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

Friday, 10 February 2012

Solo Campaign - Week 4

General Clarke (Duc de Feltre), Minister of War in more jovial mood. Though he has a marshal's baton here, he was only made a marshal after the Bourbon restoration. Also of interest in the picture is the fact that he is obviously rehearsing his legendary after-dinner ventriloquism act - he used to say to the bust "What do you think of it so far?", and the bust would be seen to reply "Rubbish!". This was a great favourite of the Emperor's, and he would always laugh uproariously.

Week 04

The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 8, French 6, so Allies have initiative, but choose to allow French to move first [in the spirit of Napoleon's comment about it being bad manners to interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake?].
Replacements – this is nearest weekend to 15th of the month, so replacements may be diced for.
Anglo-Portuguese and French can replace missing blocks on a throw of 5 or 6; Spanish replace on 4, 5, 6; guerrilla forces replace on 3+.
Clauzel’s Divn (in Fr N) being In Supply, with new reinforcements and returns from hospital regained 1400 infantry, 120 cavalry and brought the foot battery back up to strength. Some reorganisation of battalions took place in 25e Leger, & 50e & 59e Ligne.
Espana (Sp B) recovered 600 line infantry and 120 cavalry.


French (6 allowed)
1 – M (Montbrun) march from Aranda to Valladolid – the infantry are already tired from forced marching, so this needs a test:
2D3 = 3 +2 (Montbrun’s rating) -1 (tired) -1 (winter conditions) = 3   which means that the march is completed, but the infantry arrive Tired & Demoralised.
Demoralisation requires each unit to be diced for – elite unit rolling 1 will lose a block to desertion & sickness, non-elite lose a block on 1 or 2. Foy’s infantry are veteran but not elites – losses are amazingly light, in fact – only the 2/69e lose a single block (200 men). Division is Tired, though.
2 – R (Casapalacios) marches from Segovia to Valladolid
3 – S (Jourdan/Joseph) march from Guadalajara to Madrid to replace the garrison there
4 – V (Maupoint, with cavalry of the Armee du Centre), march from Tudela via Burgos to Valladolid; first part of this is on rough roads, so requires a test:
2D3 = 5 +2 (Maupoint’s rating) -1 (brown road) -1 (winter conditions) = 5     which is OK
5 – W (Kleinwinkel) brings Pommeranian cavalry bde from Vitoria via Burgos to Valladolid
6 – Increase N (Marmont) by amalgamating with M (Montbrun), T (D’Armagnac, with Chasse’s Bde), R (Casapalacios), V (Maupoint) and W (Kleinwinkel)
[Intelligence step -
  • Wellington aware that Fr army is consolidating, and that they are still at Valladolid, but has incomplete details]
Allies (8 allowed)
1 – A (Wellington) march 1 step from Ciudad Rodrigo to Salamanca
[Intelligence step –
  • Both Br A (Wellington) and Fr N (Marmont) have plenty of cavalry – thus both commanders receive Fragmentary Report, but partisan information improves Wellington’s to a Partial Report – his Intelligence dice give a score of 4, which means he has a 100% accurate assessment of Marmont’s strength (now slightly greater than his own, though of course he cannot judge its accuracy)
  • Wellington is now also aware that Marmont is no longer retreating]
No supply problems, all LoC open and defended.


Both Joseph and Marmont have received a very curt letter from Clarke, the Minister of War, pointing out that if Marmont continues to fall back to Burgos then the French will have only a few pockets of troops left in Castilla, which would fulfill most of the Allied victory criteria. Marmont, increasing his force as his supports arrive, is still nervous of his numerical inferiority, but he agrees to stand at Valladolid. Joseph and Jourdan, having sent most of the Armee du Centre to support Marmont, have moved the remainder into Madrid to keep control of the capital.

Wellington has intercepted copies of French communications, and, knowing that Marmont has orders to remain within Castilla, has advanced his main army to the area around Salamanca.


  1. Did Clarke also drink a glass of water while saying "Gotlle o' ?

    1. Funny you should mention that - yes, he did (well, he said "gouteille de guière"), but he once choked and soaked Tsar Alexander, resulting in the war against Russia in 1812, so he was warned never to attempt it again.

  2. Hi Tony - any chance of an up-to-date shot of the map?

    1. Hi Ian - I've included it now - I have to photograph it in daylight, otherwise all you can see is the shine off the laminator sheet (which was supposed to be matt, but isn't).

      Thanks - cheers - Tony

  3. Ahh, but are the dispatches real? or faked?

  4. They were carried by a very dead Chasseur a Cheval. He was genuine, though his ears were missing.