106 Medellín (28 March 1809)
Medellín - 28 March 1809
General Cuesta’s army was retreating in the face of Victor’s advance after being forced out of its defensive positions on the Tagus River. On the 27th of March, Cuesta’s army was reinforced by the Duke of Albuquerque, and Cuesta decided it was time to fight. Cuesta’s plan was to strike both French wings and hope to catch the French army with their backs to the Guadiana River. Victor was outnumbered, but had veteran troops who knew how to win, so he willingly deployed for battle. Victor’s plan was to keep withdrawing his flanks closer and closer to the center until a powerful counter-attack could shatter the Spanish line.
Cuesta formed his infantry into one long, thin unbroken line since his greatest fear was that French cavalry could destroy his infantry if there were gaps in the line. At first, Cuesta’s plan seemed to be working. Lasalle’s position on the French left was at risk, but his men held on to their tenuous positions. Spanish infantry formations were also pushing forward against the French batteries on Latour-Maubourg’s hill position. Latour-Maubourg flung his cavalry into a counter attack, but the cavalry was forced into a disorganized retreat. As the Spanish infantry threatened to capture the French guns, Latour-Maubourg ordered his reformed cavalry to attack again – this time against the Spanish cavalry covering the end of the infantry line. Events now unfolded quickly. The French cavalry charge succeeded and the Spanish cavalry fled the field, exposing the thin Spanish line to a devastating flank attack. Cuesta’s left flank dissolved in panic. Lasalle and Villatte, seeing the opportunity, ordered a counter-attack that caught the right flank of the Spanish army between infantry to their front and cavalry to their flanks and rear. The result was a massacre. Entire battalions were destroyed as they tried to stand and fight, and the French cavalry showed no quarter in their pursuit of fugitives. Over 7,500 Spaniards became casualties. In the aftermath, Cuesta’s shattered army retreated to Monasterio.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Gregorio de la Cuesta
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 2 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• Commander: Victor
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards
• The Spanish player’s hand size is reduced by one Command card for each banner lost. The cards lost are selected at random by the French player when each banner is lost. The Spanish player’s hand size, once it reaches three cards, will not be reduced further.
• The Spanish player may only form square with a maximum of two units during the battle.
• Spanish Guerrilla Action Rule is in effect. The Spanish player starts with one Guerrilla counter.
• The Guadiana and Hortiga Rivers are impassable except at the bridge.
A quick Forced March got the Spanish infantry on their right wing into range of the opposing French force with its back to the river, inflicting some damage. Exchanges of musketry saw the Spanish line and Grenadiers retreat, but a French line fall to the Spanish lights. 1:0
The French cavalry forced the Spanish light infantry into square only for Spanish light cavalry to engage them as the Genadiers moved back to the action. More French cavalry moved towards the fight, but the Spanish Grenadiers' shooting eliminated the French cavalry. 2:0
The Spanish pushed their attack with a Bayonet Charge, eliminating the French artillery and pinning their light infantry (the last French unit on their left) against the river. 3:0
Already damaged, the French light infantry, led by Lasalle, advanced as their only hope of escape. The Spanish finished them off, but Lasalle did escape, through the Spanish infantry, leaving the French with nothing on the left side of the battlefield. 4:0
So, advantage Spain, but could they finish it off?
The Spanish were not keen to move off the hills in their centre and left, nor were the French to forsake the hills in their centre and right, though they did move forward on the open ground in the centre. The Spanish light cavalry essayed an attack, putting one French line infantry into square, but were quickly sent fleeing.
The French infantry in the centre sensed an opportunity and moved left, with light cavalry support, to engage their Spanish counterparts. The Spanish Grenadiers were sent packing and a line infantry eliminated, but the French cavalry also fell. 5:1
French infantry continued to move left and some accurate shooting finished off a Spanish light infantry unit. At the same time, the Spanish heavy cavalry emerged from the town of Mengabril to attack the artillery securing the French right flank. This did not end well for the cavalry as the French heavy cavalry countered. 5:3
The Spanish left began to come off the hills to engage the French in exchanges of musketfire. The first casualty was Spanish. 5:4
A combined arms attack from the French Heavies and artillery forced the flanking Spanish infantry unit into square and then shot it to pieces. 5:5
Finally, the Spanish Grenadiers rallied and returned to the fray on the Spanish right, combining with the artillery to gun down two French infantry units. 6:5 and phew!
The return match will have to wait for our next date.
I'm taking this to mean at a time, rather than a total for the game!
What isn't clear to me is whether Hasty Square should count against this limit. Literally, it is included and has been played this way.
1. Greg (Allies) - Bayernkini (French)
26:24 lost blocks
2. Greg (French) - Bayernkini (Allies)
22:10 lost blocks
In first game, i think, Greg played a tactical mistake and let me
escape on my left flank, so i could save my HA, LDR and CAV.
If he forced to attack there, i should loose there at least my HA and LDR also.
After this, i could decrease his cards because of kills.
So i could win at last close
Second game i played exact this tactic with spanish, and could swept away the
french left flank.
So i won obvious 6:2
Nevertheless, 2 nice games