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"setting up the battle of Albuera" Topic


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967 hits since 29 Nov 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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MichaelCollinsHimself29 Nov 2013 12:46 p.m. PST

My friend Mick and I tested the set up of my solo module with the battle of Albuera via Yahoo Messenger…


The British player's forces followed the historical deployments and were generally arranged as follows:

on the player`s RIGHT: Spanish Army Corps,


in the CENTRE was Stewart's British 2nd division,


and on the player`s LEFT was Collins/Hamilton Portuguese Division + 1 Brigade


The player was also informed that there are reinforcements coming up too from the rear. …but these are the available forces at the start of the battle.

The player was also informed that the French march of approach to the battlefield is from your right and I sent him one of the Fortescue maps of the battle which shows the allied initial dispositions and Soult`s advance from Santa Marta.


This is how the French distributed their force along the British/Allied line:

On the Player`s left: a d10 was rolled the result: a "4" = one brigade of infantry and a "7" was rolled for the cavalry = a brigade of cavalry.

Against the Player`s centre: a "9" rolled = Two infantry divisions with a "10" which was the whole French cavalry reserve.

On the Player`s right "5" = an infantry division with an "8" = a cavalry brigade.

Another high die roll determined that the some converged Grenadiers appeared also in the centre.


As Beresford would have reasonably good intelligence of French forces, I informed the Player that this is almost all of the French army maybe apart from some cavalry … and that the high die rolls had made the bulk of the French army actually turn up against his centre. Which means a direct push through the village of Albuera.


Now, the soloist issued his orders and then was followed by the automatic general Soult.


Expecting a central frontal assault, the Player's orders were bold and simple:

"The centre will hold, the left and right will advance."

and so… "when the advance has gone far enough they will turn left and right respectively and the enemy will be hit on three sides."

Then, the attacking French army commands` orders were determined:

In the centre: V Corps rolled a "1" = "Assault"

The reserve (grenadiers) with the cavalry reserve in Reserve/Support (This was a "no-brainer" and so no need to dice for that one!)

On the Soloists right……(an infantry division with a cavalry brigade Werle`s Brigade plus) a "2" was rolled = "Assault"

On the Player's left…. (one brigade of infantry with a brigade of cavalry) a "9" was rolled…. and 9 or more = "Hold"

So the Spanish were to be attacked by an infantry division, the 2nd British Division to be assaulted by V Corps and the French on the Player`s left would hold their positions.


Battle Arrays:

To cut it short, we can assume that the Brits, Portuguese and Spanish will be in lines and the French are very likely to form columns of attack to assault the allies.


The game turned out to be a frontal assault, quite different to the historical Albuera and this was due to a lot of high die rolls in determining the French forces whereas the spread of results would normally have made the forces concentrated upon the direction of their march (on the player's right flank) this was shifted towards his centre.

Previous tests had flank marchers turn up on one or on both flanks, but on the whole, I was quite pleased how this test turned out as it showed that it could also produce an unexpected battle too… which must make more interest for the soloist.


My solo rules are intended to be complimentary to my own Napoleonic Wargames rules at:

grandmanoeuvre.co.uk

but they may be of use to players of other rule sets…

The solo module sets out to determine the initial dipositions, the orders and also the ongoing reactions of a non-player general throughout a game.

I`m hopeful of making it available in the coming weeks or the new year.

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