Monday, 12 October 2009

Vittoria refight at the WHC: part 1: The Brits

So, the scene was set for Gerry and I to slug it out for a couple of days.
The choice of game was influenced somewhat by the fact that there is a weekend game coming up doing Vittoria, so it meant Gerry didn't have to change the terrain around again.
We completed this task on Sunday afternoon, only took about an hour, and laid out the buildings etc.
One unusual feature of this game is that the roads are packed with French baggage. We laid out about 40 models of limbers, wagons, caissons etc. all over the roads. In the game these had a real effect. They all headed towards the exit road in the north-eastern corner of the map, moving at just 2 x D6 per turn. They had priority over everything else on roads, could not be overtaken, and unformed anything they passed through. They blocked all fire and LOS. If they were charged or came under small arms fire they were abandoned, the model remaining on table as an obstacle. If a British unit came within charge range it had to attempt to charge. When it contacted it then had to loot the baggage for 2 turns before rallying. Then the baggage model would be removed from play.

The French Line on the western Zadorra. Baggage stretches away in the distance
British Order of battle:
CiC Wellington. adds +1 to morale of all infantry and artillery within 18"
1st Division: Howard:
1x 48 Guard
1 x40 Guard
4 x 30 KGL Veteran Line
1 x 30 KGL Elite Light infantry (rifle)
6 x skirmishers
6 x skirmishers (rifle)
9 pdr foot btty (2 guns, 1 how, elite)

2nd Division: Stewart
2 x 40 Elite Highlanders
5 x 32 Veteran Line
2 x 30 1st class Line
5 x Portuguese (PG) 2nd class Line
18 Skirmishers
12 x skirmishers (rifle)
9 pdr foot btty (2 guns 1 how, elite)

3rd Division: Picton:
4 x 32 veteran line
2 x 30 1st class line
4 x 32 PG 2nd class line
12 x skirmishers
6 x skirmishers (rifle)
9pdr foot btty (3 guns, elite)

4th Division: Cole:
4 x 32 Veteran Line
3 x 30 1st class Line
4 x 32 PG 2nd class line
12 x skirmishers
12 x skirmishers (rifle)
9pdr foot btty (3 guns, elite)

5th Division: Oswald:
4 x 32 veteran line
2 x 30 1st class line
4 x 32 PG 2nd class line
12 x skirmishers
6 x skirmishers (rifle)
9 pdr foot btty (2 guns, 1 how, elite)

6th Division: Dalhousie:
3 x 32 veteran line
3 x 30 1st class line
4 x 32 PG 2nd class line
1 x 32 Chassuers Britanique
12 x skirmishers
6 x skirmishers (rifle)
9 pdr foot btty (3 guns, elite)

Dalhousie's infantry attempt to cross the river
Light Division: Alten
1 x 36 Elite rifles (open order)
2 x 36 veteran line (open order)
2 x 40 veteran line
2 x PG 1st class line
12 x skirmishers
6 x skirmishers (rifle)

Ponsonby's Brigade: (staff officer)
4 x 6 dragoons (elite)
4 x 6 dragoons
6 pdr horse btty ( 3 guns, elite)

Von Bock's Brigade: (staff officer)
4 x 5 KGL dragoons
4 x 6 KGL dragoons
6 pdr horse btty (3 guns, elite)

Von Alten's Brigade:
4 x 4 light cavalry
4x4 light cavalry
4 x 6 KGL light cavalry
6 pdr horse btty (3 guns, elite)

Grant's Brigade:
4 x 4 light dragoons
4 x 4 light dragoons

Anson's Brigade:
4 x 4 light dragoons
4 x 4 light dragoons

Hill's Brigade:
4 x 6 Horse Guards

Spanish Formations:

6 x 32 1st class line (2 dice for morale)
12 x skirmishers
6 pdr btty (3 guns, militia)

Longa's Brigade
4 x 32 1st class line
6 x skirmishers

Silviera's Division prepares to shoot it's way across the river
Portuguese Formations:

Silviera's Division:
9 x 32 2nd class line
12 skirmishers
8 pdr foot Btty (3 guns, 1 how)

Pack's Brigade
4 x 32 2nd class line
6 skirmishers

Bradford's Brigade:
4 x 32 2nd class line
6 skirmishers

Durban's cavalry brigade
4 x 6 Light cavalry (militia)

So, thats the British army. Impressive to say the least.
They were briefed as follows:
Flank Marches:
Up to 3 flank marching columns may be detatched: They enter on the north and south edges:
2 may enter to the northern edge, and 1 to the south.
Each may consist of a maximum of 2 & 1/2 infantry divisions (Pack, Longa, Bradford, Morillo each count as 1/2) and 1 cavalry brigade.
Forces entering on the Northern edge enter on the turn corresponding to the board number (ie. turn 1 to 9 ) depending how far east they wish to march.
Forces on the southern edge are the same up to board 6 except each march must dice for arrival.

Special Rules for the British:
British infantry:
Ignore Spanish routs. Regardless of how many spanish rout within 12" British infantry and artillery only ever count a minus 1 for friends retreating.
British cavalry: (Not KGL)
Roll 2d6 for rallying after melee.
British Foot and horse artillery is all elite and may fire shrapnel
Spanish infantry only roll 2d6 for morale
Spanish artillery fire as Militia but are 1st class line for morale
Open Order infantry in the Light Division are treated as follows when in a single line:
Ignore woods and rough terrain.
Recieve minus 4 modifier when fired upon by musketry and artillery
Recieve 1/2 casualties to skirmish fire.
Move as guards
Open order btns may interpenetrate each other with no penalty
When charged and passing morale they may evade (12") without unforming any friendly units in their path.

Next up:
The French:

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Anonymous said...

It is with 'some' envy that I look at the pictures and the OOB. The terrain and sheer scale of the action at the WHC is hard to beat. Of course, the battles are generally still scaled down -- we played Wagram at the battalion level using Shako II and it was every bit as epic with every unit represented.

One thing that does sadden me about seeing pictures from the WHC is the condition of the figures. Invariably the muskets and bayonets are bent out of all recognition. While some wear and tear is to be expected it does depress me and makes me wonder what kind of gamers are being so abusive to the models. I suspect that Gerry has to just look away when some customer is bending the crap out of the models. Ultimately I suspect it comes down to being less careful with models that one didn't paint. Impossible for Gerry, but when a model of mine gets damaged in any way it gets repaired that night or the next day. With the cost of models and the little time I get to paint, damage represents to me a waste of both of those things -- repair it I must, otherwise I feel like I have had my time and money robbed from me.

Anyway, impressive shots and, in spite of the comments above, the spirit of Gilder lives on in Gerry's efforts. For that I am eternally grateful.


Anonymous said...

Some of the best games I ever played were on that table! I have witnessed, with great sadness, the attitude of some gamers when it comes to the handling of the figures. The word "T@ssers" come to mind!

Anyway, I am not jealous at all. No really. I enjoy work so much that I would gladly....its not that convincing is it?

Rafael Pardo said...

Glad to discover your blog!
Vitoria is one of my old favourites. I played it solo with 1/72 figures and Napoleon's Battles as rule-set. I divided the battlefield in two sub-battles (Vitoria north and Vitoria main).
You can see it at my web site:

Best regards


Vinnie said...

Bloody love your collection - a wargamers dream. I only have a small Spanish Napoleonic collection and a few ancients, but nothing like what I have seen on your blog. Love your work..

Chris Cornwell said...

Vinnie, I'm afraid there's none of my stuff in these Vittoria pictures. All these figures are from the WHC collection. However,in part 2 or (maybe 3) some of my stuff will appear as I took up a few btns for a day out on the hallowed table.