Saturday, April 6, 2013

Battle of Vimeiro - Scenario

Battle of Vimeiro, 21 August 1808
Wellington vs Junot


Vimeiro is a battle I have fought several times.  In no replay was Junot able to eke out a victory.  Still, I enjoy the puzzle presented by the Vimeiro battle and the choices Junot must make.  French players have tried Junot's historical battle plan with an attack on Vimeiro coupled with a flanking maneuver on Ventosa  as well as a direct assault on both Vimeiro and Toledo.  The Vimeiro/Toledo gambit should allow better coordination among the French divisions than does the Vimeiro/Ventosa gambit.


The scenario is fought on a 12' x 6' table as illustrated by the game map and game table below.

Vimeiro from the south
Vimeiro battlefield looking from east

Order of Battle:

Special Rules:
  • The ravine is impassable to all units with the exception of the ravine to the south of Toledo. 
  • The Maceira River is only fordable by infantry where the bank is not covered by brush. 
  • All Level two hills are considered ROUGH for cavalry and artillery. 

Scenario 1: Historical battle with Junot’s approach march


  • Game begins at 7:30am and ends at 4:30pm. 
  • All French units begin game off-map. 
  • British deploy first and French have initiative on turn 1 automatically. 
  • Trant and 6lb full battery deploy near Ventosa. 
  • Anstruther (right) and Fane (left) and 6lb half battery deploy on Vimeiro hill. 
  • Acland deploys on heights behind Vimeiro. 
  • Remaining British formations deploy on heights on west bank of Maceira River. 
  • At 7:00am Junot issues orders to his divisions. French orders may contain ATTACK orders since the initial British positions are known. One half hour before French enter the map, the French player must show the British player where French divisions will enter and be made aware of any French order changes prior to the division entering the map. French formations may enter the south or southeast board edges along roads. If entering along the Torre Vedras road (SE board edge), French may enter on the 9:00am turn. 
  • Elements of Margaron's cavalry may be attached to either Loison or Delaborde before the game begins. 
  • British formations are originally under RESERVE orders. 
Victory:
French Strategic: Exit army from north map-edge with no British units on EITHER bank of Maciera River. 
French Tactical: Hold Vimeiro, Toledo and either Ventosa OR heights west of Vimeiro. 
Draw: Any other outcome. 
British Tactical: Hold Vimeiro, Ventosa, and heights west of Vimeiro. 
British Strategic: Exit army from south map-edge with no French units on map.

I'll follow-up with a replay of the Vimeiro/Toledo gambit.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    Really looking forward to the Vimiero/Toledo play.

    I've just posted my take on this battle. I agree it has some very interesting What Ifs about it.

    I walked the battlefield in the early 90s and it was easy to see that Wellesley had a commanding view of the French approach.

    JJ

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    Replies
    1. Some day, I too, would enjoy a walk on the Vimeiro battlefield. I would enjoy seeing your battlefield photos.

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  2. This scenario also highlights one of my consistent struggles with Peninsular games from the period. It always seems like the British elite formations dominate the games. The British army is relatively small and focused, where the French forces are making do with Ancillary forces as the main threat is elsewhere in in Europe.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean and the early Penninsular battles were dominated by British regulars. In Vimeiro, the British held the advantage in both ELITE and VET units. Wellesley also had the luxury of defending favorable terrain and outnumbering his attacker. How could he lose?

      We need to play a few scenarios where the British are corseting either Spanish or Portuguese troops and not comprising the main allied contingent.

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