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05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

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05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:44 pm

Doodle:

http://doodle.com/ide4n53wcy2bqns5

Please print and keep this map with you as you play. It's much clearer than the in-game minimap which lacks detail needed for this battle.



Between the towns of Ordal to the west and Molins del Rey to the east, which lies on the right bank of the Rio Lobregat near the coast, rises the Pass of Ordal, or Ordal Cross. Here the mountain range of the Sierra del Montsant reach down to the sea in a series of steep cliffs and crags - the Ordal Hills. The coastal road forsakes the fishing villages and turns inland and by sweeps and turns climbs the lowest saddle of the Montsant to pass over it at Ordal Cross, so named for a roadside crucifix built at it's highest point.

The road is steep on both sides of the pass but steeper on the west slope and due to rocky and heavily wooded heights on both sides and the narrowness of the road in 1808 the Spanish thought that "a brigade and four guns could hold here against an army".

On 1st July the Junta Centrale of Cataluña replaced the useless and objectionable Mariano Álvarez de Castro, demoting him to command the Vanguard Division and appointed in his place Mariano Domingo Traggia y Uribarri, Marqués del Palacio whom they confirmed as Capitàn General of Cataluña the same day. The appointment came at a price - the Junta demanded immediate action to attack Barcelona and relieve the fortress of Girona. Palacio argued that his troops were of poor quality, lacking shoes, uniforms and powder and that the division of the Conde de Caldagues that had straggled over the mountains in late June from Lerida was in an even worse condition, having been obliged to abandon its guns on the heights and eat the oxen.

The Junta, however, insisted and thus the march was made. Almost completely lacking any cavalry or artillery and with almost half it's numbers being ill-disciplined miquelets who could not form a simple military line or square, the army straggled out of Tarragona on 2nd July, the worn out and still hungry division of Caldagues trailing in the rear.

A squadron of the Husares de Narciso had been watching a French position at Ordal for two weeks and some light skirmishing with some French cuirassiers had resulted in a few prisoners on each side so that both Palacio, and his counterpart in the French camp, Général de division Guillaume Philibert Duhesme, knew something of the other's forces.

Palacio knew he was facing only a small force, that "brigade and four guns" but he didn't know what troops might come down from Barcelona in support. Duhesme knew he was facing more than 10,000 Spaniards. He also knew they were not much more than armed peasants. Duhesme held his position and waited.


View up towards the French position.


The ravine on the approach to the cross.


Ordal Cross

I am using the Fox's Gap map, oriented so that east on the map is now north. Boonsboro becomes Ordal and the National Road is the coast highway. Turner's Gap is Ordal Cross. Note the twin grey lines. Due to the rugged terrain, artillery, cavalry and formed infantry MAY NOT VOLUNTARILY MOVE OUTSIDE OF THESE LINES. If troops retreat outside them, they must be recalled back onto the main road to rally and return to battle. No movements of any kind by formed troops are allowed off this central spine of good ground.

The rest of the map is traversible by skirmish order infantry, generals and couriers ONLY. Such troops must not form any close order formation while outside the twin grey boundaries. Also outside them NO RUNNING is permitted exept by generals and in closing in a bayonet charge.

The boundaries will be marked in-game by a series of yellow wheels and arrows on the ground, like so:



The result is that going up and over the pass there is room for no more than THREE UNITS abreast. One on the road and one each side. No wider formations are allowed. The position CANNOT be turned or flanked by formed troops.

These rules are not fully enforceable. However I ask only that you play within them as best as you can. One problem we may have is AI troops reacting to nearby enemy and advancing onto ground they should not. I ask players to be aware of this and perhaps most units should be TC'd for this game to prevent the AI moving its troops where it wants, since it does not see the boundaries. Please be careful. If there is too much formed movement outside the boundaries I may inflict casualties on such units and if necessary, even alter the result of the battle. This sounds harsh but I am wary of players who let the AI do what it wants when in fact TCing them is more appropriate.

The French side requires a maximum of 6 players, but will work with 4. The Spanish side can use up to 10 players but 8 will work. So 12 to 16 players needed. There's a doodle poll at the top of this post. Please sign up.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:07 am; edited 3 times in total

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:09 am

General Duhesme's head will grace the top of the cross by nightfall.  affraid 

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:18 pm

We have 2 French players signed up. Just one more will be enough for the French team to work.

We have 5 Spanish signed up. If I join their side we need just one more for there to be a minimum number, so it looks like the game will go ahead.

Baldwin has yet to say if he can play. If he cannot I have chosen Hays to act as the Spanish C-in-C (random die roll among those so far signed up). Hays, please prepare an attack plan in case Baldwin can't make it.

Thanks.

EDIT: A map showing the boundaries of good ground accurately, but the terrain detail is very sparse on this map.



Last edited by Mr. Digby on Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Uncle Billy on Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:28 am

Excellent! I'll follow Niall anywhere.  cheers 

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:21 am

"The grand old Duke of Hays, he had ten thousand miquelets. He marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again..."

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Leffe7 on Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:50 am

I can't tell yet, if I'm able to play this Saturday. It also depends on the sleeping behaviour of someone shortish flower
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:28 pm

I plan on being there, I have signed up. I need to have someone assist me to where I can actually connect to the game. (had problems with the last game) I could do this during the week too, just contact me and we will set a time.


Cannons is fine for me too if that all that available.

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:48 pm

Perhaps Kevin and I could have a session with you Friday night my time, or an hour before the game on Saturday.

Have you played any successful SoW games online from where you are now, or have you had trouble every time? You moved down there recently didn't you? I remember your connection was fine in Neal's campaign.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:13 pm

It should not be the connection, I am able to do SOW/GCM on a daily basis. After I could not get in the KS game i went over and played a SOW game. Give me a time for you on Friday and if that is not possible Saturday before the game. I think I am -7 of your time so i should be very flexible to your schedule.

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Grog on Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:08 am

Definately CANNOT play this one chaps. Working Nights. Have a good game.

Mike
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:48 am

Ug, I forgot to mention this earlier (too much on my mind) but you will need the Antietam add-on to play in this game. Please make sure you have this installed and fully working before you arrive in TS.

I haven't set a battle start time yet as Martin, Neal and Stefan are all still unsure about attending. It will be no earlier than 20:00 BST though.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  kg little mac on Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:05 pm

Good news for the Spanish.

I can't make it Saturday.  Sad 

Doodle adjusted.
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Hays on Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:32 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Excellent! I'll follow Niall anywhere.

You obviously didn't get the memo. You wont be doing much following. Your in front leading the Charge.
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:31 pm

Its going to be tricky to get this to work. We have 7 Spanish so their side is going to be fine. We only have 1 French player though. It will just work if I join Mitra but it's not ideal.

Anyone available (even as a floater) to play French?

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:40 pm

One additional small point. Please make sure in your game options that trees percentage is turned up to at least 80%. These hillsides are very densely forested.

Thank you.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:12 pm

Could you give me a grid square reference on the game map so I could look at where this battle is occurring.  Thanks!

Morsey

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:42 pm

56.15

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:25 pm

THX!! That made it so easy for me to figure out where this was going on. Not familiar with the map yet, also in the Army I was used to getting map coordinates and then having to find my way!


CHEERS!

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Leffe7 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:16 pm

Hi Digby, I cant make it this game. Have fun.
KR
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm

Meet-up time in TS is 20:00 BST, we'll try to get going asap as usual.

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Battle Replay

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:49 am

The Battle Replay using Garnier's format...
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Baldwin1 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:17 am

From the replay it looks like it was bloody (as expected) but we were starting to breakthrough as the game was finished (not sure if it was called). Well done Hays and all the generals. I look forward to the AARs and seeing screenshots. Wish I could have been there.
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  mitra on Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:26 am

Not unluckily I had the blue screen and the PC restarted. It was a good game, but control the cavalry with only the courier orders without the possiblity to click on the ground it was very difficult. I saw also that the france cuirassiers had the get away reaction of cavalry type 2 also without have the OOBmod value set. I have already noted this problem in road to wagram mod three or four other times, is like they react like they are dismounted. When happen the only mod for let them charge is to force them to enter in contact with the enemy and force the melee.

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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:40 am

Replay file:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4vvr5mgz2edll3/NetServ-08092514%20153215.rep

I was wondering about that Mitra - the cuirassiers would advance on an enemy, halt and then fall back. I thought we had modded out this behaviour. Kevin, can you comment?

The fight was very bloody and messy and the Spanish plan worked perfectly, with two bodies of irregular and light troops working their way around the flanks in the wooded hill country to either side and falling on the French left and right rear where they cut the road behind the French position. The miquelet bands were big units, up to 900 men in some cases but their morale and technical skills were low and several retreated back into the woods after short firefights. The most potent Spanish units were the regular army Cacadore companies of which Franchi y Estalella (Ron) commanded three. These were able to skirmish over the broken terrain but form close order formations once behind the French position and cut the road. The French cavalry attacked these furiously and I beleive two cacadore units were broken but a third blocked the road steadfastly in square until the very end.

I had command of the French infantry which amounted to only 5 battalions. They were good quality units for the most part but my problem lay in so few. Once one or two of them fell back I had no reserve and once the Spanish threw in their "suicide" mass column up the road and pushed my forward units back I couldn't hold the line.

Our AI battery commander decided to throw a wobbly and while his guns caused many casualties early on, orders to him to withdraw only resulted in him limbering his guns and then standing there, so it proved impossible to get the battery away in good order. In the end individual guns fought where they were and I tried to keep my infantry near them to support them as their canister was at least effective and holding back the irregular guerillas.

There was a bold charge by a brigade of Spanish grenadiers and regulars near the climax of the battle with both sides fighting brutal melees among the stone walls and farmhouses on top of the hill. Spanish hussars and mounted cacadores got involved and my infantry had to form square several times, though one unit just failed to do so and retreated. I beleive I was down to three effective battalions at the end and four guns but I was being pressed back away from the road and up a slope that ended at a line of woods and rocky hillside so the chances for retreat looked slim.

The Spanish just had too many men for the French to stop - 15,000 against 3,500. Even so the French inflicted 2,000 casualties and suffered 1,350.

I saw one irregular Spanish infantry unit cut up by cuirassiers and surrender. One of my squares forced a mounted cacadore squadron to surrender and I heard that Mitra's cavalry captured another unit. On the French side a Neapolitan chasseur squadron was captured and at least one gun.

It was a clear Spanish victory.

It was also a very fun and different kind of battle to fight. In retrospect I think the French may have been better off holding the lower open ground further north where their cavalry would have more command of the terrain and the Spanish irregulars would have been disadvantaged. A replay of this fight some time using that approach would be interesting.


Last edited by Mr. Digby on Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
The other Martin - Charles Reille, le dernier Maréchal de France.

"Any hussar who has not got himself killed by the age of 30 is a jackass." - Antoine Charles Louis Lasalle, commander of Napoleon's light cavalry, killed in battle at Wagram 6 July 1809, aged 34.

"I had forgotten there was an objective." - Generallieutenant Mikhail Borozdin I
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

Post  WJPalmer on Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:11 pm

Posted this brief teaser on the GCM forum
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Re: 05. Battle of Ordal Cross - 5th July 1808

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