This is the second in a series of posts about the "Campaign in a Day" event we ran at Historicon on Thursday, July 12, 2018. The scenario and Part 1 are also located on this blog.
As best as I can determine, doubtless with some errors caused by the usual exaggerations, misidentified forces, and faded memories one finds in period memoirs, this is more or less the moves in the Campaign thus far. (On consideration, I have reversed Hill and Wellesley - it was Hill that advanced up the Coastal road to Table O, while Wellesley went overland via Coimbra).
Soult (Alex) and Beresford (Matt) battling it out around Villa REal and Viseu on Table O. Once Soult unites the bulk of his command with that of Lapisse's, Beresford will be outnumbered and somewhat outclassed as well. Rules guru and assistant GM Dan assists the combatants.
On Table C, Ney's (Jesus) men (foreground) is preparing to storm Trabazos, held by the Grenadiers of La Romana (Tim C) In the distance, Mortier (Scott) and Cienfuuego are converging on Vitigudino and Cabillas.
Zach (Cienfuegos) battled almost the entire day against Mortier (Scott). Both played with skill and good humor.
Over at Table L, Victor (Thomas) with support from Latiour Mauborg (Mark), has his hands full as Wellesey (bill) and Hill (Adam) abandon their advance on Oporto, and countermarxch to face the French threat. Silviera's (Harmon) "Black Portuguese" have been recalled as well, and have set up an extended line North of Ste Etavao.
Another view of the fighting on Table L; Rules author and assistant GM Russ Lockwood (green shirt) is helping the combatants with the rules there. We will be seeing more of him shortly...
It's 1:00 PM! Do you know where your supply line is? Table F is devoid of troops, ,last marched through/controlled by the French.
Table B, with French garrisons at Valladoid and Salamanca.
Table G with Spanish garrison (militia) holding Merida.
Table A with Portuguese Garrison in the fortress of Almeida.
Table R with French (Baden) garrisons in Ciudad Real and Casas de Don Pedro.
Table T (Talavera); the Spanish hold Talavera and Navalmoral. The forces of Victor and Latour Mauborg at Lisbon are thus Out of Supply! More on that later...
Not satisfied with the previous shot, rules author and assistant GM Russ Lockwood hams it up for the camera!
French troops attempting to re-take Talavera.
The French under Soult are gradually concentrating their forces on Table O near Viseu, against Beresford's Portuguese.
Overview of the fighting on Table O from the East.
Table C sees fierce fighting at Trabazos between Ney and La Romana, and at Vitigudino and Fermoselle between Mortier and Cienfuegos.
Hola, from your uncle, Don Julian!
Being out of supply, *every* unit in Soult and Latour Mauborg;'s command had to check morale once and only once. I believe a few units lost a step from this. Perhaps more seriously, all troops under their command could advance no more than 6" from their present positions. Any other movement had to be back towards Madrid. The flashy general Count Latour Mauborg, seeing his chances for glory evaporate, suddenly remembered that he had pressing business with his mistress, and with an airy wave of his cap, addressed Marshal Victor. "My dear Marshal, I am afraid that the wretched food that we have from our Spanish "Hosts" has given me the flux, and I must trot along to consult with my physician. I leave you the cavalry of my command to use as you see fit. Vive l' Empereur and all that. Au revoir!" Once he recovered from the initial shock of his fellow commander's abrupt departure, Victor didn't seem all that displeased, as he used the excellent dragoons to skillfully extricate himself from the fighting near Lisbon... no easy feat, Meanwhile, the British seem to be having little success building pontoon bridges to cross the swollen river Tagus and bring their numbers to bear against the skillful Marshal.
Milaud's Dragoons (under James) have defeated Zayas' (Sam) Spanish cavalry, but with only limited infantry support, taking Talavera (at the point of the V of roads in the foreground) seems to be beyond their ability. As long as Talvera is in Spanish hands, Victor and Latour Mauborg will remain out of command.
Sebastiani (Jamie) makes an appearance on Table T, arriving from (?) Madronera. Perhaps he can open the way to Talavera?!
Soult (including the troops of Lapisse) and Beresford continue to battle it out on Table 0. Beresford dashes off a quick note to keep Sir Arthur informed of his situation!
Heavy fighting continues on Table C between Mortier and Cioenfuegos, as Ney slowly pushes back La Romana (Suredo/Tim C).
Silviera's (Harmon) Portuguese (disguised as Brunswickers), having just deployed into battle formations, see the derriere's of the hungry Frenchmen on Table L.
On Table M, King Joseph (James) mobilizes the defenders of Madrid in an attempt to repel the troops of Venegas (Andy).
Blurry shot of the collapse of La Romana's (Tim C) command, hard pressed by Ney (Jesus).
Mortier (Scott) and Cienfuegos (Zach) in combat near Cabillas and Vitigudino on the other half of Table C, as Don Julian Sanchez and a cloud of his Guerillas (John) make an appearance on the road to the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo (upper right corner).
What little is left of the command of Pedro Suredo, Duque de la Romana (Tim C) melts into the mountains, where they can rally in safety (Spanish special rule for the campaign).
Fighting near Toledo on Table M.
Silviera's Portuguese and the British of Hill (Adam) and Wellesley (Bill) are lapping at the heals of Victor and Latour-Mauborg (Thomas), as they attempt to extricate themselves from Table L!
Back to Table C, where Trabazos has fallen to Ney, who has built a pontoon bridge over the Tagus to put additional pressure of Cienfuegos.
Beresford (Matt) has taken Villa Real, and threatens Viseu. However, Soult (Alex) has now combined his command with that of Lapisse, and vows to his aides that he will give no further ground.
The sad remains of La Romana's command licking their wounds near Macedo on Table A.
Silviera (Harmon) and his Portuguese (Brunswick) cavalry catch some French Dragoons in the rear. In Snappy Nappy, one cannot simply fall back facing the enemy. One must about face, which takes a 1/2 move, and then move, facing to the rear.. As it takes 1/2 move to turn around again, there is no choice but to leave the rear exposed, unless one can interpose successive lines of troops (voluntary interpenetration of friendly troops is allowed, and carries no penalty). It was good to see my Brunswickers see some real fighting; it only took at least 20 years from when I originally painted them!
Soult and Beresford continue to fight near Viseu on Table O, with rules help from Dan. My (real) Portuguese have seem almost as little action as the Brunswickers... until this year, that is!
Mortier (Scott) looks decisive as he moves some Chasseurs forward!
Venegas (Andy) and King Joseph (James trade shots near Toledo on Table M. Barry and UK Tim can be seen "observing" in the background.
With his hands full on Table M, James has delegated command of Milhaud's cavalry on Table T to Jamie (Sebastiani); Sam (Zayas) checks some modifiers while Tim C (Cueva... maybe really Cuesta) looks on.
Jamie's own command (Sebastiani) isn't having much luck trying to cross the Tagus and move on Navalmoral on the other end of Table T.
Thomas (Victor and Latour Mauborg) has managed to successfully extricate the bulk of his men from Table L to the vicinity of Corruche on Table H. Rally orders are issued!
Zach (Cienfuegos) continues the fight against Mortier (Scott) and Ney (Jesus) on Table C, with the somewhat dubious assistance of Don Julian Sanchez and his Guerrillas (John), the later having holed up in Ciudad Rodrigo.
Dan assists Matt (Beresford) with some tactical nuances in the battle of Viseu on Table O.
The French press on for Talavera, hoping to open up the supply route for Ney and Latour Mauborg.
Venegas and Joseph fighting near Toledo on Table M.
The French are still trying to take Talavera, thus far without success.
Sebastiani (Jamie) seems to be having little luck defeating Cueva/Cuesta (Tim G) on the other end of Table T.
Beresford (Matt) has taken Viseu, but his ranks are thinning, and he may not be able to hold it for long, as Soult's (Alex) advantages in both numbers and quality begin to tell.
A very happy Vicot/Latiour (Thomas) has rallied all of the "hits" off of his troops. It seems likely that Hill and Wellesley will arrive soon to keep him company (they were rallying back on Table L at the same time).
Cienfuego and Sanchez's guerrillas c continue the struggle against Ney and Mortier near Vitigudino and Fermoselle on Table C.
Grim fighting continues on Table O; note the Portuguese casualties in the "mountains" of the upper left corner.
James assist Zayas (Sam), Cuesta (Tim G), and Sebastiani (Jamie) with resolving combat near Talavera.
Sebastiani is still struggling to make his impact felt on Table C. [Those Poles are excellent troops, Jamie, and should slice through the Spanish if they can engage them!]
Back on Table L, Silviera's "Black Portuguese" have formed up, ready to march off in pursuit of Victor and company, supported by Wellesey. Hill, on the other hand, has reverted to the original plan and is poised to march North along the coast towards Oporto and Soult.
'Ello, 'ello! Remember me? I'm Baaaaack!
Hill's boys (Adam) arrive outside Cabo Mondego on Table O, much to the displeasure of Soult...
who is still trying to finish off Beresford off to the East.
Table T; the French still seem unable to seize either Talavera or Navalmoral from the Spanish!
The battle of Talavera continues...
Venegas (Andy) continues to harass Joseph (James) near Toledo on Table M.
Battle lines on Table C!
Wellesley and Silviera prepare to march off Table L and onto table H, with both roads converging upon Corruche. I wonder what Victor and company have waiting for them? Or have they moved off to greener pastures elsewhere? Taking the plunge off of one table and onto another is one of those adrenaline pumping moments in these multi-player, multi-table events!