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.


Thursday 24 November 2016

Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division at Talavera

The Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division led by Lieutenant General Jose Maria de la Cueva, Duc de Albuquerque
General Albuquerque heads up the Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division that finishes off a project started back in August of this year and now just leaves the Spanish infantry division under General Bassecourt as the last fighting force to be completed to play the afternoon assault at Talavera.

José María de la Cueva, 14th Duke of Albuquerque and
commander of the Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division at Talavera
If you wish to view the regiments separately or read the plan outlined for completing the division then just follow the links below.

2nd Spanish Cavalry Division - Lieutenant General Duque de Albuquerque
Infante Cavalry Regiment
Alcantara Cavalry Regiment
Pavia Dragoon Regiment
Almanza Dragoon Regiment
1st & 2nd Hussars of Estremadura

The map illustrates the position of the northern valley forces (left) and the Spanish forces deployed to support the Cerro de Medellin. Note the 'Spanish Horse' tucked in behind Anson's and Fane's brigades presenting a formidable cavalry force.
From left to right, front rank, Infante Cavalry Regiment, Alcantara Cavalry Regiment, 1st & 2nd Estremaduran Hussars
Rear rank Almanza and Pavia Dragoon Regiments
A total number of approximately 2,500 men is split between effectively five full regiments or twenty squadrons and has the Estremaduran Hussars amalgamated into one unit of four squadrons and sees the squadron of Carabineros Reales being attached out to the other regiments of dragoons and heavies at a generic four squadrons. Each squadron equates to an average squadron strength of about 125 men each.

So what's next? Well obviously Bassecourt's infantry, but I thought in the lead up to seasonal festivities it might be fun to finish off the French forces by completing the General Staff and so next up will be King Joseph, Marshal Jourdan, Marshal Victor their staff and the remaining French general officers.

In addition to the painting I will be rolling out the plans for the Talavera game going into the new year, plus a few other things!

Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division - Almanza Dragoon Trumpeter

Almanza Dragoon Trumpeter
Ah the joys of painting the Spanish, whilst putting together a resource for others to reference, has caused me to present the latest development in my research into the Almanza Dragoons trumpeter.

Thank you to Louis Lepic for supplying me with this excellent depiction of the actual 1805 uniform for the trumpeter and the need to make a slight alteration to the look of my man which will go on the "odds and ends" to do list known as "snagging" in the building trade.

Onwards and upwards.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division at Talavera - Almanza Dragoon Regiment

2nd Spanish Cavalry Division - Lieutenant General Duque de Albuquerque
Infante Cavalry Regiment
Alcantara Cavalry Regiment
Pavia Dragoon Regiment
Almanza Dragoon Regiment
1st & 2nd Hussars of Estremadura

The 3rd Almanza Dragoons completes the final cavalry regiment in Lieutenant General Albuquerque's 2nd Spanish Cavalry Division that were positioned to cover the extreme left of the allied line at Talavera in the afternoon in the northern valley.

As mentioned in the previous post on the Pavia Dragoon Regiment, the Spanish dragoons had gone through a period of change between 1803 to 1805 when they were all converted into light cavalry dressed in the green uniform seen in the illustration below and then converted back into dragoon regiments in 1805 causing many units still being portrayed in their former dress several years after the reform and into the war with Imperial France following invasion in 1808.

Arguably the cream of Spanish forces were sent off to support French forces in Prussia in 1807 under General La Romana and the Almanza Regiment formed part of the light cavalry component of this elite corps.

The troops were later repatriated under the noses of French troops back to Spain in 1808 by the British Royal Navy.

Spanish Army under Romana upon its return from Denmark - 9th October l808
Commanding General: Lt. General Marques de la Romana
Chief of Artillery: Brigadier Josef Montes Salazar
Chief of Engineers: Colonel Miguel Rengel`

Zamora Infantry Regiment (3)(39/l,757)
Princesa Infnatry Regiment (3)(56/l,953)
lst de Cataluña Light Infantry Regiment (l)(42/l,066)
lst de Barcelona Light Infantry Regiment (l)(37/l,205)
Det/Guadalajara Infantry Regiment (2/l20)
Det/Austrias Infantry Regiment (2/20)
Misc. ill personnel (0/200)

Rey Cavalry Regimetn (4)(37/55l)
Infante Cavalry Regiment (4)(34/56l)
Almansa Dragoon Regiment (4)(38/560)
Villaviciosa Dragoon Regiment (4)(32/580)
Det/Algarve Cavalry Regiment (l/l2)

Artillery (l4/349)
l3 4pdrs
6 8pdrs
6 7" howitzers
Sapper Company (5/59)
Seccion de Historia Militar, Ejercito Español, Estados de la
Organizacion y Fuerza de los Ejercitos Españoles Beligerantes en
la Peninsula, durante la Guerra de España contra Bonaparte, Viuda
é Hijos de D. Antonio Brum, Barcelona, 1822

3rd Almanza Cazadores (right) as they would have appeared in Hamburg in 1807
In June 1808 following the Spanish insurrection, Oman lists in detail the forces on hand with a list of the available cavalry regiments and their strengths with the Almanza theoretically able to field 479 men at that time.

Cavalry (---H) - number of horses
lst Rey Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(38/634)(467H)
2nd Reina Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(4l/668)(202H)
3rd Principe Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(42/573)(434H)
4th Infante Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(42/6l5)(494H)
5th Borbon Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(42/6l6)(450H)
6th Farnesio Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(39/5l7)(359H)
7th Alcantara Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(42/589)(490H)
8th Espana Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(39/553)(358H)
9th Algarve Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(42/572)(455H)
l0th Calatrava Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(44/679)(369H)
llth Santiago Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(44/549)(370H)
l2th Montesa Heavy Cavalry Regiment (5)(40/667)(259H)
lst Rey Cazadore Regiment (5)(40/577)(l85H)
2nd Reina Cazadore Regiment (5)(42/58l)(42lH)
3rd Almanza Cazadore Regiment (5)(38/598)(479H)
4th Pavia Cazadore Regiment (5)(42/663)(507H)
5th Villaviciosa Cazadore Regiment (5)(35/628)(448H)
6th Sagunto Cazadore Regiment (5)(39/499)(l89H)
lst Numancia Hussar Regiment (5)(4l/630)(327H)
2nd Lusitania Hussar Regiment (5)(42/554)(409H)
3rd Olivenza Hussar Regiment (5)(37/558)(468H)
4th Voluntarios de Espana Hussar Regiment (5)(34/548)(460H)
5th Maria Luisa Hussar Regiment (5)(40/680)(394H)
6th Espanoles Hussar Regiment (5)(38/692)532H)

On their return from Denmark the Almanza headed south towards Badajoz to re-equip and join the forming Army of Estremadura under General Cuesta.

They arrived in time to be included in the force that met and were defeated by Victor's I Corps at Medellin in March.

Spanish Army at Medellin - 28 March l809
Commanding General: Cuesta (24,000 men total)

Forces from Army of Estremadura:
4/Spanish Guard Infantry Regiment
4/Walloon Guard Infantry Regiment
2nd Majorca Infantry Regiment
2nd Catalonia Light Infantry Regiment
Provincial of Badajos
Provincial Grenadiers
Badajoz Infantry Regiment (2)
Zafra Infantry Regiment*
Truxillo Infantry Regiment*
Merida Infantry Regiment
Plasencia Infantry Regiment*
La Serena Infantry Regiment
Leales de Ferdinando VII (2)*
Total l5 Battaliaons

Troops of old Army of Reserve of Madrid
2/Walloon Guard Infantry Regiment
Jaen Infantry Regiment (2)
Irlanda Infantry Regiment (2)
Parovincial of Toledo
Provincial of Burgos
2nd Volunteers of Madrid
3rd Seville Infantry Regiment

Troops from the Army of the Center
Campo Mayor Infantry Regiment
Provincial of Guadix
Provincial of Cordova
Osuna Infantry Regiment (2)
Granaderos del General
Tiradores de Cadiz

Cavalry (3,000 to 3,200)
Old Army of Estremadura
4th Hussar (Volunteers of Spain) Regiment
lst Hussars of Estremadura (formerly Maria Luisa)

From La Romana's Danish Division:
Rey Cavalry Regiment
Infante Cavalry Regiment
Almanza Cavalry Regiment

New Levies:
Cazadores de Llerena
Imperial de Toledo

Reyna Cavalry Regiment
Artillery & Sappers:
30 guns - (650)
2 Sapper Coys - 200 men
* Not at battle.

Source - Oman, A History of the Peninsular War

My Almanza Dragoon Regiment are composed of figures from AB supplied by Fighting 15s and are the fifth and final regiment completed as part of 2nd Cavalry Division.

References consulted:
Talavera - Wellington's First Victory in Spain, Andrew W. Field
Napoleonic Armies - Ray Johnson
The Armies of Spain and Portugal - Nafziger
History of the Peninsular War - Sir Charles Oman
The Spanish Army of the Napoleonic Wars(1) Chartand & Younghusband (Osprey Men at Arms)

Next up a full parade of General Albuquerque and his 2nd Spanish Cavalry Division

Sunday 20 November 2016

Warfare 2016 - Wargames Association of Reading

Excellent modelling displayed by the Earlswood Wargames Club and their Ardennes themed game
This Saturday I spent a very pleasant day in the company of Steve M and Mr Steve attending Warfare 2016, the annual show put on by the Wargames Association of Reading.

This is the third visit to the show which has grabbed the end of year spot in my wargaming calendar and as well as having some interesting and inspiring games to see also boasts a good turn out of traders and new products.

The show has from my experience also been well supported by visiting gamers and the pictures below shows a very crowded and busy trading hall when we arrived at about 10.30 am.

Crowds fill the hall, great for traders not so much for the crowds in a limited space
This level of interest is obviously great for the traders but as an attendee not so much, as the sports centre venue seems to me to fast becoming a not so ideal site to stage this popular show; as getting around amid the crowds, many carrying rucksacks and bags, me included, is not a pleasant retail experience, to use the parlance.

Not only that but the car parking, in a very busy sports centre, on a weekend, is not really adequate for the added pressure created by the wargaming visitors and we like many others were forced to drive around a nearby trading estate looking for somewhere to park.

If the internal tannoy was anything to go by some visitors didn't bother looking too far away for parking opportunities and I heard several calls for owners of various makes of vehicle together with identifying registration plates to come to reception to move their said vehicle.

I should say that the crowds fell off dramatically after lunch and it seems to me that shows like Warfare may need to come up with ideas like the Penarth club with Crusader, where guest speakers are invited to present on historical subjects that encourage punters to stay on and potentially spend more afterwards which is really important for traders who, with some I chatted to, had travelled as far away as Lincoln and Hull.

I offer these comments in a constructive way as I know a lot of work goes in to organising shows like Warfare and ideal venues with plenty of parking, particularly in the London area are not easy to find, but the problems described are not likely to decrease over time and I would be keen to see shows like Warfare prosper going forward.

Prototype MDF Roman Villa buildings on show at the Warbases stand
Any way on with a look at what was on show at the show, together with as usual the games that caught my eye.

The first item on my must see list were the promised examples of some 28mm Roman Villa style buildings being developed at Warbases that I believe should be available next year.

The precision of these laser cut masterpieces was something to behold and with the Dacian War collection in mind something that would really grace the table for the games I have in mind.

I didn't linger to long in the traders hall, fearing falling over would likely mean I wouldn't be getting up. However I picked up some much needed magnetic tape from Coritani and the AWI Scenario Book 3 from Caliver Books, plus a dice bag and some mini dice.

Wargaming supplies replenished I headed for the game displays and was immediately attracted to a fine model of a Typhoon laying it on thick with the 60 lb rockets, I'm sorry but I didn't note the organisers of this game, and I am assuming from the list of displays that it was the Huntingdon and District Wargames Society.

There was a distinct 1066 theme at the show, rightly so, given the 950th anniversary of that momentous year in British history and the Malvern Old Wargamers had a very fine table representing the Battle of Fulford, using the Armati rule set.

Hordes of Vikings seen in Reading yet again, very fitting in memory of the Great Heathen Army tying their boats up in the town in previous times.
I am currently starting a Dark Ages collection, based with our club Dux Brit. game in mind, but being the typical wargamer that I am, it is the big clash of shield wall kind of game that interests me most and a decision on what basing to what rule-set will need to be made going forward, so I like to see what others folks do in this respect.

What follows and heading up this post are the pictures of my game of the show, this fantastic Chain of Command game by the Earlswood Wargames Club representing the 505th/101st Airborne Division's, Easy Company's attack on the town of Foy during the Ardennes fighting and so memorably staged by HBO in Band of Brothers.

The attention to detail in this game was something to see, including the use of spray can tops covered in material to represent the classic snow covered hay stacks as portrayed in the TV show.

Screen shot from the series to remind you of the detail captured in this game

The attention to detail in the terrain was matched by the figures with some great snow cammo effects achieved on vehicles and men.

Some of these pictures make me cold just looking at them!

I think you will agree, a superb looking game, and having featured a few on this blog over the years, well up there with the best.

Spot the LMG team in wait in the roof cavity
Next up yet further inspiration from another presentation I don't have details for, even in the show guide which has three clubs showing games not confirmed by title or period, so I can't even make a guess.

I do know from Steve M that two of the chaps running the game were former "boot-necks" otherwise known as Her Majesty's Royal Marines and therefore having spent some time down in our local parish.

With my own 28mm collection for the Dacian Wars percolating in the background this scene could quite easily replicate a Dacian War struggle on the Danube frontier with the Roman navy and the Limes frontier post.

Lovely looking game chaps, and great inspiration for us fans of early Imperial Rome.

As announced in the preceding Wargaming media, Gripping Beast were rolling out their new set of ancient/medieval rules 'Swordpoint', demonstrating the game with a nice little display of Teutonic Knights going at in a suitably snowy set up.

These rules are a possible contender for my Dark Age big battle set and I found the interview about them on the recent Meeples Podcast most interesting as well as recent magazine reviews . However I am not in a hurry to be an early adopter so I will wait to see what further reaction develops about them.

Did I mention 1066? Well you would be surprised not to have seen the 'Hastings Set To' not represented and here is King Harold's line in all its glory facing off multiple attacks from Duke William's Norman cavalry and infantry.

Having just reviewed and enjoyed our own game of 'Over the Hills' Napoleonic rules it was a pleasure to meet the authors in person, Adrian McWalter and Quinton Dalton, putting on this Austrian vs Bavarian display game.

As you would expect there was plenty of information detailing the game and Steve M got himself a mint copy from Caliver Books whilst we were at the show.

This little 'cribbage board' caught our attention as these were the first prototypes of a potential option for recording brigade,/divisional/army morale other than just writing the scores down.

We had a discussion about potential price points going forward, and with the some ideas forming on doing some Talavera scenarios with the rules I really like this way of recording fatigue hits.

With all the chatting about the rules, I nearly forgot to share some close ups of the game, which would have been a shame as the chaps had brought along some nice figures and terrain to show how things get played using 'Over the Hills'.

If want to know more about the rules you can also go to the Over the Hills Facebook page, join the group and see what others are doing.

Continuing the Napoleonic theme, close by was this very nice Napoleonics in Egypt game presented by Steve Deeprose.

I am sure I have featured Steve's game on another show report, but for me you can't have too much of the look of this early period in the Napoleonic/Revolutionary war as the uniforms are great especially against a desert  style background.

And last but by no means least I present this participation game about the Raid on Schweinfurt carried out deep into German territory by the US air-force on October 14th 1943 which finally disproved the idea of the self protected bomber group making deep penetrating daylight raids without fighter supremacy.

Again I am guessing this was put on by the Staines Wargames club as they are the only game down as a 1/144 aerial combat game, although I fancy the bombers were closer to 1/300th.

I really enjoy getting the planes out on the table and have a large Battle of Britain collection stored at JJ's Towers but 1/144 scale models only add to the fun. The German fighters were particularly attractive and the terrain board was simple but very easy on the eye designed to represent the terrain from high altitude.

So there we are another Warfare seen and enjoyed.

Thanks to all the folks at the Wargames Association of Reading. I could see everyone involved yesterday were busy helping the visitors have a good day out and looking after the traders .

And thank you to Steve M and Mr Steve for their company on the day.

Next up, well loads of stuff, as the day job has been getting in the way of posting. So we still have Vikings to come and the Spanish 2nd Cavalry Division which is now finished awaiting parade pictures together with the last regiment of Dragoons, the Almanza Regiment, and a special project announcement.