I really enjoy the process of game construction and pulling together the components of a scenario. One of the key components is interpreting the terrain and scaling it to the level of play the game is set up to model.
With this game I was fortunate in having some great maps of the battlefield as a whole. This enabled a scale down to the area we will be playing over, namely the little hamlet of Ventosa at the end of the Eastern Ridge of Vimeiro
|The whole position occupied by Wellesley's troops at Vimeiro|
|The Ventosa position|
|My interpretation of the original map|
Below are pictures of the table set up to play the scenario. The look is a little squarer than the map because my table is a nine foot by five foot layout and the map was planned for a six by four foot game. So the compromise below has a six by five foot table.
|The table top interpretation of the map, with Ventosa top right|
In the briefing tomorrow pointing out where the "military crest" is will be an important point, and I have positioned my terrain to make it easier for the players to identify where best to position their troops.
|The view from the ground occupied by Colonel Trant and his Portuguese contingent|
The ridge was characterised by having areas of disruptive terrain such as dried up stream courses and small groves of olive and cork trees.
|The road from Vimiero to Ventosa|
|The route as Ferguson's brigades would view it, with the ridge at Ventosa just to the left of the village. Again note how the road past Ventosa drops out of sight|
|General Solignac's view of the road into Ventosa as it climbs the ridge to the right|
|The road into Ventosa that General Brennier was attempting to follow, note the sight is blocked beyond the Ventosa hill to the right.|
With the terrain laid out I have put down "blind markers" to indicate the approximate set up positions for the troops when we play tomorrow.
|The initial positions indicated with blinds|
The nice thing about playing on a reduced area is I have room at the top of the table to put the troops out and set up the laptop and other play aids (note the range sticks).
|The French troops under Brennier are flank marching and will appear on this table edge "eventually"!|
|The small hamlet of Ventosa Farm|
|The forces for tomorrows game|
|The French eager to follow up their success at the Legionary show|
|The 32nd "Cornwall" Foot representing the South West in this game|