Orthez (French Right) - 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 to 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 divisions going in against the church and village of St. Boes. He succeeded in capturing the church, but the advance was checked by Taupin’s troops defending the village. Reille, the French right-wing commander then launched a spirited counterattack that forced Beresford to pull back. Action on this flank ceased for a time as Wellington converted Picton’s feint into the main attack.
Later in the day as Picton’s attack picked up steam, Wellington sent the Light division forward to exploit a gap in the French center.
Led by the 1/52nd Foot, the Light Division advanced and drove a wedge between the right wing French center divisions. At the same time, Beresford’s men made one more attack against St. Boes and captured the village. Events elsewhere were going no better, and Soult conceded defeat.
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 Church is worth 1 Temporary Victory Banner for the side that occupies it at the start of its turn. The French start the battle with 1 Victory Banner (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 St. Boes 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 5 hill hexes are occupied (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)