Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Talavera 1809 Ruffin's Night Attack

This game was played at NBHW back in November 2016 in 28mm using Black Powder rules with a few scenario specific tweaks.

This was the first of two pre-actions put on at the club that would tie in with the re fight of the main afternoon assault at Talavera. Unlike with normal Friday night games the players on both sides knew that the losses sustained would be factored in to the following actions. This changed the usual mentality of 'the evenings coming to an end, let's throw in one last attack', and both sides were careful with their planning and resources.

The British and KGL about to be roused to action.

The French groped forward slowly in the gloom and this gave the KGL Brigades time to form line and meet the leading French Brigade before it could gain the hilltop summit the British troops were on. The French took fearful losses to the sustained volleys of the steady Germans and one French Battalion broke, but the remaining French, the best of Ruffin's division hung on, matching the KGL, until the latter quit the field. 

The KGL open up.

A reserve French Brigade was coming up in support, but was having trouble getting forward in the dark. At the same time General Wellesley was personally leading forward a British Brigade to plug the gap left by the KGL, General Hill bringing up artillery in support. With British Battalions to the right of the French lodgement still active and Stewart’s Brigade coming up, the sorely tried French Brigade gave up the attempt to take the important heights and retired.

The right of Ruffin's Division contact Donkin's Brigade.
The 2/87th Prince of Wales's Own Irish in the thick of it.

A short, sharp and intriguing game, with all that it may, or may not, effect in the future actions.

Scenario Tweaks due to this being a night assault:
  • No three move orders could be given.
  • Weapons ranges were reduced.
  • The British started in square (to represent encamped) with picquets on the Portina stream.
  • The British could only redeploy on being alerted by either;
  1. French opening fire
  2. French moving limbered artillery
  3. French rolling a 6 on a D6 while crossing the Portina, representing a soldier stumbling and discharging his musket.
  4. French passing close by a picquet without contacting it, if contacting it would be deemed to have been taken by surprise and destroyed without raising the alarm.
  • Units had to stop (end turn) when reaching the Portina stream and then it took a full move to cross and another move to reform on the other side.
  • The British command had an ADC and he had to ride off table, once alerted and guide re-enforcements back on personally. 
  • There was a rule for the French reserve brigade's entry point but this escapes me at the moment.
If I find my scenario notes for this game I will add them to this blog.

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