111 Ocaña - Cavalry Action (18 November 1809)
Ocaña (Cavalry Action) - 18 November 1809
As the French and Spanish armies converged on Ocaña on the morning of the 18th, the French cavalry vanguard under Milhaud encountered three of General Freire’s Spanish cavalry divisions. The French deployed with Paris’ light cavalry in front of Milhaud’s dragoons and horse artillery. Paris’ light division executed a spirited charge that cut the Spanish light cavalry to pieces. Paris, in turn, was checked and forced back when Freire brought forward his heavy cavalry reserves. Milhaud then led his dragoons forward in a furious counter-charge that sent the Spanish cavalry fleeing from the field. Thus ended one of the largest cavalry actions in the Peninsular War. With the French cuirassiers fully engaged against the Austrians, the French dragoons established themselves as the premier heavy cavalry in the Peninsula.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Freire
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 3 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Milhaud
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards
• Move First
The Spanish Guerrilla Action rule is in effect. The Spanish player starts with one Guerrilla counter.
Turn 2: French attack in the center and eliminate another Spanish unit. Spanish commit to a La Grande Manoeuvre to move all of their heavy cavalry up. French lead 2 to 1.
Turn 4: Spanish foil another French assault through Guerrilla Action.
Turn 5: General Paris attacks the center but loses an entire light cavalry battalion in the process. The Spanish counter with an assault from the left flank. Two light Spanish cavalry units surround Paris’ troopers, and, shockingly, General Paris is slain along with 50% of his force. Spanish 3, French 2.
Turn 6: General Milhaud orders his heavy cavalry to charge. The charge breaks the Spanish line. Two Spanish units are destroyed. French now ahead 4 to 3.
Turn 7: French attack on the right. Another Spanish heavy cavalry battalion is liquidated. French ahead 5 to 3. The Spanish horsemen are hard pressed now…
Turn 8: French continue to overwhelm the Spanish on the right. Another Spanish unit evaporates. French up 6 to 3. The end is near…
Turn 9: Spanish attempt a Guerrilla Action, but this time the French successfully guard against it! The French move forward with an attack from the right. A Spanish light cavalry squadron is run off the battlefield for the seventh and last banner. The French win 7 to 3.
Played this one a second time and the French won again 7 to 4 after 14 turns. Very hard for the Spanish to gain any traction on this scenario. The French cavalry, with a full four blocks, have a decidedly robust advantage over the three-block Spanish equestrians. It is fun to see the units zoom around the board though!
I'd also suggest weeding down the Command Deck to remove the 'dead' Command cards
lastly.. the Guerrilla Marker, my least favourite CCN mechanic, and so perverse here.
Michael's suggestion is to give the Spanish the first turn, and I'd suggest that and getting rid of the GM.
Underneath it all, this could be a fun scenario with a bit of mild modification.
Anyway, Tom took the French first and promptly instigated a cavalry charge: four French light cavalry left of centre attacking four Spanish light cavalry. When the dust settled, the four French units were still there. Of the Spanish there was no sign.
The French decided to press their luck, the lights advancing to meet Spanish heavy cavalry. This time, one French unit went down, but both Spaniards bit the dust and the Spanish right flank was no more.
Focus now shifted to the centre as the Spanish fought back, removing a second enemy light cavalry unit. There should have been more French casualties, but they chased off the attacking guerillas and disposed of a third Spanish heavy cavalry.
2:7 to Tom and only an hour played. Could I get revenge?
Switching sides, I started by bringing the heavy cavalry into the French line and advancing slowly. The Spanish heavies moved up too.
Then came the charge, left of centre again, and again came the rout of the Spanish, three light cavalry destroyed in exchange for light casualties on the French side.
The Spanish tried to counter-attack with what was left of their right wing, but were pushed back as the French re-grouped. The centre right Spanish units now moved across to tackle the advanced French force and eliminated one light cavalry.
Again thwarting interference from guerillas, the French made the Spanish pay: another three units lost.
The final act was a bold attack by General Rivas and his heavy cavalry. The French heavy cavalry withstood the charge and wiped out his command, Rivas fleeing the battlefield ignominiously.
And that was 7:2 to me and an aggregate draw 9:9.
A fun scenario. If you're playing French.
So the French have a very good Chance, to weak and/or force to retreat the LC´s
without any battle back.
So i would change the scenario notes and give the French also only 5 cards and let the spanish Player start the game, instead the French.
Or revise the setup and and place the complete LC´s one hex in spanish direction, so the starting French Player cant reach them immediately at start.