Sunday, April 27, 2014

Battle of Albuera

Our first big game of the year - and what better spectacle than a Napoleonic game?

The battlefield viewed from the south, with the Badajoz road cutting across the table, and Albuera in the middle.

For the scenario I chose the battle of Albuera, which is small enough for us to have room to manoeuvre on the table.

I tweaked the scenario to give the French a fighting chance by delaying the arrival of the Spanish armies, but gave the British more leeway in the deployment. Martin chose to deploy the 2nd Division on the hill to his far right, something which Beresford failed to do, and covered the gap between that division and the rest of his army with the cavalry.

The French players attempted a left hook as Soult did: fg attacked the left flank of the Anglo-Portuguese army, while wahj sent the cavalry across the stream to screen the two divisions which followed.

Seeing a gap between the two wings of the French army, Martin decided to send the cavalry across the stream, which prompted the French cavalry to respond.

The fighting on the Anglo-Portuguese left was slow and indecisive, but the French finally gained a foothold. On the right flank the 2nd Division saw off the French dragoons' attack - but the dragoons have done their job; in the climax of the battle, two divisions charged up the wooded hill and managed to dislodge the 2nd Division, causing many casualties.

At this time, the Spanish army arrives, and we called the game.

It's hard to say how both sides performed compared to their historical counterparts, but I don't think it really mattered since we all got to push colourful figures across the table.


Phil said...

Good looking game!

Stephen Holmes said...

Nice spectacle. Which rules are you using?

captain arjun said...

Thanks, gents.

We used Age of Eagles, which is still rather cumbersome.

Stephen Holmes said...

Thet's the fire and fury based one isn't it? I always thought F&F looked great, but had no opportunity to play them.

I'm now completely sold on Black Powder (6mm). 2 divisions of ~12 units each can play to a conclusion in 2 - 4 hours.

The rules read a bit strangely, and an experienced gamer is liable to fuss over missing details like reaction tests, and uphill bonuses.

However the whole package plays incredibly realistically, and as a player I find I'm solving tactical challenges every turn.

captain arjun said...

Yes, it is Napoleonic F&F.

Perhaps I just need to get better at scenario selection or creation...

Stephen Holmes said...

2 "Murphy's" rules for horse and musket.

For any set of rules there is an ideal size.

It usually requires a table larger than the floor area of your home.

When you finally assemble that club mega-game, you discover the ideal size is about a quarter of what you have organised.