Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Encuentro Casual en Pueblo Aserradero

This quickly written post is for the boys to read before they come to play at my house but, shared with all.

This scenario is loosely based on scenario 41, Chance Encounter, in Scenarios for Wargames by Mr. C.S. Grant. Once again, I have to say that this book is well worth buying - I go back to it time and time again. Highly Recommended!

The original, original was a first game introductory scenario for C.S.Grant himself. I presume it was written by his dad (C. Grant - not to be confused) back in 1958. Consequently, I've noted some of the changes I've made for anyone wishing to use this scenario for its original purpose. 

Victory conditions are simple. To quote from the scenario book "Two small advance guards, neither expecting the other, approach from opposite diagonals of the table. Each has been sent to take 'Sawmill Village'. He who holds the village wins."

The main differences between my scenario and that of Charles, are the addition of the river (mostly for aesthetics and narrative), a few more walls are in evidence, and the size of the forces is greatly increased. I've actually more than doubled the forces and allowed no choice in what they can be. 

In the book, each side has six units, chosen by each player from a similar list of 14 units (comprising infantry, light infantry, light and heavy cavalry, and guns), all entering via the road in a pre-arranged order of march. Because my forces are much larger, I've had to change the way the units can enter the combat area. 

Because this is a small game, I'm doing it at brigade command level (not the more usual divisional level). Each side has an infantry division with an attached cavalry brigade to play with.

The river is impassable except at the bridge and is probably why Pueblo Aserradero is important. The hills are neither high or steep, nor do they provide cover but, they are rugged and count as rough terrain. The wood is very rough terrain to infantry and impassable to cavalry; it provides heavy cover. Buildings count as stone built town sections treated in the usual manner. Walls only provide cover to troops immediately behind them; they are rough terrain to infantry crossing them, and very rough to cavalry.

I have pre-rolled for the quality of all commanders and units. I've also assigned all but the foot artillery to commands. Commands are regiments for the French division, brigades for the British division. 

Foot artillery - one battery per side - must be assigned to commands before the start of play. If both guns (troops) are assigned to one command, they can be deployed as a full battery with both guns capable of firing at the same target for one initiative point ('Grand Battery' rule); otherwise they can be assigned and fire as single troops.

Divisional Morale Points
These will be rolled for by the players before commencement of play.

Initial deployment and entry points
At the start of play both sides can deploy their cavalry units anywhere, in any formation, up to 36" from their road entry point. One infantry command can be deployed up to 24" on table, marching in column, up the road.
On the first move card turned: A further command can enter the battlefield via the road; it is marching in column. 
On the second move card turned: A further command can enter the battlefield anywhere up to 18" along the deployment zone line (as though they have fanned out from the road whilst off-table), with units in any formation.
On the third move card turned: Any further commands can enter the battlefield anywhere up to 36" along the deployment line, with units in any formation.

The British division:
Two three battalion brigades of British line infantry; a four battalion brigade of Portuguese infantry; a battery of guns (2 sections); a two regiment brigade of light cavalry (attached). 

Unbaptised units: 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers).

Qualitatively, this division is much better than the larger French division described below.
The French division:
One four battalion regiment if line infantry; one three battalion regiment of light infantry; one two battalion regiment of line infantry with a battalion of light infantry (attached); one two battalion regiment of line infantry (Polish); a battery of guns (2 sections); one two regiment cavalry brigade with a section of horse artillery (attached).


Peter Douglas said...

Sawmill village, such a classic.

I agree strongly with your support of Mr Grants scenario books.
Enjoy the game, looks great.

fireymonkeyboy said...

Eagerly anticipating this - that's a nice-looking table.

Chris Hahn said...


Another lovely set up, though it's been ages since I wargamed in the Peninsula, in the early 19th century . . .

I can identify with you regarding the referenced text, though the title (by the same author) I often find myself going back to and rereading is Wargame Tactics.