Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Vimeiro Hill - Battle of Vimeiro 1808 from O'er the Hills at Tiny Wars Played Indoors

Back in December last year I posted a link here to Bill Slavin's blog 'Tiny Wars Played Indoors' as he and friends commenced a playthrough of scenarios from O'er The Hills, starting with 'The Leopard's Debut' covering the Battle of Rolica.

Bill and I have conversed over the many years that I have been posting to JJ's and I know we share a love of Napoleonics and table-top terrain to create the look of the battles we are trying to recreate and you only need to take a look at the tables Bill turns out for his games to appreciate the effort he puts in to get the look he does and I love that kind of passion for the hobby.


So I thought you might like to see his second game played following on from the first with the fighting around Vimeiro Hill at the Battle of Vimeiro on the 21st August 1808, which as it was for the French in the historical battle, a very 'tough nut' to crack with Wellesley enjoying interior lines, great observation of the enemy and terrain, including poor cavalry country and reverse slopes to confound the moves of his opponent.

During our several playtests of this particular scenario I seem to recall only one French outright victory, when an audacious infantry attack on Vimiero town itself managed to dislodge the British garrison and then resist all attempts to dislodge them for the rest of the game.

It would seem in this latest run through the French had an equally tough encounter, but able to give a very good account of themselves and Bill outlines some of his own thoughts on tweaks he introduced for his game.

I love this way of playing with history and welcome any other ideas as I would never claim to have all the answers when trying to capture the known facts of these actions into a scenario that gives interest to both sides, despite the factors that weigh in favour of one side or the other; and the best scenarios for me are the ones that offer victory conditions other than the simple binary win-lose options, rather instead challenging the players to do a better job than their historical counterparts faced with broadly similar issues to overcome.

As you can see from these pictures from Bill's game, the look of it is amazing, so if you're interested in this subject, take the time to take a look at Bill's report of how their game played together with loads more eye-candy to accompany the comment.

I'm really looking forward to the next instalment where I gather there are plans to play the linked game of this scenario and out on Junot's right flank at Ventosa Hill.

Next up Adventures in Vassal with Richard III


  1. Thanks for this, JJ. Your bog has always been an inspiration since I began gaming the Peninsular War a few years ago.
    We are really enjoying working our way through your scenarios, each of which gives me the impetus to get some more figures painted! For Vimeiro Hill it was a fourth unit of French Dragoons and the current push is for more French Legere. Whether I will get the forty plus figures I still need done before our mid-February game waits to be seen!

    1. My pleasure Bill, your games have brought back some very happy memories working through play-tests and making notes as we played and your tables and figures are obviously a work of passion and have fun raising the extra troops.


  2. What a wonderful post JJ. This is a particularly interesting period of the Peninsula War which needs more playing. Is that book of scenarios still available?

  3. Wonderful post JJ and great yo see other takes on the scenario. Is that nook still available perchance?

    1. Hi Carlo,
      If you drop a note to Adrian McWalter on the Stand to Games site, the link is under the picture of the book, and mention you saw this post I'm sure they will be able to source a copy. By all means, drop me an email on the blog contact form top right and let me know how you got on.