|Layout of the Battlefield|
|Translated to the table (about turn four looking North)|
As we were short of Spanish cavalry, and the available OOBs vary on who was actually present, we used what figures we had with some Dutch Belgian carabineers to stand in for other units our research showed were present. Some really small units we decided to ignore.
The Portina stream that runs the length of the battlefield was almost dry on the day of battle and only really provided an obstacle where it cut through the steep valley between the Cerro de Medellin and Cerro de Cascajal towards the northern end of the field. To this end we made it a "linear obstacle" as per the rules only in this area.The valley between the Cerro de Medellin and Cerro de Cascajal itself is quite steep and consists of very broken ground. So we reduced movement to 2/3 for infantry, 1/2 for cavalry and 1/3 for artillery. In hindsight and for future games it will be impassable for heavy foot artillery. The limits of this area were marked using flock.Now to the south, the Spanish troops here were apparently deployed behind a wall and sunken lane, so -3" to cross for infantry and cavalry, impassable to artillery. To their front were olive groves with shallow boundary ditches reducing movement to 2/3 for infantry and 1/3 for cavalry and artillery.The Pajar redoubt that anchored the join between the British and Spanish positions was on a slight rise in the ground and as per the rules for field fortifications was -3" to cross for infantry and impassable to cavalry and artillery, unless from the open rear.
Artillery fire between the Cerro de Medellin and Cerro de Cascajal would have no bounce through due to the steepness of the slopes.Units defending the tops of the hills received a +1 melee modifier.Units defending the stream banks, between the hills only, received a +1 melee modifier.The redoubt gave modifiers as per the rules for Field Fortifications in the rule book.Units defending the walls and sunken lane received a -1 To Hit modifier and a +1 Melee modifier.
Historically the afternoon part of the battle commenced at 2:00pm with a french artillery barrage for forty odd minutes and was over by around 5pm when the French withdrew. Doing a bit of research on the internet revealed that sunset near Madrid on that day would have been around 7:30pm, so the battle could have gone on until then if thing had gone differently. So with a time frame of 2:00pm to around 7:30pm and knowing roughly how many turns of Shako we can play in the time we had available we decided to set the game turns to represent twenty minutes giving a maximum of sixteen turns between 2:00pm and 7:20pm.To represent the artillery barrage the first two turns would be artillery only with no advancing movement allowed, other manoeuvring was allowed. The british would not be allowed to return fire until turn two.Historically the british infantry under this barrage went prone so we allowed the british commanders this option on turn two, making them -1 To Hit. It would take a full move for these prone units to stand up and prepare to fire, a warning that could have been better heeded by one commander.Normal game turns commenced on turn three.We decided to use the optional Divisional Commander Bonus from the rulebook that allows options when a natural six is rolled during the initiative phase. We also gave the C-in-C's two dice in the initiative phase which they could allocate to replace that of any of their divisional commanders. Prone units could only remove a Stagger with one of these bonus options.
|Scenario Specific rules etc.|
A few more photographs. I actually took fewer photographs than normal as I was concentrating so much on umpiring, as this was the first time I had umpired a Shako II game.
|Looking North around turn four or five.|
|Allied cavalry move into the northern valley|
|Ruffin's French advance on Bassecourt's Spanish|
|Cavalry melees in the valley while pressure mounts on the British centre.|
|Now about standing up in time! Hole to KGL's brigade right.|
|French dragoons exploit the hole in the centre of 1st Division|
|British centre collapses as french punch through.|
So how did the game go? not too well for the British. The centre brigade of 1st Division failed to stand up from prone in time, despite warnings, and were run down by French dragoons while the Guards brigade to their right suffered from attacks from multiple French columns and supporting artillery.