003 Vimiero (21 August 1808)
Vimiero - 21 August 1808
Four days after Wellesley’s initial clash at Rolica, General Jean-Andoche Junot, with an army of 14,000, attacked the Anglo-Portuguese army of 17,000 troops. Junot wanted to defeat the invaders before reinforcements could arrive by sea. The battle of Vimiero began with three brigades of French advancing to take Vimiero hill and the town, while a fourth brigade had swung right to turn the British left flank. Unfortunately for Junot, his frontal attacks were uncoordinated, and failed to pin the British troops in the center. Wellesley was able to redeploy his army to face the threat on his left. The French column attacks in the center were finally forced back by sustained British volleys and soon afterwards the flank attack was also beaten back. Covered by his cavalry, Junot retreated towards Torres Vedras and the British did not pursue. Following the battle, the British senior commanders Generals Dalrymple and Burrard worked out a deal allowing Junot’s army to leave for France on British ships, taking all their guns and equipment. This deal, not surprisingly, caused a massive outcry in Britain.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellesley
• 6 Command Cards
• Optonal 5 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Junot
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards
• Move First
The two town hexes of Vimiero are Victory Banner objective hexes for the French player. If French units occupy both objective hexes at the start of the French player’s turn, the French player gains two Victory Banners. So long as the both hexes are French occupied the French player will retain the two Victory Banners. If one or both hexes are not occupied, the two Victory Banners are immediately lost
(Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
The Maceiro River is fordable.
A French cavalry attack against the British artillery on the hills was beaten off with damage on both sides. Then Evert used a "Bayonet Charge" to engage the British infantry and artillery on the hills with the French infantry. His success was in eliminating the Rifles, but he lost a line infantry in exchange. However, another unit was stranded under the muzzles of the guns and they didn't last long. 2:1 to me.
Evert then brought his right flank cavalry into play. I tried to pre-empt this with a "Bayonet Charge" of my own, bringing the British infantry into a better formation and attacking the French infantry. That was another French line infantry gone, making the score 3:1.
Then in came the French cavalry. A "Cavalry Charge" saw attacks on both flanks. On the right, they took out a damaged unit, on the left they charged the guns. (Why do the words "Light Brigade" come to mind?). In this case, the cavalry won, I had no more artillery and the score was 3:3.
Fire from light infantry and artillery on the French right finished off the damaged line infantry trying to hide in the town. 3:4
The left flank French cavalry kept attacking a British line infantry in square on the hills, gradually beating them down, while my other infantry kept shooting at the cavalry. And missing: dozens of dice and the best I could manage was a few flags... But that cavalry kept coming back.
More shooting on the French right finished off another British line infantry (some lucky rolls there). 3:5 and it's looking precarious (6 banners wins).
I finally got the Allied (light) cavalry into action, swinging them round the hills to hit the now battered French cavalry. Light cavalry attacks heavy cavalry uphill.. and wins, the leader retreating to the other cavalry. 4:5. Light cavalry then attacks light cavalry and finishes them off. 5:5. Oh, and roll for the leader. That's a 1/6 chance and the result is a win - 6:5.
Phew, that was close. I was lucky at the end, but think I deserved it after the bad luck earlier.
British line infantry (and lucky dice) destroyed the infantry in the town, but a Forced March from me repaid the favour. "Elan" brought the French cavalry into the fight and repeated "Attack Right" cards continued the scrap. When the dust settled, the French Light Cavalry had fallen to artillery fire after finishing off the battered British unit. There had been another exchange of line infantry units and the score was 3:3. With no more right flank cards, I couldn't finish off this flank.
Luckily, the British switched focus, advancing infantry on their left. French infantry promptly popped up on to the hills and shot at them until they went away. Both sides moved troops up in the centre - I wanted to get my Grenadiers into the fight while Evert had some rifles and cavalry that were a bit too far away.
The British forces in the centre now formed a solid line. The British and Portuguese light cavalry tested the French line, but the British unit fell to a lucky die roll (go, Grenadiers!) and the Portuguese retired into the woods right of centre for some infantry support. Evert used a "Forward" card to move up the rifles to replace the cavalry while musketry from Portuguese infantry finished off the French heavy cavalry stuck on the right. Taking the score to 4:4.
A counter-attack from me saw several French infantry units attack the British rifles and line infantry in the woods. Another lucky die roll eliminated the line infantry - 5:4. The rifles ran for it, but I'd been saving a "Bayonet Charge" for just such occasion and the riflemen went down under the steel of three French infantry units to give me the win 6:4. A good fight that both sides looked to be in good shape to continue. Especially as there had been so little activity on the (French) left.
I played first as the French, John taking the Allied British and Portuguese force. Having several right flank cards plus tactic cards, I was able to keep attacking on my right, first advancing my line infantry and following up with the cavalry. This worked a treat - helped by some lucky dice rolls (four dice: four hits to completely eliminate a full-strength unit - a 1/81 chance) and I won 6:0.
We then swapped sides, John taking the French while I got to be the British. This time a French advance on their left was countered by the British right flank: an exchange of musketry across the river left honours even. Then the French attacked on their right, which was a bloody battle, even without the French cavalry involved, but indecisive. A French assault in the centre met with a British counter-assault. I then advanced on my right and finished off the French left flank with a Bayonet Charge. This was a much closer game, but the British won 6:5, making me overall winner 12:5 (unusually decisive!).
Saludos. Aquí una breve reseña del enfrentamiento librado en las cercanías de Vimiero.
La batalla estuvo centrada desde el primer momento en el flanco derecho francés, de hecho la mayoría de las activaciones en la zona central del campo de batalla consistió en enviar tropas para reforzar el ala derecha. Salvo al final de la partida en la que Lord Borjado intentó avanzar sobre el ala izquierda. Aquí los british demostraron una apabullante potencia de fuego con la infantería que casi acabó con un regimiento e ligeros franceses en dos descargas.
Los primeros movimientos fueron lentos intentando desplegar la masa de tropas agolpadas en el extremo del flanco derecho y así obtener el respaldo de la caballería, mientras desde el centro se acercaba el regimiento de granaderos y otro de linea. Como no tenía apenas cartas aplicables a esta zona esperé hasta tener en la mano varias cartas que se pudiesen jugar en el sector izquierdo.
Al cuarto turno es cuando se desencadenó el ataque. Los granaderos despejaron el bosque mientras las unidades de linea efectuando fuego conjunto con la artillería y de mosquetería tomaron la villa de Ventosa al asalto y acabaron con los regimientos de linea británico. Desde el centro británico llegaron tropas de refresco y se formó una segunda línea de resistencia con los portugueses como principal formación. Una carga de caballería ligera acabó con los cañones británicos en un golpe de suerte (2 cañones y una espada)mientras los granaderos y los restos de la linea francesa cerraban contacto con los portugueses.
Como siempre jugar con Lord Borjado es muy divertido y es un rival eficiente que no se deja someter con facilidad. Un saludo a mi honorable rival.
Tras cuatro o cinco turnos de escaramuzas y desgataste la calidad de las tropas francesas acabó imponiéndose y las bajas aliadas acabaron sumando los seis estandartes contra dos de los propios. La caballería ligera y los granaderos, a pesar de caer en la batalla, acabaron con la mayoría de las tropas anglo-portuguesas.
Es de destacar la increíble capacidad de supervivencia del general Fergusson que sobrevivió a cuatro tiradas de impacto dos de ellas en solitario. Así como los tiradores (rifles) ingleses que tiran con un dado más al número de batallones y a tres de distancia.
Cuando más juego a este sistema más me parece un festival de suerte, entre dados y cartas, hasta que no tienes varias cartas de acción que te permitan mantener la iniciativa en una zona, lo mejor es no arriesgarse mucho. La partida estuvo equilibrada y debo decir que 2 de mis regimientos acabaron reducidos a un solo batallón, de manera que perfectamente podríamos haber quedado más ajustados en el resultado.
Like the system and the nationality characteristics that are not present in CCA. Looking forward to playing more.