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Commands & Colors: Napoleonics» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Bussaco (Ney's Assault) w/ Pictures rss

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John R
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(Cross-posted from Margin of Victory: an in-depth look at board games)

Last Saturday while our wives were out at the spa and our dad was watching his favorite grand-daughters, my brother and I sat down for a third time to play Commands & Colors: Napoleonics. Having played the first Bussaco scenario against Russ a week before, we immediately headed to the French right flank during the same battle and played Bussaco (Ney’s Assault). Mike once again took the British, and I sided with the French. The Allied forces have a fun mix of British and Portuguese line and light troops with some specialized units (like the Guards Grenadiers) mixed in. The French, meanwhile, have their usual assortment of line and light infantry.

Setup
As the scenario opens, the British have an advance skirmish line made up of Rifles, lights, and Portuguese light troops in the center, and their main force scattered in the rear. The French, on the other hand, have a nice set of intact lines. We cracked open a Flemish sour ale and started playing.


The start of the battle.

Early Battle
My first goal was to eliminate Sharpe’s Rifles in the town of Sula, as their superior range makes them a huge threat. In fact, their position means they can take shots at any Frenchmen advancing in the entire center section. So I quickly moved up some light and line infantry and whittled them down to one block strength. (Mike then wisely ordered them to retreat.)


First things first: Kill Sharpe!

That done, Mike and I traded some fire on French right flank. In the end, I withdrew my troops; the forest makes for a nice, safe approach, but the French still face some Portuguese troops sitting on a hill, and I just couldn’t get my artillery up fast enough. As Mike marshaled his forces, it was clear this was going to be decided in the center.

Mid Battle
As Mike worked to bring together a line in the center, I brought my left and center together to form a powerful, linked line of infantry. (Unbeknownst to my opponent, I was also building up an entire hand of left section cards, hoping to make a move on the Portuguese line infantry and British cavalry on that side, but it never panned out.)


My left center midway through the battle.

I anchored my left-center line in the town of Sula, and stretched my troops toward my own end of the map from there. Some of my units had taken a beating from the murderous musket fire of the British light troops, so I cycled weak units to the rear and brought fresh ones up. Meanwhile, Mike brought his line together and prepared to assault.

End of Battle
I’m proud to say that this one ended in total carnage. General Mike played a “Bayonet Charge” and sent his Allied troops howling forward. They did a bit of damage and destroyed one unit, but he couldn’t have known that I had an “Assault Center” up my sleeve.


After the Allies’ charge.

I laid the card down and ordered two full strength French line units, one 3/4 strength line unit, and one French light cavalry. They all engaged with the enemy infantry and wiped them out (3 banners). The cavalry achieved a breakthrough too, and managed to nab the last lone British light infantry block for the victory. 4 banners in one turn–wow! Mike was truly stunned; he had thought his charge might bring him within the grasp of victory, but, alas, it only hastened his defeat.


The map at the end. Mike’s “losing face” makes another appearance.

Despite the way this one ended, I think it is a rather balanced scenario. The French get the forests for a covered approach on both flanks, while the British have a lot of hills. The town in the center will inevitably become the heart of this battle, though, and it was definitely true on Saturday.

Stay tuned as my brother and I sit down to play the next scenario!

John,
Margin of Victory blog
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Will Green
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"We sat down to a glass of ale..." That is the sound of a very good wargame scenario in the making...

Great AAR! The "turnaround" with the center must have been just painful as he saw his hopes and men worn and ridden down in a hail of grisly carnage. Four banners in one fell swoop...glorious was the day on one side...crest fallen on the other...

Well done.
 
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John R
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tyvek wrote:

"We sat down to a glass of ale..." That is the sound of a very good wargame scenario in the making...Well done.


Tyvek, expect another session report in a week or two. More ale, more carnage!
 
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BeatGuy wrote:
Tyvek, expect another session report in a week or two. More ale, more carnage!

More carnage indeed!
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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BeatGuy wrote:
More ale, more carnage!


Do these go hand in hand whistle ?
 
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Angelus Seniores
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after all, it is a much used tactic to influence the troops with alcoholic beverages or worse products to have them fight blindlessly, disregarding losses or inferior numbers.
 
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