Legend has it that this battle was unleashed by a cartographic dispute. For centuries they have argued whether the channel lying between France and Great Britain should be called the La Manche or the English Channel. Of course, the best method to resolve this kind of dispute is either a drinking speed competition, but since the French preferred wine and the British preferred beer, it was not possible. Therefore, there was only one possibility to resolve this dispute – a small, colonial war – a typical 19th century European tradition 😉
Marshal Saint Arnaud’s French army set out from the captured areas of Mexico to seize the rebellious state of Chiapas. Its conquest will bring the French closer to the British territory of Belize, and also – through the Yucatan – to Cuba. The British could not let this happen (and they also had to keep the name of the canal) so they sent a colonial army, under the command of General Stapleton Cotton.
I invite you to read the battle report from the battle between the French (Torgill) and the British (Wojtek aka Borororo). Both armies had $ 2,000 (points values, see more here:
http://www.gmboardgames.com/ab/index.php ), which made it possible to “go crazy” and field quite a lot of troops. Big battles have their charm 🙂
Click on an image to open it enlarged in a new tab.
French deployment zone below, British deployment zone above. The roll on the battlefield selection and the initiative were won by the French (we rolled it 3 times, because Wojtek had a re-roll, than it was a draw, than finally I won).
The French chose the cavalry tactic “battlefield cavalry”, the British “flanking movement”. The British quickly discovered one of the French patrol markers.
A French patrol discovers one of the British patrols.
The first discovered unit on the battlefield, General Yorke Independent Cavalry Division.
Soon after, the French dragoons division (one brigade) of General Rochefort was deployed on the right wing of the French. They were given clear orders: You are to stand here and face continuous artillery fire, possibly also canister. You have to persevere. Good luck!
The British cavalry on the left flank posed a great threat to the French. Since the British divisions had horse artillery, they could easily defeat my cavalry divisions (with no artillery). For this reason, the entire Philibert corps and the de Villaine cavalry division (hussars) were directed to the left wing.
Naval artillery, commanded by General Dacres, deployed on the hill far “to the north”.
Center of the battlefield. A lot of patrol markers are hiding some corps… or maybe not…
Start of the second turn and an explosion of discovered corps from the patrol markers! The Niel and d’Hilliers Corps and Grant’s British Corps were deployed in the center. I was aware that I could only hold my central strategic point if I beat Grant’s corps on the hill. However, will it be possible?
General situation on the battlefield at the beginning of the second turn. Rose’s corps deployed on the right flank of the French. It meant a race against time. Will d’Hilliers and Niel defeat Grant before Rose can attack them? Will Philibert and de Villaine beat the British cavalry?
Philibert bravely put the mountain artillery within the reach of the canister of British guns. Mutual fire ended in a draw.
De Villaine’s Hussars have made a diversion. They entered the gap between Grant’s corps and Lucan’s cavalry. It is a very dangerous maneuver because it exposed them to cannon fire (hence they are leaning back to each other) but it could effectively distract the British.
Rose’s corps was not going to wait, and was rapidly advancing towards the center. Its artillery fired on Rochefort’s dragoons, who suffered losses and were pinned down.
Lucan’s artillery fired on de Villaine’s hussars, luckily causing only a 1 point loss of cohesion.
This maneuver by Lucan exposed his cannons to the artillery fire of Niel’s corps from the flank.
And that fire destroyed Lucan’s artillery! First losses in battle!
And here fate smiles on the French again. The British cavalry failed the order test and attacks head on the French infantry. The Hussars withstood the rifle fire and entered hand-to-hand combat.
The infantry turned out to be better in hand-to-hand combat. The Hussars have been pushed off the board!
In an additional round of combat, Philibert took the place of the pushed hussars and pushed their second unit away! Yorke lost both hussar brigades! At the end of the turn, he failed the Division Endurance Test and rest his Division (artillery) fled. In the second turn, the British lost half of their cavalry!
General view of the battlefield after Philibert’s victory.
The center of the battlefield. Here the fate of the battle was to be decided. D’Hilliers approached Grant, Niel lagging behind.
And the left wing again.
Start of the 3rd turn. Rose takes a central strategic point.
Meanwhile, de Villaine took a strategic point on the left-hand side “above” as seen from the French side.
And de Villaine’s second brigade of hussars stood at the rear of Grant’s corps! She also positioned herself over the hill to avoid getting hit by Dacres artillery.
Lucan blundered an order and scattered away. Only the dismounting of his cavalry saved him from charging his opponent.
Niel gave the order and caught the line with d’Hilliers. French artillery was firing heavily on British Grant’s cannons. We managed to rout them.
Grant decided not to wait passively for the French attack and struck the right wing of d’Hilliers. Flanking movement was countered. On the French side, only the 1st infantry division (this division) were armed with rifles (Manufaktura in St. Etienne card), so everywhere else the British had an advantage of firepower.
Two brigades remained tied to the fight. The British Naval Brigade was quite successful, but it was worse in hand-to-hand combat – after the draw, both units were pushed back.
D’Hilliers launched the attack. Another two regiments of infantry from his 2nd divisions moved up the hill. The attack was supported by artillery.
Thanks to artillery, it was possible to push back the British brigade. In the second round we managed to perform a flanking maneuver!
The second British brigade was pushed back with considerable losses. The attack on the hill was a complete success!
Rose approached the forest and took the good position to attack. Its artillery shelled the Rochefort dragoons, but still couldn’t destroy them. Real heroes!
Meanwhile, Philibert concentrated all his artillery on fire from one of Lucan’s cavalry brigades, bringing it closer to the cannons. It was pushed back.
Meanwhile, Dacres, threatened by de Villaine’s cavalry, fired on one of his brigades, routing it!
Luckily, at the end of your turn I was be able to regain it’s cohesion! Brave hussars don’t give up that easily!
General situation at the end of the 3rd turn. Philibert presses Lucan, d’Hilliers stick with Grant, Niel helps him. Will Rose have time to attack? The initiative will be very important.
4th turn. I win the initiative. I manage to unpinn the base of the d’Hilliers corps artillery (3 dice were used for it). She routs one of Grant’s brigades in the cannonade.
Routed West India Regiment.
d’Hilliers takes advantage of the winning initiative and attacks on the hill. Again with success. The British brigade will be destroyed.
The 1st division is also fighting, this time supported by artillery. The flanking support of the cannons obviously outweighs the fate of this clash.
The 1st Division takes the place after the pushed British brigade and in the second round of the fight catches up with the colonial infantry.
The Minie rifles in the hands of the veterans do their job and the colonial infantry is routed.
Grant Strikes Back! The regiment of the 2nd division d’Hilliers is attacked from the flank. The attack is supported by British artillery. The British brigade suffered heavy losses in the previous turn and this attack is quite a risk.
As a result of the fight, the French regiment is destroyed and the British brigade is routed. What an emptiness!
My activation. Philibert marches again and pulls the cannons back to the flank and canister reach to Lucan’s colonial cavalry brigade. This time, massive fire completely destroys it. After destroying this unit, the British already have 25% of losses (they will start to check army morale at the end of turn).
As ordered, the Rochefort dragoons face artillery shelling of Rose’s (and sometimes Dacres’) corps. And they do it with stoic calm and French dignity 🙂
Rose’s corps assaults! Manages to attack the flank of one of the regiments of the 1st division d’Hilliers, the other managed to turn around.
Rose successfully performs the flanking maneuver, going to … the front of the regiment from the 1st division. But it still has to divide morale and fire dice.
The result is simple – the regiment evaporated under the concentrated and accurate fire of British and colonial infantry.
The Rifle Brigade, or the famous Green Jackets, also did a great job, completely destroying the already weakened second regiment of the 1st division of the d’Hilliers Corps. The forest was in the hands of the British! Thanks to this, they covered the central strategic point and were on the flank of Niel’s corps!
He didn’t have to act. His 2nd Division attacked Lucan’s dismounted cavalry – his last brigade.
There was only one way to end an attack from two sides.
The other two regiments – the 1st division from Niel’s corps changed fronts, getting ready for Rose’s attack. The problem was the d’Hilliers artillery was flanked by the British …
Meanwhile, de Villanie went crazy. He passed the order on his own. One brigade of hussars occupied an additional strategic point (resulting from the tactics of the army “battlefield cavalry”).
And the second … the operational base of the British. Ha, now we’re gonna get their beer! 😉 Girls, no, because you know what they are like on the islands: P Les Françaises sont les plus belles ! 😉
General situation. Philibert split his corps. The second division went to the right wing, to cover the French operational base. Niel and the remnants of d’Hilliers corps were to defend themselves against Rose. Grant managed to collect some of the routed units to the left of the hill.
One more view of the battlefield. Grant’s rallying meant he could easily occupy a strategic point at the top left. And then the British would have more than half of them (mine were two on my side and this one at the top).
Throughout the game, the patrol hiding the cuirassiers was bunkered in the back, having to support the endangered section if necessary, e.g. to defend the French operational base if Rose sent some units there. But there was no point in keeping him there when Rose entered the forest. Therefore, I sent them to the right to try to occupy the point on the top right. It turned out, however, that it was too far for them … About 3 inches were missing …
French artillery destroyed the colonial infantry from Rose’s corps.
Fifth round. Philibert and his division had to try to destroy Grant’s two brigades so that they would not take a strategic point. Will he succeed? British morale has dropped to shaky (3 levels down from high!).
The firing destroyed one of them, but the other remained. The strategic point was in British hands. At the same time, Grant’s artillery destroyed one Hussars from de Villaine division.
Rochefort continued to face the artillery fire. At the end of the 4th round, he managed to unpin. It will be a key event 🙂
Rose went to charge! His opponent was the Philibert division supported by artillery from d’Hilliers corps.
The attack on the cannons did not end well. The British brigade was destroyed. They were the famous Green Jackets! The second brigade, however, managed to draw and was tied up in a fight.
And then the Rochefort dragoons come in, all white! 😉
The firefight was weak, but it made it possible to get into the hand-to-hand combat.
The British brigade was destroyed. Rose’s attack was repulsed, but for the French it was too far to capture the central strategic point.
All hope in de Villain and … he succeeded. He passed the order, left the British operational base (with some beer I think 😉 and, marching along the road, took a strategic point on the top right. Again, I had more than half of battle strategic points!
British morale dropped to breakdown point. So the battle ended in the 5th turn. This was the situation at the end of the battle.
End of the battle.
Center of the battlefield.
We both had a neutral tactic, Borororo didn’t score the goals of the army tactics unfortunately, I managed to achieve 100%.
After counting the points, we got 37 to 7, which means a definite victory for the French (4: 0)!
The rebellious state of Chiapas became the property of the French, and the option of the La Manche name for the channel began to prevail in the dispute between cartographers. 🙂
Many thanks to Borororo for the battle and great atmosphere, and to Bolter for the place to play. $ 2,000 is a very nice format and although the game is a long time, but we were in no rush, we had time to get really excited about the battle.
Vive la France! Vive l’Empereur! 🙂
Our campaign map after the battle.