Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Combat at Redinha - 12 March 1811 - Part Two

While the British cavalry were put to flight on the left, the ever dependable redcoated infantry advanced on the right. Marching with fixed bayonet through their own smoke, they closed in on the French Chasseurs ready to contest the ridge line.

The kilted Scotsmen of the 92nd drove the Chasseurs from the woods at the point of the bayonet.

The French counter-attack when it came in the form of the 22ieme and 8ieme Ligne was limp. In Command & Colours Napoleonics, there is a "Battleback" mechanic which allows units which have been attacked in melee and survived to hit back at their attackers.

This is the 92nd promptly did with crushing effect, driving the 22ieme Ligne from the field, shattered and unable to rejoin the fight.

While things were looking relatively rosy on the right, the left was in trouble. The flight of the Light Dragoons had left the Kings Royal Halberdiers exposed and vulnerable to encirclement.

Which General Creanor promptly did. Taking fire from the French guns to their front and the French infantry to their rear, they started taking casualties - but held for the time being.  I like to think that the second rank about faced, like the 28th at Alexandria. If they make it out of this, I may have to consider an additional cap badge.

The Halberdiers however are not along and the McFarlane's battery of the Royal Horse Artillery supports them with gunfire.
Only to attract a crushing volley from the French supports. With gunners down and the gunteams decimated, the Duke better win this one if he's to avoid losing those guns.

Back on the right the redcoats push forward. It seems General Creanor plan for a reverse slope defence has back fired and he is unable to counter attack across the ridge in sufficient strength to dislodge the attackers. The Fourth Foot are cut up by a close range volley from the French, but respond in kind.
On the left however, things are looking increasingly bleak for the Halberdiers. With McFarlane's battery lying silent behind them and the French closing in from the rear - this rapidly beginning to looking like one of those days that will go down in regimental annals. Either as a great victory...

...or a disaster. Oh well.

After disaster on the left, things begin to swing in the French favour. General Creanor manages to get his counter-attack moving and onto the ridge, hitting the weakened Fourth Foot and sending them tumbling back in disorder.
The Scotsmen on the other hand take no heed of this and plough on into the ranks of Frenchmen. They don't close, but form into a ragged line and give the second French battalion a volley, that while not as crushing as previous ones, scythes down a goodly number and leaves them teetering on the edge of fight.

The 8ieme Ligne similarly appear to be getting out of hand and after driving the Halberdiers from the field, dash headlong into the heart of the British left. They are strong unit and there is every chance they could finish my Light Dragoons before I managed to get my infantry to bear. I believe the score was 5-4 to me at this point, but with the Light Dragoons out of the way and a lucky roll on the right - General Creanor was not out of the fight yet.
Fortunately, I had an ace - or specifically, an Assault Centre card up my sleeve and was able to attack the 22ieme Ligne before they could take my Scotsmen in the rear. Hit from the front and both flanks, they weathered the initial volleys.

And the second and the third...

Only to fall at the last to the 7th Portuguese Line infantry, who'd been sitting things out so far - determined as they were to fight the battle to the last Scotsman.  This ended the battle and the British paused to catch their breath while the French slunk from the field. A hard fought game and a good one, made better by good wine and good company. I think that General Creanor knew my assault was coming in the centre and was a little cavalier in preparing for it. He was unlucky on his right, because my combined armed assault by the Halberdiers and McFarlanes battery went far better than it had any right to.

The Cheltenham moment when the Light Dragoons managed to cover nearly the length of the table without being wiped out was also unlucky for him.

While I've used smoke in battle reports before - this is the first time I've used it to make every volley of musketry. I'm interested in blackpowder smoke, mainly because I'm interested if there's anything to be learned from watching where it appears and if it affects play.

The stuff I've used is polycell pillow stuffing which has a bit more bounce and is rather more durable than cotton wool. As you can see in the picture above, this battle had engagements all the way along the line.

My ultimate goal is to use powder smoke in a multi-player battle with a overall commander, who can has to peer through the fog of war to work out what's going on. This is an idea I'll be playing with for a while - any thoughts or observations?


  1. Hi CK,

    Stirring stuff old chap - a real humdinger of an action!

    Years ago we used cotton wool for gun smoke for age of sail games and after several salvoes it used to confuse things enormously which was great fun for all concerned. It does open the door to the need for weather rules - especially for wind.

    Certainly helps the look of the thing though!

    All the best,


  2. Excellent write up once again, great pics too.