Sunday, 19 July 2015

Spanish Guerrilla in PBEM Campaign

Spanish guerrilla garrison town of Serrejon

The objective of my campaign is to allow me to use all of my model soldiers and scenery on the wargames table on a regular basis.

To do so I have had to develop wargame rules for such "difficult" nations as the Spanish.   I have done so by giving all nationalities plus and minus points.   All corps are the same size, and all cavalry and artillery similar in performance.   However infantry brigades have different morale, skirmish or volley ability. 

Most important is that luck, in the form of a dice throw, plays an important part in the game.   So it is possible for a Spanish line infantry brigade to defeat a French one.   Possible, but they will require better luck with the dice than the French.

My wargames rules are designed for brigades to be the lowest formation.  This caused problems when I decided to introduce Spanish guerrilla warfare in the PBEM campaign.   I felt it was necessary, because it played such a large part in the historical campaign.

We have used them for a year or so, but they do not “feel” right.

Apart from the Spanish regular army there are nine militia brigades, one in each city and town.   They are not allowed to move outside the town, and require a regular brigade to establish and run a supply depot.   When the French occupy a city or town the militia brigade becomes a guerrilla band.   They move to the nearest village and harrass the French.

So far so good.  But the actual use of them has been very confused and either too effective, or not effective enough.

I have always considered that their role should be three fold

Observe and report the French location and movements
Attack isolated French garrisons
Ambush messengers

I have rules for all three, but they are too generous to the guerrilla.  They can attack at will, and run very little risk to themselves.

So I have decided to amend the campaign rules.  

First their ability to roam will be restricted.   They will have to be based in a village or farm.   Their maximum supplies will be three days.   So they can move one day.   Observe, ambush or attack for one day.   They must then return to their base the third day and resupply and recruit the next day.   

So they will only be able to perform one operation every four days.

A dice throw will decide the outcome of any ambush or attack.   They will require 5 or 6 to capture a messenger or inflict damage on a garrison.   2 or 3 they fail and must retreat.   1 or 2 they suffer casualties and rout.

So a one in three possibility of success.   But also similar odds to lose casualties and rout.  

If they capture a messenger they will receive a copy of the French orders (to all corps) for that day.

If they attack a garrison the French will not be able to gather supplies whatever the outcome.

I am hoping that the new, simplified rules will encourage the British and Spanish commanders to make better use of their guerrilla.

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