013 Combat at Aire (2 March 1814)

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.64 (7 Votes)
 39 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  61 %
Total plays 123 - Last reported by Richards on 2022-05-02 04:51:06

Combat at Aire - 2 March 1814

Historical Background
Wellington’s victorious army was too tired to give immediate chase to the defeated French after the Battle of Orthez, but Wellington did dispatch General Hill with two divisions of infantry, a cavalry brigade and horse artillery to deny the French time to regroup. Hill caught up with General Clausel’s rear guard at Aire. Marshall Soult ordered Clausel, with two divisions, to hold Aire long enough to allow Soult’s artillery stores and ammunition to be moved out of harm’s way. The battle opened with the Portuguese assailing the center and left of the French line. These attacks were met with a bayonet counter-charge that sent the Portuguese back toward the Grave River. Stewart’s advancing British reinforced Da Costa’s men and halted their retreat. The Portuguese and the British reinforcements stormed up the ridge a second time and hurled the French back. Aire was captured and the French stores became Hill’s prize.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?


Set-Up Order

Forest 10
Hill 14
River 4
RiverBend 7
RiverBendFord 1
RiverBridge 2
Town 2

Battle Notes

British Army
• Commander: Hill
• 6 Command Cards
• Optional 5 Tactician Cards
• Move First

Line Infantry Light Infantry Horse Artillery Leader   Line Infantry Light Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Leader
4 1 2 1   5 2 1 1 2

French Army
• Commander: Clausel
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards

Line Infantry Light Infantry Militia Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Leader
6 1 2 1 1 1 2

6 Banners

Special Rules
The two town hexes are Victory Banner objective hexes for the British player. If an Anglo-Portuguese unit occupies an objective hex at the start of the British player’s turn, the British player gains a Victory Banner. As long as the unit remains on the objective hex it will count as a British Victory Banner. If it moves off or is eliminated, it no longer counts
(Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)

The River Grave can be forded not only at the ford terrain hex, but in all other hexes as well. However, when crossing the ford terrain hex, a unit or leader does not cease movement (the ford terrain hex represents a low water crossing point).

Tags: Base Game, Banners: 6, Army: British, Army: French, Army: Portuguese, Special Rule: Temporary VB (Turn Start)

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Richards's Avatar
Richards replied the topic: #7797 6 months 4 weeks ago
Combat at Aire (2 March 1814)
Turns 1-4: British and French slowly but surely move closer to each other.
Turn 5: British create a tie at two banners a piece after General Harispe is mortally wounded just north of the town of Nauzeilles.
Turn 9: French secure the victory at the end of turn nine with "Elan" and a good roll of the dice... They win 6 to 4 in a close game that saw very little movement along the front. British were never close to the two town objectives.
Pevans's Avatar
Pevans replied the topic: #7761 8 months 1 week ago
This week Evert and I reached the last Peninsular War scenario in the base game and it's his turn to play French first. Looking at the set-up, I thought the Allies would have the advantage with their numbers, but the stats say the odds are 3:2 in favour of the French. Hmm, let's see.

The Allies' first move was for the Portuguese to move forward on the right, bringing the Light cavalry to the fore. The French militia opposite them advanced in response, with the French Light cavalry trotting in front of the town.

The Portuguese Light infantry and British Horse artillery advanced a little further to engage the French cavalry at long range. The cavalry retired out of range.

Further shooting from the British Horse artillery and Portuguese Light infantry on the Allies' right inflicted casualties on the French Line infantry on the end of the hills. At the same time, the Portuguese Heavy cavalry moved right while General Stewart on the Allies' left joined advancing Line infantry. ["Forward" is such a useful card.]

Piqued by the long-range fire, the damaged French Line on their left moved up to engage the Portuguese Light infantry in the wood, while the French Light cavalry attacked the guns. Both infantry units took damage, but the Horse artillery was battered by the cavalry. French forces also advanced in the centre, Light infantry moving forward on the hills, and the Foot artillery on the French right took up position on the hills. [Such a good card that Evert played a "Counter-attack".]

Time for the Portuguese to move forward in the centre, engaging the advanced French infantry with some ineffective musketry. The French returned fire, rather more accurately, only for the Portuguese to respond with concerted volleys, weakening the French infantry in the centre. French bayonets then came into action, Line infantry all but destroying their Portuguese opposite numbers under General da Costa.

With the attack in the centre faltering, British infantry advanced on the left, carefully keeping the woods between them and the French artillery on the hills. And, on the Allies' right, the Portuguese Light cavalry pounced on the half-strength French Line in front of them. The infantry tried to fight them off, but fell. [That opens the scoring: 1:0 to the Allies.]

French militia moved onto the hills on their left wing, their fire driving off the Portuguese Light cavalry. The French Light cavalry finished off the Horse artillery in front of them. And then the Portuguese Light infantry in the woods! [Lucky dice from Evert and the score's suddenly 1:2.]

The Portuguese cavalry, Heavy and Light, responded, driving the French out of the woods as their Line infantry advanced. The French Heavies now got into the fight, smashing the Portuguese Light cavalry, despite the protection of the woods. And, in the centre, French Line finally finished off that Portuguese Line unit, General da Costa escaping. [1:3]

With all eyes on one side of the battlefield, nobody noticed British infantry surge forward on the Allies' left flank to surround the French on the hills. ["La Grande Manoeuvre" lets me get round the end of the hills.]

The French defence was vigorous, immediately eliminating one of the attacking British Line units and inflicting heavy casualties on the Lights. [1:4] The battered British fight back, almost getting a French Line, while the Lights take cover in the town. From here, they finish off that French Line unit, only for the French artillery to smash their positions and annihilate them. [2:5]

The British infantry continued to engage what's left of the French right, but a French attack in the centre ended things by removing another Portuguese unit. [2:6]

Well, that was quite a beating! I don't know quite what happened, except that Evert rolled good dice at a couple of crucial points. The return match is due next week, but I can't see I'll get a better result than that. We shall see.
LARS's Avatar
LARS replied the topic: #7119 1 year 7 months ago
A fascinating scenario. Early on it appeared that Hill would win easily. But the constant attrition wore down many units and a quick thinking Harispe lead a brilliant combined arms attack. French win 6-3. Block losses French 24 Allies 26.
Fortesque's Avatar
Fortesque replied the topic: #4446 5 years 9 months ago
Defeated my wife 6 - 2 as the British, after her Bayonet Charge killed one block with 4 connecting infantry units and I copied her card, really hitting home. She didn't get disheartened though and defeated me 6 - 1 on Vimiero on the next day.
sebringellis replied the topic: #3500 6 years 7 months ago
question answered
apergis1@verizon.net replied the topic: #681 10 years 9 months ago
Report on latest 'Combat at Aire' marathon:

Boy did we get some weird results this week. :blink:

We managed to get in six games and five of them were blowouts. Also the French won four of the six games.

The wildest was the last game we played that was a British Victory. I was commanding the French. For the first time the Portuguese successfully mounted a full scale assault on the French center and annihilated it. When the game ended there was only one French Unit left in the center.
apergis1@verizon.net replied the topic: #662 10 years 10 months ago
We are really getting used to this. Between four of us alternating, we played it nine (9) times today!!!

Final tally: French 5 victories; English 4.
apergis1@verizon.net replied the topic: #648 10 years 10 months ago
We are getting so used to this scenario we managed to get off six games tonight. Final tally 3-3. In four of the games the final scores were 6 banners to 5.

We have played the last four scenarios (We started with Waterloo and are working our way backwards). So far we think that this is the most interesting scenario we have played so far.
apergis1@verizon.net replied the topic: #613 10 years 10 months ago
:) Thanks, your corrections look great.

FYI. My regular CCN partner and I have played this scenario six times. For us it is a very balanced scenario. Both sides have one it three times. In four of the games the final score was six banners to five.

One of the features of the C&C series that we like is that one can play a game several times in one session. Last Friday we played this particular scenarion three times in one evening.
alecrespi replied the topic: #607 10 years 10 months ago
Thank you for this note.
Everything should be fixed right now.
apergis1@verizon.net replied the topic: #606 10 years 10 months ago
“Combat at Aire” is a Base Game Official Scenario.

We have discovered three errors in the directions for the scenario here.

1. Map: The Portuguese unit in the top row, four (4) hexes from the left should be a LC not a HC.

2. Map: The French unit in the third row, five (5) hexes from the right should be a LT not a LI.

3. Portuguese order of battle: There should be two (2) Portuguese leaders, not one (1).

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An army's effectiveness depends on its size, training, experience, and morale, and morale is worth more than any of the other factors combined.~Napoleon