002 Roliça (French Second Position) (17 August 1808)
ROLIÇA (French Second Position) - 17 August 1808
Delaborde expertly withdrew his force near Roliça to a second defensive position before the British flanking columns could encircle him. The new position was extremely strong and could only be reached frontally by four rugged gullies.
Wellesley quickly repositioned his forces to repeat his double envelopment for his afternoon attack, but his plan was preempted when the Lieutenant-Colonel Lake of the 29th Worcestershire Regiment prematurely forced his way up one of the central gullies. Wellesley chose to support Lake’s effort and the entire British army surged forward. The French battalions advanced to meet the British before they could emerge from the gullies, but were repulsed. De Laborde once again drew off his troops in good order.
Ultimately Roliça was an indecisive action. Although Delaborde did slow the British advance, Wellesley forced him to retreat before he was reinforced.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellesley
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 5 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• Commander: Delaborde
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards
I started by moving up the British forces that start at the rear, shifting the horse artillery onto my left to join Fergusson's troops. The French artillery shelled the line infantry with Lake and manoeuvred their cavalry into better positions. A Rally card restored Lake's troops to full health only for one French cavalry unit to charge them. I eschewed the opportunity to form square, forcing the cavalry to retreat with my battle back and then eliminating it on my turn when both line infantry could shoot at it.
This was with the first of my three (!) Forced March cards. The next two allowed my centre to get to grips with the French troops on the hills, punching a hole in their lines and Wellesley leading a unit on to the hills. Evert came back with Give Them the Cold Steel and killed Sir Arthur! That's a big change to history. It took the score to 3:3.
An Assault Centre let me continue the attack, Lake now leading, and move up the British heavy cavalry. However, the arrival of the remaining French cavalry cleared the British off the hills to make the score 3:4.
Evert then charged my heavy cavalry with his light horsemen. French cavalry roll four dice: no hits. British cavalry battle back with four dice: four hits! That's 4:4.
Feeling cocky, the heavy cavalry continued by attacking the French line on the hills and were lucky to survive, though they did force one unit into square. A Forward card let me get Fergusson's troops into range of the French right flank and move the Portuguese - the first time I ordered units on the British right. In the centre, it let me get the cavalry out of line of sight and a fine volley from the only British infantry left in the centre (light infantry in the woods) finished off the battered French line standing in square on the hill. 5:4 to the British.
Evert started by moving up the British units from the rear, while I shelled whatever moved into range of the French artillery - I even got a shot at Wellesley at one point.
However, he didn't have enough cards in any section to mount a continuing attack. Hence, the advanced British units in each valley took heavy fire from the French on their line of hills.
Evert used a "Bayonet Charge" to engage the French line, but could only do so piecemeal. This attack was beaten off with French units damaged, but not eliminated, making the score 3:0 to the French.
A couple of "Take Command" cards let me launch an attack on the battered Portuguese units on the British right with the French light cavalry, supported by infantry. The Portuguese light cavalry counter-attacked, but paid the price and my cavalry then finished off a battered Portuguese light infantry, despite it being in square.
That was a 5:0 win and a big relief after my thrashing last time. But Evert wants a re-match...
- They take their time to gather their troops on the wings and stay cautious in the center, so that a bayonet charge won't immediately give the French an advantage (except turn 1, can't do much about it);
- They apply pressure so that the French player cannot be everywhere and then attack at a point/points where the French player is the weakest;
- They usually aim for both objective hexes so that the French player has to stretch his defence no matter what.
Edit: oops this question was 6 years ago! Had seen this map in the "latest scenario" so I incorrectly assumed that it meant somebody had posted on it recently.
In the 1st game, I was the French, the Allies made a well organised attack on his left wing, he didn't run out of cards. I stop him there and counter attacked to grab several points. He had the same issues in the center and right.
In the 2nd game, different opponent, I was the Allies. In trying to learn from the previous game I tried attacking from 2-3 fronts at the same time and to limit the prospects of the French counter attack. It just ran out of steam and never recovered.
The common denominator for both of these was the minimal use of Allied cavalry and artillery.
I think that next time it'll be softly softly move everything up whilst building a hand so that when the time comes pretty much everything goes in at the same en masse.
ATM it "feels" like it's a scenario that punishes the Allies for any mistake but I admit we need to work through it a few more times with different approaches.
Sure, you need good cards/dice to win on both sides,
but most mistakes which less experience players do,
is to believe, with every played command card you must order and move forward
Thus far I've been through it twice, as both sides. In both games it was a landslide win for the French. In both games the allied artillery and cavalry hardly moved. In both cases the Allied infantry was fed peicemeal into the fight.
I have some ideas but was interested to learn how others have got on.