Saturday, September 17, 2011


Josh and I had our first game of Command & Colors Napoleonics today, starting with scenario 1, "Rolica (First Position)". The historical battle took place in Portugal in 1808; Wellesley with 15,000 men dislodged Delaborde and 4500 from their positions and forced them to withdraw.

In the scenario, the numbers are more even. The British have four Portuguese units on the right, four Redcoats and two batteries in the center, and beyond the river on the left are a heavy cavalry, a horse artillery, and two infantry units. The French have a battery in the center, with a total of six infantry, with each flank guarded by a light cavalry unit.

The game is divided into left, center, and right sectors, and you can only move and fight units as
allowed by one of your command cards. One card might let you give orders to two or three units on your right flank; another might allow you to order one unit from each sector.

First blood went to the French gun battery, which used a "Bombard" card for exceptionally effective fire, and forced one of my batteries out of action.

Most of my starting cards were attacks and assaults on the right flank. Since that's what I had to work with, my Portuguese advanced and attacked, pushing the French off their hill. The Portuguese cavalry swept behind the French hussars, forced them back and nearly destroyed them.

And then the French counter attacked. A "Short Supply" card forced the Portuguese cavalry back to the British base line. Massed French musketry and bayonet charges destroyed the cacadores and one of the Portuguese line infantry units, and nearly destroyed the other one, which scampered back out of range as quickly as it could.

My left advanced, but was hampered by terrain. They fired on the cavalry guarding the French right and forced it back, but were unable to do much damage. I brought up my infantry in the center, but Josh used a "Rally" and got his infanry on the ridge line in good order; before I could launch my assault he preempted me, and a blaze of musketry wiped out two of my infantry units and forced a third back to the trees.

He then made use of a "Cavalry Charge". The hussars of his right swept past my infantry to attack the horse artillery that had been plaguing them; the artillery fell back, the hussars followed and pressed the attack, and wiped out the battery.

The final position is shown. The French are still holding the original position; the Portuguese have remembered something urgent back at camp; the British left is in good shape but half the center is gone. Josh got a 5:0 win.

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