Victory Results:
 40 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  60 %
Total plays 84 - Last reported by Jerjinski on 2024-05-17 11:44:58

Alcañiz - 23 May 1809

Historical Background
After the capture of Zaragoza, the majority of French forces in the area withdrew to France, for trouble with Austria was brewing. General Suchet, the newly arrived French commander, led a force of 20,000 men on paper. Sickness, lack of supply, garrisons and anti-guerrila operations left him with less than 10,000 men available to take the field against Blake’s rebuilt army of equal strength. Blake’s forces held the advantage, for they were drawn up in the hills west of Alcañiz with all the Spanish artillery massed in the center. Although this was a strong position, Blake was fighting with the River Guadalope at his back, and defeat would have meant almost certain destruction for his army.
Suchet’s reconnaissance was poor. In the afternoon, he started the battle with an attack on the Spanish left – the strongest part of their line. Predictably, the French infantry were driven back by effective musket fire from Aréizaga’s infantry division. Spanish cavalry dispatched to finish off the retreating infantry were themselves routed by counterattacking French light cavalry. In the center, several French infantry columns, including Polish infantry from the Vistula Legion, marched forward under heavy fire from the Spanish artillery. They never reached the guns, being turned back by close range canister fire. Realizing that the battle was lost, Suchet ordered his commanders to fall back on Híjar. Blake could not mount an effective pursuit for his cavalry was still recovering from their rout during the battle.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?


Set-Up Order

Hill 28
River 1
RiverBend 2
RiverBridge 1


Battle Notes

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


Line Infantry Light Infantry Light Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
8 1 1 3 3

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

Line Infantry Light Cavalry Cuirassier Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
9 1 1 2 3


6 Banners

Special Rules
• Spanish Guerrilla Action Rule is in effect. The Spanish player starts with one Guerrilla counter.

• The River Guadalope is impassable except at the bridge.

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Riclev replied the topic:
10 months 1 week ago
Two games played yesterday between Ray and me: the first was a 6-1 victory to France, the second a 6-1 victory to Spain. In both games the French, learning from General Suchet's mistake 200 years ago, pulled their centre back from the Spanish artillery and so in neither game did it inflict much damage.

In game 1, as the French, I had intended to advance on the left using a Forced March and set up the line infantry with two leaders accordingly. But it all kicked off on the opposite flank as the Spanish advanced off their hill and the French, having previously reinforced it, advanced their right flank to meet them. A Spanish cavalry charge with both light cavalry units was blunted and all five Spanish units involved were eliminated. Ray played two guerrilla tokens, but one was rendered ineffective with a sabre die roll, which didn't help. General Roca drowned in the Guadalope and it was all over. The French advance on the left that I had meticulously set up never happened. French losses were six blocks.

In the return contest, the Spanish first card was Bombard, but the artillery units misfired, killing no blocks with their 8 dice. Ray then also advanced with the French right, but this was blunted through devastating Spanish musketry and judicious use of the guerrilla token, and the Spanish raced into a 3-0 lead. Attention switched to the opposite flank where a Spanish cavalry charge put two French line units into square where they were destroyed by the advancing Spanish infantry. Both sides played a Rally card: the French rolled only cavalry and artillery, which was unfortunate as at that point they hadn't lost any blocks from either arm, whereas the Spanish rolled cavalry and infantry and returned four blocks. Further clashes on the Spanish right resulted in each side losing a light cavalry unit for the Spanish victory.

This is a much better scenario than it looked when we set it up.
LARS replied the topic:
3 years 5 months ago
A close game, French win 6-5. The game began with the French attempting to Force March out of artillery range, the Spanish played a Guerrilla Action and then played Bombard... oy. Musnier evaporated but not before taking out a few units. Laval absolutely crushed Blake's right however destroying three units and not losing one block in the process. French win 6-5.
Bayernkini replied the topic:
8 years 7 months ago
Right, we fix it
Tarheel replied the topic:
8 years 7 months ago
i think a S-LC is missing on the spanish right flank in picture
Mark-McG replied the topic:
11 years 3 months ago
Ladder #7 match
14 matches played
10 French wins
4 Allied wins
Bayernkini replied the topic:
12 years 1 month ago
You need indeed good cards (and less Guerrilla Markers on spanish side),
and hope, to outflank the Allies.
As you said, a frontal center charge is suicidal, except,
you have 95% luck and your opponent not more than 5% :whistle:
joemillions replied the topic:
12 years 1 month ago
Playing this scenario for the first time with the French - I couldn't see anything better than to back up one hex with all of my central guys to get out of range-3 from the big guns in the middle. I shifted parts of my central army to the flanks, attacked on both, and eventually won a close game 6-4. Has anyone tried storming the artillery (other than the French in real life, of course)? It looks suicidal to me!
Hawkmoon replied the topic:
12 years 4 months ago
We've playing it this day :
2 french victories (6/5 ; 6/4)
In the 1st game, there was a possibility to the spanish side to win...
It's absolutely necessary to wipe out the spanish artillery on the center to win...