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

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Solo Campaign - Weeks 25 & 26

Two more weeks of the campaign. The Spanish troops from Vigo are now on their way by ship via Gibraltar to Tortosa, and, while the French armies delayed doing anything about a relief, the Second Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo was over almost before it started.

Encouraged by the poorly-repaired walls, by the good results achieved by his own siege artillery and by word from the Alcalde that the townspeople would rise against the garrison if the place were assaulted, Tarleton made as much use as possible of the vacated earthworks from the French siege, carried out a week of effective bombardment, and then forced the French breeches in a daylight raid, using the men of the Seventh and Light Divisions. It was all over very quickly - the garrison troops showed little enthusiasm for the task, though they fought bravely enough during the assault. The town was taken at the cost of a little over 300 casualties to the Allies.

Someone is going to be really cross about this...

More trouble at Ciudad Rodrigo

Week 25

Random Events and Strategic Notes
Advice from his engineers has convinced Tarleton to press on with attacking Ciudad Rodrigo, since the repairs to the walls are incomplete, and since the French did not have time to finish removing the trench system for their own siege – in particular, the battery positions might still be useable with relatively little work. For the first time this year, the Allied siege train is now present with the main field army.

Tarleton has decided to detach part of his force to cover the siege. Clauzel’s army, facing him, is not in good shape – a lot may depend on the number of reinforcements and returns from hospitals in the next week or so.

The 3D3 activation throws give the Allies 5 and the French 5. Since they had the choice last week, the  French opt to move second.


Allies (5 allowed)
1 – Sp B (España) are now at sea, somewhere off the coast of Portugal, heading for Tortosa
2 – New force E is detached, under Picton – Third Division plus most of the cavalry plus the Portuguese howitzer battery. They take station facing Clauzel’s force, to screen Ciudad Rodrigo and its siege-works
3 – D (Framlingham, with the Allied siege train) commences siege operations against Rodrigo – the surviving portions of the French battery positions, commanding the part-repaired breeches, allow the siege artillery to commence bombarding the walls in the first week of action.
4 – A (the remainder of Aigburth’s force) lay siege to Rodrigo
5 – B (Graham) to scout northwards into Orense
[Intelligence step -
  • only French scouts seen in Orense.]

French (5 allowed)
1 – K (Jourdan) march from Avila to Madrid. This is a difficult (brown) road, so a test is required:
2D3 = 2 +2 (Jourdans rating) -1 (brown road) = 3   - the march is completed, but the force is both Tired and Demoralised (and therefore excluded from the replacement routine)
2 – I (Clauzel) to scout from Salamanca towards Ciudad Rodrigo.
3 – N (Marmont) to scout from Zamora towards Orense.
[Intelligence step –
  • No new information – Clauzel’s patrols capture a trooper of the KGL 2nd Dragoons near Vitigudino, but he does not know anything.]

Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. French Force K is demoralised, so get no replacements this month. Since 12th July is the nearest weekend to the middle of the month, reinforcements, replacements and returns from hospital are diced for.

Detailed additions:
French – 2. Rugeois, 4/28 Leg, 4 Vist, Tirailleurs of Abbe’s Bde, 1/25 Leg, 2/25 Leg, 1/27, 2/27, Tir of De Conchy, 1/50, 2/15, 3/15, 4/82, 1/86, 2/86, 10/3 Art a Pied, Vist Lancs, 2/6 Leg, 1/69, 1/39, 2/39, 1/76, 3/2 Art a Chev each +1 block; Tir of Arnauld, 2/69, Spanish Guard Fus each +2 blocks. Total increase is 5200 infantry, 125 cavalry and 2 guns.
Anglo-Portuguese – 51st Ft, E Troop RHA, 1/95th, 1 Cac, 1 Huss KGL, 1/Cold FG, 2/24th, 1/45th, 1/88th, 2/5th, 1st Ptgse Cav, A Troop RHA each +1 block; 5/60th, 2 Drgns KGL, 11 Ptgse Cav each +2. Total increase is 1900 infantry, 750 cavalry and 4 guns.
Spanish – 1st Foot battery and 1. Lanc de Castilla each +1 block . Total increase 125 cavalry, 2 guns.  

None, apart from scouts.

Second Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (Week 1)
The French have 5 fresh line units in Rodrigo, of which 1 is required to suppress the hostile population. Thus the Garrison Value (GV) is 4, without bonus since Col. D’Orsay (the acting garrison commander) is rated as average. The Fortress Value (FV), which should be 6, is only 4 since the repairs to the damage caused during the French siege are not completed.

The civilian population of the town, only recently subjected to a siege which caused much loss and hardship, are openly hostile – acts of sabotage, theft of stores and violence against the garrison soldiers are common, and any assault will qualify for an additional “Agustina” dice because of the pro-Allied sympathies of the townspeople – there are many who would act in support of an assault.

After Aigburth has divided his troops, he has 18 combat units in his besieging force. Dividing by 4 gives an Assault Value (AV) of 5, plus 1 extra point since Aigburth himself is rated as Good. AV = 6.

The siege train consists of 3 x 24pdr batteries (2 iron, 1 brass – commanded by Capts. Glubb, Thompson and Rittberg (KGA)), a 10” howitzer battery (Capt. Tonkiss), 2 mortar batteries and Capt. Lane’s rocket troop – total Battering Value (BV) is thus 7.

Bombardment phase: French have a Garrison Value (GV) of 4, thus roll 4D6 - they come up 4 4 3 1 – no 6s means no hits on the Allied Battering Value (BV), and no 5s means no loss to the besiegers’ Assault Value (AV).
Simultaneously, the Allied battering guns (BV = 7) roll 7D6 – 6 5 5 3 3 1 1 – the 6 causes 1 pt of damage to the Fortress Value (FV), the 5s each deducts 1 pt from the Garrison Value (GV).

The French garrison have lost ½ of their GV, which is calculated as 1/10 x ½ of the 3500 men engaged, which is about 175 men. The Allied loss is negligible.

Removing the losses, the figures become FV = 3, GV = 2 (total = 5) for the French defenders, and AV = 5, BV = 7 for the Allies, which will be the starting position next week. Even with the potential Agustina bonus dice, Aigburth does not wish to commit to a storm this week, and his request for the garrison to surrender is ignored – the officer carrying the petition was not permitted to speak to Col. D’Orsay.

Week 26

Random Events and Strategic Notes
The Second Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo proceeds apace.

King Joseph is now concerned at the exposure of Rodrigo and of Clauzel’s force around Salamanca (which is of his making). Jourdan’s force in Madrid is tired and disorganised from its march from Avila (which went surprisingly badly considering the mild weather), so is unable to send anyone back to support. Marmont, as ever, is worried about his line of communication with France and – since he is not sure where Graham’s force is (they are at Braga) – he is reluctant to move towards Salamanca in case Graham gets between him and Burgos.

The seaborne Spanish force of España was sighted off Cadiz on Thursday 16th, en route to Tortosa.

Gen de Division Ferey has joined the Armée de Portugal to take command of Maucune’s Division – Gen de Bde Lamartiniere returns to his duties as Marmont’s Chief of Staff.

The 3D3 activation throws give the Allies 6 and the French 7. The French opt to move first.


French (7 allowed)
1 – K (Jourdan) rests at Madrid to recover from Tiredness and Demoralisation.
2 – P (Martinelli’s brigade of Garde Nationale) march from Pamplona to Tudela.
3 – R (Paquerette’s brigade of Garde Nationale) march from Bayonne to Pamplona.
4 – S, a new brigade of Garde Nationale, becomes garrison of Bayonne, under Gen de Bde Normande.
5 – N (Marmont) to scout from Zamora towards Orense.
[Intelligence step –
  • Ciudad Rodrigo is known to be under siege. Marmont’s patrols are looking for Graham’s force around Orense.]

Allies (6 allowed)
1 – Sp B (España) at sea aboard Capt. Thornycroft’s squadron of the Royal Navy – sighted off Cadiz on Thurs 16th July – heading for Tortosa.
2 – E (Picton, screening Rodrigo) to send patrols to keep Clauzel’s movements in sight.
3 – B (Graham) to scout northwards into Orense
4 – Sp D (Maceta) to march from Toledo to Talavera
5 – Sp F (Ximenez, with irregulars) to march from Ocana to Toledo
6 – Sp E (Mira, with provincial troops and irregulars) to march from Alarcon to Ocana.
[Intelligence step -
  • the French seem to be dithering...]

Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply. French Force K is demoralised, so suffer losses to desertion: the following units all lose 1 block – 2/2 Nassau, 2/4 Baden, 1/2 Ita Leg, 1/3 Ita – Total loss 800 men.

None, apart from scouts.

Second Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (Week 2)
Bombardment phase: French have a Garrison Value (GV) of 2, thus roll 2D6 - they come up 5 3 – no 6s means no hits on the Allied Battering Value (BV), and the 5 means a loss of 1 pt to the besiegers’ Assault Value (AV).
Simultaneously, the Allied battering guns (BV = 7) roll 7D6 – 6 5 4 3 3 1 1 – the 6 causes 1 pt of damage to the Fortress Value (FV), the 5 deducts 1 pt from the Garrison Value (GV).

Removing the losses, the figures become FV = 2, GV = 1 (total = 3) for the French defenders, and AV = 4, BV = 7 for the Allies. Since he has received word from the Mayor of Rodrigo that the citizens will act in support of an assault (thus gaining the attackers a bonus “Agustina” dice), Aigburth decides to storm the half-repaired French breeches.

The Storm:
During the week leading up to the storm, the French have again lost ½ of GV, which represents
1/10 x ½  of the 3325 men involved = 165 men, leaving 3160. The Allies have lost 1/6  of their remaining AV, and thus have lost 1/10 x 1/6 of the 5500 men employed = 90 men, leaving 5410.

Aigburth 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). The numbers work out thus:

the Defenders’ Storm Strength, DSS =  FV + GV + 1D6 = 2 + 1 + 3 = 6

the Attackers’ Storm Strength, ASS = AV + 1D6 + the Agustina Dice = 5 + 4 + 2 = 11

Since ASS > DSS, the fortress falls. In the storm itself, the Allies lose 0.25 x DSS (= 2) from AV, so their final AV is 3. Thus they have lost 2/5 of their available AV, representing losses of 1/10 x 2/5 of the available 5410 men = 215 killed and wounded. Remaining strength is thus 5195.

The French defenders lose 0.5 x ASS (= 6) from GV, so their final GV is -5. Thus they have lost 600% of their GV, and loss in killed in wounded in the storm is 1/10 x 600% of the 3160 men available = 1895. The surviving 1265 are taken prisoner.

Total losses during the siege are thus


The French force (Combat Group C on the map) is destroyed. The Allied attackers (Combat Group A) have suffered a loss of 2 blocks/bases, which are deducted (at random) from the following infantry units in the Light Divn: 1/52nd & 1/95th.

The Fortress Value of Ciudad Rodrigo had a final value of 2, which will require to be made back up to 6 by engineering and repairs. 


  1. A great siege.
    I am curious about the Wellingotn's fate, after he was removed from Spain

    1. Hi Rafa - Arthur is having a short holiday. He was seen recently riding in Hyde Park. There has been a request from the Spanish Army for him to be seconded to take overall command in Eastern Spain, but there is not much enthusiasm for this in London - this would cause awkwardness with many of the Spanish high command, not to mention with Tarleton. It is more likely at the moment that he will be sent to Canada to take charge of the British forces there (in the new period of hostility against the United States).

      All up in the air at present...!

      Cheers - Tony


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