Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Black Powder in the Mountains, Spain 1810

     We had decided to take a break from Pikeman's Lament and dust off some old figures and rules for a game of Black Powder set in Spain set in 1810.

enthusiastic, but frightfully unprepared, the militia assemble in the pass

       Moore had fled long ago, Wellington is lurking near Portugal and the Spanish find themselves trying to eject the French from Spain on their own. There are still significant portions of the old Royal Army operating in Spain as well as some of the newly-raised militia troops. The Spanish have decided to fortify and hold one of the narrow passes between the French armies in an effort to keep the enemy scattered. They have asked some locally raised militia to hold the pass while divisions of regular troops move into the area. With this pass seized, and a respectable sized force of Royal troops assembled, the Spanish will force the French to spend the winter short of supplies, fragmented with poor communications and surrounded by a hostile countryside.
       The French, to no one's surprise, have taken exception to this plan and have moved vigorously to thwart it. The stage is set for battle.

the French army, in the rear are two Infantry Divisions each with two brigades of four battalions, in the foreground on the left a Cavalry Division of two brigades totaling four regiments of dragoons nd one of hussars, on the right is the CinC with two medium batteries

the Spanish army; left rear a brigade of six Line Infantry Regiments. in front of them two brigades of Dragoons each three regiments strong, on the right the Foreign Brigade consisting of two battalions of Irish, two battalions of Swiss and two of Light Infantry

intelligence of the French approach galvanized the militia into action
two battalions were placed forward to hold the terrain while the rest held back
most of them in square (because troops are less likely to run away if they are in square)

in the center the French rapidly deployed for the assault,
the flanking Spanish cavalry both arrived on the first turn (to everyone's shock and amazement) the French cavalry division all appeared on the right and began to deploy even the Spanish Regular Infantry made it on the table quickly

the only ones missing were the Foreign Brigade (bad die rolling)

as soon as they were properly deployed the French attacked,
 one ragged volley by the militia failed to stop them 
the French struck home sending the terrified militia packing

a larger view of the situation; on the right both cavalry forces are working their way around the terrain trying to get to grips with one another, on the left the Spanish cavalry are well-forward stopping the French infantry from advancing while the Regulars deploy behind them, in the center the French have advanced through the tree line and now face the rest of the militia brigade

..........still no Foreign Brigade........

two turns later the French had smashed through the militia brigade and routed the Spanish cavalry ob the right, it was at this point that the long missing Foreign Brigade finally showed up (the head of the column can be seen at the bottom center of the picture)

on the left the Spanish cavalry had pout in a sterling performance, 
delaying the French deployment as the Line Infantry deployed and pinning the guns and several battalions in the far corner of the battlefield

outnumbered and lacking room to maneuver they were rapidly running out of practical combat options, withdrawal or evasion were the only way to avoid extinction

in the center a Blunder Roll had caused a French Dragoon Regiment to charge through the militia brigade from right to left (you can see them forming up in the field on the lower left of the picture) this allowed the French skirmishers to press in close to the Spanish squares and decimate them with fire, in the Spanish turn the Foreign Brigade failed its first Command roll of the turn and was thus rooted in place

     With the right completely driven off, the left holding but endangered and the center crumbling in ruins the Spanish had little hope of a successful conclusion to the battle and decided upon withdrawal. Standout events were J&R's excellent handling of the Spanish cavalry on the left, oldSarge's elegant dissection of the Spanish cavalry on the right and Brad's relentless pressure in the center that crushed the militia and advanced far enough into the pass to prevent the Foreign Brigade from having a chance of impacting the battle.


  1. My crazy French Cav. I was stunned by the bunder roll. Plus rolling a Wild and Crazy charge by the dragoons. It was a fun game.

    Old Sarge

  2. Nice looking game on a splendid table, great report!