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.
I’m interested in using Lasalle for the South American Wars of Liberation. In that theatre infantry, when faced by superior cavalry, would often head for rough terrain. But the standard Lasalle rules don’t encourage this – the cavalry will just charge into the rough after the infantry. So I’m exploring a house rule to rectify the problem.
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 of suggestions which I thought I’d list here.
I gave March Attack a go for Liberators when I fought Alternative Chacabuco. March Attack are a battalion level set of Napoleonic rules from Crusader Publishing. They appeal to me for a variety of reasons, not least because each unit is two stands, just like my big base armies.
But to do the refight I had to translate the orders of battle from Liberators QPR, the game I’ve used most for big battles in the Liberators period, to March Attack. The main issues are Troop Quality and Commander Ratings.
I asked my mate Roland why he likes Volley & Bayonet (V&B). The summary is:
If genius is defined as the ability to make the very complicated seem very simple then I am tempted to call V&B genius.
Roland then expanded on that. All the words are his. I’ve also dropped in some photos of Roland’s figures.
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.
This covers all the infantry that wore British uniform, including:
James Falkus, Rich Wilcox, Chris Harrod and I wanted to try out Shako II. Because of my recent enthusiasm (Spanish Units at Albuera) I suggested the Albuera scenario from Fields of Glory (FOG). FOG is for Shako I and some aspects of the scenario bug me but nobody had the energy to make up a different scenario and we hoped it would be a good game anyway. It was!
The Spanish order of battle changed considerably during the Peninsular War. This was primarily because of the massive losses they incurred and that that recruitment was often in the hands of local authorities. These two factors meant that many new formations were created to fill the gaps torn by the French.
This covers all the British and their auxiliary troops serving in the Peninsular including: