Monday, 21 September 2009

GdB Game, Medina De Rio Seco, 14th July 1808, at the Newcastle Show

As said, we put on a GdB game at the Border Reiver Show, the battle of Medina De Rio Seco, 14th July 1808, and here's the write up and pictures.
The opposing forces were as follows..Spanish-18 Btns (one Line & the rest Militia), 2 Regts Cavalry (Militia Light), and 2 Batteries (both Line). To reflect poor C&C, the CinC was poor, the infantry were split into just two Brigades both with poor GdB's, and the Cavalry had a poor GdB too. Fairly Poor then.
For the French, 12 Btns, a mixture of line, veteran and elite, in four Brigades with additional skirmishers, 4 Regts of light veteran cavalry in two Brigades and 3 Batteries, attached to infantry Brigades. All Generals were average.
The game objectives were simple enough, the French to take the Valdecuevas Plateau and the town of Medina De Rio Seco, and the Spanish to stop them.
We used some new TSS boards and hills, TimeCast buildings, S&A roads and trees, and around 2,800 Old Glory 10mm figures.
Here's the initial set up, French to the Left, Spanish to the right. The French deployed two Brigades to assault the plateau, and two to force the town, with cavalry in the centre. The Spanish deployed one Brigade well back on the plateau, and one Brigade in front of the town, again with cavalry in the centre.

The town itself, TimeCast models, really rather neat I think, with the Spanish forming line in front of it.

The Plateau, with the Spanish deployed in depth.
The French kicked off, with a general advance and sent the Cavalry forward to take care of their Spanish adversaries. The French Horse expected an easy victory over the poorly mounted, outnumbered and outclassed Spanish horse.
Spanish started to tremble on the plateau, which nicely explains this slightly blurred picture.
The French Brigade on the Right went onto Engage orders, hoping to weaken the Spanish with Artillery and Skirmish fire prior to the main assault.
In the Centre, both French Cavalry Brigades went for the outnumbered Spanish, who had difficulties getting an Order change from Hold to Assault. A worrying time for them really.
But when the order finally got through, in went the Dragoons, forcing the French Chasseurs into a retreat. Viva La Spania!! Sadly it didn't last, and two moves later the Chasseurs recovered and trounced them.

The French fronted and flanked the other Spanish Regt, causing severe casualties and Routing it off the table. Viva La France!

French Skirmishers take on a Spanish Battery,

..whilst others advance ahead of the columns to weaken the line.

On the plateau, the French met only weak resistance, and at one point caused a Brigade morale failure on the Spanish, forcing them to retire. The Spanish General on the hill suddenly felt a bit in the open.

In front of the town of Medina, the French cavalry forced the Spanish into square, making them easy targets for Artillery and Columns, though one Spanish militia Btn did falter a Lancer charge with well aimed musketry. Feeling that they had done their bit for the day, the militia then promptly legged it into the nearest taverna to celebrate.

And were quickly followed by the rest of that Brigade.

And on the plateau the French closed with the remaining Spanish forces, who did pretty well all things considered, but still suffered yet another Rout.

By this time, the Order of the day for Espania was as shown here..Having lost the Cavalry and with both Infantry Brigades routing, all they could do was to run away to fight another day.

French casualties were fairly light, although the Spanish artillery did perform rather well with canister blasts at short range. Spanish casualties weren't too bad really, until you added all the routed units, and then the list was extensive. I think only five or six Btns made it off the table in reasonable order.
It was an interesting enough game, with a larger but poorly led and trained Spanish army defending against a smaller but better led and trained French one. Shows what you can do with a bit of quality (and lucky dice too, to be fair). Not being one of our biggest games, the setting up was fairly quick, and using TSS boards made it easy enough. Those new boards by the way, are flocked in the new 'Biblical' style, a nice subtle mix of greens and browns, which I think transforms them from the original pure green ones. However, it is so subtle that you could easily use both together, as we did on the plateau, and it fits in fine. These particular boards are 20mm thick, to make for easier storage and transportation. We were set up within an hour (including chomping bacon rolls), and played the game to a conclusion just before packing up time, even with a good look round the show and a fair bit of pleasant yabbering to various gamers, which just makes the day really. Packing up was even quicker, and after a brief lemonade for medicinal reasons we set off for home.
Having enough gamers there to put on a game and see the rest of the show makes a real difference, and my thanks to Doug, Richie, Ben and Norman for an enjoyable game and a good day out.


Andy McMaster said...

Excellent write up! The game looked excellent in the flesh as well. Those 10mms really look the part.


Giles said...

Greatpost, Peeler. I noticed the TSS boards looked different and wasn't aware of the new "biblical" look - I agree, it's a great improvement. Might have to add some to the SELWG shopping list.

Best wishes


Peeler said...

Hi Andy, it's the mass efect with 10's that make the difference I reckon. Make sure to say Hello next time!
Hi Giles, the pictures don't really do them justice, they really are a big improvment on the basic green, but you can mix and match them freely, so no need to chuck out your old ones. (Unless you change from 40 to 20mm like I have).

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Ahh,here I can get even closer pictures.Very impressive in scope.

Peeler said...

Hi up Axe, good to see you on, welcome and thanks. Even though it's an 8x4 table, I find that using 10's in place of 15's makes it look bigger and gives it more depth. Altho they are based on 15mm base sizes, so it's only perception really.

johnpreece said...

A very nice looking game that really shows the potential of 10mm. I don't know why but I think 10mm looks 'right' while I personally don't think 6 or 15mm does.

I have played Medina de rio seco three times in 28mm. The French won every time. Well three French Marshals and the guard on the table they have to do well. Studying the battle makes you aware not only the problems that the Spanish had but also just how GOOD the French were.

One refight I did used the historical formations and positions but substituted Austrian and Prussian Landwher for the Spanish. It gave a very interesting game but the French still won easily.

Peeler said...

Hi John, agreed, my own opinion is that 6's generally look too small, whilst with 15's you don't get that 'mass' effect that I was looking for.
This game is a bit of a walkover for the French, we'll probably play it again, having swapped sides, and see how we get on..