Almanza – A Twilight of the Sun King Scenario

A Twilight of the Sun-King scenario for the War of Spanish Succession featuring the Battle of Almanza.

Historical Situation

Setting: Almanza, Spain; 25 April 1707

King Charles wished to sit on the defensive during 1707, so kept his Austro-Calalan forces in Barcelona. None-the-less the British commander in the peninsular – the Earl of Galway – decided to take the offensive unaided. Although already out numbered by the Franco-Spanish forces of the Duke of Berwick, Galway wished to defeat Berwick before he was reinforced by the Duc D’Orleans. As Berwick fell back, Galway took Yecla and Montalgre. But then it was Galway’s turn to withdraw. Galway was held up at Villen by a small enemy garrison, and Berwick managed to threaten his communications at Almanza. Still hoping to prevent Berwick and Orleans joining, Galway chose to confront Berwick. On the morning of 25 April 1707 the Anglo-Portuguese marched across rough ground to the ridge south-east of Almanza; 19 km over broken ground, during the last hour of which the battalions were deployed in line, meant the Galway’s men were exhausted when they reached the ridge just after 1100 hours. As the Anglo-Portuguese rested, Berwick redeployed his men. The French and Irish faced the English and Dutch, and the Spanish faced the Portuguese.



Map produced in CC2

Key features are:

  • The battle was fought on a plain about 6 km by 3 km (the long axis)
  • Hills surrounded the plain, forming a kind of bowl.
  • Almanza – fortified town on a hill in the centre of the north-western long side of the bowl. You might choose to leave the town entirely off table as it didn’t have a bearing on the battle.
  • Small ravine just in front of the Franco-Spanish centre and right (effectively south of the town).
  • The Anglo-Portuguese attacked across the plain and up the slope held by the Franco-Spanish.

Anglo-Portuguese Player


Break the Franco-Spanish.

Forces Available

I’ve added in the Austro-Catalans as the Anglo-Portuguese were considerably outnumbered in the real battle.


  • General (3) – Earl of Galway
  • 2 British Infantry Brigades – Elite
  • 1 Dutch/Huegenot Infantry Brigade – Elite
  • 1 Anglo-Dutch Horse Brigade
  • 1 Anglo-Dutch Dragoon Brigade
  • 2 Artillery Battalions


  • General (2) – General Das Minas
  • 3 Portuguese Infantry Brigades
  • 1 Portuguese Horse Brigade – Raw
  • 1 Portuguese Dragoon Brigade – Raw
  • 1 Artillery Battalion

Austro-Catalan What If

The order of battle for the Anglo-Portuguese above makes them considerably weaker than the Franco-Spanish. You could play a “What If” where the Austro-Catalans have accompanied Galway rather than retreat to Barcelona.


  • General (1)
  • 4 Austro-Catalan Infantry Brigades
  • 3 Austro-Catalan Horse Brigades
  • 1 Austro-Catalan Dragoon Brigade


Deploy first on the south-east side of the bowl. Move first.

Reserves Off-table


Franco-Spanish Player


Break the Anglo-Portuguese.

Forces Available


  • General (3) – Duke of Berwick
  • 5 French Infantry Brigades
  • 1 French Horse Brigade
  • 1 French Dragoon Brigade
  • 2 Artillery Battalions


  • General (2) – Spanish
  • 5 Spanish Infantry Brigades
  • 2 Spanish Horse Brigades – Raw
  • 1 Spanish Dragoon Brigades – Raw
  • 1 Artillery Battalion


Deploy second, before Almanza, on the north-west side of the bowl.

Reserves Off-table


Victory Conditions

Break the enemy.

Game Length

As long as it takes.

Scenario Special Rules


Based on

Grant, C. S. (1986). From Pike to Shot: Armies and Battles of Western Europe 1685 to 1720. Wargames Research Group.

The Franco-Spanish army beat the Anglo-Portuguese army in the largest action in the Peninsular.

Technically the Franco-Spanish deployed first on the day. However, they had the opportunity to redeploy after the the Anglo-Portuguese arrived, exhausted, at the battlefield and spent an hour resting.

Historical Orbat:

  • The Franco-Spanish, had 25,400 men, 11,900 French, the rest Spanish. 52 battalions, 77 squadrons (~26 regiments), 24 guns. 4-5 gun batteries.
  • There is considerable dispute over the number of Anglo-Portuguese present. Officially the two armies should have been evenly matched, but many sources have the Anglo-Portuguese considerably under strength (Condray, 1992). According to Grant, the Allies had 15,500 men, 4,500 horse, 11,000 foot – including 22 Portuguese, 5 Dutch, 13 English battalions. Had ~8 guns per battery.
  • The Austro-Catalans were not present during the campaign. Charles decided they were better used defending Catalonia. That didn’t stop Galway pushing his luck.
  • Portuguese horse refused to charge and ran when charged.
  • English and Dutch foot fired by platoon and had battalion guns which gave them a considerably higher volume of fire than other nations.
  • Each gun was serviced by 10+ men.

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