My friends and I recently completed a battle involving French and British forces in a fictitious battle in the Peninsula. The battle was your classic Attack / Defense setting where the British had taken up defensive positions along a line of hills with a dominant village central to the field. The battle, although not large in size was a significant battle because a couple of the newer players got their baptism of fire as formation commanders during this action.
As can bee seen from the panoramic view of the field left, the British had taken up defensive positions along a ridge line. The dominant hill on the left flank was occupied by a strong British Brigade of Infantry while the hills to the right flank were defended by two more strong brigades of Infantry. The centre was covered by a series of stone walls and an orchid which were the position of a Spanish Brigade. To their front was a village which was the objective of the British Light Brigade of Riflemen from the 60th / 95th and Spanish Cacadores. These men played an important pivotal role in the ensuing battle.
The French deployed opposite the British lines in low lying land dissected by fields. The right flank was very light on with only a single brigade positioned here to cover any British advance. The centre and British right flank was the scene of the major push by the French forces to come. The French left flank was covered by a strong contingent of French Infantry supported by a powerful Cavalry force. The centre of the field was the main line of attack where a division was deployed to punch through the village and split the British line in two. The French right was to hold defensively while the French left was to advance in support and occupy a foot bridge in order to deny it to the British as a crossing point.
Right from the start things did not go well for the French, the attack on the left flank was halted by greatly superior forces that halted them. The Bridge was for a time captured but the British brought up numbers in the centre and the position became untenable. The order came to withdraw back to the original positions while the focus was switched towards the centre of the line.
It was felt that a push through the centre would draw off reserves from both flanks making another push a possibility for the French. Subsequently the order to take the village became the primary concern. This struggle between a French brigade and that of the crack 95th, 60th and Cacadores became a violent intense fight. The deadliness of the rifle armed troops gradually gave them the advantage and the French were eventually forced backwards.As a result, the French command brought up there last Infantry reserves, that of 4 battalions of combined Grenadier companies. This elite formation received orders to advance across the centre of the French position and attack the enemy position atop the British centre left. Located on the crest of this ridge line was a stone church, the French batteries in support fired on the church causing it to quickly catch alight and burn. The British defenders withdrew but took up positions now in front of the burning church as the red plumed Grenadiers began to climb the hill.
Acting in concert with this attack was the French brigade on the extreme French right flank. This brigade had taken no part in the action thus far but were now to act in support and advance up the slope in a coordinated effort to pin the British to their front while the Grenadiers made the main attack. As the French advanced they could only see the light companies of the British line scattered across the face of the ridge firing sporadically at the French line. Their main body, that of an entire Brigade lay hidden over the crest waiting ready as the French drums beat the advance.
The French advance acting in concert between the Grenadier and Fusilier brigades made good progress forcing the British lights to withdraw rapidly, however, this was short lived. Suddenly and with no warning the crest line erupted along its length as 3,000 British troops from 4 battalions advanced over the slope to pour volley after volley into the stunned heads of the French Grenadier columns and the Fusilier line. The effect was devastating, the French formations collapsed in confusion and broke. The onslaught of these volleys wreaked havoc amongst these brave veterans who could not take the pounding they received.
As quickly as they advanced several French battalions broke and routed back down the hill taking other wavering units with them. The result was resounding in its success for the British who let out a loud hurrah! as they advanced to seal the fate of the remaining French units. All was lost and the French right flank was gone in less than 15mins.
This battle was more so a training battle for a couple of the newer players who enjoyed the spectacle of what occurred. They learnt a great deal about what to do in the system and more so, what not to do. The guys seem to really enjoy the system I developed and am still developing, their questions and comments were greatly appreciated by myself and the veteran players who equally enjoyed conveying their experience with the system and all the do's and dont's. I am sure these guys are completely hooked now after playing several battles with the system and we will only grow and bond as were progress through our future clashes.