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29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

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29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:55 pm

General of Division St. Cyr is besieging Gerona with part of his VII Corps. The remainder of his corps is holding the line of the River Segura some 15 miles south of the city. His cavalry division under the command of General of Division Hubert and comprising mostly Italian regiments is screening his defence line another 15 miles further south near Hostalrich (off the SE map corner). At that place a Spanish cavalry force has been observing Hubert's squadrons for at least two weeks, more like three.

On the 21st March the Spanish cavalry were reinforced to the strength of a strong division and heavily outnumbered, Hubert ordered his picquet lines to fall back. Over the next day the Spanish aggressively pressed the Italian cavalry back until Hubert's division fell back on the small town of Alcantarilla, just south of the Segura. The Spanish army marching up the road from Hostalrich negotiated the Pase Corbero which marks the last significant line of hills before the land falls away into rolling, flatter farmland in the valley of the Ter, astride which is Gerona (off the map to the NNW).

French VII Corps is deployed north of the Segura with the small town of Ojos at it's back and the road to Gerona passing north from that place (the marked blue French exit zone). Their cavalry is near Alcantarilla still observing the Spanish approach. Hubert has reported that the Spanish cavalry force has reached Cobeni Chica and is at least four brigades strong. He has been unable to penetrate this dense screen to discover what size forces lies south of it but it could be considerable if the Spanish are advancing to try conclusions against a French corps sited on good ground behind a river.

The Spanish host takes several hours to negotiate the Pase Corbero and deploy on the northern slopes of the hills and it is past 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon of the 22nd with only about 3 hours of daylight remaining.

Apart from the two marked safe/exit zones the only scenario specific rule concerns the Rio Segura. It is crossable everywhere by infantry and cavalry but it's steep banks are not crossable anywhere by artillery, so all artillery units can only cross at one of the three red-dot marked fords, using road march movement.

I will add more details for each side in their respective private forums.

There is a (doodle link removed - out of date) Please sign up! As usual, if you cannot make it, please still indicate this as it helps with my admin. Thanks.



Last edited by Mr. Digby on Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:15 pm; edited 5 times 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: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:38 pm

At 4:00pm on the afternoon of the 22nd the Spanish have halted their advance. They spend the remainder of the day in deploying their army fully, moving closer to the Segura river and probing the French position with their very numerous cavalry. The French cavalry is obliged to pull back north of the river.

We may still have a battle, the Spanish are just being cautious.

The evening and following morning are spent in patrolling by both sides cavalry, but the less numerous French horsemen cannot be everywhere.

_________________
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: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:26 am

We have 8 players signed up for the game. We need 10 but we'll meet anyway at 20:00 GMT today, Sunday 12th Dec and see if we can get enough people. The Spanish may be able to make do with only 5 if the commands are split a certain way.

French players are Mark, Kevin, Tom and Sean ... Sean, you haven't played for a while; you do own the new Waterloo game, right? Wink

Spanish are Pepe, Alex and Morsey so far. I will join them.

After an interrupted week without my main PC I got the OOB compiled on Friday and spent the whole of yesterday building and testing the scenario. This included doing combat tests with every battalion, squadron and battery on both sides to make sure no-one has wet powder or has lost their way on the road. Every unit is functioning correctly.

From now on I want to make sure that campaign battle command structures are more correctly adhered to. We have had some commanders taking subordinate divisions and so on which has led to confusion about where general's avatars are allowed to go on the battlefield. From this battle onwards I want the two C-in-Cs to actually take corps commander slots please. The Spanish C-in-C can take a corps commander or the army commander if he wishes. Thank you.

A note about where your general avatars may go - if you are a division or brigade commander you must remain within about 250 yards of your units. You can take a cavalry squadron or skirmisher battalion with you on ahead if you want to scout further; these will slow you down of course which is the intention. No more galloping around the battlefield alone sanitising large swathes of map. Evil or Very Mad

If you are a corps or army commander you can go up to 250 yards ahead of your front most formation, this includes the ability to ride around anywhere between the division sof your corps or army. As to what your front-most formation is, please use common sense!

I hope this is clear - its the rule we've always used but it has not been stressed recently.

As to this particular battle there are three scenario rules in force:

1) The River Segura is crossable anywhere by cavalry and infantry. It may only be crossed by artillery units at the three marked fords.
2) The French and Spanish exit/safe zones are marked in blue and brown. The usual rules apply here.
3) The city of Murcia and that area within the marked fortifications is out of bounds except for the road which goes briefly into the defence line then out again at the village of Gutillas. The east side of the very big river is likewise out of bounds.

_________________
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: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:22 am

General Llamas has won a significant victory for Spain at the battle of Ojos. General St Cyr deployed his infantry divisions on a wide frontage behind the semi-passable Rio Segura but his line was too thin to contain the powerful assault of six enemy divisions. The fiercest fighting was at the village of Mula in the centre and the French were eventually obliged to give way and withdraw. Souham's crack division in the north held up an attack by General Laguna which kept the French withdrawal route open but the pressure from Laguna's division prevented Souham from sending any troops to aid the French centre. Montrichard's garrison division of scraped-together second line units and Italian troops on the French right collapsed quickly given the long frontage it was ordered to hold.

St Cyr has withdrawn to just north of the Rio Ter at Gerona.

Llamas has been delayed clearing the battlefield and organising aid for his wounded but is expected to press on to lift the siege of Gerona very soon.

Unconfirmed loss estimates for the two sides are, French:~ 400 killed, 2,900 wounded, 70 missing. Spanish:~ 480 killed, 3,400 wounded, 80 missing.

Replay file.

Opening dispositions. The Spanish assault was more or less directly ahead after a short wheel to align with the valley of the Rio Segura. The attack began on the left and developed along the line northwards.



A grateful Central Junta has written a letter to Capitan-General Llamas congratulating him on his great victory. He has been awarded the title Conde del Ojos.

_________________
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: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Charmead on Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:19 pm

I remember asking (typing since my mic was not working) what the French rally point was should the Spanish hordes break through somewhere since we were thin along river. That was before I saw THIS picture. Egads. Ouch.

I kept my cavalry in the rear (Kevin's roving bands of silver flatware scrounges were uncomfortably close to my own baggage trains) but took a squadron with me to scout the Spanish left. We guessed that if there was a flank attack this is where it would land since the ground was more open once you got past the river. And it would hurt the most since this is where we were weakest. On the one hand I can say with pride that I accurately reported enemy strength and position. On the other hand, I can say it didn't matter. At least I did some scouting which when commanding cavalry I feel compelled to do with a squadron (more if I have license to harass)

I returned to my command in time to throw my weight and striking power against the Spanish. Not that I accomplished this at all. Saw what appeared to be a couple Spanish battalions in line, moving from my right to left atop a ridge line. It was so lovely to see and I licked my chops and sent a few squadrons forward in the anticipation of making quick work of them. Artillery in line here where I stand! Forward men! I had vision of heroic parades and honors and women throwing themselves at my men as a result of our heroic assault.

Then reality struck

I arrive at the top of the hill to find this was a somewhat detached segment of what appeared to be Mongol hordes spread across the valley below. I get a note from Kevin asking for my whole command immediately. I see French troops breaking and running west. So much for the loose women.

I flew into the charge and brought up the rest of my division post haste. Orders were "all out attack" .... Some attacked, many did not despite close proximity to enemy cavalry. I had them charge only to see them hit an infantry square. In fact my trooper, to the extent they did attack, preferred squares. Infantry in line or colum of division and especially cavalry did not interest them. No, it had to be infantry in square or not at all. Now I have to TC to make things happen in a swirling battle. This breeds tunnel vision. And now Kevin sends a note asking me to go after their cavalry. I reply that my guys are only going after infantry squares. His sage advice in reply was "avoid the infantry" ... And THAT is why he gets the CInC pay!

Overall though I have to say the French cavalry was not led well by its division commander. I should have been more aggressive in dragging my troopers to a different portion of the field to have clearer access to the Spanish cavalry. I am sure Kevin was shouting "where are our horses" at least as much as "where is that flatware?"

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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:07 pm

Sounds like I missed a good battle. The last two have been blood baths and I have not been able to attend!


From our preliminary discussions during our canceled attempt at playing this scenario a month ago I remember us French talking about a withdrawal in reverse echelon, with Montrichard beginning said withdrawal and Reille beginning as soon as Montrichard passed; judging from the replay the French decided to stand and fight. Seems that this resulted in a very bloody affair! Shocked Very Happy
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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Iberalc on Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:47 pm

Yes Mark indeed, the French team are losing their strategic and tactical senses. Rolling Eyes
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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:06 pm

Bah! We French never run away. Of course, we French did not know we were facing 6 divisions. Had you sent a message to us, informing us of this fact, I'm sure we could have arrived at a mutually agreeable solution that would have avoided all the bloodshed. As it stands, we shall not forget this. Mad

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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Charmead on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:30 pm

Seriously.

We could have decided the game before we entered the lobby.

Spanish Players: "Okay gentlemen we have 6 divisions, massive artillery support, a ton of cavalry, the element of surprise and ability to take the initiative whenever we want. What do you French have?"

French Player #1: Umm, I have an exhausted brigade of inexperienced troops
French Player #2: Same thing here plus a couple ordnance wagons
French Player #3: You guys have troops? Crap. All I have is my officer!
French Player #1: Plus we have Kevin
French Player #2: Never mind. I need to keep my shot up brigade defending my wagons now that Kevin is here. So I am way in the rear on this one.
French Player #3: I don't do rivers
French Player #1: One of my battalions is broken with near-zero morale. Can I rally him before we play?


Laughing Laughing

But in all honesty -- Well-fought game, my Spanish comrades. Well fought. A well-earned victory. Until next time ...
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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:47 pm

We have one more battle to resolve this turn, correct?
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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:51 pm

No, the turn is over. Probably the longest turn in the game so far! Another battle was to have been fought but the French commander lacked balls of sufficient size Wink

_________________
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: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

Post  Mark87 on Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:02 pm

Ah, so he must have been Italian? Shocked Laughing

I'm excited to get back into the swing of this, seems as though I have been off for months.
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Re: 29. Battle of Ojos - 22nd March 1809

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