Wednesday 13 September 2023

Campaign Battle Report: The Battle of Manresa (part 1)

 What a ding-dong of a battle this was going to be!

The French (commanded by me because Mark couldn't attend) deployed as per instructions discussed over the phone. Their weight was focused on their left facing the mountain with the remainder of their force were echeloned back to the right. 

The focus of the upcoming French attack could not be hidden or disputed.
The French forces were then echeloned back to the right to provide support to the main assault and prevent any attempt to flank it as it came in. Best laid plans and all that....
The French made reasonably good progress in the face of an almost constant Spanish superiority in initiative points.
It all looked well for the French but trouble was brewing to their right centre. The Spanish were launching their awaited flanking counterattack. Unfortunately, the Spanish were still winning the initiatives by a margin and French countermeasures were tardy.
The battle was pivoting around the mountain.
The French were making progress rolling up the Spanish right but, the Spanish were having significant success against the French centre right - largely due to the fact that the French right couldn't get enough initiative to react to it. It really was a wargaming joy to behold - and very exciting - especially as these weren't my French troops being slaughtered (they belong Mark, remember).
Finally the French right began to come into action. Better late than never - but, they were late. 

Then the cavalry clashed on both flanks (sorry no pics, apart from this one a cavalry move before they occurred, were taken). The French completely disposed of their opponents in two brief melees. I felt the Spanish begin to creak, at last!
End of turn 3: The Spanish had brought on their reserve division sometime earlier. It might have been a division of raw militia but it managed to repel a French infantry attack before being pinned by the victorious French cavalry now operating the Spanish right rear. I had rather expected these swarthy fellows to crumble but I was wrong - bloody Spanish peasants.
On the mountain, it is chaos. The Spanish right has largely collapsed but having exploited their breakthrough the French are literally all over the place.
On the French right the Spanish were advancing into space and will undoubtedly take one of the French road exits (worth two French army morale points). The French are concentrating on taking the mountain and crushing Spanish resistance there. 
The situation is fluid. The Spanish are definitely losing but they are not yet beaten. The French have two turns (before nightfall) to complete a victory.
Personally, I think it will turn on this conflict between the French centre and the troops of the diminished Spanish counter attack. Mark should be here tonight to take over command the French forces: I think I've left him just enough rope to hang himself.

To be continued....


IronDuke596 said...

A wondaful Battle report! It is such a joy to follow the progress you have made building your Spanish army and seeing it in action through your campaign battle reports. Many thanks for your posts.

Rob said...

Great to see the Spanish throwing a spanner in the French works, but who would've ever have predicted that it was all down to their showing more initiative in the field.
Don't let Mark dally too long before completing the game as I do want to see how this turns out.