Monday, May 16, 2016

Rolica, First French Position: Commands and Colors Napoleonics Part II la fin de l'histoire!

An interesting an a-historical finish to the opening of this famous battle!

A concerted Portuguese push against the French left fizzles out in the face of withering and deadly fire by French lights and French line and a British attack against the French right is stopped dead in their tracks by re positioning of the French Cavalry to the right and reorganizing them into a small Division!

AVANCAR!  AGORA!  The Portuguese infantry step off into the attack 
 The lack of units confronting them on the French left makes the hill objective seem like a good move.  Good interior lines of movement and open fields of fire however made for a good French defense.

The Portuguese force moves out toward their objective.  

Cacadores (actually British lights but they're supposed to be Cacadores) advance to fire at the French.  They are immediately charged by light cavalry and form square.

A Portuguese unit moves up to threaten the Cavalry and they retreat and reform.
 The French re-position their left and a cavalry charge really steals the initiative from the Anglo-Allied advance against the French left.
Heavy combat breaks out on the French left

Portuguese cavalry moves in to ward off the French horse.
 The combat doesn't end well for the Portuguese and their Cavalry isn't just beaten back but instead is eliminated.  The French light horse survives the day with light casualties.

The British start moving in the center.

British troops advancing.

British trying to advance the center in case the French get froggy (absolutely no pun intended).

Picking up the pieces on the British right.

The British advance against the French right is starting to take shape.  They advance their infantry towards the river to attempt a crossing and quickly seize the objective.
 With the failure on the British right to seize the objective, the plan now is to try and hold the French in the center, while moving the left flank forward.  The British are having some trouble coordinating their advance, however, and not all of their units can move forward.

Some skirmishing between lights begins in the hills outside of Rolica.  (was thinking that would be a really fun skirmish game, by the way)

British advance begins in earnest with 2 infantry units preparing to cross the river - then i realized the guys on the far right are out of bounds....

Meanwhile the French Cavalry hasn't had enough yet and their blood it up.  They charge the Portuguese infantry in the open, who promptly form square.

The Portuguese Infantry are eliminated after a "combined arms" attack.

Note the British off in the distance moving against the French rear now and trying to cross the river.

British cavalry finally reinforces the main effort of the attack.

Wellesley orders his reserve forward

Most of the action now shifts to the French right as forces hurriedly move to counter the British.
 The French, again with good interior lines, move their Cavalry units to the site of the British river crossing operation and immediately attack it.  The British have no choice but to form square and the French cavalry is beaten back.  But there are 2 light saber units waiting on the British objective and it's not going to be easy to force the position.  Plus after the Portuguese attack, the French are already at 4 Victory Banners (one for each unit eliminated).

Note the French infantry unit with officer attached on the French left.  They should have meleed, not fired at, the lights to their front.  I didn't realize it was an adjacent hex.  Sometimes that's just how it goes when you play solo!

The British start moving their infantry up and this is starting to look like a deadly frontal assault against the French guns and troops on the hill may be the only way to win.

Then the French play a good card and no less then 3 units fire on the single British unit advancing and eliminate it.  The battle is over!
 I'm not sure that the battle "actually" would have been over, but it looks to me like the French bought the time they needed to redeploy to better positions.  The British never actually captured their objectives even though there was plenty of combat power sitting against the French right.

French Cavalry division threatening the British river crossing

Final dispositions

French lights took a beating but still live to the end of the battle!

The last bicornes?

Wish we'd get out of this bloody river.  Me feet are freezing.

The final positions.  Note the British creeping up the flank in the bottom of the picture, and the solid mass of French units still on the ridge in the center.  A tough nut to crack!

Lessons Learned:
This was actually my second "proper" game of CCN - the first of which I played at a friend's house and I am really enjoying it.  (so much in fact I made this mat to play at home).  Even though it's "Napoleonics Month" I'd like to try "Battle Cry" with my 15mm guys as well.

So a few lessons I was able to pick up on here:

Combined Arms: You should advance troops together as much as possible.  Advancing single units is asking for them to be chewed up.

Keep a Reserve: No attack is a foregone conclusion.  A reserve helps ensure you can move to reinforce holes in your own line, or even exploit a successful action (you never know where your actions will be successful and where they will fail).

Sometimes the threat of a Cavalry charge is just as menacing as an actual Cavalry charge, and can force you to second guess your own plan.

Finally, some advice I received from other players - you definitely need to fight your own plan, and not play according to the whim of the cards.  Hatch a plan and then use the cards that best support your plan, whatever they are.

Final Thoughts?  All in all, a good game and one that I enjoyed playing immensely.  I need to paint up more troops so I can play more!


  1. Looks like fun. Wish I could get a copy of C&C Naps to try it, but the base game is out of print.

    1. Ken,
      You're more than welcome to use mine anytime - also you can download the rules for free. i think I bought mine on Amazon in August but probably paid too much for it...

  2. This settles it; I've GOT to play more Napoleonics!

    1. John,
      One of the things I love about CCN is it gives a quick and easy game.

  3. Great game Steve.
    You know what, your 'lessons learned' comments make me consider these rules in a new light. Your tactical considerations are probably everything, in terms of critical decisions at least, that a Napoleonics game needs - combined arms, reserves, proper use of cavalry and sticking to the plan.

    Really like this.

    1. Thanks Darren,
      I try to incorporate lessons learned or thoughts from all my games in the hope that I'll be able to look them up and recall some crucial things about the rules or the games I've played.

      This game was very enjoyable and I think I'll be playing more of it in the future!