Sunday, 18 November 2018

Secure the Bridge

I managed to get in a small game with all of my painted Spanish Succession units today. Just two infantry and two cavalry units a side, I figured a race to secure a bridge might be a good scenario to play out.
Height of the battle
 The background to games is always important to me, and I like to have a narrative behind the fighting. In this case the Allies are racing north to secure a bridge over the river. The crossing is guarded by a unit of Dragoons, and the Bourbon forces are a step behind the Allies, who snuck out of camp at night.

Bourbon (all Spanish)
Mahoney Dragoons
Granada Nuevo Cavalry
Seville 'Old Purples'
Burgos 'Old Blues'

Zinzendorf Dragoons (Spanish)
Killigrew's Dragoons (English)
Rivers' Foot (English)
St. Amant (Dutch)
Spanish Mahoney Dragoons deploy next to the bridge, while the Allied Zinzendorf arrive on the left of the picture.
 The Spanish decided to cross the bridge and delay the enemy on the far side of the river. (the option was a 50/50 call on a % dice throw). It proved to be an inspired choice.
The Mahoney Dragoons cross the bridge.
 The Allies got reserves on a roll of 3+ in the first turn. The Spanish on a 6. Every turn the number decreased, but if the road was blocked, then the reserves would have to wait until the following turn. Friction would not be the Allied friend in this game.
The British Dragoons arrive, but at the same time as the Granada Nuevo Regiment, just visible in the top left corner.

As the Mahoney dragoons leave the bridge in march column the Zinzendorf dragoons form up, prepared to charge.

But the Spanish get the first move in the next turn, and the dragoons form up just in time to repulse the Allied charge.

Granada Nuevo start to cross the bridge, with the infantry bringing up the rear.

Rivers' regiment of foot starts coming through the woods as the Granada Nuevo arrive. The Mahoney dragoons reform to lose their disordered status.

The Old Purples are crossing the bridge as the Bourbon horse form up. The Zinzendorf dragoons repulse a charge from the Mahoney Dragoons.

Between them the Spanish cavalry units force back the Allied cavalry - the Zinzendorf dragoons breaking and routing.

But the Allies move forward, Killigrew's Dragoons charging into the Mahoney boys and sending them reeling back. Rivers' regiment gets a volley away into the Granada Horse.

The Old Blues make it over the bridge as the Old Purples let loose a volley at the British infantry. Killigrew keeps the pressure up on his opposites.

And the final charge proves too much. The Mahoney dragoons break.

Meanwhile The Granada horse chances its arm and exposes its rear to the St Amant regiment in preparation to flank Rivers' regiment. It is a gamble that pays off.

The Old Blues deploy as Killigrew reforms to face them. The Old Purples and English infantry exchange volleys.

Forced back, Rivers' Regiment is on the verge of breaking.

The Granada horse have taken some flak from the Dutch but are still strong enough to charge the disordered English infantry and deliver the coup de grace.

At the end of the battle Killigrew was lining up a charge against the rear of the Old Purples, but with 2 units lost to 1, the Allies are broken.

The end of the battle from another angle showing all of the remaining combatants.
The game was turned by the actions of the Mahoney dragoons crossing the bridge and taking the battle to Allied side. The woods created a bottleneck that made it incredibly difficult for the Allies to deploy. The Allies also struggled with some poor early command rolls that meant that they could only move half their units at a time. Although they were the only Spanish unit routed, the dragoons did the business, and on a day when O'Mahony paid a blinder for Ireland against the All-Blacks, it is fitting that his namesake lead the most important of the Spanish units in this victory.

The rules held up surprisingly well, There are a couple of little tweaks I need to add - it wasn't written anywhere that march columns count as in 'disorder' and as 'enfiladed' if charged or shot at, so I'll change that, as it was always the intention. The use of percentage dice mean that very unit has a chance to do the business, as when the Zinzendorf dragoons managed one last rally to beat off their opposites before the inevitable.

Oddly, throughout the battle I suffered from 'Raglan syndrome'. I kept referring in my head to the Bourbon troops as the French! The reason, in my case, is probably because there were Spaniards on both sides, and not flashbacks to a past life when I lost an arm fighting the Frenchies... probably...



  1. Looks great and intense...and this bridge is awesome, I understand why it is so important to control!

    1. Thanks Phil. It was pretty intense - the Allies could have won, but just received a few too many hits.

  2. A good looking game (models and tabletop).

    1. Thanks Peter. Not a lot of terrain in there, but I thought it looked OK for being uncluttered.

  3. Nice looking game and report mate.

  4. Looks like a fun game Nate - I like the figures - reminds me I have several battalions of these plastic WSS miniatures in some boxes in my garage too!

    1. They paint up well. They look a little thin and wooden next to their metal cousins, but they do look great en masse.