Friday, 27 May 2016

Penisular project part 8 Skirmishing around Rolica

The British had landed in Portugal on the 1st of August 1808, and by the 5th the 14'000 men were on the march, moving south towards Lisbon. The British under Sir Arther Wellsly had reached   by the th and were advancing on , when the French troops were sighted at Bolos a small village near Rolica.

From the diary of captain William Jenkins

5th to the 9th August 1808
We marched out of the bay this morning, and i must say it is the happiest i have been we are at last on the move. We are moving along the coast road to Leira to the south.

11th August 1808
We march on roads which are narrow and dry. the dust of this country is chocking, we are all know covered in it. The dust has turned our uniforms almost a light purple. the heat is unbearable, and we bivouac in the open, which reminds me of my childhood on the Fens . during our marches we all expect a rattle of enemy muskets, or the cry of charge from some secluded path.

13th August 1808
we have reached a village called Batalha were only the other day French solders we stationed.

15th August 1808
We have found the enemy  There are French troops in and around the town to our south called Brilos. From were i stand the riflemen are moving down the road to cover our advance.

A quick recap. 
For my re fight a French skirmish unit is positioned on the hill with the windmill, with another section in the walled area in front of the village. There is a unit of French Chasseur a Cheval and a unit of French line infantry of the 70th, moving towards Brilos and will arrive on the road behind the village on turn 8 and 10 respectively.
The British skirmish units will start on the road leading to Brilos. The British reinforcements will arrive on turn 10 on the same road. The French skirmish units can move towards the British if they wish from turn 2.

The battle sketch showing the deployment of the French and the British
For each enemy skirmisher killed the other side receives 1 point and for each objective held they also receive 2 point. There are 2 objectives one being the windmill hill the other being the village of Brilos.
well there you have it, the set up for the first combat in the Peninsular for the British, let's go straight to the action.

Turn 1 and the French seem happy to see what the rifles will do.

Rifles move onto the table

General view of the start of the skirmish.

Turn 2 and the rifles move up the 60th move onto the windmill and the 95th move against the village.

The French skirmisher near the windmill move into the woods. They are not going to wait for the riflemen to attack.

The 95th move in on the village.

Trun 3 and the 60th reach the woods just as the French do.

The 95th rifles fire at the French behind the wall they score to hits but fail to wound, the French are just out of range to fire back.

Turn 5 sees a fire fight erupt in the woods between the 60th and the French.  3 riflemen are wounded and 2 French skirmishers are also wounded. Both units pass their morale.

Turn 5 and the 95th are within musket range and take wounds, as do the French behind the wall.

One of the 60th rifles is killed in the woods first casualty of the game.

One of the French Voltigeurs in the woods

Turn 6 and another rifleman falls But the French have also taken casualties one being their NCO making any morale tests difficult to pass.

On the other side of the road the 95th are driving forwards.

General view of the battle at the end of the 7

After losing 3 men the French skirmishers one of them their NCO near the village. they  lose their morale test and bolt and run.

Start of turn 8 and the French Chasseurs are on the road.

The French skirmishers in the woods fall back to the wall below the windmill.

The 95th make a dash for the wall as the French run for the village.

The 60th rifles also advance on the enemy.

 
Turn 10 and the French infantry battalion with the command appears on the road near the village.

On the other side of the battle, the British are also on the move. General Spencer with his brigade move up.

The 95th hold the wall line just as the French light cavalry move forwards.

The 60th are almost at the wall.

General view at the end of turn 10

General Spencer with his brigade surveys the battle.
The 95th watch as the French cavalry pass them by.

The 60th make a dash for the wall as the French cavalry appear on their flank.


General Spencer leads his brigade forwards towards Brilos.

Run to the trees is the order, as the  French cavalry see the 60th and charge.

The 95th fire a few shots at the French Chasseur as they pass but this doesn't stop them.

General view of the battle turn 13

The 95th on the move towards the village hoping to gain the objective points.

The 60th take shelter in the woods.

The 70th line battalion move up the hill and holds the windmill, to take the objective.

With the French cavalry chasing after the 60th rifles the 95th rifles make a dash for the village.

general view at the end of turn 14 the 70th line battalion holds the windmill hill.
The French cavalry chasing the 60th rifles who have run for the woods.

The 95th manage to take the village on the last turn

With the presence of the British battalions, the chasseurs withdraw towards the windmill. The 60th rifles hiding in the woods, are just happy they are leaving.

The final picture shows the French cavalry withdrawing and their infantry holding the windmill hill. The 95th can be seen advancing into Brilos in the back ground.

Wow a real tense fight, if the British brigade was not on the table, then the French could have one it. As the 60th rifles were pretty battered, and the Chasseur could have held them while the French infantry took care of the rifles near the village.

How the point worked out:                    
                                                            Objective points        Casualty points                  Total 
The scores were for the FRENCH:                 2                            2                                  4
                                        BRITISH:                 2                            8                                  10

A clear win for the British on paper, but a hard fight which followed the historical skirmish quite well. I hope you enjoyed the battle report as much as i enjoyed playing it, stay tuned for more on the campaign and the next battle. thanks for reading my friends till next time.