|Spanish point of view (Zayas)|
|Spanish point of view (O'Donnell, Mahy is on the left)|
|French positions (Right Wing)|
|Overview of deployment|
On the Spanish left (O'Donnel and Mahy), problems with command control led the two sides to close fast, but the Spanish couldn't coordinate properly. They did some damage with the horse guns, but the French skirmishers made short work of the Murcians. The Valencia's had some more success when Miranda's division forced the Poles back and briefly gained the top of the hills, but both sides ended up weakened and still facing each other. Once Robert's brigade had eliminated the Murcian infantry alone, it moved to hit the Valencians on the flank, sealing their fate.
|Attack by O'Donnell (right) and Mahy (left) |
on French positions
|Villacampa attacks the French positions, but will be repulsed|
On the Spanish right (Zayas), at first Loy's cavalry had the upper hand against the French Dragoons, as historically, but were then routed by the Cuirassiers. These too routed when hit by Spanish artillery, but it was the Spanish veterans that definitely underperformed (compared to historical results). Lardizabal troops faced both Harispe and the Italian infantry and were unable to advance much, while Zayas' division took the worst from Habert's troops. The Spanish first suffered the enemy skirmish fire, then they were counterattacked by the fierce French who scored 6 hits out of 9 dice rolled, while the Spanish only scored 1. They Spanish "veterans" were routed and failed to rally at the end of the turn (it was turn 3). Hebert then attacked a Spanish horse battery and routed it too. At the end of turn 3, with 5 units routed and not rallied (Zayas' division, Villacampa's Valencia's, all the Murcians and one other artillery), I halted the battle as it was getting late.
|Loy's cavalry routs the French Dragoons...|
|...but is then routed by French Cuirassiers, who then|
face the Spanish artillery while Lardizabal's division attacks
|Lardizabal and Villacampa are repulsed (the latter will be |
routed shortly after), but Miranda presses the Poles.
I have to say I wasn't impressed with the scenario at first. I knew it was hard for the Spanish, but play balance wasn't the real issue: the battle saw little maneuver, also because of terrain and restrictions to cavalry. Still, it has some interesting challenges: the Spanish player has some interesting decisions to make: it has few CPs and using them on Zayas and O'Donnell looks like the best choice (they are his best troops), but Mahy's Murcians are really weak and due to Mahy's Aggressive status they tend to charge the enemy anyway, which makes them even more vulnerable. They should be kept behind, but this requires using lots of CPs on them and making O'Donnel (in particular) more prone to not activate as desired. This time, the Spanish mitigated this with several good initiative rolls, but it also led to some stops in the advance which favored the hard-pressed French.
For the French, quality is superior but a fresh Spanish division is still hard to face, so it needs to weaken them with skirmish fire at first, and the evaluate when to counterattack. Deciding where and when to commit his reserves (which are very few, mainly the Italian infantry brigade on the Left Wing) could be relevant, also because it risks having his forces effectively isolated from each other. Options are limited however.
Not sure I'll play this scenario again due to the general lack of options for maneuvering, but at least it was useful to test the rules again, which was positive.