Friday, October 17, 2014

BatRep Arroyo con Pollo - Conclusion

The final installment in the Battle of Arroyo con Pollo is upon us.  For earlier episodes, see,

As we last left the action, the French second wave of attacks were repulsed all along the line.  The British line was showing some stress to combat but was standing firm.
Situation Turn 7
On Turn 7, French gain the initiative and Brigadier Menard on the French right is activated.  French guns in the farm yard target the 20th which is in disorder following its charge on the 70th.  Firing at close range, the guns inflict casualties on the 20th forcing it to retire towards the rear.  With Lowe attached to the 20th, in the commotion, Lowe's horse panics and stampedes!  
Lowe hangs onto his hat as horse bolts
Lowe's horse carries him to the rear
20th falls back back in disorder
At close range, the 86/1 fires into the 20th's supporting battalion, the 38th.  Under the volume of fire, the disordered 38th retires back into the safety of the defile.
Both 20th and 38th fall back
With both central British battalions falling back from fire, Menard orders the 86/2 to change from square into attack column.  Their target?  The guns on the heights!  As the 86th approaches, the disordered guns fire.  No effect!
86th attacks the guns
The 86th reaches the guns and with overwhelming numbers, scatters the men serving their cannon.  The guns are captured! 
Cats in amongst the pigeons
Witnessing the loss of the guns above them, both the 20th and 38th fall back even more deeply into the defile.  With the 20th and 38th falling back and their position becoming untenable, the KGL lights see the writing on the wall and retrograde back into the rough ground on the ridge.  With the British left giving way, the KGL hussars ride back across the arroyo in search of safety.

With the British left in disarray, Mermet spurs his horse into action to keep pressure on.  Mermet leads the Reserve Grenadiers across the valley in a charge against the crumbling 38th.
French attack in assault columns
With the grenadiers bearing down, the 38th panics and breaks for the rear.  Passage into the defile and British rear is opening.
Grenadiers attack!
38th wavers as grenadiers close
As the 38th passes through the unsteady 20th, the 20th is carried away as well.  The British left has been destroyed!
British left in flight
Having seen the destruction of his left and the threat of being outflanked growing by minute, Spencer orders his right to abandon its positions and head for the hills.
British right in retreat
Thus ends the Battle of Arroyo con Pollo.

Wow!  Getting the initiative on Turn 7 was pivotal.  The French, with Menard, were essentially able to steal a march on the British by softening up the British left at the end of Turn 6 and then hammering it home on Turn 7.  The British needed a reserve on the left to blunt the attacks and cover the retreats.

One of the keys to the collapse of the British left was the fluke bolting of Lowe's mount.  Having Lowe suddenly hare off to the rear robbed the 20th of Lowe's command influence at a crucial battlefield moment.  Given Lowe's benefits when attached, (through both the -2DRM to Response Rolls and the ability to reroll one or both failures), would have almost guaranteed that the 20th would have held.  Although with a CE=2 and disordered, that might not have meant much.

The rules worked well for solo play and produced a very enjoyable game with a number of tense moments.

Now, time to clear the table and reset for the Saturday group game of Bunker Hill.

18 comments:

  1. Great finish to the battle! Very nice looking game and really looking forward to the Bunker Hill report!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks, Christopher!

      Saturday's game will be the first trial of Land of the Free. Since this is my first go withe rules, mistakes will probably be made but the guys are patient.

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  2. Wow! What a rousing and somewhat unanticipated finish, Jon. Vive l' France!

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    1. Unanticipated turn of events, for sure! I did not think the French would be able to break through but a bit of luck salvaged the game for the French.

      I guess Mermet was one of the "lucky" generals rather than "good."

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    2. Yes; "But is he lucky?", as Le Petit Caporal was wont to ask!

      I think I can smell the tantalizing aroma of cor au van wafting over the battlefield, now that the Brits have the left the arroyo and its pollo to the French! :-)

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    3. Right, Peter! I suppose the famous dish, "Arroz con Pollo" ought to be from here on known as "Arroyo con Pollo" to celebrate this great French victory!

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    4. I hear that it already is, at least in Mermet's Division! :-)

      Doubtless the thought of a tasty meal was part of spurred them on for their final push. You know those Frenchies... even Napoleon himself said "An army marches on its stomach!" :-)

      (*coq* au vain - can't type to save my life!)

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    5. Cannot disagree! French! Tough to spell correctly for me too.

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  3. Like Gonsalvo said; what a twist of events - signifying a good set of rules. Very nice AAR and analysis. Hope you'll have a great AWI game today!

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    1. Thank you, Soren! Very good that you enjoyed the retelling of the action. Now, on to Bunker Hill and a new set of rules.

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  4. Nice report with beautiful armies, and great photos..good luck for Bunker Hill!

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    1. Thanks, Phil!

      No animation but (hopefully) not much was lost in translation.

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  5. Poor old Rosbifs! Vive la France!

    Great AAR and lovely figures, too.

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  6. once again, great script writing of your battles along with excellent photos and top notch painted miniatures... Awesome AAR Jonathan!

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    1. Phil! I really appreciate your kind compliments. Your comments encourage me to do more.

      Thanks!

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  7. Wonderful looking and well-played out game, Jonathan. Inspiring!

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    1. Thank you, Dean! Your comments very much appreciated.

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