As John has carried the main burden of writing posts over the last few months (well he is retired after all!) I (Dave) have offered to write this one. The above and below photos show the scenario and map prepared by John for the game which was set in the Peninsula in 1808 and was based on the Battle of Vimero. Our ex-pat Michael had travelled down from Aberdeen and this game was put on in his honour and to allow him to field part of his beautiful Peninsula British army. Now before I go any further a description needs to be given of Michael and his meglomaniac tendencies! His British army is a 'work in progress' and currently consists of approximately 45 British and Portugese battalions plus cavalry and artillery. Graham has been responsible for painting most of these, although Michael supplements this with regular purchases on Ebay (at ridiculous prices!) and we now liken Grahams task to the painting of the Forth Bridge as Michael plans to have between 80 and 90 battalions eventually! On top of this Michael has decided he needs a completely new French and Allied army to fight his army but will keep it sensible with the French part ("just a couple of divisions"). At this point Grahams eyes glaze over and we have to give him brandy. Oh and I forgot to mention that Graham has already painted every single unit in the Saxon army circa 1812 for Michael, a small matter of 25 battalions and 8 (?) cavalry regiments. Now considering that we use units which have 24 figures in a battalion and 12 in a cavalry regiment, we are talking a lot of figures! Anyway enough of that and on to the game.
The game pitted Michael's British against my French (again all, bar a few, painted by Graham) and Michael was aided (?) by Paul and Graham, while I was ably assisted by John and Robin. The game was a fairly small one with the French attackers consisting of 15 battalions, 4 cavalry regiments and 4 batteries. Against them were 11 battalions, 4 cavalry and 3 batteries.
The photo above shows the battlefield looking east from the village of Romero to the central ridge and woods beyond.
This photo shows the initial deployment from the same viewpoint. On the right foreground the French are set up already attacking Romero hill and are in melee with the defenders. Graham commanded the British here against John commanding the French left.
A view of Johns 61st regiment attacking the British on Romero hill. Royal Horse Artillery supporting. John did amazingly well on this flank, capturing the Hill and sucking in reserves from the centre.
The French right flank column consisting of Neopolitans and French cavalry. I commanded these troops.
The British centre consisting of 7 battalions in two lines. The front Line was 4 battalions of the Kings German Legion and the second included Scots and a battalion of Guards. Unfortunately the second line was moved immediately to the right to counter my Neopolitans leaving the the ridge to be held by a 'thin red line'.
Johns attack on Romero hill. His artillery has just repulsed a charge by Grahams hussars but it was a close run thing. If the hussars had broken through things may have turned out rather differently!
The French centre advances towards the ridge, stopping long enough to volley Paul's battery which has just driven off my own atillery.
A view from the British left where Michael was in charge. In the background the KGL have been forced back from the ridge line in a number of places and Michael is in the process of shifting the Scots and Guards back to the centre to support them.
The far left flank of the British position and, after much procrastinating, the British dragoons charge the French Lancers of my right wing, only to be defeated and driven from the field!
A view of the central ridge at the end of the game. The French have driven the British back from most of it and the British left is about to collapse. The British commanders concede their position. Vive le France!
All in all a very enjoyable battle which 'felt right and looked right'. We cant wait for Michael to return with his British (we did offer to look after them for him but this was declined!) and hopefully next time he will field some Portugese and Rifles (he does of course have them).