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18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

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18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:20 pm

A small encounter not much more than a skirmish has arisen. I want to play it as a campaign game however since we have not had one for a long time and this could prove to be quite fun. The two sides are minimal and will supply enough commands for only about 4 players per side, including battery commanders!

Be warned, these commands are TINY. If you like big bloody battles do not sign up; this could be a little affair of nerves and information gathering more than anything - a kind of recon in force by one side - but as a small encounter the two disparate sides could be fun to pit against each other. I won't issue the normal briefings in the private forums as I want to keep both sides guessing and in any case neither side has much of a clue about the other anyway.

This would be a good game to fight in the week. I've offered slots for Wednesday and Thursday night. I am away at the weekend so my next opportunity to run a game will be Monday.

Doodle

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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: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:26 pm

I'm choosing Thursday 16th April at 20:00 BST for this game. We have 4 players so far and fortunately both senior commanders are already present!

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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: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Iberalc on Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:49 pm

So I guess, we are not talking about Cervera de Pisuerga near Reynosa.
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:05 pm

No, we are not near Reynosa.

We'll be using a Pipe Creek map for this. Does everyone who has signed up on Doodle have this add-on? If you haven't I think it's NSDs cheapest and is only around $10 from Matrix.

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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: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  SolInvictus202 on Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:56 pm

since there is no "maybe" option in doodle I didn't sign in... I will be out most of the day tomorrow and I am unsure if I am back in time to join the fight... if I am - great - but I can't promise anything....

if I am availabe I am of course available for anything from wagon train commander, scout or even interpreter! - my Spanish is as fluent as my Russian... Tovarich (or whatever...)
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Grog on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:51 am

Can play after work, as long as I'm not off too late. I'll send an ETA.
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:18 pm

Excellent news, thanks.

We've got 7 players signed up which is plenty - thank you all.

We'll start at 20:00 BST / 21:00 CET / 15:00 EST

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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: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Grog on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:48 pm

Should be in TS by 20.15
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  SolInvictus202 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:30 pm

so - anything good to report?
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:56 pm

It was fun!! Digby is going to post a brief sometime, probably tomorrow.

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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  SolInvictus202 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:09 pm

excellent - glad to hear it!
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:55 pm

It was a French win... sort of. Their column reached Cervera but it is completely isolated by bandito-infested forests. I'll count this as a minor French victory but I think it's fair to say that they are out of supply. They can't effectively claim the town as French-owned and controlled. Given their small force and numbers of miquelets active in this region it was a bold move but "a bridge too far".

The French of General Rigaud now assume the role of British 1st Airborne Div in Arnhem and await rescue Wink

Replay here.

Map here.

The fight was in western Cataluna. The French had a small column pushed boldly east from Lerida (which they invested a few days ago). There was a cavalry brigade an infantry brigade and two batteries. Their objective was to capture the town of Cervera and occupy it so as to exact taxes and aid their war effort.

Falling back from Lerida ahead of the French and in contact with them was General Larrocha's light cavalry brigade (Pepe) while also operating in the region but not under military authority were several guerilla bands of varying strength and quality. Capitan Digres (Morsey) occupied Cervera itself with three companies. Away to the east and actually ordered to Cervera to control the region was "El Manco" with four companies (Ron) and down south heading away on a mission to occupy and police the Valls region was Capitan Regos with five companies (Phill).

The Spanish force was considerably stronger numerically than the French but was very scattered and the miquelets had no real compunction to get embroiled in a battle with a French column. The only regular Spanish command in the area was Larrocha's and he had no authority to issue orders to the bandits.

I made it a rule that the miquelets could only form skirmish order and road march column - all other formation options on their toolbars were banned. This forced them to avoid the open ground. I made the areas marked as forest on the minimap impassable to all troops except skirmishing infantry with others having to negotiate them by roads only.

David Brewster took the role of General Rigaud, cavalry division commander of Moncey's III Corps cavalry. Only a part of his full division was present. Lepic's cavalry brigade of hussars was commanded by Grog. Attached was a part of Prince d'Isembourg's brigade of Musnier's division of III Corps, three battalions plus their converged voltigeur companies under Colonel Lanfranc (MJP) and a battery. I led the infantry "division" as Prince d'Isembourg's ADC which meant I only looked after Major Cartier's battery, in effect.

Being the French was a lot of fun; the game felt at times quite like one of Martin J's Little Big Horn games with many sightings of "hairy savages" staring down at us from the hills and woods. The French pushed slowly to their objective while meeting more and more numerous and more aggressive Spanish resistance. There was a whirling cavalry fight about 40 minutes in which saw a squadron of hussars on each side surrender and a second Spanish squadron routed, leaving both sides cavalry forces with two squadrons.

As we neared Cervera the Spanish became a lot more aggressive and passing through a forested defile we were set upon by irregulars sniping from the trees. The miquelets and their cavalry made a final stand west of Cervera but now that very frustrating bug reared its head where some units refuse to shoot or melee. This was extremely annoying and is the second time its happened in an OOB I've created.

While French losses were only 13 killed, 56 wounded and 12 missing, the Spanish had 167 killed, 670 wounded and 147 missing, but I will moderate these loses due to the bug. I called the game 15 minutes before its 2 hour end time as there seemed little point in the French continuing to bludgeon a partly defenceless enemy.

Even without this disparity of combat effects it was clear the French would break through and secure the town, but equally clear they would have no line of supply back to Lerida.

I want to extend my thanks to David Brewster whose first HITS and Couriers MP game this may well have been! I dropped him in the deep end with the French C-in-C role and he coped extremely well despite suffering an artillery battery commander who was clearly insane and had no concept of how to move and deploy his guns! David - commanding artillery batteries in 1st person view is an art and I promise you'll get better at it. Thanks for playing and I hope we see more of you. I'll give you a nice easy minor role next time.

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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: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  midgetmanifesto on Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:16 am

Excellent writeup Digby. I have to give maximum props to my sub commanders for getting it done, with limited encouragement and direction from their CinC.

I was quite pleased that people expressed having fun, I was a little worried my strategic 'bridge too far' orders had created a strange scenario with little serious battling....just a series of aggressive posturing. It was definitely looking a bit sketchy for the French near the end though. I now have to sleep knowing what I've send poor General Rigaud into.



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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:59 pm

I enjoyed our afternoon/evening of chess. My ferocious Guerillas we scouring the countryside for fresh frogs. We snuck around in the woods as proper Guerillas would.

Then we found the enemy and just stood there with our heads hung low as if we were broken. Maybe there is something in the code that put these men in a broken state.

When they formed they did not even look like there were in skirmish formation, they were 5 or 6 deep and all had their head hanging low. Maybe these observations might help you figure out what was the cause of the problem.

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Action at Cervera

Post  PhillWP on Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:08 pm

Another great game. Many thanks Digby. Yes it had a particular feel to it being a Guerilla. Snapping away at the heels of the French whilst trying to avoid contact and being wary of those cavalry. My troops were ones that decided not to emulate the their real world cousins by firing a volley and running off scared at the sound of their own muskets! Embarassed However, I put this down to poor quality French powder we have been stealing to keep the war going.

In an attempt to counter the rather annoying bug which reared its ugly head just as one of my units was charged by hordes of dashing sky blue French hussars, I was able to put into effect a superb new tactic which was quite successful for a short time. They all laid down. This worked tremendously well until the French in a very unsporting manner decided to actually start shooting my men. Where will this modern form of war end?! Very un18th Century!


Great game. Great fun. Thanks Diggers and everybody else.

Looking forward to the next one. Being able to shoot and melee would be advantageous, but at least my men had a damned good march to get them fit for the next round. Think what we could have done with real weapons!!! Ole!
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

Post  Grog on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:59 pm

Thanks for the game Martin and fellas :-)
As Lepic, commander of the blue hussars, I was amazed how quickly my squadron cut down the skirmishers, every last man.
Having pulled back triumphantly I noticed that the flag was still there. Looking through my telescope I saw men poking their heads up, how odd, it took me ages to work out they were laid down.
Moving forward to investigate and perhaps charge again, I heard gunfire and assumed the other units were firing on me. It surprisedme to see my hussars firing from the saddle and seeing them off. Hilarious :-))
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Lying down Spaniards

Post  PhillWP on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:55 pm

Hi Grog,

So it was your rather snappily dressed Blue Hussars. Fooled you for a while then having my guys lie down! ;-) It surprised me when your chaps started to fire their carbines! Things could have been oh so different if we had been able to fire back.......perhaps next time! Or we will bring pikes!

Most enjoyable!
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Re: 18. Action at Cervera - 22nd January 1809

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