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Subject: The Battle of Bussaco 26 September 1810 (Solo) rss

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mark selleck
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Bussaco 26 September 1810

So I received Espana Vol 2 the other week and had Bussaco set up on my desk with me running through a turn here and there when I could. Here is the result of that battle.

I used pretty much all the optional rules from the main rule book, I didn't worry about the optional set up (Boialvo variation)

Victory condition are the standard ones found in the main rule book though if the British elect to withdraw (which they get to option to if certain criteria is met) then they can only win a marginal victory at most.

Anyway enough, and onto the game



26 September 1810

Midday

French

Events Phase: N/A

Coordination: Two of the French Corps will activate this turn.

Movement Phase: Ney gets his orders from Massena and moves his Corps towards the ridge attempting to march past the British left. Reynier awaits orders to move but none arrive to set his Corps in motion. Junot enters the area with most of his Corps heading to the centre of the French lines.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

British

Events Phase: Confusion – Coles formation seems to have been affect by Ney’s unexpected shift to the right and confusion has set in.

Coordination: The British can activate four units this round.

Movement Phase: The Formations of Coleman, Campbell, Cole and Crauford shift the left flank to try and extend it to defend against Ney’s advance.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil




Afternoon

French

Events Phase: A moment of Clarity – All the French Corps can move this turn.

Coordination: N/A

Movement Phase: Reynier now receives his orders and in an attempt to make up time he orders a force march (due to event card) and directs his Corps along the road that leads to St. Antonio de Cantara. The cavalry reserve advances on the left with Reynier’s Corps. Ney continues his Corps to the foot of the slopes still slightly out stretching the British left. Junot now has his entire Corps in the area and continues them up the French centre.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

British

Events Phase: C’mon, Ye Villains!

Coordination: Two British units can activate this turn

Movement Phase: Cole and Campbell continue to shift left but avoid getting into contact with Ney’s Corps just yet. Wellington also shifts left where the danger in lurking This turn’s coordination problem is not what the British needed.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil




Dusk

French

Events Phase: Le Rougeaud

Coordination: Only 1 Corps may activate, which has to be Ney’s due to the event. Though this suits the French, everything seems to be going the French way at the moment. Ney’s Corps is able to clear the slopes and a few units get into contact with the British left.

Movement Phase: Ney orders Mermet and Lamotte’s cavalry around into contact with Campbell’s independent brigade guarding the British left.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Marchand and Lioson press against Cole and Cole is able to hold the French back with neither side gaining an advantage. The rest of Ney’s Corps attacks Campbells brigade who prove to be reliable and are able to withdraw in good order. Lamotte’s cavalry lose control and fill the gap of the retreating British.

British

Events Phase: Revenge Sir John Moore

Coordination: This restriction is now permently lifted for the British due to the French attacking and as they crossed the slopes too.

Movement Phase: Wellington moves with Crauford’s men to engage with the French threat and a red wall goes up infront of Ney’s Corps. In the centre the British shift a Spencer and Pack to prtect the centre.
Reaction Phase: The French Cavalry pull themselves back away from Campbells brigade.

Combat Phase: Craford attacks Marchand’s formation (with a combat bonus from the event card) and forces the French to withdraw away from the slopes. Cole now engages in an even battle with Lioson’s men who are also forced to withdraw, giving the British a little breathing room.



Evening

French

Events Phase: More concerned with Venus than Mars

Coordination: No French units are considered active this turn, Ney’s momentums seems to have been foiled.

Movement Phase: Ney’s Corps falls back slightly to regroup with the formations that retreated. Junot continues the march of his Corps up the centre road, while Reynier positions his Corps for any eventuality as he has found Massena to be somewhat unreliable.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

British

Events Phase: Cassadores

Movement Phase: The British left takes a risk and Cole, Coleman and Campbell engage with Ney’s Corps with Wellington in command as their event has put them in a position to meet the French line. In the centre the British adjust slightly for a better defence.

Reaction Phase: Lamotte’s cavalry disengage from the ensuring battle.

Combat Phase: Cole’s formation goes in against Loison’s and rout the French back down the slopes. Campbell took a big risk with their attack on Mermet and it pays off with the French having to withdraw through the cavalry back down the slopes. It seems the British are starting to rebuild their defensive line.



Night

French

Events Phase: Heat and Fatigue

Coordination: The French get the best possible result but it appears it will be a waste. Though Massena has sprung into action.

Movement Phase: It seems the day’s action has taken its toll on the French and fatigue has set in, only Soults Corps are able to make a light march on the road and Massena takes off to meet up with the reserve cavalry.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

Rally Step: Nil

Morale Loss Step: Nil

Morale Recovery Step: the French recover a morale point

British

Events Phase: Dense Fog

Movement Phase: The British pull back on the left away from Ney’s Corps, reorganising their line ready for the morning. Wellington spends the night back with Crauford’s men.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

Rally Step: Nil

Morale Loss Step: Nil

Morale Recovery Step: The British recover 1 morale




27 September 1810

Morning

French

Events Phase: More concerned with Venus than Mars, it seems Massena is a night owl and now the sun comes up he want to head back to Cordiera.

Coordination: the event makes no French units active this turn

Movement Phase: Soult concentrates his Corps up at the town of Moura, while Reynier’s Corps hold position waiting for orders. Ney on the left is left idle not being able to get up the slopes.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

British

Events Phase: Intelligence Gathering

Movement Phase: Wellington sees an opportunity to cause Ney’s corps some damage so he orders Cole and Crauford forward to engage with Marchand.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Col and Crauford send in their attack and force the French into a rout. Marchand finally gets his formation under control but not before it is well away from the rest of 6 corps. The French army seeing this set back also suffer a morale loss.



Midday

French

Events Phase: Matters Proceed

Coordination: Two of the French Corps are considered active this turn.

Movement Phase: Reynier’s Corps move to engage Hamilton’s force in St. Antonio de Cantara. Junot’s Corps in the centre now set out to engage the British in the centre to attempt to make some breathing room for Ney to re organise his corps. The Reserve artillery move up the centre road and Neys Corps scale the slopes thanks to the “can always move 1 hex rule”

Reaction Phase: Crauford’s force decide to disengage and move up the slope for a better defensive position.

Combat Phase: Heudelet and Merle press Hamilton’s force in St. Antonio de Cantara and force the British to withdraw from the town while Heudelet occupies the town. Clausel with Junot at the head attack up the slopes towards Packs force but are forced to withdraw.

British

Events Phase: That was expected

Movement Phase: Cole, Campbell and Coleman all converge onto Ney’s corps wanting to keep them on the back foot before they can re organise for a powerful push. Hill now moves up to lend some support on the British right.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Lieth and Hamilton are forced in to having to attack Heudelet’s force in St. Antonio de Cantara, the French put up too strong of a defence and the British are forced to withdraw. Cole pushes his men forward onto Loison routing the French back down the slope but decide on not advancing as they don’t want to break apart the defensive chain. Campbell and Coleman now press their attack on Mermet’s force forcing them to withdraw back down the slopes.



Afternoon:

French

Events Phase: Heat and Fatigue

Coordination: 2 French units are active this turn

Movement Phase: Ney’s Corps head back up the slopes to try and open up some more room, while one of their divisions is still marching back up the road after recovering from routing. Reynier’s Corps shifts down the British right as the force waiting at the top of the slopes was a little too powerful. The reserve artillery continues up the centre and the reserve cavalry continues on the left flank.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Ney’s Corps puts in a very poor showing as the heat of the day or the fatigue of the constant skirmishers starts to show, both Mermet and Lamotte are forced to withdraw. It’s a different story over on the British right with Reynier’s men routing Hill’s formation, the shock of the setback affects British morale. The French cavalry maintain discipline and don’t advance so Heudelet’s strong division can instead.

British

Events Phase: A slight misunderstanding (the selection of Leith for this event has made any attack on the British right untenable for this turn)

Movement Phase: The British take a defensive posture and just manoeuvre a couple formations on the right to try and better meet the French when they arrive.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil



Dusk

French

Events Phase: Sacre Bleu (The French gain a morale point)

Coordination: Only one French Corps will be active this turn

Movement Phase: Reynier wants to exploit the opportunity his corps has created on the British left so he orders forward his corps to engage with the British. The rest of the French sit idly by with just some minor movement behind the lines.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Heudelet’s force clash with Hamilton’s but the French are unable to bring a quick end to the fighting with both sides still engaged. Merle and Soult’s cavalry attack Leith’s formation in Palheiros, forcing them to withdraw and Soult’s cavalry charge on ahead and occupy the town.

British

Events Phase: Intelligence gathering

Movement Phase: Well the British were considering a withdrawal but it looks like they might be able to stabilise their right. Hill’s men move up and occupy Casmes while the rest of the British army hold their positions.

Reaction Phase: Soult’s cavalry decide to hold in the town and see if they can keep possession of it.

Combat Phase: Hamilton’s men are forced into having to attack Heudelet’s strong force and are routed with another blow to British morale. Leith’s fight for the town is inconclusive and both forces stay engaged



Evening

French

Events Phase: Dense Fog

Coordination: Three Corps are active this turn and Massena is now involved.

Movement Phase: Soult uses his cavalry’s penetrative movement to move out of the town onto the edge of the slopes. Merle occupies the town and Reynier joins his division, while Heudelet’s force engage with Hill. Junot now gets his corps into action wanting to try and break the centre now that the reserve artillery has arrived. St Croix’s cavalry is sent off to try and keep the Guards of Spencer busy while Clausel and the artillery engage the small force of Pack on the slopes.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: On the British right Soult’s cavalry attack Picton’s men with both units staying engaged. Merle attacks Leith’s force who are routed and fall back onto the British fortress, though British morale is starting to take a big hit now. Heudelet’s force now attack Hill’s and are held in place with a drawn out engagement. In the centre the cavalry screen against Spencer’s Guards is routed but French morale is spared. The main attack in the centre against Pack is an overwhelming victory with Pack’s force breaking.

British

Events Phase: A most Gallant Attack

Movement Phase: Wellington sees that his right flank is in danger of collapsing so orders a withdrawal from the field, just hope it’s not too late.
The British left flank stats falling back while they are not engaged, while Crauford falls back to help guard the centre. Wellington moves to the fort position to command from there, while on the right Hamilton starts falling back.

Reaction Phase: Soult’s cavalry counter charge Picton and force his men to withdraw.

Combat Phase: Spencer’s Guards show the reserve artillery what they are made of attacking with Elan and with reserves from the event, forcing them to rout and the French taking a morale hit. Though over on the right Hill attacks against overwhelming odds and his men rout with the British morale falling further.



Night

French

Events Phase: Matters Proceed

Coordination: Only one Corps is considered active this turn (though not a big deal since it’s a night turn)

Movement Phase: The entire French army move to keep in touch with the British seeing that they have ordered a general withdrawal.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

Rally Step: Nil

Morale loss: None

Morale recovery: Recover 1 morale

British

Events Phase: Some Officers Shine (not very helpful in a night turn)

Movement Phase: The British pull back in a tighter formation hoping to put up a good fighting retreat while getting as many units off the battlefield intact.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Nil

Rally Step: Nil (since pack is considered a “cadre unit”)

Morale Loss: None

Morale Recovery: Recover 1 morale




28 September 1810

Morning

French

Events Phase: Foragers (very inconvenient time for this event to show up for the French )

Coordination: Only one Corps is considered active this turn

Movement Phase: So it looks like Ney’s Corps are going to be the active one this turn as Reynier’s corps are all stuck foraging this turn. The French spend a morale point to force march so as to engage with the retreating British left. A frustrating turn for the French having so many units in and near a town, right when they need to be pushing their advantage.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: The Cavalry of Lamotte charge Coleman’s men who waver and bring the odds back to equal terms and then are forced to withdraw with the cavalry advancing. Campbell’s men facing Mermt also waver but the French are unable to take advantage of the situation and the units stay engaged. Loison’s force attacks Cole’s at a disadvantage but are able to force the British to withdraw and advance after them.

British

Events Phase: Cassadores

Movement Phase: The British continue their defensive retreat this time sending Crauford to try and help the British left and Hill to slow down the centre. Wellesley joins Hill so as to try and put as many battles in command as possible.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Hill attacks Solignac but is forced to withdraw. Over on the left Crauford and Cole fall upon Lioson, Crauford’s troops attack with élan and the French are routed and take a hit to their morale. Campbell’s men are routed as they try and attack Mermet’s force and Coleman’s men are able to force the cavalry to withdraw even though some of his men waver.



Mid-Day

French

Events Phase: Generals Argue

Coordination: Two French units are active this turn

Movement Phase: Junot and Ney both activate this turn and focus on the column on the French right. Some of Ney’s divisions engage with Coleman while Junot’s 8th Corps fall upon Hill.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Coleman’s force is over run by the powerfull attack from Ney’s 6th Corps and break causing British moral to drop lower. Junot’s 8th attack Hill’s men but Hill is able to withdraw his men in good order.

British

Events Phase: Some officers shine

Movement Phase: The British continue bringing that defensive position in tighter though they lash out with some divisions to try and keep the French at bay. Picton, Hill and Crauford engage in the centre while Campbell and Cole do on the left.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: The British gain a morale as Hamilton exits the map. Campbell and Cole attack Mermet’s men, some of Capbell’s men waver again but the French are still routed and the French suffer a setback in their morale. Next the battle in the centre between Crauford and Solignac erupts, the officers in Crauford’s division shine and the French here are also routed dropping the French morale again. Now Hill and Picton go in against Clausel forcing his men to withdraw.



Afternoon

French

Events Phase: A moment of Clarity

Coordination: event allows all units to be active

Movement Phase: the French now start really pressing up on the British right getting in contact with Spencer and Picton. Ney’s 6th Corps occupies the British LOC on their left with Lamotte’s cavalry and engages with Cole’s force with Marchand.

Reaction Phase: Nil

Combat Phase: Marchand attacks with a disadvantage and pays for it, his division is routed by Cole’s desperate force. Heudelet’s division presses Spencers Guards who are routed but thanks to their elite status they stop short on a LOC hex. Clausel now attacks Picton but Picton is able to withdraw his men in good order.

British

Events Phase: C’mon, ye Villains

Movement Phase: Campbell and Cole fall back onto the French cavalry occupying their path of retreat. Hill and Crauford engage with Clausel, while Lieth and Picton engage with Heudelet to guard the LOC on the right.

Reaction Phase: Lamotte’s cavalry uses penetrating movement to only have to fght one of the British units.

Combat Phase: Spencer removes his guards from the battle to gain a morale point. Cole attacks the French cavalry and forces them to withdraw with Cole advancing after them. Leith and Picton now clash with Heudelet but both attackers are forced to withdraw in the heavy fighting. Lastely Hill and Crauford attack Clausel and force the French into a rout sending them back nearly all the way to Cordiera, bring the French morale below the British for the first time in a while.

The Game then ends in a sudden death roll



A British Marginal Victory!




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