Sunday, August 26, 2012

Battle of Fuentes de Onoro

Today marks a special day in the history of our little group as we played our first Napoleonic game.

wahj and I had a British and French Napoleonic army in 20mm plastics more than 20 years ago, with which we played Napoleon's Battles, but we haven't played a game in years. When Martin expressed an interest in the period a couple of years back, I bought over 300 painted 15mm miniatures off ebay while he slowly painted his Anglo-Portuguese army up. Then earlier this month, he announced that he was ready for a game, and we both read the Age of Eagles ruleset (which we both bought earlier), and I picked out a scenario for us.

After some browsing, I decided on a scenario based on the Battle of Fuentes de Onoro. As with the original battle, the Allied army faced the challenge of either holding their flank or extricating the isolated 7th Division defending the village of Poco Velho, while the French had the task of turning the British flank and destroying as much of the enemy forces as possible.

Rick setting up the French IXth Corps, ready to storm Fuentes de Onoro. The isolated 7th Division is seen in the middle.
wahj and Martin took the roles of the Allied commanders (wahj being our "traditional" British player, and Martin being part-Portuguese), while I played umpire cum French Army commander (Massena), and the two less-experienced players (fg and Rick) commanded a French corps each.

I tasked fg to bring his forces wide around the Allied right flank to cut the 7th Division off and destroy them while Rick pinned the rest of the Allied army with an attack on Fuentes de Onoro itself.

fg's VIth Corps and the French Cavalry Reserve deploy
While fg stuggled to get his corps across the river, Rick's surprising charge along the road drove the British out of the town in a single turn!

The French charge across the river to take Fuentes de Onoro
The town would change hands several times during the rest of the battle, but while the bulk of the Allied forces raced to link up with the 7th Division, fg's VIth Corps managed to ford the river and drive them from the village.

With the village lost, the Allied forces began to deploy from the road and form to face the French, and their three batteries tore up the French 3rd Division.

The French drive the British out of Poco Velho, and the Allies deploy from march column to face their attack
With the bulk of the Allied army now deployed for a fight between the two objectives, I decided to commit Junot's Division towards Fuentes, which we judge will turn the battle towards the French's favour and force the Allied army to withdraw, and so called the game.

The whole game took about 3 hours including setting up the over one hundred bases of figures.

Except for the rather unpredictable melee results, we enjoyed the rules. There are some areas which are not covered by the rules relating to fighting in BUA, but most of the time we were just thrilled by the sight of over 500 figures in colourful uniforms being shoved across the table, and taking pictures so we can have bragging rights.

Rick was so inspired by the spectacle he is now thinking of getting an army to provide my French an opponent, which gives me an excuse to further expand my army...


Simon Quinton said...

Great looking game. Love to get into Napoleonics at some point but painting all those uniforms the same is a bit scary lol

Rodger said...

Wonderful looking game.Great pic's.

Sean said...

The terrain and figures look really good. Sounds like what wargaming is all about. Looks like fun and I hope to see more.

captain arjun said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Martin painted the Allied arm by himself, while my French were bought off ebay, painted by DPS.

Naps fever is now on and we hope to play a short campaign while it lasts - even now we are planning a First Macedonian War project, while wahj tempts me with thoughts of the Italian War (even as we still have not played with our Warring States China armies), and Adrian and Thomas owe me a 40K game....

So many periods, so few weekends...

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.