Sunday, 20 May 2018

10mm War of Spanish Succession - Saragossa 1710

At the May Tring Club Games Day, we staged a big 10mm battle based on the Battle off Saragossa, fought on 20th August 1710. The game was fought using Black Powder, with Last Hussar's Blenheim Palace amendments.

Historically the Allies had advanced out of Catalonia, defeating the Bourbons at the battle of Almenara. They then pursued the retreating Bourbons with the intent of finishing them off, catching up with then at Saragossa. The Allied army had 30 infantry units and 20 cavalry against the Bourbon's with 24 infantry and 30 cavalry. We had a great time playing this and the battle resulted in an overwhelming draw for the Bourbon army.

Both cavalry flanks got stuck in long before there was any infantry action. Interestingly on the right of the Bourbon army all the brigades on both sides ended up in a Broken state, but on the Bourbon left only one brigade (an Allied one) broke in the closing stages of the battle. I think this reflected the different tactics being used. On the left, both commanders maintained their lines. The front brigades clashed, then the commanders pulled them back to join any retiring units behind the safety of the second line where they could rally. In the meantime the second lines clashed and repeated the process. Both sides would pause their attack to reform their lines. On the right, the British commander threw his second line out to try and outflank the Bourbon cavalry, which forced the Bourbon commander to do the same to counter the move. So the two second lines contacted each other piecemeal and the cavalry melee degenerated into a messy scrap. As neither side had the security of a rear line to reform behind, units were thrown back in to battle with less opportunity to rally properly. It became a far more of a battle of attrition than the other wing.

In the centre the Catalan/Austrian infantry failed to advance, whilst the British/Dutch contingents raced across the battlefield. The Catalan dice was so bad that the British commander insisted on the infantry Reserve being committed to guard his flank! The Bourbons advanced far enough to anchor their flank on the woods and were otherwise content to await the allied attack. The British took pretty horrendous casualties, despite their platoon firing they were out-shot by the Bourbon infantry and the Dutch units that tried to support their attack were also badly shot up. The Spanish/Austrians finally got going but were really just an audience to the Reserve's attack in the Bourbon lines, which was thrown back and the brigade Broken.

At this point we took stock. On the Allied side 5 of their 9 brigades were Broken, against 4 of the Bourbon 10. However we realised we had forgotten the rule that artillery do not count towards calculating a Broken brigade, so one of my Bourbon infantry brigades was also Broken (but that also meant that the British brigade would have been gone at least two turns earlier!). So we called it a draw, to the advantage of the Bourbons.  Historically the Marquis de Bay would have been delighted with that result and considered it a victory!

Here are  some pictures of the battle.

 Initial deployments, from the Allied side....
.....and the Bourbon side.

 The British commander starts the advance.
 Marquis de Bay chooses a good vantage point to survey the battle.
 The British start to wonder if they are fighting this battle on their own!
 The view from the Allied commander, "why are the Spanish and Austrians so far behind the reserve?"
 Cavalry clash on the Bourbon right wing.
 On the left wing, the Bourbon commander adjusts his wig before ordering his cavalry to advance.

 I frantically scan the rules for a way out as two nasty British cavalry units pick on one of mine.

 I found the way out, the British just roll crap dice and rout!

 The British infantry start taking a lot of hits!

 The Catalans get the best seats to watch the Allied reserve do the job they were supposed to have done!

 A dilemma for the British! To support their attack on the Bourbon infantry they would have to cross the line of guns, what to do.........
 .....charge the guns, of course! BOOM! went the guns......
 ....and that's the spot the British colonel's head was found after the battle.

 The Allied reserve retreats! They think it's all over..... is now!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent battle report

    Take care