Saturday 19 March 2016

Wargaming with the Spanish Army

Spanish Army

Perhaps the most difficult Army to use in the campaign is the Spanish Army.   There are 2 cavalry brigades, 14 infantry brigades, 2 guerrilla bands and 4 artillery.

French Army

Their opponents are four corps, two are French, one Polish and one Italian.   They have 4 cavalry brigades, 16 infantry brigades and 4 artillery.  

How to maintain the poor quality of Spanish armies, yet allow them a chance of holdings their own against the French, has proved a very difficult problem to resolve.

The campaign objective is to produce GOOD wargames.  This is to say interesting GAMES.   Over the years I have found that one sided games are not a lot of fun, and indeed are pointless other than as a one off experience.

You will see from the above that the French are stronger in cavalry and infantry.  They are also much better in morale, skirmish and volley fire.  

In the current campaign I am trying to balance this by making it difficult for the French to maintain their supply system, particularly as they advance from their depots.   This was an historical problem in the Peninsula, so it would be appropriate if I can make it work.
Spanish Tactical Map

At the start of the campaign each town and city has a Spanish militia brigade.  If the French occupy a town the militia become a guerrilla band.   The French must garrison the town with an infantry brigade, and the guerrilla band can attack providing that they are full strength and supplied.   When they do so the French do not receive any supplies because they are under attack.    The Spanish roll 1D6.   If they roll a 6 the French retreat with 10% casualties.  Any other total the Spanish always retreat and the lower the score the higher their casualties. 

The more towns the French occupy the less infantry they have available for their field army, and the more Spanish guerrilla bands there are to harass them.

Providing that the Spanish avoid battle and retreat in the early part of the campaign,  they should be able to weaken the French army sufficiently to allow them to attack with overwhelming numbers.

It sounds good in theory, but not sure whether it will work in practice.

Time will tell.


  1. Nice post...I love wargaming with a Spanish army, so beautiful!

  2. Hi Phil

    Jan prefers to command the Spanish on the wargames table. If she loses it is only to be expected with a Spanish Army. But if she wins it is all down to her superior tactics (or perhaps luck with the dice would be more accurate)


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