517 Orthez - French Left (27 February 1814)
Orthez (French Left) - 27 February 1814
After the French defeat at Nive, Soult fell back to a position north of the River Gave de Pau. Wellington advanced along both sides of the river, while Soult deployed along a ridge, running roughly parallel to it. The French position was a good one, but too long. Soult had to place all of his veteran troops in the front lines. He was now committed o a static defense with little besides raw conscripts in reserve.
Wellington’s army was organized into three groups commanded by Beresford, Picton and Hill, with the famed Light Division in reserve.
He intended for Beresford to strongly attack the French right while Picton held the rest of the French line in a diversionary attack. Hill’s divisions were to cross the Gave de Pau and fall on the French left to complete the victory. The battle opened with Beresford’s attack and repulse at St. Boes. Wellington now displayed his command ability by quickly changing his plan. He converted Picton’s feint into the main attack. Picton’s division, aided by the Light Division, split the French center. At the same time Clinton’s division was pressing the attack on Orthez, and Hill’s two divisions had crossed the stream by means of a ford and were threatening Soult’s left and rear. On the French right, St. Boes fell to renewed assault, and Soult conceded defeat. His army’s escape depended on reaching the bridge of Sault Navailles before Hill. The French narrowly won the race and blew the bridge after crossing.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellington
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• Commander: Soult
• 5 Command Cards
• 5 Tactician Cards
• The Allied player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn, for each Orthez town hex occupied (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The French player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn, if the Allies do not occupy any Orthez town hexes. The French start the battle with 1 Victory Banner (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Allied player gains 1 Temporary Victory Banner at the start of the turn when any of the 9 hill hexes are occupied (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)
• The Allied player gains 1 Victory Banner for each Allied unit that exits the battlefield from any French left section baseline hex.
• The Gave de Pau is impassable except at the fords and bridge.