Monday, March 3, 2014

The Battle of Avila: Opening Moves

Well, for one of the first times in my life, I'm glad that there was no snow day. 1) This allowed my Simulation Games class to get our Napoleonics battle under way.  2) I'm f*****g tired of snow.

As promised, we start with some closeups.  For a description of the scenario and setup, please check here.

Sharper and Harpe lead squads of plucky riflemen ahead of the British line infantry to harass the French. In our first session, they were called "badass."  I recommended Cornwell to the players as a consequence.

English infantry advance through the wheatfield to engage the French on the other side.  Meanwhile, the Spanish stand by and wait for a command roll in their favor.  Why put oneself out?

The French infantry are champing at the bit.  This ill-fated brigade will be the first in the fight, but also the first to leave the table.

Who's going to mess with the French cavalry?  Really?  You feeling lucky, England?

French assault columns wait their turn to get into the action.  

Highlanders pass through a picturesque Spanish village on their way to catch bullets and grapeshot.

And now the shooting starts.  I explained the slight variants in the rules to the players, and they were off and running.  Tyler took command of the French and moved first.  One of his infantry brigades bounded onto the commanding heights in the center of the table, but sadly these brave souls did not get support from their comrades, who moved forward at a snail's pace.  This left the advance guard highly vulnerable to a british counter-attack, as we shall see.


Alex gets two of his infantry brigades to attack the hill.  Long range fire from the 95th rifles and an artillery battery do some damage.  Outgunned 2-1, the French start to get rattled.


We finished two turns in our initial session.  The French advance guard got hammered by close-range fire and withdrew in a haphazard rout.  Fortunately, Tyler was able to bring up his cavalry behind them in support, so they may get a chance to inflict some damage in revenge for their fallen friends. The English cavalry and the Spanish infantry finally began to move forward, but the main body of the French is ready to counter them.  Sadly the Italians (who look suspiciously like Bavarians) decided to form a defensive line behind the river, even though they had not been threatened.  Yep, our first command Blunder.

Grace, a student in my class the following period, gets parched from the sight of so much bloodshed and takes a draught from her Snapple.



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