Friday, 12 May 2017

Peninsular War, Ambush.

This was a Friday night game at NBHW back in September 2016 and featured my Portuguese troops for the first time. The scenario was produced by Ryan, another club member and featured the use of the individual commander personality options in Black Powder, the first time we had utilised these at the club.

The French force consisted of two infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade who were on a foraging expedition into the Spanish countryside.
The Allied force consisted of a combined British/Portuguese brigade, a King's German Legion brigade, a British cavalry brigade and a brigade of Spanish militia lead by a battalion of regulars. The allied force, aware of the French presence in the area decide to set a trap.

As well as these general objectives each of the brigade commanders had their own personal secret missions and personality statistics, some such as "Aggression", "Decisiveness" and "Independence" from the Black Powder rules while others just allowed scenario specific events. These secret missions made for some strange appearing commands being given during the game.

Below are some pictures from the game and a link to the club Facebook page AAR.

Obviously a language problem as the Portuguese blunder
to the right, across the front of the British firing lines.
Straight in front of French Attack Columns,
with the inevitable result
Meanwhile the Royal Artillery can't believe their luck.
That's going to hurt and it did, bye bye battalion.
After surviving the initial French assault the
Portuguese turn to face, for a while at least.
The brave Spanish militia prepare to meet the French columns
while Spanish hussars charge into the flank.
If I remember correctly this game was heading to a draw, maybe French win, with both sides loosing brigades prior to the game being called at the end of the night.

Game photo album and AAR on club Facebook page

The Individual Brigade Briefings:


1st Brigade:
The van of a larger force you have pushed further into the Spanish countryside than ordered in the search for rations. The last convoy brought nothing but stale bread and vinegar. Having caught sight of a smaller combined British and Portuguese force near a farmhouse you have chosen to engage. Lead by a courageous and experienced, but stubborn, officer the 1st Brigade is the first into the field.

Secret mission; Secure a supply of rations (capture the farm)

"Courageous" (Aggression - High)  +1 SR when giving a charge order
"Stubborn" (Independence - High)  +1 SR if you go first, however Blunders on a roll of 11 as well as 12

2nd Brigade;
In close support of the van, you have pushed deeper into Spain than you feel is safe. The sight of the British has prompted you to suggest a retreat. However your concerns have been overridden. Whilst the majority of your troops have experienced combat, you fear that some of your recent conscripts won't stand. You lead your troops onto the field reluctantly.
D6, 5-6 Turn 2
D6, 1-4 Turn 3

Secret mission; Survive!

"Coward" (Decisiveness - Low) If the command result is three moves, roll again. The second result must be accepted.

Cavalry Brigade;
You have just received a letter from your family. Your father writes that Napoleon himself has heard about your action and it will only take one more act of bravery to secure your promotion. The sight of the smaller British force alone and without cavalry of their own has excited your young blood. Today your name will be mentioned in dispatches. Having crossed a greater distance than the infantry you arrive later than you wish, horses breathing heavily under the Spanish sun.

Secret mission; Capture the colours.

"Confident" (Decisiveness - High) May re-roll failed command tests, however if the re-roll is a failure then the result is always a blunder.


1st Brigade;
With information from your brave Spanish allies you have learnt that a large French force is in the area, however unaware of your presence it has split up it's forces. As senior officer you have chosen to set a trap. Confident in your victory, your letter to Horse Guards is already written and waiting with your wife to be sent to London.

Secret mission; Destroy the 1st French Brigade.

"Confident" (Decisiveness - High) May re-roll failed command tests, however if the re-roll is a failure then the result is always a blunder.

2nd Brigade;
A veteran of many campaigns in India, you stand ready to serve king and country. While your command is not the most glorious you have ever led, you hope to surprise the enemy from the flanks.

Secret mission; Cut off the French line of retreat.

"Age comes to all". Age has slowed your mind and body. Must roll lower than the turn count to enter the field starting on Turn 3.
"With age comes wisdom". May pick which flank to enter from.

Cavalry Brigade;
You are dreadfully short of horses and patience with your supply lines. You were promised new mounts weeks ago and the French appear to have plenty. You mount your horse, your last remount after the previous went lame. Making your own plans you intend to use this battle to secure new mounts.

Secret mission; Destroy the French Cavalry Brigade.

Spanish Brigade;
Without a leader the Spanish have risen up to defend their homeland. Instead they are led by a unit of uniformed regulars (Count as SR 6). Much depends on chance but they can not leave the entire glory to the British.

Secret mission; Capture an Eagle.

"Unstable". Regardless of result, roll a Break Test after melee.
"Courageous" (Aggression - High)  +1 SR when giving a charge order.

Thanks again to Ryan for the scenario.


  1. Looks like an interesting game Tony, and I remember you mentioning that the first outing for your Portuguese did not unfortunately end well. Getting caught in the flank by a French attack column never ends well.

  2. Nice looking ambush game, great pics!