In the previous post, I presented a teaser for the weekly UK remote game. As noted, it was my turn at the hosting helm and I chose to bring 28mm Napoleonics back to the table. Turnout was excellent with six remote players taking commands. The players were split evenly between the Anglo-Portuguese and French. Chris, as Picton, took command of the Anglo-Portuguese with Will and Richard as subordinates. Graham settled into his role as Ney with Ian and Phil picking up brigadier commands. Each subordinate commander on the field had at his disposal at least one infantry brigade.
As is becoming commonplace in some of my recent hosting efforts, the number of in-game photos is quickly approaching zero. Moving units and game adjudication leave little time for respite to snap a quick pic. I need to work on that and make an effort to allow some time to chronicle the action. I did manage to jump around the table to grab a screenshot or three during the game but not really enough to suit my tastes. Even without a sufficient photo record, the game is still fresh in memory.
Off to battle.
|Initial dispositions and battle plans|
After Beckwith activates, each command's activation sequence is governed by a random die draw from a tin.
|Beckwith advances on the British left while |
Mermet attacks out from Foz d' Arouce.
The French do not wait long.
Both Beckwith and Colville pounce upon the French deployed in and around Poisao and the fight is on. Close range firefights erupt as Poisao is immediately under heavy pressure. The French guns in Poisao fire but cannot discourage the attackers. Lining up along the outer walls of the village, the redcoats pour fire into the town. Isolated, the gunners limber-up and quickly evacuate the village while they still can flee.
The 1/6 Legere deployed in the woods on the French right are under stress too. Harassed by fire from both the 95th Rifles and the 1st Cacadores, the 1/6 wavers. After sending a volley into the legere, the 43rd Lights charge. The already wavering leger are forced out of the woods and back toward the bridge.
|The British attack!|
|Fighting intensifies near Poisao.|
|Powers arrives and Beckwith races toward the bridge.|
Through the smoke, Ney spots a dense enemy formation on the main road to Foz d'Arouce. The English have been reinforced by a brigade of Portuguese. The situation is worse than it seems. Time cannot be wasted! Ney leads one of his battalions in against the enemy to his front. In the chaos, Ney goes down. He does not rise.
|Taupin heroically holds the center.|
Hearing reports that Ney has fallen, Menard redoubles his efforts. A fourth battalion is sent into the fight at the farm. This edge in manpower tips the balance. The 88th Foot is driven from the field as it defends the woods while both the 45th and 74th Foot are ejected from the farm. In hot pursuit, both battalions scatter. The British right has been turned!
|The British right collapses!|
Battered but not yet broken, the French hold the bridge as Picton begins to worry about the disintegration of his right. With MacKinnon's brigade destroyed, Colville's brigade broken, and night enveloping the battlefield, Picton orders a withdrawal. Today's fight is over but what will tomorrow hold?
|French hold the bridge.|
In the final tally, despite the loss of Ney (and the loss of many a general on this day), the French gained a victory at Foz d'Arouce. The French maintained control of Foz d'Arouce and the bridge while suffering fewer casualties than they gave. That was a good day's effort. Ney fought a successful rearguard action even though he disobeyed Massena's orders. Fortunately for Ney, he will not need to defend his actions.
With darkness on the battlefield, Massena arrives to order the bridge blown after overseeing all surviving French moved over to the north bank of the Ceira River.
|The battle's end.|