Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sir Arthur's Campaign in the Peninsula, 1809, Part 3

The vanguard of Venegas' Spanish troops make an appearance outside Toledo. King Joseph, ensconced in Madrid shows  rather more elation than concern!

La Romana continues his maneuvers. Not a Frenchman in sight!

Victor's cavalry scout the garrison left in Casas de Don Pedro by the withdrawing Venegas (who thoughtfully disassembled the pontoon bridge behind him). 

Milhaud continues to scour Southern Spain for Spanish forces... and finds a small garrison  on table V. His cavalry are near the village of Valdapenes, and the garrison is in the village of Almuradiel

Outside Lisbon, the most welcome arrival of Silviera and his Portuguese Corps is met with cheers by Wellesley and Hill. 

The situation between Cuesta and Zayas on the Spanish side, and Marechal Victor on the French side. 

The backlog of French troops on the Oporto has cleared - they have all moved on to the Lisbon table!

Cuesta and Zayas have finally cleared the last of the French from Merida, freeing their troops to pursue Victor. 

More of Venegas' troops emerge from the mountains near Torrigos and Talavera on Table T, while the Guerrillas muster their numbers once again near Navalmoral. 

Latour-Mauborg's cavalry awaiting their turn to cross onto the Membrio table. 

Don Julian leads a small band of Guerrillas through Guarda on Table A.

La Romana 's Spanish occupy Vitigudino on table C. If they turn left, that will bring them to the village of Cabillas, which sits astride one of the few first class roads in Spain (dark grey felt); the High Road from the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo on the border with Portugal (off table to the right) West to Salamanaca, Valladoid, and the fortress of Burgos (Table B).

The hard fought battle of Membrio. Note the troops of Mortier and his subordinate, Gazan, coming up from behind the Portuguese line!

King Joseph watches the Spanish forces building outside Madrid. He appears quite confident that he can hold the capitol!

The lead elements of La Romana's army occupy Ciudad Rodrigo. Are some of his troops turning towards Cabillas as well?

"Mexican standoff" at Casas de Don Pedro - the Infantry and Artillery garrison left by Venegas facing off against cavalry of Victor!

Milhaud's cavalry, still near Valdapenes on table V. 

Heavy fighting outside Lisbon; Soult, Lapisse, and Ney for the French, opposed by Wellesy, Hill, and now Silviera for the Allies. 

Another view of the Lisbon table, as seen between the tall generals. 

Cuesta and Zayas pursue Victor's rear guard. 

La Romana has evidently decided that he will hold Ciudad Rodrigo in strength. 

King Joseph studies the Rules of War as he prepares for an anticipated Spanish attack upon Madrid

The British have established a line of battle on the ridge between Torres Vedras and Alverca... but the troops of Lapisse and Ney threaten their flank. Silviera's Portuguese were sorely needed!

Having seen enough of Valdapenes, Milhaud returns to Damiel, on table D.  This table is located  South of the Madrid table. 

The Spanish have taken Merida, but a lone French infantry brigade continues to delay Cuesta. Zayas is moving cross country on the opposite side of the Rio Guadiana to bypass them. 

Victor brings up more troops before attempting to take Cassas de Don Pedro. 

General Silviera advances his Portuguese to support his British Allies on the Lisbon table. 

Situation around Miajadas as Victor tries to move the rest of his troops onto the next table and the fight at Casas de Don Pedro. 

Milhaud scouts a road that leads South to table "J" - which doesn't exist (it is out of the active playing theater). 

More of Latour Mauborg;'s cavalry waiting to reinforce Sebastiani at Membrio. 

The battle continues apace at Mebrio between Sebastiani and Beresford, but Marshal Mortier's forces are closing on his rear areas.

Situation on the Lisbon table. 

Marechal Victor is finally ready to advance on the garrison of Casas de Don Pedro. 

Summoned by King Joseph, Milhaud's cavalry put in an appearance on Table M, entering along the road to Terancon and Madrid beyond. 

The rest of Latour Mauborg's cavalry prepare to depart for Membrio. 

Speaking of Membrio, Mortier's troops are slowly closing the jaws of the French bear trap around Beresford. 

View from the West towards Lisbon and the Atlantic; the column of troops in the foreground belong to Marechal Ney. 

Victor brings up more of his Corps, as the fight at Casas de Don Pedro develops. 

la Romana's troops are spread across Table C, and hold Ciudad Rodrigo ion strength. Still no enemy in sight...

With more of Milhaud's Cavalry advancing upon Consuega, Venegas decides it is high time to do the "Shuffle off to Burgos". With little to lose. Don Julian's Guerrillas boldly try to get around the French position at Madrid.  

The first of Latour-Mauborg's cavalry arrive on the Road to Membrio (sounds like a Bing Crosby/Bob Hope movie, eh?). Bresford can only groan, hoping perhaps some Spaniards might arrive to save the day...

The fighting before Lisbon. 

The last of Victor's troops are departing for Casas de Don Pedro, but he ,leaves behind a small rearguard of elite Legere to delay the pursuit by Cuesta and Zayas. 

Cuesta and Zayas (Russ Lockwood)  confer about their future maneuvers. 

The rest of Victor's Corps attempting to clear Casas de Don Pedro of the Spanish rearguard left by Venegas. 

The situation at Madrid and vicinity.

La Romana holds his position at Ciudad Rodrigo and its environs. 

The evolving battle of Membrio. 

Close up of the fighting; pressed by Sebastiani, Mortierm, Gazan, and now Latour Mabourg, Berseford has fought with skill and determination, but his position is crumbling. 

As the French cavalry of Milhaud advance, Venegas "floats like a butterfly" (una mariposa), seeking another field and another day. The Guerrillas stay around for some action. 

La Romana stands like a fortress on Table C. 

The charge of the Garrochistas! 

(Militia cavalry vs. elite infantry frontally - the accurate volley of the light infantry halted the charge in its tracks, but the painting looks good anyway!)

The battle of Lisbon rages on. 

Stubborn Spanish hold out at Casas de Don Pedro. 

La Romana concentrates his army at the great fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo.

View of the Battle for Lisbon from the Northwest.

General Venegas continues the Tour de España, entering table B. One part moves East to Avila (left), and the rest of his forces move North through Segovia.

Beresford's position at Membrio has become dire...

The battle of Lisbon from the Northeast. 

Beresford continues the struggle manfully, despite the overwhelming odds. 

Victor is not finding Casas de Don Pedro an easy nut to crack!

Guerrillas are harassing the garrison of Madrid (and slowing down Milhaud's pursuit of Venegas as well).  Eager for his share of La Gloire, Milhaud then breaks off and heads for the Guerrilla rabble!

Venegas shifts the axis of his advance through Avila, and on towards Salamanca. 

Tired of waiting for the French to attack him at Ciudad Rodrigo, La Romana shakes his men out and moves onto Table F. where he sets up a defensive position around the village of Plasencia. The road  (Deployment Zone) to  Membrio could be reached from this table. On the other hand, the good general may have been completely unaware of the situation there. 

La Romana has left a strong garrison of 4 infantry brigades at the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo. 

Marechal Victor's rearguard of elite hussars and light infantry continues to hold back Cuesta's pursuit. General Zayas seeks a way around the roadblock, seen here marching through the village of Montanchez, on his way to Caceres on table F.

As Cuesta closes on Miajadas, Victor withdraws the last of his infantry toward Casas de Don Pedro. The hussars will have to suffice to entertain Cuesta from here on 

Beresford is near complete collapse at Membrio under the weight of French numbers. 

Milhaud's troopers engage the hated Spanish Guerrillas outside Madrid. "We'll enjoy this!"

His infantry attacks repulsed, Victor decides to let his artillery do the work of reducing Casas de Don Pedro, while he attempts to build a pontoon bridge to bypass the choke point. 

Cuestas troops have garrisoned Miajadas, and the hussars decide that it is time they moved out as well. 

Silviera's Portuguese have stabilized the Allied lines to the West of Lisbon, but the British position on the Torres Vedras ridge is crumbling. Lisbon lies beyond (building half seen at the far right of the picture. 

Breresford's command has been annihilated! The Battle of Membrio over, the French troops reform and rally, as they prepare to move on to the next battlefield. 

Venegas is still on the move. He has constructed a pontoon bridge as a shortcut to the High Road to Ciudad Rodrigo on Table C. 

   At this point, the British players conceded that they could not hold Lisbon, and, there being little prospect of the French losing Madrid, the game was declared a French Victory. With ships waiting to evacuate the British. they should be able to escape to safety. However, almost all of Portugal is now once again in French hands. The Emperor will be most pleased! Meanwhile Marechal Soult distributed the fliers that he had thoughtfully had printed in Oporto, advocating his appointment as King Nicholas I of Portugal. 


  1. This looks like such great fun, a Peter!

  2. An exciting campaign and, once Beresford got himself into trouble, it looked as though the French were going to prevail. Pity about those Garrochistas - back to the farm for them.

    1. It turns out that I mixed up Beresford (played by Karl), and Silviera (played by Marty); it was Silviera (Marty) who fought and was ultimately opverwjhelmed by the French. I think I made things too easy on the French. The Spanish will be tougher in the Historicon version, the Gendarmes weaker, and the French will have more incentive to hold down the Spanish countryside. The table layout and starting positions will be somewhat different as well.

  3. An enjoyable series of articles. These campaigns in a Day are always an entertaining - and evocative - read.

    1. Thanks for dropping by; glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Gripping action,I thought Beresford was going to hold on! Great multi player game with lots of lovely figures!
    Best Iain

    1. Against Sebastiani it would have been an even fight. Add Mortier, and then Matour-Mauborg, and lasting as long as he did was a victory of sorts!

  5. Great stuff although not so sure His Majestys Government will agree !

    1. Sir Arthur will likely face another Commission of inquiry after this one, and the outcome might not be so positive. In truth, the limited support he had from the Spanish (and some scenario issues as well), plus lousy dice rolling all played a role more than his generalship!

  6. Wow, what a game! Brilliant!

    1. Thanks, Aaron. I would have like it to have lasted another 2 hrs or so, and to have been tougher on the french. The next one will be...

  7. Great event again Peter, you really have these down to a fine art!

    1. Thank you, Mark. We learned some things from this event which will hopefully make the Historicon version somewhat different and hopefully even better.