Saturday, September 22, 2012


This week game at the SESWC was a 28mm Napoleonic Peninsular War game played with Black Powder.   It was based vaguely on a rearguard action by Marshal Ney’s 6th Corps at Redinha on 11 March 1811 during the retreat from Portugal.

The fight in the cornfield - Irish column vistorious....
The Setup
I provided the scenario and Angus Konstam provided the pursuing Anglo-Portuguese forces whilst I provided the French.  We played down a 8ft by 6 ft table.  We used full scale movement and the revised sequence of play.  The French had three 3 battalion infantry brigades, a 2 regiment Chasseur a Cheval brigade and a single gun.  The Anglo-Portuguese had two 3 battalion British infantry brigades, one with a detachment of riflemen, a 4 battalion Portuguese brigade with 2 rifle detachments,  and a cavalry brigade of British Light dragoons and KGL Hussars.  Each of the allies had a gun.
Myself and Mr Ray commanded the French with 1 brigade and our single gun holding the farm and the line of the stream to its left, 2 infantry brigades were held back in reserve in attack columns and behind them were the chasseurs.  Angus deployed the allies with their cavalry on their  right flank, a British brigade in the right centre and the Portuguese commanded by Bart on the centre and left.  The remaining British Brigade was held of table intending to advance down the road - this was commanded by Campbell when he arrived later.

French army deployed - 1 brigade forward others in reserve

The allies took the imitative as the attackers and Angus sent his light cavalry across the stream on the allied right flank whilst the 1st British brigade engaged the French centre, Bart engaged the farm with his skirmishers and sent 2 battalions across the stream on his  left to outflank the French line.  The battle developed in these 3 sectors - the cavalry action on the allied right, the fight in the centre across the stream and the action around the farm with the flanking attempt.

The cavalry action - after much delay I managed to get the Chasseur brigade to move forward and take position on the French left on windmill hill were they observed the British light cavalry crossing the stream.  The initial charges saw the engaged regiment from each side retiring from a draw.  Then the KGL Hussars charged the other Chasseur regiment who counter charged and drove them back.  The Chasseurs then made a sweeping advance into the already shaken British light dragoons who could not react to the sweeping advance and broke them.  The KGL retired back beyond the stream and I followed up over the stream with both my regiments hoping to flank the allied army but the final charge ended in a draw with both sides retiring yet again.

British cavalry about to cross the their defeat.

In the centre - the British quickly lost their gun to lucky or skilful shooting by the single French gun.  The British moved forward  to the stream and silenced our French gun.  The French Irish legion battalion holding the road broke the British battalion facing it with their first volley!  Angus crossed the stream with his remaining 2 British battalions and charged a French battalion - who broke the lead British battalion in the melee.  The British survivors threatened by the arrival of French reserves withdrew back across the stream and waited for the arrival of the 2nd brigade under Campbell who moved forward and continued the action in the centre.  Eventually Campbell attacked across the ford into the by now shaken Irish battalion but they drew the melee.  The shaken British battalion retired back over the stream but the plucky Irish broke and fled.

British charge French as reserves move up

Last fight of the galant Irish - drove back their opponents but broke
The farm and allied left - Bart screened the farm with his skirmishers and crossed the stream to its right with 2 battalions while holding 2 battalions back as a reserve.  We countered by moving 2 battalions from our right wing reserve brigade to engage them.  Our other battalion of the Irish legion charged and after 2 rounds of melee broke a Portuguese battalion.  They then engaged the other forward Portuguese battalion in a long indecisive fire fight.   With the game running down the reserved Portuguese battalions attacked the French infantry holding the farm but were held in a drew.

Portuguese flanking move across the stream....
The allies lost 3 battalions and a cavalry regiment whilst the French lost 1 battalion and still held the line of the stream at the end of the game.  It was a great game - lots of moves and action in the 2 hours we took to play it. 
More photos and descriptions at


  1. Great looking game and report as always!


  2. As usual fantastic makes me yearn for the pleasant Thursday nights in Edinburgh at the club.
    Question the various wagons on the road in photo 0399 behind the French represent what exactly?

  3. Dave

    The wagons were supposed to be the retiring French baggage train moving at single foot speed and would have been an objective for the British but we omitted that element from the game.