Rather than edit the previous post "What if: Vimerio 1808" I'm posting this instead. Think of both posts as 'cluttered mind scenario development'.
So, why the changes before the game has been played?
Several years ago I read a very good account of Vimeiro then, at some point, forgot where I'd read it - a by-product of reading too many books about more or less the same thing, I guess. Looking at my book shelf nothing rang any bells so I assumed I'd read it on the web. By chance I was looking up something else and came across it: The [highly recommended] account is by Peter Edwards in his book Talavera, which has the full title Talavera, Wellingtons Early Peninsular War Victories 1808-9. The full title isn't on the spine.
However, having found the piece, I decided to redo the terrain and slightly change some of the deployments. I also decided to change a few of the scenario notes and I will detail these below. OOBs are unchanged and I will not repeat them in this post.
One point I would like to reemphasise is that this is not a recreation of the battle as it occurred: It is a 'what if' scenario that allows all of the French attacks to go in at once, to make a proper game of it.
- The Eastern Ridge has been lengthened by 20" and broadened at its eastern end to a little over 36" wide; it is now 8' long. The summit of the ridge now undulates with three higher areas (second contour), along its length. N.B. The undulating Western / Eastern Ridge (cut by the R. Maceira's ravine) is enormous: It is five miles long and towers 500 feet above Vimeiro; its sides are steeply sloping open terrain; I will class them as rough going, no cover.
- The new length of the ridge has allowed me to push Ventosa further east, and to put it on higher ground.
- The road system only vaguely resembles the one on the maps but, I have tried to keep the important ones running in roughly the right directions and emphasise Vimeiro's importance as a road hub. For this set up, I changed the river and road system around Vimeiro to better reflect how it worked. It is worth noting that, although I have nearly twenty eight feet of rubber road, I didn't quite have enough to to justice to the network: I may tinker with it again, especially at the eastern end of the table where the roads should be straighter.
- Because I have compressed the terrain (north-south) to feature both French attacks, Toledo, and the wall on the Toledo road, now have an important game function. The French troops destined to attack Vimeiro are not allowed to cross the Toledo road east of the orchard until Vimerio and Vimeiro hill are taken; they can cross the road west of that point should they choose to do so. A similar rule applies to the British, though I'm fairly sure they will have their hands too full dealing with Solignac and Brenier to even contemplate a move south.
- I have reduced Vimeiro Hill to one contour high because it was not a high feature (80-100 feet above Vimeiro) and I have discovered it was fairly flat topped. I will class it as open terrain, with a terrain advantage in melee if higher.
- Because Edwards' narrative describes the French coming up the slopes of the hill quite quickly after passing over ground well suited to skirmishing I have moved the Vimeiro Hill's associated vineyard (representing scrub, hedges, vineyards and trees) well in front of the hill to allow freer movement closer in - it is rough terrain; soft cover.
- I have removed several fields and added a few pine woods; again a feature of Edwards' narrative. They are rough terrain, soft cover.
- I've added the eastern end of the Western ridge (slightly out of position) for Hill's Brigade to have something aesthetically pleasing to set up on. The Western ridge should be more expansive and the gap between it and the Eastern Ridge should form a ravine cut by the R. Maceira. This was too hard to do, given the space at the edge of the table and my road and river sections. However, as I'm classing everything west of the River Maceira as off table anyway, this isn't a big deal.