I have been looking forward to playing this game for over a year whilst putting together the collection of units, both French and Anglo-Portuguese to play it. For several units, the French Grenadiers, Dragoons, Portuguese Dragoons, it was to be their first battle initiation, and that often doesn't bode well in my experience.
|The Battle of Vimeiro 1808|
|British order of battle from C&GII|
|French order of battle from C&GII|
The map below sets up the initial positions of the opposing forces and the following pictures will illustrate how our commanders on the day interpreted that.
|Vimiero Hill Scenario Map|
|The brigades of Thomieres, Charlot and St Clair form up on the road into Vimiero|
|The other end of the French line with the Kellerman's brigade, behind the foot and horse guns of Junot's reserve|
|Sir Arthur Wellesley oversees the British line on Vimiero Hill with Fane's brigade (95th, 60th Rifles and the 50th Foot "West Kents" nearest to camera.|
|Anstruther's Brigade Light Battalion screen the approach to Vimiero and Vimiero Hill|
|The French advance to the relentless beat of the "pas de charge".|
|The opposing skirmish screens clash as the French mass approaches|
|French infantry wave their shakos in the air to encourage their comrades|
|Kellerman leads his confident combined Grenadiers up the ridge|
|Wellesley gives encouragement to the 97th and 52nd "Oxfordshire" Foot of Anstruther's brigade|
|Acland's Brigade Light battalion clash with voltigeurs of the 32me and 82me Ligne in the outskirts of Vimiero|
|The 20th "East Devon's" Foot formed the garrison of Vimiero protecting Wellesley's baggage and artillery park|
|The Grenadiers of Kellerman's brigade assault the British gun line getting 9lbr canister for their trouble.|
|BG Margaron leads the 26me Chass. a Cheval and 5me Provisional Dragoons supporting the French left.|
|The Portuguese Light Dragoons drawn up on Vimiero Hill prepare to challenge the French cavalry|
It was now that Wellesley brought forward the battalions of Anstruthers brigade moving over the front of the ridge to deliver their first volleys into the Grenadiers. The effect was staggering as the 9th, 97th and 52nd Foot all fired into the massed ranks. Both lead battalions suffered over 100 casualties and recoiled back down the slope in disorder taking Kellerman with them.
|The battle reaches a climax as the French assault Vimiero and the hill|
|With the skirmishing over the 52nd Light Infantry prepare to advance on the French|
|The fighting gets up close and personal.|
|The French Combined Grenadiers break under the close volleys of the 52nd Foot and rout down the hill.|
|The 2/86me Ligne clear Vimiero of redcoats|
|The second brigade of combined grenadiers under St Clair maintain the pressure, supported by Junot's guns.|
|The Portuguese meet the French Dragoons on the hill with the 95th Rifles in support.|
|St Clair's Grenadiers push the British line back.|
|The Portuguese come of worse but with Wellesley's encouragement, hold their line|
However the French 82me and 32me refused to charge and retreated in the face of Acland's "Light Bobs". The 1me Grenadiers turned their retreat into a rout, and the 2me Grenadiers continued to follow them in retreat.
|The French push on into the British lines with both forces close to break point|
The final combat then resolved on the French and Portuguese Dragoons. The French charged, the Portuguese refused to charge so took the French on at the halt. The combat went to the French with eight Portuguese killed and the regiment forced back.
It was the end of Turn 8, 11.30 am and it was all over. The combats were enough to tip the Allies over the break point and give victory to the French.
|The Butchers Bill|
Many thanks to Steve and Nathan for a very entertaining days battle. We hope the many people who came over to watch the battle unfold, enjoyed the game. We certainly had lots of questions about the rules. The notes about the system, available from the Carnage & Glory Yahoo Group, were very useful in explaining how the game works. Next up, the second part of this scenario, the battle at Ventosa Farm.