Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Peninsular project part 9 the campaign continues

It been a while since the last post but i'm back with part 9 of the project, After the skirmishing around the village of Borilos, the French units withdrew in good order to the town of Obidos. The British followed closely, and after some shots being exchanged the skirmish came to a halt. With the French still holding the town as night fell. 

                                                           View of the wall and town of Obidios

In the morning the French units had withdrawn from Obidios and rejoined the rest of the French. Who were know on a hills surrounding the village of Rolica. Delaborde keeping an eye on the situation, knew that he was heavily outnumbered by the advancing British, but he still intended to follow his orders to slow their progress. He skillfully positioned his force on a hill west of Rolica. This position was a strong one, which would force the British to assault up a step hill giving him the advantage. He had also stationed skirmishers all along his front to harass the British assault. Delaborde also had a second position about 2 miles behind his first position, which was on top of a ridge line with the village of Columbeira to its west. Delabordes plan was to hold the British for as long as possible using these two positions to anchor his fighting withdraw. He also hoped that general Lision would come to his assistance during the day, so they could if possible go on the offensive.

map of the battle 

Wellesley having the advantage of numbers, set about advancing in 3 columns the right column under the command of  Colonel Trant made up of Portuguese infantry and cavalry. This column was to advance and turn Delabordes left flank. The left column under General Ferguson was made up of British infantry, cavalry and artillery they were to apply pressure on Delabordes right flank, General  Ferguson was also tasked with keeping a watch full eye on the road for general Lisbon. The centre column was under General Wellesley him self and would advance on general Delabodes main position.

Delaborde stationed on the hills above Rolica watched as the British centre columns advanced on this position. They advanced across the open ground with parade ground precision, with pockets of skirmishers moving forward. The dull thud of the British cannon sounded the start of the battle.

The French artillery soon opened fire on the advancing British, and the French skirmishers traded shots with British skirmishers, in the valley. Colonel Trant had reached a small village called Quinta Gruga on Delabordes left flank. At this point Delabode decided to withdraw to his second and stronger position on the ridge line above Columbeira, which he did behind a screen of skirmishers and cavalry.

A photo of Delabordes second position the village of Columbeira can be seen on the right. There were four ravines leading to the top of the ridge.

Wellesley was know forced to regroup his columns, and continue his pincer movement as before on Delabordes second position. This was going to be a hard assault as the approach to the ridge was more open but the ground was far more broken, with dry river beds, and the ridge itself could only be accessed via steep narrow ravines.

 A photo of the narrow ravine that the 29th foot assaulted The photo doesn't show what a steep climb it was, but it dose show how much of an easy target the British must have been  as they struggled up the ravine.

The scene  is set for the next battle of the project. the re-fight will concentrate on the assaults made by the British to capture Delabordes second position the ridge line above the village of Columbeira.

The units involved: 

The allies:     under Arthur Wellesley
13'300 British
2'590 Portuguese
The British had six brigades of infantry and a small detachment of cavalry namely the 20th light dragoons.
The Portuguese contingant was made up of 3 battalions of infantry a small contigant of cavalry and around 500 Cazadores from Porto, and a artillery unit. The Portuguese were under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Trant.

The French:   under the command of General Delaborde
Total around 4'400
It was made up of around 4,000 infantry under the command of Gen-Brigade Brenier. The cavalry was made up of 250 men of the 26th Chasseur Cheval. The French also had around 5 artillery guns.

 Only around 6'000 British infantry were involved in the main assault on the French position, with around         4'000 making the main assault on the narrow tracks. These units are listed below, and will make up the forces of the British.

From General Nightingall's 3rd Brigade the 29th regiment of foot

From General Hill's 1st Brigade the 9th regiment of foot

From General Hill's 1st Brigade the 5th regiment of foot

From General Fane's 6th Brigade the 95th rifles regiment

For each of the above foot regiments i will be using 2 smaller bases each with 6 miniatures and i will also give each regiment 5 light infantry single bases to represent the regiments skirmisher company. The 95th will be made up of 12 single miniatures, these will give them a fighting chance of getting up those ravines.

Battle sketch of the battle of Rolica The 29th can be seen advancing up one of the narrow tracks, as the rest of the British units move into position. 

The game starts with the French main body deployed on the southern ridge point B, having withdrawn to their second position. The British will start in column at point A. The battle will concentrate on the attacks made by the British centre column. The French are deployed at point B and have a limited time to to hold this position, as the flank columns under General Ferguson and Colonel Trant will appear at point E and F on turn 15 after which the French will start to withdraw from their position.

Victory Points for the French
After turn 10 the French will gain 1 VP for each turn that they still hold the ridge ( if the French are still on the table. )
For each British base routed/lost the French gain 1VP

Victory points for the British
The British will gain 5 VP if they manage to take the ridge from the French before turn 10.
For each French base routed/lost the British gain 1VP

The Swiss problem
When a British unit comes to within musket range of the Swiss (only one test) The Swiss must roll to see it they fight on or walk away Roll 1 D6 1,2,3 and they fight on. 4,5,6 and the call it a day and are removed from the battle.

The 29th and colonel Lake
The 29th battalion of foot will be the lead regiment as they where on the day once they have reached the foot of the ravine they must roll a test to see if they charge strait up the ravine or wait for the rest of the battalions.

Roll 1 D6 1,2,3,4 and the 29th charge the French. 5,6 and they wait for the rest.

Well that's the set up for the battle. This should prove to be an interesting battle with the British attacking the French who are holding a ridge line. till next time, and thanks for reading.

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. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Modular Peninsular towns and villages

Having finished my 4 part modular buildings for my Peninsular project i thought it would be fun to try them out, and show them off. The idea is to be able to use them to represent either small villages right up to a town using from 1 to 3 bases in different combinations. Each base is 1 foot by 1 foot, a single base would be a small village, a large village would be 2 bases. A town would be made up of 3 bases.

 The 4 finished bases from top left a walled garden, large villa, Church and a large building and small building combination.

With these bases i can make several combinations like the ones below.

a 2 base combo for a village

Another 2 base combo village

A 3 base combo town

Another 3 base town.

A single base would represent a small village.

another single base small village

As you can see there are many combinations that will work with these simple base, mine are for the Peninsular, but simply swap the building for say thatched cottages and barns and you are transported to England. The construction is the same easy build see below.

3mm MDF base, 5mm foam board construction for the walls and roof. Roof tiles are made of corrugated card from an art shop. windows and doors and 1mm card painted black and details painted on, and frames made of card for effect.  

The bases under construction showing the general construction and detail of the Portuguese type buildings.

A simple layout for a skirmish game two rifle companies can be seen on the road. The  2 bases at the top of the table would represent a village. The French have deployed their secret weapon in the woods.

A more detailed set up for a brigade sized game, again 2 bases on the hill represent a village with a single base a small village.

I hope this short blog will help those looking for a simple but effective answer to represent villages or towns on the wargame table.