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


Monday, 27 August 2012

Solo Campaign - Week 22

Iglesia Parroquial de la Asuncion, at Carpio, which was used as
a French field hospital during the battle on 18th June 1812

Well, it's possibly going to end in tears, but General Tarleton is going for it in style. He has entered Spain, and is attacking Clauzel's force near the village of Carpio, not far from Fuentes de Onoro. I hope to fight the actual battle next weekend, so will produce the necessary map and returns after that, along with the batrep, of course.

Week 22

Random Events and Strategic Notes
Completely coincidentally, but appropriately, the Earl of Aigburth (Tarleton) has been given official orders to adopt a much more aggressive strategy [than his predecessor].

The Central Junta has now made a formal request that Wellington might be seconded to the Spanish service. The exact nature of the role he could play is unclear. There is a theory that aid for the Spanish army in the form of money and equipment would be more readily available if Wellington were actively involved.

Housekeeping
The 3D3 activation throws give both the Allies and the French 3 – a remarkable thing to witness! Since they moved first last week, the French take the option to do so again.

Moves

French (3 allowed)
1 – N (Marmont) marches from Zamora to Leon
2 – E (Abbé, with Rabbe’s bde of his own Division of the Armée du Nord) marches from Tudela to Zaragoza...
3 – ...and G (Lacharrue’s bde of the same Divn) marches from Sadaba to Zaragoza, thus threatening Morillo’s Spanish force
[Intelligence step –
  • no scouting orders]
Allies (3 allowed)
1 – Sp C (Morillo) retreats from Zaragoza back to Alcaniz. Since the advancing French force has no cavalry, his retreat is not hindered.
2 – D (Framlingham, with the Allied siege train) marches from Elvas, across the Tajo to Abrantes. This is a difficult (brown) road, so a test is required:
2D3 = 4 +2 (Framlingham’s rating) -1 (brown road) = 5   - march is completed with no problems
3 – A (Aigburth, with the Anglo-Portuguese 3rd, 7th and Light Divns) advances over the border into Spain, from Almeida to the Ciudad Rodrigo area, where he attacks Clauzel’s portion of the Armée de Portugal
[Intelligence step -
  • no scouting orders]
Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. No-one is Demoralised.

Contacts
The Earl of Aigburth, directed to take the offensive, and wishing to set up an attack on Ciudad Rodrigo before the French could complete their repairs to the badly damaged defences, led his force which was at Almeida over the border into Spain, towards Ciudad Rodrigo. This force consisted of The Allied Third, Seventh and Light Divns, with three attached cavalry brigades – a total of approx 16600 men. On the night of Tuesday 16th June the army halted near the old battlefield of Fuentes de Onoro, which was hailed as an omen of coming victory by the troops.

Clauzel

The area ahead was occupied by Bertrand Clauzel, who had his own and Maucune’s Divisions of the Armée de Portugal, plus cavalry, and could field approx 13500, with something of a superiority in artillery. Clauzel was surprised by the advance – largely because a lack of orders [as a result of the dreadful Activation dice roll!] had not allowed for any scouting patrols to check the border – and he was further handicapped in that his troops were spread over a wide area to secure adequate quartering in the poor countryside. By the time the presence of the Allied troops was reported, there was a further delay while Clauzel collected together his force, which allowed Aigburth to effect a daring crossing of the little Rivera de Azaba (a tributary of the Agueda) during the night of Wednesday 17th.

The armies met in the early morning of Thursday 18th June, in an area of poor but fairly level farmland. Clauzel, obliged to stand his ground to protect Ciudad Rodrigo, placed the centre of his line in the village of Carpio de Azaba, which was to give its name to the battle fought on that day.

Engineering at Ciudad Rodrigo
Each battalion present with the garrison rolls 1D6 each week, giving 4D6 – every 6 rolled adds 1 to the Fortress Value, which is currently 3 – aiming to be repaired to a full value of 6.  This week, the dice come up 6 4 4 3, so the Fortress Value regains a further 1, becoming 4.

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