I had done some reading on Really-Espinosa, and the first thing to note is that it was a much bigger battle than the CCN scenario, on terrain that wasn't quite the same either. The second thing is that the historical action lasted two days, the French spending one day struggling against determined resistance from the Spanish left wing, then rather quickly mopping up the rest of the army on day 2.
The miniature Battle-of-Somewhere-Else turned out to be a rather more one-sided affair. I used the scenario's initial deployment, as shown in the previous post, and I learned quite a bit more about the use of an unsupported Spanish army under these rules. I have to say that the French were a bit lucky with the cards, but the Spaniards had some fundamental problems which they were always going to struggle to work around:
(1) In this game, Spanish troops suffer double retreats (triple retreats for militia), and their lack of skill in manoeuvre is reflected in a combat penalty if they fire on the move or if they move into melee. They fight well enough if they stay put and defend.
(2) The double retreats are a killer - the units have to stand close together to provide support to reduce the number of individual retreats, but if anyone is forced to fall back, and if they do not have space to do so, then disorder and loss of morale cause a further loss of bases (runaways and troops losing motivation, rather than straight casualties).
(3) In this battle, General Blake had placed his right close-packed because of the restricted space, with an unfordable river behind them, and his left contained a large proportion of pretty shaky militia. Naturally, I will blame the scenario for this...
|The French had pretty good cards throughout. Ignoring history, Marshal Victor|
gets his left wing moving up fast.
|Due to a miscalculation, General Ruffin gets rather ahead of the advance|
with the 2/69e, but they get bonus dice because of the Force March card, and
eliminate the unfortunate 1VdC.
|Ruffin (Rod, is that you?) did very well - his boys took heavy casualties, and were|
pushed back off the ridge, but the Spanish right had now called up its reserves to
repair the line.
|Now, of course, the rest of Ruffin's men arrived, and the Spanish right flank|
was looking very precarious indeed.
|Quite quickly, the fresh French troops cleared the Vols de Guadalajara and the|
Regto de Murcia off the high ground (and, presumably, into the river), and the
Spanish right suddenly consisted of the Walloon Guards and a couple of very nervous
|Blake, the Spanish CinC, pulled back the remains of his flank, and created a|
new defensive position outside the town of Not-Espinosa, while the
French caught their breath.
|Here is Blake himself, reorganising things - very cool under fire...|
|...though his efforts were not helped when one battalion of the Regto de la|
Reina panicked and retreated into a position which masked their own guns!
|Blake planned to keep up as much fire as he could from this new position, and bring|
some reinforcements, by pulling in his unengaged left wing
|One of the few minor Spanish successes of the day came when the 1er Voluntarios|
de Aragon gave a battalion of Italian light infantry a good seeing to in a melee, and pushed
them back, thus securing the new Spanish left flank
|So, seen from behind the French right, Blake had a new line established, comprising|
the troops withdrawn from his left.