Sunday, April 7, 2013

Battle of Vimeiro - BatRep

Vimeiro, 21 AUG 1808
Replayed using a modified version of Republique.  Battle reports are provided at half hour intervals. While the attacking French initially hold the initiative, either commander can attempt to wrestle initiative from his opponent at the start of each turn.  Game board "At Start" overviews:
Battlefield view from the east
Battlefield view from the south
Battlefield view from Vimeiro along eastern ridge
Battlefield view of western ridge
Battlefield view of Vimeiro from north

0730 British
From the heights of the Western Ridge overlooking Vimeiro, Wellesley sees the distant approach of Junot's army from the south.  Surprised that the French are approaching down the east bank of the Maceira River, Wellesley orders the bulk of his army from the the west bank of the Maceira to the east or Vimeiro side of the river.  Fane and Ansthruther set up preparations to defend Vimeiro Hill.  As the redeployment from west to east begins, Nightengale and Hill reach Vimeiro while Crawfurd's brigade reaches the Vimeiro bridge. 

0730 French
Junot assembles his army for battle with three divisions abreast about 2,500 yards from Vimeiro Hill. Delaborde is on the left pressing against the Maceira River, Loison is on the right of Delaborde, and Margaron's cavalry deploys on the high ground to the right of Loison.  Delaborde will assault the British positions on Vimeiro Hill with Margaron in support.  Loison maneuvers to the northeast getting into position for a direct assault upon the village of Toledo.

0800 French
Delaborde's division advances on Vimeiro Hill with full speed.  Delaborde's battery moves up within long range of the British positions and unlimbers.  Loison's division keeps abreast of Delaborde while Margaron advances onto the knoll southeast of the Vimeiro Hill.  The grenadiers remain in reserve.

0800 British

The 20th Dragoons move up to plug the gap between Vimeiro Hill and the Eastern Ridge, east of Vimeiro.  Hill's advance continues to the halfway point between Vimeiro and Toledo.   Crawfurd begins the climb up the Eastern Ridge as Ferguson moves into position north of Vimeiro Hill to support Fane and Anstruther.   Bowes brigade follows the road down to the Vimeiro Bridge and prepares to cross. At long range the initial artillery duel commences but results are ineffective.
French advance from British perspective

0830 British
Seizing the initiative, Acland moves down from his initial position on the western end of the Eastern Ridge to Vimeiro Hill in support of Anstruther.   Bowes takes up positions along the Vimeiro Road to the west of the heights to support the second British battery. The British half battery on the heights saves fire until the French can close into effective range.

0830 French
Delaborde continues advancing towards Vimeiro Heights with the 2nd and 4th Legere regiments in the lead.  Loison veers to the northeast as he sets his sights on Toledo. Margaron deploys his horse battery to support Delaborde.  Delaborde's battery finds the range and disorders the British battery on the hill in counterbattery fire.
French advance plods towards Vimeiro
0900 British
With no French approaching from the southeast Trant moves to rejoin Hill near Toledo. Acland moves down from the Eastern Ridge and towards Vimeiro Hill to support the 52nd and 97th. The 6th moves up along the Maceira to the west of Vimeiro Hill to support Battery #1. The guns hold their fire.  French horse artillery opens up at long range on the 40th in square causing casualties and disordering it. 

0900 French
Fire from British Battery #2 on the Vimeiro Road causes the 70th/2 Line to become shaken as it advances upon the British positions.  Responding to the British artillery, counterbattery fire from Delaborde's battery disorders Battery #2.  With its field of fire blocked, French horse artillery changes targets to Fane's brigade on Vimeiro Hill. Horse artillery fire is ineffective.

The 4th Legere led by Delaborde with 70th Line in support ascends Vimeiro Hill and assaults the 52nd/97th.  The 4th Legere and 70th close on the British near the crest of the hill. In the firefight both combatants are disordered and take casualties with neither giving ground.  Delaborde goes down and the French waiver.   Although only Delaborde's horse was injured, the French withdraw back down the slope behind the protection of the 2nd Swiss to recover.

Delaborde attacks
On the right of the 4th Legere, the 2nd Legere closes with the British half battery on the heights. The 86th Line follows the 2nd Legere in support.  As the French near the crest, the British battery unleashes crippling canister.   Taking casualties and becoming shaken fails to stop the French advance.  The remaining French skirmishers disorder the battery and the 2nd Legere storm over the battery, capturing it.   Even though the attack is deteriorating, momentum carries the French into the awaiting 52nd where the French are met with a crushing volley.  The volleys disorganize the French and they retreat back down the hill to the safety of the 4th Swiss, leaving their dead and prisoners behind.

Seeing the British 40th Line taking casualties from the French horse artillery, Junot orders Margaron to send half of his division into the valley in an attempt to follow-up on the French artillery success.  Margaron accepts and sends the 3rd Dragoons and 1st Provisional Chasseurs a Cheval against the 40th.  As the French horse close the gap to the 40th, the British 20th Light Dragoons counter charge in an attempt to protect the British foot. The 20th catches the 1st Provisional Chasseurs before it can make contact with the disordered square. 

With the 40th now in square and holding firm, the 3rd Dragoons break off its attack and recalls back to its own lines, shaken. The 20th Light Dragoons and 1st Chasseurs a Cheval collide taking down 50% of the effectives and disordering both combatants.  In the ensuing melee, the chasseurs get the upper hand and scatter the dragoons.  In the pursuit, the 40th line stops the pursuing chasseurs and it, too, recalls back to its own lines, disorganized.  The British check of the French assault prompts a panic test for Delaborde which he passes.
Dispositions following initial French assault

0930 British
With the British clustered around Vimeiro Hill, all disordered battalions rally back into good order.  The 6th is redirected from supporting the battery on the Vimeiro Road to supporting 9th/43rd on Vimeiro Hill in anticipation of a second French assault.  Acland replaces 52nd/97th in the front line while the 40th falls back 300 yards to the shelter of Vimeiro Hill.  Nightengale and Hill arrive at Toledo and join Trant's Portuguese.  Delaborde's battery damages and disorders Battery #1.  All other artillery fire is ineffective.

0930 French
Junot attempts to rally his shaken formations. The 70th/2 remains shaken while 70th/1 and the 3rd Dragoons improve to only being in disorder. The 2nd and 4th Legere rally to good order as does the 86th Line. The 1st Provisional Chasseurs remains disorganized.

Loison continues towards Toledo and approaches within 1,200 yards.   Margaron with his cavalry cautiously advances 200 yards towards Vimeiro Hill.  After getting a new mount, Delaborde leads the 4th Swiss supported by the 2nd Legere into assault against Fane.  In an attempt to keep Acland from supporting Fane, the 4th Legere attacks the heights in coordination with 4th Swiss. The French attacks, at first, show limited success by disordering Fane's brigade but the Britsh discipline finally surfaces and both attacks withdraw 250 yards back down the slopes of Vimeiro Hill.  Delaborde's second repulse prompts a panic check which he passes.  Battery #1 fires into the 70th/2 and the 70th takes casualties and becomes shaken. All other artillery fire is ineffective.

1000 British

Both Battery #1 and Fane rally from disorder.  Hill and Trant arrange their defensive positions around Toledo with the Portuguese taking up defensive positions to the east of the village and Nightengale deploying in the village.  With British positions overlooking the ravine, French assaults against these positions will be difficult.  Seeing Delaborde withdraw back down Vimeiro Hill for the second time in an hour, Wellington considers pursuit.  With French dragoons waiting within striking distance, a pursuit down from the heights would likely trigger a reaction from the French horse.  Even with an enfilading shot on the 4th Legere, all artillery fire is ineffective.
Dispositions following Delaborde's second attack

1000 French
Under Margaron, the 1st Chasseurs and 3rd Dragoons/1 fail to rally while the 3rd Dragoons/2 rallies. Of the infantry, only the 4th Swiss fails to rally to good order.  Loison deploys his division in echelon and prepares for the ordered assault on Toledo.
Loison advances in echelon
Delaborde assaults Vimeiro Hill a third time. On the right, Delaborde leads the 2nd and 4th Swiss against Fane while the 4th Legere goes in against Acland.  The 70th Line and Maragaron's horse artillery support the 4th Legere assault.  In artillery fire, Delaborde's battery causes casualties and disorders the 9th/43rd.  Margaron's horse artillery supports Delaborde's assault on Fane by concentrating fire against Fane as Delaborde advances.  Maragaron's horse artillery disorders Fane and Fane suffers 25% casualties.
Swiss assault Vimeiro Hill

In the ensuing assault, Fane's brigade is disorganized and withdraws towards Vimeiro to join the 40th. The Swiss carry the position vacated by Fane.  The 4th Legere's assault is repulsed and the 4th falls back 500 yards, shaken. With the 4th Legere's repulse, Delaborde makes a third panic test yet maintains his composure.
Vimeiro Hill assault #3
Swiss assault succeeds

1030 British
The 9th/43rd rallies and Fane remains disordered. Concerned about the solidity of the Vimeiro Hill position, Wellesley sends orders to Hill to redirect the battery back to Vimeiro.  Hill withdraws his brigade 200 yards opposite Loison's battery.  Near Vimeiro, in an attempt to push the Swiss off the heights, Wellesley orders Ferguson to advance up the heights and counterattack the Swiss.  Ferguson's attack is supported by Fane and the 2nd/20th. In counterbattery fire, British artillery disorders and damages Delaborde's battery.  

Ferguson advances through Fane and assaults the 2nd Swiss.  Fane supports this attack and the 2nd/20th under Acland joins in on Ferguson's right.  The 2nd Swiss is supported by the 4th Swiss.  Ferguson's assault is roughly handled and Ferguson, Fane, and the 2nd/20th take heavy casualties (500 casualties) and retreat disorganized back to Vimeiro. The Swiss capture 250 men from Acland. Wellesley takes a panic check and passes.
British pushed from Vimeiro Hill
1030 French
Delaborde's battery, 4th Swiss, 70th/1, 3rd Dragoons/1 rally while the 4th Legere improves to disorder and the 1st Chasseurs remain disorganized.
Delaborde reorders his command
Junot releases the grenadiers from reserve and places them under Delaborde's command with orders to attack the remaining English on the heights. The 3rd Dragoons advance 800 yards west towards Vimeiro. The French attack on Vimeiro Hill continues as the 2nd/4th Swiss advance to the center of the plateau and contact 52nd/97th. The 4th Swiss goes in on the right of the 2nd Swiss.
Struggle for control of Vimeiro Hill continues 
The Swiss force the 52nd/97th to fallback 500 yards on Vimeiro, shaken. The 2nd Swiss pauses to face Anstruther while the 4th Swiss presses on down the hill and into the 40th Line's wavering square. The 40th line makes a heroic stand against the Swiss and slowly falls back towards Vimeiro without breaking.
Panorama of battle looking towards Vimeiro
Passing through the 4th Legere, the 70th assaults the 9th/43rd on the heights.  As the 70th approaches the defenders, British artillery astride the road disorders the advancing French.  Added with heated volley fire from the 9th/43rd, the 70th is shaken but continues advancing.  As the 70th reaches the British lines, the British mount a vigorous counterattack and rout the 70th line causing heavy casualties and capturing 250.

With the defeat of 52nd/97th on the eastern slopes of Vimeiro Hill, Wellesley takes a panic check and fails.  British forces along the Vimeiro Road and the western slopes of Vimeiro Hill fall back 250 yards towards Vimeiro to consolidate a secondary defensive position in front of Vimeiro.  Lucky for Wellesley, Delaborde's offensive grinds to a halt at the same time as the 70th Line streams away from the battlefield.  The 4th Legere redeploys to support Delaborde's battery along the Vimeiro Road.
Wellesley panics
On the French right at the Toledo position, Loison's division goes in against the Allied defenders.  Many of the French are disordered crossing the ravine and the 47th Line takes heavy casualties from artillery fire and is disorganized on the approach to Toledo.  Supporting the 47th, the 58th Line is also disordered from the devastating artillery fire. Loison manages to launch three separate attacks on the Toledo positions.  First, the 15th Legere, disordered from attacking across the ravine and with support from 32nd Line, attacks the Portuguese infantry on the eastern edge of Toledo.  The weight of the French attack disorders the Portuguese and they fall back 500 yards to the north of Toledo. The 15th Legere captures 250 Portuguese and gains the heights.

Loison attacks Toledo
In the center, the 12th Legere and 82nd Line attack the 29th/82nd Line in Toledo.  In heated, hand-to-hand combat both take casualties and become disordered before the momentum of the French finally overpowers the defenders.  The British fall back 500 yards beyond Toledo, disorganized while the 12th Legere claims the village.

On the left, the now disorganized 47th Line falters and then routs away from the British guns.  The 47th, along with the 58th stream back about a mile leaving 250 comrades in British hands.
Loison take Toledo

1100 British
The 9th/43rd rallies as does Ferguson. The 29th/82nd improves from disorganized to disorder, Acland to shaken, and Fane to disorder.  Near Toledo, while the Portuguese fall back, Hill leads a counterattack by the 5th/9th/38th into Toledo in an attempt to regain control of the village.  Ignoring Wellesley's order to send the battery back to Vimeiro, the British guns continue firing in support of Hill's attack.  In artillery fire, Loison's battery fires counterbattery near Toledo with no effect while the British guns target the French 82nd Line causing casualties and morale reduction. 
British counterattack Toledo
British counterattack Toledo
Hill's attack against the 12th Legere in Toledo pushes the French out of Toledo and back down the ravine 250 yards. The 12th's withdrawal takes it through the green 86th Line. Coupled with the British artillery fire, the 12th's retrograde movement causes the 86th to become disorganized. With three units disorganized, Loison takes a panic check and passes. The attack will continue.

Wellesley redeploys the Vimeiro defenses in a line from the Eastern Ridge to the Maceira River. From left to right, Crawfurd is deployed on the Eastern Ridge with the defensive line consisting of the 91st, 45th, 36th/71st, 9th/43rd, 6th, battery, and the 32nd adjacent to the river. The 45th and 36th/71st form square in the valley across the Torres Vedras Road. The shaken remnants of Wellesley's forces (40th, Fane, Acland, 52nd/97th) seek shelter within the protection of Vimeiro.

British line reforms on Vimeiro

1100 French
The 4th, 12th, and 15th Legere rally as do the 4th Swiss and 32nd Line. The 47th, 58th, and 70/1 improve to shaken while the 1st Chasseurs, 82nd and 70/2 remain disorganized. Junot sends orders to Delaborde to rally his division and relaunch his assault on Vimeiro. Delaborde fails to accept this order at 1100. The grenadiers continue their advance and reach the eastern slopes of Vimeiro Hill and join on the right of the Swiss. The horse artillery advances 400 yards towards Vimeiro and prepares to support the French attack. Junot rides up to join Delaborde.  Margaron deploys the 5th Dragoons to the western approaches of Vimeiro Hill to threaten the road and bridge over the Maceira River.  Near Toledo, the 15th Legere and 32nd Line swing around Toledo from the east and attack the withdrawing Portuguese. 

The 15th Legere strike half of the Portuguese infantry while the green 32nd Line hits the remaining Portuguese infantry.  The 15th Legere is repulsed and withdraws 250 yards, shaken. The 32nd Line closes with the Portuguese but breaks in the ensuing assault. The 32nd routs leaving behind a significant number of prisoners.

French assault Portuguese
Loison takes a panic test and fails. All of Loison's infantry retreat 750 yards with the 32nd losing 250 men to desertion. Attack orders are cancelled.

1130 British

As the British recover from recent clashes, only the Portuguese Line 1 and Acland fail to rally. The 40th and Fane rally and move up to the Vimerio road to complete a second defensive line.  Nightengale, supported by the Portuguese, attack the 15th Legere as it falls back while the 5th/9th catch the disorganized 37th Line.  In artillery fire, Delaborde's battery disorders the 32nd Line.

Nightengale's attack disorganizes the 15th Legere and it withdraws 250 yards.  Having suffered heavy casualties, the 32nd Line is no match for the 5th/9th and the remnants surrender. The destruction of the 32nd forces a second consecutive panic check on Loison.  With a Panic Level 3 (+3) check, Loison fails again and his division retreat turns into a rout.  The 82nd loses 250 to desertion as Loison's division streams back to the south.

1130 French
Loison places his tattered division under rally orders with the 47th, 15th Legere, and 58th Line improving to disorder.  The 15th Legere continues falling back towards the remainder of the division.  On Delaborde's front, the 2nd Swiss and 70th/1 rally and the Chasseurs improve to disorder.  Junot personally orders Delaborde to recommit to an attack but Delaborde continues to procrastinate.

Having positioned the 5th Dragoons on the approaches to Vimeiro, the dragoons charge the British positions held by the 32nd Line and the guns.  As the French horse close, the dragoons that have targeted the guns take casualties and become shaken but press on. Untouched by the artillery fire, the 5th/2 Dragoons hit the 32nd causing the British to become disorganized and retreat back into Vimeiro. The 32nd takes heavy casualties in pursuit.  Against the guns, the shaken dragoons capture the guns and continue in their pursuit towards Vimeiro.

French cavalry charge

Blocking the path of the pursuing French is Acland's brigade.  Unable to overcome the British, the dragoons break off their attack and return to the French lines, disorganized. Wellesley passes a Panic level 3 (+1) check.
French cavalry break off
1200 British
Having diminished the threat to Toledo following successful counterattacks, the Allies fall back to Toledo.  At Vimeiro, the 32nd takes up the right hand position along the Vimeiro Road while the 52nd/97th covers the bridge.  Battery #3 reaches Crawfurd's brigade on the western-most slopes of the Eastern Ridge.  French horse artillery fires into the square of the 45th shaking the square and causing heavy casualties.

1200 French
The 15th Legere, 47th Line, 58th Line, and 5th Dragoons/2 rally.  Again, Junot orders Delaborde to attack the British positions at Vimeiro.  Again, Delaborde fails to react. With Delaborde inactive, Margaron launches cavalry attacks against both ends of the British line.
French cavalry charge
The 3rd Dragoons attack the faltering square of the 45th Line.  The 45th, having taken heavy casualties from artillery fire earlier, is supported by the 91st on the left and the 36th/71st on its right.  In desperate fighting, both the 45th and dragoons take casualties but the square holds.  The dragoons break off their attack and recall back to the French lines, shaken. The 45th is disorganized in the clash but the remnants maintain their shrinking square.
French cavalry recall

On the British right flank, the 5th/2 Dragoons crashes into the 32nd Line before it can form square. The 32nd takes heavy casualties and routs back beyond Vimeiro leaving many men in French hands.  Breaking through the 32nd, the 5th Dragoons hit the 52nd/97th along the Vimeiro Road.  Similarly, the British do not have time to form square and fall back, shaken, 500 yards into Vimeiro.  Although shaken, the dragoons continue their charge into Acland's brigade.  Supported by Fane, Acland stops the rampaging French horse and the dragoons recall towards their own lines.
French cavalry on the flank
With the near destruction of three British formations, Wellesley takes a panic check and, again, remains calm during the storm.

1230 British
The only British formations not to rally are the 45th Line (improves to disordered) and the 32nd Line (improves to shaken).  With losses mounting, Wellesley pulls the Vimeiro defensive line back to Vimeiro, proper.  This new defensive position is anchored on the right by the Maceira River and on the left by the Eastern Ridge.  From the Maceira River, the British positions are (left to right), 6th (having replaced the shaken 32nd), 9th/43rd, 50th/60th, 38th, 71st, 91st, and the battery.  Wellesley sends an order to Toledo for Hill to have Nightengale return to Vimeiro.  In artillery fire, the British battery on the Eastern Ridge fires into the Combined Grenadiers on the Vimeiro Heights causing the grenadiers to become shaken and suffering casualties.  The 4th Swiss is disordered during the bombardment too.

Situation at Vimeiro 
Situation at Vimeiro 

1230 French
During the Rally Phase, the French fare much worse than their British adversaries.  Only the grenadiers and the Swiss manage to rally.  Junot, once again, issues in person verbal orders to Delaborde to get his attack on Vimerio underway.  At 1230, Delaborde finally accepts the order and reinvigorates his attack.  Junot also sends an order to Loison to get the attack on Toledo back underway.
French dispositions at 1230
Advancing down from the Vimeiro Heights, the Combined Grenadiers with the Swiss on their left close on Vimerio and attack the British defensive positions.  As the grenadiers close on Fane, the battery on the Eastern Ridge pours enfilading fire into the grenadiers causing casualties and shaking the resolve of the grenadiers.  Undaunted, the grenadiers press on into Fane becoming disorganized as the gap closes.  In the attack, the grenadiers are severely repulsed and withdraw 500 yards back to the base of Vimeiro Hill. Both grenadier formations take casualties.

On the grenadiers' left, the Swiss clash with the 9th/43rd in front of Vimeiro.  Acland and the 6th under Bowes provide support.  In heavy fighting, both combatants take casualties but the assault continues.  Finally, the British are pushed back into Vimeiro, shaken. The Swiss occupy the ground vacated by Fane.

Grenadiers repulsed while Swiss reach Vimeiro
1300 British
The 32nd Line is the only formation to rally to good order. Wellesley chooses to counter attack the over-extended French near Vimeiro.  In artillery fire, the British battery on the Eastern Ridge fires into the Combined Grenadiers in the Vimeiro Heights increasing the panic of the unit. The French horse artillery fires into the 91st, disordering it, as it crosses the valley to engage the grenadiers.

The 91st led by Crawfurd and supported by the 45th attacks the already disorganized grenadiers (Combined Grenadiers/1). Easily scattering the remnants of the grenadiers, Crawfurd's attack carries on into the Combined Grenadier/2.  Accepting a similar fate, the grenadiers are destroyed in the British attack.  Crawfurd's brigade halts at the base of the Vimeiro Hill, shaken from its exertions.  
The 36th/71st wheels out of line and contacts the 2nd Swiss in the flank while Fane with support from 52nd, 97th, 9th, and 43rd counterattacks the 4th Swiss at Vimeiro.  The 36th/71st easily crush the 2nd Swiss causing heavy casualties and capturing 250 men.  The 2nd Swiss is disorganized and the few survivors retreat 800 yards to the south.  Delaborde is injured in the collapse.
English counterattack
Fane is narrowly repulsed by the 4th Swiss and withdraws back beyond Vimeiro 250 yards, shaken.  The 4th Swiss' victory does not last long, however, as the 36th/71st catches the Swiss in flank as it pursues the 2nd Swiss. The 4th Swiss takes heavy casualties and the survivors surrender.

Swiss crushed
With casualties quickly mounting and many formations near the breaking point, Wellesley fails a panic check and withdraws the uncommitted forces 250 yards behind Vimeiro. With the loss of three formations and the injury to Delaborde, Delaborde's division takes a level 3 (+6) panic test and fails.  The remnants of the 70th/2 scatters to desertion.  The remainder of the division retreats 800 yards.

Situation at 1300

1300 French
All of Loison's infantry rally as do the 3rd Dragoons.  Neither Loison nor ex-Delaborde accept orders to relaunch their assaults on the British positions.  With the British teetering on the brink, the 3rd Dragoons launch a charge against Crawfurd along the Vimeiro-Torres Vedras Road.  The 91st is caught in the open and becomes disorganized as it falls back 500 yards towards Vimeiro.  Pressing on, the dragoons attack the 36th/71st in front of Vimeiro and force the 36th/71st to seek cover in Vimeiro.  Disordered from two successful charges, the 3rd Dragoons return back up the valley towards their own lines.
French cavalry drive English back through Vimeiro
The successful attacks by the French dragoons force a panic test on Wellesley and Crawfurd.  Wellesley fails his panic test and falls back 500 yards.  Crawfurd passes his test.

1330 British
In rally, the 91st and 9th/43rd improves to disorder while the 45th and Fane rally. Wellesley orders his command to move back to Vimeiro before the French can take the village.  British troops rally and advance on Vimeiro.  Crawfurd sets up a defense east of Vimeiro while the 36th/71st remains in the town.  Nightengale begins advance from Toledo to Vimeiro.
British recover behind the safety of Vimeiro
1330 French
Only the 3rd Dragoons rally and even then, the 3rd Dragoons/1 improves to disorder. Loison accepts his order to attack Toledo and his division steps off towards the village for a second time. Ex-Delaborde, again, fails to accept Junot's orders. 

The 4th Dragoons supported by the 1st Chasseurs charge the 45th Line at the foot of the Eastern Ridge.  Artillery fire from the British is ineffective against the charging horse. The impact of the dragoons causes the 45th to become shaken and withdraws 250 yards behind the 32nd Line.  The 4th Dragoons' momentum carries it into the 32nd who, likewise, buckle under the swords of the dragoons.  They retreat disorganized, 1,000 yards to the north leaving some prisoners in French hands.  Even though disordered, the dragoons continue their charge hitting the already disorganized 91st.  The 91st fall back 500 yards.  Shaken, the dragoons recall 1,000 yards back towards their starting line.  
French cavalry slam into wavering British
Wellesley fails his third panic check and his command falls back to the north.  Crawfurd's brigade does not panic even though Wellesley's command is retiring.

1400 British
The 91st and 45th rally while Acland improves to disorder and the 6th and 36th/71st improve to shaken.  The 45th reoccupies Vimeiro and the 91st takes up a defensive position on the left of the 45th to the east of Vimeiro.  The battery unlimbers on the left of the 91st.  Fane takes up position on the left of the battery resulting in a solid defensive line from Vimeiro to the Eastern Ridge.

1400 French

Junot's in-person-verbal order to ex-Delaborde continues to fall on deaf ears.  The 3rd Dragoons/1 and 1st Chasseurs rally.  Continuing their recall, the 4th Dragoons and 1st Chasseurs move back to the horse artillery and Margaron rides over to the returning horse to provide instruction.  Loison reaches the ravine in front of Toledo and prepares for the assault.  British guns on at the top of the Toledo ravine save their fire.

1430 British

All units rally with the exception of the 32nd line which improves to shaken.  The 52nd/97th move up to a position to the right of Vimeiro and form square with the 9th/43rd moving up in support.
British line reforms on Vimeiro
1430 French
Ex-Delaborde continues to ignore Junot's order to attack while only the 5th Dragoon/2 rallies.

The 3rd Dragoons attack the 91st near Vimeiro.  As the French dragoons close, the British battery unleashes a withering canister fire causing heavy casualties and disordering the dragoons.  The 91st stop the dragoons and the dragoons break off the attack and recall about 1,000 yards back towards the French lines.
French cavalry charge but are repulsed
On the Toledo front, Loison's division crosses the ravine and attacks the allied positions at Toledo.  The 15th Legere attacks one of the two Portuguese line infantry.  In heated uphill fighting, the Legere are worn down before finally giving way and retreating back down the slopes of the ravine, disorganized.  In the center, the 12th Legere supported by the 82nd line attack the 5th/9th in Toledo.  The initial French attack pushes the British out of the village and the 12th Legere occupies Toledo.  On the left, the disordered 47th Line with support from the 58th Line led by Loison attacks the 38th Line supported by the Portuguese.  In another closely contested clash, the 38th throws back the attack of the French.  The 47th and 58th becomes disorganized and fall back beyond the ravine.  
Loison assaults Toledo

With ex-Delaborde's division unlikely to provide any offensive action due to losses and panic failures and Loison's division unable to hang onto Toledo, Junot calls off the attacks and withdraws from the battlefield.

The British gain a tactical victory.

Final dispositions


  1. Nice write up. Was this a solo game?

    1. Thanks! I'm surprised anyone actually made it through the entire replay due to its length. I thought about breaking it up into a series of smaller pieces but left it whole.

      Yes, this was a solo game. Usually for solo play, i leave the markers on the table for quick identification. Maybe I should switch to a roster for solo work to clean-up the table?

  2. Great write up. I always enjoy this scenario, and its great to see It out on the table again.

    1. Yeah, it is one of my favorites as well!


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