The French dragoons lose the melee to the British dragoons and rout. This has a knock on effect and they are joined by the horse artillery and the Shaken chasseurs. The second dragoons brigade, under the command of Massena on the Spanish Hill, have also received casualties and are removed into reserve.
Only one Spanish brigade remains on the Spanish Hill. They are engaged by a French light brigade, but hold their ground. The remainder of Girard’s corps move over the hill, but too far away to affect the skirmish fight.
Gazan continues to have problems regrouping his corps in front of Albuera due to repeated poor dice throws for command points. He abandons his artillery near the bridge and moves to join the infantry to get them forward.At the top of the photograph the French cavalry are in rout, including the horse artillery.
The French have taken the Spanish Hill, but one Spanish brigade refuses to retreat.
On the right the French have completed their crossing of the stream and advance towards Albuera.Despite the loss of the Spanish Hill, and the approach of Gazan, Cole grimly holds Albuera. His hussars are pushed back through his infantry squares, but the enemy are too far distant to inflict any damage on his infantry
The French cavalry are in rout, having achieved very little. The British cavalry have received serious casualties and will shortly be withdrawn. However the Spanish dragoon brigade have beaten two French brigades and are still formed. It is only the loss of command ability (due to the Poor Card) which prevents them from following up the French rout.
As night falls Beresford still holds Albuera and both of the Badajoz roads. His cavalry are broken, but his infantry have received few casualties.
The Spanish are the real hero’s of this battle. All of their infantry are now in rout, but they have delayed the French long enough for Stewart to arrive from Badajoz and for Beresford to redeploy his British and Portuguese infantry.
Massena has taken the Spanish Hill but it has taken too long to allow him to regroup to attack Albuera. The loss of his cavalry is a serious blow, and their replacement will be difficult, if not impossible.On the left Gazan has finally cleared the Spanish Hill. To his right Girard has deployed his infantry in front of Albuera. On the far left Massena has rallied the chasseur brigade, and the dragoon brigade is returning from the hill to join them.
The British hussars and the last Spanish infantry are streaming back through Albuera. Beresford’s British and Portuguese infantry are still standing firm and the town and both roads to Badajoz are secure.British and Portuguese infantry stand firm in square as the Spanish and British cavalry rout from the field. The masses of French infantry are too far away to attempt a final effort before nightfall.
Stewart’s infantry and artillery hold the allied right flank. The French cavalry have left the field, and Stewart is now available for the defence of Albuera.
This was an excellent, hard fought and very enjoyable wargame.
Throughout the early part of the game it looked like it would be an easy French victory.
The Poor Card played havoc with the allied reaction to the French attack. First Beresford, then Blake would miss a turn, resulting in a complete lack of orders in the vital early stages.
Then luck, in the form of the dice, passed to the Spanish. Their infantry held the hill until the very end, despite heavy casualties. Their dragoons broke two French brigades, despite having to miss two turns due to the Poor Card.
The Spanish resistance robbed the French of their victory. By the time they were approaching Albuera night had arrived.
The allied objective was to hold Albuera and the two roads to Badajoz, which they did. A clear allied victory.