Sunday, 22 May 2022

Llanes Campaign – Day 4

14 May 1813 – North Spain – Day 4

 Soult orders 10th Army to attack Comillas

11th French Army rally and resupply at Reinosa

12th French Army retreat to Soncillo


1st British Army defend Comillas

4th Spanish Army regroup and resupply at Cabezon

2nd British Army occupy Aguilar and take possession of 2 days supplies


8 guerrilla capture convoy to Medina with 2 days supplies

10 guerrilla attack town of Medina, forced to retreat with  no casualties

Battle of Aguilar

The French plan was to pin the centre and south, and attack Comillas in the north

Soult commanded an attack force of 2 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1 artillery brigades

He defeated the British covering force, but left it too late to take the town


In the centre 10th French corps defeated 1st  British corps, but were unable to take the farm


In the south 20th Westphalian corps defeated and routed 2nd British corps


The British lost 7 infantry, 5 cavalry and 1 artillery (3400 casualties)

The French lost 6 infantry. 2 cavalry and 1 artillery (2700 casualties

10 British brigades were routed, 5 French brigades



Despite having the advantage of attacking, the French have lost the first two battles of this campaign

For most of this game it looked like they would lose the third also


The main attack was against the town, and the French had a mixed force of infantry, cavalry and artillery

The British has a smaller force of infantry and cavalry, including one Spanish brigade

It was necessary for the French artillery to weaken the enemy cavalry, and this took longer than expected

It was move 6 before they were able to advance to attack, and they did not have sufficient time to take the town


In the centre 10th French corps took casualties as they approached the farm

They were unable to take the farm, but they defeated the British troops outside


In the south 20th Westphalian corps were outnumbered and had to advance through the woods

Their artillery were routed before they could even clear the woods

However the 2nd British corps gunners routed when the nearby 1st corps gunners routed into them

This allowed the Westphalian infantry to press home their attack and they routed the British infantry


The game was very enjoyable, because the advantage kept moving from one side to the other

And right up to the last move either side could have won.


In the campaign the guerrilla are starting to have an effect on the French lines of supply

This problem was eased by the general French retreat following their earlier defeat


Despite this victory things are not looking good for the French

However the British were deployed to defend, and are having difficulties following up after winning the first  two battles


  1. Thistlebarrow,

    I thought that Soult might have achieved a more decisive victory, but reading your battle report one gets the impression that the without the effectiveness of the Westphalians, the British might just have won by a narrow margin.

    With the guerrillas already interfering with the French supply system, one is hard pressed to see how the French are going to win this campaign without an overwhelming victory in the very near future.

    It’s an interesting conundrum for the French commander to solve.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comment

    Despite their best efforts the French have failed to achieve the initial sucess which they need if they are to win this campaign phase.

    They started with the element of surprise, and attacked the unprepared Spanish. This should have resulted in a victory, and forced Wellington to abandon trying to hold the border. However it failed, and it was the French which had to retreat.

    After three battles all six armies will have suffered casualties, which will have an effect on future battles. Having lost two of the first three battles, the French will have suffered more casualties. In addition their centre of operations is in Sandander district, not Llanes district. And after four days of operations the Spanish guerrilla bands are starting to have an effect.

    The French could still reverse this trend, but are unlikely to have more than three battles to do so. Given their present deployment they will be hard pushed to force Wellington back into Llanes district, let alone take the campaign objective of Llanes itself.

    As always, anything can happen (and usually does). So I hesitate to predict a winner. Indeed I always restrict myself to current operations on a daily basis.

    It will be interesting to see whether the French can maintain the campaign normal of one battle each day. To do each army has to regroup on day 1, resupply and reorganise on day 2 and be in position to attack on day 3. Never as easy as it sounds, and in this campaign asking a lot given the Frenh set backs so far.

    Makes for an interesting campaign mind




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