David McKenna
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Click here to withdraw to the first day of battle!

Turn 16: July 29, Morning (French morale 8, Allied morale 5)

(Random event = ‘Cries of Treason!’ -1 to all Spanish reliability checks/+1 to distance they retreat)
Villatte moves along road towards Casa de Salinas, with Sebastiani moving towards Talavera, Madrid Garrison towards the same and Lat’r-Maub moving towards, but stopping short of engaging, Henestrosa.

(Random event = ‘Heat and Fatigue’. All units have -1MA)
Hill moves towards Casa de Salinas as Manglano moves along road towards Talavera.

With no combat nor force marching, the Allies then declare this a lull turn (+1 Allied morale)

‘Sudden death’ roll = game continues

Situation at end of turn 16


Turn 17: July 29, Mid-day (French morale 8, Allied morale 6)

(Random event = ‘Rumours of Venegas’. Really a No Effect)
Villatte moves to engage Hill, with Lat’r-Maub moving up in support and Sebastiani stopping just short of engaging Henestrosa, with Madrid Garrison also moving up in support.

Villatte attacks Hill, remaining engaged.

(Random event = ‘Steady, lads, steady…’. Payne remains broken)
Henestrosa moves west of Hill as Manglano continues to advance on Talavera.

Hill (is forced to) attack Villatte, but is forced to withdraw with Villatte advancing after combat.

‘Sudden Death’ roll = game end, in a French Marginal victory! (French morale 8, Allied morale 6, plus French forces hold Talavera)

Situation at end of game


Final Thoughts

Well, I’m sure that didn’t happen to Richard Sharpe …

Regarding this replay, what actually struck me was just how much of this took place in and around the city of Talavera (and the Basilica) itself, rather than to the north of the same: going in (as it were) I was expecting the majority of the battle to take place in and around the vicinity of Pajar de Vergara/Cerro de Medellin. That’s not to say those area weren’t important to the outcome – they were – just not as much as I had initially thought.

In retrospect, I also think the Spanish forces (in this game) made a tactical error in using a cavalry unit to hold Talavera rather than a stronger infantry unit, doing themselves out of the mobility of the Spanish cavalry and making things harder for themselves than it needed to be! For the French forces,, the lack of command co-ordination also told, making it hard for them to bring their full might against their foes, as was shown early in the battle when the Res Art were able to throw the British out of Cerro de Medellin, but were unable to follow up on this success!

If this had been what had happened, I’m sure history would have been very different indeed …

Morale over course of battle
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Lance McMillan
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As always, David, that was a great AAR! Thanks for posting it.

dmcke013 wrote:
...what actually struck me was just how much of this took place in and around the city of Talavera (and the Basilica) itself, rather than to the north of the same: going in (as it were) I was expecting the majority of the battle to take place in and around the vicinity of Pajar de Vergara/Cerro de Medellin.


This was one of the chief issues I struggled with when developing this game: why did Joseph choose to attack the British when the already shaky Spanish offered such a more attractive target? The only answer we could logically come up with was that he knew a direct assault on the city walls would have been too costly (assuming the Spanish defended it strongly), and so the game is structured to reflect that viewpoint.

It's usually quite difficult for the French to take the city if the Spanish defend it strongly. That tends to cause the French to shift their main effort to the north, towards the Pajar de Vergara and Cerro de Medellin, as they're the anchors of the British line. By having your Spanish forces defend Talavera relatively weakly the French were able to storm the city which irrevocably changed the focus of your battle's narrative.

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junkers doll
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Some interesting points there, Lance. When I first started playing it, I was always far more wary of the role terrain played up north, and how to maneuver through it correctly. But, as you say, if the Spaniards make defense a priority, both avenues present a sizeable challenge for the French. And splitting their forces is only going to end in tears, given the command confusion.

Yet I'd rate my best effort to date as that time I shifted the arty roughly to the centre, preventing either the Spanish or British flank from making a definite move forward. The Brits got skittish and fouled it up, handing Joseph a pretty decisive victory, despite the threat of a proper pincer movement being there all along.
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Lance McMillan
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I wanted to add the following since both David and junkers commented on the French artillery unit. The disparity in the number of guns the two sides had in this battle was noteworthy (especially in heavy guns). The Spanish and Anglo-Portuguese had 60 guns between them (fewer than a dozen of which were over 9#); the French had 96 guns (of which roughly a third were 12#).

Although Joseph never formed (or apparently even considered forming) his guns into a Grand Battery, we felt that something in the game was needed to reflect the significant advantage the French enjoyed in artillery. We tried doing this with both an event card and weaker 1-2 artillery unit but neither of those approaches achieved the desired effect. So, eventually, we settled on the "standard" 2-2 artillery unit that we've used in several other N20 games. It works, but I'll concede that it can be a trifle over powered if the Allied player isn't careful.
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