25 March 1813 – Northern Spain – Day 3
Following his defeat at Valladolid Wellington orders a general retreat
The French occupy Palencia, Valladolid and Arevalo.
Soult must now reorganise his depots and lines of supply
He now occupies six of the nine Spanish towns
Their Spanish garrisons are now guerrilla bands
They are moving into position to attack the French garrisons and convoys
The first guerrilla attack is on the garrison of Quintana
The attackers are driven off with a loss of 20% casualties
However the attack halts resupply to the French north wing
In most campaigns it takes five or six days to reach a crisis
Wellington’s two defeats have brought one on in just three days
The British are in real trouble, having been forced to retreat to the left of the map
Another defeat could easily mean that they lose the campaign
However the French success is also causing problems
They have taken the three centre towns
But their depots are in the three on the right.
To resupply a corps must be within three squares of a depot with supplies
Half of the French corps are out of supply range.
The French now occupy six towns.
This requires six infantry brigades to defend them
In addition the six Spanish militia garrisons are now guerrilla bands.
A guerrilla band can attack a garrison or a convoy
But they cannot do so if a French corps is in an adjacent square
The three right hand towns are now vulnerable to attack
It is easier to take a convoy than to attack a garrison
To do so the guerrilla band must be in position when a convoy moves
They can only do so for one move, then must return to a farm or village to resupply
7th guerrilla (top right) risks an attack on Quintana
They roll 1D6 to decide the outcome
1 or 2 is bad for the guerrilla, 3 or 4 is inconclusive, 5 or 6 is bad for the garrison
The guerrilla roll a one, lose 20% casualties and rout
This outcome is bad news.
The guerrilla can replace one casualty, but will always have the remaining one
This will be minus one on all future dice throws
However the garrison of Quintana is unable to forage during the attack
So they lose one days supplies.
21st French corps have used one days supplies moving to Palencia
It will take them another day to establish a depot there, and another days supplies
They will then have to resupply before they can advance to attack the British
So even in defeat the guerrilla bands can cause problems for the French commander