PM01 Sagunto - French left (25 October 1811)

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Sagunto (Attack on French left) - 25 October 1811

Historical Background
In his attempt to relieve the besieged forces in Sagunto, Blake attacked the French on both flanks. He made his left flank very strong and the French were greatly outnumbered. However, this attack quickly turned into a fiasco. After only just over 10 minutes of fighting the Spanish had lost 2,000 prisoners and 400 dead and wounded.
However, the Spanish right performed much better. On the extreme right Zayas’s division advanced along the coast, and became involved in a fierce fight with Habert’s division. Further inland, part of Lardizabal’s division took up a strong position on a hill at the western edge of the coastal plain. Suchet realized that this position was the key to the battlefield, and ordered Harispe to retake the hill. This attack succeeded, but Lardizabal’s men took up a new position at the base of the hill. Suchet ordered Harispe to attack down the hill, and a fierce fight soon developed.
The Spaniards attempted to break this deadlock with a cavalry attack. On this occasion the Spanish cavalry performed well. Harispe’s line was close to breaking, when Suchet ordered his cuirassiers into the fight. This fresh force swept away the Spanish cavalry, which was now badly disordered after its initial successes.
The retreat of the Spanish cavalry exposed Lardizabal’s flanks. Suchet attacked with Saint Paul’s Italians which hit Lardizabal’s right flank and forced his division to retreat. This left Zayas’s division as the only intact part of the Spanish army, and Blake was now forced to order it to retreat. The Spanish lost 1,000 killed and wounded during the battle itself, and 4,641 prisoners during the rout that followed. Suchet lost almost 1,000 casualties. Sagunto surrendered the next day, the garrison having watched the defeat of the relief army from the walls of the citadel.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?


Set-Up Order

Forest 6
Hill 10
River 4
RiverBendFord 2
RiverBridge 1
RiverFord 9
RiverY 1
Town 1


Battle Notes

Spanish Army
Commander: Blake
5 Command Cards
3 Tactics Cards (Optional)
Move First

Line Infantry Light Infantry Grenadier Infantry Militia Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
4 1 1 1 1 2 2 3

French Army
Commander: Suchet
6 Command Cards
5 Tactics Cards (Optional)

Line Infantry Light Infantry Light Cavalry Cuirassier Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
6 2 1 1 1 1 4


5 Banners

Special Rules
Note: 1 unit of Line Infantry on the French left flank is at half strength (i.e. 2 blocks). This unit may not rally above its original strength.

Spanish Foot Artillery units fire using the Horse Artillery Table. This reflects the lighter weight of the guns at this battle.

The Spanish right was covered by a squadron of gunboats which advanced in parallel with Zayas. Any French unit 1 to 3 hexes inland from the eastern edge of the board, subject to line of sight of the firing unit, is subject to attack from the equivalent of 3 blocks of foot artillery. The gunboats are considered ordered whenever a French unit is within range on the Spanish player’s turn.. The 3 gunboats may bombard singly or in combination. They may not engage in combined attacks with land units. Gunboats may not be targeted by the French.
The Gunboats use the following fire table:

Gunboats Range in hexes (inland)
Number of Blocks 1 2 3  
3, 2 3 2 1 Number of
battle dice
1 2 1 1

The Spanish Guerilla Action rule is in effect. The Spanish start with one counter.

The Picador and Espartal Ravines are fordable.

The Canal (all hexes east of the Picador Bridge, is not fordable

Tags: Banners: 5, Army: French, Army: Spanish, Special Rule: Guerrilla, Unofficial

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pmatthews57's Avatar
pmatthews57 replied the topic: #731 10 years 8 months ago
The gunboats may be moved or placed anywhere along the edge.

During the battle, the squadron of gunboats advanced in parallel with Zayas as nearto the shore as their draught permitted (from A History of the Peninsular War - Volume 5 by Charles Oman).
Bayernkini's Avatar
Bayernkini replied the topic: #730 10 years 8 months ago
Ok, that explain most, and as you have seen, i used for the Vassal setup a portuguese INF for the "special 2-block-unit", to distinguish it better from the other french ;)

So only 1 question last.
If the gunboats are placed on one point on edge, they can´t move ore can i move it alone the left edge?
pmatthews57's Avatar
pmatthews57 replied the topic: #729 10 years 8 months ago
I agree that a clarification is necessary. The gunboats are "at sea" they may be placed anywhere off the eastern edge of the board. They may split fire between up to 3 French units within range and line-of-sight. They may not "split" fire against a single unit, e.g. firing 3 times with 1 battle die against the same target. Fire against a single target must be combined.

For example, 3 single gunboats fire at 3 different targets each at 2-1-1; 2 gunboats fire at 1 target 3-2-1 and 1 gunboat fires at a 3rd target at 2-1-1; or 3 gunboats combine to fire at 1 target at 3-2-1.

In the battle, the gunboats exerted a strong influence on French deployment and provided support for Zayas' division. "Annoyed by the fire of some Allied gunboats hovering off shore and assailed by infantry to his front, General Habert was gradually forced to refuse his (left) flank" - from The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War by David Gates.

In game terms, the French advance along the coastal plain at their own risk.

Hope this helps.
alecrespi replied the topic: #728 10 years 8 months ago

"moving Bayernkini post from another thread"

Got just a new fanmade scenario from Alessandro, sadly, it´s still not available on
the scenario site, therefore i upload an own picture.

But i have already a few questions about it.

1. Why is the gunboat group beside the board, it would be better, to be on one
"sea hex" beside the river outfall.

2. Battles of Gunship group:
If i understand it right, they can split there battles:
a) Into 3 single boats, then they fire each 2-1-1 each OR
b) into a 3,2 and a single boat group, then the 3,2 group fires 3-2-1 and
the single boat 2-1-1.

But then they i will always split it into a 2 and a single boat group, because a
3 boat group is useless :)
especially because the boats can´t be attacked.

Random Quote

Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the later than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.~Napoleon