGL/Brunswick brigade so much that they are in retreat
The British commander orders a general retreat so the remaining cavalry and Portuguese brigade must extricate themselves and retire.
The French have taken the ground but do not have any fresh units to pursue the enemy. Its a win but a costly one.
This game has taken me three days trying to handle both sides, so quite exhausting but fun nevertheless.
This is the way it has to be for quite a while yet, I guess.