Saturday, July 14, 2018

Talavera: The Allies & The Commanders

Continuing on with the Talavera 1809 Project, I'm happy to report 98% of the French are done.  Flocked, and organized into their respective Corps for the battle!  I broke out the Allies this afternoon, including my Spanish contingent, and based them.  Almost all of the Allied troops are unflocked but I'm happy to report at least that they are all based!

Spanish Army on the left.  British Army on the right.  Cavalry, Lights, and Artillery in the rear-center.  This is the combined, joint force under Wellesly and Cuesta.
 With my bathtubbed project, each Neil Thomas Battalion will serve duty as a full Brigade.  I'm using the OOB from the Volley & Bayonet "Road to Glory" rulebook.  One of the posts coming up, I'll highlight the various brigades and units.  For this post, I'll highlight the commanders of the various units. 
I find this really brings the battle to life on the table if I can associate the actual commanders with the miniature units on the table.

The Spanish contingent under Cuesta.  Probably about half of the units I should have but it was a small purchase.  I'm cannibalizing extra French in Bicornes, painting them white and adding another Spanish unit.

Spanish Dragoons.

The British force.  10 Brigades in all.

Cavalry missing some units.  It will have to do.

Lights, Rifles, and the artillery.  These represent light battalions or "detachments" utilized by the Army.  They are next to the Portuguese troops

The entire allied force.
 Just like during the real Peninsula War, each force has distinct advantages all its own.  The French have a slightly bigger force with 18 infantry units total.  The French have more artillery (6 batteries to the Allies' 5), and more cavalry (4 regiments to the Allies' 2).  The British have 2 rank shooting, and in NT's rules hit on a 3+.  (This is deadly.  I cannot stress enough that I have not once successfully brought home a charge against British infantry using NT's rules - but I have a plan!).Additionally, the Spanish deploy in hardened cover which will also give them a slight advantage.  The French also have the reinforcing Madrid Garrison, consisting of the Royal Guard Grenadiers.  I'm giving them almost an entire Division's worth of combat power including 2 infantry units, a heavy cavalry unit, and a battery of artillery, all of which are "elite."

And now, portraits of the commanders!

Sir Arthur Wellesly

General Gregorio Garcia de la Cuesta

General Payne, commanding the British cavalry division

Spanish Cavalry Commander - the Duke of Albuquerque

Marshall Jourdan - Army Commander

Lieutenant General Victor - French I Corps D'Armee Commander
 Missing is Lieutenant General Sebastiani - the French IV Corps D'Armee Commander!  Oops!

Desolles - Commander of the Madrid Garrison

General Latour-Maubourg the Cavalry Commander

All in all, 2 very capable and big forces (at least for my table and for a game of Neil Thomas' Napoleonics).  I'm using NT's rules as they are the simplest and probably best possible choice for a quick afternoon's game and the ability to finish a battle.  Some of you may scoff, but I've found that the NT rules combine the best mix of that "old school" feel along with the ability to move the game along quickly and come to grips.

Since the forces consist of roughly 2 NT sanctioned forces each, I'll split the table with each force covering a 3 x 3 area.  The OOB will be next up, and hopefully followed by the deployment!

I have a heck of alot of flocking to do now!


  1. Great analysis. Looking forward to seeing the tinkerings to enable French columns a little more in the rules.
    Also good to see the V&B organisations getting a mention.
    Will you be using a command radius for the division commanders, similar to V&B, or are you going to hack NT's rules.

    1. Thanks Darren. I've been thinking about that, actually. For simplicity, you can't beat the V&B command radius. NT's rules allow you to attach a general officer to a unit and allow him to fight in combat with the unit. This bestows a morale benefit if I remember correctly.

      There are so many neat things you can add to the system such as a command roll or command pips a la DBA that tell me how many units can activate. Lots to ponder.

      What do you think I ought to do?

    2. One option I've always liked is attachment.
      Perhaps an attached officer could give major benefit (+2) to the attached unit - though it means that the balance of the brigade is 'out of command' moving half only, with a -1 on firing.
      Allows commanders to attach 'where the fire is hottest' but with the gamble that their other troops will probably sit in place and fire poorly.
      Also increases the chance of being shot from the saddle of course.
      As the battle progresses, they might find themselves attaching to rally routed troops.

    3. I like that, Darren. Thanks for the suggestion. I dont think it would be a good napoleonic game if a high ranking officer didnt fall valiantly!

  2. Dude, you are killing it! But slow down, I can’t keep up and you’re supposed to be my motivation ;) You’re almost there, I’m so envious, can’t wait to see some batreps.


    1. Thanks, Jack. I'm scraping together little bits of time here and there in between "life" aka job, family etc. It's not easy but somehow I'm cobbling together a battle-ready force!

      That's one of the reasons I picked the rules I picked for this battle. There is no refresher. I literally can just pick the book and start playing with no pre-reading like other rule sets. I love that.

  3. Excellent progress! You will be ready to game in no time.

    1. Thank you Jonathan! Watch this space. Next up hopefully will be a review of the OOB.

  4. Steve, you are a production powerhouse. As an aside, I found this post further down my reading list, below blogs that I had already read and so nearly missed it. I am guessing that you drafted the post at an earlier time and when you published, it held the date of when it was first drafted from an RSS queueing perspective.

    I have been having a problem with this, so now I do all my prep text in a word processor over a few days and then when I am ready to post, I just copy the text in to my Blogger editor and add pictures and do a final edit all in a single sitting and so the creation date doesn't cause any lag.

    This is probably more relevant for those bloggers that work with long posts.

    1. Thank you, Norm. I dont think I'll ever dedicate as much time as I want to for my wargaming projects.

      Thank you for bringing the lag to my attention. Interesting you noted the lag time. For this post, I actually started writing it, then got pulled away for quite some time before I got to finish it. I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

      On another note, ever since Blogger updated its privacy rules all sorts of things have been broken. I no longer receive emails when I have blog comments, even though the option is still checked. Additionally, my RSS feed doesn't always "work" the way it is supposed to either. Strange.

      I do occasionally write posts using Word or some other writing platform. Especially for large battles that will take me awhile to write. Most notably this occurred during our McPherson's Ridge re-fight using the new Brigade Fire & Fury rules, and your Eagles at Quatre Bras rules, where I found having a log transcript of the battle made the blog post much more interesting. Those are 2 instances specifically where i typed prior to the post going up.

      Our Flames of War St Lambert campaign games were other instances where I typed previously.

      Funny how blogging is almost a hobby in and of itself.

  5. A splendid and colorful collection Steven, well done!