After a few weeks of holidays and playing other things (I think I've converted Evert to the Breakthrough version of Memoir '44), Evert and I have resumed our play-through of the base game scenarios. Evert's preference is to attack, so he took the Allies first.
He started by charging forward with British Light infantry and cavalry on his left flank. The French Light cavalry attacked and destroyed their counterparts [a lucky roll making the score 1:0 to me] while the French Line infantry in the woods engaged the British Lights with support from the Horse artillery. There was damage on both sides, but General Loison fell to the enemy musketry [the luck evens out to take the score to 1:1].
This skirmish continued, Portuguese Light infantry joining in and both sides' infantry units taking casualties, until what was left of the British Lights retired to the hills whence they came. Musket fire forced the French cavalry back, allowing the Portuguese to move round the wood. In the meantime, French forces crossed the Ancos river from their left flank to join their main force and the British Grenadiers and Grenadier Guards moved forward.
In a bold move, the British threw the Grenadiers forward with their Foot artillery, trying to get a more effective location against the French positions. In response, French Line infantry and the useful Horse artillery opened fire and pushed the Grenadiers back with casualties. However, this was just a prelude as the Allied infantry marched fast to engage all the French positions in the centre. [Evert played a "Force March"] Fighting uphill, the Grenadier Guards all but destroyed the French Line commanded by General Mermet, but took a few casualties. The Portuguese infantry supporting them was battered, while the Grenadiers pushed back the French infantry that had been shooting at them.
General Marchand quickly took Mermet's place and the reinforced French line repulsed the Allied attack, finishing off the battered Portuguese into the bargain. [That's 2:1] The Allies then did what they do best: stood back and fired their muskets, causing hefty casualties amongst the French troops holding the central hill. A Portuguese line advanced to finish off one of these, but was met with bayonets and fled with major casualties. ["Bayonet Charge" let me attack one unit with four, but I rolled two flags on my first attack, allowing it to escape.]
The Grenadier Guards advanced again on the battered French line, taking casualties from the French Lights hiding in the woods left of centre. They pressed on, storming up the hill to destroy a full-strength French Line unit, General Marchand only just escaping. [Another lucky roll and it's 2:2]
That was the end of the Guards' luck as they were crushed by the remaining French forces in the centre. [3:2] At the same time, the French cavalry hit the British lines in an effort to finish off the Grenadiers with support from the Horse artillery. Forming square, the Grenadiers held firm, despite further losses. [My second "Forward" card was very useful]
A fusillade from the Allies in the centre removed another French Line unit. [3:3] The British Horse artillery opened up on the French cavalry and what was left of them retired out of harm's way. The Portuguese Lights entered the woods on the French right flank to inflict further casualties on the French Line therein, but were damaged themselves by the combined arms of the infantry and Horse artillery. On the British right, cavalry and Portuguese infantry started moving up. [Yes, Evert followed my "Advance" with "Counter-attack"]
With support from the muskets of the remaining Grenadiers, the Portuguese in the woods finished off the French line in front of them [4:3] as the British cavalry trotted onto the central hills, putting General Mermet's battered troops into square. French line opened up on the British cavalry standing on the hill, but couldn't hit them. However, the French Horse artillery dispatched the Grenadiers on the right. [4:4]
While the heavily damaged French units tried to dodge the British cavalry in the centre, the French right flank was reprieved by the Horse artillery now getting rid of the Portuguese Lights from the woods. [5:4 with a poor result from an "Elan" card]
The coup de grace was applied by the British Light cavalry. They took out two French Line in square, General Marchand just escaping again. [5:6 with a very useful "Cavalry Charge"]
Well, that turned out to be an attritional battle with a flurry of banners at the end as one-block units were mopped up. It was good to see cavalry doing what they're supposed to do (at the end), while I was very grateful for the prowess of my Horse artillery. Still, a deserved win for Evert leaves me seeking revenge at our next encounter.
Last edit: 2 years 1 month ago by Pevans. Reason: Remove inadvertent italics
My turn to take the Allies for the return match with Evert.
This started slowly as both armies brought troops forward into formation on their respective lines of hills, just out of musket range. This was accompanied by exchanges of artillery fire, causing a few casualties - notably to the French Horse artillery.
The first skirmish happened on the Allied left. I took advantage of the French cavalry's move to the centre to fling my Light Cavalry forward, keeping the woods between it and the French forces. French Line infantry moved through the woods to engage the cavalry, allowing the Allied Light infantry and Horse artillery to blaze away at them while my horsemen retreated again.
The French responded with their cavalry putting the forward Portuguese Light infantry into square so that their Horse artillery could do some damage. On the Allied right, French Light infantry advanced through the woods to shoot up a British Line infantry unit. [Evert making good use of a "Forward" card.]
In response, British infantry came to the support of the Portuguese Lights, forcing the French cavalry back with substantial casualties and blowing away the French Horse artillery. [A lucky die-roll for me takes the score to 1:0.] Other Allied shooting missed its targets. [A "Counter Attack" let me respond in kind.]
The French advanced again, but the cavalry bounced off the Portuguese square. The damaged British infantry on my right took further casualties and retreated out of range. [Evert's "Counter Attack" was less effective.]
Losing patience, Evert flung the damaged French cavalry into the middle of the Allied left wing, all but destroying the British Light infantry under General Erskine with help from the French Line in the woods. Grapeshot from the British Horse artillery inflicted casualties on the cavalry, which then retired from the fixed bayonets of the remaining infantry to hide in the woods. ["Give Them the Cold Steel" from me.]
Some fine shooting from advanced French infantry in their centre-left wiped out a full-strength Portuguese Line infantry opposite. [Lucky dice from Evert takes the score to 1:1.]
Retaliatory fire from the remaining Portuguese infantry and one British unit all but removed two of the attacking French Line, the remnants of one unit disappearing back over the hills with alacrity to hide in the town. On the Allied left, the Portuguese Lights came out of square and retired to their original position on the hills.
With the valley between the armies filled with smoke, the Grenadiers, Grenadier Guards and two Portuguese line units rushed forward into the central French positions, occupying part of the hill line. [A very useful "La Grande Manoeuvre" that had been lurking in my hand since the start.]
Despite being taken by surprise, the response from two French Line infantry eliminated one Portuguese unit [1:2] only for the other three Allied units to destroy one of them and reduce the other to just a handful of soldiers. [2:2]
Ignoring the Allied troops behind them, French remnants advanced on their centre-left to apply the coup de grace to the battered British line unit that had retreated earlier. [2:3]
Fixing bayonets, the Grenadiers chased the advancing French units, General Picton adding his half-strength Line infantry from in front of them, while the Grenadier Guards and last Portuguese unit took on what was left of the French infantry behind the hills. Three French units were eliminated, but Picton had to flee as his troops paid the price. ["Bayonet Charge" took me to 5 banners with Evert getting to 4.]
The French left wing rallied to reduce the Grenadier Guards to almost nothing despite sheltering in the town. However, the French took casualties in this attack, allowing the Grenadiers to come back across the hills and finish off a French line unit pinned against the town. [6:4]
So the British win again. For quite a while this was an attritional battle like the first game. The difference here was the Grande Manoeuvre that let me get full-strength units into the gaps in the French centre to take on the one- and two-block units there. Another tough, enjoyable game with the aggregate score across both games 11:10 to me.
Turn 4: Allies commit to a Bayonet Charge against French forces occupying the high ground north of Redinha. The assault is generally successful and results in two French units being eliminated. General Mermet’s French line rallies, however, and conducts a Bayonet Charge of their own along the left and right flanks of the British and Portuguese line. The British grenadiers and a line battalion are liquidated. Score is tied, 2 to 2.
Turn 5: Allies storm the center heights and drive off the last French unit. But on the left, General Marchand orders his artillery and light infantry to Fire and Hold. The French fire is most accurate and deadly. When the smoke clears, it is evident that another British unit has been eliminated and General Thomas Picton is mortally wounded. French move ahead 4 to 2.
Turn 7: Units from both sides maneuver along the French right.
Turn 8: Using skillful Leadership, General William Erskine takes his light infantry through the woods to engage General Louis Henri Loison’s line troops. The French are surprised; the engagement is over quickly with an entire French unit shattered. Shockingly, another general officer falls. This time is it General Loison.
Turn 9: Meanwhile, in the center along the ridgeline, elite British Guard Grenadiers and General Pack’s Portuguese continue to press their advantage. Demoralized and retreating French troops are finished off near the village of Redinha and the Allies secure the win 6 to 4. The French, however, gave the Allies a bloody nose. Another turn or two and the French might have pulled out a victory.