Friday, 8 July 2011

Battle of Sabugal

On Thursday I went over to Jose´s house to play a couple of games. The first was a recreation of the Battle of Sabugal. When Wellington tried to trap Massena´s retreating troops with a flanking manouvre. However the weather was pretty awful with thick fog and sporadic rain showers. Most of the British Brigades decided to halt apart from the Light Division which got lost in the fog and ended up taking on most of the French IInd Corps.

Order of Battle

British C-in-C Wellington

Light Division Erskine

Beckwith´s Brigade: 1 Brit Inf(+) 1 Cacadores, 1 Rifles Elite, RH Artillery

Drummond´s Brigade: 1 Brit Inf(+) 1 Brit Inf, 1 Cacadores, 1 Rifles Elite

Cavalry Division Eskine

Slade´s Brigade: 1 Dragoons, 1 Light Dragoons

Arendtschildt´s Brigade: 1 Hussars, 1 Light Dragoons

3rd Division Picton

Mackinnon´s Brigade: 3 Brit Inf, 3 SK bases

Colville´s Brigade: 4 Brit Inf

Power´s Brigade: 4 Portugese Infantry

1 RA Medium

5th Division Dunlop

Hay´s Brigade: 3 Brit Inf, 1 extra SK base

Dunlop´s Brigade: 3 Brit Inf, 1 extra SK base

Spry´s Brigade: 4 Portugese Infantry, 8th Cacadores

1 RA Medium

French C-in-C Reyneir

1st Division II Corps Merle

Sarrut´s Brigade: 5 French Veteran Infantry

4th Legere (not brigaded): 2 Veteran Infantry

1 Division Foot Artillery

2nd Division II Corps Heudelet

Arnaud´s Brigade: 6 French Veteran Infantry

Godard´s Brigade: 4 French Infantry

1 Division Foot Artillery

Cavalry Brigade: Soult 1 Hussars, 1 Dragoons, 1 Chasseurs


AHearts ASpades Beckwiths Brigade

2Hearts 2Spades Drummonds Brigade

3Hearts 3Spades Mackinnon Brig

4Hearts 4Spades Colville Brig

5Hearts 5Spades Powers Brig

6Hearts 6Spades Hays Brig

7Hearts 7Spades Dunlop Brig

8Hearts 8Spades Spry Brig

9Hearts 9Spades Slade Brig

10Hearts 10Spades Arendtschildt Brig


ADiamonds AClubs Sarrut Brig

2Diamonds 2Clubs 4 Leger

3Diamonds 3Clubs Arnaud Brig

4Diamonds 4Clubs Godard Brig

5Diamond 5Clubs Soult Brig


The French player places the playing cards face down on the table in his deployment zone. The red cards are the actual positions and the Black cards are dummy cards. When an Actual British force come within visibility range of the Card then the player must turn it over. The French Player may move a card only to reinforce another force that is under attack. However this force may become lost in the fog throw D6 if the force they are reinforcing cannot be seen throw 1D6 1-2 moves 45deg to their left 3-4 move straight ahead 5-6 moves 45degrees to their right.

On turn 1 Beckwith´s Brigade enters the field. At the 2 possible points shown on the map. On turn 3 For Drummond brigade use 1D6 instead of 2D6 as per normal reserve rules.

The British player Dice each turn to see if any of his commands enter the board as normal reserve rules. There are 2 possible routes that each brigade can enter. Place both cards on the table they can move 4BWs a turn throw 1D6. 1-2 moves 45deg to their left 3-4 move straight ahead 5-6 moves 45degrees to their right. When one reaches a French card or Force then throw dice 1-3 it is the dummy force. 4-6 it is the actual force. If it is the dummy force then the French don’t have to show their card. If it is the actual force then they are placed on the board in march formation. It is assumed the French dummy cards are small groups of pickets or skirmisher, who send word back to their parent formations of the British whereabouts.

British Cavalry only have one card but if it is turn out to the dummy card then Erskine, their commander, has taken them to far north and they wont turn up on the battlefield


At the start of the battle the weather was Bad fog, at the start of every turn throw 1d6 if result is a 1 the weather worsens and drops down a step. Result of 5 or 6 means weather improves and goes up 1 step if it reaches the top step clear then the weather to full visibility.

Step 1 Clear no rain normal condition apply

Step 2 Mist visibility 12Bws

Step 3 Fog visibility 8BWs

Step 4 Bad Fog visibility 4BWs

Step 5 Bad fog and rain only visibility 2BWs effects of rain on firing apply

There are 25+ Moves, British go first.

Normal Breakpoints rules only apply if/when the weather has cleared for the Generals to see the state of their troops.

Objective: The British objective is Reyneirs HQ which is situated at the back of the table in the middle.

Turn 1, The French positions are placed on the ridge although half the cards are false. Bottom right are the 2 cards representing the 2 possible positions of Beckwith´s Brigade of the Light Division.

The right hand card advanced within 4Bws of the first French card. The British card turned out to be a dummy, so we knew the card next to the stream running into the river coa was Beckwith´s brigade and so I placed the troops in March formation.

The brigades of the British 3rd or 5th Division start to enter the Battlefield. On the French far left flank Drummonds Brigade enters and Beckwith´s Brigade stumbles into the woods.

Hay´s Brigade of the 5th Division advances up the ridge and is spotted by the French pickets.

Dunlop´s Brigade of the 5th Divsion is also spotted by the French Pickets, but still no sign of the French main force.

The Light Division converge on top of the ridge and through the fog and spot a French Artillery Battery. Just then a 1 is thrown for the weather and the visibilty is cut 2 Bws and it starts to rain.

The Brigades of the 3rd and 5th Divisions carry on advancing blindly up the ridge. In the top right of the picture you can see the French manouvering to face the Light Division.

The French catch the Light Division before it can deploy and a French Unit charges a rifle unit in the flank. Luckily due to the heavy fog the French artillery cannot see any targets.

The first brigade of the 3rd Division march straight into the French central positions.

The 5th Division carries on marching over the ridge, not knowing that there are no enemy troops in front of it.

Just then the French right flank attacks the British 5th Division. A French Chasseur unit charges a British infantry unit still in March column.

Meanwhile, in the center French Dragoon ride straight over a British unit and another British unit is broken by French Infantry. Only 1 unit is left of Mackinnons Brigade and they are in serious trouble.

The British 5th Division fair better and beat off the French attacks

The 5th Division with their Portugese Brigade in support counterattack the French line.

Power´s Portugese Brigade of the 3rd Division get lost in a wood and comes up on the French Left. The Light Division press their attack on the French to their front.

A Portugese unit advance unto the flank of a French unit and breaks it. The British Cavalry are still lost and have not appeared. The British centre is in trouble with one Brigade totally destoyed and the other one totally lost last seen marching off the right of the battlefield.

The game ended here on turn 24, due to the fact although the British were holding there own on both flanks the centre was doomed and the French would be able to split the British in two. Also it was hot day (36 degrees) and we wanted a dip in the pool before lunch.


This was an interesting Battle to play, Jose who was playing the French concentrated his forces in the centre. Which meant quite a few game turns went by before the French Army was discovered. The weather was awful all the way through the game and spoilt the game play a little, as we kept throwing lots of ones and only one six. So I have changed the improvement of the weather on a 5 or 6 for next time. The card movement worked well but maybe an option would be for the British to be able to deploy out of march formation when discovering a dummy card.

Thanks again to Jose and his family for making me feel so welcome.


1 comment:

  1. Nice looking game Phil. Interesting to hear how weather conditions can really add (or in this case take away!) to a game.
    Great stuff duck!

    Stokie Steve