British got too ahead on the right. Didn't let the rest of the army catch up and was stuck trying to hold their ground. French picked off some units along the line and were blessed with 2 devasting Bayonet Charges.
With Evert recovered from his brush with Covid-19, we resumed our play-through of the base game scenarios with Salamanca (Attack on the French Right). I suggested Evert took the British as he prefers to attack.
Given the distance between the two armies, it was no surprise that it took some time for them to engage. The British moved into the Pela Gracia River with a solid line of troops across their centre and left. The French were racing to take the high ground - the hills in front of the British forces.
Two British Line infantry under General Campbell moved on the central hills while the Rifles under General Allen occupied the chapel under the hills on their left. The French responded by marching a Foot artillery and Line infantry onto the central hill. First blood to the French as their infantry pushed back one of the British Line, inflicting casualties.
These two advanced French units needed support, but were immediately attacked by British Line units backed by Foot artillery. The French artillery survived, but the infantry took a thumping [down to one block] and were pushed off the hill - though they dealt some damage on the way.
As the battered French infantry retired into Calvarisa de Ariba, another Line unit advanced and wiped out the damaged British Line. [Opening the scoring 1:0 to the French] The Light infantry alongside (on the right-flank hills) opened up on the Rifles in the Chapel, all but eliminating them [one block left]. The survivors, including Gen Allen, retired rapidly. [That was an "Elan" card from me.]
The French artillery was now very exposed on the central hill and was quickly taken out by British Line units, one of which moved onto the hill. [And the score's now 1:1.]
More French infantry marched up onto the central hills, pushing the now-damaged British back. But my troops weren't expecting the British Guards units! Both materialised right in front of them while, on the British left flank, their Horse artillery sprang onto the hills and Heavy cavalry got up close and personal with the French Light cavalry. [Evert used a "Grande Manoeuvre" card to good effect.]
French Line infantry volleyed to soften up the enemy Heavy cavalry for the Lights to tackle, but the Brits ran away from the musketry before the cavalry fight could start. Similarly, the British Horse artillery pulled back under heavy fire from the French Light infantry. In the centre, the Guards annihilated the hapless French Line unit in front of them. [1:2]
Time for the British cavalry led by General Brock (on their left flank) to attack, sweeping around the chapel to hit two French infantry units. Both cavalry took a hit from the resulting infantry squares.
The French cavalry inflicted a bit more damage on their British counterparts. But the British infantry swept into the centre in force, wiping out one of the squares and battering a French Line that had retired into the town. [A "Forced March" from Evert takes the score to 1:3.]
Then one of the Guards ran out of ammo and went looking for some more. ["Short Supply" got them out of the fight.] Only one Guards unit was needed to finish off what was left of the French Line in Calvarisa de Ariba, while the remaining French square took damage from the British Horse artillery but finished off the British Heavy cavalry, Gen Brock escaping. [2:4]
Artillery fire finished off the remaining French square. [2:5]
French musketry caused a few more casualties, but the Guards wrapped things up by eliminating the original damaged French Line unit in the town. [2:6]
A resounding victory for Evert's British, crushing the French centre and beginning to roll up their right wing. The French left wing did nothing all game. When I finally got some (two) left section cards, they were promptly taken away by my infantry forming square. I definitely felt I had worse cards than Evert, but the British superiority in numbers allowed him to get damaged units out of the way and attack with fresh ones. But what can I do with my turn as British?
Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Pevans. Reason: Remove accidental italics
Time (a couple of weeks ago now) for Evert's and my re-match at Salamanca (Attack on the French Right) and my turn to play the British.
The British looked to get to the French quickly, advancing rapidly across the Pela Gracia river in the centre. [A "Force March" card meant a 2-hex surge forward for me, without any risk.]
The French advanced slowly as more British troops moved up, but the two armies were still out of musket range.
Then a French Line infantry unit pushed forward on the hills in the centre and the British attacked. One Line moved onto the hills to engage the French at close quarters, while two others opened fire. When the smoke cleared, the French Line had disappeared. [The score is 1:0 to the British with a lucky die roll - 5 dice, 4 hits.]
A second French Line charged up the hills, seeking revenge, only to be blown away by the British infantry in its turn. [2:0]
The focus shifted across the battlefield as the French right flank surged forward. French Line under General Foy attacked the British Rifles in the Chapel and destroyed them. (Evert's turn for a "Force March" and some lucky dice to make the score 2:1.]
The British centre advanced wholesale again [I used "Counter Attack" on that "Force March"], but caused only a few casualties - though the French Line now in the Chapel with Gen Foy took a beating. As part of this attack one Guards unit moved to their right to take on an under-strength French Light infantry on that flank. However, they did no damage and were blown away by a French Line unit that moved up. [More lucky dice even the score at 2:2]
Good shooting by the French battered British units across the battlefield, but a fresh British Line infantry opened fire on the remaining French in the Chapel and took out them and Foy. [4:2]
More shooting from the French forces eliminated two damaged British units. ["Fire and Hold" takes the score to 4:4]
The British cavalry finally came into action, advancing on both flanks, along with the second Guards infantry. The Guards finished off the Light infantry on the right while the left wing cavalry put infantry into square. [5:4] While the cavalry on the left kept the French infantry pinned - though they kept shooting the cavalrymen - the Guards advanced on the right, driving the French infantry back.
Whittled away by the French squares, the British cavalry had to retire as fresh French infantry arrived. However, on the other side of the battlefield, the Guards' musketry finally prevailed. [That's a win 6:4]
Well, that was another win for the British, but they had to work a lot harder this time. Which means the scenario goes to Evert 8:10 on aggregate.
The battle opened with Wellington playing La Grande Manoeuvre, bringing two Grenadier Guard and two line units up to the French left. The French countered with Give Them The Cold Steel, and rolled spectacularly badly. Wellington followed up with Bayonet Charge and two card plays later it was 4-0 to the British as the French left flank evaporated. Indifferent play by the British allowed the French to claw it back to 5-5, then a British Cavalry Charge with the heavy cavalry on the French right won the battle for Wellington 6-5. This is a good scenario: despite the gaming stats it is very winnable for the French given a fair distribution of card draws.
And so to the return battle. A seemingly endless supply of perfect command and tactician cards saw the French dominate the centre, killing 12 blocks (and two banners) for no loss! Only play of Short Supply enabled Wellington to extricate the sole remaining block of a British line unit prevented the scoreline from deteriorating further. Neither side had many useful command cards and so the battle settled into a long-range artillery duel, before a British thrust on the left annihilated the French right flank, including Genera Foy. The French reacted with a charge on their left which was cut t pieces by Wellington's Grenadier Guards, resulting in a historical 6-3 victory. And so to the next scenario - can the British cavalry overrun the French rearguard at Garcia Hernandez? Time will tell.