Rout of Fourth British Corps
game started with this British corps in rout, closely followed by a formed French
corps. All five British brigades, plus the
corps artillery, were in rout. They had
varying numbers of casualties. Those with
more than 30% were very unlikely to rally.
One, the Portuguese, had no casualties and therefore stood a good
chance. This is the elite British
corps, with two brigades of rifles.
Three of the four infantry brigades were elite, and would stand a better
than normal chance to rally.
often read on forums that wargamers would like to game unusual games, with a
change from the normal even sided armies.
My reaction is usually “be careful what you wish for”. This is because over the years I have fought
countless wargames, and the best have always been when both sides were more or
less even, both had interesting terrain to fight over, both followed a good
tactical plan and the outcome was decided by a small element of luck in the
form of the dice. It sounds rather boring, but I have found it
to be very true time after time.
PBEM often provides very challenging battles to wargame, indeed normally
does so. However the battle of Mondragon was the
exception which proves the rule.
campaign army commander has complete freedom to do as he wants. I have found that the “fog of war” produces
more than enough problems for most commanders.
Few seem to be able to follow an obvious campaign plan. An unexpected attack can throw even the best
plan into confusion, and it is often as much of a surprise to the attacker as
never know the reasoning behind the orders issued by the campaign
commander. And indeed I have no feeling
one way or the other who wins or how clever their battle plan might be. Some seem to have no real plan at all, just
a determination to attack whenever possible.
Table at the start of the
Battle of Mondragon
French commander was aware that there was a British corps (top left) but still
ordered one of his corps (off table top right) to pursue the routed 4th
corps (centre). He was not aware that
there was a third british corps (bottom centre). The second French corps (centre right off
table) was not under orders to join the pursuit, but would “march to the sound
of the guns” once the battle started.
would imagine that many would consider this to be an “interesting” wargame.
fact it turned out to be rather a waste of time.
French corps (top right) came under attack from 1st British corps
(top left) as soon as they entered the table.
Part of the routed 4th British corps rallied and moved to
support 1st British corps. 2nd
British corps deployed to meet 5th French corps (off table right).
four moves 11th French corps had been defeated and retreated. 5th French corps arrived too late
to make any difference. They also
retreated as soon as they sighted 2nd British corps waiting for
had taken longer to prepare and set up the wargame than it did to fight it.
the campaign commander orders a battle, then we are quite happy to wargame
it. But I am pleased that we do not
often have such “interesting” ones to game.