Monday, 13 February 2012

Lasalle tournament Barcelona 2012

We were invited to play in a tournament by our friends from Barcelona a few months back. They were organising a convention of all things to do with Napoleonic wargaming, this including different scales and different aspects of the war including naval.
One of the problems in Spain is the distance to travel between the different cities and from Alicante to Barcelona was around a 6 hour drive. In the end three of us from Alicante decided to go.
Myself and Jose would drive up on the Friday after I had finished work. We would meet at the Hotel with Javi who had been working in Toledo and Fransua who had come up from Valencia to watch.

A view of the convention from the stage, the Lasalle tournament is on the right hand side.

After a good nights rest and a coffee, we went to the convention, unfortunately before we could start we had to wait for the guys from Mallorca who unfortunately had originaly booked with "Spanair" who had gone bump. They were able to get another flight but it was going to get to Barcelona about an hour later.

For the Lasalle tournament we had twelve players competing 6 French and 6 Allied. I had just finished painting my Austrians, and so was eager to see how they faired in battle. All optional rules could be used and normal setup rules were used with one difference. Because all the six tables were put next to eachother. A dice throw was decided who would be on which side of the tables, this meant the French would all be down one side and the Allies on the other, this was to cut down to much moving around of the participants and figures. Obviously this affected who would deploy their figures first, so the player who has to deploy first was the player with the least cavalry units.

My first battle was against the legendary Paco from Mallorca who had won two tournaments that I had participated in before. My army was an Austrian Liberation Infantry Division plus a brigade of Hussars for support. Paco had the French Liberation Infantry Guard and Polish Lancer Brigade for support, this gave him one extra Infantry and artillery unit than normal, but the drawback was the infantry were classed as amateur which could make a big difference when throwing for reactions etc.

Paco, with only three cavalry units against my four had to deploy first. I noticed that he had placed all his Lancers on his left flank, so I split up my Cavalry to worry both of his flanks. My artillery were deployed on my objective and all the infantry behind the infamous stream that I had bought with me.

Due to my guns being sited after the French had deployed, Paco wisely deployed his infantry into the slower attack columns. To give him something to worry about I unleashed both of my Cavalry forces on to his flanks.

Due to my stream his artillery had to deploy close to my line, but with infantry being six base units they were able to take the punishment well enough. The French Infantry were also having a tough time against my artillery due to taking hits and Paco finding it hard by having to throw two dice "four or more".

Disaster struck, Paco charged over the stream with a unit of lancers against my Infantry. I countercharged with my hussars. Being supreme commander he had first choice and it was infantry against lancers. I had decided to fire instead of going in square because he would already have to halve dice because he was engaging two units. He had four dice against my
six dice , I rolled and not a single hit. Paco rolled one hit and my Infantry had been massacred.

Never mind I still had my Cavalry , but my throwing was lousy once again and I scored one hit, Paco of course got two hits and I was all of sudden two units down. The only good thing was that I had an Infantry in reserve to plug the gap and Paco´s Lancer unit was on three markers and so could not charge.

On my left flank things were going a lot better, my hussars had halted the attack, and even broke a fresh Guard Infantry square and routed a cavalry unit. At turn 15 we stopped the game as time was running out and Paco conceded to a draw. Although due to the French Guard having to win decisively, it was a marginal victory for me. I had collected my first 5 points.

After we started the second game we stopped half way through for dinner. We were taken to an Italian Restuarant where the Pizzas were an impressive one metre in length as can be seen by these photos, on a side note I was equally impressed that the plates came from my hometown, Stoke-on-Trent in England.

My second battle was against Javi from mallorca who had French Peninsular and Light cavalry support, it was on the third table and had the river setting which is in the Lasalle book. This table is not a popular choice at my club (I have played it twice before) so when now at the club when we randomly roll it, we make a reroll for another table. We both wanted to be defender so had a dice off which I won. When I placed my extra terrain( streams again) Javi said he didn´t want anything . I thought this was strange not wanting a bridge or ford, it then turned out he thought the river was a large stream. I checked with Jose who had played his first game on the table and he had said it was an impassable river. It was only when we had stopped halfway through and were eating our pizzas that Javi had found out from the organisers it was supposed to have been a large stream all along. Sorry Javi for the confusion, in fact I would have preferred it to be a large stream truth being told.

My troops are deployed once again behind the stream, although I had sited my artiller poorly, to far away and only covering one bridge.

Javi managed to get his Light cavalry over to worry my left flank, this was my second mistake as I had put both of my weaker infantry units there, instead of my larger units.

On my right flank, Javi fearfull of my artillery, still hadn't crossed the bridge with his infantry, so I decided to cut off the bridge with my cavalry and infantry.

Javi's light cavalry attacked my infantry on my left flank and once again a square was destroyed.

My other infantry stood firm and my hussars chased his cavalry back over the stream.

My right flank had advanced far enough to cut off his reserve and threaten to flank his troops on my side of the river.

With my left flank stabilised and my right flank advancing on the attack I had great hopes for a win, however once again we had to cut the game short due to time constraints and we called it a draw. I had another three points.

Due to having to wait for other games to finish, I took this time to have a quick look a the other games, unfortunately most of my photos came out blurred because I was rushing , but below are some that turned out ok.

A view of one of the demonstration games, I particulary liked the modular terrain they used it was quite effective.

Our friends from Murcia were also there to put a demostration of their newly published wargame rules.

This a demo of campaign games, I also like the field effect of the table cloth, very effective.

A Napoleonic naval boarding wargame, they seemed to have great fun playing this, as we could hear the cheers and shouts from our side of the room during the afternoon.

The traders seemed to be busy all day

My last battle was against Joan another gamer from Mallorca, he had the same army as Paco so I knew he would have the same problems with reactions and recovering. I was defending and so once again used my streams. Joan, not realising that his artillery would not be able to reach my troops from his side of his stream set out a wall to protect his artillery.

I was short of space and so compressed my artillery and sited them to hit his troops as they advanced over the stream right of his wall that had caused him a slight bottle neck.

He advanced his cavalry brigade over the stream and an infantry and artillery unit came into my artillery crossfire. I threw fourteen dice on his infantry and scored nine hits killing his unit. For his artillery I threw seven dice but still managed to get enough hits to destroy the artillery as well.

My hussars once again moved across the table to worry his infantry and to stall his attack.

My cavalry formed attack formation and charged his infantry, they were caught attempting to form square and routed, my cavalry continued on threatening some French limbered artillery.
He quickly unlimbered, but before he could attempt to fire my artillery destroyed it. He was now 1 point away from reaching his breakpoint and it was only about turn 10 or 11. Time had flown and it was getting late and once again we had to stop. It was a marginal victory again for me and I finished on 13 points.

My friends Jose and Javi from Alicante both came joint first with 16 points each- Excellent news. Paco from Mallorca came second.

Third place was mine on 13 points.

Marc in last place recieved the wooden spoon, with his Prussian 1815 army which is quite worrying because that is my next army project for this year.

We had an excellent time, putting faces to names and meeting new players. We finished around 8.30 Saturday night and drove straight back to Alicante, I finally rolled into bed about 4.30 Sunday morning exhausted.

Thanks to all the organisers, sponsors, players and visitors for making it a truly memorable experience, I cannot wait for the next one.


  1. Buen report Phil, espero volver a verte pronto
    Saludos Paco.