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


Monday, 11 June 2012

Solo Campaign - Weeks 17 & 18


Continued ill-fortune for the Allies - highlights of the two weeks are that Ciudad Rodrigo has been stormed and taken by the French and Wellington has been relieved of command by the British Parliament (though he won't know this for a week or two).

 
Marshal Jourdan receives a hostile reception from
Spanish prisoners at Ciudad Rodrigo


Week 17

Random Events
None.

Housekeeping
The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 6, French 5 – Allies elect to move first.
Lt.Col Beckwith has returned to field command of the 1/95th Rifles, replacing Lt.Col Barnard, who was seriously wounded and captured at Malpartida. He will assume command of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division, under Karl von Alten.
This being the middle weekend of the month, all missing blocks are diced for (except those for the garrisons of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, who are under sieged and blockaded, respectively). [Campaign rules note – in future campaigns, blocks diced for should be those missing 1 month earlier, to avoid the situation where fresh losses from a recent battle may be returned to the ranks within a week]
French reinforcements and returns: +1 block – Franzburg Jaegers, 3/15e, 4/82e, 2e Leg Ital, 1/6e Leg, 1st Castilla LI, 1/25e Leg, 1/27e, 3/50e, Pinoteau’s combined tirailleurs, 15e Dragons, 13e Cuir, 11/8e Art a Pied
+2 blocks – 2/5e Ital, 2/76e, 1/50e, 2/59e

Total French increase = 3600 men

Allied reinforcements and returns: +1 block – 2/83rd, 11 Cac, 1/32nd, 1/8th Ptgse, 1/Cold FG, 1/3rd FG, 2/24th, 2/58th, 1/79th, 2/KGL Line, 2nd KGL Lt Bn, 68th, Ch-Br, 1/43rd, 2/95th, Blantyre’s light battalion, 3 Dr, 5 DG, 2 KGL Dgns, 11th Ptgse Cav, Elige’s, Gardiner’s and Ross’ batteries, Avila Vol Art
+2 blocks – 51st, 1/95th, 11LD, 1 KGL Dgns, 1st Ptgse Cav

Total Allied increase = 5200 men

Spanish Army now has the Division of Pablo Morillo available at Tortosa – 6 battalions of regulars plus a foot battery at Tortosa, freshly equipped and uniformed. Total strength 4000 men.

Moves

Allies (6 allowed)
1 – H (Brunswick Hussars) merged into C (K Von Alten, at Almeida)
2 – ...and augmented Group C retreats to Abrantes
3 – B (Graham, at Orense) retires to Braga – army is Tired after Battle of Allariz, and the road to Braga is difficult, so a test is required
2D3 = 3 +2 (Graham’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 4   - the march is completed, but the force arrives tired in Abrantes.
4 – Sp B (Espana, at Orense) also marches to Braga – test for difficult road:
2D3 = 5 +1 (Espana’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 5   - the march is completed without problems.
5 – Allies close down supply base at Vigo. Wellington’s force will be supplied from Porto.
6 – New Sp C (Morillo) formed at Tortosa.
[Intelligence step –
  • no scouting orders]
French (5 allowed)
1 – O (Clauzel) holds position and sets up “masking” blockade of fortress of Almeida.
2 – N (Marmont) rests his army at Orense.
 [Intelligence step -
  • no scouting orders]
Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. No-one is Demoralised.

Contacts
(1) The siege of Ciudad Rodrigo enters its third week.

(2) The fortress at Almeida is now blockaded – it is not under formal siege, but the roads from Braga and Abrantes are closed.

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (Week 3)
Bombardment phase: Spanish now have a Garrison Value (GV) of 3, thus roll 3D6 - they come up 4 2 1 – no hits on either the besiegers’ Battering Value (BV) or their Assault Value (AV).
Simultaneously, the French battering guns (BV = 4) roll 4D6 – 6 4 3 2 – the 6 deducts one from the defenders’ Fortress Value (FV, the strength of the place itself), but there are no 5s, so no losses to the Garrison Value (GV).

Removing the losses, next week’s figures will be FV = 1, GV = 3 (total = 4) for the Spanish, while AV = 7, BV = 4 for the French. The walls continue to deteriorate under bombardment – again, the French opt to wait another week before attempting a storm. They have a strong superiority in numbers, but last week’s incident with the flag of truce and the dead chicken has confirmed that the garrison are prepared to fight to the last man, and there is a chance that the citizens may also contribute to the defence – either of these would add extra dice to the resistance to a storm.

Casualties for the week: Spanish defenders have suffered no loss in GV, so still have 2260 men, and the French besiegers suffered no deduction from their AV, so their strength is unchanged at 16330.

Week 18

Random Events
News of the defeats at Allariz and Malpartida, plus the expectation of the imminent fall of Ciudad Rodrigo, has reached Westminster, and a vote in the House scheduled. Opinion is currently 3:2 against Wellington, so a vote is required if a single D6 comes up 5 or 6 – it does, so the vote itself will play 3D6 vs 2D6 to reflect the balance of opinion.
If the pro-Wellington lobby get less than half of their opponents’ total, a further motion to call the British Army home from the Peninsular will be scheduled for the following week.
Otherwise, if pro-Wellington vote is less than anti-Wellington, he will be relieved of command of the army in the Peninsular with immediate effect, and a successor appointed.

The vote took place 20th May:

Pro-Wellington:    4 + 3 = 7                Anti-Wellington:     5 + 4 + 1 = 10

With effect from 21st May, Wellington is to be recalled to Britain, Sir Thomas Graham, as senior British officer in the Peninsula, will take temporary command until a permanent replacement C-in-C arrives. The army will remain in Portugal for the time being. In practice, since Wellington will be unaware of the ruling, he remains in charge until 1st June.

Housekeeping
The 3D3 activation throws give Allies 5, French 7 – French elect to move first.
The Hon George Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, has arrived to take command of the Allied 7th Divn [previous commander, Sir John Hope, was only present as the result of an administrative error, since technically he outranks everyone else in the Peninsula!]

Spanish Army now has the Division of Pablo Morillo – 6 battalions plus a foot battery at Tortosa, freshly equipped and uniformed. Total strength 4000 men.

Moves
 
French (7 allowed)
1 – New Groups P, Q & R (National Guard units) are mobilised at Bayonne and Pau...
2 – ...P (3500 National Guardsmen under GdB Martinelli) march from Bayonne to Pamplona, where they relieve the garrison
3 – ...Q (3500 National Guardsmen under GdB Dujour) march from Pau to Jaca, where they relieve the garrison
4 – ...R (4000 National Guardsmen under GdB Paquerette) are placed in training at Bayonne
5 – E (Abbé) leaves the HQ of the Armee du Nord at Pamplona, and marches to Lodosa
6 – GdB Lacharrue travels from Pau to Jaca, where he takes command of Group G...
7 – ...G (Lacharrue) marches from Jaca to Roncal – this is a difficult road, so a test is required:
2D3 = 5 +1 (Lacharrue’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 5   - the march is completed without problems.
[Intelligence step -
  • no scouting orders]

Allies (5 allowed)
1 – Groups A & B merge as A under Wellington at Braga, and new Group E is detached – Sixth Divn, under Clinton, with Anson’s light cavalry bde...
2 – ...and E (Clinton) is ordered from Braga to Porto, which is a bad road, so a test is required:
2D3 = 4 +2 (Graham’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 5   - the march is completed without problems
3 – Sp C (Morillo) march from Tortosa to Alcaniz – test required
2D3 = 5 +2 (Morillo’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 6   - no problems
4 – C (Karl von Alten) rest at Abrantes
[Intelligence step –
  • no scouting orders]
Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. No-one is Demoralised.

Contacts
(1) The siege of Ciudad Rodrigo enters its fourth week.

(2) The fortress at Almeida is blockaded by the French – roads from Braga and Abrantes are closed.

Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (Week 4)
Bombardment phase: Spanish now have a Garrison Value (GV) of 3, thus roll 3D6 - they come up 5 4 4 – the 5 scores one hit on the besiegers’ Assault Value (AV); no loss to the Battering Value (BV).
Simultaneously, the French battering guns (BV = 4) roll 4D6 – 5 3 3 2 – the 5 deducts one from the defenders’ Garrison Value (GV); no loss to the Fortress Value (FV).

Removing the losses, the figures become FV = 1, GV = 2 (total = 3) for the Spanish defenders, and AV = 6, BV = 4 for the French. Jourdan, the commander of the besieging forces, decides to storm the walls on the night of Saturday 23rd May 1812.
During the week leading up to the storm, the Spanish have lost 1/3 of GV, which represents
1/10 x 1/3 of the 2260 men involved = 75 men, leaving 2185. The French have lost 1/7 of their remaining AV, and thus have lost 1/10 x 1/7 of the 16330 men employed = 233 men, leaving 16097.

The Storm of Ciudad Rodrigo
Under the inspirational leadership of General Reixas, the Spanish garrison qualify for the additional Suicide Dice – being prepared to fight to the last man. The citizens are heartily sick of being under siege, and there are, in any case, few able-bodied men of suitable age who have not already been called up to the militia – thus there is no addditional Agustina Dice available to the defence.

Jourdan uses the full force at his disposal for the attack (he has the choice to use only part of his AV, to keep losses down). According to my (newly revised) algorithmic system:

the Defenders’ Storm Strength, DSS =  FV + GV + 1D6 + the Suicide Dice = 3 + 4 + 1 = 8

the Attackers’ Storm Strength, ASS = AV + 1D6 = 6 + 4 = 10

Since ASS > DSS, the fortress falls. In the storm itself, the French lose 0.25 x DSS (= 2) from AV, so their final AV is 4. Thus they have lost 1/3 of their available AV, representing losses of 1/10 x 1/3 of the available 16097 men = 537 killed and wounded. Remaining strength is thus 15560.

The Spanish defenders lose 0.5 x ASS (= 5) from GV, so their final GV is -1. Thus they have lost 4/3 of their GV, and loss in killed in wounded in the storm is 1/10 x 4/3 of the 2185 men available = 292. The surviving 1893 are taken prisoner.

Total losses during the siege are thus

Week
Spanish
French
1
80
370
2
58
0
3
0
0
4
75
233
Storm
292
537
Captured
1893
0
Total
2398
1140

The Spanish force (Combat Group A on the map) is destroyed. The French have suffered a loss of 6 bases, which are deducted (at random) from the following infantry units:

Maucune’s Divn – 5/66e, 5/82e & 1/86e.
Darmagnac’s Divn – 2/4th Baden, 1/4th Hesse Darmstadt, 1/3rd Italian Line. 


6 comments:

  1. Since the other candidates are deadbeats now is big chance for the British to put Bloody Ban Tarleton in charge. He ll put the fear of Garp into the French, and liven up the Allied troops. No chance of taking live prisoners with BBT - thnk of the savings. If that siege was the Spanniards fighting to the last man, what are they like when they give in? Cheers - Lou

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lou - I believe he may have been a wicked man, but I have a soft spot for Tarleton - he came from Aigburth, in Liverpool, where I was brought up. I fancy the idea of a Scouser giving orders to Stapleton Cotton and Vandeleur and some of these other fops! He's getting on a bit, but still up for it?

      Delete
  2. Poor Wellie, it's not all his fault!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ray - you're right - he's just the fall guy. Still - top job, top money, top accountability. With one or two exceptions, his subordinates are a real liability - lots of "Rating 1" chaps in there in my OOB. Those sons of the gentry who were too stupid to study law or become church ministers (or chase actresses, as in the case of Tarleton)!

      Delete
    2. Why is it when you say chase actresses I think of Benny Hill chasing around a cute blonde in a French maid's outfit?

      Delete
    3. Not sure - sounds like a healthy enough fetish to me. It's good to talk about these things! ;-))

      Bonne chance - MSF

      Delete

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