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


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Solo Campaign - Week 31

Our artist's impression of Arnedillo

My compliments to Francis, who pointed out that the map for week 30 had the wrong counter for Clauzel - should have been I, not H as shown. Francis, you really should get out more and, no, there is no prize.

This week we have two fights coming up between the Spaniards and the French, both near Soria. I hope to get them fought out next week.

Week 31

Random Events and Strategic Notes
The severe rain has ceased – ground conditions have returned to normal, though river levels are unseasonably high, and fords are unpredictable.

Giron’s enlarged and well-equipped Spanish army at Calatayud is causing the French great concern. He has no siege train (though Aigburth is going to bring forward the Anglo-Portuguese one from Ciudad Rodrigo), and is thus unable to do much about the fortress towns which dominate the supply routes from France, but he has enough troops to mask Burgos and possibly Pamplona, which would be a serious problem for the French. He also has more than enough capability to sweep the second-line French troops out of Tudela.

King Joseph is desperately concerned about this, and wants something done about the Spaniards very quickly. King Joseph’s estimate of Giron’s strength is wildly high, confused by the large numbers of Aragonese irregulars who are currently attached (but are very unlikely to be allowed to leave Aragon).

Aigburth and the Spanish high command have agreed that Giron should avoid conflict with the main French field armies, but should move on Tudela, Lodosa and Vittoria – occupation of these three areas will stop French supplies to Marmont, Clauzel and Joudan, regardless of the status of the fortresses at San Sebastian, Pamplona and Burgos.

Apparently you can get a Jourdan shirt too - tacky...
Joseph is aware of the risk, and intends to destroy Giron in battle before these moves take place.

Madrid is now occupied by the troops of the Junta de Castilla, and battalions of milicias urbanas are to be raised from the populace.

Housekeeping
The 3D3 activation throws give the Allies 5 and the French 4. The Allies opt to move first.

Moves

Allies (5 allowed)
1 – Sp B (Giron, at Calatayud) splits off most of his irregulars (new force Sp I), who will remain in Navarra…
2 – … and marches his main army into Soria
3 – D (Framlingham, with the Allied siege train), marches from Ciudad Rodrigo to Salamanca
4 – Sp E (Mira, around Ocana) marches into Madrid with some 5000 irregulars
5 – Plans are put in motion to raise a number (possibly 4) battalions of militia in Madrid – timescale uncertain…
[Intelligence step -
  • No new information.] 
French (4 allowed)
1 – K (Jourdan/Joseph, at Aranda) splits off the siege train and the baggage train (with the Madrid ‘loot’) as new force U…
2 – … this new force U marches to the fortress at Burgos…
3 – … while force K marches from Aranda into Soria with 11700 men to attack Giron
4 – R (Paquerette’s brigade of about 4500 Garde Nationale) marches from Tudela into Soria, to attack the irregulars under “El Banquero” (Sp G) and prevent their joining with Giron
[Intelligence step –
  • No new information.]
Supplies and Demoralisation
All units are in supply, nobody is Demoralised.

Contacts
On Friday 21st August, Paquerette’s untried reservists meet the irregulars of El Banquero near the convent of Nostra Senora de Penalba, at Arnedillo, on the River Cidacos, Not far from Calahorra. Paquerette has 5 battalions of reservist infantry plus a battery of foot artillery. El Banquero has about 3800 light infantry from the Junta de Vizcaya, no artillery and a tiny force of cavalry. The field is hilly but fairly open, and Paquerette is optimistic…

Vinuesa
The following day, Marshal Jourdan, with Darmagnac’s large division of the Armee du Centre plus the cavalry of the Armee du Nord, makes a determined assault on Giron’s main army at Vinuesa, west of Soria. Giron is estimated to have 11 line battalions, 9 of voluntarios, 5 regiments of cavalry and about 18 guns in 4 batteries. Jourdan has 16 battalions (Confederation and Italians) and 5 units of cavalry, but is relatively weak in artillery – he has one Italian foot battery and one French horse battery – 14 guns in total. The Spanish force was surprised by the speed with which the attack developed, so their defensive position is improvised (with a few dice throws in there).

The customary map and army returns will appear once the actions at Arnedillo and Vinuesa have been fought.

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