Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Battle of Talavera - Part Five

Move 10

The French continue to skirmish both the Medellin and the pajar, both without effect. Joseph move comes immediately after the poor card, so he is unable to change the orders for Sebastiani and Leval from Engage to Attack.

The British infantry on the Medellin form line, advance and fire on the nearest French column. The French fail their morale and rout, causing the nearby artillery to test their morale, which they fail and also join the rout.

Move 10 - The Medellin

On the left the highland brigade is exchanging fire with a French brigade in line. A second British brigade on the right has formed line, advanced to the edge of the hill and routed an enemy brigade, who have taken the supporting gunners with them. The third British brigade has formed square to protect the highlanders from the waiting French light cavalry.

Move 11

The French finally gain the upper hand on the Medellin. The highlanders finally break and rout through the supporting square, which is shaken. Wellesley orders Hill to withdraw.

They also capture the pajar. Both Sebastiani and Leval have orders to attack the fortified farm and their overwhelming numbers win the day.

As night approaches Wellesley is forced to withdraw from Talavera having lost both the Medellin and the pajar.

Move 11 - The Medellin

The highlanders rout from the hill, leaving the badly shaken square to hold the enemy cavalry. The supporting heavy cavalry move to cover the retreat. Due to earlier heavy casualties the French are too weak to follow up their victory, and the British retreat in good order under cover of darkness.

Move 11 – The Pajar - Allied View

The allied view as night approaches. Two of Sherborne’s brigades have suffered heavy casualties and are in rout. The remaining brigade, and the artillery, are both shaken. On the right a Spanish brigade has joined the rout together with the gunners who had taken shelter with them. The Spanish guns have been abandoned, but their infantry are still standing firm and will cover the retreat.

Move 11 – The Pajar - French View

The view from the French side. On the right a mass of infantry surge around and through the pajar. To their left the cavalry are held at bay by the remaining Spanish infantry. The French artillery are unable to fire due to their own infantry massed between them and the retreating British and Spanish infantry.

As night falls the French have taken both Medellin and the pajar and the British are in rout. The Spanish continue to hold Talavera, but will have to retreat during the night. After a hard fought battle the French are clear winners.

Casualties on both sides have been light, and nightfall has prevented the French from inflicting more with their waiting cavalry.

French 7 infantry 2 cavalry 0 gunners
British 10 infantry 0 cavalry 0 gunners
Spanish 0 infantry 0 cavalry 0 gunners

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Battle of Talavera - Part Four

Move 7

The French are losing the artillery duel and Joseph is aware that if he does not move soon his army will fall apart. He orders the cavalry reserve to advance against the Spanish artillery. This is a gamble, for if he loses the cavalry the Spanish in and around Talavera can move against his left flank. Both flanks are now on attack orders, and he moves to issue similar orders to Leval and Sebastiani in the centre.

As the French approach the medellin, Hill orders his artillery to withdraw and his infantry to form square. The British cavalry are advancing to disrupt Ruffin’s attack. Portago is particularly unlucky as the poor card robs him of his move, and the opportunity to fire on the approaching French cavalry.

Move 7 - The Medellin

Close up of the French attack on the medellin. Two infantry brigades, supported by the corps cavalry, approach the left flank of the hill. The artillery, no longer able to fire on the enemy columns, are limbered and withdrawing. The highland brigade has formed square as protection against the enemy cavalry, and the reserve brigade is moving to support them

Move 8

Joseph misses his move due to the poor card, and can not change Sebastiani to engage orders. French infantry column climb Medellin in column and exchange fire with square (roll 3 on 2xD6), lose fire fight and retreat shaken. Leval continues to engage pajar and inflict one more casualty. Cavalry charge nearest Spanish artillery, but the gunners make their morale and run to nearest square.

Medellin is holding, second brigade forms square and gunners halt their withdrawal and unlimber. Cavalry turn one brigade to support the hill.. The garrison of pajar have suffered three casualties, but still hold. Second brigade is moved forward to replace them (building removed to allow exact measurement of both brigades).

Move 9

Second French brigade climbs Medellin, forms line and exchanged fire with highland square (roll 5 with 2xD6) resulting in a draw. Joseph orders Sebastiani to engage pajar. Two infantry brigades engage the new garrison. Cavalry commander changes his orders to halt and withdraws his leading brigade. He also rallies his reserve brigade and remains within charge move of guns to deter gunners from leaving safety of the supporting squares.

British replacement brigade now in pajar, suffer one casualty but makes morale. The withdrawal of the Spanish gunners has allowed the French to move closer to pajar, which is now engaged by elements of two enemy commands.

Move 9 - The Medellin

Ruffin has left two brigades to deter the British cavalry between the hill and pajar. The remaining two brigades, supported by his cavalry, engage the highland brigade in square. His first brigade was lost the fire fight and withdrew shaken with two casualties against the highlanders one. His second brigade climbs the hill, deploys into line and exchanges fire. Once more the highlanders hold their own, it is a draw and both sides are disordered. The supporting cavalry are unable to advance because their own infantry are in the way.

A second British brigade has formed square and the gunners are unlimbering. This fight could go either way, and the winner could easily tip the balance and cause a general retreat.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Battle of Talavera - Part Three

Move 4

All of the French artillery are now unlimbered, and concentrate on the pajar and the medellin hill. They score a hit on the former, but the garrison make their morale. On the right Ruffin continues to advance towards the medellin. In the centre both Sebastiani and Leval are in position, but halt until their artillery has prepared the pascajal for attack.

The allied artillery have better targets than the French gunners, and continue to fire on the vunerable infantry. The British guns in support of pajar hit one of the French columns who fail their morale and are shaken. The Spanish infantry to the left of Talavera form square to protect their artillery against the enemy cavalry. Wellesley has joined his cavalry to give them orders to advance.

Move 5

Joseph orders Ruffin to advance and engage the medellin. His artillery fire in support, but only the enemy guns are visible and they miss. On his left Sebastiani receives more casualties on his left hand brigade causing it to rout thorough its supports resulting in them being shaken. He manages to rally his routed brigade, but it remains shaken and is now only suitable as support. Further to the left the Spanish artillery cause more casualties on the closely packed infantry columns of Leval. He has halted to await developments and redeploys his columns to avoid further overshoot casualties.

The British cavalry have moved forward to cover the gap between pajar and medellin. The allied artillery have done much better than expected, especially the Spanish. It is becoming apparent that the French will not be allowed the luxury of waiting for their artillery to prepare the enemy infantry.

Move 6

On the French right Ruffin attempts to outflank the medellin, the British artillery are too well placed for a frontal attack. To his left both Sebastiani has rallied one of his brigades, but one remains shaken. Leval is on hold orders and can only exchange artillery fire with the allies.

The allied artillery continue to fire on the nemy infantry, but fail to inflict any further casualties.