Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Scenario: Combat at Foz de Arouce, 15MAR1811

French drawn up to defend Foz de Arouce
Having recently finished work on a Spanish church and not having the 28mm Peninsular War collection out on the gaming table in a long while, this weekend will see an historical action in Portugal recreated on the gaming table.

Combat at Foz de Arounce
In Massena's retreat from Spain, the French Army of Portugal made a night march on the 14-15 March 1811 to place a flooding river between itself and the pursuing Anglo-Portuguese Army under Wellington.  Having safely crossed to the right bank of the flooding Ceira River, Massena allowed his troops to rest on the heights overlooking the small village of Foz de Arouce.

Ney, commanding the French rear guard, had been ordered to destroy the bridge at Foz de Aource after having passed his troops over to the right bank of the river.  With little regard for Massena, Ney disobeyed orders and kept three brigades on the left bank of the Ceira.
The battlefield
Held up by fog and the burning town of Miranda de Corvo, the 3rd and Light Divisions did not reach French positions near Foz de Arouce until four in the afternoon.  Thinking it too late in the day for the British to launch a successful attack, Ney remained on the left bank of the Ceira.  Hoping to surprise the French, Wellington launched his attack at 5:00pm. 

The stage is set!

Scenario Details:
Ney's rearguard is situated on the high ground south of the village with Mermet drawn up across the main road while Marchand has taken up positions in and around Poisao.
Initial deployments
Wellington has deployed Picton opposite Mermet while the Light Division advances upon the French right.

The combat begins at 5:00pm and ends at midnight.  From 7:00pm on, night rules are in effect.

Only the Anglo-Portuguese Army receives reinforcements in this scenario and no French having crossed over to the right bank of the Ceira River may re-cross.  The Ceira River, swollen by recent rains may only be crossed at either the bridge or the ford.  Only leaders and cavalry may use the ford for passage of the Ceira.  The Order of Battle for combatants is detailed below with each box represented one BMU (infantry battalion, cavalry regiment, or artillery battery):
Victory Conditions:
At the conclusion of the final turn, Victory Points are awarded as follows:
2 VPs each for control of Poisao, Foz de Arounce, left bank of the bridge, and left bank of the ford.
2 VPs each for each enemy infantry, cavalry, or artillery BMU destroyed.
1 VP per enemy BMU still on table and routing.
1 VP for each French BMU in good order on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end.
5 VPs if no French BMUs are on the left bank of the Ceira River at game end (Anglo-Portuguese only).
5 VPs for each Anglo-Portuguese BMU in good order on the right bank of the Ceira River at game end.
Victory Point Objectives
The player scoring at least 7 more points than opponent is victorious.  Otherwise, the battle is a draw.

32 comments:

  1. Fab looking table and game, the Church looks an excellent addition to the table. Interesting background story and opening stab at a victory point schedule, which hopefully will serve well on uts first outing.

    That Ney, what a character! :-) When i bought the recent Clash of Eagles Black powder module from Warlord Games, I got the free Ney figure. He is on foot, in a heavy fur coat, waiving his people on, with a broken wagon wheel at his feet. He is meant to be in the 1812 Russian blizzard, which limits the figures use in other campaigns .... though I doubt that would stop me :-)

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    1. I hope it works out well too, Norm! If I had a Ney figure in heavy fur coat, no doubt I would field him in Portugal as well.

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  2. Meant to say that central large hill is a jolly usefull piece.

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    1. That large hill configuration has seen much service. A very useful piece!

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  3. Agree with Norm the Church looks great as a feature on the table. Look forward to seeing how the game turns out.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I look forward to the game too!

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  4. I shall look forward to reading the AAR Jonathan...I too like the church.

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  5. What no Portuguese cavalry?! "Worse than useless" being one of my favourite Wellington quotes (though, to be fair, they were suffering from starvation at the time).

    Anyway, best of luck with the game.

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    1. No Portuguese cavalry in this one. Maybe next time?

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  6. The church and table look great Jonathan! Look forward to the AAR!

    Christopher

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  7. Great table, church...and explanations! Waiting for the AAR!

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    1. Glad you approve, Phil! No animations, though...

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  8. Very cool scenario and well presented! I really liked this post that outline gaming scenarios. The historical context is good too (I don’t know enough about Naps to know if accurate).

    Table looks great too! Have a great game! Very nice collection of miniatures as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Stew! You are very kind and I appreciate your support.

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  9. It looks like a lot of fun, Jon. I'm sorry to be missing it!

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  10. Good looking set up ....will watch with interest, not sure who I am rooting for yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks! Not sure who I am rooting for either.

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  11. Lovely looking table,im I looking forward to the AAR!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you, Iain. Setting up the game table a few days in advance of the game is a good way to allowing plans to develop as I ponder the possibilities.

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  12. Nice, your church is perfect for this period and place. By the way, I didn't know this battle, thank you for the info.

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    1. I knew little of this battle before I began some research either.

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  13. Looks like an intriguing problem. I am looking forward to revisiting the peninsular war.

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    1. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.

      Historically, Ney's action did not have much impact on Massena since Wellington failed to pursue following the battle and Massena was set on making good his escape back to Spain.

      By the way, I still have a Eureka order with your name on it.

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    2. That was indeed an interesting tactical problem. You have certainly developed an eye for Scenarios that go beyond the simple clash of arms.

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    3. Thanks! I try to produce an interesting situation and puzzle for both combatants.

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  14. Looks great and an interesting scenario. and one I might want to try myself some time. Thanks for sharing it, and I look forward to the AAR. Do you use your own rules?

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    1. Thanks, Peter! Give this scenario a try some time. As for rules, yes, I tend to use my own for Napoleonics unless Scott is hosting. In that case, we use General de Brigade.

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