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19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:50 pm

I'm up for trying it Sunday night Eu time at 20:00h. Main problem is the Allies have 8 divisions on the field so they need 8 commanders. The French can get away with 5 if we delete 3rd Div, or 6 if we include it. A second HITS game in a weekend that needs 14 players is a big ask.

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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: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mark87 on Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:08 pm

I will say that I think the allies initial dispositions were excellent, and a judicious use of the reverse slope could have severely negated the French advantage of artillery. I can think of no other field, save perhaps pipe creek, where a creekline is so thoroughly dominated by the terrain. In riding through the area I was struck by if the Allies had hunkered down behind their hills, what a messy, bloody fight it would have been; just what I needed to avoid.

The only real opening was beyond the Spanish left flank, which would have been turned, even had the Spanish fought, but would have been much more costly.

The true eye opening experience was in commanding veterans of the grand armee; truly a powerful and competent organization in all arms.

One last point, I thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the new changes. Felt much more real and balanced. The guns especially were easy to deploy FINALLY. A welcome change. I know a couple players had issue with the increased fatigue but that didn't seem to me to be especially bothersome.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  midgetmanifesto on Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:11 pm

I ended up printing off the map at the beginning and labelling the (confusing) compass directions on it. Remembering the town names was super confusing, and I wasn't even maneuvering around.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:35 pm

I think the allies initial dispositions were excellent, and a judicious use of the reverse slope could have severely negated the French advantage of artillery. I can think of no other field, save perhaps pipe creek, where a creekline is so thoroughly dominated by the terrain.
A Gettysburg what-if where the Union gets there earlier and holds that ridge overlooking Willoughby Run would make an interesting fight, I bet it wouldn't last three days Wink

The true eye opening experience was in commanding veterans of the grand armee; truly a powerful and competent organization in all arms.
My Road to Damascus moment came as I was creating the OOB. Given how much time I've spent writing OOBs for the 1808 summer French army in Spain I can tell you that army was REALLY bad compared to this one. I mean AWFUL. Count yourself lucky you never had the sheer joy of commanding them!

On the flip side the early Spanish armies were truly a lot worse than they are now.

One last point, I thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the new changes. Felt much more real and balanced. The guns especially were easy to deploy FINALLY. A welcome change. I know a couple players had issue with the increased fatigue but that didn't seem to me to be especially bothersome.
We could use more feedback on the new changes. Discussion of these has been overshadowed by the post-battle foaming about the campaign context but seeing peoples opinions of the changes would be very welcome. Basically its:

1) Slower inf movement, especially running
2) Somewhat higher fatigue, especially cavalry
3) Increased musketry effect at shorter ranges
4) Artillery pieces now spaced apart further to avoid guns stacking and blocking LoS
5) Slightly improved artillery shooting
6) Slightly greater morale penalty vs casualties making units waver sooner
7) Some other minor things, Kevin will make clear anything I've got wrong here.

There are also two new OOBs in the latest mod. 1806 Prussian campaign with the Prussians looking magnificently old-fashioned in their Frederickan styled uniforms and the 1807 Eylau OOB with the French being at the zenith of their quality and lots of infantry of both sides in greatcoats. Some French in bicornes too.

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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: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mark87 on Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:48 pm

The only change that everyone on my side felt was in the negative, was the increased fatigue for cavalry, especially when crossing open terrain. Is there a way to balance this but making open and roads not as fatiguing whilst allowing broken terrain and woods to be the higher level of fatigue. I think that would be a perfect compromise. I know Knight was complaining that he was moving his cavalry across open ground and they were already half fatigued. That seems a little harsh.

The artillery was good, I noticed that on average my six guns fired once to achieve a point casualty on allied artillery at 950 yards. Which was nice to predict. When you have 40 guns firing at 9..........
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Iberalc on Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:17 pm

Matt, there is a button in the courier's screen (below the place where the body of the message appears) that allows you to watch the map while writing a message. cyclops
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  kg little mac on Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:34 pm

Having to cross the river with the slower movement speeds squashed any chance the French had in beating the bulk of the British to Motta.
If Matt hadn't dropped and had ordered me to Motta, I could have forced the British to fight, but my division was the smallest we had and wasn't very experienced either, so the best I could have done was to hold the British in place, but they were in the woods and my guns would have been useless and by the time Matt or McCloud got around them with their guns, they would have shot me up pretty good and made for map edge.

It was a good scenario with lots of tension.  Frustrating for the French for sure, but that's part of the fun, right?


So much lag it's hard to come to any finite conclusions regarding movement speeds, but I won't let that stop me.

I do not like the slower marching speeds.  I much prefer the GCM way of slowing closing speeds: slower formations while close to the enemy.
It took us forever to get across that bridge.  I like being able to run to a position and don't mind having to pay a fatigue penalty.  One must be judicious in choosing when to double-time, but doing so should at least have some benefit.

The whole idea of making movement changes, I thought, was to make it harder and more costly to close with the enemy.  As I understand it, when a battalion gets within 1.5 times the range of its muskets, it changes formation: 300 yards in the GCM.  Garnier somehow makes these formations slower.  That is the best solution, in my opinion, if Kevin can figure out how to do that.

I didn't get into a real firefight so I can't comment on the increased firepower.

The guns deployed nicely.  This does not bode well for the foot soldiers.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:39 pm

Don't tell him that Pepe! We need MJP to alt-tab himself out of all the battles... rabbit

Mark, we made cavalry more fatigued to counter the problem that it was not fatigued enough before. On several occasions I've seen squadrons rampage through whole brigades before and we deliberately wanted them to be used up after about two charges.

You can preserve their fatigue levels if you move them judiciously, stay on roads as long as possible and rest them whenever possible. Yesterdays game was not a good environment to do this as it involved a pursuit scenario where there are quick decisions and unexpected moves going on constantly. On the defensive side I kept a close eye on my brigade of British cavalry and they remained fresh even rested up until the end when I galloped them to safety "run away!"

Let's not be too hasty, let's get a few games under our belts with these changes before we tweak them further.

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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: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  MJP on Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:38 pm

Soldier, watch the replay again. Two English divisions would have escaped, but you would have cut off Palmer who would have been isolated against at least two French divisions and a ton of guns.

Thanks Pepe good to know!
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  kg little mac on Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:22 pm

Well. . . one English brigade stopped at Motta, so Palmer's boys would not have been alone.  My division wasn't very strong and would have taken a pretty good beating trying to fight a standup shootout with the Redcoats.  My guns would have been useless and when you got around their flank, they would have simply marched to the edge of the map.

In fact, I'm a little surprised the British didn't stop at Motta and dare us to attack them in the woods.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mark87 on Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:35 pm

And a stand up fight was precisely what I did NOT intend. It would have gained us nothing but casualties. Once Pepe halted Josh, any ability to really disrupt the British withdrawal was lost. The battle then became about inflicting pain, which was done in a fairly significant manner. Really, once Josh was unable to dice behind the allied lines we stood very little chance of catching the British. With some quick sidestepping we may, may, have inflicted some damage on the 3rd Division.

Of course, had Longstreet and I been able to coordinate the guard as was planned, perhaps the British cannot fully disengage as quick, THEN we could possibility have been astride that western road.

However, there are enough what if's in any human endeavor to leave one questioning oneself ad nausea. I will just say that I thought everyone did well and I will also congratulate the Allies, they were put in an extremely vulnerable position and managed to extradite a majority of their command.

Still, a victory is a victory.

Vive la France! À Madrid!!!!
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  MJP on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:09 am

 And a stand up fight was precisely what I did NOT intend. 


Well, given the allied propensity to run unless with a massive advantage, this battle was about as good as it's going to get for the French.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Iberalc on Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:00 am

So finally Soult’s II Corps didn’t appear? I was very concern about them advancing from the NE and getting behind the Corps of Castilla.

I was puzzled when I saw the highlanders and the battery supporting them deployed on my right moving farther E, the British were supposed to be moving SW in order to clear the roads for us to redeploy in the road Valladolid-Madrid. We couldn’t make those brave and unlucky soldiers dressed in skirts understand that they were heading the wrong way.

I was also moved by the comradeship between the mounted arms of the British and Spanish armies. When the KGL Dragoons stopped north of Valladolid to have their two o’clock cup of tea, they shared their rations with the nearest Spanish unit 2º Escuadrón de Dragones de Castilla.
Many got a burned tongue from the scalding liquid as we got orders to move SW and support the end of our line.

General Cuesta forbade any prepared rearguard positions or the arrangement of movement routes so when he ordered a delaying action towards the Madrid road, every commander could execute it at will.
There was chaos all along our route from the Castelluchio bridge to the Strada Mantua to the E of Rudlo as we moved through the retreating columns of 2nd and 3rd divisions.

On arrival we found Pignatelli’s 1st Division forming squares stuck with French cavalry, with the enemy holding Rudlo in strength.
The 2º Escuadrón de Dragones de Castilla now known as the “T-drinkers” sacrificed themselves in a suicidal charge to a battery unlimbering just north of the town gaining time for the infantry to disengage, the Spanish Dragoons were countercharged by german cavalry when fighting with the guns crews and lost many prisioners.

Under increasing pressure we had to move and went SW trying to cover the road to Zamora. From my new position just NE of Budrioni, I was disheartened when I realized there were still British troops well to the E and I knew the road to Motta was wide open.

There is a small farm N of Budrioni where Capitán Silva deployed his battery protected by the Marqués de Astorga’s brigade and decided to stand fast to let the army retreat to fight another day. They fought to the last man and have been recommended for the Cruz Laureada de San Fernando, Spain’s highest military decoration awarded for valor. Their divisional commander Gral. Pignatelli was mortally wounded when riding to order them to pull back.

With the French just a few hundred yards away Fraser’s Division started to move behind our cavalry screen that held just long enough for them to get through Motta to Zamora. Just five minutes later the road would have been in French hands.

Working closely with 2nd Division (thanks god KCARTER extended the line to my right) we moved towards the Novi crossings and got to the southern bank of the river Duero skirmishing with French light cavalry and voltigeurs.

Mariscal de Campo Fausto de Elhúyar.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:09 am

Nice report Señor Don Elhúyar. Can you confirm that Pignatelli was mortally wounded? Anyone else see that? Losses of campaign commanders is important so please let me know in future battles if it happens. Thanks.

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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: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Iberalc on Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:24 pm

Pignatelli was blown into the air with his horse by a French shell but both survived and the general was able to take the remnants of his division to Villimpenta (SJDI dropped bot Mike took over).

But I am pretty sure the medals for Capitán Silva and the Marqués de Astorga will be posthumous.
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Grog on Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:29 pm

Thanks again for the game, Martin.

Very interesting experience Very Happy

I did take over Pagnatelli's division after it SJDI dropped and ordered it back.

I'll submit a report midweek cos I'm working nights this weekend.

Mike
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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:50 pm

I'll chalk this one up as a success then. It seemed to go quite well with both sides satisfied with the result they achieved and no-one ranting and raving at me Wink

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"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: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Grog on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:23 pm

I've got a job application to do, so not really got time for a full report.

Just to say, well done Mark and the French team and also all the Allied commanders, who managed to extricate the armies under very difficult circumstances. Looking at the replay, it really was a 'close run thing' but I have to be content with the result, considering our lines of withdrawal being crossed and the Spanish were compelled to wait for the Brits to vacate the city first.

From a scenario point of view, any misapprehensions I might have need to be balanced against the fact that a 'old world' Spanish army was being pursued by a modern French army with Napoleon at its head.

Mike

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Re: 19. Second Battle of Valladolid - 19th January 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:59 pm

And on that line of thinking I keep having this idea that Spanish troops should march slower in SoW, maybe the 1806 Prussians as well.

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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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