Victory Results:
 51 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  49 %
Total plays 138 - Last reported by Riclev on 2023-05-05 09:15:27

Bailén - 19 July 1808

Historical Background
Large areas of Spain had rebelled against the French invasion. Dupont’s French Corps advanced to occupy Cordoba and Sevilla. Most of Dupont’s troops were newly formed conscript units. Soon Dupont found himself facing General Francisco de Castaños’ force of 30,000 men to his front, and harassing guerilla forces that cut his line of communications until a reinforcing French division re-opened it. Fearing that his communications would be cut again, Dupont retreated, but did so too slowly, encumbered by a long baggage train. Half of Castaños’ army under Reding executed a decisive flank march that placed them on high ground at Bailén, squarely across Dupont’s line of retreat. Dupont remained unaware of their presence until too late.
On July 19th Dupont’s advance guard (Chabert’s brigade) made contact with Reding’s defensive line. Without reconnaisance, Chabert sent his 3,000 infantry and cuirassiers forward against three times their numbers. The attack was driven back. Most of Dupont’s corps marched behind the baggage train, making reinforcement difficult. Arriving units were thrown into a second French attack piecemeal, and were again repulsed. Dupont arrived on the field and assumed command. Led by the Marines of the Guard, the third understrength French attack also failed. Adding insult to injury, most of Dupont’s Swiss infantry, originally in Spanish service, deserted back to their former employers. With no additional reserves and the rest of Castaños’ Spanish army moving in behind the French, Dupont surrendered.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?


Set-Up Order

Forest 7
Hill 15
River 2
RiverBend 3
RiverEnd 1
RiverY 1


Battle Notes

Spanish Army
• Commander: Castaños
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards

Line Infantry Light Infantry Grenadier Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader   Line Infantry Leader
5 2 1 2 2 2 1   2 1

French Army
• Commander: Dupont
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 2 Tactician Cards
• Move First

Line Infantry Grenadier Infantry Militia Infantry Light Cavalry Cuirassier Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader   Line Infantry Leader
4 1 2 2 1 1 2 2   4 1


7 Banners

Special Rules
The entire Rumblar River is fordable.

The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is in effect. The Spanish player does not start with any Guerrilla counters.

French Swiss: Use British line infantry blocks for the units and a British leader for their leader.
Spanish Swiss: Use Brown Portuguese line infantry blocks for the units and a Portuguese leader for their leader.
Both Spanish and French Swiss line infantry units have 5 blocks each. All Swiss infantry units that move and engage in ranged combat battle with one-half the number of blocks rounding down. They melee with one die per block and retreat one hex per flag. When two French Swiss infantry units are eliminated, the 2 remaining French Swiss units are immediately removed from the battlefield. Their removal will not count as Victory Banners for the Spanish player.

Historic Note:
Swiss regiments were highly regarded mercenaries purchased from the Swiss Cantons for service in European armies. The Spanish Swiss regiments were uniformed in blue coats. Napoleon‘s Swiss regiments were uniformed in red coats. At Bailén, Castaños’ army had one Swiss regiment, the 3rd “Jung” Reding. Dupont’s French corps had 5 Swiss battalions: One Swiss battalion in French service, and four in the Spanish Swiss regiments 2nd “Alt” Reding and 6th Preux. When the French occupied Madrid, both regiments were coerced into French service. During the second French attack both of the Reding regiments came face-to-face and blazed away at each other. After the third French attack, the survivors of the 2nd and 6th Swiss regiments bolted en masse over to the Spanish lines. No longer trusted by either side, both regiments were quickly disbanded. Swiss policy about regimental deployment changed after the deadly Swiss against Swiss battle at Bailén.

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Riclev replied the topic:
3 weeks 5 days ago
Oh dear - the return match was a French 7-0 whitewash. After some desultory artillery exchanges in which the Spanish came out on top, a bayonet charge by the Spanish Swiss against the French left was counter-attacked causing the Spanish Swiss and the Spanish light unit to disintegrate. A Spanish cavalry charge was beaten back and the coup de grace came from the French grenadiers destroying the Spanish heavy cavalry on the baseline.
Riclev replied the topic:
1 month 5 days ago
Played this again. This time, the battle opened with a French attack on the right flank. Spanish artillery and musketry decimated one French line unit and eliminated another. A Spanish cavalry charge was lucky enough to eliminate both French cavalry units on that flank, with the result that it looked rather weak. Meanwhile, on the left, the French launched another attack, the Swiss leading the way. Stout resistance by the Spanish Swiss and the cavalry charge referred to above, which was not met by squares for fear of a subsequent infantry attack, resulted in the loss of two French Swiss units and the consequent fleeing of the other two. Dupont's left resembled his right. With 6 banners to 2, the French position looked grim. The Spanish Swiss advanced, and skillful (read lucky) musketry eliminated the French cuirassiers for a 7-2 victory.

NB, we chose to remove Schramm when the Swiss fled. However, in the actual battle he refused to surrender, but he was wounded and captured, so perhaps we got this wrong. I suppose we were influenced by the fact that his block is red.
Riclev replied the topic:
2 months 3 weeks ago
Played this twice yesterday. In the first encounter, the French Swiss destroyed the Spanish Swiss and went on to destroy the Spanish right and centre for a 7-2 victory. In the return, the Spanish Swiss destroyed the French Swiss and went on to destroy the French left and centre, chasing the French militia off the board. They also won 7-2. In neither battle did anything significant happen on the opposite flank. In both games, the victorious side used the winning tactic of combined infantry and cavalry assaults, decimating the opposing infantry. This is a good scenario.
NightOwl3 replied the topic:
1 year 11 months ago
Spanish win 7-2 with great tactics cards. The French attack on the Spanish Left failed. The Spanish used a bayonet charge to stop momentum on the French Left. There followed some CAV attack by both on the French Left. Both sides had squares. In the end the Spanish Swiss had the upper hand. One vp for the Spanish was a French leader. At the end of the game, the French Swiss also broke.
LARS replied the topic:
2 years 4 months ago
Stunned... A 7-4 Spanish win. Castaños has incredible luck and Dupont achieved his historic disgrace. A cavalry charge destroyed the French heavies and a full battery in a matter of minutes.
pmiranda-napoleonics replied the topic:
2 years 8 months ago
I second the question! What happens to Schramm when the remaining Swiss leave the field?
alecrespi replied the topic:
3 years 4 months ago
Fixed this replacing scenario picture with the corrected one from Mark!
Thank you.
g1ul10 replied the topic:
3 years 5 months ago
The position of the French artillery units is wrong. They should me moved one hex to the right.
sushidog replied the topic:
4 years 9 months ago
When the two French Swiss blocks are removed due to the first two being eliminated, is the French Swiss leader removed as well? I'm saying no by strict reading of the scen special rules, but it feels like it should be removed.
Mark-McG replied the topic:
10 years 3 months ago
Ladder #3 match
10 Matches played
French 4 wins
Allies 6 wins