502 Sorauren - French right early afternoon (28 July 1813)
Sorauren (French right early afternoon) - 28 July 1813
Marshal Soult re-entered Spain to defeat Wellington’s army in detail and rescue the besieged garrisons of Pamplona and San Sebastien.
The plan relied on speed. Soult with the main force hustled Cole’s ineptly placed division out of Roncesvalles Pass with minimal fighting.
Cole, along with Picton, retreated much further than Wellington desired, but Wellington was far away and communications were bad. When Cole did stop, he redeemed himself by picking excellent defensive terrain opposite the village of Sorauren.
Soult had the numbers to win, but ironically, by funneling too many troops into narrow valleys with poor roads, he lost the speed needed to win the campaign, and his advance slowed to a crawl. On the 27th, Soult’s vanguard made contact with the British at Sorauren.
With only Clausel’s Corps on hand (Rielle’s corps was strung out for miles on the bad roads), Soult made no attack. The veteran of Albuera had calculated the numbers needed to drive the British off the Oricain Heights and knew he did not have enough that afternoon.
Next day, after a violent night’s thunderstorm, Rielle’s corps was up, and Soult had the numbers needed to fight and win the day before, but the British had gotten reinforcements too.
The French attacked first on the right. One of Clausel’s divisions under Conroux advanced to gain the flank of the British on the heights, but was caught in a three-way crossfire between the troops on the heights and reinforcements from Pack’s arriving division. Conroux’ battered division was forced back to Sorauren. Clausel’s other divisions assaulted the British and Portuguese on the Oricain Heights with enough initial success to break through in places. Wellington, aware of the deteriorating situation, ordered Stubbs and Lambert to counterattack. Their onslaught sent the disorganized French columns reeling back down the slopes. The battle continued on the French left with Rielle’s attacks.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellington
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Soult
• 5 Command Cards
• 4 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The 11 hill hexes that make up the Oricain Heights, form a Temporary Majority Group Victory Banner worth 1 Temporary Banner for the British or 2 Temporary Banners for the French, when that side occupies an absolute majority, at the start of its turn (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The British player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn for occupying the bridge (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Ulzama River is impassable except at the ford and bridge.