Tuesday, 24 December 2013

C&CN scenario - Crossing The Douro River..

Wild night of high winds last night, and for the second time in a few weeks the high tide has been crashing against the Dymchurch sea wall. We lost five garden fence panels, smashed to bits, not much to moan about given the damage done to some around here last night. Our section of sea defenses was rebuilt only 3 years ago and raised by 1 metre, which I'm certain saved us from flood damage on both occasions.

Having been out this morning trying to patch up the fences until I can replace them after Christmas I decided to play a C&C scenario while my wife was busy cooking and preparing for the family Christmas invasion tomorrow. The scenario I chose was 'Crossing The Douro River' as it looked an interesting challenge for the Anglo Portuguese army. Here's the set up map and notes.


Crossing the Douro River - 12 May 1809

Historical Background
In the (Second) Battle of Oporto (or the Battle of the Douro) General Arthur Wellesley's British army took the city of Porto, defeating Marshal Nicolas Soult's French troops on May 12, 1809. After taking command of the British troops in Portugal on April 22, Wellesley (later named 1st Duke of Wellington) immediately advanced on Porto and made a surprise crossing of the Douro River. Soult retreated from the city after losing heavily.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
Thank you to the author for sharing this scenario. HERE you can find the link to the original webpage.

Set-Up Order

Forest11
Hill6
HillEntrenchments1
River10
RiverBend2
RiverBendBridge1
RiverBridge1
Town5
TownWindmill1

Battle Notes

British Army
Commander : Wellesley
6 Command Cards

     
Line InfantryGuard Grenadier InfantryLight CavalryFoot ArtilleryGeneralLine InfantryGeneral
6212211
French Army
Commander : Soult
5 Command Cards
Move First

     
Line InfantryLight InfantryLight CavalryFoot ArtilleryGeneral
43223

Victory
5 Banners
Special Rules
The Raft Bridge on the right flank is worth a Victory Banner to the French if they can destroy it with Artillery Fire (3 hits as if Melee target on dice, use pennies as markers, then flip to a river tile). The Town of Oporto is worth two Victory Banners to the English. 1 LI and 1 LC start on the far side of the raft bridge.


The game.

The British attempted to cross the river and take the town of Oporto for Victory points, but also to bring up the elite troops from the left flank in order to bring the firepower of the Guards to bear upon the French right. The French were in a strong defensive position with troops firing from the cover of woods and town hexes and starting the game with artillery in range of British troops and attacks were quickly forced back with losses. In exchanges of musketry the British were at a disadvantage due to lack of cover and General Paget - leading infantry across the central bridge -was shot from his horse and killed, quickly followed by Sherbrooke leading the Guards forward! A lucky long range artillery shot removed the final block of a line unit just as I had pulled it back across the river to avoid giving away another VP, and with three VP's lost in quick succession the French took heart and moved forward pouring in volleys of devastating musketry. The British Guards were locked in square at least by  French light cavalry, but the damage in the centre was already done and the British were unable to make headway towards Oporto, falling back with losses. At five VP's to the French it was clear that the British attack had failed.

I will try this scenario again some time and try different tactics. The raft bridge on the British right could possibly have been better used to get troops across the River more quickly in an attempt to flank the French left before attacking into the centre.

A convincing victory for Soult - the game ended 5/2.

Set up position.

This was a strong move - I just marked all ordered French units with a dice while I popped in the kitchen for a drink

5 VP's to the French and the British have been forced back across the Douro.




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