Sunday, 27 November 2016

Talavera 208 - (1809 - 2017) In Support of Combat Stress

July 27th-28th 2017 will be the two-hundred and eighth anniversary of Sir Arthur Wellesley's and the Allied army's victory over Emperor Napoleon's army under King Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Talavera, about sixty-five miles south west of Madrid.

The various armies British (red), Spanish (yellow) and French (blue) and their positions approximately June 1809. The armies of Wellesley, Cuesta, Victor, Joseph and Sebastiani would meet in battle at Talavera in July.
The battle was the culmination of the first campaign by Sir Arthur Wellesley against the French in Spain; and proved to be one of Wellesley's most bloodiest victories in the Peninsular War with estimates of over 6,000 British casualties and lost troops, about 1,200 Spanish troops and over 7,000 French. However the Allied forces were left in possession of the field on the evening of the 28th July and Sir Arthur Wellesley would be recognised for the victory and created Viscount Wellington of Talavera.

Talavera 208 is part of a series of wargames, using 18mm Napoleonic figures, designed to chronologically follow the career of Sir Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War that would see his Anglo Portuguese army support the Spanish to drive Napoleon's forces back into France in 1814 and the Emperor's abdication in that year. Elements of that army would also see action in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo that would end the Napoleonic Wars once and for all.

The games played so far have been staged and reported on here at JJ's Wargames starting in March 2013 with the first significant engagement by the great British general at Rolica on August 17th 1808 (see the links below to look back at previous games).

The Talavera game is by far the largest and most complex of games organised to date and will see a series of games designed to recreate the actions fought over the two days of July 1809 brought to a conclusion with the final 'Afternoon Attack Scenario' that forms the centre piece of Talavera 208.

Action at Ventosa - Vimeiro 1808
Vimeiro Hill - Vimeiro 1808
Vimeiro-1808, Game Two
Oporto 1809 -205th Anniversary Game
Oporto-1809 Miniature Wargames Magazine (Directors Cuts)

The first work on specific units for the Battle of Talavera commenced with the planning stage announced in my post in May 2014.

Talavera Plans

The first unit of the German Division was presented soon after with the 1st battalion Hessen-Darmstadt Infantry Regiment Gross- und Erbprinz Nr. Four.

Hesse Darmstadt 1st battalion Gross und Erbprinz

What has followed in the last two and a half years has been a regular addition of units required, outlined in the plan of 2014, together with a series of scenarios that breaks the battle of Talavera down into bite size battles that recreates the fighting that happened over the two days of the battle and culminated in the climax of fighting that occurred on the afternoon of the 28th July 1809.

Map to illustrate the four scenarios
(1. Casa de Salinas, 2. Night Attack, 3. Dawn Attack and 4. Attack on the Pajar Vergara)
It is this afternoon attack by the combined French forces that will be the subject of a series of games designed to play-test the scenario plan, commemorate the 208th anniversary, raise as much money as we can for a very important charity, Combat Stress, and just as importantly have and share the fun.

Talavera Series of Linked Battles

Attack at Casa de Salinas
Casa de Salinas-Talavera

The movement of French troops during their daring night attack on the 27th July 1809

Talavera Night Attack

French artillery bombard the British line as their infantry beat out the 'Pas de Charge' in the 'Dawn Attack' scenario
Talavera Dawn Attack

Steve and Will went at it in the Pajar Vergara scenario

The German Division go 'toe to toe' with Spanish troops around the Pajar de Vergara gun redoubt
Talavera Attack on the Pajar de Vergara

Talavera 208

As regular followers of JJ's will know I like to work projects, it's just how my mind works when it comes to planning, and this game really falls into a project in its own right even though it is part of a greater plan.

The Talavera Afternoon Attack scenario, entitled Talavera 208 will be the major project in 2017 and will bring the larger two and half, soon to be three year Talavera build and play project to a close and the collection it has created will form the core of other Peninsular War Napoleonic projects going forward.

Action outside the Casa de Salinas
This post serves several functions in that it announces what is planned to happen going into 2017, serves as a rallying point for participants and interested parties involved with or supporting Talavera 208 going forward and is a blatant attempt to encourage you, the reader to hit one of the many 

buttons liberally sprinkled throughout this post in a subliminal approach to converting your interest and support into hard cash for an excellent charity that is putting hope and recovery into the lives of those who defend our freedom.

To give you an idea of the size of game envisioned I have listed the orders of battle together with an approximate summary of the numbers of figures that will grace the table.

The plan will see the scenario fought on several occasions and the games summarised and reported here on JJ's in the usual way. The games will explore various options that will challenge our respective commanders to get the best from their forces whilst dealing with the key issues that faced their historical counterparts. It is anticipated that with the size of the two armies involved the players will be committed to play over two days to allow plenty of scope for reaching a conclusion and thus a weekend will be arranged here at JJ's.

Regular updates on progress will continue here on JJ's Wargames and on the other two platforms for keeping followers up to date, JJ's Wargames Facebook page.

JJ's Wargames - Facebook

and on the Just Giving page

Just Giving - Talavera208.

with the first game planned to be played June 2017.

The rules used will be Carnage & Glory II and newcomers to JJ's are encouraged to check out the links and posts here on the blog to find out more about this excellent set of computer moderated rules. Links to posts specific to this project can be found by using the labels along the top of the page under the blog banner.

Carnage and Glory II

Carnage & Glory II have been used in all the scenarios too date and tick all the boxes in terms of granularity of detail whilst giving a fun game to play.

All the players involved will be doing their bit for charity as well as having fun and will have the opportunity to own a photo book as a keepsake of what I hope will be a very special set of games that will live long in the memory.

The following orders of battle and the accompanying map show the units that will be involved in the action that featured on the left and centre of the allied line as the French commanders made their grand attack to break the will of the Anglo-Spanish troops to resist.

The statistics that follow each unit show the quality rating from A to D (A being a higher quality in terms of training and morale) with a + or - variation, the number of men in the unit and, for artillery the guns available. Most cavalry regiments are divided into two, approximately two squadron units titled A or B.

At the time of writing the forces remaining to be completed are the the seven Spanish infantry battalions under General Bassecourt, a Spanish horse artillery battery, half a French horse battery, four French limber teams and a dozen French, British and Spanish general officer stands including King Joseph, Marshal Jourdan and Marshal Victor. In addition I will put together some rear area cameo stands with supply wagons, artillery ammunition wagons etc. to complete the look of the battle when it is staged.

All the units completed to date are easily found by clicking on the tabs at the top of this page under 'British Napoleonic', French Napoleonic' and so on for other nationalities you might be interested in. If you are interested in how the units are  painted or based then just clink on the 'Tutorials' label in the side column. All the manufacturers of the figures and flags should be highlighted in the details about the units, if not please drop me a line in the message box at the top of the page, and I will tell you after you have donated to......

The additional pieces and their completion should take us through the first half of 2017 with the first game planned to take place in June 2017.

Talavera 208 

Orders of Battle

 Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Wellesley
 Lawson's Brigade C 145/ 6-3pdr
 Sillery's Brigade C 153/ 4-6pdr[Med] + 2-How.
 Eliott's Brigade C 151/ 4-6pdr[Med] + 2-How.
 Rettberg's Brigade C 144/ 4-6pdr[Med] + 2-How.
 Heyse's Brigade C 149/ 4-6pdr[Med] + 2-How.
Brigadier General George Murray
Lieutenant General William Payne

BG Henry Fane at the head of his brigade of Heavy Dragoons (3rd Dragoon Guards, 4th Dragoons)
Brigadier General Henry Fane
3rd Dragoon Guards A C+ 255
3rd Dragoon Guards B C+ 273
4th Dragoons A C 279
4th Dragoons B C 271
Brigadier General Stapleton Cotton
14th Light Dragoons A C 240
14th Light Dragoons B C 229
16th Light Dragoons A C 253
16th Light Dragoons B C 271
Brigadier General George Anson
23rd Light Dragoons A C 229
23rd Light Dragoons B C 224
1st Light Dragoons KGL A C+ 220
1st Light Dragoons KGL B C+ 228
2/83rd County of Dublin Regiment of Foot  "Fitch's Grenadiers" -  part of BG Alan Cameron's brigade
Lieutenant General John Coape Sherbrooke
Brigadier General Henry Campbell
1/2nd Coldstream Guards C+ 873
1/3rd Scots Guards C+ 917
H.Campbell's Bde. Light Bn. B- 255
Brigadier General Alan Cameron
1/61st Foot C 700
2/83rd Foot C- 481
Cameron's Bde. Light Bn. C 183
Brigadier General Ernest Baron Langwerth
1st KGL Line Battalion C 544
2nd KGL Line Battalion C 610
Langwerth's Bde. Light Bn. C+ 234
Brigadier General Sigismund Baron Low
5th KGL Line Battalion C 549
7th KGL Line Battalion C 501
Low's Bde. Light Bn. C+ 117
Major General Rowland Hill
2nd Battalion 48th Northamptonshire Regiment of Foot (The Heroes of Talavera)
Brigadier General Christopher Tilson
1/3rd Foot C+ 671
2/48th Foot C- 510
2/66th Foot C- 473
Tilson's Bde. Light Bn. C+ 237
Brigadier General Richard Stewart
29th Foot C+ 538
1/48th Foot C 726
1st Battalion of Detachments C- 548
Stuart's Bde. Light Bn. C+ 202
Major General Alexander Randoll Mackenzie
2/24th Foot C- 708
2/31st Foot C- 660
1/45th Foot C+ 680
Mackenzie's Bde. Light Bn. C 228
Colonel Rufane Donkin
2/87th Foot C- 539
1/88th Foot C 539
5/60th Rifles B- 220
Donkin's Bde. Light Bn. C+ 175
Brigadier General Alexander Campbell
2/7th Foot C- 388
2/53rd Foot C- 483
A. Campbell's Bde. Light Bn. C 161
Colonel James Kemmis
1/40th Foot C+ 670
97th Foot C+ 452
2nd Battalion of Detachments C- 562
Kemmis' Bde. Light Bn. C+ 244
Active Strengths:
16578 Bayonets
2972 Sabres
742 Artillerists
30 Cannon
20292 Total of all arms
44 Standards present
Approximately 670 Model Figures

General Gregorio de La Cuesta
1st Battery D+ 148/ 6-12pdr[Med]
5th Battery D+ 101/ 4-4pdr
General Portago leads his division and the El Rey Cavalry regiment
Major General Marques de Portago
1st Bn. Badajoz Regiment D- 571
2nd Bn. Badajoz Regiment D- 557
2nd Cazadores de Antequera D- 557
Imperial de Toledo D- 792
Provincial de Badajoz Militia D 577
Provincial de Guadix Militia D 562
El Rey Cavalry Regt A D 229
El Rey Cavalry Regt B D 231
Spanish Pavia Dragoon Regiment - attached to General Albuquerque's 2nd Cavalry Division
Lieutenant General Duke of Albuquerque
Carabinieros Reales A D 116
Infante A D 222
Infante B D 226
Alcantara A D 226
Alcantara B D 229
Pavia Dragoons A D 235
Pavia Dragoons B D 230
Almanza Dragoons A D 218
Almanza Dragoons B D 234
1st & 2nd Hussars of Estremadura A D- 233
1st & 2nd Hussars of Estremadura B D- 234
Major General Luis Alejandro Bassecourt
1st Bn. Real Marina D+ 572
2nd Bn. Real Marina D+ 583
3rd Africa Line D+ 884
1st Murcia Line D+ 602
2nd Murcia Line D+ 642
1st Reyna Line D+ 705
Provincial de Siguenza D 621
Active Strengths:
8225 Bayonets
2637 Sabres
249 Artillerists
10 Cannon
11111 Total of all arms
13 Standards present
Approximately 330 Model Figures

 King Joseph Bonaparte
Marechal d'Empire Jourdan
General de Division Alexandre-Antoine se Senarmont
Marshal Victor heads up the mighty French I Corps d'Armee
Marechal d'Empire Claude-Victor Perrin
6/8me Artillerie a Pied C 193/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.
2/6me Artillerie a Cheval B- 156/ 4-6pdr[Light] + 2-How.
General de Division Francois Amable Ruffin
4/8me Artillerie a Pied C+ 209/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.
General de Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier
1/9me Regiment de Legere C 467
2/9me Regiment de Legere C 497
3/9me Regiment de Legere C- 491
1/24me Regiment de Ligne C 472
2/24me Regiment de Ligne C 471
3/24me Regiment de Ligne C- 497
9me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 308
24me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 308
General de Brigade Pierre Barrois
1/96me Regiment de Ligne. C 513
2/96me Regiment de Ligne. C 507
3/96me Regiment de Ligne. C- 476
96me Regt. Voltiguer Bn. C 288
General de Division Pierre- Bellon Lapisse
1/8me Artillerie a Pied C 195/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.
General de Brigade Jean Bartholomew R Laplanne
1/16me Regiment de Legere C 589
 2/16me Regiment de Legere C 598
3/16me Regiment de Legere C- 470
 1/45me Regiment de Ligne C 455
2/45me Regiment de Ligne C 482
3/45me Regiment de Ligne C- 459
16me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 285
45me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 285
Colonel Phillipon leads the three battalions of the 54me Regiment de Ligne
General de Brigade Jean Baptiste Solignac
1/8me Regiment de Ligne C 496
2/8me Regiment de Ligne C 471
3/8me Regiment de Ligne C- 460
1/54me Regiment de Ligne C 474
2/54me Regiment de Ligne C 486
3/54me Regiment de Ligne C- 489
8me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 291
54me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 290
 General de Division Eugene Villatte
2/8me Artillerie a Pied C+ 198/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.
General de Brigade Baron Louis-Victorin Cassagne
1/27me Regiment de Legere C 424
2/27me Regiment de Legere C 409
3/27me Regiment de Legere C- 428
1/63me Regiment de Ligne C 432
2/63me Regiment de Ligne C 411
3/63me Regiment de Ligne C- 422
27me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 261
63me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 261
General de Brigade Jacques Puthod
1/94me Regiment de Ligne C 414
2/94me Regiment de Ligne C 434
3/94me Regiment de Ligne C- 441
1/95me Regiment de Ligne C 447
2/95me Regiment de Ligne C 447
3/95me Regiment de Ligne C- 419
94me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 251
95me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 250
General de Brigade Louis Carriere, Baron Beaumont
1/3me Artillerie a Cheval B- 144/ 4-6pdr[Light] + 2-How.
2me Regiment de Hussards A C 228
2me Regiment de Hussards B C 243
5me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval A C 259
5me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval B C 255
 General de Division Horace-Comte Sebastiani
12/7me Artillerie a Pied C+ 201/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.

Oberst Potocki leads the Grand Duchy of Warsaw 4th Infantry Regiment 
General de Brigade Baron Jean Pierre-Antoine Rey
5/7me Artillerie a Pied C+ 198/ 6-8pdr + 2-How.
1/28me Regiment de Ligne C 568
2/28me Regiment de Ligne C 582
3/28me Regiment de Ligne C- 580
1/32me Regiment de Ligne C 546
2/32me Regiment de Ligne C 574
3/32me Regiment de Ligne C- 540
28me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 345
32me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 345
General de Brigade Louis Liger-Belair
1/58me Regiment de Ligne C 549
2/58me Regiment de Ligne C 551
3/58me Regiment de Ligne C- 585
1/75me Regiment de Ligne C 575
2/75me Regiment de Ligne C 559
3/75me Regiment de Ligne C- 579
58me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 346
75me Regt. Voltigeur Bn. C 345
General de Division Baron Jean-Francois Leval
Oberst Heinrich Freiherr von Porbeck
III Fuss Batterien Steinmetz C 190/ 6-4pdr + 2-How.
I.von Harrant Nr.4 (Baden) C- 376
II.von Harrant Nr.4 (Baden) C- 367
I.Nassau IR Nr.2 C- 360
II.Nassau IR Nr.2 C- 386
Porbeck's Voltigeur Bn. C- 317
Generalmajor David-Hendrik Chasse
3m3 Artillerie a Cheval Trip C 147/ 4-6pdr[Light] + 2-How.
I/2me Regiment Linie C- 393
2/4me Regiment Linie C- 378
Chasse's Voltigeur Bn. C- 154
General de Brigade Balthazard-Grandjean
III. Fuss. Batterien Venator C 96/ 4-4pdr
1/Gross und Erbprinz Nr 4 C- 398
2/Gross und Erbprinz Nr 4 C- 371
Rheinbund Bttn von Frankfort C- 391
Grandjean's Voltigeur Bn. C- 225
Oberst Feliks Potocki
I. IR Nr 4 (Polish) C 761
II. IR Nr 4 (Polish) C 782
Potocki's Voltigeur Bn. C 260
Colonel Ormancey leads his Light Cavalry brigade consisting of the Westphalian Light Horse regiment and the
Vistula Legion Lancer regiment
General de Brigade Antoine Christophe Merlin
Colonel Jean Baptiste Alexandre Strolz
10me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval C 327
26me Regt. Chasseur a Cheval C 216
Colonel Francois-Leon Ormancey
1st Vistula Legion Lancers A C 224
1st Vistula Legion Lancers B C 206
Westplalian Light Horse C 210
General de Division Marie Victor-Latour Maubourg
2/5me Artillerie a Cheval B- 145/ 4-6pdr[Light] + 2-How.
Colonel Paul Dermoncourt
1e Regiment de Dragons C 280
2me Regiment de Dragons C 280
General de Brigade Louis Joseph Cavrois
4me Regiment de Dragons C 284
9me Regiment de Dragons C 276
General de Brigade Ignace Laurant Oullenbourg
14me Regiment de Dragons C 271
26me Regiment de Dragons C 273
Active Strengths:
32614 Bayonets
3832 Sabres
2072 Artillerists
84 Cannon
38518 Total of all arms
26 Standards present
Approximately 1,284 Model Figures

Hot action during the dawn attack on the Cerro de Medellin
Map of the positions on the afternoon of the 28th July 1809
The game is modelled to a ground scale of one inch equating to fifty paces or thirty eight yards, approximately four feet to the mile, thus we have just over two by one miles of the battlefield presented on the table with the units that featured on the day of battle.

As you can see with over 2,000 figures on the table the game should provide a feast for the eye and as well as recording the fun here on JJ's I am looking to firm up a plan to take the game out to shows and provide an opportunity for others to see the collection close up.

The field of battle seen from the Pajar redoubt (left centre) looking north towards the little farm of Valdefuentes
Once the game has been thoroughly play tested, I am looking to make the Talavera collection of scenarios with all the play suggestions and rule adaptations for Carnage & Glory or your preferred set of rules available in a suitable presentation format to anyone mad enough to want to attempt something similar or simply play parts of the two day battle as demonstrated here on the blog.

JJ's Wargames is dedicated to celebrating the passion for our hobby, historical wargaming, and the great activities associated with it of modelling, painting, reading, exploring the great outdoors and the social side with the opportunity to make long lasting friendships sharing that passion.

When pulling Talavera 208 together it seemed to me to be a great and unique opportunity to use it as a vehicle to express in a practical way the value of those aspects of the hobby in support of the men and women who put themselves in harms way to defend the freedom that allow us the time and space to indulge that passion. 

Thus I have decided to dedicate Talavera 208 to support the great work done by the charity, Combat Stress, in support of our modern day veterans, the successors to those that stood in the line in July 1809.

Combat Stress is the UK's leading veterans' mental health charity and I hadn't realized has been around for much longer than I had first thought; being founded in 1919 as the Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Society straight after the First World War.

They have been at the forefront of the change in attitude towards recognising and treating mental health conditions affecting ex-servicemen and women and today support thousands of veterans aged 18 to 97 providing a vital lifeline for these men, women and their families.

Their residential and community treatment programmes support veterans with PTSD, anxiety and depression. They also work in partnership with other organisations to support the welfare of veterans in the community.

Their services are not routinely available through the National Health Service directly or elsewhere and everything they do is free of charge to the veteran, but that work and support cannot be provided without the support of people like you and me.

So please, let's show what our hobby is all about and even if you are not involved in the hobby but like what we are doing with Talavera 208 and would like to support our efforts then please express your support by making a donation to Combat Stress via the "Just Giving" site linked to the project.

In addition, if you can help by raising the profile of Talavera 208 on other blogs, forums and social media, that can only add to making it even more successful for those we seek to support.

So here's looking forward to Talavera 208 and my thanks in anticipation of your support.



  1. Such a huge project, JJ. I look forward to following it with interest!

    1. Cheers Bill, it's quite exciting with the finishing post in sight and just getting down to playing the games.

  2. Awesome wishing you every success my friend looking forward to following this with interest

  3. Marvellous project and photos, thanks for sharing! :)

  4. What a project, work very well done.


  5. Thanks for your comments chaps. It would be special to finish this with memories of some great games and a good collection for a very worth while charity.

  6. Amazing amount of work to such a high standard. Best of luck.

  7. Jonathan, I notice in your OOB for the British you show the brigades with their combined light btns with, I assume, the attached coys of 5/60th included, where applicable. However in Donkin's brigade, which had 5 coys of rifles attached you show them separate. Do you intend to operate these like a line btn with only some attached to the light btn?

    Tony "Jabba" Miles

    1. Hi Tony, Yes that is right. In C&G I can attach rifle company's to the combined light battalions, so Donkin's lights will have a rifle company from the 5/60th, but the 60th were kept as a half strength light battalion in the brigade and operated as such during the Casa de Salinas attack holding up the French while the junior battalions recovered from the shock. They are veterans so make a very good half strength light battalion.

      Thanks very much for your contribution, much appreciated

    2. Least I could do given how much info I've liberated from your work. Cheers for the reply, we have been trying to work out how to play the combined light btns in Black Powder, think we have it sorted now.