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

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Solo Campaign - Weeks 14 & 15

Ciudad Rodrigo

Week 14

Random Events
Everything calm in the British Parliament this week.
Maj Gen RB Long has arrived to take command of the heavy cavalry brigade previously commanded by Le Marchant.

The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 6, French 6 – since they moved first last week, French elect to do so again.


French (6 allowed)
1 – Group H (Clauzel, with 6700 men of AdP) to march from Zamora to Salamanca
2 – Group M (D’Armagnac, with 6400 of AdC) to do the same
3 – Group K (Marshal Jourdan, with 11200 from AdP and AdC) to march from Avila to Salamanca
4 – Group K to scout into Ciudad Rodrigo area
5 – Groups H & M to merge with K, all under command of Jourdan.
[Intelligence step -
  • Jourdan learns only that there are Allied forces in the area around Ciudad Rodrigo, and the gunners at Rodrigo itself fired at his cavalry patrol!]
Allies (6 allowed)
1 – C (Von Alten, at Ciudad Rodrigo) retreats into Portugal, at Almeida.
2 – Sp D (Maceta, at Ciudad Rodrigo) must dice to see if he will enter Portugal with Von Alten, in contradiction of his orders from the Junta de Castilla. In fact, he rolls a 2, which means he will follow his orders (Maceta is rated 2), so his force separates from the British and marches south to Caceres.
3 – A (Wellington, at Lugo) orders a march to join Cotton at Orense. This involves a difficult (brown) road, so requires a test
2D3 = 4 +3 (Wellington’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 6   - the march is completed without problems.
4 – Group E (Cotton) now merges with A.
[Intelligence step –
  • no scouting orders]
Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. No-one is Demoralised.


Joined by the forces from Zamora under Clauzel and D’Armagnac, Jourdan enters Salamanca, his total strength now being 25300 men, including the siege train and engineers of the Armee de Portugal.

Karl Von Alten, with the Anglo-Portuguese Light Division, retires into Portugal – to Almeida – to avoid confrontation with this much larger force. Maceta, with the Spanish force from the Junta de Castilla attached to Von Alten, is prevented from entering Portugal by his orders, and thus separates from the British, in spite of their requests that he should not do so, and retires southwards to Caceres.

The Spanish garrison at Rodrigo, under General Hermogenes Reixas, are now unprotected, and expect to be attacked very soon.

Wellington, with the Anglo-Portuguese main army marches south over difficult roads without problem, joining Cotton’s troops at Orense.

Maj.Gen Long has now arrived to take over Le Marchant’s heavy brigade. 

Week 15

Random Events
Change in rule – test will be made on British Parliament around 15th of each month, rather than weekly as at present.

The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 5, French 7 –French elect to move first.


French (7 allowed)
1 – K (Jourdan, at Salamanca) advances to Ciudad Rodrigo...
2 – ...where a new Group O is split off, consisting of Clauzel’s Divn of the Armee de Portugal, with Picquet’s dragoon brigade and 2 batteries from the reserve artillery, a total of 6600 men with 24 guns
3 – K commences siege operations against Rodrigo
4 – N (Marmont) marches 1 step from Leon to Lugo. Since this is a difficult road, a test is required
2D3 = 5 +3 (Marmont’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 7   - the march is completed without problems.
5 – C (D’Orsay’s bde of Bonet’s Divn, Armee du Nord), march from Sahagun to Valladolid.
[Intelligence step -
  • no scouting orders]
Allies (5 allowed)
1 – Sp D (Maceta, at Caceres) marches to Talavera.
2 – A (Wellington, at Orense) scouts into Braga...
3 – ...and into Lugo.
4 – Finding a large French force at Lugo, he divides Group A, splitting off a new Group B, under Lt Gen Sir Thomas Graham, comprising the First & Seventh Divns, with Bock’s KGL dragoon bde and Otway’s Portuguese cavalry – a total of 11530 men with 12 guns. This force, together with Sp B (Espana) will remain at Orense...
5 – while the remainder of Wellington’s Group A march south into Braga. Again, this is a difficult road, so a test is needed:
2D3 = 2(!) +3 (Wellington’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 4   - the march is completed, but the army is Tired, and must rest at Braga.
[Intelligence step –
  • A (Wellington) gets a Detailed Report on Marmont’s force at Lugo, helped by information from civilian spies – he is aware of both strength and composition]
Supplies and Demoralisation
Note: By abandoning Sahagun, the French give up the right to route supplies from France through that Area, so all such supplies now come through Burgos. All units are in supply. No-one is Demoralised.

The French force under Marshal Jourdan commences siege operations against Ciudad Rodrigo.

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (Week 1)
Initial Fortress Value (FV) is 6 – which is also the max size of the garrison. Reixas (commander, rating 2) has 1 line battalion plus 2 of militia, plus 3 batteries of 8 guns each, one of these batteries being of militia calibre. Counting ½ each for the militia – Garrison Value (GV) is 4½ - say 5 - and since Reixas is officially rated as 2 (Good), add 1, giving 6.

Attackers – Jourdan’s force consists of 34 combat units, of which 4 are cavalry and count ½ each; this gives a total of 32. Dividing by 4 gives Jourdan an Assault Value (AV) of 8, plus 1 since Jourdan rates as 2 (Good). The French siege train has 5 batteries of heavy guns, so the Battering Value (BV) = 5.

So, at the outset, Spanish defenders have FV = 6, GV = 6, French besiegers have AV = 9, BV = 5.

Bombardment phase: Spanish have GV of 6, thus roll 6D6 - they come up 5 5 4 3 2 1 – no 6s, so no damage is done to the attackers' BV, but the two 5s cause a deduction of 2 from the attacking troops’ AV
Simultaneously, the French battering guns (BV = 5) roll 5D6 – 6 6 5 5 2 (remarkable shooting) – each 6 deducts one from the fortress (FV), and each 5 deducts one from the garrison (GV).

Removing the losses, next week’s figures will be FV = 4, GV = 4 (total = 8) for the Spanish, while AV = 7, BV = 5 for the French. The French do not bother asking the fortress to surrender, since their AV of 7 is not promising for a storm against the defenders’ (FV + GV) = 8. No storm.

Casualties for the week: Spanish defenders have lost 2/6 of their GV, so have lost 1/10 x 1/3 of the 2400 men engaged, which is 80 men. Loss in combat effectiveness is proportionately much higher. French besiegers have lost 2/9 of their AV, so have lost 1/10 x 2/9 of the 16700 men engaged, which is 370 killed/wounded.

Jourdan has divided his army – Clauzel has a covering force, while the remainder have now started the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. Brisk fire from the garrison coupled with the unhygienic conditions in the trenches have caused the French fairly high casualties, but the French siege guns have performed extremely well, doing much damage to the fortress and the morale of the garrison.

Marmont has moved his army to Lugo, where he can now threaten Wellington from the north, with the option of marching to La Coruna and threatening the Allied supply base at Vigo. Wellington has a very accurate idea of Marmont’s strength and movements, and has detached Thomas Graham with the Anglo-Portuguese First and Seventh Divisions, with the cavalry brigades of Otway and Von Bock. Graham is to hold position at Orense, with support from the Conde de Espana’s Spanish army.

Wellington marched the rest of his force south to Braga. Once again, the roads were difficult, but the army did not fare well [awful dice] – the march was completed in good enough order, but Wellington’s force are tired and must rest for a week.

Col D’Orsay, with a brigade from Bonet’s Division of the Armee du Nord, has moved from Sahagun to Valladolid. This has implications for the routing of French supplies from Bayonne, which must now all come through Burgos.

Maceta’s Castillan army has orders to return to Toledo, and has reached Talavera.


  1. Amazing attention to detail Tony. I'm still catching up with some of your older posts on CCN, but this campaign looks well worth following. I've just popped back in here to look a some of your Portuguese for reference!

    Great stuff,

    1. Indeed yes! - I have a tendency to a condition known as Sub-microscopic Attention to Detail, or SAD. I work on the assumption that, if I am to spend much of my time in a fantasy world, I might as well check that the wallpaper and the heating controls suit me here!