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26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

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26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:59 am

We have a clash of Titans. Napoleon's 'Armée du Madrid' is assaulting Capitán-General Castaños' Army of Andalucia at what many contemporary strategists believe is the finest defensive position in Spain - the high pass of Somosierra over the Sierra de Guaderrama on the Burgos-Madrid road about 70 miles north of the capital.



Only the Spanish team will see the battle map in their private forum since the French have no possibility of conducting a reconnaissance of the terrain - they are at the bottom of a steep sided narrow valley with a winding dirt road running up it and the sides festooned with pine woods and broken rocky ground. Astride the roadway Napoleon can observe a series of earthen redoubts constructed to block the only practicable route up with further redoubts built part way up the flanks of the valley nearer the summit. At the summit itself is a defile where the road passes through a belt of densely wooded broken terrain.

The woods to either flank are passable only to skirmish order infantry. The valley is entirely unsuitable to cavalry. Artillery that is not in prepared defensive positions will only be able to deploy astride the road (that is artillery units in the game must have at least one cannon sprite on the road). The pass is narrow; less than a half-mile wide. The game map will have a stone wall boundary marked on the ground and on the minimap to show the limits of the allowed combat area and we will have to pretty much TC all units to prevent the AI moving them over these boundaries.

This is a critical moment of the conflict; it may even be a critical moment for Europe and Napoleon; the capital of Madrid beckons. If he is halted here he will have to leave for the Rhine and pass the conduct of the campaign to his marshals. Should he win, Madrid is his for the taking and no doubt many of Spain's soldiers will suffer a demoralising effect because of this loss. It is known that King Joseph is with his brother, the Emperor. He no doubt has plans to make the citizens of Madrid bend to his will.

This is going to be a moderately big game, but although the forces arrayed in the region are large the circumstances of terrain mean that only limited troops can be brought to engage, so we will need about 8 or 9 players for this battle. More will allow us to allocate commands down to brigade level which is a good thing given the amount of careful and close control generals will have to exercise over their units.

Please sign up via a Doodle poll here. I would appreciate it if you would indicate on the poll even if you are not available since this aids my planning. This game needs no Gettysburg add-ons. We are using Waterloo as usual as the base game and our customary KS Mods - KS Nap 114, Supplementary maps 109 and KS Sprites 102. There will be a new version of the KS Peninsular Campaign mod numbered 105 to cover the new OOBs. I'll supply that on the day.

I will add posts to the two private forums tomorrow.

Many thanks.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/La_bataille_de_Somo-Sierra.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Suchodolski_Battle_of_Somosierra.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ee/Charge_polonaise_%C3%A0_Somosierra_2.jpg/483px-Charge_polonaise_%C3%A0_Somosierra_2.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Battle_of_Somosierra_1808_by_Horace_Vernet.PNG

http://i53.tinypic.com/2ed47j7.jpg








Last edited by Mr. Digby on Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:06 pm

Ron, on the Sunday are you able to make it an hour earlier - 15:00 EST?

Or - Jeff, can you make Sunday an hour later? 21:00 GMT?

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Taff1943 on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:18 pm

About how long will the battle take please

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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:58 pm

They usually run to 3 hours and we often have at least 30 mins of pre-game planning.

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  WJPalmer on Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:02 pm

I can try to make it in earlier, but can't guarantee to be back in time. Already leaving early and cutting it close to arrive by the 16:00 start.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Taff1943 on Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:40 am

Will be OK for nine Remember midnight is pumpkin time for me lol

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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:14 pm

That's good. We'll meet at 20:00 GMT / 16:00 EST and get the game rolling as soon as we can after Ron shows up.

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  WJPalmer on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:26 pm

I'll hustle as best I can. Perhaps we can ask players to arrive a bit early to test systems/mods, download your special mod, familiarize themselves with posted plans, and consider their command preferences. Accomplishing some of this early would help us get underway sooner.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:57 pm

Thanks. And those are good suggestions. I'll make the meeting time 19:30h.

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:32 am

We are on for Sunday 15th November at 20:00h GMT / 21:00h CET / 15:00h EST. I would like people to get into TS at 19:30 GMT so we can test out set-ups and get planning early. Game will begin as soon after Ron, who is attending a family event, can join us.

Even if you haven't signed up on Doodle for this battle please try to join us. It may yet be the most interesting and potentially important battle of the war so far.

If someone could take a FRAPS or other video recording of their viewpoint in this battle I would appreciate it.

There are several scenario rules in force. Please read these and follow them. Failure to do so may result in problems in-game and will result in heavier losses on your side!

=====================

SCENARIO RULES

The boundaries of the battle area are defined by a wide rock wall. It is shown on the battlefield with the usual stone wall sprites. It also shows on the minimap. It is therefore extremely easy to see and there are no excuses for sending your units beyond it. No unit flag must contact it or cross it - a few sprites of a unit may go beyond it however as long as the flag does not.

TC your units to prevent this!

TC your brigade commanders in this game!

Units which exit the battle area due to failed morale, retreats or pursuits of retreating enemy must be ordered back within the play boundaries asap, as close as possible to the point they left. Please - no sneaky outflanks by units returning to play!

French guard cavalry in the pass (the area of ground bounded by stone walls and between the first and last Spanish redoubts) MUST have their flag on the road. If they are ordered to move in this area they must be given a "use roads" order. Historically some French guard cavalry attacked up the pass but they only charged along the road - not off it!

French line cavalry may not fight in the pass but must pass through it on the road only.

French artillery in the pass (the area of ground bounded by stone walls and between the first and last Spanish redoubts) may have their flag off the road as long as at least one cannon sprite is on the road. However as for cavalry, if they are ordered to move in this area they must be given a "use roads" order.

Spanish cavalry may not fight in the pass at all. They may march through it using a "use roads" order.

TC your brigade commanders in this game!

Spanish artillery may move over open ground in the pass in certain areas only (they have been here a month or more and have prepared the ground). Where the Spanish artillery are will become clear to the French players as the battle develops.

French players - beware of crossing the main river behind which your army is formed up at the start. Couriers will get trapped in it so command your men / send orders to your units only if you are on the same side of the river as them. Send all units across the river with a "use roads" order. If your units or couriers get trapped or stuck in any way around the river and things go wrong, this is fine! The scenario is created on this map with this river obstacle to traverse for that reason - it represents the potential for confusion in the huge column of French troops that are arriving at the battle along a single mountain road.

TC your brigade commanders in this game!

All woods between the game boundaries that are marked on the minimap may only be entered by infantry in skirmish order, generals and couriers. Note that there are some quite substantial woods on the battlefield that are NOT marked on the minimap. These may be entered by all troops.

There is a safe zone / exit point for the Spanish in the far south-west corner of the map where the roads to Madrid are marked.

Where the French start north of the river is considered a safe zone. They may withdraw here if necessary and the Spanish may not pursue.

TC your brigade commanders in this game!

===============================

Please raise any questions about scenario rules here.

Thanks all.

_________________
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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:09 pm

One last item I omitted to mention. Before the game go into your Options and on the second tab set the tree density down to 15%. Yup, that's not a typo - 15%.

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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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Charmead on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:48 pm

Do we need any special maps. I thought I read Pipe Creek somewhere. Or are we good to go?
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:26 pm

No, we are good to go. A special map has been edited for this battle and it will be in the updated PenCamp mod that I will give you just before we start.

_________________
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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:22 am

Napoleon, against all the odds of the wisdom of Europe's finest strategists has driven the best army Spain can offer from the strongest position Spain allows. A fuller report will follow shortly but for now we are aware that France lost 2,000 men but Spain lost over 7,000 casualties and with prisoners taken or units dispersed against the impassable 'shoulders' of the pass, this figure could be higher. We are aware that French cavalry of the Polish legion was prominent in several valiant and inspired charges against the Spanish defences who, despite heavy loses threw back a number of Spanish battalions and batteries with sheer elan and raw fanatical courage.

Castanos and his army have been tumbled down the hill towards Madrid.

More to follow soon.

_________________
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: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:29 am

Good game everyone. The ability of the Imperial Guard light cavalry to operate in limited fashion along the main roadway leading to the pass turned this game in favor of the French.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Here is a copy of the French plan:


Now we arrive at our tactical dispositions.

2ème Division: Général de Division Pierre Belon Lapisse will lead the attack and will be commanded by Kevin.

3ème Division: Général de Division Eugène Casimir Villatte will also be involved in the first phase of the operation and will be commanded by Sean

1er Division: Général de Division François-Amable Ruffin will start the battle in reserve and will be commanded by Tom.

I Corps: Maréchal Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno will be played by Pat who will manage the reserve artillery and the cavalry of the I Corps.

I, of course, am Napoleon and will command the guard. Pat we might allocate you command of the guard infantry so also be prepared for that.



To begin, Kevin you will advance your division, taking the Western Ford (behind my location) and crossing the river. Simultaneously, Sean will take the Eastern ford and push down the Eastern road towards the open ground. Pat, you will ride to the Corps Artillery and have them moving in the direction of the Eastern Ford to follow Sean's Division.

Tom, your division will remain in reserve. The Guard infantry and cavalry will push forward into Kevin's now vacated position.
Reminder, Kevin and Sean have the right of way for the Western and Eastern Ford respectively, no troops are to cross but Sean and Kevin. This will keep the clutter to a minimum. Let's avoid confusion gentlemen.



Secondly, Sean and Kevin will mass their line infantry out of artillery shot of the Spanish. Kevin, you will assume overall command of both your division and Kevins. I want the entire Spanish initial defense line probed by your skirmishers. Kevin, your division was chosen to the lead the attack because it contains the best skirmisher units in the I Corps. Use them, but do not overly engage at this stage. Once you scout the entire enemy position you will report back to me. You will be given two alternatives(next image).

Tom, once Kevin's division, in its entirety is crossed you may begin your crossing via the Western Ford. Cross one brigade at a time. Do it quickly and efficiently. Once you entire division is crossed you occupy a reserve position behind Kevin and Sean. Keep your division massed in as tight a grouping as possible. You may not be needed until the main assault on the pass(You will be lead division then).

Finally,

Kevin you have two alternatives; if your skirmishing uncovers the Spanish flank, and you are able to move around the position you may do so (see the red ? on the map). However, that is extremely unlikely in my humble opinion. If, as I suspect, you cannot flank the Spanish Position Sean and your divisional skirmishers are to advance directly against the Spanish works.

You are to mass your line infantry in column of division and march then straight up the road-double quicking when your troops are within 80 yards. Do not hit charge! Take command of each regiment and issue it a command to move down the road 100 yards pass the enemy works and hit the use road command. That should funnel each regiment down the road. Autocharge will take care of the rest.

Use the bayonet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember, the more men and officers you have in a tighter area the higher moral bonus you will receive. Once the French engage the Spanish in melee the battle will begin to turn in our favor. Use your skirmisher units to lead the way and take most of the artillery fire, where it will be much less effective.

Once the Initial redoubts are taken, Kevin and Sean you may reform your division.

Tom will lead his division up the road through your reforming division. Tom, spread your skirmishing brigade out in front of the pass. Again, if the opportunity to flank presents itself, send notice up the chain of command.

While Kevin and Sean are leading the assault I shall be crossing the guard and Pat will be crossing the cavalry and reserve artillery.

Deploy all artillery that we can muster for the assault on the pass. We will use essentially the same tactics but we will wait until Kevin and Sean's Divisions are rested. Then Kevin, Sean and Tom will attack the pass. The guard infantry and cavalry will move up immediately in close support and will indeed take over the brunt of the assault if the I Corps falters.

Let me reiterate; USE THE BAYONET. Secondly, do not rush, especially in crossing the creek. Communicate; Kevin you will be in charge of the initial attack. Pat, you should have the artillery and cavalry over the river when we seize the initial Spanish line. You will take charge of the entire I Corps attack. That will give you gentlemen an extra pair of eyes and will help with command and control.

Kevin will command Sean initially.

Pat will command Tom.

I will command all. That is the chain of command.

When the initial line is seized Pat will command Kevin, Tom, and Sean. Send your communication through him. Casualties are a secondary concern. Destroying Spanish units are a secondary concern. We must secure this pass.

Vive la France!


In actuality the best laid plans of mice and men do not always come to fruition. Firstly, Sean was stuck on the river monster, where fully half of his division never fired a shot. Still, he lead his other half with pluck and determination and successfully attacked several Spanish formations. Well done Sean, the river monster has gotten us all at one time or another.

To compensate, Tom's division was ordered to support Kevin's left while the guard slid into the role of active reserve. Kevin was merrily chasing the Spanish from the first two redoubts and to stop him seemed so, unfrench.

Pat rode around and coordinated everything nicely; most especially when both batteries of la garde routed without incurring a single casualty (their pay has been appropriated and given to the I Corps reserve artillery since they earned it.) Pat, without missing a beat, set up the I Corps reserve artillery to provide close in fire support, which truly turned the game. Good job Pat.

At the around the 11:00 minute mark, or two hours into the game, things started to seem glum. Kevin's troops were exhausted and began to take serious casualties for the first time that day. I watched two battalions get chewed up. Additionally, other formations (Tom) began to lose men at an alarmingly fast rate. From 11:00-11:15 over 800 Frenchmen fell (roughly 900 fell during the first two hours). I ordered up the middle guard. Their brigade commander, in his infinite wisdom, took them to Kevins far right flank, where they did good execution.

Around 11:20, after receiving messages from Pat calling on the guard light cavalry for the better part of the previous 30 minutes, I finally adjudged it time to commit them in mass (I had previously used my personal escort, in trying to keep historical I did not commit the guard light cavalry for the first two hours, only committing my personal escort of Polish light cavalry. That singular squadron did a tremendous amount of damage).

The guard light cavalry must advance along the singular road and initiate all charges from the road and try and stay on the road. They rode in like a horde of Mongols and routed the Spanish; regiments fled right and left. The brave Spanish who had held Kevin up had enough and ran from the field. More importantly, Cannons who had finally been bringing canister into effect were routed as well.

The entire line fled.

I committed the Old Guard.

We took the pass

On to Madrid.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:34 pm

I have not had the privilege to command Tom, Sean, and Pat together before and all performed superbly. I tried to give each a role in which they would be comfortable with. Kevin, the old warhorse, was tasked with the hardest objectives and he was given the best division. I watched with pride and satisfaction as Tom mimicked Kevin's dispositions and really took it to the Spanish.

I knew someone would get chewed up by the river, it literally happens every game we have a river, so no fault on you Sean. It is pure game mechanics, nothing more. You deployed and supported Tom (and inflicted 6 to 1 casualties, the best of the day). Well done.

Lastly, Pat you had an unglamorous task, commanding the I Corps. I've noted how you communicate in games and in the forum and decided that this role was perfect for you. Not to take anything away from your divisional command performance, but I needed a second level of command to coordinate three divisions up a difficult mountain pass. Your brining up the reserve artillery and instructing Sean were very good.

To the Spanish: good game, there was nothing easy and it was at issue until the final cavalry charge. I hesitate to say, if the Spanish army, with their globs of skirmishers, that fought against the VI Corps in last battle had been present here I don't think we could have taken the pass.

Luckily the I Corps was the best formation to use in this scenario and it seems that the Spanish army was ill suited for rough terrain.

Good game gents.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Charmead on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:11 pm

It took me 30 minutes to realize that I had not filled out the "Guard Cavalry Request" Form 27a, latest version 9 Feb 1805. Hats off to Corporal LeGeek for calling this to my attention. Once I filled out the right form and got it notarized (lucky I have a Notary Public on staff) then the request went through and the cavalry advanced.

Cool

I intercepted multiple Spanish messages to include a couple clearly horrified at the losses to French skirmishers and the other telling the Spanish left to pull back to the 4th redoubt line. Plus other typical courier spam, only in Spanish. I couldn't figure out why I was getting all these until I turned around behind us and saw a Spanish division commander perpetually motionless on a hill to our rear. Not the ideal place to command from (I am sure he had dropped ... Maybe)

Excellent and VERY FUN game!
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:16 pm

The Spanish did not make this an easy battle. I knew I would be able to capture the first two redoubts with little effort. I had good troops, fully rested. All I needed to do was pin them in the redoubts with my skirmishers and then send my line troops up the road and use the bayonet. But after taking the lower fortifications and beating back the counterattacks, my men were quite tired.

By the time I reached the third redoubt, my men were near exhaustion. I launched a small assault which initially gained part of the fortification, but was pushed out by a counter assault. The battle then devolved into a firefight. I knew we wouldn't be able to take the pass by nightfall if we had to shoot our way to the top. At that point, Mark turned loose the guard cavalry. They punched a hole in the Spanish defense of the third redoubt and my men were able to pour in and secure it. At that point, it seemed the Spanish in the center had reached the end of their tether. After beating off a halfhearted counterattack, my men were able to continue marching up the hill and into the fortification at the top of the pass without meeting much resistance. I was quickly able to assemble a large portion of my division there to await the further pleasure of the Spanish.

This was some of the best fighting the Spanish forces have done to date. Normally, the French would only need to coordinate their attack and the Spanish would be routed from the field. This time the Spanish held fast and it was only the attack by the guard cavalry that broke open the position. The battle was well played by everyone.

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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:05 pm

Congrats to the French who did an outstanding job organizing their attack with virtually no advance info about what they'd likely be facing. Personally, I had considered it a foolish attack to undertake because I thought we'd simply be able to stack up battalions one behind the other and make them pay for every inch in a stand up infantry meat-grinder with the roles of guns and cavalry minimized. But alas, it was not to be. As the battle opened I was, in turn, both encouraged (because it took nearly an hour to get through our weak, first redoubt position) and discouraged (because when the French did finally assault, they blew right through some of our best battalions notwithstanding occupying strong positions in the redoubts.). Uh Oh! After that, we were reduced to the grim task of merely trading lives for time and running out the clock in an effort that could have but one ultimate result. Nonetheless, I continued to hold out hope until the moment (after Alex departed), when I was micro-managing a well-rested, high-morale 1st Division 400-man battalion with a perfect enfilade/uphill position on a Frenchman in the open -- and still couldn't inflict more than 2 casualties in 10 minutes of shooting. Between that, and the French cavalry being turned loose on us, the writing was on the wall.

Congrats also to our brave Spanish commanders and again to the French on a well-earned victory. cheers
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:14 pm

Palmer, I was encouraged when I saw the lack of skirmisher units. That turned the battle. If you had had six or seven skirmisher battalions we would not have been able to take the pass. I assure you your units were causing damage; several line battalions took 200+ casualties. The difference was that we were able to use our skirmishers to harass and annoy your line battalions.

With more skirmishers you WOULD have held the pass, without question. Also, a lot of Spanish were diverged to both flanks, that helped us as well.

Great game. Until the cavalry charged and even with skirmishers one Frenchman was falling to every two Spaniards-which, testifying to the quality and lack of skirmishers shows what good positions you gents held and how well you managed to bring your units into combat.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Iberalc on Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:05 pm

I don’t think the final result of the battle would had been different. The French troops were very good, our artillery didn’t hit anything and the French players did an excellent job, especially Mark with the cavalry.
Having said that, the behavior of a French squadron that routed almost all the Spanish right flank at about 14:20 was not according to the rules of the scenario.
A first squadron came up the road through the two battalions on both sides of the road and routed one or two batteries.
Then a second one charged the redoubts and the two Spanish battalions retreated, after a while in line and out of the road the squadron charged one of the retreating battalions around 200 yards from the road, then another fresh battalion coming as reinforcement, then another one that was resting and while charging still further from the road my skirmisher and another battalion that was resting started to retreat and ended with low morale and tired. After that the cavalry retreated beside one of my battalions that was on the westernmost tip of the redoubt, charged and routed it, then stayed there for a while forcing the units beside the edge of the pass in square and the moved towards the road.
There were six battalions put out of action in this incident in less than five minutes.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  skelos on Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:13 pm

I, as well, noticed that the French skirmishers were a key to the taking of the pass when watching the battle progress from my saddle. My regular line battalions had some issues, but as I cycled my light battalions I would plug a semi-rested one into a critical point and stabilize my position and then advance a bit more, though it was hard to stay even with Kevin's advance.

Nice work by all and it was a good battle.

Thanks,
Tom W.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:17 pm

I think I know exactly to which you refer; that was a unit of Germans in the guard. They were facing a Spanish battalion less than 40 yards away and in column-when I hit charge they veered 160 yards off the road to the right and charged a stationary Spanish unit in line behind breastworks.

I brought them back as soon as practicable. I took a massive amount of screenshots because this was a very cool battle with all the uniforms and luckily you can see my gold stars on the road for most of them as I ordered the French cavalry to use the road. Cool

The squadrons were TCed; when you hit charge you don't know where the cavalry is going to go! And when one battalion runs the cavalry will pursue and charge into a second battalion. I know that no cavalry regiment charged more than 200 yards off the road; as soon as they left the road I sent a stream of couriers to withdrawal them-even using the retreat button.

My apologies but I controlled them as close as the mechanics of the game allowed!

And with skirmishers we wouldn't have reached the pass in time. Without a doubt.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

Post  WJPalmer on Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:33 pm

More skirmishers would've been great, but not decisive, as Pepe says. When units fire but can't hit anything, it doesn't really matter their location or formation. All we were doing was soaking up French bullets with our bodies -- until our Spanish battalions gave way which was early and often. The close combat I witnessed all followed the same pattern: 1) Units engage; 2) Spanish casualties accelerate at an amazing rate for a few seconds; 3) Spanish break and run; 4) French battalion moves on to its next victim; 5) rinse/repeat.
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Re: 26. Battle of Somosierra - 6th March 1809

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