I didn't take a shot of the opening position, but this is close enough.
The Allied force is made up entirely of cavalry. The British lights are deployed in line on the right, facing the French heavies, while the German heavies on the left are already engaged with the French infantry who have already formed square.
Squares are virtually impervious to cavalry in Command & Colours: Napoleonics, but they do require the player who is forming square to give up one of his cards, which is placed on the Square Track to the side of the table. Once square is formed, the card is out of play until such time as the square is wiped out or the unit moves out of square. An infantry unit may not come out of square if there is a cavalry unit adjacent. This can lead to some interesting play because a well handled unit of horse may hold a number of infantry units in square thereby depriving the infantry player of the initiative. However, it does leave the cavalry unit open to being whittled away by the (albeit weakened) volleys of the infantry.
Boks German heavies (here represented by the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards) charge the French lights (the Legione Irlandaise, in green) and two battalions of the 8ieme Ligne
My plan was to concentrate on the French infantry on my left, while holding my right in reserve to deal with the inevitable charge of the French heavies on my right. There was the added sweetener that there was a victory point bonus for infantry casualties.
|One regiment of heavies take casualties from musket fire, but the rest press on|
As you can see from the cards tucked under the bases, three of the four French battalions are in square. The Mosque in the background is a relic of the Muslim occupation of Castile and certainly not a piece of terrain I left on the table my mistake. Also note, the French cavalry creeping forward over the hill on the right.
Two squadrons of the 18th Royal Irish Lights Dragoons (Hussars), view the advancing French horse with no little trepidation
|The Sixth Light Dragoons sweep over the remnants of the 8ieme and hit the Irish again, doing some damage, but suffering some empty saddles in return.|
|The French charge crashes home, but a squadron of the 6th launches a counter charges and manages to knock the stuffing out of a squadron of the 13ieme Provisional Cuirassiers.|
|The second squadron of the 13ieme shy at the last minute and the Irish survive the charge, bloodied, but still standing. The counter attack spells the doom of the gallant Frenchmen.|
|The Chassuers have more success, driving a squadron of the Irish from the field in disorder led by their gallant General (a Hinton Hunt General Soult)|
|Meanwhile, the Germans are circling the French like Apaches around a wagon train and there looks to be no relief in sight|
|Determined to avenge their fallen comrades, the "Drogheda Cossacks" charge the victorious French|
|...who fall back behind the woods, bloodied, but able to regroup.|
|...and charging right back out again! They slam into the weakened unit of Irish horse and put them to the sword. Meanwhile help is at hand as a squadron of the Hussars of Conflans (just behind the yellow tree) moves up in support.|
|The Sixth Light Dragoons turn tail from the advancing hussars, while Anson pushes the Irish to charge the now blown Chassuers|
|But to no avail. It's looking pretty grim for the British on the right flank as the French hussars put spurs to their fresh horses and prepare to the charge the worn out Allied cavalry.|
Meanwhile on the British left, the squares beginning to look rather worn under constant cavalry harassment
|Having drawn a card that allows me to order units on my right and left, I send the British cavalry forward in the hope of wiping out the blown Chasseurs before the fresh French cavalry make mincemeat of me.|
And then suddenly it's all over, a second French square collapses under constant cavalry pressure and the game is over. The final score was 6-2, but I think the game was closer than the score indicated, things could (and most likely should) have gone very differently in the cavalry fight on the right and I was lucky to capture (I wouldn't do anything so uncouth as to kill) General Foy early on. Forcing General Du Gourmand to form squares early was definitely the correct course of action as it meant that he surrendered the initiative early on in the game and never really regained it.
While wearing the squares down is mechanically not a great way of modelling what actually occurred within the frame work of the game, it makes sense as the alternative is to include the possibility of catastrophic square loss, which is very unlikely.
And as night falls, rain lashes the muddy ground which has been torn by hooves and shot since early morning. Looters flit between the bodies, gathering a harvest of watches and gold teeth. In the distance a horse screams. The groans of the wounded rise in protest before ending in a strangled cry.
A single hand reaches out from beneath a horse, the fingernails torn and bleeding. Lightning flashes as a heavy set man in the bedraggled finery of the Imperial Guard drags himself from beneath his fallen horse. A peal of thunder rings across the firmament and the melancholy battlefield is lit by lightning. He turns his eyes to heaven, unblinking in the rain and swears bloody vengence.
"Next time, Kinch! Next time!"