In balancing the forces I moved the setting to late war to make things simple.
I was also keen to try out a scenario with the British defending a ridge line as they so famously did under Wellington.
The French were slightly disadvantaged as the forces were equal, and usually the attacker would have more. It turned out this was not a problem as I'm no Wellington.
The Allies deployed in a defensive position behind the main stream.
|Allies Centre and Left wing L - R British 2nd Brigade supported by the Spanish infantry, British 1st Brigade, British Cavalry Brigade and forward of the line the Portuguese Brigade.|
|Allies Right wing and Centre L - R Spanish Cavalry Brigade, Spanish Artillery Brigade, British 1st Brigade supported by the Spanish infantry brigade.|
|British line from their right flank|
|British line showing their centre and left flank.|
|The French Right dice show the number of casualties and the white cotton wool (smoke) the disordered unit.|
|Spanish Guerrillas scramble forward over the stream|
|1/23rd 2nd Almeida takes on 2 columns|
|View from above. The French right splits in to a 3rd group formed from the 3rd Brigade advancing up the centre.|
|1/23rd 2nd Almeida, 2/1st Leger and 2/70th get ready to scrap|
|British Cavalry look on as the French contact the Portuguese|
|A company of the 95th Rifles from the British 1st Brigade watches the advancing French 3rd Brigade|
|The French centre and left advance|
|French 3rd Brigade forming the centre|
|Spanish guerrilla watch the French 2nd Brigade appear from behind hill|
Finally we worked through the melee. The result was a draw, but the 1/23rd 2nd Almeida were shaken having taken 3 casualties. This meant the melee continued, but the 2/1st Leger would not be able to use their attack column advantage which represented the power going out of their assault. However we ruled that the 2/70th could next turn join the melee with it's attack column advantage so the French would get there 2 to 1 advantage denied them in the first round of combat.
|The results of the firing and melee. White smoke is disordered, and black shaken.|
|The Portuguese hold!|
The Portuguese, Royal Horse Artillery and the 1st Brigades Royal Artillery all opened fire on the 3/70th and either missed or the French managed to pass their saving throws which meant no casualties. The French had certainly woken up on the right side of the bed that morning and were seemingly unstoppable. The Allied plan began to unravel as it depended on the artillery hurting the advancing French (cut to image of air filled with shot and huge lines of Frenchies being bowled over). The 3/70th then weathered the fire from 2 companies of the 95th Rifles and continued their charmed life.
|The unhappy 2/76th line|
|At this point I notice that the 3/76th is missing, obviously at the rear guarding the baggage.|
The French charged their dragoons across the stream forcing the Cazadores in to square and then the 1/18th 2nd Porto. Seeing this the dragoons pulled up allowing the 4/70th and the 1/1st Leger to charge the 4th Cazadores. The 1/1st Leger's command roll resulted in a blunder (a roll of double 6) and they halted just short having drifted too much to the right. After a healthy discussion that stopped the Leger making contact with the Cazadores, but also stopped them moving to the right of the dragoons who could have been blocking their movement, they were positioned touching the 4/70th.
The Cazadores square pored on the fire as the French charged. The pored fire was ignored and the French hit home winning the melee that caused enough casualties to shake the Portuguese riflemen. Holding my breath I rolled for the break test and passed. The Portuguese let out a great shout 'they will not pass!'. Phew, that roll blocked the French advance at least for this round.
|The Cazadores square is to the left with black smoke, and the Almeidas slug it out to the right.|
The next melee to settle was the Almeida's fending off 2 columns. The Portuguese lost failing their break test and fled but they did manage to shake the Leger.
|The Almeida's shake the Leger but the pressure is to great and they break.|
|The French left wing made up of the Light Cavalry brigade and the 2nd Brigade|
|Allied right pondering what to do next.|
|The centre looking strong|
|The left about to see the Portuguese retreat|
|Last look at the gallant Portuguese. The Portuguese Cazadores already in melee effectively form the rearguard for the units seen in line and in square which will begin to retreat next turn which will see them off the board.|
|The Allied left - the Principe regiment advance on to the ridge and 2 0'clock from them can be seen the disordered French 3/70th square.|
|The magnificent French left and the mainly stationary British right.|
|At least the British infantry made the ridge.|
|Allied right with the French centre top left.|
The supporting French Dragoons misheard their order which saw the attached horse artillery gallop off the board, and themselves resting their horses. At this point the French foot artillery finally reached a hill that allowed them to deploy and begin supporting the 1st Brigade.
The new 1st Brigade line opened fire shaking the 15th Hussars and disordered the 12th Prince of Wales's Own Light Dragoons. I'd forgotten how fragile small units were and a crucial save on the 12th Dragoons meant they didn't shake, which with the 15th already shaken would have seen the brigade breaking next turn. The French continued to fire and went on to disorder the Royal Horse and Foot artillery. Ouch.
|The Allied left not looking so good. The French right looking like they mean business.|
|Over view of the French centre and right|
|Over view of the French centre and left|
|The positions before the 95th Rifles fire|
|The 2/1 Leger route and are removed from the board. Huzzah!|
|The Guerrilla and artillery fire disorder the French 2/4th Line|
|The centre. The Royal Artillery cannot score excess casualties on the French centre's shaken unit which would make it break test and possibly route or at least fall back and uncover the unit behind.|
|Rey regiment leaves the Lancers on their own|
The British cavalry brigade broke, the Dragoons were scattered and the 10th Hussars disordered. Since the 15th Hussars were still shaken half or more units were now shaken meaning they would automatically break at the beginning of the next Allied turn. Technically the French have now won as the artillery brigades don't count to army break points.
The French line continued to fire on the British 1st Brigade's artillery who were shaken and broken by the 3/70th who'd reformed in to line from square. As the horse artillery would retire with the cavalry brigade next turn the Allies were now bereft of artillery on the left flank.
The Spanish battery that successfully turned disordered the horse battery and caused a casualty, 1 more and it would be shaken.
The Principe regiment, 95th companies and the remaining Royal Artillery battery fired on the French 2nd Brigade and disordered the Croatians and the 50th.
|The Spanish and 95th unhappy|
|The French 2nd Brigade unhappy, but not close to breaking.|
|The Cameron's in the thick of it|
|The unhappy West Kent's|
|Definitely more French than British here|
|The French 2/4 Line is 1 casualty from being shaken. The Spanish Guerrillas have done well|
|Final positions. The Spanish had finally moved up to support the British 2nd Brigade and shore up the flank.|