Evert and I returned to our run-through of the base game scenarios, playing this one on 25th Nov 2021 with Evert taking the French.
Initial moves on the French right were intended to clear a route for the cavalry to get onto the battlefield. The British Rifles and Light infantry promptly popped up onto the hills opposite and sent the French infantry back again.
Seeing the British Light on the hills, a French Line infantry unit headed towards them from the centre. British Line infantry under General Wallace joined the Lights and sharp volleys sent the bold Frenchmen packing with substantial casualties. However, the French now had two artillery units on the hills, facing the British infantry.
The French Line infantry between the guns, led by General Maucune, now marched forward, allowing a Light cavalry unit to thunder through the gap and attack the British Light infantry with the artillery opening up in support. Bolstered by support on both sides and seeing the cavalry struggling to attack uphill, the British Lights declined to form square. And were ridden down. [Just one block left.]
However, the British counter-attack destroyed the cavalry (go Rifles!) and damaged the advanced French Line. [First blood to the Allies 1:0]
General Maucune led his men forward in the wake of the cavalry, but only succeeded in pushing what was left of the British Lights off the hills and leaving himself sandwiched between the Rifles and General Wallace Line infantry. They didn't last long, but Maucune was able to get away. [2:0]
French forces then advanced in the centre, while the Allied cavalry moved forward on (their) right. The French Light cavalry swung across from the centre behind General Wallace while French Line attacked him from the front and further French line fired at the Portuguese Light infantry in the centre, causing casualties. The result was the demolition of Wallace's men, the General falling with them. However, what was left of the British Light infantry saved themselves by forming (a very small) square as the French cavalry tried to exploit their advantage. [2:2]
A fresh British Line engaged the French Light cavalry, which retired, as did the battered Portuguese Lights. The French Line infantry that had backed the cavalry advanced onto the hills to remove the plucky British Lights, still in square. [2:3]
However, the advanced French Line didn't last long. First riddled by Rifle fire, then finished off by the Line infantry. And on the (Allied) right, the Portuguese Heavy cavalry advanced to force a French Light unit into square on the hills here. [3:3]
Volleys from advancing French Line units forced the Portuguese cavalry back. The French Lights chased them as the Line units continued forward behind them and just managed to survive [down to one block] concerted musketry from Allied infantry and artillery.
The rest of the Allied cavalry then got into the action, riding down the remnants of the Light infantry and forcing both Line units back. [4:3] The Allied cavalry pressed the attack, both French units finally forming square in defence.
As Allied infantry advanced on the French units kept in square by the cavalry, French Light cavalry again attacked the hills on their right. Volleys removed one French Line in square while the French Light faltered against the British square. [5:3]
It seemed the antics of the French Light cavalry were a distraction as the whole of the French right wing suddenly bore down on the British Rifles. (Evert had a "Grande Manoeuvre"]
However, the final action of the battle took place on the (French) left as Allied infantry and cavalry annihilated the second square. [6:3]
Phew! Had I not managed the finish the game, that "Grande Manoeuvre" had put a very different complexion on things - Evert could have taken out three units in his next turn (cards allowing). A good fight all the way, though.