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.


Terrain Cards – Random terrain placement for pick up wargames

Terrain cards - Example - Real Cards

In our recent game of Tilly’s Very Bad Day Chris observed that, as the defender, he could exploit the terrain placement rules to his advantage. This is my proposal to address Chris’s concern. These rules allow randomised terrain for pick up battles in any period.

The terrain placement rules described here borrow heavily from Terrain Cards for a ECW Campaign.

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2 by 2 Napoleonics – Questions following our play test

2 by 2 Napoleonics Logo v3

We enjoyed our play test of 2 by 2 Napoleonics but were left with some questions. Because they are quite long and detailed I thought I’d post them separately to the battle report.

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2 by 2 Napoleonics – A battle report

2x2Nap-82 Battle on hill goes badly for the French

Adam, Jamie and I had a go at 2 by 2 Napoleonics. Of course we used my normal Peninsular War figures, in 15mm, on Big Bases. Using Big Bases for the Peninsular War meant this was really 4 by 4 Napoleoncs.

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Review of 2 by 2 Napoleonics Rules

2 by 2 Napoleonics Logo v3

I recently discovered 2 by 2 Napleonics by Rod Humble, John Rigsby and Eric Sprague. They are simple but elegant way of representing corps level actions with units as either brigades or regiments. Here is an overview of the rules and my take on them.

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2018 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2018

Continuing my Megalomaniac tendencies, this is my reflection on 2018 and how I did against my world conquering goals. Check out my 2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian for my overly ambitious aspirations.

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Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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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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2016 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

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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