A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Solo Peninsular Campaign - Week 1

All right, I know I said I wasn't going to do this, but here is a summary of activity during the first week of the campaign. I have no intention of doing this for each week – this is just to show how I’m going about it. This was an easy week, since there are no Demoralisation issues, no Replacements to worry about, no Sieges to progress and everyone is In Supply (since the LoCs are all open).

The Allies rolled better activation dice, so got first move.

We have a battle! The French have attacked the force of the Conde de Espana (who is unable to withdraw, since he has a severe cavalry disadvantage) in the area of Zamora, and the action is large enough to justify a proper tabletop battle with the CCN rules. I’ll have to fight this battle before I can complete the week’s returns (obviously). I will write up the battle in a posting in due course.

Elsewhere, the Allies are calling in outlying cavalry, and their siege train has begun the slow plod from Lisbon. Mostly this week I have been developing clerical procedures to keep tabs on everything. Thank goodness for Excel spreadsheets. What follows is copied and pasted directly from my own campaign notes, so it may lack something in style and readability...

It is probably obvious, but single capital letters refer to Combat Groups, which can just about be seen on the map photo in the previous post.

Week 01

To help get things moving, both CinCs get a rating of 3. The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 7 Orders, French 4, so Allies move first. Because the armies have been sitting in Winter quarters for some months, it is assumed that they are pretty well aware of who is in adjacent Areas, so for the moment the optional Intelligence rule is suspended.


1 – D (Framlingham with Eng + Siege train + escorts) march 1 step from Lisbon to Peniche (expected to take about 3 weeks to get up to Elvas)
2 – Sp B (Espana with Spanish 3rd Army) at Zamora concerned that they are about to be attacked from Salamanca, thus Sp C (Sanchez with 2nd Lancers) move from Leon to support Sp B at Zamora
3 – F (11 Lt Dgns) move 2 steps from Porto via Coimbra to Abrantes...
4 – ...where they join A (Wellington), and are attached to Anson’s Bde
5 – E (Von Bock’s KGL heavy cavalry) move (along rough road) 1 step from Braga to Almeida to join B (Hope). This is conditional move, so must be tested
2D3 = 5 +2 (Bock’s rating) –1 (rough road) –1 (winter conditions) = 5   which is OK...
6 – ...and they are absorbed into Group B
1 – U (St Paul’s Italian bde) move 1 step from Segovia to Valladolid
2 – Split R (Guye at Madrid) – detach Merlin with the King’s Guard and Treillard’s cavalry, which become Q (Guye commands, Casapalacios assumes command of R)...
3 – ...and march the new Group Q 1 step from Madrid to Segovia
4 – N (Marmont, with Clauzel’s Divn + Cavrois’ dragoon divn + reserve art) march north 1 step from Salamanca into Zamora, where they attack Sp B + C (Espana)

All Groups on both sides are In Supply – French keep Segovia open by moving Q (Guye) in to replace U (St Paul), so protecting supply route from Madrid north to Valladolid; French supply route from Bayonne is protected by troops stationed at Pamplona, San Sebastian, thence via Vitoria, and there is a garrison at Burgos, covering the routes south to Salamanca and Madrid. 

Even with his extra lancers called in, Espana is outnumbered in cavalry by 2:1, so he is unable to withdraw. The Junta de Castilla is able to add 2 bns of volontarios to his force (they rank as militia). Espana takes a defensive position on the road from Salamanca to Zamora, on a low ridge runnig SW-NE behind the rugged little stream of Valparaiso, close to Peleas de Arriba, which is a few miles – about an hour’s march – south of the village of Corrales del Vino. The terrain is fairly open, rolling, lightly wooded – Espana is concerned that it will suit the French cavalry.

The so-called Battle of Corrales takes place on Friday 24th January, on a cold, windy day.


  1. Foy,

    I presume you're using your own Spanish rules rather than the recently published ones.

  2. Mr Kinch - in fact the're not much different. I use double retreats already, and have now adopted the deduction for moving-&-battling (as per GMT's revised QRS) - I also clocked the new rule for lancers, though how this works for Spanish lancers I'm not sure! I don't use the Guerrilla chits to nobble Command card play - I have explicit guerrilleros, with their own characteristics - they can move and battle, breeze through woods and towns, but can't form square, and any retreat at all which they are required to carry out will eliminate them. Seems to work OK. - MSF

  3. Sounds like your having fun, but who's gonna win the Battle of Corrales??

  4. Hi Ray - definitely me - whoever wins, it will be me! I think the bookies will be offering fairly short odds on the French - Spanish force is smaller, and very short of cavalry and artillery. If Espana wins, it will be a major cup upset.