MD03 Bussaco "La Grande Battle" (27 September 1810)
Bussaco "La Grande Battle" - 27 September 1810
Retreating towards Torres Vedras, the Duke of Wellington’s army of 25,000 British and the same number of Portuguese halted at Bussaco to make a stand along the crest of Bussaco Ridge and check the advance of Marshal Massena and the French army of Portugal. As Massena’s army of 65,000 approached the British position, he was uncertain of the exact disposition and strength of the enemy, for Wellington had adopted his favorite tactic of hiding his true strength from the enemy by deploying his forces on the reverse slope of the ridge. Massana’s army was deployed on the 26th with Ney’s Corps on the right, Junot’s Corps in the centre and Reynier’s Corps on the left. Massena, rather than avoid battle, ordered Major-General Jean Reynier’s II Corps to attack the centre of the ridge, which he mistakenly believed was the British right flank. Once the II Corps attack showed some signs of success, Massena planned to launch Ney’s corps at the British left while Junot’s Corps stood in reserve, ready to exploit. Reynier’s troops moved forward in the early morning mist of the 27th. Heudelet’s Division was the first to come into contact. Before long, they were brought to a standstill from Anglo-Portuguese infantry fire, supported by artillery. Merle’s Division, veering away from Heudelet in the mist, had early success and occupied part of the ridge, but the French came under flanking fire, and were then thrown back by the shock of a British infantry charge. The fighting in this sector of the battlefield was effectively at an end. Hearing gunfire, Ney assumed Reynier’s men were enjoying success and ordered his attack.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Wellington
• 5 Command Cards
British Corps Commanders
Right Center Left
Command 2 2 3
Tactician 2 2 3
• Commander: Massena
• 6 Command Cards
• Move First
French Corps Commanders
Left Center Right
Command 3 3 2
Tactician 3 3 2
The stream is a fordable.
Tags: Banners: 13, Army: Allies, Army: British, Army: French, Army: Portuguese, Unofficial, Special Rule: "La Grande Battle"
As this battle is a British victory, I wonder if there is a need to make things easier for the British side? Or maybe 7 games isn't enough to see if the scenario is balanced/favors the winning side.
Played Busacco EPIC today with 8 players, took about 4 hours (incl Lunch) and a fair deal of explanations as first game for 4 players, and other 3 had played 1-4 times each.
Generally there were enough blocks from 1 set with the following exceptions and replacements
French Light Infantry - used Young Guard blocks to supplement
Portuguese Line Infantry - used Spanish Line Infantry blocks to supplement
French Right smashed the Allied Left. French Left held and reinforced Centre. French Centre generally beaten back. French won 12-9