Well, it has been almost four months since I have enjoyed a game since my very personal “series of events” last February 2013. Still in mental recovery mode but finally decided to pick up some dice and play test my Teixeira 1808 scenario written several months ago. With my son Daniel as the French general Loison, WR as General Silviera attempts to stop the French advance in northern Portugal.
We played the scenario twice in the warren. On the first “learning” game, the French lost the scenario since we didn’t utilize the MFP system* during the game. The French failed to punch a hole in the defending Portuguese hill defense and as scenario game time advanced, the arriving Portuguese pike armed Ordenanza masses overwhelmed the French infantry after taking their wagon train from the rear.
The second game, using the MFP system, played closer to the historical outcome but ended with a French victory. All the scenario notes, rosters and historical background can be read on my original February scenario blog post. Battle of Teixeira 1808 link.
To the scenario report….opening positions at 1000 hours below. French and Portuguese are placed in their starting locations. Daniel, as General Loison, tried a new tactic of having his small dragoon squadron leading the French column of advance. After playing the first trial game he realized that the French need to advance quickly and defeat the initial Portuguese force before their arriving pike armed Ordenanza masses surround the French from the steep hill sides.
All the slopes pictured are steep hill sides with vineyards. No cavalry or artillery movement uphill or downhill except along the road. Infantry movements are reduced depending on formation.
MFP usage at game start was 4 out of available 17 French and 4 out of available 21 Portuguese points just from marching to the battlefield (see MFP notes and link below for MFP usage and rules). Each hour the Portuguese calculated army MFP value increases by +5 for arriving Ordenanza reinforcements.
Portuguese positions at start. Two weak Portuguese line battalions besides the small 3lb battery (2 cannon) and various musket armed Ordenanza battalions positioned along the steep hill-side. These Ordenanza are 50% musket and 50% pike armed units (hence half the available miniatures can fire muskets in these Ordenanza units). The arriving reinforcement Ordenanza are all pure pike formations at this early stage of the Portuguese revolt. Plus the Portuguese have an ammunition supply issue since they have no supply trains nearby.
Turn 1000: French advance along the road with their dragoon squadron while the leading French legere battalion forms open order skirmishers. The rest march forward with their foot 4lb artillery battery of six cannon. On the Portuguese half turn they marched forward to secure the road and forward edge of the steep hillside. Vineyards dot the tabletop terrain.
Running MFP levels (French at 4, Portuguese at 4)
Turn 1020: French movements continue forward. Skirmishers line the forward edge of the hillside vineyard as the French dragoons approach the road grade with General Loison attached. The remaining French march forward following the French dragoons path. Light musketry between the French skirmishers and the advanced Portuguese Ordenanza battalions with one already running low on ammunition (every Portuguese musketry firing has 1 out of 6 chance to become low on ammo).
Seeing an opportunity…. and a bold charge, General Loison with the French dragoons charge up the road. Seeing the charging cavalry, the Portuguese held their positions preparing to fire as General Silviera looks on.
Muskets bark and the small 3lb battery fires canister. The effect caused the loss of one French dragoon miniature. Passing morale with gusto and led by General Loison, the French dragoons overrun the Portuguese battery and rush past the startled Portuguese infantry.
End of the charge found General Loison and the brave French dragoons behind the Portuguese lines. Shaken General Silviera (WR) keeps his head as the battle starts on a note for French success.
MFP status (French at 6 from loss of two miniatures and Portuguese at 10 from battery loss (+5) and one miniature). Each miniature loss or failure to rally count as one point added to the running MFP total.
Turn 1040: While the recovering French dragoon muddle about in the rear, the French legere infantry along with their unlimbered 4lb battery, advance or bombard the Portuguese infantry. Some Portuguese Ordenanza chase the French dragoons while more Ordenanza empty their pockets of ammunition firing at the French legere skirmishers.
MFP status (French at 6, Portuguese at 11 with another miniature loss)
Turn 1100: French storm forward…. The French column of legere assault the Portuguese deployed skirmishers as the other French legere battalion, formerly in skirmish order, closed ranks into firing line. After receiving some truly pathetic musketry (triggered by formation change in musketry minimum fire zone), the formed linear formation assaults the Portuguese Ordenanza up the steep hillside. Meanwhile, the recovered French dragoons charge again to regain their friendly lines as arriving reinforcement group of pike armed Ordenanza chase them behind the Portuguese battle line.
A brave Ordenanza battalion, led by General Silviera, “bounce” the French dragoons while their fellow less fortunate Ordenanza battalions are routed by the victorious French legere infantry climbing the hillside. More pathetic Portuguese musketry.
MFP status (French at 11, for hourly attack order (+4) and miniature loss, Portuguese at 15 from engage order (+2) and two miniature losses). Note that the Portuguese army total is increased to 26 from starting 21 due to arriving hour reinforcements.
Turn 1120: French advance up the hillside in linear formation or via open order formation. French 4lb battery bombards the weak Portuguese line battalions besides the road. On Portuguese turn move they endeavour reform some form of battle line amidst growing confusion.
MFP status (French at 12 with one loss, Portuguese at 18 with three miniature losses)
Turn 1140: They are back…. those French dragoons whom to never die. While the French legere charge home on the reforming Portuguese Ordenanza line, the French dragoons charge again and rout the rear supporting Ordenanza units. Looking ugly for the Portuguese cause.
MFP status (French at 14 from two miniature losses, Portuguese at 26 from six miniatures routing from battlefield…ie.. failed to rally twice and four losses in combat). Portuguese are equal to their calculated army MFP value. One more point and they exceed their army level.
Turn 1200: After routing the Portuguese Ordenanza infantry, the French legere battalion continue their forward march crushing the smaller detachments of Ordenanza in their path. Nothing worse than being a Ordenanza unit, low on ammunition, shaken morale (20% loss in command) and confronted by a veteran French battalion larger than you.
MFP status (French now at 18 from hourly attack order cost (+4). The French have exceeded their calculated MFP value of 17 so they start hourly morale reduction immediately this turn (checked every hour game turn). Portuguese with four more routing miniatures and their engage order cost (+2) now at 32. They also have exceeded their MFP level so they have hourly morale reduction. The key difference is the veteran French start at a higher CMR value compared to the Portuguese. This alone will force the Portuguese to retire from the battlefield in very short order.
Turn 1220: A weak counterattack by pike armed Ordenanza is soon seen off by the victorious French infantry. French wagon train rolls forward as General Silviera watches his army scatter from the battlefield.
MFP status (French at 18, Portuguese at 42 due to Ordenanza units failing to rally and some loses). With Portuguese command soon at 40% loss level, the combined effect of hourly MFP reduction and loss level CMR adjustment prevents the Portuguese from passing morale checks. They just bolt for the hills now from the approaching French infantry.
By 1240 turn it is all over. Per the scenario victory conditions, the French won a minor victory level. Would have been a major French victory if the dragoon detachment had survived the scenario but their final charge did them in. Congratulation to Daniel, as General Loison, for a smashing aggressive French victory in ninety minutes actual time.
All the scenario notes, rosters and historical background can be read on my original February scenario blog post. Battle of Teixeira 1808 link.
Next to play test the written Dego April 1796 scenario when I finish painting my 1790’s Sardinian battalions.
* Brief Morale Fatigue Point overview: Morale Fatigue Points (MFP) (.doc)
Many of our scenario game aspects and rules can be found at this link: Napoleonic Rules, files and videos.
Some cheer from the warren….