Alcolea 1808 is an interest small scenario far from the typical napoleonic battle played by the majority of napoleonic miniature gamers. Different from the norm of two sides, lined up facing each other, in that one side (the French) has a mixed collection of grab bag units, good overall in combative power and morale, marching along a dusty Spanish road towards Cordova. The other side is a rag-tag group of poorly armed, recently pressed, civilians with some Spanish regulars for backbone.
The initial scenario deployment has the Spanish in three groups; at the river stone bridge crossing, another group standing well behind the bridge defenders position hoping that they won’t be involved, and across a river, on the French side, they watch the French march across their front from a low hill. The French, for their part, are stung out marching in their road columns towards the Spanish defended bridge. Unit for unit, the French are superior, generally disciplined, and have four provisional cavalry regiments. The Spanish, except for the small number of regulars at the river bridge crossing, are mostly poorly armed civilians, some with muskets or firearms, others with pikes or farm tools. Their cavalry is two groups of collected squadrons from different regiments. The armed civilians cannot even form squares against the French cavalry, a scenario ripe for Spanish disaster when four provisional French cavalry regiments are present on the battlefield. The French need to march and assault fast…. sending the Spanish army morale “into the river” in quick order. Cordova is their target for the evening looting festivities. The scenario question is can the Spanish hold them up, prevent the sacking of Cordova that night, and maybe change history. But… if no sacking of Cordova occurs, would the Spanish be so outraged which led directly to the Baylen campaign next month and the Dupont surrender. A pondered question but for now the present scenario narrative commences.
The initial deployments. French on the road in their marching columns. Spanish river bridge defense and the cross river hill position. The other Spanish command is off lower right of picture.
Scenario design and additional information found on WR’s Alcolea 1808 post. In addition there is another previous Alcolea 1808 AAR written about this scenario battle with a different flow of activity and result.
After some French player discussion, Paul and Daniel elected to storm the river defenses and just screen off the low hill Spanish levy defender. Easy to do with a few cavalry regiments since the Spanish levy battalions across the river, on the low hill position, has almost no defense from the sharp charging swords of the French provisional cavalry. They cannot form square formation and half the miniatures don’t even have a firearm to shoot at the French. Eric and WR played the poor Spanish basically without a plan since they basically react to the French assault. Both Paul and Eric are new to the game rules and systems of play and generally easy to pick up on the march so to speak. Paul while marching into the Spanish musketry, Eric hoping that the French stay away…. while hearing the Spanish levy knees knocking out of unison.
Scenario starts with the French infantry charging over the bridge. Column battalion formations, marching in step, over the bridge hump, and into the Spanish cannon fire. The Spanish skirmisher screen popping off a few musket balls too. Opening dice throws… French bodies fall rapidly on the bridge, the leading French General of Brigade Pannetier himself is hit and rolled to be mortal. Spanish player morale notches up. Continue reading