Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Salamanca (French Right) - 22 July 1812 - Part Three

Last week at the battle of Salamanca.

The Fighting Fourth mount the hill over the bodies of the 8iem Ligne, before being bounced back over the river by (count 'em!) one-two-three-four flags! Not a glorious moment for the redcoats.

Bodies mount up around the chapel as the British line continue to advanced through the musket smoke.

The Fourth Dragoon Guards pursue the Hussars of Conflans, determined to put a finish that that damned Gerard.

The Hussars flee before the avenging Irishmen, who sweep around them and ready for another charge

The French infantry tangle with the second battalion of the Fourth on the ridge. The British advantage in numbers has been whittled down.

Meanwhile on the British right - the 6th Light Dragoons charge straight into a gap in the French line.

They sweep past the 42ieme Ligne, pausing only to sabre a few stragglers, move up on to the hill

...and pushing the French guns from the ridge in disorder. The 42ieme Ligne forms square at the last minute, but is looking distinctly shakey...

Meanwhile on the French right, the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards cut down the last of the Hussars of Conflans (note the dead horsey) and smash into the 62ieme Ligne, forcing them into square, but not before cutting them up horribly. It looks like things could be on the up for the British.

NOTE: The square tokens are a handy reminder, but barring actually taking the troops of their sabot, I can't think of an elegant way of representing squares. Any ideas on a postcard to Joy & Forgetfulness.

After leaving one French battalion teetering on the brink the 6th Light Dragoons beat the retreat. Uncle Westprog thought it likely the French would be able to bring their superior numbers to bear.

"Henri, are you seeing what I see."
"Bien sur, Claude."
"Le Bugger*."
Meanwhile, the French infantry have managed to retake the ridge only discover more British troops advancing towards them.

But God is not on the side of the big battalions, but of the best shots. The 62ieme Ligne's second battalion unleash a torrent of statistically unlikely musketry and proving General Du Gourmand's maxim "Better lucky than good" wipes the Fourth Foot out to a man.

A sudden charge on French right threw the severely weakened 39ieme Ligne across the river and they gave the Connaught Rangers the bayonet, driving them from the field and breaking the British army and ending the game.

On the whole, I think this particular scenario is a tough one for the British. They have numbers in the centre, but bringing those to bear in a co-ordinated way will be difficult without either a lucky starting hand or the willingness to sit tight and build a hand that will allow you to take the central position. Uncle Westprog seemed to enjoy himself and though he has returned to Arizona, I hope to arrange some means of playing with him again.

*That's your actual French that is.

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