113 Alba de Tormes (28 November 1809)
Alba de Tormes - 28 November 1809
After the victory at Tamames, Del Parque’s Army of the Left advanced from its mountain sanctuary, sparring with French forces. By mid November, Del Parque’s 32,000 Spaniards were on the verge of attacking Kellerman’s 16,000 man force when news of the Spanish disaster at Ocaña reached him. Del Parque retreated rapidly back towards the mountains. The French were caught flat-footed by the suddenness of the retreat. Confident that he had made a clean escape from the French, Del Parque set up camp at Alba de Tormes. Kellerman’s cavalry, however, had kept pace with Del Parque, and on the 28th made contact with the Spanish army. Only two of the five Spanish divisions had crossed the River Tormes to safety on the far side.
Kellerman knew the Spanish would escape if he waited for his infantry to arrive, so he ordered his 3,000 troopers to attack the 16,000 Spaniards to his front. He reasoned that if his troopers could attack before the Spaniards could all form square, they would inflict significant loss on the Spanish infantry. With Lorcet’s light cavalry in the lead, the French horsemen swept through the Spanish cavalry and into the unprepared Spanish infantry formations. Losada’s division and most of Belveder’s disintegrated under the onslaught, and the survivors ran for the bridge and safety on the far side. La Carrera’s division on the left (off map) had time to form square, and follow-up French cavalry attacks there were repulsed. La Carrera’s men were still in grave danger. Since the Spaniards could not move in square, they would be destroyed if the French infantry showed up in time. Fortunately it was a short November day, and the sun was setting as the French infantry units appeared on the horizon. In the gathering darkness, La Carrera ordered his units to make a run for the bridge, and most of the Spaniards made it across.
Spanish losses were about 3,000 for the battle, and another 3,000 who deserted on the retreat. French losses were negligible. Kellerman’s bold gamble paid off. Worse yet for the Spaniards, Del Parque’s army endured a savage winter in the mountains. Barely 16,000 men remained as the spring campaigning season began.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Duke Del Parque
• 4 Command Cards
• Optional 2 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Kellerman
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The Bridge hex is a Victory Banner objective for the French player. If a French unit occupies the objective hex at the start of the French player’s turn, the French player gains a Victory Banner. As long as the unit remains on the objective hex the French player will keep the Victory Banner. If it moves or retreats off the hex or is eliminated, the banner no longer counts and is removed. If the French regain the hex, they again receive the Victory Banner
(Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• Spanish Guerrilla Action Rule is in effect. The Spanish player does not start the battle with any Guerrilla counters.
• The River Tormes is not fordable.
I started as French and attacked on my left. This quickly eliminated one of the Spanish light cavalry units and put a couple of infantry into square. 1:0
Cavalry Charges into the centre took out another light cavalry, a line infantry (now unable to form square), a militia and the artillery (!) with just a little damage to one French Heavy cavalry. 5:0
A further attack in the centre finished off another Spanish line infantry to seal the deal with French cavalry also taking the bridge (no escape!). 6:0 and played in 20 minutes.
Switching sides, Tom followed my example by attacking on the left and taking out a Spanish light cavalry. The gallant Spanish infantry refused to form square (gulp!) and got mauled. 0:1
The French finished off the mauled unit and moved towards the centre, destroying a militia and another light cavalry en route. 0:4
A last-ditch Cavalry Charge from the remaining Spanish lights almost (almost!) removed a damaged French light.
The French attacked in the centre again, destroying a battered Spanish line unit, despite it going into square, and taking General Losada with it to win 0:6, before the Spanish lights had a chance to finish off their counterparts.
Note the complete lack of Guerilla action in this 6:6 draw that took a whole 40 minutes.
AND spanish can´t cancel turn.
Give the spanish the first turn AND a Guerrilla Marker at start, that should help
(and french should have still an advantage, but not anymore 100%).
At last, you can additional change the command cards, give the french also only 4 or the spanish also 5 command cards.
Hi Paul, don't forget to update scenario results hitting one of the two arrows on page top (under black scenario name).
PaulK wrote: ...A friend and I played it twice tonight...
Hitting the left most arrow (red) will record a victory for the "top army".
Hitting the right most arrow (blue) will record a victory for the "bottom army".
Doing so we can keep scenarios statistics updated and we can also better see scenario balance in the future.