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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Albuera: General Bonapart and the Chain of Comand.

This Game was played Thursday June 2nd and thanks to a very busy weekend I'm only just getting to it.
John arranged the Scenario based on Soults initial attack on the British Column at Albuera a very hard fought action. Above you can see the front line positions after the grand tactical (patrol in CoC) phase.  I suggested to John that if he removed the right most base of woods and shifted the ground it would provide more options for maneuver.  In GBCoC woods are effectively dead ground.
French Cavalry played a key role in the real battle but John didn't get enough on his movement roll to make an attack the first turn. 
This gave me the chance to get my some of my Spanish troops in Square... 
and to advance my forward brigade of British troops up to start sniping at is right most cavalry regiment. 
My Spanish cavalry battled John's Huzzars to a draw... 
and both sides fell back in some confusion, sowing disruption on units behind them. 
I've now gotten my troops in to a nice checker board of Squares. 
John begins launches his first cavalry attacks and fails to break the square.
John has his infantry following in to come up... with skirmishers in the front. 
The formidable French columns are advancing... my guns are about to fire when John interrupts and goes in.  I roll badly and once again the lack of any closing fire in this game strikes me as an odd omission.  I would have like to use my own interrupt to counter John's interrupt but this is not allows (though not to my knowledge forbid in these rules even if they are in CoC).  On top of this my command dice on this unit is effectively wasted. 
In any event the attack goes well for John... not only is my battery badly damage (and would be out of action the rest of the game) and my army commander suffered two wounds. 
I move up two British units in Column to protect the guns, the fight is inclusive and turns into a fire fight. 
John launches a cavalry charge at a Spanish battalion, we roll randomly to find its quality and its "untested"... 
John breaks the square and the next Spanish unit is struck after watching its comrades run around and through it.  These roll up as regulars however and they have support form the flanking square... John's cavalry are also a little battered from their victory and we drive them off. 
I manage a flank attack on one of John's infantry columns... breaking the unit... 
But John's cavalry unit is in better shape than anticipated and manages its own charge (not on the flank but infantry caught in line is in trouble).  The English unit breaks... 
But the Square holds... 
The fire fight in the center continues... one of my units is driven off but that allows the other to shake out in line. My Command and control is in tatters do to the English command structure and the wounds to my commanding general but I am holding... In fact the flanks look reasonable sound... it the center however is looking battered 
The Cavalry try to break the square again while battered we still hold. 
I bring another unit into the fire fight charging home with Bayonets... 
and the French are driven off. 
Fire and a charge by John’s men drive off one of my squares... Both armies are still in fighting shape but the night is getting late... 
John tries on last desperate charge but it come up short.  My army is still able to fight but I've got a lot of point that need shoring up the damage to my general really hurts me.  John has several fresh battalions of infantry though I'm not sure he would be able to get them into action.  Over all I would say the odds favor the French though it’s a hard call as the game could go many more turns.  I'll call it a draw though I wouldn't argue with John if he wanted to call it a probable French Victory.