Monday, March 26, 2012

28mm Peninsular War - Action at Los Anonimo - Black Powder

This week game at the SESWC was a fictional 28mm Napoleonic Peninsular War game played with Black Powder.

The Setup
It was a Dougie Traill scenario in which a French Force (commanded by Dougie and Bart Zynda) encountered an allied force of Johns Glass’s Spaniards supported by my British brigade. The key point was the village of Los Anonimo in the centre of the battlefield, represented by 2 built up areas, to win this objective had to be controlled at the end of the game.

Swiss in Spanish service move on Los Anonimo

The French split their forces with Dougie commanding a light cavalry brigade on their right flank and Bart commanding 2 French infantry brigades with artillery support on their centre/left. Johns Spanish cavalry was on our left with the first of his infantry brigades in the centre with a further brigade off table in reserve and my British brigade was across a small stream on the allied right facing a line of low hills.
All the troops used the standard factors in the rules. All the cavalry were counted as standard light cavalry. The French infantry were reliable in attack column, the British infantry had first fire and all the Spaniards were unreliable. The French and British commanders were rated as 8 and the Spanish as 7. We used the alternate move sequence with firing occurring after initiative moves.

The invincible brown hussars win again but not for long....

How it Played
The French split their infantry force with one brigade moving quickly to occupy the line of low hills to face my troops who were slowed moving thru woods. The other French brigade also moved rapidly crossed the stream and occupied the village of Los Anonimo whilst the Spanish were held up by poor command rolls and their unreliability.

French marching wins race Los Anonimo
On the French right their light cavalry, Dougies Brown Invincible Hussars, defeated the Spanish yellow dragoons but their sweeping advance was driven back by the Spanish lancers. This left both cavalry brigades in a fragile state and neither felt in a confident state to renew the action.

On my flank my British brigade emerged from the woods and engaged the French left wing brigade deployed in line on the low hills in a fire fight. By the end of the action we had both broken an opposing battalion by fire and were threatening to outflank our opponents right wing.
British advance on steady French lines

The key to the action was the struggle for Los Anonimo. The French had one battalion deployed in each of the BUAs of Los Anonimo and a further battalion in reserve behind the stream. John launched his first brigade in an attempt to storm the village but this attack was driven back easily by the French defenders. John then changed tactics and brought up his units including a gun to shoot the French out of the nearest built up area. After several turns the weight of fire broke the French defenders. Abysmal command rolls prevented the Spanish from occupying that half of the village and while repeated disordering hits prevented the French reserve battalion from reoccupying it.

Spanish deliver crushing fire into Los Anonimo

The French held one half of the village as the game ended so it was declared a minor French victory. The game showed again the difficulty of taking a defended built up area under Black Powder but that I think is realistic.


  1. Great pictures!

    Playing Spanish is always a challenge ;-)

    1. In some games we have tried reducing Spanish HtoH dice, stamina, morale saves or making them poor shots (-1 to hit). For really poor troops you could also make them untested or Wavering. All things I have tried with AWI militia.

  2. Could you provide us with more pics of the action ?Were the Swiss in French uniforms with Spanish flags - looked cool nonethe less (more units for me to paint

    1. To see more photos just click on the Slideshow photos feature and it will take you to the photos in FlickR.
      Yes 2 battalions of the Spanish are defectors from the 3rd Swiss at Bailen. John gave them new Spanish flags.

  3. The Spanish should get extra benefits for just looking so cool, especially the yellow coated dragoons. John has done a fantastic job on this army.

  4. Nice report and good pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I was web surfing and came upon this post. Great stuff. I love the Spanish Dragoons based to be careering down the slope.