This is a report of my first C&CN official scenario. I was planning to use Foys rather good 'Blind Hand' method of controlling the French, but a few run through tries proved a bit limiting for this specific scenario where the majority of the French forces were concentrated in just the centre sector. So I played it with both hands open. The British plan to pin the French in the centre whilst attempting to attack on both flanks. The troops on the British Right are Portuguese.
The battle begins with a strong attack against the French right, which they immediately counter with a charge by Chasseur a Cheval and Legere, the Chasseurs forcing a British Battalion to form square. The Legere successfully force back the British battalion it engages ( 1 hit and 1flag thrown). The combat between the Chasseurs and the square is inconclusive.
Picture above shows the position on the French right after routing the British square. One British Light Infantry battalion fights on although outnumbered and reduced by 2 blocks.
British turn - An advance is ordered in the centre to engage the French with musketry and artillery fire, the cacadores emerge from the woods and open a peppering fire upon the French battalions. The British are not yet within range of the French centre and are attempting to deploy the foot artillery forward. As the British attack against the French right has broken down the French now turn their attention upon the now unsupported battalion upon the hill to the rear, the Chasseurs smartly changing face and again charging forcing them to form square. An inconclusive combat follows, with the Chasseurs being unable to even throw a single dice against the square as they are attacking uphill.
As the Portuguese on the British again edge forward the French centre opens up on the British centre, who are now within range. All along the ridge musketry fire pours into the advancing battalions and a battery of artillery opens upon a British battery that has just positioned itself ready to fire. The French fire is deadly effective, the British artillery being forced to limber up and retire with casualties. The cacadores also fall back into the woods behind them. A battalion of Light Infantry on the British left are forced to make a double retreat move and with heavy losses. Things are beginning to look tough for the British. The French already have 2 victory points.
The action now focuses upon the French left, where Portuguese infantry and cavalry are beginning to press home their attack,the Dragoons making a somewhat rash uphill charge in order to force a French battalion into square. (In C&CN this causes loss of a command card and also pins the square in position so that infantry and artillery can be brought up in support). Again, cavalry attacking a square uphill results in no combat dice to throw in response to the fire of the square (1 dice only). The cacadores again emerge from the woods having sorted themselves out, and again open fire upon the French to their front. Two more Portuguese battalions are close by now in support of the Dragoons. But yet again the French counter by attacking the brave Dragoons who are downhill of them, they are first forced to retreat and then routed by heavy French fire. Now 3 Victory points to the French. British command cards are not great, nothing to order a major assault on the centre in order to push the French back off the ridge. Wellesley is frustrated, his left flank attack has crumbled and his brave Portuguese on the right are meeting heavy and determined resistance, French light cavalry forcing a battalion into square with the general attached taking cover in its centre!
Again Wellesley pushes forward the Portuguese on an 'attack right' card, this time with better coordination. The cacadores continue to cause casualties among the French as the second line battalion attacks in support of the square which is pinned by Chasseur a Cheval. Outnumbered, the cavalry elect to retire and reform by falling back 2 hexes onto the hill which is one of the British objectives. The Portuguese press forward to turn the flank. A French battalion is routed, only the Chasseurs upon the hill can stop the hard fighting Portuguese from achieving their objective it seems.
And then suddenly the game swings back in favour of the French! All of the fighting is concentrated on the French left where realising how precarious the situation was becoming two French battalions are ordered to 'move and battle' under a probe card. The battalion that was under fire from the cacadores retires 1hex and engages the leading Portuguese battalion downhill routing them, at the same time the redcoated Swiss move to the left and open fire upon the cacadores who have been heavily engaged from early on, routing them too. This gives the French the 5 Victory points required for a win! The end was abrupt and unexpected. The British centre had achieved very little in the way of corodinated attack, but the command hand was poor and hampered by having 2 cards placed on the square tracker. They could not get close enough to use the 'bayonet charge' card they were saving for an assault of the ridge, and where they did advance they were repeatedly driven back by heavy French fire.
I will post this game report now and offer some C&CN related notes about the game to follow. Suffice to say for now I will play this game again some time, as I believe the French CAN be beaten given better cards and a more co ordinated attack.
Final picture shows the end of the game. Some British units have not even been able to move, and where they did advance beyond the line of woods they were forced back, the French making plenty of flag rolls as well as casualty rolls. The French reinforced the ridge and refused to be drawn from it unless in a position to attack downhill into melee. The ability in C&CN to march units to a flank or the rear and still battle that move proved decisive in the final stages.