For my third and final test battle using the Spanish Army expansion, I have chosen the cavalry action at Ocana. Light, heavy and a single Spanish Cuirassier unit. The French also have two batteries of horse artillery.
In the real battle, our old friend General Milhaud encountered three Spanish cavalry divisions under the command of General Freire. General Paris' light division of hussars attacked, and cut the Spanish light cavalry to pieces, but were then forced back when the Spanish heavy cavalry reserves made a counter attack. Milhaud then led his dragoons and sent the Spanish cavalry fleeing from the field.
This was one of the largest cavalry actions of the whole Peninsular War, and with the Cuirasssiers fully engaged elsewhere in Europe against the Austrians, this action helped the French Dragoons establish themselves as the premier heavy cavalry in the Peninsular.
Excellent cavalry country.
Initial deployment of forces.
As the Spanish commander, I don't want to make the same mistake as my historical predecessor. I know my hussars are weaker in combat than their French equivalent, so would like to have my heavy cavalry in close support. I would also prefer the French to attack me, this way if they wished to use their horse artillery, they would have to order it forward.
Looking from the French perspective. I would like to move my horse artillery forward if possible, to harry the light cavalry. My heavies are already in close support, and I wish to keep it that way. Dependent on the cards, a swift attack on the enemy light cavalry, before their supporting heavies can get involved would be ideal.
This is a seven victory banner scenario, The French have six cards, the Spanish five. The latter also start with one Guerrilla token. The French move first.
End of Turn One. One unit each of horse artillery and hussars advance on the French right flank, bringing the guns into range next turn. The two Spanish generals attach themselves to units and a light cavalry unit on the extreme left flank advances into line.
Horse artillery will have a target as the Spanish flank unit moves into range.
The two Spanish generals attach to units of heavy cavalry.
Spanish hussars in line.
End of Turn Two. More organising, as the two French generals attach themselves to a hussar (Paris), and a dragoon (Milhaud). The horse artillery unleashes a salvo at long range and pushes back one unit of light cavalry on the extreme flank. The Spanish begin to move forward their heavy cavalry.
French generals now attached to units.
The horse artillery making a nuisance of itself.
The Spanish heavy cavalry move forward to support the lights. I am careful to leave retreat paths, should the French charge.
All quiet before the storm.
End of Turn Three. Disaster for the French! General Paris leads four units of hussars on a charge at the enemy light cavalry.
The left most unit attacked and forced the enemy back one hex, they followed up with a cavalry breakthrough, but only managed another flag. In the centre the hussars caused some casualties on two enemy light cavalry units, but took severe hits in return.
Spanish General Rivas, with his heavy cavalry smash into the weakened unit of General Paris, destroying it, the general perished with them.
Two victory points to the Spaniards.
The French hussars did cause some casualties.
The Spaniards play the Guerrilla token, which takes away the French turn.
General Burnuy and his heavies, smash the weakened unit of hussars, as do the light cavalry beside him. Both French units are destroyed.
The Spanish now on four victory banners, and most of the French hussars are now off the table.
End of Turn Four, and end of battle!
The French played the La Grande Manouevre card, which allowed four dragoon units to thunder forward up to four hexes, but not battle. The Spanish had the Give them cold steel card, which gave an extra die to attack any enemy unit in an adjacent hex. Buoyed by their success already, General Rivas charged and destroyed one full unit of dragoons, carried out a cavalry breakthrough, and smashed into a second full unit of dragoons. This unit was also totally destroyed.
General Burney charged General Milhaud's unit, destroying three blocks, the French failed to hit on the battle back. The icing on the cake, was the Spanish lights charging into Milhaud's sole remaining block, destroying both it and the general. Game Over.
A sorry sight for the French, the Spanish actually have eight victory banners, as Milhaud also counts. Final result was 8 - 0.
That battle ended much sooner than I expected, the French had lousy cards, the Spanish had cards everywhere they were needed, the playing of the Guerrilla token, to rob the French of an activation, and the amazing dice rolling, did the rest. Very enjoyable, if somewhat short.
Next up I shall crack open the Russian Army expansion, see what Ivan can do against the French.