29 April 1813 –
Southern Spain – Day 9
French army have occupied Almagro and forced 2nd Spanish army to
retreat and quit the campaign.
French have effectively won the campaign.
of 3rd Spanish army means that the Spanish can not hope to win
the fate of Cuidad Real is still be be decided.
The French campaign objective is to
take the city, and to destroy the Spanish Army. After eight days, and eight battles, the
Spanish have been driven back to the final three towns of Malagon, Cuidad Real
The Spanish have held Malagon, and
lost Almagro. All now depends on Cuidad
Real, which is the main Spanish depot for this campaign.
The French have won five of the
eight battles fought, but are now at the end of a long supply line. All six French corps are low on supplies,
and carry considerable battle casualties.
They are relying on taking Cuidad Real to provide much needed
Battle of Cuidad
Real end of move 12
The French started the battle at a
serious disadvantage. The Spanish held
a strong defensive position, and outnumbered them 14 brigades to 11 French
The French deployed in the true and tested two corps and
a strong reserve in the centre. The
reserve consisted of both artillery batteries and two elite infantry brigades.
The reserve was ordered to support the Italian corps,
which was on the French left flank.
Unfortunately they suffered a serious of setbacks. Spanish cavalry routed both artillery batteries,
and one of the two infantry brigades.
Without the support of the reserve, the Italian corps was
unable to make any impression on the Spanish right flank. Their opening attack was on a woods held by a
single Spanish infantry brigade. The
outcome was the loss of their cavalry and one infantry brigade. The sole remaining Italian brigade was hard
put to hold half of the woods.
The French corps on their right flank could do no
wrong. Despite the loss of their
artillery and best infantry brigade to the reserve, they eventually broke the
Spanish left flank and took the north east section of the town.
At nightfall the Spanish still held the south east
section of the town, and the remaining French infantry were in the wrong
position to launch a final attack.
The French had failed to take Cuidad Real, they had also
failed to crush 1st Spanish Army.
On the surface this critical battle looks very much like
many of the earlier battles. Once more
the French were outnumbered. Once more
the Spanish held a strong defensive position.
The sole French advantage was that they held the initiative and could
dictate the critical point of attack.
Once more the French weakened the two flanking corps to
create a strong central reserve. Once
more it consisted of both artillery batteries and two elite infantry
brigades. This would leave the two corps
without any artillery and weak in infantry.
Neither would be able to attack the stronger Spanish corps to their
front, who not only had more infantry but also had artillery.
French success would depend on good use of their
reserve. In this battle that reserve
would support the Italian corps, which was the French left. However it would not be sufficient to defeat
the Spanish corps to their front. They
would also have to take the strongly held Cuidad Real in the centre.
To so so the French artillery would have to advance to
close range of the town. Despite their
infantry support, the guns would be very vulnerable in the final approach to
Move 6, exactly half way through the game, would be the
deciding move. The French artillery
would have to advance within charge move of the Spanish cavalry in order to
unlimber within short range of the town.
Which side moved first would be critical. This is decided by drawing a (poker) chip
showing the corps to move first. The
Spanish moved first.
The Spanish lancers charged the nearest French
battery. The gunners had just
unlimbered, but their infantry support was just out of supporting range. Normally the infantry should be in square
and offer a safe refuge to the gunners.
The Spanish charged and the French gunners tested to see if they could
evade. The gunners lost and must now
stop the enemy cavalry with firepower.
They only needed 5 for a hit with 2D6, they totalled 4. The Spanish charged home, the gunners were
broken and routed with 10% casualties.
A rout is 8” directly away from the cause of the rout. This sent the gunners right into their
infantry support. The infantry had to
test their morale, they needed 3 with 1D6, they rolled 1 and joined the
Half way through the game the French reserve had lost
half of their artillery and infantry.
The French were more sucessful on their weak right
flank. Here they defeated the Spanish
corps to their front and even took part of the town. But it was just not enough.
To win the French needed to defeat the First Spanish Army
and take the town. They failed to do
It may have looked just like the earlier games at the start, but this one proved to be one of
the most difficult games for the French commander (me). They had good luck to balance the bad. But unfortunately it was in the wrong place
and at the wrong time.
All of which made for a very enjoyable game, and a well
deserved win for Jan.