Thursday, October 2, 2014

BatRep: Arroyo con Pollo - The Approach

After getting soundly trounced as the British in the first Battle of Arroyo con Pollo, I figured I ought to give the game a second playing.  This time, the battle would be fought solitaire.

In the first outing, I was too impatient as the British player and advanced from the relative safety of the defile in an attempt to engage and disrupt the attacking French.  That plan failed.

This time the British commander will attempt to keep his officers in check and patiently await the French attacks.  We will see how that goes...

The motivation for this scenario comes from Grant's Scenarios for Wargames, Holding Action 1.  A numerically inferior defensive force is tasked with holding off a larger, attacking force and preventing it from breaking through the defensive line deployed across a valley.  Each side of the valley is protected by rough hills.

For the forces involved, the French have a 3:1 advantage in cavalry and bring with them one more infantry battalion than the British.  Qualitatively, the British have the edge with the British line Combat Effectiveness (CE) rating as "Good" while most of the French infantry rate as "Fair" CE  The OBs are detailed in the table below:
Order of Battle
The battlefield
French advance on the farms
As French columns approach, French skirmishers clash
with the KGL lights deployed forward among the

walls and outbuildings
4th Swiss Line battalion in attack column
French 2nd Hussars ready for battle
The French deployed for an advance on Arroyo con Pollo
Driven out of the most forward cluster of buildings,
KGL lights fall back to a second defensive line

in the farmyard harassed by skirmishers all the way 
and brace for French assaults
French columns bear down on the KGL
while French grenadiers oppose KGL skirmishers
lurking on the ridge
British main defensive line across the defile
British gun readies for action
Skirmishers harass the approaching French
British right front line awaits
On come the French!
Taupin clears the second farm while Menard's
 skirmishers clash on the British right. 
86th clears the farm
2nd Legere deploys into the field
 while sending out skirmishers
2nd Hussars ready for action on the French left
while Mermet oversees the French advance
 from the safety of the farm
Skirmisher harassment on the British right
 as the French close in
Steady lads!
Taupin unlimbers his 6lb guns on the heights
Lamotte's French cavalry brigade is in position on the left
Taupin's brigade is in position for an assault
on the British line
Menard, likewise, deploys his brigade for the attack.
British line holds steady but British artillery
fails to slow the French advance
Taupin attacks the British right forcing the KGL lights
to fall back into the broken ground in disorder
Menard leads the Reserve Grenadiers
 in an advance up the slope.
Their target?  The guns!
Spencer's guns fire but miss and the grenadiers close!In the close combat, the gun takes heavy casualties while the grenadiers suffer moderate losses
Despite heavy losses, the artillery crew stand firm
and drive off the grenadiers
Menard's guns deploy in the farmyard
On the French left, Taupin prepares his assault
2nd Legere close the range while the
5th Chasseurs a Cheval charge Sympher's KGL guns
Sympher's guns fire into the thundering chasseurs
 causing casualties and prompting a recall

Sympher continues firing, changing targets
 onto the 2nd Legere.
The 2nd suffers casualties but remains steady.
With Lowe attached, the 20th advances into short range
and delivers a volley into the 70th Line.
The 70th takes casualties and is disordered.
Spencer orders the 1st KGL Hussars to cross the arroyo
 to support the left.
With five turns into the game, the French have advanced on the British defensive line and been repulsed on both flanks.  Mermet may have to consider softening up the British positions before going in again.

Stay tuned for more.


  1. Wonderful looking game - with a ton (literally) of beautifully painted Front Rank figs! BTW, what size table was this played on? Best, Dean

    1. Thank you, Dean! You may have noticed that many of the French are Sash & Saber. The gaming table is 12' x 6' but for this game, only 10' x 6' was actively utilized. The remaining 2 feet on the French end of the table, I used for initial French organization and deployment.

    2. Ah, some S&S too - which I only have some French arty troops of. So, 6' wide - that was what I was particularly curious about. A good distance for both maneuvering and arm reach for players. Best, Dean

    3. Quite right about a 6 foot table width. It can be a bit of a stretch if figures are a little over half way across the table but the extra real estate is worth it in my book.

  2. This more like it! Plucky British standing in line taking on the minions of the Corsican Ogre and giving as good as they get. But will it be enough?!

    Looking forward to the sequel!

    1. Will it be enough? We will find out eventually.

      I look forward to the sequel too. Perhaps I can continue with the game this weekend?

  3. Beautiful collected you have there Jonathan - I've always liked the 2nd Hussars' color scheme, not easy to master brown in a uniform, but they are truly spectacular.
    Happy gaming!

    1. Thanks, Soren! The 2nd is a favorite of mine too!

  4. A great report with beautiful minis, nice job the 2nd Hussars too!

    1. Thank you, Phli! Perhaps, not as entertaining as your excellent BatReps but for me, good enough!

  5. Mouth watering lovely, and a massive battlefield to boot. Is it any wonder that this is your favorite spot in the house? ;-)

    The upside to solo play is that you take your time and get lots of great photos. I get caught up in my games and forget about the camera.

    1. Very kind comments, Monty! While I likely spend more time in my home office, the game room is definitely my favorite!

      Agree completely with your observation of solo play. Much easier to take photos and notes without the hustle-bustle of a participation game.

  6. Looks great,. and recognized the fine S&S figures right away. From my standpoint, it is too bad their 40mm line has been so successful; not much growth in the 28m m figures.

    We'll stay tuned for more and see who get plucked in the Arroyo!

    1. Peter, I really would have enjoyed seeing the Sash & Saber Napoleonic line grow too. Their artillery is first rate. Sure would have liked to see French legere.

  7. Very nice looking game Jonathan! I thought the heavy arty was a goner and was surprised to see them repulse the Grenadiers.


    1. Thank you, Christopher!

      When the British artillery failed to stop the grenadier's assault approach, I thought the same. I guess the British crew had more pluck than their adversaries...this time.

      With many of the combatants disordered, getting the initiative is very important this next turn. I hear that phrase a lot in games...

  8. Great report, lovely figures and beaut photos! Looking forward to part two!

    1. Thank you, James and appreciate you dropping by!

  9. gosh... the figures look fantastic!...


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