Category: Peninsular War

My interest in the Napoleonic Wars is largely restricted to Spain and Portugal, plus their Central and South American Colonies. The continental part of these conflicts (1808 – 1814) was known as the Peninsular War to the British and the War of Independence to the Spanish. The effects of the French annexation of Spain lasted long after Napoleon was removed from the European Stage for good (1815). During the period 1810 – 1824, the Spanish colonies were wracked by revolution in the South American Wars of Liberation.


Lasalle with Big Bases – Introducing Combat Value

Big Base Infantry Line

All my Peninsular War infantry/cavalry units are on Big Bases with two big stands per unit. Also I don’t want to combine small units in the South American Wars of Liberation because there are already only a few units on table and I want to represent them all. So I need some way to represent the number of men, and hence number of stands, in a different way to standard Lasalle.

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The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian (2016)

Megalomaniac surveying all those unfinished wargaming projects in 2016

It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.

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How to use Big Bases with Napoleon at War, Lasalle and FoGN

Big Base Infantry Square

I want to try Napoleon at War (NAW) for Liberators and one of the first questions is … what do I do about my Big Bases? Luckily Phil from Wargaming in the Sun has some useful suggestions for using units based for Lasalle / FoGN with Napoleon at War. I can just add to his analysis to cope with my 2 x 80mm x 40mm basing.

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How to Arrange Peninsular Infantry on Big Bases

Basing Peninsular Infantry on Big Bases

A couple of years ago I put my few Peninsular War figures on big bases. Some French Dragoons and various Spanish new battalions. Now that I’m trying to finish my Albuera project I’m going to supplement these with more figures. Before I do that I have to decide, exactly, how to deal with the company distinctions of the various nations. The French, who gave each company in the battalion, including the fusilier companies, pose particular challenges.

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Battle of Albuera 16 May 1811

Battle of Albuera Map by Steven Thomas

There are quite a few interesting things about the Battle of Albuera (16 May 1811). Enough of interest that the battle has become the subject of my first Peninsular project. The battle was the bloodiest of the Peninsular War. It was a major battle but had modest sized forces involved. Wellington wasn’t there. The battle has French columns facing British (and Spanish) line – so is a good exemplar of what happens in that situation. As a result the core of the battle was a long gruelling musketry competition. It has perhaps the most famous example of cavalry charging, and

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Spanish at Albuera – Better than Conventional Wargaming and V&B Stereotypes Allow

Myth vs Truth

In my recently published Albuera – A Volley and Bayonet Scenario, I used an Order of Battle by Jeff Glasco. For the scenario I did not try to reconcile Glasco’s order of battle with my own Orders of Battle at the Battle of Albuera. Nor did I inject my own thinking on the Spanish forces at the battle and it is the Spanish I want to focus on in this post.

I appears that Jeff Glasco, like most Napoleonic wargamers, doesn’t think much of the Spanish and layers on the disadvantages. This attitude and approach is fairly common in

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Albuera – A Volley and Bayonet Scenario with help from Jeff Glasco

Battle of Albuera Map by Steven Thomas

Here is my first attempt at a Volley & Bayonet scenario for the Battle of Albuera (16 May 1811). The Order of Battle is by Jeff Glasco and I contributed the rest.

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Attack Column or ‘Ordre Mixte’: How did the French deploy at Albuera?

French Ordre Mixte

English historians since Oman have claimed that the French V Corps at Albuera formed ordre mixte, i.e. mixed order with battalions in a combination of line and column. Strangely French sources make no such claim. In all French sources V Corps was in closed column (colonne serrée). Unfortunately Oman mistook a French source and, because of that mistake, English historians have got it wrong since.

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The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian (2015)

Megalomaniac

One of the things that really impresses me about Paul Ward of Matakishi’s Tea House is his focus. He chooses a new project, plans the project, does the project, finishes it, and moves on.

I’m a bit more scatter gun myself despite the fact that at work I encourage teams to limit work in progress. I start with a focus and get a lot done but then often wander off on a tangent when something else comes up that sparks my interest. I let myself do that because this is my hobby, not my job. A hobby shouldn’t really

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Why Volley and Bayonet for the Peninsular War

Highlanders

There are a few reasons why I’ve gone for Volley & Bayonet to use for Peninsular War and specifically my Albuera Project.

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How to Discourage Massed Attack Columns in Lasalle

Massed Attack Columns in Lasalle

Reading the Lasalle Forum it quickly becomes clear that a common game tactic is to mass Attack Columns against defending Lines. That in turn means that defenders abandon Line and commonly deploy in Attack Column themselves.

The problem with all of this is that is completely unhistorical. Historically Attack Columns were expected to deploy into Line when they got to musketry range so left enough room between units to allow this.

Personally I find the unhistorical sight of massed Attack Columns offensive and I want a game mechanism to prevent or discourage it. The Lasalle Forum has a bunch

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Brigade Bases for Volley and Bayonet

Volley & Bayonet has big bases. Pretty much all troops are based on 3″ x 3″ bases; you can have any number of figures you want of any scale. I recently rebased my Peninsular War figures on big bases. I wanted to leave myself options so I effectively went for half size V&B bases. Each of my bases is 80mm wide by 40mm deep and . gets six cavalry or 12 infantry. Two of these, one behind the other, is a V&B brigade stand.

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Big Bases for the Peninsular War

I’ve decided to go for big bases for the Peninsular War. Couple of reasons for this.

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Steven’s Peninsular French Army

A few snaps of my French army for the Peninsular War. Nominally they are for my Albuera Project although I’ve not much to show for them just yet.

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Steven’s Peninsular British Army

A few snaps of my British army for the Peninsular War. Nominally they are for my Albuera Project although I’ve not much to show for them just yet.

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