Wargaming the English Civil War, American War of Independence and Sudanese campaigns in 28mm

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Battle of Olite - Partizan 5th September

Here are a selection of photos of the demo game I helped put on with Paul of Touching History. It's centered around the Spanish town of Olite, Navarre, at the end of Napoleon's campaign in Spain. Captain Aubergine (me) had been tasked with protecting the road to the North, covering the retreat of Napoleon's armies but spied an opportunity to snatch a last minute victory from the allies and regain some lost pride for the French. Now follows some photos of the game, all taken by me except for two which were taken by Paul, and a sort of battle report (annotations of the pictures follow below each one - they are also clickable).

This picture shows the game's initial set up. The town is held by a small detachment of the 95th rifles and a horde of Spanish guerillas who are defending the bridge. My small skirmish force is at the other end of the board, near the barn.

My scouts had reported a strong defensive position held by the Spanish on the other side of the bridge, so in light of this, I chose to advance through the fields to my right to attempt to enter into the town via the unguarded ford...

...I should have known better than to have expected the 95th to leave such a strategically important location unguarded and as I advanced through the field came under heavy fire from the British sharpshooters, losing two in the heated exchange. The 95th pulled back across the river to take up defensive positions with my light company is pursuit.

The 95th opened fire on my light company from across the river before they could get into position but only scored one kill, the rest of their shots ricocheting of the low stone wall before them. My French company returned fire and killed three riflemen, forcing their retreat (picture by Paul Darnell).

As the 95th pulled back (once again) on the left hand side of this photo, Captain Aubergine (me) ordered his fusiliers and grenadiers to advance in force and storm the heavily defended bridge, supported by another company of lights. Aubergine's tactic of 'Guerre de Foudre' or 'lightning war' was again very successful and the speed and efficiency with which they advanced took the Spanish defenders by surprise as the French steamrollered over the bridge and into the town. Those that weren't killed in the initial assault broke and ran back to the market in the centre of town (picture by Paul Darnell).

This photo shows Lieutenant J. Cousteau of the light company triumphantly leading his men along a side road after forcing the 95th to retreat. There were a number of snipers dotted around the town and no less than 8 or 9 shots were taken at my Lieutenant but none so much as left a scratch! He's a very lucky man. Had Sharpe, Hagman or any of the others been there on the day, Lieutenant Cousteau's life may have been more endangered!

Here is one of the snipers previously mentioned but his efforts didn't amount to much on the day.

It ended in a heroic victory for the French but could have ended very differently if Paul's dice throwing had been better (he must have averaged ones and twos the whole day!) or had the French reinforcements arrived in more spaced out intervals. Paul and I have however agreed to stage a refight so it could go very differently for the French (here's hoping it doesn't).

Expect a couple more photos of the game over the next week or two, along with some of a few other games at the show. Also expect to see some pictures of how my Sudan project is coming along!


AD said...

Great pics and write-up!

Giles said...

Excellent post, Consul. I do like Paul's Spanish layouts.

Best wishes


Mike said...

Hey boss, what minis did you use for the Spanish Guerrillas? Looks magnificent!

Consul said...

Hi Mike, thanks for the interest and glad you like them.

They are from Perry Miniatures' Carlist War range (from the Carlist forces I think). The armed clergy would certainly make a exciting addition to any Peninsular war army.


Mat said...

Excellent terrain and interesting battle report! Really a remarkable visual impact.
What rules did you use?